Saturday, November 10, 2012

Arsenal SGL 31 Review (hint---it's great)

The Arsenal SGL 31 is about as close as we US citizens can get to having the Russian service rifle; the AK-74M.   It comes in with polymer furniture designed to replicate the AK-74M and the barrels are identical.  It'll feel just like the original in your hands, just minus the fun switch.

-Reliable.  The AK operating system coupled with the case taper of the 5.45 round make for a rifle that can be depended on to work in the harshest environments.
-Accurate.  I've gotten 2'' groups from the bench with 7N6 ammo out of this rifle.
-Durable.   The chrome lined, cold hammer forged barrel is on par with any barrel made today in terms of long term durability.
-Simple.  The AK has 5 primary moving parts: The bolt carrier, bolt, trigger, safety, and mag release (6 if you count the rear sight I suppose).
-Light recoil impulse
-Comes with 2 sling attachment points.
-Cheap ammo.  The 7N6 is excellent ammo in terms of accuracy, reliability, ease of storing, and terminal performance.
-Ease of maintenance.  (aside from the corrosive ammo aspect) Field stripping the gun, cleaning, and lubricating is caveman simple.  There's a reason the AK is used by illiterate 6 year olds around the world...
-Comes with a side rail for mounting optics should you be inclined to do so
-2 stage trigger.  Some don't like the Arsenal trigger but when it works properly (more on that in the video) I like it.

-The finish.  It sucks; in fact it's not really a finish--it's paint.   It can come off with use of many solvents out there so I recommend using CLP if you pick one of these up.   All that said, the finish is accurate to the AK-74M.
-It comes with a 10 or 5 round mag (depending on when/where you buy it).   For the money these rifles cost it should come with AT LEAST 1 quality magazine
-Cost.  These rifles have gone up a good bit in the last few years.   Not long ago they were available for under $700 but these days $850-950 may be a more common street price.
-Customer service.   I've dealt with Arsenal's "customer service" and they suck.   They don't stand behind their product.   That said, they make good products generally speaking so you'll likely not have to deal with them.

Here's a review with some shooting at HD distances, steel plate banging at 100m, a demonstration of disassembly/assembly of the rifle, a demonstration of how the 2-stage trigger works, pros and cons of the gun, and a chrono test with the ammo the gun was designed to use--the 7N6.

In summary, it's a great reliable rifle at a decent price.   If you can do a proper conversion yourself, it may not be worth it but for those that don't have that option the SGL 31's a great AK rifle that'll allow you to shoot a lot of cheap/effective ammo through it for a long, long time.

Chrono Data:

7N6: 2936fps, 996 ft/lbs energy

1 comment:

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