The last few months have been insanely busy with gun tests. If they find me squashed flat like the Wicked Witch Of The East beneath a shipping container of assorted rifles and ammunition, you’ll know Farago is to blame for my demise. And you’ll know I died happy.

Our Maximum Leader has been channeling his own Rio Hierro of guns from the manufacturers straight to my gun safe (with a GCA-mandated detour through my FFL guy, of course). My latest specimen: the folding-stock Arsenal SLR-106 AK in 5.56 NATO. The full review will be weeks in the making, but this hot Bulgarian is already showing me that AKs don’t have to be craptastic bullet-hoses when they’re put together right. Stay tuned . . .


  1. I had one of the much-maligned, post-ban SLR95s, that I picked up back in ’96.

    It had a milled receiver, either a 16″ or 18″ barrel, accepted all the standard magazines, and I routinely held baseball-sized groups, with those crappy AK iron sights, at 400+ yards. Granted, at 400 yards, I had to aim six feet high and eight feet to either side, depending on which way the breeze was blowing, but still, it did it consistently.

    People talked trash about the sporter stock that came on those rifles. I found it to be a pleasant shooting experience.

  2. I have a Saiga .223 and it runs Russian and American Ammo with no problem. I have not done any serious testing with it yet. Put up clay targets and hit them with one shot each. I need to do more experimenting to find the capabilities of me with this carbine. So far I am happy with it.

  3. What are the kids of today supposed to do with just a gun and a set of sights. No Broadway Show attached. This looks pretty cool.

  4. The reason you get an AK is to get the reliability (tapered case) and ballistics of the 7.62×39 cartridge. If you’re going to go with a straight-walled varmint cartridge like the 5.56, you might as well stick with an AR. Get the light weight of an aluminum receiver, the accuracy that comes with a free-floatable barrel, the superior ergonomics, better optics mounting, and endless customization. Plus, a basic AR is actually cheaper than an Arsenal AK these days.

    A 5.56 AK just gets you the worst of all worlds.

    • Unless you like AK’s and wanted a 5.56… And access to the wide variety of good off the shelf loadings.
      AK customization is fine, so is the optics mounting. Ergonomics is just a personal preference thing.

    • I disagree. A 5.56 x 45 AK offers something you can’t get from its 7.62×39 brother: Cheap, non-corrosive, accurate ammo. With a 7.62 x 39, good non-corrosive factory ammo tends to run 13-14 bucks per twenty rounds. If you are willing to run crappy, inaccurate Wolf or Tulammo through your guns, then you can get that cost down considerably – but again, at the loss of considerable accuracy. Good reloadable 55 grain factory AR ammo can be had for 6-7 bucks a box. Seems like a no brainer to me.

      And besides, you imply that the choice between an AR or AK is an one-or-the-other proposition. Why not get one (or more) of each? At the end of the day, the cost of ammo is going to far exceed the cost of the gun anyway, so the difference in cost between various guns is not a material factor.

      • Nicely put Joe. In addition to that I don’t understand why everyone always goes to 223 vs 762 as a point. I wouldn’t want to be shot by either of them.

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