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Old 08-20-2011, 07:10 PM
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Smile Arsenal SGL21 review (pre-range) (pics)



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Well, after many months of thinking/planning and selling stuff, I finally got an Arsenal SGL21 (NY Compliant) in 7.62x39. Got it, of course, from Arsenal's US distributor, K-Var Corporation. it was shipped to my local FFL dealer with a 5-round mag. Did my NICS check, and off I was.

(for a bit of a pre-amble, I already own a GP WASR-10/63 and a pre-ban Norinco AKM-47s. So, I have a lower-end AK and a super high-end AK to compare this to).

First, I want to say that it is VERY cool that a large outfit like Arsenal will make state-compliant versions (like NY, NJ, and California). 1000 thanks for that. For those of us that dwell deep in Libtardia, a major company thinking of us/catering to us, is a very nice thing. this 2A enthusiast appreciates it.

I checked it out at my dealer (Suffolk Sportsman), checked for canted sights and gave it the once-over. looked great, so out the door I was.

I had some long-planned things I was going to do, like add an Ultimak front gas-tube rail, a red dot sight, and a real Russian sling. so all the stuff was headed to my house at the same time.

the fit & finish of the Arsenal is awesome. very impressed with the product. the rifle was completely un-blemished and perfect. there was a slight mis-fit of the butt plate into the butt stock, but, I think I can take the retaining bolts out and do a little shaving/dremeling to make it flush. we are talking a less that 1/8th inch discrepancy, so, it's really nothing. something to do on a deep-Winter weekend or something.

the cap on the muzzle thread was neat & finished. not what the purist would like (no muzzle brake as per the Ak-74 style), but, again, for those of us that are deep in Libtardia, it's a necessary evil. overall, it looks smooth and not some kludgey add on. if you did not know how it was "supposed" to look, you'd never know the difference.

I took it apart and oiled where I usually oil my AKs. everything was sweet and well-made. I did notice that the bolt was thinner (at the stem) than my other AK bolts. I imagine that this is an AK-74 style bolt, and that's why I noticed the difference.

the magazine release was smooth, better than my WASR and about the same as my Norinco. the rifle feels SOLID. no rattles, no movement. all the furniture fits tight and feels very balanced. I did my Ultimak gas-tube rail mount modification, and added my red dot sight, and the rifle is zen-like balanced. feels perfect.

at first the polymer buttstock felt weird (my first polymer anything, rifle-wise), and it felt kind of hollow and rattly. I realized, however, this was because there was no cleaning kit in the buttstock and once I put an extra one in there, it was more solid feeling and sounding.

all-and-all, I am totally psyched by this acquisition, and cannot wait to get it to the range for some trigger time.
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:11 PM
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FYI henderson defense will weld on ak74 brake and shave ears off bayonet lug and ship arsenals and other ar/ak wepons to ban states
Old 08-21-2011, 07:08 AM
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FYI henderson defense will weld on ak74 brake and shave ears off bayonet lug and ship arsenals and other ar/ak wepons to ban states
yes, I friend of mine did that and he is happy with it. however, he is having a carbon build-up problem, and a key-holing of the rounds as they hit the target. so, someting is wrong. who knows if it's the brake of not.

Not blaming HD, just mentioning that he was/is happy with their service but is not having a problem.
Old 08-21-2011, 02:29 PM
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Good looking AK.

By the way welcome to the dark side.
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Old 08-21-2011, 02:32 PM
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Good looking AK.

By the way welcome to the dark side.


thank you. However, I have been a member for awhile already.
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Old 08-21-2011, 02:33 PM
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thank you. However, I have been a member for awhile already.
Doh that's right I did read that.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:52 AM
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Nice Weapon.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:15 AM
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Good work mate,

Buy em' high, stack em' higher.

Just curious, what's your next purchase further down in the future?

I notice the lack of a dedicated MBR/SPR/DMR...

*sadface*
Old 08-30-2011, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Heckler&Coke View Post
Good work mate,

Buy em' high, stack em' higher.

Just curious, what's your next purchase further down in the future?

I notice the lack of a dedicated MBR/SPR/DMR...

*sadface*
sorry, I don't know what that means. can you explain?
Old 08-30-2011, 09:24 AM
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Main Battle/Special purpose/Designated marksmen , Rifle

Fancy talk for Longer range semi-precision
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:02 AM
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Main Battle/Special purpose/Designated marksmen , Rifle
Fancy talk for Longer range semi-precision
well, my intent is to not engage at anything further than 75-100 meters. you know, the old hide vs. engage argument. my areas conducive to hiding at longer distances.

I sold my Mauser. only thing I have for 100+ is my SKS. it's my tack driver.

(thanks for taking the time to explain the definitions. I appreciate it!)
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:03 PM
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well, my intent is to not engage at anything further than 75-100 meters. you know, the old hide vs. engage argument. my areas conducive to hiding at longer distances.

I sold my Mauser. only thing I have for 100+ is my SKS. it's my tack driver.

(thanks for taking the time to explain the definitions. I appreciate it!)
I bet that arsenal can outshoot your SKS if you feed it right.
Old 08-30-2011, 12:41 PM
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I bet that arsenal can outshoot your SKS if you feed it right.
you might be right on that point, especially since I have the red dot on the Arsenal.
Old 08-30-2011, 02:35 PM
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you might be right on that point, especially since I have the red dot on the Arsenal.
I've found my M7 to be more than accurate enough at ranges I would (having a choice) engage at. I'm with Verg on evasion first.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:06 PM
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Good looking AK.

By the way welcome to the dark side.
I think I'm going to have to join him soon. Good looking rifle.
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:53 PM
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Thanks for the review and pictures. I've decided that is the one I'm going to get and proably get it from the same place you bought yours. I'm $100 away from getting one.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:55 PM
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Nice rifle. I sold my wasr several months ago because of a dire need of cash, but even as I was selling it I was envisioning buying an even better rifle in brighter times. I would say that yours would be what I had pictured in my head.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:12 AM
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Thanks for the review and pictures. I've decided that is the one I'm going to get and proably get it from the same place you bought yours. I'm $100 away from getting one.
great news! keep us in the loop. love to hear from you when you do. I will be sure to throw up a range report (with pics) as soon as I can get it to the range, maybe this weekend weather permitting.

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Originally Posted by Swordbearer View Post
Nice rifle. I sold my wasr several months ago because of a dire need of cash, but even as I was selling it I was envisioning buying an even better rifle in brighter times. I would say that yours would be what I had pictured in my head.
thanks! yeah, this decision/action has probably been a year and a half in the making. I did not rush into it. read a TON, listened to folks here, etc.
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Old 09-05-2011, 01:38 PM
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Nice score. I bought one also. A different model though.

A couple of things. First, don't give Arsenal too many kudos. They refused to sell to California forever. I think they only changed that after they saw how much money they were losing. They wouldn't do warranty work for rifles from California. Rant off.

Second, you're lucky as far as AW bans go. If such a thing is possible. What would you rather have? A pistol grip or muzzle break and bayonet lug? That is the choice between CA and NY. We can't have a pistol grip. You won't believe that garbage we have to go through to get around that.

With all that said, I just picked up my Arsenal SGL-10 and Saiga .223. Both are very nice. I do prefer peep sights over the sights on the AK, but that's not a big deal.
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:29 PM
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the CA laws are nuts!
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