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With the latest arms embargo on Russian manufacturers, Kalashnikov Concern lost out on a big chunk of potential sales. Eager to service that demand, a spin-off company is establishing a manufacturing plant in the United States to continue to design and build Kalashnikov Concern firearms for the U.S. market. I had a chance to talk with their lead designer, and he’s excited to start bringing some new Saiga rifle designs to the market, especially now that they’d be exempt from that pesky 922(r) compliance issue . . .

The one rifle I have seen from Kalashnikov Concern in Russia but not in the United States is the 9mm PDW. I put my hands on it at IWA last year, but apparently there are currently no plans to bring that sweet little package across the pond.

The current schedule has the very first rifles being churned out in Q2 of 2015, but those schedules have a tendency to slip. Stay tuned.

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  1. Good. Saiga shotguns have been some of the only commercially successful semi auto (magazine fed) shotguns in America.

      • While I’m aware that VEPR’s are better, I thought they were both made by Kalashnikov Concern, kind of like how Toyota and Lexus are both the same manufacturer, just different levels of quality.

        • IMO the Vepr rifles are just as good as the Saigia’s. A lot of the issues you get with the Saigias is everyone and their mother was doing conversions with a lot of real monstrosities coming out. The VEPR 12 however is head and shoulders above the Saigia 12

        • Saigas are made by Izhmash. Veprs are made by Molot.

          They both belong to the Kalashnikov Concern, but they are two different plants. Generally speaking, Molot makes higher quality stuff. Izhmash has been in the crapper lately.

    • Americans are funny. The cold war is over. Russian women are women. Christian values are considered important and the government actually follows through.

      • Oh yes, Christian values! So what this means is that they fine people for “homosexual propaganda to minors” (so far examples include two girls kissing on a train, and a teen girl coming out to her class), and jail them for “separatism” (e.g. saying that Crimea is not exactly Russian).

        Also, it’s one of the few countries in Europe where those Charlie Hebdo Muhammad caricatures are banned. Publication amounts to “incitement of religious hatred”. Two people who were protesting by standing on the Red Square with signs that read simply, “Je suis Charlie” – you know, the ones used all over the world – were arrested, jailed and fined for a “non-sanctioned demonstration”.

        • 1. Homosexuality is not illegal in Russia the way it is in the entire Muslim world. The Russin people just don’t want perverts corrupting children.

          2. Russia was fighting Islamic terrorists before it was cool. They still are. They just don’t allow idiots to poke sleeping bears.

          3. The U.S. doesn’t really have a leg to stand on in the free speech area after the militarized police response to the early Fergusson protests.

        • Drawing Charlie Hebdo like cartoons about Muslims we’ll get you expelled on most US campuses that are wholly controlled by the American left.

          As Prager reminds us…..
          The American campus is the least free place in America.
          It’s a viewport of what our country would be like if the left had full control of the government like it does the campuses.

        • @Pwrserge Ferguson Protest? You mean the torching and looting of private businesses over something that didn’t happen?

          Oh ok.

        • Do you even English bro? I said initial. The rioting didn’t start until the cops showed up to a daytime protest in full battle rattle.

    • Wake up buddy. Putin is just a vanilla flavor of our chocolate tyrant. Both are the same evil that wants for power and the enslavement of of YOU.

  2. If it is what I think it is then it is RWC, the most recent importer of Saiga’s doing this, correct?

    If that is the case are they making all components in house? Based on other photos they look like parts kit builds to me. Those parts kits are obviously foreign. If that is the case then they are technically assembled here but the parts are still foreign-made so the “Made in USA” moniker that a lot of domestic companies use is false advertising since under the law for a stamped AK you need six U.S. parts to make it legal and “American” though technically it is not.

    On another note I assume they have zero contact with KC as well as zero affiliation since Obama’s executive order bans KC from making any money from us or having any contact with them just like how Norinco of China has zero input on our market since they too are banned. Does that mean they are just reverse engineering what few Saiga’s they have left with zero technical support from KC?

