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Old October 7, 2013, 07:42 PM   #1
Darker Loaf
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AR to AK, Rock River Arms to Arsenal, Happy to Sad

I've been a happy AR owner with 1,000's of rounds through a Rock River Arms Elite Operator 2 with no malfunctions. However, recently, I've been eyeing AK's and was bitten by the bug. Sturmgewehre's video of the new SAM7-SF's did it to me, and so I broke down and bought a SAM7-SF...

And as soon as I got it, I caused a malfunction. I put the safety on and wracked the action like no AK owner would even attempt. Sadly, I was able to work the action, which forced the safety up past the top cover.

I didn't sweat it yet. I documented the malfuction, contacted Arsenal, and they had me send it in. They were very prompt and turned the gun around back to me as fast as they could (they had it for about 24 hours). I asked how they fixed the gun or what they did to it, and they never answered me...

And of course, I just got the gun back, and all it seems that they did was bend the safety so it was a little stiffer that it was before. The action still wracks with the safety on.

I had a feeling when I sent it in that I should have just sent my gun into a custom shop instead of sending it back to the factory, and now I'm kicking myself for not going with my instincts. I've had this happen before with EAA and KWA (admittedly an airsoft company), and I've gone with my instincts before with a Ruger 22/45 Lite, and sent it into Volquartsen, by passing the frustration and getting a great gun out of it.

Now I'm torn with what to do? I've already written an angry email to Arsenal, but I feel like if they don't give me a new gun or pay for a gunsmith to fix it, they are going to send it back the same. They have told me specifically that they do not do gunsmithing, so my hope for them are not high. Or should I just send it into Krebbs or Rifle Dynamics and suck up the lost time and frustration.

Any advice? Has anybody else had this experience with gun companies?
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Old October 7, 2013, 07:51 PM   #2
Willie Lowman
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Arsenal is known for not-the-best customer service.

That said, you did something dumb and popped a part out of place, they popped it back into place. Now you know better so stop doing that. What do you want?
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Old October 7, 2013, 07:51 PM   #3
Darker Loaf
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I got a response from Arsenal within 21 minutes of writing my angry email. It's hard not to respect that.
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Old October 7, 2013, 07:53 PM   #4
Darker Loaf
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The part should not pop out of place, period. It's not physically possible on most AK's, like my friend's Arsenal AK. Their top covers and a notch in the safety prevents it from doing so.
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Old October 7, 2013, 07:58 PM   #5
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I never had that problem with an AK, that said, I have many reasons for hating the AK platform and there is more than one reason why I only have ARs in the safe anymore. some people have good experiences with AKs, I didn't and I am not going to drop a grand for a saiga or some other high end AK that will likely have a lot of the problems that my cheapo AKs had.
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Old October 7, 2013, 08:06 PM   #6
Darker Loaf
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My RRA AR15 has only had operator induced errors (failure to seat the magazine) in 3,000+ rounds.

I've shot a variety of AK's and two of them malfunctioned. One was in Vietnam at the Cu Chi Tunnels, and it was seriously abused, so I'm not to critical of the type for just that. The second one was my SAM7-SF. I decided to take it out with a semi-functioning safety and shoot it anyway and I had a jam with Red Army Standard Ammo. I know it's cheap ammo, but I've had no jams with my AR15, even with cheap ammo. And isn't being able to shoot with cheap ammo and under adverse conditions supposed to be the strong suit of an AK?
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Old October 7, 2013, 08:08 PM   #7
dvdcrr
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Thats not really a malfunction. Thats how you remove the safety is to rotate it like that. Sounds like arsenal fixed it more or less right. Normally you have to push the disconnector a little to get it to rotate up and out.
I have converted like five saigas one vepr and two milled rifles to sidefolder and one stamped rifle. Ive messed with an ak or two. In fact one time I put a standard trigger in a saiga 308 without changing the safety which allowed me to fire the rifle with the safety lever still up. All it did was bend the lever.
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Old October 7, 2013, 08:11 PM   #8
Darker Loaf
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RE dvdcrr: I've got pictures posted in my buddy Venom1956's thread "Issue with SAM7SF rifle safety." No, it shouldn't be able to do that. Not just me, but Arsenal says so.

On this SAM7-SF, you can't remove the safety without removing a bunch of pins and even the handle itself.

It's probably all my fault for buying a fancy AK instead of a bog standard one.
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Old October 7, 2013, 08:15 PM   #9
Darker Loaf
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Example of Failure

AK's aren't supposed to do that.
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Old October 7, 2013, 08:29 PM   #10
dvdcrr
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I am intrigued so I currently have my SAM7r on my lap which I have closely compared with your pictures. The receivers are the same the safeties are the same and what I can see of the dustcovers are the same but there is one difference. My safety comes up snug to the side of the receiver and bears directly underneath the dust cover. So there is the thickness of the dustcover basically acting as a stop. Its hard to say witjout having your gun right here to look at but I think your safety is bent out too much or is out of spec. I am assuming the dustcover is ok. In any case that is it. Replace one or the other or both and you are gtg.
In fact once you remove the dustcover and bcg the safety does rotate up like that for removal. I can tell from your pics that pin locations are the same as mine.
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Old October 7, 2013, 08:32 PM   #11
Darker Loaf
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RE dvdcrr: I agree. If my topcover "overhung" the safety, it would be impossible to do. I'm sure I bent the safety when I caused the malfunction, but it shouldn't have done that in the first place.

