Noooo! Arsenal to Cease Production of Entire SLR-106 Line of 5.56 Kalashnikovs

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Arsenal is calling it quits on the 5.56 NATO chambered AK. The SLR-106 line of rifles and pistols broke new ground when introduced nearly a decade ago, and remain popular among AK aficionados and those who want the toughness of the Kalashnikov platform and ammunition commonality with the AR15. The SLR-106 series rifles proved that the AK loses none of its legendary reliability when adapted for the NATO round.

The SLR-106 guns, like the rest of Arsenal’s line, represent some of the finest Kalashnikov-pattern firearms made anywhere in the world. I believe the demise of this line means there will not be an original-style AK available in 5.56 NATO for the foreseeable future after the current stock of -106 series rifles runs out. Certainly the Saiga rifles chambered in .223 Remington are high quality guns, but their sporterized configuration means a lot of modification is needed before they resemble a classic AK. Older, lesser quality SAR-3 rifles from Century are still available on the used market but are no longer in production.

Arsenal’s website says “A comprehensive audit of the current offerings in the firearms industry, recent trends and near-future shifts with regard to technology and advancement all factored into the decision to discontinue the series. Arsenal’s obligations with military and government contracts, production for the movie industry and commitments to distributors and dealers also shaped this decision.” Wait, what?

Whatever their reasoning, if you want a high quality, original style Kalashnikov that shoots 5.56 NATO ammo, you’d better get one while you can. Its the end of an era for the AK in the United States.

SLR-106CR models are favorites of AK gurus like Ray Cunningham

SLR-106CR models are favorites of AK gurus like Ray Cunningham

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  • floppyscience

    F*CK. The SLR-106 is the only AK I actually want. Dammit, Arsenal.

  • Chadd

    That’s crap. I was planning on buying one after I bought a shotgun and have been saving money for one. And I know they’ll be gone before I have a chance to get all the money together.

  • Doom

    They better not cut the SGL 31 any time soon, I NEED one. being poor is terrible…

    • Esh325

      I think the only reason they would cut it is if Izmash stops making regular AK-74′s and transitions over to the AK-12.

    • milo

      better check with FIME group then last i saw they were back in stock, and thank god too.

  • Esh325

    Maybe in the future they’ll introduce a milled 5.56×45 AK similar to the Bulgarian military’s rifle? And there’s always the 5.56×45 AK-12 and Saiga MK-107 that can replace, which will be argubally better.

    • Clodboy

      I’m not so sure about that…. after more than 2 decades of stagnation and neglect, Izhmash may never go back to being the company that made the world’s most advanced combat rifle (47′s AK-47), the world’s most economic but still highly advanced combat rifle (59′s AKM) and the world’s most advanced “sniper rifle”/DMR (64′s SV Dragunov).

      • Esh325

        Izmash is in dire straits, it’s possible the AK-12 may never get produced, but we’ll see.

  • Dale

    I wonder if they plan to introduce a .300 BLK AK variant after they scrap the 106. It could be an interesting marketing decision.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      I doubt it. The 300 BLK is still a niche round.

    • Raven

      So…take a cartridge that’s designed to mimic 7.62×39 performance (in supersonic loadings, at least) in an AR-platform, and chamber an AK in it? That seems a little redundant. Plus, you’d have to install some kind of adjustable gas block to get the most out of the .300BLK.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Wrong about the gas block. 300blk super and sub are designed to run at the same pressure, and there is less increase when suppressed in either vs supersonic 556.

        300blk is the 40S&W, it isn’t really needed for general purpose. But to chamber in an AK with loose tolerances doesn’t make a ton of sense to me, it’ll never be quiet and in 8″-16″ a 300blk AR would do everything the AK could do, but better. It’s not like there is loose tolerance 300blk ammo around.

  • first post

    Can’t find the information on the website.
    Where do I have to look?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      It hasn’t been officially announced on the website yet.

      • first post

        okay, thanks!

  • Ryan

    I had an SLR-106 which I only sold for financial reasons, otherwise I’d have it today. I picked up an AR15 now, but damn that SLR was a nice gun. It was light-weight, I didn’t have to be picky about what it ammo to feed it, it was very accurate when paired with an Aimpoint T-1, and if I wanted to, I could fold the stock and put it in a backpack with just the muzzle brake sticking out the top. Also I really liked the translucent magazines, even if they weren’t quite as durable as the black ones.

    Only real con was the price and availability of the magazines, although strangely enough some time after I sold it I found one for sale in a small backwater town.

    It’s a shame they’re ending production, but they still have plenty of nice 7.62×39 and 5.45×39 guns.

  • kivaari

    You guys have to switch to polish beryl rifles – also an AK clone in 5.56 :P

  • Leonard

    I bought one of these in 2006, marketed here in Germany as “SAR-M1″ (at least I believe it’s the same model or a very similar one). It is nowhere near as accurate as my German-made AR-15 (OA 15 from Oberland Arms), but it is much lighter and shoots very reliably. It would certainly be my weapon of choice if I ever find myself in an urban combat situation (something unlikely to happen, with Germany unlikely to descend in any kind of civil or other war anytime soon…)

  • Clodboy

    Re: The gun at the bottom, is that a flash hider or Arsenal’s version of the AKSU’s “muzzle booster” (? or probably more accurately “gas pressure buildup chamber”)?

