Saiga MK-107: The Civilian AK-107 (With Balanced Recoil) Arrives

Izhmash will debut the long anticipated Saiga MK-107 at the IWA show in Germany tomorrow. This gun is the first ever civilian-legal variant of the AK-107 / AK-108 with its famous balanced recoil system.

The balanced recoil system moves a counter weight forward when it pushes the piston/bolt carrier back. This counteracts the force of the bolt carrier slamming against the rear of the receiver and against the chamber.  The animation below demonstrates how it works.

TFB AK-107 Animation


The MK-107 also features some improvements over the original AK-107. The standard AK charging handle has been replaced with a rounded, more ergonomic, handle. The iconic AK selector switch has been replaced with a button-style safety above the trigger guard. The AR-15 syle pistol grip and stock are made by Israeli firm CAA Tactical. Also unlike the original AK-107, the MK-107 features a full length top picatinny rail.

In its current form it could not be exported to the USA but I expect we will see it arrive in the near future.  It could be imported a sporterized form (no pistol grip), or imported as a parts kit with the final manufacturing done stateside. This gun would fly off the shelves!

Many thanks to Peter for the tip.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • steve

    Agree about flying off the shelves. Even if the system turns out to be a little glitchy (seems pretty unlikely) I would still buy one just because it’s neat.

    • Esh325

      The balanced recoil technology is about 30-40 years old, so they might had the time to iron out the bugs I hope.

      • Андрей Ткаченко

        I heard that the wheel synchronizing the two pistons/ciounterweights is still the weak point

        • Esh325

          That’s what I’ve heard too, but it’s not confirmed. My understanding was the reason why the Soviet military at the time didn’t adopt the AL-7 (early version of AK-107) was because it would be too costly to change manufacturing lines to it.

    • n0truscotsman

      Ive already budgeted a AK12 and probably will buy one of these too for the novelty. With this current BS, im out of the AR game for a while (if forever). AKs are evolving. Their newest evolutions are going to make them comparable to ARs and perhaps surpass them.

      Now if magpul, troy, tango down and others would jump on the opportunity to capitalize on 7.62 and 5.45mm magazines so we can finally stop kicking and screaming over sometimes scarce combloc surplus mags…

  • Esh325

    What’s interesting is that this will be marketed along side the civilian version of the AK-12. The balanced recoil seems a little bit redundent for a semi auto only rifle in a low recoiling round, but I’ll certainly buy one. I imagine it will go for no less than 1300$.

    • GarryB

      The balanced recoil mechanism should smooth out the recoil so it is more comfortable to fire in single shot. The rifle should also move around less during firing which should improve the speed of follow up shots too.

      I would be interested to learn how Americas gun laws regarding imported firearms is effected by Russias entry into the WTO, which bans laws that discriminate against foreign made products.

      The whole idea behind the WTO is to prevent countries from banning imported goods from different places to give other countries products or their own an unfair advantage.

      If semi auto rifles are legal for sale then it is illegal to ban one rifle made in another country if it meets the same requirements as a domestically made weapon that is legal.

      • Dale

        I presume that you’re talking about 922(r) compliance: I would assume that US gun laws wouldn’t have any bearing against the importation of “sporting weapons” that are then converted domestically; there isn’t any outright banning mechanism within that statute as long as the rifles contain the requisite US made parts. Not to get political, but the WTO is a completely limp noodle as well when it comes to any sort of legislation.

        • GarryB

          But that is the key, if the US demands US made parts in things then it is breaking the spirit of the WTo agreement which is supposed to create a balanced playing field for all.
          Imagine if Russia said they would no longer import US poultry products… not on grounds of food safety, but because the grain the poultry are feed is not Russian grain.

          Not wanting to get political and not judging, but current US laws seem to discriminate against non US made products. Russia has not been a member of the WTO so it has been targeted in the past. Now that it is entering the WTO however things might need to change and that is what I am wondering about… whether existing US laws need changes or may be challenged. For instance to FAMAS rifles or Steyr rifles sold in the US need US parts too?

