TFB Exclusive: Kalashnikov Group at Army-2016 Expo with Saiga MK 107

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Fresh, and exclusive to TFB, pictures of the Kalashnikov Group’s Saiga MK 107 at the Army-2016 Expo combined with some history and background.

In 2015, as a competitor in the European IPSC Rifle Championships (Hungary), I had the opportunity to test the Saiga MK 107.

TFB published an article about it, it’s well worth reading again here.

At the time Kalashnikov ‘complained’ about the more powerful western style ammunition in .223 Rem., and the follow-up shots were always a bit off (C-D zone) due to this and the muzzle brake / recoil eliminator not being entirely up to the job. According to my information, these issues are now solved, but I have yet to verify myself.

One reason for the Kalashnikov Group to sponsor an event like the European IPSC Rifle and IPSC Shotgun World Championships is to get direct feedback from some of the world’s best practical rifle shooters and competitors.

If you compare the old pictures with these new ones, you can also see that they have continued their R&D based on this feedback. More examples of this in the pictures below.

It’s a fact that other manufacturers and armies around the world are taking the best parts and designs and methods from practical sport shooting, and take the best influences and implement it into their future gear and training.

I take articles like this as an example of this and I quote: “The (US Marines) upgrades would include a compensator, free-floated barrel, improved optic based on the M27’s SDO, a more consistent trigger, ambidextrous modifications“.

Here’s more proof in a TFB recent article about the “recoilless rifle MK-107“. The video in that article is just insane, there seems to be virtually no recoil at all.

Saiga MK 107

1023 mm, 4,5 kgs, .223 Rem, 10 and 30 round magazines.

The scope is a (low-end looking) 1-4×24 in a simple mount.

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Below, for comparison: This is what the Saiga MK 107 looks like according to the Kalashnikov website. Lots of variations versus these “live” pictures. For instance the magazine release, muzzle brake, handguard, grip, magazine etc.

http://kalashnikov.com/en/product/firearms/civilian/saiga-mk-107.html

Saiga

 

Notice how the length of the handguard seems to have increased, which is liked by sports shooters.

Lots of different brands on those magazines. Magpul PMAG and D60 for instance and a brand I don’t remember now. Could be CAA. Magpul seems to be the most popular choice, how they avoid ITAR is another question.

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Below: The Saiga MK-107 in “arrest-me-red”. I guess the other red “rifle” to the left is a Saiga 12, note the larger magwell and muzzle brake.

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Left hand charge, a common feature on Saiga and Molot shotguns tuned by sport shooters.

Now on a Kalashnikov .223 Rem rifle from the factory. Do I spot an ambidextrous magazine release?

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Notice the quick detach mount. I presume the scope has to be removed for the cover to be opened. This is quite a big drawback in my opinion, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t trust that the scope returned to zero but I have been wrong many times before. However “trust” in your equipment is a very big factor in the mentality of a sport shooter.

Edit: It seems my presumptions are wrong. There is a new design to the cover, and the front hinge is gone. We shall find out.

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The sight is marked Dedal-NV, from “JSC DedalNV” , a Russian producer and supplier of professional night vision systems. Their systems are used by both amateurs and professionals.

http://gun-tec.com/english/manufacturers/dedal-nv/dedal-nv.html

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The muzzle brake, or compensator. In Hungary, the brake had that small, fourth hole open so the rifle kicked to the left. This is now un-drilled. Perhaps the difference between West-East .223 Rem loads?

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Notice how Picatinny rails can be attached along the handguard.

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Below: .223 Rem

The Magazines have the Kalashnikov Group logotype on them, so I presume they’re made in Russia.

Magazine release seems to have a complete redesign. Not sure if it’s to the better.

Update:: Top button is magazine release. Bottom is for the bolt release.

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Below: Pretty odd design on this scope mount. Can anyone identify who makes it?

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Note the handguard and how it’s attached to the receiver. CIP logotype. (Zoomed in below)

According to their website, the function of CIP is: “In compliance with the 1969 Convention, its Rules and Regulations, and C.I.P. Decisions, every small arm together with all highly stressed component parts must undergo lawful testing in the Proof House of the C.I.P. Member State in which the manufacturer is located or, for imported weapons, in the Proof House of the Member State into which they have been imported for the first time. The same applies to commercial ammunition.”

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Below: The line of sight seems to be pretty high compared to an AR-15, but without measuring it’s difficult to know. Typically an AR-15 has around 70 mm line of sight above the barrel.

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Below: The grass is green in Russia. Notice EOTech on one of the rifles. I guess this rifle has muzzle brake, with some sort of quick attach for a supressor? Perhaps this is a Saiga MK 030 in 5,45×39?

Also looks like a 9 mm rifle magazine in top, perhaps for a Saiga 9?

