Gunboards Forums banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Silver Bullet Member
Joined
·
5,966 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I recently purchased a couple of SGL31-68 rifles and wanted to share my experience. If you've been shopping around for AK74 rifles lately, you probably know that Arsenal / FIME Group have a nice selection of military style products and a reputation for quality - and a high price to go with it!

I chose the SGL31-68 because it's a Russian built barrel and receiver imported as a SAIGA sporter and then converted by FIME Group into it's military configuration.

When I first opened the rifles, I noticed that one had scratches along the length of the cleaning rod and I wondered how that may have got through the quality control department. I planned to shoot this one so I wasn't too concerned with the scratch.





After carefully inspecting the rifle, I took it to the range to sight it in at 50yds. The point of impact was pretty high and way to the left. I carefully adjusted the front post up and to the left and repeated until I ended up with the front post looking like this:



Unfortunately, the POI was still about 1"-1.5" to the left at 50 yds. and I really didn't want to move the post anymore to the left. Not exactly what I was expecting from a $1200 rifle. :(

I brought the rifle home and took a closer look and it appears the front sight was canted to the right which is why the cleaning rod was all scratched/gouged. The hole in the bottom of the front sight base (FSB) was not lined up very well with the hole in the gas block so the cleaning rod binds up when installing/removing it. I contacted Arsenal to see what they propose to fix the problem, but I'm just very disappointed that this would happen in the first place. :(




Here's what the warranty says: Note that because it's "manufactured in Russia" it's normal that the front sight is off to one side. Really!? I think my rifle falls into the case of "insufficient adjustability", though.

It also says, though, that "Prior to shipping, your firearm was thoroughly inspected and test fired in order to ensure that it meets and/or exceeds factory specifications and tolerance standards." I call BS on that! This thing was shooting 2 feet high and a foot to the left at 50 yds. when I took it out of the box.
[/I]

I received a reply from Arsenal very quickly stating that I would need to contact FIME Group for the problem, so I filled out the same online form that I filled out for Arsenal, and waited for a reply.

FIME Group was very quick about looking at my photos and they issued an RMA for me to ship it back and said that it would take a minimum of 3 to 6 weeks before I could expect it to be returned. The sticking point for me was that they expected me to pick up the $40 shipping. I know it's only $40, but it just doesn't seem right that after buying two of their $1200 rifles, they would make me pay more money (and wait a month) to fix their screw up. Unacceptable.

After considering the options, Yesterday I decided to fix the canted sight myself and told FIME Group that I would just like for them to send me a replacement cleaning rod for the scratched/gouged one that came with the rifle. I just received a response from FIME Group stating that they are authorized to send me a new cleaning rod but will not ship it until I ship the scratched one back. Lol. Man! I suppose a can of Krylon will be cheaper than shipping the rod back!

Am I expecting too much? This just seems ridiculous.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
Man I'm sorry to hear that. I don't think your expecting too much at all, that's crazy, can you just return the rifle and get your money back? Id go elsewhere and get some other ak while saving money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,717 Posts
No, you are not. Yes, you are. Having a price point like that one should expect high quality. Having come from Russia one should expect a lack of high quality since they really don't raise the bar that way, imo.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,280 Posts
That blows. And to imagine you could have paid a lot less to have the same problems! Who did you buy it from...if directly from arsenal I'd just tell them you will dispute the charges for months on end or they can send you a pre-paid return label.
 

·
Diamond Bullet Member/Moderator
Joined
·
54,820 Posts
My advice is to buy a RPK rear sight, strip the cleaning rod and cold blue it... As for complaining just follow the forum rules and make sure the 30 time frame is observed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
673 Posts
Specifications are Subjective

part of jjjxlr8 comments read:
(quoting from the FIME Group): "Prior to shipping, your firearm was thoroughly inspected and test fired in order to ensure that it meets and/or exceeds factory specifications and tolerance standards." I call BS on that! This thing was shooting 2 feet high and a foot to the left at 50 yds. when I took it out of the box.

I agree with your assessment. Maybe if the rifle was a $350 Century import the canted sight would be expected. But at the price you paid for? No way!

I think you've learned something that I became aware of many years ago: Unspecified Specifications and Tolerance standards can be very subjective. Companies love to boast about them, but do they offer up the details of such hyperbole? There's a significant group that doesn't.

In FIME's eyes, they may interpret their specs with being "top notch". But those same specs could be laughable in the eyes of other gun builders.

In one of the pics I took note of the FIME Group being located in Las Vegas. Having friends in that region, I'm all too aware that there are business sectors there that would rate in the "mediocre" status if they tried to ply their trade in other metro markets.
 

·
Silver Bullet Member
Joined
·
5,966 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Unfortunately, I purchased these rifles from a dealer I found through Gunbroker. The communication was not great and I was just happy to get my rifles in the end.

I tried to buy these from Atlantic Firearms, originally, but they were out of them. They told me they would have some in 6 days, so I waited a little over a week before buying from a vendor that had them in stock. With all of the sanctions talk with Russia a few weeks ago, I was concerned that there would be a run on Russian rifles like this and I wanted to get them ASAP. In the future, I'll stick with the vendors I know, like AIM Surplus and Atlantic.

I've already corrected the FSB and that's good advice for the cleaning rod.

Sorry, I didn't know there were rules about posting product/dealer experiences...I'll look them up. I've seen quite a few posts with other members shopping for AK74 rifles, and thought that the timing was appropriate as it might save fellow board members some headaches.

TAKE AWAY - if you decide to buy a "high quality, expensive Arsenal/FIME Group rifle, be sure you buy from a reliable dealer who will take the rifle back free of charge if there's a problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,480 Posts
I have an Arsenal AK, (SLR101s) it's a very nice gun and a good performer. That being said I don't think they are worth what they are asking for them now.
I have other AK's that are just as nice (if not better) that I paid less for that perform just as well. (Well built Kit Guns)

Hope you get it sorted out.

