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Introducing the Arsenal SAM7SF AK-47

by Eric R. Poole   |  August 7th, 2013 49

It’s hard to keep a secret, especially for two years. For the last few weeks, Arsenal has been sending out newsletters and suggesting the SAM7SF will be the most finely tuned and advanced member of its SAM family the AK community has every known. The result of Arsenal’s secret project, called “The Game Changer,” was shown to the world on August 7th, 2013.

Before that date, a select group of evaluators at Guns & Ammo were given a first look at the very first sample. It’s finished in black, wears a U.S.-manufactured Bulgarian-style handguard with gas tube cover, and looks like it should already be a member of the SAM7R family. But if you look closely, you’ll see why Arsenal is particularly proud of this one.

We have yet to completely evaluate the Arsenal SAM7SF AK-47 on the range, but look for a full report in an upcoming issue of Guns & Ammo magazine on newsstands.

  • petru sova

    Nice gun but the junk plastic magazine turns me off. As cheap as metal magazines are they could have given you a quality magazine.

    • darmstrong

      I’d have to disagree. Plastic mags have proven themselves over and over. In fact, perhaps the best mag for the AR15 platform these days is plastic.

      • steve

        I will second that and they are light

    • Jason Young

      That particular magazine is basically made with a metal “skeleton” inside with truly high quality polymers on the rest of the body. If you were to scrape off the thin layer of plastic at the top of the magazine, you would find solid steel, including where it locks into the mag well.

      • petru sova

        Glock magazines have a metal liner too but that does not prevent the plastic locking notch from mushrooming out over time which results in a sloppy lock up that can cause the magazine to site lower in the frame and cause jams.

      • petru sova

        Another problem with junk plastic magazines is feed lip wear. Dirty ammo which acts like sand paper or a bolt or slide that is not quite fitted properly can cause the feed lips to wear away and this happens much more quickly with a junk plastic magazine whose feed lips are exceedingly soft whether or not it has a metal liner which not all plastic magazines have.

    • The Painful Truth

      TAPCO magazines are great, far better than any metal magazine I’ve ever used.

      • commonsense

        what a moron. crapco is more like it.

    • bgdmswede

      It will accept either so buy metal if you prefer rust

    • commonsense

      You have no idea what you are talking about. Bulgarian Circle10 magazines are the finest ak mags in the world. Built like a tank. Pull yer head out.

      Besides they don’t include the 30 round mag with the gun, only a 10 rounder. You want the quality Circle10 mag you have to pay. If you are too daft, or cheap to pay for quality then you can suck it.

      • petru sova

        People who have had years of experience (you obviously have little or none) realize that you cannot adjust the feed lips on plastic trash magazines, if they do not feed you are screwed, its as simple as that. Many metal feed lip magazines can be altered, when because of manufacturing tolerances or just plain sloppy workmanship they do not function as they should. Please put brain in gear before running off your Jethro Bodine mouth.

        • DAN III

          Hey petru….just effing buy a metal magazine if you love them so much. Even the crappy ones you like to “alter”. Metal magazines go bad. The feed lips get bent and no, you cannot safely and reliably “alter” metal feed lips back to original configuration. And smart guy, why would you want to use a metal mag that “because of manufacturing tolerances or just plain sloppy workmanship they do not function as they should” ? If I had such a magazine as you praise, I’d either send it back to the vendor who sold it or I’d take a sledge hammer to it. At least the commenter who you told to put his brain in gear HAS a brain.

          You trolls are unbelievable.

      • petru sova

        Hey Genius boy take a look at the locking notch on many el-cheapo plastic magazines, as they over time will mushroom out causing the magazine to sit lower in the frame which can cause jams.

      • petru sova

        Another problem with junk plastic magazines is feed lip wear. Dirty ammo which acts like sand paper or a bolt or slide that is not quite fitted properly can cause the feed lips to wear away and this happens much more quickly with a junk plastic magazine.

    • comingbackdown

      Plastic magazines aren’t junk, friend. Ever hear the story about the unit of U.S. soldiers that got their hands on Pmags from home and stopped using their USGI steel mags? The proof is in the pudding.

  • Crystal Power

    I really like the sound of this one with the exception of the safety. The safety should go the other way IMO because it looks like the safety could be accidentally switched on when shooting and it would be faster to take it off safe, going the other way. I’d rather see the safety closer to that of an AR15…Stoner got that right! I’d also like to see it drilled for a rail for mounting a fore grip/bipod/light.

    • wysoft

      Good luck. Arsenal will not be changing the design, since the design of the safety originated in Bulgaria and this is simply a semi-only version of what is a Bulgarian military/police carbine. They won’t change something that would affect their training just to satisfy piddly American capitalist consumers.

      The thumb safety is far stiffer than an AR safety.. You won’t flip it up by accident, which is no more likely than having an AK slung with the safety towards your body can potentially take the rifle off of safe.

    • bgdmswede

      You don’t need a bi-pod for an urban assault weapon. This is an AK and not a sniper rifle. It is lightweight for clearing streets and buildings and you want to add weight?

    • commonsense

      No, the left side thumb safety is perfect and unless you’ve actually tried it you are full of it. Looking at something isn’t the same as trying it. I have the sam7 with the same safety and it is PERFECT.

