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Old 07-30-2012, 04:11 PM   #1
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Default SGL21-94 or SLR107-FR

Hey guys,

I need some advice. I am aware of the differences in the SGL and SLR series guns. I was fixing to pull the trigger on an SLR107-FR today and randomly come across an SGL21-94. I already have two Russian 5.45 Folders.....two SGL31-94s, one to mimic the AK74M and another resemble the AK105. The SGL21 84/94 have become basicly impossible to find. I had given up hope.....I was going to buy the SLR107FR & SLR107-CR and make AK103 & AK104 clones. I guess what I am asking is, down the road will the SGL21 side folders be more valuable or desireable than the SLR series? I had this all planned out until I come across the SGL21-94 today. So basicly, all my 5.45's are Russian.....should I do my 7.62's Bulgarian? I am torn on which path to take. Thanks for any advice!
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Old 07-30-2012, 05:27 PM   #2
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If you want to be more correct for 103 and 104 clones the SGL would be better. Whether or not it'll be more valuable and/or collectable down the road is anyone's guess. A year from now we might be refering to them as preban guns for all we know.
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Old 07-31-2012, 01:21 AM   #3
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The Russian SGL has an AK74 style bolt, Russian furniture with the newer 5.5mm pin and an unlined American compensator.

The Bulgarian SLR has an AK47/AKM bolt, American made furniture wih the older 4.5mm pin and a chrome lined Bulgarian compensator. It is also $150-200 cheaper. The SLR107F as opposed to the FR does not have an optical rail.

As a practical matter it's probably six of one half a dozen of the other.
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Old 07-31-2012, 08:34 AM   #4
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I have decided to stick to the SGLs, since my other guns are the Russian clones. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by HarleyF250Guy View Post
I have decided to stick to the SGLs, since my other guns are the Russian clones. Thanks for the advice!
Good choice.

SLR-107's are widely available at the moment and most lack the side rail. I have a 21-94 and a 31-94. When I look or even think about them I get a huge grin on my face like this .
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:00 PM   #6
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As they say, it’s not champagne unless it comes from Champagne, so don’t call sparkling wine from California (however wonderful it is) ‘champagne’.

Same goes for AK's the only original AK is one produced at Izhmash Russia (i.e. SGL21-94 and SGL21 series) - all others (however wonderful they are) are not......
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Old 02-15-2014, 07:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Scott7891 View Post
Good choice.

SLR-107's are widely available at the moment and most lack the side rail. I have a 21-94 and a 31-94. When I look or even think about them I get a huge grin on my face like this .
Lack the side rail? You mean the rail you can mount PSOPs to?
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:50 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by chile1 View Post
As they say, it’s not champagne unless it comes from Champagne, so don’t call sparkling wine from California (however wonderful it is) ‘champagne’.

Same goes for AK's the only original AK is one produced at Izhmash Russia (i.e. SGL21-94 and SGL21 series) - all others (however wonderful they are) are not......
How could I possibly add anything after this. lol
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by chile1 View Post
As they say, it’s not champagne unless it comes from Champagne, so don’t call sparkling wine from California (however wonderful it is) ‘champagne’.

Same goes for AK's the only original AK is one produced at Izhmash Russia (i.e. SGL21-94 and SGL21 series) - all others (however wonderful they are) are not......
Everything else is just a poser. Some nice posers out there but still posers none the less.
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by chile1 View Post
As they say, it’s not champagne unless it comes from Champagne, so don’t call sparkling wine from California (however wonderful it is) ‘champagne’.

Same goes for AK's the only original AK is one produced at Izhmash Russia (i.e. SGL21-94 and SGL21 series) - all others (however wonderful they are) are not......
No.
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:21 AM   #11
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I dunno. While I agree that there's no substitute for the genuine article in the sense that the Russian is the original, I will go against the grain here and say that the Bulgarian is the better rifle. Little things like the pistol grip reinforcement plate that are present on the Bulgarian but absent on the Russian cause me to feel this way. Both are super nice rifles and you can't go wrong with either. The Russian brings bragging rights and the Bulgarian is a little closer to the commie military build in terms of features. Pick your poison.
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:35 AM   #12
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I'm far from an authority on the subject but I agree with Mr. 104- if I had to choose between the 2 I'd go SLR.

