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Arsenal's new SAM7SF (courtesy
As we reported back in July, Arsenal promised to release a “real GAME CHANGER.” Well, HERE IT IS! The SAM7SF rifle. [Press release after the jump.] The big news? It’s got a right-folding stock on a forged and milled receiver with an ambidextrous safety. The receiver manufacturing process kicks ass (allegedly) because “While firing, the forged and milled receiver does not have the same deformation issues that are typical to stamped receiver models. The stamped receiver usually flexes and warps during these operations, and can be observed with a high speed, slow motion camera. The solid platform of the forged and milled receiver ensures superior accuracy.” So, legendary reliability in a not-so-flexy 7.62×39 caliber AK plus reliability. Now how much would you pay? All yours for  $1349 while supplies last! Arsenal only has 500 units on offer. For now . . .

(LAS VEGAS) –With a lot of patience, practice and fine-tuning, Arsenal, Inc. perfected and released what it believes to be best in its lineup to date. The SAM7SF rifle is the latest in a small group of firearms to join the SAM family and incorporates smarter, more comfortable features for the American enthusiast.

The 7.62×39 caliber SAM7SF rifle utilizes the Bulgarian right-folding tubular buttstock. This stock leaves enough clearance both for the charging handle and the trigger. Since the stock on this rifle folds to the right side, it allows the shooter to leave a scope mount attached while carrying the firearm in the folded position. Even more — the rubber butt plate provides a more comfortable alternative to its bare metal predecessors by sitting against the shooter’s shoulder more firmly and helps lessen recoil impact.

The new ergonomic pistol grip is designed and manufactured specifically to work with the ambidextrous safety lever even when the stock is folded, letting the shooter operate the safety without overstretching his hand or letting go of the grip.

Released only as an American manufactured limited edition nearly 8 years ago, both Arsenal, Inc. and Arsenal of Bulgaria spent the last couple of years refining this rifle to make it near perfect and extremely affordable. While some units from the limited edition have been retailing for over $3000 recently – the newer, more meticulously crafted SAM7SF comes with an introductory price tag of:

Retail Price: $1349.00 | First 500 Units

After the initial 500 units are sold, the price jumps slightly to $1599, which is still well under the MSRP of $1650. The SAM7SF is immediately available for sale beginning Wednesday, August 7th.

Additional specifications for this unique 7.62x39mm caliber rifle include: a forged & milled receiver proven to increase accuracy, a chrome-lined, hammer-forged barrel, muzzle brake, 24×1.5mm muzzle threads, bayonet and accessory lugs, a redesigned black polymer pistol grip, hand guards, stainless steel heat shield, the modern and convenient ambidextrous safety lever, sectional cleaning rod, shipped with one 10-round magazine, sling, oil bottle, and cleaning kit.

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  1. What game did they change? Monopoly? Scrabble?

    FWIW the most knowledgeable man I knew (RIP Diomed) once said tha stamped guns would last longer than milled guns because the flex absorbed some recoil. He preferred them.

    • What happened to Diomed? We had a member on VGOF that went by that name and was on often but was last seen in 2012. I also understand he was on NFA talk.

      • Same guy. Nfatalk is my home.

        Diomed died of a gunshot in the Arizona desert shortly before the end of the year. I can recall currently if it was murder or suicide (thinking I was self inflicted)

        Too bad, he was an awesome guy. We truly miss him.

        • Man very sorry to hear that. He was on VGOF fairly regularly and was always a wealth of knowledge on things.

  2. Man, I love Arsenal guns but I cannot get past the price.

    AK’s are supposed to be cheap. That is one of their “strengths”. Unless you’re getting AR level accuracy out of it, the price is not worth it. Even then, for well over a grand it’s really pushing it.

    Arsenal seems to be AK’s for AK enthusiasts that also have deep pockets.

    • Exactly! IMO, a $1k+ semi-auto (as opposed to full auto) AK platform is like getting custom leather seats and a deluxe paint job on your ’85 Yugo (think cars, not guns).

      Yes, it is likely to be the finest example of the breed… but at the end of the day it’s still an AK, which fires a less-than-ideal round in terms of accuracy, has the ergos of a 2×4, and a trigger pull that’s far from ideal (further from ideal than AR triggers, even).

    • I like Arsenals too and damn did I feel like a fool for paying $850.00 for an SGL-21-63 a couple of years ago when a WASR could be had for $500-600….but these new $1000+ arsenal prices are getting out of hand. If I want a $1,500.00 rifle I am going to buy a SIG-550 or a Tavor…not one of these.

