Is it worth paying extra for a Saiga SGL-21 vs Saiga conversions by other companies? - Survivalist Forum
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Old 10-22-2011, 05:45 AM
DrPepper DrPepper is offline
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Default Is it worth paying extra for a Saiga SGL-21 vs Saiga conversions by other companies?



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I am getting close to buying an Arsenal Saiga SGL-21 from KVAR:

http://www.k-var.com/shop/home.php?cat=353

However, I just found this Saiga AK for $350 less:

http://catalog.classicarms.us/

You can see the picture if you scroll down less that a quarter of the page:

http://catalog.classicarms.us/

I am not interested in doing the conversion myself and am willing to pay $799 for an Arsenal Saiga SGL-21 if it is worth the money.

Anyone familiar with the Saiga AK from Classic Arms and is it comparable to the Arsenal SGL-21?

Thanks!
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:55 AM
Guerilla Guerilla is offline
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The rifle at Classic arms is a $300 base rifle with about a hundred bucks worth of conversion parts added(tapco warsaw buttstock, pistol grip, trigger group and bullet guide). There is no doubt this would be a good, solid rifle, it's still a Russian Saiga and will work every bit as good as an Arsenal as long as the conversion was properly done. Arsenal is as close as you can get to a genuine Russian AK, because that's what it is sans the select fire components. The Arsenals are the best deal you're going to get for the money, but if you don't care about authenticity, save yourself some money and go with Classic Arms.... Just make sure they'll warranty it. If you go all out and are over 5' 8" tall, Arsenal SGL21-71 has NATO buttstock and is available for around $800.

P.S. When you hold the Arsenal, you'll know where that extra money went.
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:32 AM
MH12194 MH12194 is offline
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The fitand finish on an SGL is sure pretty. But if you save yourself the cash and can do the work yourself. You can get a saiga to look and feel like an SGL.

$800 if you don't wana build it.

$600 if you wana go all out on the build.

$400-$500 for a run of the mill conversion.

With the conversion you can do little bits at a time and stretch it out over a year and use little bits of cash. Most expensive thing is like $60 for a 14x1lh thread die, tat, and handles. Stocks can be pricy. But you can get tapco stuff for cheap.

If you got a drimmle and a drill you can do the basic conversion.
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:55 AM
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As other said it's up to you and how much your spare time is worth and your level of skill, not worth the time for me I'd rather have a perfect finished product.

Unless your 6'6" and/or have very long (orangutan) arms go with WARSAW length.

I'm 6'4" and wife is 5'11" WARSAW is perfect, Learn how to shoot a AK properly (was taught be ex-Spetsnaz he might know how to run a AK) and will understand the need for shorter stock, It's not a sniper/hunting rifle.

Best Video I've found on basics of stance and grip: http://www.youtube.com/user/ATACTV#p/u/63/kCWyUwP-v7k
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MH12194 View Post
The fitand finish on an SGL is sure pretty. But if you save yourself the cash and can do the work yourself. You can get a saiga to look and feel like an SGL.

$800 if you don't wana build it.

$600 if you wana go all out on the build.

$400-$500 for a run of the mill conversion.

With the conversion you can do little bits at a time and stretch it out over a year and use little bits of cash. Most expensive thing is like $60 for a 14x1lh thread die, tat, and handles. Stocks can be pricy. But you can get tapco stuff for cheap.

If you got a drimmle and a drill you can do the basic conversion.
It costs more than $800 just in parts to build an SGL from a Saiga, that's not including labor or welding up the Saiga trigger group holes in the receiver. Which is why I said the Arsenal is the best value.
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:09 AM
Guerilla Guerilla is offline
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Originally Posted by Forster View Post
As other said it's up to you and how much your spare time is worth and your level of skill, not the time for me I'd rather have a perfect finished product.

Unless your 6'6" and/or have very long (orangutan) arms go with WARSAW length.

I'm 6'4" and wife is 5'11" WARSAW is perfect, Learn how to shoot a AK properly (was taught be ex-Spetsnaz he might know how to run a AK) and will understand the need for shorter stock, It's not a sniper/hunting rifle.

Best Video I've found on basics of stance and grip: http://www.youtube.com/user/ATACTV#p/u/63/kCWyUwP-v7k
I'm 6' and shoot much, much better with the extra 1.25" in the NATO stock. But to each his own. OP.....I guarantee after putting in some time behind this rifle with a Warsaw stock you'll get tired of your nose being on the recoil spring assembly.
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Guerilla View Post
It costs more than $800 just in parts to build an SGL from a Saiga, that's not including labor or welding up the Saiga trigger group holes in the receiver. Which is why I said the Arsenal is the best value.
This is true if you don't already have the tools. They come out a little bit more than 800 flat.

Welding isn't hard. read a book, buy a welder, start welding stuff.

What do you think is so expensive that it ciosts more than 800?

300 rifle
70 fsb
20 lower retainer
30 gas tube
12 for pistol grip/w nut (tapco)
20 bullet guide (or you can make you own out of some pipe)
30 FCG (tapco)
Stock set (?)