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Below: A picture of a Molot shotgun 2014-15, modified with a Magpul stock and rised to get the cheek support in line with the red dot, for faster shooting and target acquisition.

This design also helps a lot with recoil management, just think about the force vectors involved.

Left hand charge (Made partly by Maxrounds) and magazine release are custom too.

Molot

As by magic: Kalashnikov Group design 2016. Their adapter looks better, I’ll give them that.

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Thanks to an anonymous TFB fan for sharing the pictures.



Eric B

Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with an European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatic firearms, optics and sound suppressors.


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  • Wolfgar

    Damn the legations, I want a Saiga MK107.

    • AK

      I’ve always wondered about smuggled in rifles in America. Since USA doesn’t have any registration for normal semi-auto rifles, how would one ever be caught for that once you had the goods in country (without paper trail), assuming the rifle would be proper length, etc. Of course the actual smuggling would be the harder part for most, but I can think of at least one way.
      Disclaimer: Purely theoretical, not planning any smuggling ops. I can obtain original Russian rifles legally where I live. : )

      • PK

        It happens all the time, it’s just not legal.

      • Pod

        There’s no registration for the end-user (customer) of the rifles. However, there is mandatory record-keeping (though not centralized) by dealers, manufacturers, and importers. Also imported rifles all bear an engraving of a US firm which imported them. A 107 wouldn’t, unless the embargo gets lifted and they can bring them in.

        If you had a 107 in the US not covered by testing/evaluation provisions, and the authorities found out, you’d have some explaining to do.

        • AK

          Of course, but my question was how they would the authorities ever notice? Nobody is going to pay any attention to some non-tax stamp rifle, and there’s enough Magpullized AKs out there to provide needed attention cover.
          I have always wondered about ITAR as well, just seems like annoying bureaucracy, since American gun parts are easily available in Europe, where they can be legally acquired and forwarded anywhere. Not that gunparts are that dangerous or some “super-special top secret technology” as ITAR makes them out to be. And state-of-the-art night vision and thermal can be bought too, just made with Canadian sensors. American IR IFF designators are available readily. Military grade IR target designators and radios are about the only individual military equipment that seem to be harder to source in the EU as a civilian.

          • Pod

            Exactly. As long as it isn’t an MG, an SBR, or has a can attached to it, it won’t attract undue attention. The 107 looks like, as you say, a “Magpulized” AK. You could bring it to the range and it wouldn’t get a second look. You could hand it to a cop at the range and it wouldn’t get a second look.

        • Major Tom

          But depending on your jurisdiction there may be little to nothing law enforcement could do to you. In many places the worst you’d get is a stern talking to because under precedent set by Heller vs District of Columbia (2009) and MacDonald vs Chicago (2010) you cannot prevent someone who is eligible from owning firearms from owning a firearm. If a weapon that is unimportable “turns up” in US custody or ownership and there’s no crime committed with it, the government’s hands are tied since there’s no plausible way they’d get a jury to believe that you’re somehow a master smuggler and breaking laws willy nilly. Especially when all you could have done is a private sale and the guy you got it from is said master smuggler and you couldn’t have possibly known it. Too many what ifs.

          It’s why every time there’s a gun buyback and some little old lady brings in her deceased WW2 veteran husband’s war trophies they don’t arrest her outright. Too many problems.

          Only in unconstitutional jurisdictions would there be trouble but you could keep them hemmed up in court until they get slapped down by established precedent.

          • skusmc

            It’s an interesting question, but as a law student (just a 1L though) I would not underestimate just how many federal statutes and agency regulations exist regarding arms importation or simply importation in general. It’s mind boggling to me. If it could be shown that a person has a firearm that was imported at some point, I’d bet an enterprising prosecutor could find something in federal code to work with.

        • Scott Connors

          Couldn’t the feds simply declared a rifle imported illegally contraband and seize it under asset forfeiture? They wouldn’t need to prove that you did anything wrong, only that the rifle did by simply existing.

          • toms

            This is the most likely scenario if caught. FFL with it would sure get in trouble.

      • Scott Wagner

        More interesting would be a situation with IP theft a la Springfield/Mauser before WWI. If a manufacturer stole the design whole-sale by getting specs from one in Europe or somewhere else, I’m not sure they’d actually have to pay up if Kalashnikov took them to court in the US (or if Kalashnikov even could take them to court)

        • AK

          I think this is handled the same way as any captured enemy property, etc. Once the conflict is finished, the accounts are settled in the peace treaty and left at that.

      • Mark

        I know of(not personally) an individual that smuggles dragonuv parts in on a regular basis and has completed several rifles. They post videos on YouTube on a regular basis so it seems the BATF isn’t spending many resources on this type of offenders. I’m sure they are busy hunting down people smuggling explosive ordnance and FA firearms/components.