          • Well, its about 2 things… protecting more expensive domestic product (which is more expensive because of taxes and licensing, as well as trying to cope with 50 different state laws). The people who use such legal vagueness like “sporting purpose” would never want a flood of cheap modern firearms entering the market.

          • Marke

            I honestly think that when it comes to guns they just have these laws to add an extra complication/expense to owning one. I don’t think they look for any justification past “it’s another hoop to make them jump through” when they draft these regs up.

            Maybe I’m cynical though.

      • JH

        Until Russian goods are banned by sanctions. Not being political, that’s just how it is.

  • Tim

    7.62×39? I have no interest in 5.45

    • Esh325

      At the moment, only 5.56×45. I imagine it will be offered in multiple calibers down the road.

    • Masoo2

      Well, the real AK-107/108 are in 5.45/5.56, never was a 7.62 model. But, there would be alot of practical uses for a AK-106 in 7.62

      • Esh325

        There was a 7.62×39 model called the AK-109. I don’t know if it was ever offered for sale or actually produced though.

        • masoo2

          Oh, man, that looks nice.

        • FWIW

          This, this right here. This is my unicorn.

    • n0truscotsman

      My advice is to get both 5.45 and 7.62. You can still get the ammo comparatively cheap and even in this gun apocalypse 5.45 is 29-30 cents a round.

  • FourString

    I think I’ll go and get one.

  • Tyler

    Any word on the Saiga-9?

  • If we didn’t have to deal with the import issues, it would be a much more affordable rifle. Heck, they should just ship them as parts and assemble here.

    • Esh325

      That’s kind of what Arsenal and Fime does already with the SGL series.

      • I have an Arsenal SGL and love it!!! Can’t go wrong with a Saiga either

      • I was wondering how all these newly-manufactured Eastern European AKs were finding their way to the US market, thanks!

    • Or set up a U.S branch “Izhmash U.S.A” that employs both Russian and U.S workers and have them do the final touch ups of new rifles before selling them.
      Good Idea?

      • FWIW

        With Izhmash always hovering near bankruptcy (or actively going through it) I can’t imagine where they’d drum up the capital to open a whole other U.S. branch. That said, if they’re looking for a ground floor investor in such a venture, I’m waiting by my phone!

        • Partner up with Arsenal or Century?

          • Nmate

            Arsenal? Yes. Century? Hell no.

          • Don’t ever partner up with Century, ever.

          • The reason being . . . ?

        • Esh325

          Izmash is dividing up production work between Tula apparently to meet demand.

        • Para

          I’m personally extremely surprised by Izhmash’s money worries. US civilian market sales make up nearly a third of production. Plus contracts to Venezuela for the AK-103 type rifles plus whatever limited production still goes to Russian armouries after they went “Izhmash stahp” because of the massive overflow of AK type rifles in storage.

  • Masoo2

    If they sent over parts kits, including the AK Side folding polymer stocks, this would be one nice rifle manufactured in America.

  • Dale

    I’ll pick one up ASAP if Arsenal makes one in 7.62×39 and brings the original parts over to make it less tacticool and true to the original.

  • Komrad

    Where is the safety lever? Is it that small lever on the rear of the dust cover?

    • Esh325

      The small lever is for holding the dust cover in place. The safety is on the other side of the gun I imagine.

      • Some have started adopting an AR like thumb safety.

      • GarryB

        The safety is a push button crossbolt design… the round button in the picture directly above the trigger. On the AK12 there are four positions… safe, single shot, three round burst, and full auto, but this weapon only has single shot and safe so a much simpler push through button makes a lot more sense and is easier to operate with either hand.

        BTW Phil W… that thumb safety lever is on SLRs too (FN FALs) so I would hardly call them AR thumb safeties…

        These guns are clearly for export only so I suspect they will come in a range of calibres.

        What would be very interesting would be if they came with calibre kits to allow different calibres to be used with one rifle… which might explain the extended mag well?

        Regarding the iron sights… it has rails… you can put any sights on it you want, including silly peep sights. Open iron sights require a good cheek wield to use properly, but then unless you want a peep rear iron sight in your eye so to peep sights… as such there is actually very little difference between them except peep sights can be too wide or narrow for some users. Personally I prefer a scope anyway.