    Will they offer the MK-107 counter piston rifle that was announced last year that was SUPPOSED TO BE AT SHOT SHOW THIS YEAR UNTIL OBAMA BANNED THEM or are all they doing is parts kits builds like Century, I.O. Inc., PSA, DDI, etc. then I will be very disappointed.

    I am very skeptical of this and I see this as an attempt to cash in on the name like Legion USA down in Florida which uses KC’s Legion trademark but has zero affiliation with the real Legion.

    I guess we will wait and see bit I am not holding my breath.

    • I honestly just want the MK-107 and AK-12 and I will be happy.

      IF this is legit and not some attempt to buy their trademark name and churn out subpar parts kit builds then I will be very happy.

    • You are correct. And in fact this is not even an authorized move by the real Kalashnikov Concern. He is not allowed to talk to or communicate with them in any way, he doesn’t have their designs or specs or anything. He is basically just stealing the name since there isn’t much they can do about it.


          ” RWC said it is not permitted to have any contact with the Russian company, Kalashnikov Concern, which makes the AK-47s.

          “We are not permitted to pick up the phone and to talk to them,” said Thomas McCrossin, CEO of RWC, which owns the Kalashnikov USA brand. “We were forced to stop doing business with them because of the sanctions.” ”

          This is coming from the company itself… And it means that Kalashnikov Group, as far as we’re aware at this point, can’t do business here or relay information. I think they would also run into issues with ITAR and the State Department.

    • I am not sure you are correct on anything that you wrote. If KC wanted to set up shop in US, what could stop them?

      they would no longer be imports, and setting up shop here would include paying taxes and that gives them the right to make the ak-12 in the USA

      technically, nothing is really stoppping KC ak’s from coming over here via the black market anyway.


      if the people want it bad enough, it will happen

      • Because you don’t understand how this works.

        I’ll give you an example, Arsenal Inc.

        Arsenal Inc. in Las Vegas is really a Bulgarian military arsenal that builds guns. However because of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Arsenal cannot import rifles directly from their factory in Bulgaria to the U.S. They have to make modifications to make them legal. Therefore Arsenal Inc. in Las Vegas takes Arsenal rifles imported from Bulgaria then modifies them with Bulgarian blueprints, equipment, advisors, etc. so people are still getting a genuine Arsenal of Bulgaria product.

        KC USA is completely different. They cannot talk to, get blueprints, equipment, nothing from the real KC in Russia unlike Arsenal Inc. who can freely talk to and keep up to date with their bosses back in Bulgaria since they are not under sanctions from us.

        This also ties in to the money part which is another part of the executive order. KC in Russia cannot receive a single dime from us. Comparing it to Arsenal Inc. again, Arsenal of Bulgaria did not donate their expertise to Arsenal Inc. out of charity. They want something in return otherwise why spend the capital to tool up? They want money and that is what they get with each sale of their rifle here in the U.S. That is the big stick in the crawl for a “legitimate KC USA” with actual KC backing because the latter would not be doing it out of the kindness of their hearts they want money from their endeavors.

        Now the only way I could see getting around this would be hiring outside “consultants” who may have worked at KC no longer affiliatied with them or experts on how to make factory Russian AK’s in general so they match Russian specs. All of this has to center around zero contact or affiliation with the real KC.

        Otherwise we have another Springfield Armory situation where RWC just builds parts kit AK’s who licensed the KC name like Legion USA in Florida does with zero affiliation with the real Legion of Russia.

  3. Finally i will be able to get my vepr 308 mags that i can’t find since it came without a mag and i just got my vepr 12….btw Vepr>Saiga P.O.S

    • Yea based on that article my hopes sound like they are going to be dashed. It sounds like another outfit banking on the name and building AK’s from parts kits.

      I want to be wrong but the fact as mentioned they have zero contact with the parent company means no way to get the latest and greatest coming out of Russia like the AK’s I DO want.

    • Probably not since they can’t even be in contact with the real KC so I don’t see how it is remotely possible.

      Just another outfit building parts kit AK’s like Century, I.O., etc.

        • Yes, we do. At least as long as the sanctions are in place.

