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Posted: 11/17/2003 7:38:34 PM EDT
...the Arsenal SLR101S-3 and the SAM7S besides the $150.00 price difference.

According to what I can cipher, they both are 7.62x39 Bulgarian milled receivers finished off with US parts, have muzzle brakes, pistol grips and left side scope mount rails.

According to the Arsenal website, they have the same description and specifications.

I am trying to determine what warrants the price difference and whether it is worth the extra $$ for the SAM7S.

Thanks in advance...
Scott

Link Posted: 11/17/2003 8:58:17 PM EDT
I have the SLR101S. It's a very nice rifle. No regretts. Whats the real difference between the two??? One has a cleaning rod, and the hole plus mount to hold it on the rifle like the typical AK has. Thats all.While the SAM7S was a double stack mag rifle from the start ,the SLR101S was a single stack.It was then modified, by Arsenal to take a double stack.What does that mean?? They had to mill alittle off the mag well for a double mag to fit. What does that really mean??? NOT A THING. Other than the manufactoring history of the two they are the same rifle by the same company.even the SAM7 had to be milled from the get go. The SLR took two turns to get to size where the SAM7 took one turn in the shop. The same amount of metal came off just (SLR) two steps vs. (SAM7) one .Thats the rough description anyhow. Both are great rifles , They are the same .I paid $400 for a SLR101S at a gunshow NIB. The SAM7's was alittle over $500. But some have posted that they found SAM7's alot cheaper. Maybe from FAC..?? Which ever you get,it will be a great rifle and last a lifetime and more. If the gunshow didn't have the SLR101S and had only the SAM7's I would have bought it instead.But it was the other way around. No regretts either way it went.Hope Ive helped and this is only my OPINION and experiance as a machinist.WarDawg
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 9:22:58 PM EDT
WarDawg's pretty much got it right. I bought my SLR-101 from a local gunshow and couldn't be happier with it. Shoots straight and the fit and finish is excellent. IMHO it really doesn't make a difference unless you absolutely need to have a cleaning rod on your rifle. Save the money and use it to buy some Bulgarian waffles.

Link Posted: 11/17/2003 10:24:19 PM EDT
The SAM7 with side mount goes for $640. That price is stupid silly compared to the price of a converted SLR-101 that has a side mount on it already. They go for $470 from FAC. $170 more for a cleaning rod is dumb in my book. Besides, I rather have a Bulgarian made AK than a US one.
Link Posted: 11/18/2003 4:14:47 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/18/2003 5:46:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/18/2003 5:51:28 PM EDT by SSR-99]
It's correct that for Arsenal Inc to make an SLR-101 into a double stack mag shooter, they must put the SLR-101 through a conversion process. The SLR-101 single stack gun arrives completely manufactured and assembled from Arsenal of Bulgaria. When Arsenal Inc of Nevada receives them, they sell some of them as they are received, while others get put aside for the conversion. The ones slated for the double stack mag conversion, will get the following done to them:

*It receives milling to the mag well area in order for it to accept high capacity mags (some folks have had better luck with these guns accepting all standard AK mags than others)

*their bolts are removed, and a new bolt is then fitted to the gun. The new bolt is said to be the standard SA-M7/SLR-95 sized bolt, which is said to have a thicker stem and a wider lower area. The thicker stem would mean that they either must modify the existing bolt carrier channel so that it will accept the thicker stem, or that a new carrier must also be installed as part of the conversion.

*The receiver also gets a lower buttstock tange installed (requiring minimal milling and a few new rivets)

*A traditional style buttstock (which is something like 1 1/4" to 1 1/2" longer than the average AK-47 buttstock) replaces the SLR-101 thumbhole buttstock (the replacement is U.S. made under Bulgarian license)

*A standard pistol grip is added (U.S. made under Bulgarian license)

*A new Fire Control Group is installed (U.S. made under Bulgarian license)

*Receives a full or partial refinish to cover the modification milling

*As stated above, no modification is done for the gun to accept a cleaning rod under the barrel



Now, lets look the SA-M7:

The brand new components needed to build the double stack SA-M7 are imported from the Arsenal Co. of Bulgaria, except for it's American made Receiver, Fire Control Group, and Stockset. While some components are American made, they are made here in the U.S. under license of the Bulgarian firm.