HDH.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,505 Posts
Try some different ammo as well first . What u shooting in it? Romanian ammo in my rifles shoot a totally different impact than the Russian , Bulgarian surplus that shoots perfect and is pretty much exact . Russian rifles are not top quality in my book . The actual military rifles I have seen look quite rough . Guys just stick that "originality" key on them . The best ones are Hungarian. Polish. Yugo, Chinese .
 

·
Platinum Bullet Member
Joined
·
7,491 Posts
Canted sights on an AK type rifle, who'd thunk it. I think my buddy and I have two of the few WASRs in Nevada with straight front sights. I know the dealer concerned sent any he received with a cant right back to Century if the sights were off. Bet they loved him. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
673 Posts
Canted sights on an AK type rifle, who'd thunk it. I think my buddy and I have two of the few WASRs in Nevada with straight front sights. I know the dealer concerned sent any he received with a cant right back to Century if the sights were off. Bet they loved him. ;)
I suspect I know the dealer you are talking about, located in Henderson, Nevada?

Several years ago a friend of mine bought a Century AK74 from that dealer and she was very satisfied with it. Fit and finish was good and it shot straight . . . all at around $400.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,763 Posts
No, you are not. Yes, you are. Having a price point like that one should expect high quality. Having come from Russia one should expect a lack of high quality since they really don't raise the bar that way, imo.
Im sorry but what are you talking about? Those rifles are converted HERE! That front sight base was installed HERE! Those rifles come in to the US more or less in the shape of the Saiga that you're trying to get. As far as Russian bar on quality .....here is how the factory sight in the rifles

"Izhmash aligns the front sight base to the rear sight base and the bore using a
laser bore sight jig, then they manually test fire and zero each rifle before it
ships from the factory. That rifle left Russia ready to go, this is rifle
building 101. If we want to place blame for the poor quality, we need to make
sure we blame the right entities.



Now, does that mean no Saiga rifle ever had a canted sight? No, but it's
very rare and never, ever to this degree. The rifle will always be zeroed when
it leaves the factory.

Keep in mind the factory does not level the front
sight base for looks, they place the rifle in a special jig and align it to the
rear sight/bore using a laser device and an optical sight, once this is done
they pin/punch it. That means the sight might be slightly unlevel in rare cases,
but the sight post will be pretty much centered in the tower every time. Once
the rest of the action is fitted, the weapon goes to the live fire room where
it's repeatedly test fired. Fine adjustments to the windage and elevation are
made using a very large, precise and elaborate jig machine, then after the rifle
is perfectly zeroed the operator marks the windage drum with a punch. That rifle
is zeroed and ready to be used, a new owner should not have to worry much about
adjusting it to any large extent." - Tantal
 

·
Silver Bullet Member
Joined
·
5,966 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Try some different ammo as well first . What u shooting in it? Romanian ammo in my rifles shoot a totally different impact than the Russian , Bulgarian surplus that shoots perfect and is pretty much exact . Russian rifles are not top quality in my book . The actual military rifles I have seen look quite rough . Guys just stick that "originality" key on them . The best ones are Hungarian. Polish. Yugo, Chinese .
I only have Russian 7N6 ammo. I've got a large stockpile of it and that's all I've ever shot in this caliber.

I've corrected the problem, now, by knocking the pins out, carefully de-canting the sight, and then re-pinning. Shoots fine, now, with Russian 7N6.

I was just very surprised that I had to do this with an Arsenal / FIME Group rifle and was put off by the fact they expected me to pay for the return shipping for them to correct their mistake. Potential customers should be aware of their quality control and customer service practices before they decide to buy one of these. If I would have known what I know now, I would not have purchased one of these products.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,816 Posts
WOW. Glad I got a good one. And I agree....they are asking WAY too much for them. Hopefully, a republican will be pres in 16 and the right will take back congress, and prices will fall again. If they were 8-900, I'd be all over a second. I can be happy with my arsenal slr104fr
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,717 Posts
My bad arik. I thought those front sights were put on over there. Alright then, it sounds like somebody may have been having a bad day when they put it together (over here).
 

·
Silver Bullet Member
Joined
·
5,966 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Looks like the BATFE decided to ban the import of 7N6. So much for cheap ammo!! For some stupid reason they are referring to it as "armor piercing" just like the did with the affordable Chinese 7.62x39.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,397 Posts
I had the same front sight base problem with my pre-ban Chinese Type 56 when I took it out of the box around 1990. I didn't find it all that hard to fix on my own.

I used wood blocks to clamp the rifle in a bench vise by the gas block.

Removed the pins that held the front sight base,

Heated the base with a propane torch, and turned the base to the correct orientation (This rifle was equipped with the underfolding bayonet, and I used that as a handle to turn the sight base).

Once the base cooled, everything was tight again and I then re-drilled the holes and replaced the pins.

Took me less than an hour total.

I found I over-rotated the sight by about one degree when I shot it, but the sight post is now only about half its diameter off center, as opposed to its being nearly tight against the ring on the opposite side before. I can live with that.
 

·
Silver Bullet Member
Joined
·
5,966 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I did basically the same, but I only needed my wife's hair dryer to supply the heat. I was going to re-drill slightly oversized holes and install oversized pins, but the amount of the rotation was pretty small and I was able to install the same pins without the FSB moving back into it's canted position. I had the FSB completely off, though, so apparently there is more 'slop' in the pin fitment than I expected. They seemed extremely tight though. I'll keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't move back once it's heated up at the range.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top