    • That’s for the dust cover I believe.

    • -V-

      It states it us a push-button safety above the trigger guard.

  • Sebastian

    Very nice. I make sure to get a look at that gun tomorrow

  • SiloZen

    Looks awesome.

  • Wizard

    will there be a version in 7.62×39?

    • Esh325

      I have no doubt there will be.

  • TRich

    Too bad I wont ever see one in Canada… I hate my country sometimes

    • FourString

      Relax. At least you guys have the Tavor. You can’t get that in California, without jumping through a lot of hoops.

      • n0truscotsman

        They also can buy Russian Dragunovs alongside the New Zealanders. Damn you canadians XD

        • FourString

          I want a Russian Dragunov boo

  • Andrew

    Any idea what would this cost? In rubles?

  • David

    How much? Where?

    • Esh325

      No MSRP yet, and it hasn’t been approved for import yet.

  • smartacus

    i like it
    i think I’ll get it

  • hmmm one configured to take AR mags, and chambered in 6.8 SPC, would be interesting.

    • IrateBlackGuy

      Why??? So we could spend 50 dollars to shoot a mag???

  • Jim

    i really don’t like the “improvements”.. i.e. grip, stock, magwell, rail, or the muzzle brake.. or the idea of a thumb button selector.. if i wanted an AR, i’d buy one.. not put AR parts on an AK..

    • Same here, I just want the one as seen in Modern

    • n0truscotsman

      I disagree. It is time for the AK to update its ergonomics and im glad the Russians finally took this appropriate step with the AK12.

      The AR is the epitome of rifle ergonomics. Obviously some may be better to different people but the comparison between a AR and conventional AK is no contest.

      • Nmate

        The problem is that none of the “enhancements” on this rifle in any way improve its ergonomics. The stock is too low which is par for the course with AR stocks on an AK. The cross bolt safety ruins the manual of arms many have built up shooting AKs, ditto for the magwell. The an optic mounted to the dust cover probably won’t hold zero and the railed gas tube is nice but extended too far. They also deleted the traditional AK iron sights for whatever reason.

        • n0truscotsman

          I dont agree that the stock is too low. I have a AK with a similar concept, with a magpul collapsable stock and dust cover rail from Texas Weapons Systems (called the dog leg gen 2), and a mounted aimpoint micro, and the visualization is perfect. I have even used a Meprolight M21 and a Trijicon Reflex with no issues. The only optic it can be a problem with potentially is the ACOG.

          and like what I said before, the manual of arms for a AK is shite. the cross bolt safety allows you to manipulate it much faster than the original and you dont even have to take your hand off the pistol grip.

          If the optic mount is worth its weight, it can potentially hold its zero just fine. My TWS Dog Leg holds the zero just fine, even after 5k plus rounds through the rifle and countless removals for cleaning. With proper engineered outfits, dust cover rails are the most ideal solution.

          The traditional AK sights suck.They are good for 50 meters and thats it. the peep sight is a day and nights difference (again, with TWS’ peep sights, my AKs groups shrunk considerably to respectable AR range).

          That was good input though. I appreciate it.

        • Here are some images of the semi-modernized AK-107. Look closely and you can see the new diopter sight on the top cover. I just want the stock to have a taller cheek well.

  • If we had to guess on a price, where would we start….$1000ish?

    • FWIW

      I dunno, basic SLR-106s are retailing for like $1100 these days. I’d put it between $1300 and $1500, at least for the initial batch. It’s unique enough I’d think you could surely sell it at that level without a problem, especially to early adopters. Not that I’d be happy about that or personally buy it at that price, but what can you do.

  • I prefer the original but with the upper rail cover and the diopter sight.
    I just do not like push putton safteys or non-propriatary iron sights.

  • milo

    all my yes, i just wish it had an ironsights

    • IrateBlackGuy

      Agree. Makes me madder than a target shooter who just got a smith and Wesson ORC for Christmas

    • Man pippy

      Maybe you’ll be able to buy them.

