Bulgarian date codes
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    Bulgarian date codes

    While arsenal of bulgaria will deny that there are actual date codes these are Bulgarian date codes from what has been observed.

    What is also worth noting is 1979 seems to be the introduction of the press and pin barrels in the milled ak47 line.


    1970 = 10......1993 = 33
    1971 = 11......1994 = 34
    1972 = 12......1995 = 35
    1973 = 13......1996 = 36
    1974 = 14......1997 = 37
    1975 = 15......1998 = 38
    1976 = 16......1999 = 39
    1977 = 17......2000 = 40
    1978 = 18......2001 = 41
    1979 = 19......2002 = 42
    1980 = 20......2003 = 43
    1981 = 21......2004 = 44
    1982 = 22......2005 = 45
    1983 = 23......2006 = 46
    1984 = 24......2007 = 47
    1985 = 25......2008 = 48
    1986 = 26......2009 = 49
    1987 = 27......2010 = 50
    1988 = 28......2011 = 51
    1989 = 29......2012 = 52
    1990 = 30......2013 = 53
    1991 = 31......2014 = 54
    1992 = 32

    This is confirmed up until 2014 as my slr104 UR that has a date code of "54" that is a 2014 model.



    Please feel free to add your own submissions to this thread and I will edit the OP.


    Last edited by 22many; 02-09-2016 at 12:00 AM.
    texasgunsmith and MPiKM-72 like this.

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    Taken from another thread explaining date codes:

    Originally Posted by mojo100
    I thought adding 60 to the code was not a reliable way to date the rifles. Has that been proven incorrect now? It would be nice since it's a good way to date stubs and rifles.



    MPiKM-72:

    I don't recall who said that wasn't a reliable way to determine date of manufacture. I've heard the same.

    Over time I've become convinced that the Bulgarian two digit code does match up to a year. Current Arsenal semi-auto US market rifles have two digit codes that do match up to a year.

    Here is an Arsenal model offered in 2014. There is a two digit code 54.
    ARSENAL SLR-104 UR 5.45X39 KRINK Factory SBR New : Short Barrel Rifles (SBR) at GunBroker.com

    37 code on this SLR-95 would be 1997. These were on the market in 1997 so it seems quite logical.
    Arsenal SLR-95 AK-47 Rifle, 7.62 x 39mm, Used : Semi Auto Rifles at GunBroker.com

    I'm not sure when Bulgarian began using the two digit code - for Bulgarian military firearms the earliest two digit code I have observed is 15 (so far).
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    Originally Posted by MPiKM-72
    I don't recall who said that wasn't a reliable way to determine date of manufacture. I've heard the same.

    Over time I've become convinced that the Bulgarian two digit code does match up to a year. Current Arsenal semi-auto US market rifles have two digit codes that do match up to a year.



    Mojo100:

    I don't remember who said it either .. but from I remember someone contacted Arsenal and asked. They said the codes don't work that way. Might try to do some digging.


    Those are good examples. You would think they would carry over processes and marking from their .mil rifles over to their civilian ones. I hope so as it would make things a lot easier.

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    MPiKM-72:

    Moj - Don't take my post as putting you down. I'm just sharing my opinion on "The
    truth we have been sold."

    I think it was one of those statements that K-VAR or Arsenal made - "game changer" stuff. The kind of statements importers make when asked where a group of AK kits came from out of concern about the competition from other importers. “We can’t reveal our sources” but ship kits with Croat decals and unit markings on them. The kind of statements the Wizard of OZ makes because he doesn't want you behind the curtain. The kind of statements that I respond with "Don't piss down my back and tell me its raining". Whatever.

    There is a reason for the number codes they use. I think a two digit date code is the most logical reason.


    More evidence I’ve gathered over the years…

    1975 code 15 – in Iraq I believe.
    This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized 745x559.


    1976 code 16 German deact

    This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized 745x497.


    1977 code 17 barrelled stub

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    01/06/15 ETA 1978...

    1978 code 18 threaded barrel courtesy of COMM BLOC. This helps narrow it down a bit.
    This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized 745x420.


    1979 code 19 barrelled stub my buddy trueno sold – note the press and pin barrel

    This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized 745x559.


    1980 code 20 stub



    1991 31 code Milled underfolder – UK Deact
    This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized 745x559.

    This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized 745x559.


    My 31 code kit – need to get on with the reweld one day

    This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized 640x480.


    1994 34 code SA93 with documented inspection date of 10/06/1994
    This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized 640x480.

    This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized 640x480.

    1995 code 35 – don’t recall the story on if this was an SA93 or SLR95 - seems they may have begun the dot peen marking that year
    This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized 745x419.


