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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked up a brand new SGL 31 AK 74 and thought I'd post a few observations. Although I'm an AR guy, I've owned and operated AKs for 7 years now, and feel they are still among the finest service rifles in the world.

I've always wanted an actual "Russian" '74 and now Arsenal has given me the opportunity.

First the good...

1. Everything appears to be to spec. There are no canted sights or canted gas block.

2. All of the controls, as well as the action operate smoothly. Everything is positive and "clicks" and "clacks" into place. Field stripping and reassembly were easy, with no issues.

3. The 2-stage trigger, although heavy, is smooth, with a nice takeup and crisp let-off. Reset is "average" length, think stock AR trigger. Will break in nicely.

4. The markings on the rifle are both discreet, and cool.

5. The rifle came with a test target, and appears to be in the 3 MOA range if I do my part.

6. The "paint" finish is a more matte color, and seems to be more durable than the finish on my Bulgy.


Now the not so good...

1. "Fit and finish" is not as nice as my Bulgarian SLR 107CR.

a. There is a small "dent" at the front of the receiver where it meets the handguard. It is for sure from the factory as it is finished over, and not something that could happen in shipping due the placement of the handguard. Will not affect operation or reliability.

b. The right rear sight attachment "ear" is also dented from the factory. Also purely a cosmetic issue.



2. Fit of the furniture isn't very precise, especially the handguard, which has a decent amount of fore and aft movement. My Bulgy is very tight. Probably still "in spec", as I've owned another AK variant that had the same "issue".


I have not put the gun on paper, but I've fired ~900 rounds without a malfunction on the silhouette range.
The 100 yard gong was rang with alarming regularity, and I was able to put quite a few rounds on target at 200 and 300 kneeling.

Carbon buildup was MASSIVE after my first use of 7n6. I had to work the muzzle device off and clean carbon out of the treads. The gun got a bath in Windex, followed by some CLP, wiped down after both. Scraped carbon with a flattened brass casing, just wanted to neutralize as much of the primer residue as possible. I 've switched to Wolf MC for range work for now.

The action has really smoothed out nicely and the trigger is getting a bit lighter already.

I REALLY like this rifle

Overall I think these rifles are decent value, and are a high quality unit.




Cosmetic "issues"


 

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welcome, and btw, love your choice in rifles. once you get good with the sights, you'll absolutely love the ak74.

oh and about the furniture, don't worry, the rifle shoots better when there's nothing "tight" on the barrel, espcially as it heats up.
 

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The SGL21 and SGL31 come in from Izhmash with the front end complete, they are not the type of Saigas that RAA imports. there is a fitting of some sort over the FSB threads for import. Info comes from a person connected to Arsenal, thats not to be named...these Saigas are more similiar to the M-3 Saiga ,without the folding stock. check the Izhmash web site, there are many Saigas..Arsenal ordered them the way they would be easiest and cheapest to convert. The SGL 20 ,was a different style also ,it came in with the gas block and handguard retainer and handguard in place, and they put bulgy FSBs on them. On my SGL20 & SGL21 I put copper Anti-sieze lubricant on my muzzlebrake threads ,and the carbon does not build on the threads,and it screws on and off with ease no matter the amount rounds fired or type.
 

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omega88 said:
The SGL21 and SGL31 come in from Izhmash with the front end complete, they are not the type of Saigas that RAA imports. there is a fitting of some sort over the FSB threads for import. Info comes from a person connected to Arsenal, thats not to be named...these Saigas are more similiar to the M-3 Saiga ,without the folding stock. check the Izhmash web site, there are many Saigas..Arsenal ordered them the way they would be easiest and cheapest to convert. The SGL 20 ,was a different style also ,it came in with the gas block and handguard retainer and handguard in place, and they put bulgy FSBs on them. On my SGL20 & SGL21 I put copper Anti-sieze lubricant on my muzzlebrake threads ,and the carbon does not build on the threads,and it screws on and off with ease no matter the amount rounds fired or type.
do you know or can find out how the bulgy slr107f are imported? and what work is done by arsenal? i know this is the Russian section but since you have a source i thought i ask you. thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
omega88 said:
The SGL21 and SGL31 come in from Izhmash with the front end complete, they are not the type of Saigas that RAA imports. there is a fitting of some sort over the FSB threads for import. Info comes from a person connected to Arsenal, thats not to be named...these Saigas are more similiar to the M-3 Saiga ,without the folding stock. check the Izhmash web site, there are many Saigas..Arsenal ordered them the way they would be easiest and cheapest to convert. The SGL 20 ,was a different style also ,it came in with the gas block and handguard retainer and handguard in place, and they put bulgy FSBs on them. On my SGL20 & SGL21 I put copper Anti-sieze lubricant on my muzzlebrake threads ,and the carbon does not build on the threads,and it screws on and off with ease no matter the amount rounds fired or type.
Cool, I didn't know that.
I'll try the anti-seize, as high-temp auto grease doesn't work.

