Definitive Arms Factory Visit

The weekend after the Big 3 Media Event at Daytona Beach, FL, I was invited to visit Definitive Arms (DA) in Saint Petersburg, Florida. DA started as a custom builder of doing magazine well conversion for Kalashnikov pattern rifles. Their patented mag-well design allows the use of Magpul PMag and USGI aluminum AR-15 style magazines on their converted 5.56mm caliber AK rifle. Since then, Definitive Arms had expanded to making other custom works and even started production of completed AKs.


Chase Sisgold, the founder of Definitive Arms, and in my opinion, a rapidly rising star in the custom AK builder community.



Definitive Arms specially built this 6.5 Grendel model just for the Fall 2015 Big 3 Media Event. It’s based on the Vepr 6.5 rifle but it has a lot of custom work done to it. We were using this to pounding steel targets at the 700 and 800 yards at the Big 3 Media’s long range facility with cheap steel case 100 gr 6.5 Grendel ammo.



Close up of the Definitive Arms custom 6.5 Grendel build. A folding stock adapter is added to the rear trunnion with Magpul furnitures replaced the wooden Monty Carlo stock that come with the Vepr. The DA signature mag-well conversion allows it to use the latest Alexander Arms’ E-Lander made 6.5 Grendel steel magazine. The barrel is cut back to a more manageable 18-inch length and re-crowned. The optic is a Hi-Lux CMR4 1-4x24mm scope mounted on a RS Regulate QD side mount.



My visit is actually during a private build class that was held by Definitive Arms for industry partners. The participants included Scot from RS Regulate, Matt from the Outdoor Hub and Rich from Marksmanship



Everything from the AK parts kit were cleaned and layout on the build table.



The AK receiver is all jigged up to be drilled on the digitally controlled drill press.



Zak from the Definitive Arms is checking the barrel alignment for Scot (RS Regulate)’s build.



Monty the Definitive Arms shop dog is always eager to help out.



The new 7.62x39mm AKM pattern DAKM model. This is actually the shop demo/testing gun with the happy switch and the DA crew had left it unfinished on purpose. The production unit will be nicely finished with a retail price of $999. Not a bad price for a nicely AK with custom build level of quality.



Close up of the demo DAKM receiver. What a patina!



The Definitive Arms AK74 pattern production AK in 5.45x39mm. It has the same MSRP of $999.



A Close up shot of the AK74 muzzle brake and the brand new parkarized finish on the new DA production model.



A tray of AK dust covers, gas tubes and selectors are finished baking in the oven.



One of the DA shop guns just hanging near the middle of the shop.



I took off the hanging DA shop gun for few snapshots. This one-off 5.56mm Krink features a plain A1 flash hider, Bulgarian waffle magazine and a skeleton side-folding stock.



Chase’s small R&D corner at his busy shop.



Across to Chase’s R&D station is the compact CNC machine that DA uses to make small run custom parts for their builds.



Rich from Marksmanship Trainer is inspecting the sight alignment on his build.



The Definitive Arms AKX-9 9x19mm rifle with 16-inch barrel. It’s also available as pistol with or without support brace or as a factory SBR. The AKX-9 takes Colt 9mm magazine and it’s operated by blowback action. Its custom-made bolt carrier features the forward located counterweight that replaces the Krink gas piston.



I had a chance to shoot the Definitive Arms AKX-9 during the Big 3 Media Event. It’s a lot of fun to shot and not one malfunction with all the various type of 9mm ammo that we used.



The AKX-9’s custom made barrel with integral flash hider slots near the muzzle. That’s a bolt release button on the left side of the 9mm magazine mag-well just in front of trigger guard.






Writer and gear editor with articles published in major gun publications. A five year combat veteran of the US Marine Corps, Tim is also part of Point & Shoot Media Works, a producer of photography, video and web media for the firearms and shooting sport industry. Tim’s direct contact: Tyan.TFB -at-


  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Every day Svetlana Vladimirovna works a long shift at the machining
    factory beside the smelter at the edge of her city in central Russia.
    The factory makes the best beds in the Soviet Union, all of them of
    exceptional fine steel. But no one in Svetlana’s city, including
    Svetlana, has a bed. This is an unfortunate but perfectly understandable
    matter of policy. The comrades who run the factory, and who have
    designed such magnificent beds, better than any beds in America, have
    decided in the spirit of the revolution and correct socialist principles
    that they must give beds first to all of the hospitals, and to the
    army, and to the universities, and to the collective farms, and to many
    other important institutions necessary for the people and the government
    in the world’s most rapidly and inevitably advancing socialist society.
    To do this, the factory must work round the clock. Three shifts a day.
    and only rarely stopping on holidays. It is understood that the workers
    need beds. But it is not yet the worker’s turn. Only recently did
    cosmonauts receive beds!

    And so everyone who works at the bed factory returns home after each shift and sleeps on the floor.

    One summer Svetlana’s sister, Natasha, who long ago married a man in
    Leningrad and moved away, returned for a visit. She was appalled that
    after ten years Svetlana still had no bed. After all, Svetlana was
    strong of hand and skilled with tools and one of the best machinists at
    the factory. “My dear sister,” Natasha said “You have not been thinking
    correctly. It is very easy to have a bed. Each day you must steal one
    piece of bed from the parts bins at the factory and smuggle it home. And
    after a week or two you must assemble the parts. Then you will have a
    bed. And you will never again sleep on the floor.”

    Svetlana listened closely. “My dear sister,” she sighed, “it is you who
    are not thinking correctly. We have tried this many times. We have
    stolen the parts and carried them home. We assembled them in the room.
    And every time, after we finish, we discover instead of a bed we have an
    automatic Kalashnikov.”

    – Soviet era joke

    • BattleshipGrey

      I bet you knew this joke by heart and were just waiting for the day. 🙂

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Cant you just let me have my moment you monster?

  • Andrew

    Dear Santa,

    • Heretical Politik

      I’ve been such a good boy, too!!!

  • ShootCommEverywhere

    I was fortunate enough to pick up a DA Saiga AK103K with chopped barrel and pinned/welded brake right at the onset of the import ban. Awesome short rifle with an excellent trigger job; my only issue was that for the price point on a rifle designed to be as compact as legally possible, I would have liked either the current issue plastic Russian side folding stock or a triangle folder. Put the Magpul folder on there once it came out, though, and it’s currently one of my favorite rifles. I dislike the fairly long reset on the G2 trigger (compared to an AR, and I realize that reset can’t really be fixed with a trigger job) so I may try out the ALG AKT-E if it ever gets released.

    By the way, it looks amazing with Bakelites inserted.

  • USMC03Vet

    More Shop Dog please!

    • Jeff Smith

      Agreed 1000x

  • Jeff Smith

    I want to pet that dog.

  • Editor

    Great post and pics, Tim! It was a great time.

    • Nicholas Chen

      So jelly, Jim and I LOL.

  • Nicholas Chen

    Very jealous of you and Matt. Jim and I wanted to go so badly LOL