Maybe, maybe, if the prices were reversed, Id go SGL...most likely I'd still go SLR though
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:43 AM   #13
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I see the argument both ways but I consider the Bulgarian/Russian nearly the same. They are definitely the two best Ak's we can own with the Hungarian Sa85m series taking home the bronze.
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chile1 View Post
As they say, it’s not champagne unless it comes from Champagne, so don’t call sparkling wine from California (however wonderful it is) ‘champagne’.

Same goes for AK's the only original AK is one produced at Izhmash Russia (i.e. SGL21-94 and SGL21 series) - all others (however wonderful they are) are not......
I don't believe Izhmash has registered the term "AK" for trademark protection. And if they tried now it would be too late to do so as the name has become a generic term.


Even if this were not the case I think most of us are far more concerned with the actual design rather than legal ownership of the name. Ford for example has the legal right to use the name "Cobra" whereas most replica builders do not but most automotive enthusiasts see the roadsters built by companies such Kirkham, ERA and Superformance as real Cobras where the various Mustang and Torino "Cobras" built by Ford are not.


My Russian SGL21 is a great gun but I hardly see my Bulgarian SLR107FR, my Polish Kbk AKM or my Chinese Type 56 Spiker as imposters!
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlemagne View Post
I don't believe Izhmash has registered the term "AK" for trademark protection. And if they tried now it would be too late to do so as the name has become a generic term.


Even if this were not the case I think most of us are far more concerned with the actual design rather than legal ownership of the name. Ford for example has the legal right to use the name "Cobra" whereas most replica builders do not but most automotive enthusiasts see the roadsters built by companies such Kirkham, ERA and Superformance as real Cobras where the various Mustang and Torino "Cobras" built by Ford are not.


My Russian SGL21 is a great gun but I hardly see my Bulgarian SLR107FR, my Polish Kbk AKM or my Chinese Type 56 Spiker as imposters!
not an imposter just not an "original Russian kalashnikov" produced in the same shop that Mikhail Kalashnikov worked and originally created them in. I'm sure the Bulgarian, Yugo etc are just as good but they are not Russian. Like buying a Chinese made AR15 (if they were available). I'm sure they could be reproduced and probably be good but they would not be the real deal.....

I'm a purist so to those that don't care then there is no problem as they all go bang when they are suppose to......
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:48 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by AK-104 View Post
I dunno. While I agree that there's no substitute for the genuine article in the sense that the Russian is the original, I will go against the grain here and say that the Bulgarian is the better rifle. Little things like the pistol grip reinforcement plate that are present on the Bulgarian but absent on the Russian cause me to feel this way. Both are super nice rifles and you can't go wrong with either. The Russian brings bragging rights and the Bulgarian is a little closer to the commie military build in terms of features. Pick your poison.
not coming with a $10 dollar steel reinforcement plate with 5 spot welds on them is hardly a reason to say the SLR is better, IMHO of course...
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:52 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by chile1 View Post
not an imposter just not an "original Russian kalashnikov" produced in the same shop that Mikhail Kalashnikov worked and originally created them in. I'm sure the Bulgarian, Yugo etc are just as good but they are not Russian. Like buying a Chinese made AR15 (if they were available). I'm sure they could be reproduced and probably be good but they would not be the real deal.....

I'm a purist so to those that don't care then there is no problem as they all go bang when they are suppose to......
Wasn't the original AR15 built by Armalite, so by that standard your saying that if an AR15 is not made by Armalite it would be a imposter too.
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Old 02-16-2014, 04:16 PM   #18
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not coming with a $10 dollar steel reinforcement plate with 5 spot welds on them is hardly a reason to say the SLR is better, IMHO of course...
That was for starters. For one thing... Its not as though the average buyer is gonna add the reinforcement plate at their kitchen table for $10.00. It requires some work. Also, the latest of the SLR series come with a park under paint finish that is milspec. The SGL is commonly known to be paint only. The fact is, an SGL is simply a converted Saiga at a markup. The SLR on the other hand, is a different animal. I see the virtues and negatives associated with each to end in a wash. No matter what, the SGL lacks milspec features that are standard on an SLR and the SGL will always be nothing more than a well executed Saiga conversion. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the SGL is not the same as a Russian AKM/AK-74 even if it is as close as we can get here in the states. By the way... I own both, so I have no grudge one way or the other. Just being honest.
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:43 PM   #19
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Gotta go with ak-104 on this one. Its also worth noting that bulgarian guns are built with russian tools and equipment, on russian blueprints. Russia contracted bulgaria to build rifles for them. These are not copys or reproductions like cugirs and norincos. SLRs in all reality are more true to the original than SGLs due to the fact sgls are nothing more than converted siagas.