Up close, the receiver blemish looks more like it was the result of the forming process, and has no damage to the factory finish to indicate it was dropped or something.
 

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omega88 said:
The SGL21 and SGL31 come in from Izhmash with the front end complete, they are not the type of Saigas that RAA imports. there is a fitting of some sort over the FSB threads for import. Info comes from a person connected to Arsenal, thats not to be named...
I'm sure you were told this as you said, but that does not seem to be the case. But who knows?
 

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I recently handled a friend's SGL31 and it, too, had a lower handguard that moved fore and aft. He appeared to be bothered by this (this is the first AK he has ever owned). Is it easy to remedy this problem?
 

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Newaza said:
I recently handled a friend's SGL31 and it, too, had a lower handguard that moved fore and aft. He appeared to be bothered by this (this is the first AK he has ever owned). Is it easy to remedy this problem?
Yes, through user education. It's supposed to move a little. If it doesn't move at all it's too tight and will be less accurate due to pressures on the barrel.
 

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CumbiaDude said:
Newaza said:
I recently handled a friend's SGL31 and it, too, had a lower handguard that moved fore and aft. He appeared to be bothered by this (this is the first AK he has ever owned). Is it easy to remedy this problem?
Yes, through user education. It's supposed to move a little. If it doesn't move at all it's too tight and will be less accurate due to pressures on the barrel.
Really? They are supposed to be a little loose? I've owned an Arsenal SAM7 Carbine for about 5 years, and it has a tight lower handguard. Another friend of mine recently bought an SGL21 and it, too, has a tight lower handguard. I had an SGL20 about a year ago and it had a tight lower handguard. These are all assembled incorrectly?
 

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I wouldnt say assembled incorrectly. If you take the lower handguard latch and can move it with finger pressure, then its probably the right tightness. The wood/plastic handguard may not move much itself but if you can move the latch, then there is some room for heat expansion.

If the handgaurd is oversized and you have to crank the retainer latch down with a tool, it might be TOO tight. Remember, humidity and heat cause expansion in especially the wood handguards. Thats why for all weather shooting the plastic handguard with the metal teeth are better.

But, its an AK, not a national match AR, so who cares :)


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What is this anti-seize stuff? is it auto supply grease or what? Got a photo or brand name?
A rusted on flash hider is my biggest problem down here in the humid gulf coast.

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Sounds like you got a good Arsenal AK, how is the mag latch fit? Do mags swap out with just thumb pressure on it? Ive heard of some being so tight on mil mags that the only way to get the mag out is by back thwacking it with another mag.
 

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So for the purpose of better accuracy, it's preferred to have it a little loose? (It sounds sort of like the top handguards on a Garand). Thanks for the information, guys. You learn something new every day. :beer:
 

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Anti-Sieze is a thread lubricant used for decades to prevent siezing and galling between threads and other metal parts fit together, etc. there are many brands, some industrial places make there own , it is a mixture of oils/greases, with a type of powdered metal such as copper, lead ,silver, aluminum, etc., I carry in my cleaning gear at home a tube of copper Anti-Sieze made by permatex, from the auto parts store, I use a special Aluminum type on the threads of the Spark plugs on my Harley, and I have pint cans of industrial type for other bolts, I put it on EVERY threaded application except for things I use locktight on that I dont want to come apart, All industrial application require the use of Anti-sieze . New glocks come from the factory with what looks to be copper Anti-Sieze on the rails etc, and I have used it for the same thing and other 'grease" aplications.
 

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Newaza said:
These are all assembled incorrectly?
Like Remy said, they aren't assembled incorrectly, it's just that there are tolerances on either side. Too tight is a slight problem and too loose is not a problem, so a little too loose is a better than a little too tight. Like you already know, you can get them without any play and they still work just fine. It's like the magazine well, too. Too tight doesn't really give you any advantage, but too loose gives you easy magazine insertion. As long as it's not so loose you have problems feeding, it's good. Same with the lower handguard, as long as it's not flying all over in there, it's good to have it loose. But yeah, like you said, it just reduces the amount of inaccuracy caused by pressures, it's not a critical thing.

It's just a factoid to tell your friend this so he isn't as bothered by it. :smile:
 
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