[SHOT 2022] What’s New At Arsenal?
Arsenal’s lineup of Bulgarian/American AK-pattern rifles is being joined by the Custom series. Various colors and camo patterns will be available for purchase, either as single guns or small batches (e.g. a signature model for a specific retail shop). If you have been hankering for Arsenal quality with a factory Cerakote job of your dreams, this is your chance.The AK20 has been present at previous SHOT Shows, and it was on display for 2022 as well. The expected price point has continued to rise. Originally, the target was a $2,000 price point, but it is now looking like a $3,000 price point is more likely. Unfortunately for the well-heeled AK fans waiting for its release, there is no timeline of any kind. I was advised it will not be available this year. Much of the delay stems from the difficulty of importing parts and guns from Bulgaria. Global shipping is still a mess, and chartering a cargo jet to the US costs half a million dollars. Arsenal also produces many other kinds of military equipment like heavy mortars and machine guns, so they do not always have production capacity for the American civilian small arms market. Arsenal also had a Jubilee AK-74 on display. This 90th anniversary gun was signed in gold by Mikhail Kalashinkov himself in his later years. Pricing information was not provided. Arsenal has a few new accessories on display as well. Optics mounting on an AK has always involved some compromises. The standard scope rail interferes with left side folding stocks, and dust cover scope rails have a generally poor reputation for holding zero. Arsenal has a new mounting system which addresses these issues by bridging over the dust cover and attaching securely at the receiver and rear sight. The rail requires minor machining to install, but a simple throw lever allows the rail to tilt forward for disassembly. Retail price is $199. A new Bulgarian handguard with picatinny rails on the left, right, and bottom is also coming to the market. Arsenal firearms are exclusively available from MSR Distribution.