In exchange for the M10 debacle Atlantic Firearms was cool enough to let me upgrade to an Arsenal SGL31. Like last time the order handling and shipping from Atlantic was ridiculously fast. I ordered the Arsenal Friday late afternoon, shipped Monday morning and was at my FFL Tuesday at 11am. Atlantic’s system is awesome, It sends you an email after every step, even upon delivery to your FFL.
I was unable to swing by to pick it up until later that night. The Arsenal SGL-31 comes in a plain white box with only a plastic bag and an instruction manual. For $200 more than the M10 I think its a no-brainier. This looks like an actual new gun. There are no milling marks, the finish is smooth, and all the parts a brand new. The fit and finish is excellent. I know Arsenal gets a bad rap for the simple painted finish but it looks far better than the M10’s parkerized version.
Sorry for not showing the original grip that came with the SGL, my mitts are just too big and it needed to be swapped immediately. I decided to go with the US Palm AK Battle Grip and it makes a huge difference. I think I may like it more than the Hogue grip that came with the M10. It certainly looks more traditional in my opinion.
The front sight block is strait and looking good. The safety was not brutal to move and fit nice under the cover. The standard SGL stock is far too short for my 6’1″ frame. Buts it’s replacement will happen soon enough. I have decide to go with the Bonesteel Ak/Saiga Folding stock with integral AR15 extension tube along with a Magpul CTR stock. They are not shipping yet but should be by the end of March. It looks to be one of the best folders on the market and there is no need to cut off your rear tang like the ACE folder.
Next on the list will be a front rail system but I want to wait to see what the length of pull will be on the folding Magpul before I decide on which one to get. I really like the Midwest Industries rail, I just don’t know if I would prefer the full size rail or the half.
The SGL comes with a 10 round mag and randomly is not considered an assault weapon unlike the M10. As explained to me by my FFL, this is due to the M10’s folding stock and 30 round mag. I would have much preferred a decent 30 round mag vs the 10 round but I think it will be helpful when sighting in the rifle, you will be able to get closer to the bench.
The innards are brand new and clean as a whistle again unlike the M10. I came to the conclusion very early on shooting it tonight that the trigger is garbage. A Tapco G2 is on the way from Primary Arms who has some great deals on add-ons and most of the more expensive ones like the MI rail have free shipping.
The muzzle break is removable just by pushing down a button and unscrewing, which is nice for cleaning. I just pulled the cleaning rod and stuffed it into my rifle bag to save weight which sounds stupid but it seems to make a difference.
Everything fictions as intended and breakdown is super smooth. Taking off the gas tube is straightforward and does not require any tools. My 22LR bore snake works perfectly just like in an AR. The magwell has limited mag wobble if any and all my mags fit perfectly snug.
I always felt that if I kept the M10 I was going to have to spend an hour or two to get rid of all the crud and cosmoline that were in all the nooks and crannies. There is none of that with the SGL.
Shooting the SGL today was a dream. For one it actually cycles and ejection paterns were spot on, and two the hand-guards are excellent. The internal heat shield does an excellent job of deflecting heat away from the operator. The SGL31 seemed very accurate although I like the sights on the M10 better. They seemed easier to acquire and hold. Today I was just shooting wolf ammo at my indoor range which is 25 yards. I’m hoping this weekend or the next to get the SGL out to my outdoor 100 yard range and open her up a little with a mix of Surplus and Hornady V MAX.
Anyways, I’m in love. I can’t tell you how happy I am with this purchase. I think for $200 more than the M10 you are in a whole different league. I also think you can grow with the SGL. After you shoot the snot out of it and save up some cash, you can send it to Jim Fuller over at Rifle Dynamics and make it into a total custom rifle.
I will update as the build goes along. Some things I’m after are back ordered or not even available yet. But I think when it all comes together, it will be what I wanted all along. An rifle with the ergonomics of an M4 but with the reliability of the AK. I am very happy with the 5.45 round and it helps that ammo is dirt cheep right now. I think with the M10 I was just settling because the price was right. But in the end I will have a rifle I can pass down to generations to come.
Feel free to ask any questions in the comments or on Twitter @fleetingsurvive.
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