At the end of the day all that matters is what happens when you squeeze the trigger, everything else is preference.
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Old 02-16-2014, 06:40 PM   #20
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Wasn't the original AR15 built by Armalite, so by that standard your saying that if an AR15 is not made by Armalite it would be a imposter too.
last time i checked, Armalite was an American company and the weapons were at least built in the USA. AK's are associated with Russian ingenuity and for the purist at heart, there is just no substitution regardless on how good the others are claimed to be.

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Old 02-16-2014, 07:53 PM   #21
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There seems to be some mis-information in the last few points. The SLR`s bolts are based on the AK-47/AKM pattern. The Saigas/SGL bolts are based on the AK-74/AK-100 series. This is the main difference. The SLR`s are AKM patterned rifles with 90 degree gas blocks and AK-100 series FSB.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:14 PM   #22
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+1 to what Eric said.

Personally I would go with a Bulgarian SLR-107.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:22 PM   #23
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+1 to what Eric said.

Personally I would go with a Bulgarian SLR-107.
Not much of a choice given that there are no SGL21-94's to be had.. Therefore a replica like an SLR is a wise choice.

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Old 02-16-2014, 09:37 PM   #24
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Not much of a choice given that there are no SGL21-94's to be had..
I just saw the date of the OP.....
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Old 02-16-2014, 10:05 PM   #25
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I just saw the date of the OP.....
And nothing has changed. Still no genuine Russian SGL21-94's and plenty of "nice" replicas to be had..

Last edited by chile1; 02-16-2014 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:54 PM   #26
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I just saw the date of the OP.....
Holy crap! I apparently missed that. Who drags out a thread that's this old just to get us arguing over the virtues of two of the best AK variants commercially available? Hahaha!
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:02 AM   #27
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lol, I missed that too, pretty godamn funny.
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:33 AM   #28
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not an imposter just not an "original Russian kalashnikov" produced in the same shop that Mikhail Kalashnikov worked and originally created them in. I'm sure the Bulgarian, Yugo etc are just as good but they are not Russian. Like buying a Chinese made AR15 (if they were available). I'm sure they could be reproduced and probably be good but they would not be the real deal.....

I'm a purist so to those that don't care then there is no problem as they all go bang when they are suppose to......
The adjectives"original Russian" are not necessary for a gun to be a genuine Kalashnikov! Somebody actually equipping a military unit or a law enforcement department is not going to be concerned about whether the "AKMs" are Russian or Polish or whether the AK74s are Russian or Bulgarian. That's the kind of stuff collectors worry about not actual operators.

I don't know about Chinese AR15s but they make a really good copy of the Remington 870 shotgun and the Norinco 1911s have a great reputation.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:04 AM   #29
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The adjectives"original Russian" are not necessary for a gun to be a genuine Kalashnikov! Somebody actually equipping a military unit or a law enforcement department is not going to be concerned about whether the "AKMs" are Russian or Polish or whether the AK74s are Russian or Bulgarian. That's the kind of stuff collectors worry about not actual operators.

I don't know about Chinese AR15s but they make a really good copy of the Remington 870 shotgun and the Norinco 1911s have a great reputation.
Not aware of too many people in the US equipping military units/law enforcing units with AK's but if that's your objective then you are correct. Any replica AK will do as long as they go bang..
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:12 AM   #30
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This is an age old question within collectors of which is a better AK? Bulgarian or Russian. I think we need to understand that the real question should be - which one is the best IMPORTED AK available today - Russian or Bulgarian?

As a military weapon, production quality and parts are about the same and as equally reliable. We collectors, looking for shit to argue about, then focus on the little details. That's where the debate comes in.

Generally, most will prefer the one closest to its military configuration with as less US hands on the gun as possible. 100% factory made is always desired.