  • AK

    Looks pretty legit. I like the long handguard. I think the scope will stay on the rail and the whole top cover assembly will come off “en bloc”. It looks like they took the SVD design on the top cover and just made it more rigid. Also, the .223 magwell looks to be STANAG compatible, original mag looks to be “Izhpul”, with ready ribs for cutting down to 20 or 10 rds. Not sure about ambi charging handles if both reciprocate, switchable detachable model could have been better option in that case.

    • Harry’s Holsters

      The hand guard does look awesome!

  • PK

    Magpul exports mags all over the world, ITAR isn’t a ban on exportation, just regulations that have to be followed.

    • Erik B

      True. But, there’s still an embargo if you know what I mean.

  • Giolli Joker

    I’d love to try this Saiga!
    It would be the first rifle on the market with some real bits of innovation.
    Not the usual game-changing-mARketing-gimmick.

    That Molot surely is functional, but, damn if it looks butchered! (it has to help winning shooting competitions, not beauty contests, I get it)
    I doubt that the owner of the Molot was the first to have that idea, though… I had even described it myself in a comment without having ever seen it; I mean, it’s a very basic adaptation.

  • Phil Hsueh

    Not bad looking, I’d buy one if it the price wasn’t too bad. Are these inportable into the US, although, living in CA the point is moot since I doubt it could be made CA legal.

    • Harry’s Holsters

      No they aren’t.

      • Phil Hsueh

        No they aren’t importable or no they aren’t able to be made CA legal, or both?

        • Harry’s Holsters

          Both unfortunately. :'(

        • Scott Wagner

          They could be made CA legal no problem, same as any other AK. You just can’t bring them into the US, since you’re not allowed to do business with Kalashnikov Concern.

  • tb556

    Looks like it’s trying to do everything the sig 55x platform did years ago. I don’t get the market for this thing unless it’s $600

    • Harry’s Holsters

      Look of the recoil system of the 107. It does way more than the sig 55x series.

      • tb556

        Forgive my skepticism but I’m not sure having a balanced recoil system offer much of anything on a semi auto rifle. I think the fact that it weighs almost 10 pounds and has a huge muzzle brake attached to it Is going to make a bigger difference. If there was a real significant difference you’d see it adopted by other firearms manufacturers since the technology has been around for decades.

        • Harry’s Holsters

          Probably doesn’t help on a semi auto rifle although with a good trigger and fast finger you might see the effects. Mostly a feature that is valuable to collectors.

    • iksnilol

      I’ll take ignorance for $500, Alex.

    • andrey kireev

      you can barrely find a regular AK these days for $600… how do you expect this to be cheaper ?

      • tb556

        I said I don’t get the market for it. When I owned AKs a SAR-1 was $350 and a Saiga went for $169 at Dunhams. If people want to, in my opinion, overpay for a sheet metal gun that’s their choice, I personally don’t get spending over $600 on something built on a stamped receiver that still uses an AK dust cover to mount sights and looks like it stole furniture off of a Chinese toy gun.

        • andrey kireev

          heh, new dust cover mounts are pretty solid, the chinese airsoft grade garbage dust cover mounts on regular AK is definitely not the greatest idea ever, but if you ever played with mounting solutions on Polish Beryl AKs or a new Gallil Ace, you will realize how nice they are. There isn’t anything wrong with stamped guns, as long as they are built correctly.

          • tb556

            I have strong doubts that any of them return to zero after cleaning even if they feel solid and don’t move during firing. I agree that stamped guns can be fine but if given the option I’m going to take something made on a CNC machine out of forged aluminum.

          • andrey kireev

            Yeah, they have no problems keeping zero unless defective. Israelis used a dust cover mounted Iron sights on original Gallils, I haven’t heard much issues with keeping a zero, of course you gotta realize that polish beryl has a hinged dust cover and a gallil uses a different rear retainer button, which allows for a more solid lock-up. Army / Marines use M249s which have railed top cover they mount optics on, and while I doubt it’s something mega precise (come on it’s an MG) they are good enough to mount ACOGs on.

          • tb556

            It would be cool if Alex could do a test and see if there is a POI change at 100 yards after removing and reinstalling the dust cover; I’ve never seen one done. I’ve remounted QD rings before and had a 2-3 moa shift so I would b very impressed if they can really retain zero after cleaning.

          • andrey kireev

            Yeah, that and Beryl. I have a hinged dust cover on my vepr12, which seems really solid… but it’s not like accuracy is Semi-auto shotgun’s thing lol

  • I think the color (and the partly the forearm mould shape) is a intentional throwback to Soviet “Bakelite” furniture*. A savvy marketing step. It makes me feel strong nostalgia, it’s fresh and retro at once.

    *actually made from AG-4 polymer, similar base but more modern and glass-reinforced.