  • It’s neat, but kind of pointless. 7.62×39 isn’t exactly a recoil monster in semi-auto, nor is 5.45… Since we can’t get foreign machine guns thanks to the GCA ’68, nor even new domestic civilian MG’s because of the ’86 Hughes Amendment to FOPA, there really isn’t a point. The entire AK107 concept is for controlability and upping the odds of rounds on target when firing full auto bursts.

    I humbly suggest that Izhmash get this released in a 7.62x54R version, and soon. Then they’d REALLY have something.

    • IrateBlackGuy

      Agree about the full auto controllability concept. But 54r?? Are you on drugs? Let chamber a ak47 in .30-06 while we’re at it…

      • Seth

        The Saiga 100 was chambered in .30-06. VEPR rifles are available chambered in 7.62x54r.

      • Komrad

        What do you think a PSL is? It’s just a modified stamped AK designed to fire x54r. Same deal with the Yugo M76, it’s a modified milled AK designed to fire 7.92x57mm Mauser. Same deal with the Saiga and Vepr .308 and Vepr x54r. Plenty of true AK designs are made in full powered rifle calibers. Although not really an AK, there were export Tigr SVDs chambered in 9.3x62mm (similar to .375 H&H ). The thought of hunting elephant with an SVD gives me a very odd boner.

  • okto

    “The iconic AK selector switch has been replaced with a button-style safety above the trigger guard.”

    NO! No no no no no! Are they HIGH?! Change the op system of a half-century old platform? To a CROSS-BOLT? This isn’t a 10/22!

    We’ve been waiting to get our hands on an AK107 for years, and they ruin it for no reason at all.

    • They also f##ked it up by having rails on the gas tube and removing the default iron sights.

      • Esh325

        What’s wrong with that? I’m sure they’ll have detachable rear and front sights.

      • Para

        You know why they did this, right?
        Because the BARS forward piston sits /above/ everything else in the action.

        So it needs new sights. Because you would struggle to see the original ones at short ranges. Like 100yds and less target shooting, hunting and varmint control. Or home defence.

    • FWIW

      Agree 100% I can only hope they’ll offer some sort of “classic” version of this with all the normal furniture and controls. How ludicrous to take something so proven and swap it out with tacticool BS. And they’ve ensured all the useful muscle memory I’ve picked up from shooting my current AK won’t transfer at all to this new bizarre setup. This is like Sig levels of inexplicable/incompetent design choices.

      • Esh325

        “Proven” is rather debatable. The AK-107 is about 30-40 year old design, but it hasn’t really seen any combat. It’s still just the same AK-107, just with a few modifications.

    • n0truscotsman

      They simply make it better. The AK safety sucks. Lets just admit it. It is a pain in the butt to manipulate when youre a lefty and even for a righty (unless you use a aftermarket modified safety of course).

      To naysayers, try taking a carbine course with a AK. You will be slower than ARs in manipulating the safety. If i cannot operate a safety quickly with EITHER hand then there is a problem.

      I personally love what they did with the AK12 by closing the crack in the action and moving the charging handle to the operating rod base (which makes it ambi too).

      • GarryB

        The AR cocking handle can be reached with your left or right hand but you have to take your face off the stock so it doesn’t matter much whether you can keep your trigger finger on the trigger as you can’t see what you are shooting at.

        As a left hander I find the AK to be much easier to use than any AR, so the obvious solution is to train everyone to shoot left handed. If it is OK to make left handers shoot right handed then it must be OK to do the same with the right handed people.
        I also like what they did in the AK12 and having looked at the photo above this rifle has slots for the cocking handle on both sides which presumably means the cocking handle can be swapped to the left or right side to suit the shooter, which is a good thing.

        The AK iron sights are fine… if you are shooting at targets more than 100m away use a scope. Peep sights are not so good for short range shooting and with no magnification are not as good as a decent scope for longer range shooting either.

        The best of both worlds would be a scope with back up open (AK) sights.

        • n0truscotsman

          ill agree with everything but peep sights.

          its a matter of training. in really close situations, you can use your front sight post with excellent accuracy. Your rifle should have a optic to begin with but irons are good in case your optic fails for whatever reason (and aimpoints are pretty damn indestructible)

          This is how the weaknesses of peep sights is overcome with the M16 and M4 platform. The military doesnt teach this as much anymore since the popularity of aimpoint sights (but its nevertheless important in my opinion.