  3. Well, technically, all the milled receiver does is change the game back to the way it was in the early implementations of the Russian AK line. The early AK receivers were milled from bar stock, because the Glorious People’s Horseshoe Bangers couldn’t get folded broiler foil to behave as they wished.

  4. Oh, good, Arsenal finally caught up to what the Israelis did _40 years ago_ with the Galil. Well, except for having a rear sight that doesn’t suck, and having a caliber that’s useful beyond 200-300m.

    FFS, Arsenal, you’re just making yourself look stupid.

  5. what happened to the Leghorn calander schedule blog that would have been between the Judge and this article?

  6. Interesting? Yes.

    Game changer? Not at all.

    You won’t see me rushing to trade my Arsenals. I’ll keep the two SLRs I have thanks.

        • I bought a M-10 not too long ago. I am thrilled with it. $620 including transfer fee.

          Even the Rifle Dynamics custom AKs are over priced.

          AKs are battle rifles. They are not and never will be tack drivers. They are designed to be easily manufactured, low maintenance, and simple enough for anyone to use. Putting lipstick on a pig will not change the fact that it is what it is.

        • Your claim is disproven by the mere fact that there are AKs out there that are tack drivers. And yes, many of those are Arsenal.

    • ditto on that- perhaps a titanium framed 1911 since the ruskies are so good with the metal.

  7. Well I was being overly optimistic I know, but I was hoping for the LWRC/Magpul pattern 6.8 SPC magwell version…

  8. So, the stock folds into the action? Am I the only one seeing a problem with that? Is there some sort of thing that makes it fold out of the way I’m not aware of?

    • The stock is skeletal, the action works inside it. Not a horrible idea really… Just not original

    • They don’t show it very clearly – but it looks like the top portion of the folding stock has a recess built into it that allows it to *just* clear the bolt handle carrier. I wonder if the handle is smaller than normal to pull this off. Sadly, they don’t show a right-side view of the gun with the stock folded. I suspect it might be trick to actuate the handle with the stock folded, particularly if you’re wearing gloves.

    • you should watch the video of this being tested on the Military Arms Channel. The safety can be disengaged with the stock folded. And the gun can be fired with the stock folded.

  9. They want a game changer, get the rights to distribute a VSS. Damn Spets Naz keeping them all for themselves. A Russian untouchable.

  10. The point of buying Russian conscript guns has been that they were cheap and available with cheap ammo in boatloads. I love my Mosin, SKS and Makarov. But I would not pay the prices they go for now.

    • Amen. I have $150 in my serial numbers matching ’53 Russian SKS and $58 in my ’35 91/30. Last month I saw a Yugo SKS going for $450. I love mine, but f*** a bunch of that.

  11. Wow, increased accuracy from an AK! That’s pretty darned cool if you ask me. I might just have to get one of these. BTW – I was looking on Federal’s website for Federal Gold Match in 7.62×39, but just can’t seem to find that listed. Anyone know of any other match loadings to run through this new target rifle?

    • That made me laugh. I can’t see how this is a “Game Changer” when many other AK’s are already in the same spec and price point (even less).

      Needless to say, I would not be running out to buy one.

  12. I like AK’s and i like Arsenal but It’s a bit steep. This thing is near M1A territory. AK vs AR is one thing, but AK vs M1A is different.

  13. It’s essentially an overpriced AK, but wait there’s a fancy folding stock that is slightly less annoying that those crap Tapco stocks that people slapped on their WASRs. That definitely makes it work it.

  14. I like the idea but its tougher to find furniture (handguards) for milled AK’s than stamped AK’s so I have no real interested in a milled model…still kinda cool though.

    • You simply remove about 1/8 of material from each side of the tab that goes into the reciever to make a stamped handguard fit into a milled. Plus, it already comes with handguard.

  15. I don’t see this as changing the game. They just took an existing design that was usually implemented using lower quality manufacturing techniques (and worked very well) and then took some existing higher quality manufacturing techniques and did it that way (making it work incrementally better by a few percent and raising the price by around 100%).

  16. 1.5MOA reported with Wolf Ammunition. More reliable than any AR ever produced. Capability of going in excess of 35K rounds down the pipe. Folds more compact than an M4. It’s a better rifle just wish it was stamped instead of milled and in 5.56NATO.

    • For the price you can get a gas piston AR and you’ve solved the reliability problem.