My friends' arsenal has a "overhung" topcover that would prevent this, and I think the idea behind the SAM7's topcover was that it'd be thick enough to prevent it, but I guess mine's not?
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Old October 7, 2013, 08:36 PM   #12
dvdcrr
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My arsenal is not perfect either. For some reason my gas tube lever is relatively loose.
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Old October 7, 2013, 08:36 PM   #13
Darker Loaf
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RE dvdcrr: I was really hoping that I would have seen them replace the topcover or the safety, but it just looks like they tried to bend the safety (and maybe the topcover flared out a little) back. The safety seemed to stick more than it did when I got it. It was pretty danged loose when I first got the gun.
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Old October 7, 2013, 08:44 PM   #14
dvdcrr
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When you move the safety back and forth through its normal range of motion does it feel tight to the receiver like its dragging on the side. It should be snug to the side. When you look at your rifle from the bottom does the forward edge of the dustcover where the safety would hit flare out about 2 mm.
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Old October 7, 2013, 08:45 PM   #15
dvdcrr
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Sorry did arsenal fix it or are you still having the problem.
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Old October 7, 2013, 08:55 PM   #16
dvdcrr
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I think a much cheaper option than krebs would be to try a new milled topcover.
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Old October 7, 2013, 08:59 PM   #17
Darker Loaf
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RE dvdcrr: Arsenal did not fix it, that's why I'm upset and writing this post. Now, I'm considering what I should do. I'm going to give Arsenal a chance to at least offer me a fix, and maybe I'll send it to a custom shop or replace the top cover.

On the topcover, it is perfectly flush with surface of the safety when it hits the topcover. The safety does and did drag across the surface of the receiver when it is moved. It's more snug after Arsenal's "fix," however.
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Old October 7, 2013, 09:00 PM   #18
Darker Loaf
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I'd order a top cover from K-var. This one seems like it'd completely fix my problem: http://www.k-var.com/shop/AK-345.html

But I'm just kinda ****** that Arsenal didn't rectify the situation or simply make it work in the first place. I probably just need to calm down, though, which is why I'm on The Firing Line.

Last edited by Darker Loaf; October 7, 2013 at 09:08 PM.
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Old October 7, 2013, 09:07 PM   #19
dvdcrr
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No that is not the right top cover that is for a stamped rifle. You need one specifically for the milled rifle. I tried my extra milled topcover on a stamped rifle and it did not fit right. Not sure but there could be an issue. I would tell Arsenal to send you a new topcover and youll send yours back to them.
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Old October 7, 2013, 09:12 PM   #20
Darker Loaf
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Or this one: http://www.k-var.com/shop/AK-345EG.html ?

I got the stamped vs. milled thing. I just mis-read the k-var site. I'm also mostly looking for things with that "overhang" on the the topcover. I just looked at my Venom1956's topcover today (stamped, though) and it had a ledge that would completely prevent a safety from swinging up.
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Old October 7, 2013, 09:12 PM   #21
Fishbed77
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Quote:
I'd order a top cover from K-var. This one seems like it'd completely fix my problem: http://www.k-var.com/shop/AK-345.html
That cover is for a stamped receiver AK, not a milled AK like the SAM7.
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Old October 7, 2013, 09:15 PM   #22
Darker Loaf
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RE Fishbed77: I know it's wrong. I'm just trying to show you guys what I think would prevent the failure.

Like I'm sure this is the one that'd fit my gun: http://www.k-var.com/shop/AK-330.html

But it is completely smooth, like mine, and I bet the safety would slip around it.
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Old October 7, 2013, 09:25 PM   #23
dvdcrr
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The one you posted for the milled bulgarian is correct and if it doesnt work youve got a safety problem. Or a very unlikely receiver problem. Id tell arsenal what youve told us and get your hands on a milled topcover.
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Old October 7, 2013, 09:30 PM   #24
Darker Loaf
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Dvdcrr, I know it's the right one. But do you feel me about the ledge on the other two? I looked at Venom1956's topcover today, and it completely encapsulates the safety, not just a little bit. Those other topcovers seem bent out, articulated if you will, around the safety.
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Old October 7, 2013, 09:35 PM   #25
dvdcrr
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Right. Sorry if I missed it but did you try his topcover on your rifle? If it fits you have the option to get one like it. I would try it first possibly. Youll get it sorted out. Once you do thats a hell of a weapon. I like mine. Yeah I understand your wanting to get one that flares out for sure. Just gotta see if they'll fit.
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