Arsenal, Inc. Selling New Bulgarian-made 5.45 AKs, Low-profile AK Scope Mount
Matt Korovesis 01.16.14
Well-known firearms manufacturer Arsenal, Inc. had two new 5.45x39mm AK-platform rifles available to check out at their SHOT Show booth: the AKS-74-style SLR-104FR and the SBR-ready SLR-104UR.
The SLR-104s are factory-new guns made in Bulgaria and remanufactured into their more familiar formats by Arsenal, Inc. here in the United States. Though cheaper guns built with used surplus kits are available, new-production Bulgarian 5.45 AKs are a rarity in the United States, and this line was produced specifically for Arsenal.
Both SLR-104 models feature 16-1/4-inch chrome-lined barrels with a 1:7.87″ twist rate and are built on lightweight stamped receivers.
The SLR-104FR is similar to the AKS-74 and will be available with a number of different stock variations (including the classic triangle side-folding stock and more modern polymer side-folding stock) and furniture colors. The SLR-104FR folds to a length of 27-3/8 inches and runs 36-7/8 inches long when unfolded. It weighs 6.1 pounds without a magazine (over a full pound lighter than a comparable Russian-made SGL31), and features a left-side scope rail, removable muzzle brake, and crisp two-stage trigger.
The SBR-ready SLR-104UR will also be available in a number of different stock options and colors. It folds to a length of 25 inches and is 34-1/2 inches long unfolded. The SLR-104UR features the desirable front sight/gas block combination present on most AK carbines and the same scope rail and two-stage trigger as the SLR-104FR. Its overlong, unthreaded barrel is just begging for a tax stamp.
Both models were announced shortly before SHOT and are shipping to dealers and consumers as they become available. Most retailers are already sold out of SLR-104URs.
Arsenal, Inc. also released a new low-profile AK scope mount last year, which was being showcased at their booth. The SM-13 mounts securely to a conventional left-side AK scope rail and offers a user just over 7.5 inches of Picatinny rail space to mount optics and accessories. The rail sits low enough on the receiver that the iron sights can still be used (as along as there are no optics mounted, of course).
Getting a comfortable cheekweld when using optics on an AK has always been difficult, and the SM-13 is leaps and bounds better than most other options available. An SM-13 with an EOTech sight and magnifier were on-hand to test, and the mount delivered a solid lower cheekweld with both Warsaw Pact stocks and higher-combed NATO-style stocks.
The SM-13 sells for $134.99 and is available now.