          “RWC said it is not permitted to have any contact with the Russian company, Kalashnikov Concern, which makes the AK-47s.
          “We are not permitted to pick up the phone and to talk to them,” said Thomas McCrossin, CEO of RWC, which owns the Kalashnikov USA brand. “We were forced to stop doing business with them because of the sanctions.””

          Kalashnikov Concern has independently given their blessing to the move, probably since it will keep the brand alive in the US and would give them the ability to import or produce domestically some of their newer designs should the sanctions ever get lifted.

  4. I have a Saiga sporter in 7.62x39mm. What a glorious piece of junk it is. The stock is cheap, hollow plastic, and the front sight is on crooked. Even “adjusting” the front sight (which you do with a drift punch and a hammer. Says so right in the instructions) the goddamn thing shoots 4″ off at 50 yards.

    So I slapped an Ultimak and Burris fast fire on it and now it’s one of my favorite rifles. Except for the argument I get in with the RSOs every time I take it to the range to prove my Red Army Standard copper jacket ammo doesn’t have any steel in the projectile. They’re finicky about such things.

    • Ha! I have the same problem… I have to even show them the boxes of Fiocchi to prove that not all 7.62×39 is steel ammo. Some people complain it’s not as good Russian / East European surplus, but I’ve never had any problems with it. My Arsenal AK eats EVERYTHING.

  5. So basically we’re looking at equivalent of Century US-made AK line, except with “Kalashnikov” brand-name. This is exciting – why?

    • Well this comment section is divided between people who are happy but ignorant on how the AK market works in America and people who hate AK’s so they look for any opportunity to disparage them.

      But overall you are right. Just going to be another Century-like parts gun trying to bank on the Kalashnikov name to ignorant buyers. Hope I am wrong but knowing how shady American companies are with AK’s I doubt it.

      • How about you do yours. All this is is the current Saiga importer (RWS Group), who happened to have been given the rights to the Kalashnikov brand name to market guns, trying to stay in business by making rifles themselves. They have flat out stated that Kalashnikov Concern has no involvement in this and the sanctions prevent them from even having contact with them.

  6. Maybe if enough Americans invite KC to set up shop in the US and make semi-auto AK-12’s, everything would be cool! a united nation trumps an executive order, right?

    • They can’t because KC would then be making money from us and that is one of the cornerstones of the executive order which is zero profit from Americans. They cannot even talk on the phone to the real KC that is how far these sanctions go.

  7. When congress slapped import tariff on Japanese cars they moved production here and the big three lost even more market share. I thought democrats were smarter than that.

  8. Kalashnikov Concern has zero involvement in this. All this is is the RWC Group, who were the current importers of KC guns into the United States when the sanctions hit and had the rights to use the Kalashnikov name to market the guns trying to stay in business. The sanctions prohibit them from having any contact with KC at all. All they are doing is using the Kalashnikov name to sell what will most likely be mediocre, overpriced, American made AKs. Don’t expect to get any KC guns that they don’t currently have on hand to reverse engineer.

  9. Classic example of unintended consequences. All of the “don’t let them import nasty, icky military-style guns” laws have resulted in a major “on-shoring” of firearms manufacturers who have now set up manufacturing facilities (with jobs for Americans!) in the USA- avoiding the import bans. FN, H&K, Beretta, Glock, Sig, Walther, etc. – and now Kalashnikov. This also helps them avoid the UN “Arms Treaty” restrictions of imports.

    Now we need to see the foreign ammo makers build factories in the US.

    • Except those companies still have contact with their respective mother countries keeping up to date on their current offerings.

      “KC USA” (in parentheses for a reason) will have zero contact, expertise, blueprints, nothing from the real KC in Russia so it is going to be a company who is at best reverse engineering what they have in stock stuck in 2014 or at worse building AK’s on Romanian/Polish parts kits and putting the “KC USA” brand on it fooling Americans they are buying a Russian-American AK.

    • VEPR-12 yep because they are already over here.

      AK-12 no, sadly, because they will not be able to get the blueprints to build it with the sanctions in place and all.


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