      Plus you get the 5.56mm you wanted plus cheaper magazines.

      • First you can’t buy a piston fed AR with a hammer forged barrel for that kind of money. However have you actually owned an AR piston rifle? I have, LMT, two of them. Not nearly as reliable as any AK I’ve owned and the AK is far tougher. I’ve owned quite a few AR’s and owned many AK’s. The AK is the better overall rifle for reliability. Accuracy wise, the 74 variants shoot the same as my Colt’s outfitted with the same optics, quality ammo etc. Just with more reliability. The rifle in this discussion is 7.62×39 which is inherently less accurate than 5.56NATO yet it holds 1.5MOA groups using Wolf Ammo confirmed by Military Arms Channel.

        • I pretty much abandoned all my ARs after I realised that there is a substantial difference between a cheap AK and a much more expensive one in terms of.. well, everything. I paid a good chunk of change for my AK for SHTF and carbine courses and what have you, and I’ve used it in some pretty crazy conditions for multiple days (Raining, caked in mud, etc.) and while all other rifles had issues, mine ran and ran and ran.. All day, and delivered 1.5MOA as well. Sold all my ARs after that day. They’re just not for me.

      • Contrary to popular opinion, merely putting piston on an AR does not solve the reliability problem. It helps some, but most of AK reliability stems from its BCG riding on rails instead of against receiver walls (helps a lot when you’ve got dirt on it), and a much stronger impulse from the gas system. Piston ARs don’t really solve the BCG problem, and they also add problems of their own, e.g. carrier tilt. Oh, and AR mag well is still equal to inherently less reliable feeding, even if it’s more ergonomic.

        There is a thing that solves most of these problems (well, except for mag well) – ARAK. But then it’s not really an AR anymore.

      • Check them out on the auction sites (gunbroker etc.), prices have come down considerably. Mags and accessories are plentiful as well with the right amount of google searching. Now’s a good time to own a 7.62×39 rifle with .25/round ammo becoming plentiful again.

  17. when i hear “game changer”, i think along the lines of the m1 garand to m16 or the change of sks to ak 47. cool new stocks are not what i immediately think of.

  18. I love my Arsenal SGL-21, but paying $1300 just for having a milled receiver, folding stock and a different pistol grip seems a bit steep. The accuracy on my SGL-21 is fine, and it only cost me $850 for it. A new pistol grip can be had for $20-$25 and the folding stock can be implemented from about $150-$180. Doesn’t all add up to me.

    Speaking of AKs… wasn’t Magpul’s AK accessories supposed to hit soon?

  19. Rigidity schmigidity…. Ever hear of metal fatigue? Get a Type 56: 1.5mm thick stamped receiver: “rigidity” of the milled thing plus long-term durability (read: no micro-fracturing) of a stamped 1mm receiver.

    Guy in southern Oregon makes them (1.5mm lowers – 100%, heat treated, just finish and go). Priced reasonably and a little know how and machinery will make a parts kit work nicely with his receiver.

  20. It’s like nobody here has ever seen a milled AK before.

    Arsenal has been producing this same exact rifle for years. They just dress it up with different parts and call it a GAME CHANGER.

  21. Really? All that hype for a limited production item? They need to take a page out of Apple’s playbook. You can make people wait for an exciting new product, you can charge them more than it’s actually worth, but you don’t ever stop or slow down the manufacturing lines until demand has been met.

  22. So now that we know their marketing is run by a complete moron, any word on if civvie-legal AK12s will be coming to America within the next decade?

  23. Looks as if they are expecting to sell few, but hoping for many. I know which one I believe.

    • Agreed. Got my SIG 556R a month ago for $100 less than this Arsenal, and very happy with the results.

  24. Although the Arsenal AK’s are built like tanks paying that kind of money for any AK is crazy. I have a feeling that Kalashnikov himself would think so too.

  25. Yea game changer would’ve been something good AND affordable. Now a 300$ AK, that would be a game changer. I’m speaking for my self here but for me, part of the allure of the AK is that you can go to a gun shop and ask for something cheap and he can bring you out a scuffed up, beat up AK half covered in cosmoline and you can buy it for 450$ and know it’ll still never break.

  26. I think the milled receiver with a built in folder is pretty cool, but the price point is unfortunate. Only 500 of them? Hopefully they will come down some when they start making more.

