After a ten-year absence from the American import market, Arsenal’s SLR-101 has hit the shelves once again. The rectangular lightening cut at the front of the magazine well and the 2-chamber muzzle brake hint that this isn’t an ordinary AK, but a milled-receiver 7.62mm Bulgy . . .
Milled-receiver AKs run hotter and heavier than their stamped-receiver stablemates, but the machined steel receiver holds the barrel and trunnion in a vise of thick, inflexible steel. Stamped-receiver Arsenals are unusually accurate for AKs, but the extra rigidity of a milled receiver can cut group sizes even further in a well-made rifle. Unlike some milled AKs, the SLR-101 comes with a side rail, for a better opportunity to explore its accuracy potential to the fullest.
In his book “The Gun,” CJ Chivers describes milled-receiver AKs over 60 years old still being used on Afghan battlefields. Wind and sand had worn their exposed metal down to dull satin and their bores were completely shot out, but these rifles still functioned after decades of utter abuse and neglect.
It has been a decade since this rifle has been imported from Arsenal Co of Bulgaria. This milled receiver rifle sets the standard for superior accuracy and reliability. This modern sporting rifle will easily become the centerpiece of any collection and will be the one handed down from generation to generation.
The quality comes from the original hot hammer forged and milled receiver, bolt, bolt carrier, and trigger, the cold hammer forged and chrome lined barrel, and almost 100 years of workmanship and experience. All of this together creates a mil-spec rifle that is strong, accurate and will last multiple lifetimes.
At $1,019, all this milled Kalashnitude doesn’t come cheap. But think of it this way: it works out to only $17 a year for the next 60 years.