You may not know about the FIME Group, an importer of Eastern European firearms, but you’re probably familiar with their guns. It’s hard not to know about the Saiga 12, the AK-pattern magazine-fed 12-gauge automatic shotgun. And the FIME Group is now happy to announce that they are now importing them, in a great-looking new package, too.
Working with Arsenal, Legion and of course, Izhmash—renown manufacturer of Russian small arms and Saiga rifles and shotguns—the FIME Group has been taking over the importation and remanufacturing of Saigas for the American market.
Now FIME is launching a new Saiga 12 variant, the SGL12-09, a converted 12-gauge shotgun chambered for both 2-3/4- and 3-inch shells with a polymer RPK handguard, tactical CNC-machined aluminum quad rail extension, SAW-type pistol grip and Warsaw-length buttstock. It has a 19-inch smoothbore chrome-lined barrel. It also has a bolt-lock for loading those tricky high-capacity magazines and an adjustable gas piston.
The best part about them is the MSRP, which is just $899. Although it’s possible that real-world prices may be reduced, right now the demand for these shotguns is at an all-time high, so we doubt too many vendors are going to sell them for much lower. Still, FIME is offering them at a bit less than what Arsenal did, and that’s always great news.
From what we can tell, the FIME Group is operating under the same umbrella as Arsenal does, and is taking over importation of Saiga firearms following the shake-up at Izhmash. Izhmash has been undergoing massive reconstruction, financially and literally, to cut costs and increase production.
So while the importer marks will be different, the FIME SGL12-09 and other guns are the same underneath as the Arsenal guns that came before them, albeit with some new furniture. They are built on the same base shotguns made for military and law enforcement use.
Arsenal set the standard for premium AK-pattern firearms with their SLR and SGL series, they’re just passing the SGL torch on to FIME. We suspect this is to increase the volume of AKs imported to the US, because right now American can’t have too many AKs, no matter what they’re chambered for.
Saiga shotguns are imported in a “sporting” configuration and must be remanufactured in the US to comply with federal firearm laws. Initial reports indicate that FIME guns are in every way just as well-made as Arsenal guns, and we can’t be upset if they manage to import them in greater numbers and at lower prices.