Stock sets are the only thing expensive. You could go all out and buy a k-var stock set for like $200 or save the cash and go tapco or surplus.

If you didnt want to remove the fsb completely you could thread the barrel for $60. You could get crazy with the conversion. But for a functioning AK you basically built your self nothing beats a saiga.

I've got one right now I'm working on. Just taking it slow at the moment.

I don't see any reason to pay $800 for an AK. Unless Mr.K signed it himself.
No matter what stock set you put on it or how well you paint it.
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guerilla View Post
I'm 6' and shoot much, much better with the extra 1.25" in the NATO stock. But to each his own. OP.....I guarantee after putting in some time behind this rifle with a Warsaw stock you'll get tired of your nose being on the recoil spring assembly.
Hehe, I'm 6'8". And the smaller warsaw stocks work just fine for me. ATM I have a 6 pos stock on my saiga.
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Old 10-23-2011, 05:34 AM
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I'm 6'2" and prefer the smaller original AK stocks.
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:04 AM
Guerilla Guerilla is offline
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It costs over $800 just in parts to build the exact same SGL you can buy from K-VAR, with warranty. We'll throw the buttstock length issue out of court due to personnel preference.
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:14 AM
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The classic arms price of $450 is a screaming good deal if you don't want to do the work yourself and they used to have excellent customer service, not sure now since the new ownership but I haven't heard too many complaints.
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:25 AM
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It costs over $800 just in parts to build the exact same SGL you can buy from K-VAR, with warranty. We'll throw the buttstock length issue out of court due to personnel preference.
Where are you getting these numbers from? Every way I've sliced it, still doesn't come out to $800. Maybe the warranty is $100? Or more? Doing the work yourself cuts the cost.

Are you going by K-var parts prices? Cause those guys are friggen over priced.

You can get bulgi stuff at many other surplus parts places. In the same quality for half the cost.

Don't get me wrong. I love Arsenals work. But for $800. I'll pass. Spend that on a saiga and the conversion with some surplus magazines and ammo to boot.

But I think an AK is only worth $300 at the most. Seriously, The are mass produced like MacDonalds cheeseburgers.
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:26 AM
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The classic arms price of $450 is a screaming good deal if you don't want to do the work yourself and they used to have excellent customer service, not sure now since the new ownership but I haven't heard too many complaints.
Not a full conversion. But a good price.
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:33 AM
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Where are you getting these numbers from? Every way I've sliced it, still doesn't come out to $800. Maybe the warranty is $100? Or more? Doing the work yourself cuts the cost.

Are you going by K-var parts prices? Cause those guys are friggen over priced.

You can get bulgi stuff at many other surplus parts places. In the same quality for half the cost.

Don't get me wrong. I love Arsenals work. But for $800. I'll pass. Spend that on a saiga and the conversion with some surplus magazines and ammo to boot.

But I think an AK is only worth $300 at the most. Seriously, The are mass produced like MacDonalds cheeseburgers.
Tell you what, comrade, if I have time later I'll post you a parts list. Right now I'm getting ready to go shooting.
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:50 AM
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Other than the foreend, the conversion is complete enough in my book, I like the original foreend and it is 922r compliant.
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Old 10-23-2011, 01:08 PM
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It was for me, i don't have the patience to do the conversion myself and couldn't do it as well as someone who does it for a living. SGL's are very nice.
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Old 10-24-2011, 05:53 PM
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Without getting into too much detail, Does the OP have a welder and the skills needed to weld on a receiver? does he have all the fixtures and tooling to drill and rivet the bullet guide and trigger guard? all that stuff costs alot of money. We're talking about building an SGL here, so no cheap knock-off parts are allowed in the build. This is what it costs me............

5.45 Saiga- $360, that's with tax, shipping and transfer fee.
FSB, Arsenal- $84
Retainer- $20
Bullet guide kit- $20
AK-74 brake, Arsenal- $91
Russian gas tube- $40
Stock set, Arsenal- $112
Crook- $3
PG bolt & nut- $7
Trigger group, Tapco- $30
Trigger guard and rivets, AK builder, Cobra Customs(Arsenal out of stock)- $20-$45, depending on tooling included or not.

This plus welding up four holes, then grinding receiver smooth inside and out, removing Saiga FSB, installing AK-74 sight block, media blasting and refinishing entire rifle, then having no warranty. I didn't bother adding in tax and shipping on all those parts because I didn't see the need to, but I would imagine it would be around $40 for shipping from 3-4 different vendors and tax @ 5% would be around $39. That's a grand total of $ 876.00. Plus a shytload of work. I didn't even add in the cost of refinishing. I've done several conversions before, I know what it costs and what is involved. Making light of the amount of work involed won't change the cost or reality. If you did all this, you would have an Arsenal SGL31. Anything less is not.

A couple items I forgot to add were 800 or 1000 yard rear sight $22 and vented AK-74 gas chamber $55, but at this point, I really don't think it matters. Basically, Arsenal is building you the rifle for free, you're just paying for parts. If there's a better deal out there, I haven't found it. Damn, I just talked myself into another one.......
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