Bulgarian SLR rifles are almost all factory. The only thing that is done in the US is the addition of US parts. Even then, I doubt that is actually even done stateside.

Russian SGL, OTOH, are factory assembled as sporter rifles. Once they arrive stateside, they are converted to the configuration you see being sold. This means the barrel front end, rear trunnion riveting are done here. You can see the evidence by looking at the way the rear of the receiver is modified to accept the side folding trunnion. You will also notice that the pistol grip reinforcement plate is missing (something that is present in Russian factory guns). The Front sight block and gas block are supposed to be punch welded but instead they are pinned - indicative of post build modification. You will see this when you look at sporterized Saigas - which is the rifle used as the base to make SGL's.
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:29 AM   #31
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Quote:
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This is an age old question within collectors of which is a better AK? Bulgarian or Russian. I think we need to understand that the real question should be - which one is the best IMPORTED AK available today - Russian or Bulgarian?

As a military weapon, production quality and parts are about the same and as equally reliable. We collectors, looking for shit to argue about, then focus on the little details. That's where the debate comes in.

Generally, most will prefer the one closest to its military configuration with as less US hands on the gun as possible. 100% factory made is always desired.

Bulgarian SLR rifles are almost all factory. The only thing that is done in the US is the addition of US parts. Even then, I doubt that is actually even done stateside.

Russian SGL, OTOH, are factory assembled as sporter rifles. Once they arrive stateside, they are converted to the configuration you see being sold. This means the barrel front end, rear trunnion riveting are done here. You can see the evidence by looking at the way the rear of the receiver is modified to accept the side folding trunnion. You will also notice that the pistol grip reinforcement plate is missing (something that is present in Russian factory guns). The Front sight block and gas block are supposed to be punch welded but instead they are pinned - indicative of post build modification. You will see this when you look at sporterized Saigas - which is the rifle used as the base to make SGL's.
Good post, I think that about sums it up.
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:56 AM   #32
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The Front sight block and gas block are supposed to be punch welded but instead they are pinned - indicative of post build modification. You will see this when you look at sporterized Saigas - which is the rifle used as the base to make SGL's.
So you are now claiming that the front sight/gas block on the SLR are punch welded vs pinned like on the SGL?

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Old 02-17-2014, 11:36 AM   #33
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Wow, so much noob fail in this thread.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:28 PM   #34
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Not aware of too many people in the US equipping military units/law enforcing units with AK's but if that's your objective then you are correct. Any replica AK will do as long as they go bang..

The point I am making is that often times collectors are so hung up on originality that they lose sight of the original purpose of the item they are collecting. Using another automotive example, one of the most highly sought after Corvettes for collectors is the L88 (the racing optioned car with an aluminum headed 427 built from 1967-1969). The irony is that most of the L88s that were actually raced weren't the matching numbered factory originals, that collectors are seeking, but plain vanilla Corvettes that had been totaled and were rebuilt to L88 specs with service and aftermarket parts, "replicas" if you will!

A better term for most of the non-Russian AKs than "replicas" would be variations since they are not pretending to be something they are not.

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So you are now claiming that the front sight/gas block on the SLR are punch welded vs pinned like on the SGL?
Both the SLR107 and the SGL21 have pinned, rather than punch pressed, front sight bases and gas blocks. Pinning is superior to punch pressing, despite not being used on original 100 series rifles, because it allows for those parts to be removed and replaced far more easily if the need ever arises.

Last edited by Charlemagne; 02-17-2014 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:39 PM   #35
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The point I am making is that often times collectors are so hung up on originality that they lose sight of the original purpose of the item they are collecting. Using another automotive example, one of the most highly sought after Corvettes for collectors is the L88 (the racing optioned car with an aluminum headed 427 built from 1967-1969). The irony is that most of the L88s that were actually raced weren't matching numbered factory originals but plain vanilla Corvettes that had been totaled and were rebuilt to L88 specs with service and aftermarket parts, "replicas" if you will!

A better term for most of the non-Russian AKs than "replicas" would be variations since they are not pretending to be something they are not.
Using your automotive analogy, you are then describing a hot rod vs a genuine restored classical.... It's really what you want but i beg to differ...
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