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Arsenal Incorporated’s SA M-7A1 is a Made in USA 7.62 x 39 mm semi-automatic. It’s also an improved copy of the AK-47 and as such, it’s one of Arsenal’s “historical” AK-platform models. In fact, the “M” in the gun’s initialism stands for Modernized.

The gun’s chrome lined hammer forged heavy barrel is 16.33” long and sits below the classic slanted gas block. The bore is 6-groove rifled with a 1 to 9.44” twist ratio, and the barrel is fronted by 14mm threads. Other key dimensions include a 38.0” total length and an unloaded overall weight at 7.6 pounds.

SA M-7s use milled receivers instead of the stamped receivers on some of Arsenal’s other guns. The A1 variant uses matte black polymer furniture. Unlike true historical Soviet AKs, this one uses a longer (and more comfortable for most Americans) NATO-length buttstock rather than the short AK-type stock that were better suited to Soviet soldiers just after World War II. The standard SA M-7A1 lacks a scope rail while the SA M-7A1 R variant has one.

The SA M-7A1 uses a hot-die hammer forged receiver blank that requires 5.5 long hours of milling. This is done by the parent company Arsenal Co. of Bulgaria, which then sends the receivers to the USA for assembly.

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 and milling is rugged durability. Some people prefer the original AK-style stamped receivers because of their lighter weight but decades ago, Arsenal found the milled ones improved quality. In a turn of fortunes, now stamped receivers can also be made with the same quality.

This semi-auto has a front sight block with a bayonet lug, a 24mm flash hider, an accessory lug and comes with a cleaning rod.

The semi-automatic comes with a 30-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.

The gun has a 40-rounds per minute rate though, of course, you’ll have to swap magazines before you can do 40 rounds!

Maximum range is 1,480 yards, and muzzle velocity is 2,329 feet per second. Thus, rounds should cover that range in about two seconds.

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.

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