*The standard SA-M7 stockset is made in the U.S.A., and is made using the same German polymer that is used by the Bulgarians to manufacture theirs (again, all done under Bulgarian license). The exception to the stockset being all American made, is the buttstock used on the SA-M7 Carbine model, which uses the American set, but has a Bulgarian made buttstock. The only real difference between the SA-M7 American made buttstock, and the SA-M7 Carbine model Bulgarian made buttstock, is the fact that the American buttstock is 1 1/4" (or is it 1 1/2"?) longer than the Bulgarian buttstock.

*Their fire control groups are made here under license using the same method of milling them out of forged steel. These are not reverse engineered, but instead made using the correct specifications given to them by their Bulgarian friends.

*The receiver is also made here under license using the same method of milling them out of forged steel ingots. Again, these are done as above, in other words not needing reverse engineering to get the correct specifications and heat treating.

*And yes, the SA-M7 has the correct set up to hold the cleaning rod underneith the barrel.

*Fully assembled here in the US, but even that is done under license, and is done by guys that were brought over from Bulgaria.

I suspect that their need to place a higher price on the SA-M7's is warranted, and that it is most likely because they require more labor be done State-side. The receiver alone must add to the expense, since they are completely milled here from scratch. And of course the SA-M7 is completely assembled here as well, and I'm sure at a bit higher cost. The SLR-101 is built overseas, but it does receive some US modification (and therefore some State-side labor).

These two gun models are brothers, but I can see where the price difference comes in.

The SA-M7 is most times obtained by dealers from Lew Hortons or FAC.
I believe FAC currently has them for something like just over 530 bucks, but now would be the time to buy, because there has been a price hike on them. I believe the Arsenal Inc price increase was something like 7%.

Once FAC's inventory and current orders are filled, their new guns will have the new price increase added to them. The new price will be somewhat over $570 dealer cost.

I can see why some may prefer the SA-M7 over the SLR-101, and that reason may be that the SA-M7 is known to be built up as the double stack gun that it is. It receives no modification during assembly, and is not produced by modifying an already assembled weapon. The SLR-101 is a single stack gun that receives modification, so it is known as a converted gun.

No big deal to some, but maybe a big deal to someone else. It's all about that "different strokes for different folks" thing :)
Link Posted: 11/18/2003 9:09:01 AM EDT
Very good detailed description SSR-99 . Very well written and explained. Thanks alot.WarDawg
Link Posted: 11/18/2003 12:00:48 PM EDT
Good info here on these two, I just bought a SLR101S, paid $460.00 so I guess I did OK, after reading here though I may have gone for the SAM7. When you say some have better luck than others with hicap ak mags, do you mean fit or function. I haven't shot mine yet but my chinese 30 rounders lock in just fine. I also wondered why they even make the single stack guns, is there a market for them? Thanks....tom
Link Posted: 11/18/2003 1:58:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/18/2003 5:48:53 PM EDT by SSR-99]
There have been some that found their SLR-101 did not want to let all mags lock in place. Others mentioned they could not lock in drums until after doing a bit more judicious fitting.

It has not turned out to be the case that they all need this fine tuning, and your specimen may very well likely accept all mags right out of the box :)

As far as function, once a mag is loaded and locked in place, their function has not been an issue :)

Arsenal of Bulgaria makes the single stack guns for countries like the USA that won't allow the importation of high capacity "assault style" weapons. So the SLR-101 single stack gun is basically another politically correct model, and just like their double stack SLR-95 series, designed to go around certain laws and importation bans. They tried to sell the thumbhole stocked SLR-101 single stack guns here in the USA (and still do in small numbers), but they just were not big sellers as single stack guns. Once Arsenal Inc started offering the converted models, they took off in sales :) Good ole ingenuity :)

Link Posted: 11/18/2003 2:24:02 PM EDT
SSR99,

Thank you for your informative response to my post. This is exactly the type of data I was hoping to aquire, since I am a relative neophyte in the AK world.

Gratefully,
Scott
Link Posted: 11/18/2003 2:30:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/18/2003 2:31:37 PM EDT by SSR-99]
No problem buddy, that's what these types of forums should mostly be about........sharing info :)
Link Posted: 11/18/2003 10:49:26 PM EDT
SSR-99.....I thank you as well for the info, I was just hoping I made a good choice for my first AK. I just bought four bulgarian waffle mags, and I am off to shoot this little beast over the weekend.....tom
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