        • Nmate

          The AK irons are garbage and you simply don’t have to use the charging handle on an AR during reloads. The AR is far easier to shoot left handed. You cannot rapidly manipulate the safety shooting an AK left handed which is a huge sore spot. All that said, I’d still rather have the traditional AK safety on this rifle than a ridiculous cross bolt.

          • What about the Peep sights on the other varient?

          • Esh325

            From a pure target shooting perspective, the AR15 iron sights are better. The AK open sights have the advantage that they block less of your FOV which you can pick up targets faster, while the AR15 has the advantage of being very precise. Then again a low powered scope or a red dot is pretty much superior to both of them.

      • Para

        The AK iron sights, as can be seen from looking at an AKM sight, is designed for engaging at up to one thousand metres.
        Yes, you are pointing at the sky at that, but it is indeed designed for that.

        The rifle has 100-1000m increments (on the AKM) and is intended for standard use at three hundred metres of less, not 100.

        • n0truscotsman

          you are half right.

          1.) yes, the sights have 1000 meters on the reticle, but not for the reason you believe. The 7.62x39mm round is NOT even remotely accurate past 500 meters. it is intended to provide a general framework for coordinated, suppressive, plunging fires by Soviet motor-rifle infantry units.

          2.) The irons are most effective within the 100 meter bracket. there is no denying this. at 200 meters, the limitations of the sight are apparent. at 300, they are obvious. I never said the AKM is not intended for standard use within 100 meters. I said the sights are the most effective within this distance.

          • Para

            Actually, on conversing with a friend who actually owns a number of AKs, the lowest sight range is in fact a 300m battlefield zero, not a 100m setting.

          • n0truscotsman


            AKs have a leaf sight that starts at the “battle sight zero” setting on the bottom and then goes 100, 200, etc etc.


          • Para

            Which I think you will find makes it the lowest sight mark on the assembly.

    • NikonMikon

      You’re not okay with a cross bolt safety because it deviates from a half-century old design but you’re okay with the balanced recoil system? God I hate this blog’s readership…..

  • Mark

    I’ll take one of these and a Vityaz please.

    • PlumberofNazareth

      Hellz yea. I’d give my left nut for a 9x39mm carbine (and ammo, to boot).

  • creamyrpk

    Will arsenal be the only true importer? Or will it be able to be built by any company like centrury etc

    • Esh325

      Izmash without a doubt will market this to the US civilian market, but importation arrangements haven’t been made yet. It’s possible Fime,Arsenal, or RWC group could handle the importation.

  • Bubba

    Oh DAMN IT!

    Now there’s cum all over my keyboard!
    Why did you have to post this!?

  • Anonymoose


  • Izhmash, America is an unreliable market, with all those “nuh hu ban eeviill rifles”. Test it in Europe first! Also try using an ar15 magazine, willya?

  • Matt

    Ok, let me get this straight…people condemn armalite and other US manufacturers that are willing to sell to LEO’s in certain disarmed states but have no moral qualms buying from the Russians?

    • Esh325

      I guess they are only concerned about the USA manufacturers. I never had any qualms to begin with.

    • n0truscotsman

      Considering the Russians are fighting against the globalist Anglo-American dollar banking consortium, Yes, I have no qualms buying from the Russians.

  • Buzz Killington
  • n0truscotsman

    Push button safety!

    LOVE!!!! <3

  • WAIT!!!, it just occured to me. How are people going to bump-fire this if recoil has been reduced even further?

  • i want one.

  • Vaporware

    Did Peter photoshop this rifle for you as well?

    • Esh325

      You can go to Izmash’s website if you don’t believe it. Go to the website and see for yourself.

  • Michael Y

    I wonder if the added moving parts noticeably take away from the reliability of the platform…

  • Opinion#23

    This import bullshit is pure fucking hypocrisy. I half-suspect Clinton was in the pocket of domestic arms manufacturers…