  27. Wasn’t this posted yesterday? Or am I having deja moo? (The feeling that I’ve heard this b.s. before)

  28. Hmm, someone built an AK that is now more expensive than but still inferior to a quality AR.
    JWM you nailed it again: The allure of these rifles was the price and rugged quality along with truck loads of cheap ammo. When it starts to cost more in both terms than technically superior platforms it’s not a game changer its a solution in search of a problem.

    As someone said, this reminds me of expensive work done to trick out cheap cars. I suppose if I ever find one of these laying next to a stamped receiver AK and I have to take one I’ll take the fancy one, but I sure wouldn’t buy it.

    I’m starting to wonder about the ‘legendary’ reliability of the AK as a selling point. I suppose in absolute terms they really are more reliable than the AR platform (you know, you can drag an AK behind your truck all day and it still shoots right?), but since over 20 years and multiple ARs of various (sometimes dubious) quality with all sorts of ammo in all weather and a failure rate so low as to be negligible I just don’t think I need something with the ergonomics of a dump truck to get a .001% gain in reliability while taking a huge bath on accuracy.

    It’s a bit like the terminal ballistics argument 7.62×39 Vs 5.56 . . .IMO the trade off in weight, recoil and accuracy is hardly worth the marginally better performance in wounding.

    I’m not an AR fan boy, and I’ve had AKs in several variants. They are good rifles all in all and I’ve liked a few of them a lot, but they are simply inferior to the AR, which is why the latter is what I consider my personal rifle.

    For me the big factors are the ergonomics (along with enhanced inherent accuracy this gives the AR much higher practical accuracy even at nearer ranges) and recoil. The lighter cartridge plus again superior ergonomics makes follow up shots and rapid/full auto fire much more manageable in the AR.

    If you maintain your AR like a rifleman instead of an uneducated soviet farmer/conscript you’ll never know the AK is more reliable and this iteration of the AK removes its other defining factor; cheap and easy manufacture.

    • If I had to get into the military influenced rifle market today, if my gun safe was emptied out and I had to have a rifle, I think I would get an M1a and call it good. My only real regret about the shrinking milsurp supply is that I traded and gave most of mine away while they were still cheap and plentiful.

      But if I was starting new, M1a. I live in Ca. and they’re legal here.

    • ” I just don’t think I need something with the ergonomics of a dump truck to get a .001% gain in reliability while taking a huge bath on accuracy. ”

      LOL. Well said, and you make other great points. I like both platforms, but at this pricepoint its hard to justify an AK at $1500 when you can get a quality AR or M1A for the same price.

  29. I tend to be in agreement with most… Would I like to have an AK? Sure. Does this one look nice? It does. Is it worth the same price I can get a DD AR in .300 AAC for? No, it’s not. Not in my book. I guess I’m an AR guy and if you take care of a good AR, it’s damn near, if not just as, reliable as an AK. And much more user friendly, accurate, configurable, ergonomic, etc. Guess I’m an AR guy now. But it does look like a sweet AK…

  30. “Game Changer” would have been a 600-800 dollar AK pattern rifle with Kalashnikov reliability and MOA accuracy.
    So I don’t know add a 12 dollar steel spine or collar between the barrel and the receiver so that the loose fitting milled parts that allow the weapon to function so well under adverse conditions aren’t so damn loose fitting there, instant accuracy improvement. Changing the rifling to match a supersonic .300 BLK might fix that even further.
    This would probably work even with an AK with a stamped receiver, in fact I think I’m actually going to try to dummy up one myself 🙂

    • This is the third thing I’m sick of hearing of, .300. Go talk about .300 on an article about .300s.

  31. I wish this was in the budget for me now. I’d totally get it even though I don’t like side folding stocks. I really like the ambi safety.

    The game changer for me would be to find a magazine system that would allow for a push button to drop the magazine and a mag well that would make it more easy to reload than having to rock the banana shaped magazine in. Kind of like the AR magazine system. Also having the bolt lock back to the rear on the last shot would be nice.

    I know Definitive Arms can do those mods on AK’s chambered in 5.56 but I’m not interested in a 5.56 AK for some reason.

    Oh well.

    Still digging the ambi safety though.

  32. I’m neither an AR nor AK fanboy. I may or may not (since I’m sure the NSA is reading this) own one of each. I appreciate both for what their strengths are.

