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The Obama Administration quietly published Executive Order 13662 yesterday, which specifically addresses Ukraine-related sanctions. Amongst the entities that the US is now prohibited to deal with is Kalashnikov Concern.
Formerly known as Izhmash, Kalashnikov Concern manufactures the modern AK-100 series rifles, the Saiga sporting line of rifles, as well as shotguns.
Keep in mind that this isn’t an outright ban on Kalashnikov Concern products or Russian-made AKs. According to the FAQs about the Executive Order, any Kalashnikov Concern products that you already have are good to keep, or even sell on the secondary market as long as Kalashnikov Concern doesn’t have an interest in your sale. However, the prohibition for companies to do business with Kalashnikov Concern, or any of its interests monetarily, will definitely cut off the supply chain.
“We build our gun from surplus parts not imported guns, honestly we saw this coming and moved away from Saiga conversions a while back. While this is not good news, it does open doors. When the barrel ban happened, everybody said “there goes the AK, no more barrels,” but American companies stepped up and now we have decent quality barrels. At Rifle Dynamics we’re dedicated to making the AK a US gun, while there have previously been “all US made AK’s” advertised, the truth is that the main parts are complicated and expensive to make. Most guns claiming to be “US” are not all US made parts. People have always considered the AK to be cheaply made and for years it has been made by cheap labor in foreign countries. We are currently building/testing US made AK parts and hope to bring them to market soon.”
While this is a blow to the availability of quality-made AKs from Russia, there are also other manufacturers of AKs like Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia/Serbia and Poland. We can only hope that other Russian firearms manufacturers aren’t added to this sanctions list.
The keen-eyed reader will no doubt see that the AK pictured in the photo above wasn’t manufactured by Izhmash, but it was the only Russian made AK we had to take a photo of around HQ.
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For anyone that was interested in the Arsenal SGL series of rifles, the similar SLR series are as high as quality of AKs. For those who don't know the difference, SGL rifles are imported to the US as Izmash built Saigas. Once here, Arsenal completely rebuilds the rifles to AK-74 or 74M (74M will be a version with a folding stock) specifications, minus the full auto setting.
SLRs are parts kits imported to the US from Bulgaria and built by Arsenal to to same specifications as the SGL series of rifles. The only difference is that you won't have the Izmash arsenal marking.