    • Jay a.k.a. “Ray” Cunningham

      Marshall Arms NFA AK-102 clone on Russian Saiga receiver
      12.5″ chrome-lined barrel, 1/7 twist
      Russian FCG, PG, folding stock, top cover, FSB, rear sight, bolt carrier, piston and other small parts
      UltiMAK AK “scout” mount Model M1-B
      UltiMAK Multi Rail Forend System ACR2-SC
      Aimpoint Micro T-1
      SureFire Scout Light w/ incan head & tail cap switch
      Daniel Defense Rail Mount QD Swivel Attachment Point
      Vickers Combat Applications Sling
      BJB SWIFT safety lever
      Bulgarian 30 rd “clear waffle pattern” magazine w/ 5.56mm MagPul
      Bulgarian “Krinkov” 4-piece “flash suppressor”

    • Jay a.k.a. “Ray” Cunningham

      Gee, it would appear that the gun pictured is not in fact a Bulgarian 106 at all…

      • lost_dog

        Jay a.k.a. “Ray” LOL! It’s only one letter Jay…….. :-)

        BTW Fantastic rifle!

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Here ya go

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25510557 Charley Vu

    phew, glad I got mine before they made their call!

  • jazon

    Polish Beryl is AK style 5.56×45 rifle.

    • Dubbs

      Polish Beryl is BETTER THAN AK style in 5.56X 45 ( there! fixed it for ya!!!)

  • john

    idiotic decision. i have an slr 106fr and its been flawless. i just hope i can still get aftermarket accessories for it (not like there was a huge selection to choose from in the first place though)

    • http://www.facebook.com/matt.jobe.96 Matt Jobe

      I bet the exploding AR market has taken most of the wind out of 5.56mm AKs.

      • Josh

        That would be my guess too. That and i don’t see 223 coming down in price this decade.

      • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

        During the worst of this hoarding stunt our gun shop had plenty of AK’s with the majority in 5.56 nato/223

  • john

    i guess the weird silver lining is that my gun will soon be worth 2 or 3 times what i paid for it. i got mine in 2010 from kvar for $750. i see that their selling for 1200 or so right now…….

  • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

    The website still has them listed so possibly if you order one now?

  • Cuban Pete

    #1. Stick with the SGL21. Momma Russia’s finest.
    #2. The reason the SLR106 never really caught on was the expensive magazines. If they had modified it to use std AR-style mags that baby would’ve flied off the shelf.

    • RobGR

      With Magpul’s entrance into the AK mag market, that could have helped with cost & availability.

      However, the AR15 magazine conversion for 5.56/.223 AKs by Definitive Arms is a great update for the platform without having to purchase new mags. That’s, of course, if you already own AR mags. It’s a pricey mod, but well worth it if you have the coin.

      There are other people who do great conversions besides Arsenal, so hopefully they’ll pick up the business.

  • Josh

    I won’t touch anything arsenal till they stop asking over 1000 dollars for there guns.

  • John

    If you can’t afford a 5.56 AK now, you can just buy the bolt (hardest part to find) and convert a 5.45 later. Granted you won’t have ‘name brand’ but better than nothing…

  • TheKuduKing

    I find their statement amusing. Personally I think the gun is a dog, and the quality of workmanship and finish inferior to their previous russian SGL-21 series. My SLR-106 5.56mm went back for service after it failed to reliably eject every type of factory new ammo I tried – M855, M193, commercial .223 and .556 – for the first 800 rounds. None of this was remanufactured or seconds. Rifle came back months later, and still was not 100% with any ammo over the next 300 rounds. I was going to sell it but had invested so much in magazines and accessories. I started to think that the ridiculous muzzle brake was reducing the recoil impulse of the already marginal 5.56mm round, and reducing the operating margin. I changed the brake out for a Manticore flash hider… and the next 200 rounds were malfunction free. So go figure. A nice idea, but not worth it.

  • Dos AKs

    Eh… I prefer my Dos AKs in 7.62 and 5.45. If I wanted a rifle that fired the 5.56 I’d by an AR-15.

  • Anonymous

    Arsenal USA claims this bullshit every other month. It’s always “LAST CHANCE TO EVER OWN ONE!!!11 ACT NOW!” and then in six months they’re back in stock again. Arsenal Bulgaria will continue to make whatever the hell they feel like at any given time, and we’ll see a steady stream of different product leftovers from them.

    At SHOT 2012 I was told by an Arsenal rep that the 5.45 AKs were completely done, that we’d never see any more, and that Arsenal only cared about making 5.56 AKs with a rare run of 7.62s here and there for variety. Uh huh.

    All of this has happened before, and all of it will happen again.

  • AntiCitizenOne

    Well I guess all that’s left now is the upcoming Saiga/Izhmash MK107 in 5.56mm NATO…

  • gyro

    This series of rifles always seemed like a no brainer to me and I think we will see it again in the future when the cheap surplus 5.45 ammo dries up. I personally think the three biggest things that really hurt it were the cost of the circle 10 mags, reliability issues early on, and the “mystical” properties some people attribute to the 5.45 bullet. The 5.56 can be reloaded, components abound (most of the time), you can get military surplus ammo, brass is everywhere, you can shoot the M855 round and you have a wide variety of bullets including 77 grain projectiles if you reload. My only problem with the rifle is that it dents the brass up, but if you purchase another dust cover and modify it, it is a non issue anymore.