    The AR 15 (in it’s M16/M4 form) is an accurate, reliable, rifle for a modern western army. I’ve never had a problem qualifying expert with an M16/M4 with iron sights (or whatever the close quarters optic of the day happens to be) on the standard Army range of pop up targets at ranges from 50 to 400m. I’ve carried it in combat and used it in a few short and one prolonged fire fight with no failures to fire or failures to eject. If kept clean and properly lubricated it’s reliability is just fine. It does require you to clean it every day and take care of the magazines. If the SHTF (and I had one, not saying I do) and I can only take one rifle with me, it will be my S&W M&P 15 with an EOTECH XPS 2, 12 Magpul P-Mags, and the two cans of M193 on stripper clips that may or may not be in my safe.

    I love the AK 47 for what it is. A cheap, simple rifle designed to be used by an uneducated peasant army more concerned with putting a lot of rounds down range with barely acceptable accuracy. I trained many an Iraqi or Afghan to use them. I can’t hit squat beyond about 250m with one. On the other hand you can drag it through the mud, drop it in the dust, let parts of it rust, and it will keep shooting if you clean it quarterly or so. If I had one (not saying I do NSA) it would probably be a WASR that I picked up ten years ago for about $450 used and a bit beat up with a tin of surplus Polish ammo thrown in to get me to buy it. It’s fun to shoot, lets me show the kids what folks tried to kill dad with, and keeps me prepared to grab one off the ground if I ever find myself slam out of ammo for my M4.

    Would I ever pay more than a grand for an AK? Hell no.

    • Thats funny right there. Yes NSA is probably tracking all our responses.

      I can’t say that I own and AR15 or AK47 either, but they are both great rifles. Different roles and POU. I just can’t justify spending close to $1500 for an AK when they should be $600-800 the most.

      The Arsenal AK’s are nice rifles indeed, but for the money I’d get a quality AR15 instead like a Colt or BCM.

  33. I’ll take my AMD 65 over this POS any day. If I wanted to spend 1400 it would not be for an AK. I can grab two S&W 686s or a nice scope. As for milled vs stamped, it’s a tie. Meaningless. I just don’t get why people love these Arsenal brand AKs. Over-priced and over-rated. It’s like if Nike made AKs, they would charge thousands for one and the quality is only a little or none better than everything else.

    Two things I’m sick of hearing of. Arsenal AKs and bullpups. Enough already.

    • I have to agree with you that this is way overpriced and a big disappointment, not a game changer at all. I too am tired of hearing about bullpup designs as well, and while I’m at it the the whole “.300” thing too.

      That said I purchased a milled Arsenal Bulgarian with the Steyer barrel quite a few years back when the price was right around six hundred NY dollars ($450 everywhere else). It was the SLR-95 series with the thumbhole stock. It is by far the best built and best shooting AK I have ever owned or handled. The other Arsenal products I have used or owned were all also of very good quality, the reputation for being one of the best you can buy in the US is well deserved.

      I agree with the commonly expressed sentiment that the prices of the newer offerings are way to high to justify spending on an AK. Yes the products are really nice, but seriously thats too much money for an AK. If they want a game changer they should offer something no other company is making (AK-12, SVD, 9mm AK, Etc) or offer an economy line of well built guns, otherwise it just makes more sense for most of us to get a Saiga and a hundred bucks worth of parts and spend an afternoon in the garage.

  34. I think $1399 is a small price to pay for an incredibly reliable, nearly impossible to jam rifle that could very well save your life and your families life in a SHTF situation, and becomes a defacto “political instrument” in the face of tyranny, that’s also lot of fun to shoot.


    • It says on K-var that it comes with a sectional cleaning rod… I don’t know if they can be mounted on the AK? Is the cleaning rod considered a part for 922r or something? I agree it is unsightly to not have it on the rifle.

      This is a really cool rifle and I would like to see how it groups with a Simonov or Leatherwood 762×39 ballistic scope. The ambi safety is awesome, the folder is awesome and if their hype about the receiver and barrel are true then those are awesome too.

      $1345 is the price they should probably stick with, because it is already high. The thing is, they charge nearly as much for their fixed stock milled rifles so the price differential between them is minimal. I’m assuming this is a result of the current climate with the Obama administration? Arsenal in general is just too expensive.

      These look like great guns and I would definitely pay around a grand for one, considering everything other than Izhmash guns are built from kits or lacking in features but at $1345-1500 that is pushing it.

  35. Back in the Clinton AWB days, I bought an Arsenal SLR-95 that was a milled-receiver gun. It cost me $500 brand new, and was as accurate as all hell.

    I’m not sure what this rifle brings to market that isn’t already being done.

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