    Crusherdestroyers stub posted above adds some insight with its 1973 date.

    There are two “Bulgarian milled unicorns” I’m eager to see:

    1 -One with code 13 or 14 or a date 1974 – I don’t yet know how those are marked. Either 1974 or 1975 was the inception of the two digit date code. Somewhere around this time is the transition to two-digit code.

    2 -One with code 18 – Either 18 or 19 was the year Arsenal transitioned from threaded barrel/receiver to press and pin barrel/receiver. I know press and pin was being done at one point in 1979 – code 19.

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    My two sam7r's would seem to fall in line with that, as the sam7r's replaced the slr101s in more modern history. One is 53, the other 54.

    Edit: Correction, both are 53's, but still in area of after the slr101s was discontinued in 2012 or '13.
    Last edited by texasgunsmith; 02-07-2016 at 01:31 AM.
    22many likes this.

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    I don't know why they keep denying that's a date code in spite of a mountain of evidence to the contrary. Granted there could be small exceptions- such as the 87 Russian kits that were actually made in 88. Other than a small deviation such as that I'm convinced.
    Weaponmark likes this.
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    Take this for what its worth-

    "
    Dear Sir,

    In reply to your inquiry, we are pleased to inform you as follows:


    - All Assault Rifles, manufactured in ARSENAL JSCo. have engraved the trademark of the company -


    [IMG]file:///C:/Users/Anyone/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.jpg[/IMG]


    (digit 10 in two concentric circles).



    - The serial Numbers of our Assault Rifles are of XX XXXXXX type, but they have no connection with the year of production.

    Best regards,
    ARSENAL JSCo.

    N. IBUSHEV
    GENERAL DIRECTOR"


    Also, I am not sure why 1960 is the magical year, as serial production started in 1958.

    pic46689.jpg

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    I don't know why they deny that there are no date codes when there is clearly a pattern. Unless they are defining the serial number as the 4 digit numbering then I can see how there is no connection to dating through the serial number. But it seems that are saying that their serial number is XX XXXXXX so who knows.

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    1960+ date = year doesn't take into account the 2 letter prefix either.

    They also told me that AK47 production ended in 1994 in another email, so maybe something was lost in translation.

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    Maybe ak47 production did end in 1994. Wasn't it around that time that they started adding AKM barrels to their milled rifles? If so then I can see actual ak47 production as they know it ending.

    Either way, maybe there is a big communication gap between customer service and the engineers.
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    My guess, look at guns, gun groups, sellers and manufacturers. Pretty much at constant war with the left and constantly targeted for what ever the left or anti-gunners can find, besides people looking to cash in on some alleged problem, no matter how ridiculous. Look at the dude trying to sue Century for an ak being able to fire with the dust cover off and swinging the safety all the way around. . . I think its a primary reason its so hard to get any kind of real details out of these people. By giving people as few details and info as possible, it limits the amount of info available that anyone can directly attack.

  13. #12
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    I figured thats what they meant in regards to AK47 production as well.

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    My SLR-95 has a two digit code of 36 (1996?), and my SLR-104FR I just purchased last month has a two digit code of 54 (2014?).
    Makes a whole lot of sense to me no matter what the factory says or doesn't say.
    The things I learn on this forum! Thanks for posting!
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    Hello Guys, Here's an addition to the "Bulgarian Date Codes" database. I purchased an 7.62x39 ARSENAL INC., SAM-7/UF(- 85) back in APRIL 2014 direct from K-VAR. The SERIAL NUMBER as engraved on the weapon is; AC 54 3XXX. Until I happened across this particular thread, I assumed that the "54", after the serial #'s prefix was just part of the actual serial number. Although I surmised that it was unlikely that Arsenal has mfg'd / assembled that many of my particular model / variant. ( RE: @ 54M units ? ) I figured that perhaps they were combining the serial #'s between various models within their overall product lines ? Now however, after coming across this thread, I'm much more inclined to go with 22many's theory as to the Bulgarian / Arsenal Inc.'s "production date codes".

    Best, dpast32
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpast32 View Post
    Now however, after coming across this thread, I'm much more inclined to go with 22many's theory as to the Bulgarian / Arsenal Inc.'s "production date codes".

    Best, dpast32
    Thank you but I can't take credit for that. I just started the thread as its other people who have came up with this theory years ago.

    I have seen over, over, and over again that the actual date coding is correct no matter what the factory says. It makes sense as almost every AK is dated except for a couple varients. With bulgarian rifles being considered "top of the line" it wouldn't make sense for them to not date them.
    MPiKM-72 likes this.

 

 
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