“Russian Heritage, American Innovation” is the motto of the new Kalashnikov USA, working out of Tullytown, Pennsylvania. The company, with the help of Command Arms Accessories is now offering American-made versions of familiar Russian firearms.
The startup made its debut at the top of this year at the 2015 shot show and is now delivering on promises to re-supply the American market with rifles and shotguns built with Russian components.
“We have made good on the promise delivered at SHOT Show, to provide our customers with a quality product at a competitive price by the second quarter of this year,” Thomas McCrossin, CEO of Kalashnikov USA said in a press release.
Primarily sold under the Saiga brand, the importation of these Kalashnikov-pattern guns was specifically halted through sanctions against Russia’s Kalashnikov Concern in response to the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and ongoing Russian unrest in Ukraine.
Kalashnikov USA is leading with four guns, two rifles and two shotguns, all American favorites. They have a standard Saiga-style sporter rifle, the US132, and a traditional AK-style rifle, the US132Z, both chambered for 7.62x39mm, and two 12-gauge shotguns, the US109L and US109T, in standard and tactical configurations, with AK and AR stocks, respectively.
“Our customers will be pleased with the quality of our American weapons and our new designs,” Bill Silver, vice president of sales for Kalashnikov USA added. “American innovation has provided a better weapon at a better price.”
The “converted” guns all feature CAA parts and accessories along with a few other changes and upgrades over the long guns we’re accustomed to seeing, including a nitrocarburized case hardened finish on the barrels. Nitride finishes are increasingly popular on the AR scene and can prove to be harder and more resilient than chrome lining while providing better baseline accuracy.
The barrels are threaded for accessories including brakes and flash hiders but also suppressors, which is an added bonus over Russian barrels which did not necessarily have adequately concentric bores for suppression. Also the guns are all equipped with bolt-hold-open levers. Another nice touch is that the actions are factory-polished for smoother cycling out of the box.
These new Kalashnikov products will of course be met with a degree of scrutiny to determine how they compare with the original Saiga rifles and shotguns but we expect them to scratch the Saiga itch for the time being. The wait for new-production Kalashnikov guns was short and may be over for a long time.