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The Arsenal SAM5 5.56 x 45 mm semi-automatic takes the Soviet AK-47 Kalashnikov and further improves it. The AK-47 was famously proliferated through Warsaw Pact country armies during the Cold War. Member nations such as Bulgaria started local production. Over time, it was natural to make process and functional improvements, but Arsenal also prides itself on its craftsmanship. Also, these are not guns assembled out of old or surplus components but Made in USA guns fabricated from all new parts.

Arsenal is the exclusive US manufacturer of guns based on products made in the Circle 10 Factory, Arsenal of Kazanlak in central Bulgaria. Arsenal started operations in 2000 and is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. It makes a line of shoulder-fired, gas-operated, magazine-fed semi-automatics based on 7.62x39mm, 5.56x45mm, and 5.45x39.5mm calibers using forged, CNC milled or stamped receivers.

The 16.3” length barrel is hammer-forged, and chrome lined for durability. Inside six grooves spiral at a 1:7” twist ratio while on the front you get 14 mm muzzle threads. Exhaust gases vented from the barrel are used to power the system. You’ll also notice the polymer furniture instead of the older woodwork.

The SAM5 sports the very popular FIME Enhanced Fire Control Group. This Made in USA assembly includes the hammer, disconnector, disconnector springs and a single-hook trigger. Together they shorten trigger travel, make the trigger pull light and predictable. Pull pressure is 2.8 pounds.

The SAM5 also comes standard with an AK side scope rail and an AK-74 front sight base. In back, you have a Made in USA 10” long “Intermediate” length trapdoor buttstock with the hidden storage compartment. This stock makes the length of pull 13.4”. The all matte black gun weighs 9.45 pounds.

The SAM5 hot-die hammer forged receiver blank requires 5.5 hours of milling, which is done by the parent company Arsenal Co. of Bulgaria. Arsenal loves hammer forging since it aligns the metal, strengthens the steel and eliminates internal voids (tiny bubbles). Other hammer forged parts include the receiver, bolt carrier, and bolt. The result of all the hammer forging is rugged durability.

The gun comes with a 20-round “Waffle Pattern" mag. The company’s magazines are very durable with plenty of metal/steel reinforcements at the bottom, along the inner curved frontstrap, at the feed lips on top, etc. It also comes standard with a sling, cleaning kit, cleaning rod, oil bottle, bayonet lug, and more.

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