  • cDiggs

    From the cover photo of the article; I’m glad they finally started throwing in a firearm of sorts when you purchase an EoTech sight.

  • Dale Cauthen

    I’ll wait to see the price. It would be nice to have a US made AK. But they didn’t improve the rear sight. The stock folds to the right where it’s in the way instead of the left where it could be used for an additional grip when deployed in a hurry. And I don’t see any improvements, yet. We’ll see how it looks when we get to handle them.

    • wysoft

      It’s made in Bulgaria.

      Arsenal makes very few of their products in the US, even though they have the tooling to manufacture receivers and other parts.

      As far as right-folding stocks go, they’re not really in the way. You can still operate the safety and charging handle, and the stock doesn’t interfere with the left-side optics rail when folding to the right.

    • hoffa

      The scope mounting fitment is on the left side of the receiver, as normal for AK’s. If you mount a scope how are you going to fold the stock ????. This was well thought out by people who understand .
      The rifle is not only well engineered , its probably the best bet on a first class AK. The safety is great , a improvement , no problem .
      The rear sight can be relocated and changed to a peep , but not from factory .
      All around , one of the best AK’s on the market .
      Downside ? you pay for the quality –expensive.

  • Fieldkorn

    I’m certainly no flaming gun grabber but when I look at the photo of this rifle I have to ask just one question: “Why?”

    • steve

      because you can

    • The Painful Truth

      Why not?

    • tioman

      To paraphrase a quote from the great Louie Armstrong when asked about jazz –
      If you have to ask, you will never understand.

    • Gunluvr

      Why not?! It’s a Bill of Rights not a Bill of Needs and it’s unconditional.

    • Shadow


    • Matt Miller

      Because its awesome. Does anyone really need to lift their truck and put giant mud tires on it? Probably not, depending on where they live, but its their right to have bad ass personal possessions, as it is for any American.

    • Guru

      You would get along very well with Piers Morgan

    • puntgunner

      It’s just like climbing a mountain. “Because it’s there”.

    • Douglas Moose

      In the pursuit of happiness, there is no standard. You may prefer petting fluffy bunnies, and I may prefer hunting them down for food, See? Both of us are happy, and neither of us is judging the other!

  • BJC

    I’m confused in the first picture they show and explain the selector lever being on the left side and thumb actuated but picture #6 shows the right side of the receiver and there is a selector lever there. So what’s up?

    • Matt Miller

      They’re probably connected through a common selector pin.

    • RaggMann

      It’s got both.

  • Fieldkorn

    “Because you can” and “why not” demonstrate the same line thinking my late father said he expressed prior to getting a tattoo during World War II. After he had it done, my dad said he shook his head and wondered “what on earth did I do this for?” Walk through any gun show and witness the many gun owners (the bulk of whom I dare say are young) trying to sell these silly black rifles. Of course they’re not going to get what they paid for them, as have said numerous gun dealers I’ve spoken to. Such firearms are often not inexpensive to buy and typically are very expensive to keep fed. If you want to own one, look like one of the paramilitary types so often used in advertisements for them, whatever, man. I’d rather own firearms designed and built for grown-ups.

    • Squirrel

      What would you consider a “grown-up” firearm over an AK copy and why?

      • Fieldkorn

        Squirrel, Commonsense; Guys – Yep, they are military arms that do a terrific job. That said, look at many/most of the magazine adverts that hawk these firearms, whether those hooks appear in Guns & Ammo, the American Rifleman, or whatever. They typically employ photos that link the firearms with police and military activities; strongly hinting of an adman’s trained sales pitch that you too can role play as one of these officials. That’s what I mean about being grown up and using grown-up toys. Like I also pointed out from the onset, attend a gun show, look at the attendees trying to rid themselves of these firearms and I’ll pretty much guarantee the bulk of the sellers are young males. Besides, in my humble opinion, black rifles are just plain butt-ugly. Ditto for both the AK and the SKS.

    • commonsense

      WTF? So you’re essentially saying that the entire worlds’ military are using firearms designed for children? whatever, man I’d rather own historical weapons based on military proven, bullet-proof, reliable designs. You can keep your pretty puss guns.

    • Gunluvr

      Good for you.

    • petru sova

      The rifles you are speaking of are constantly going up in value. These people will not lose any money on their investment.
      The second amendment was written so that the average citizen could own a modern weapon to defend himself against the tyranny of those in power. Take that right away and the people are very soon enslaved as history has proven it.
      These guns are a lot of fun to shoot and if you hand load you can shoot them far cheaper than you might think providing your are not a Scrooge who believes he should take every penny he ever earned to the grave.

  • For America

    Good luck trying to buy this gun in the Liberal States Of America

    • For Troll

      It’s sitting on the table behind me. (FL resident.)

  • bgdmswede

    I have an Arsenal about 15yo and it doesn’t have all these bells and whistles but I like it. Mine has a chrome insert barrel and is reasonably accurate to 200y. It’s still an AK and rugged as heck, not super accurate, light weight and I believe back then it was ~$350.

  • Denver Goddess


  • Geoff Potter

    Not keen on the safety being on the left side. lefties like myself would keep accidentally putting the safety off and on.

  • micrappoogle

    Boy, this shoot like a dream. My AR keep having all sort of problem. This is my SHTF gun. Although I would take my AR with me too.

  • tommygun

    Sweet AK, I just had to buy one!!!

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