This article was originally posted on Thefirearmblog.com
While being in Moscow and attending Arms & Hunting 2017 and Interpolitex 2017 exhibitions, TFB was invited by the Sureshot Armament Group to visit their factory and try some of their products in the range. In this article, we’ll tell about our trip to SAG premises starting with the factory tour followed by the range trip and at the end of the article, we’ll take a look at SAG new products that they showed during the Arms & Hunting 2017.
The Factory Tour
The SAG factory was located in Moscow. It was a typical CNC machine shop with a raw material storage, main manufacturing department with a bunch of CNC machines, as well as assembly and packaging departments.
We saw the manufacturing process of the SVD side scope mount. As other SAG products, it starts as a raw blank of V95 (Russian equivalent of 7075) aluminum. Filming the machining process itself was useless because the windows on the CNC machine are splashed with the lubricant during the machining process. I took several photos between the operations.
Long story short, they take a block of aluminum and machine the final product. The SAG officials pointed out that the deburring and chamfering processes are also done on the CNC machine. As a result, they get a final product from the CNC machine which only needs to be coated, inspected and packaged. According to SAG, averagely the final product weighs 15% of the initial aluminum block it was machined from.
Sureshot Armament Group outsources the anodizing of their products which is a common practice in the industry.
We’ve also seen their SVD Chassis MK1 in different manufacturing and assembly stages. The handguard of this part is made of aluminum, too. However, the inner barrel nut is made of steel which becomes the mounting platform for the upper and lower handguards. The free floated handguard increases the accuracy of the rifle.
The Range Trip
Nothing can make a cloudy and cold autumn morning in Moscow more fun than the anticipation of the upcoming range trip. We drove south to Moscow to an outdoor shooting range in Alabino, near the Patriot park. We were going to test a Tigr rifle (the civilian version of SVD) upgraded with SAG products including the adjustable folding stock, free floated handguard, flash hider and the magazine extension.
My initial impressions from this setup are positive. It feels great, it has a ton of adjustability and other modern features. Of course, in order to make a comprehensive opinion, one needs to use the particular weapon system or accessory for an extended period of time to find out its advantages and shortcomings. Ideally, it would be interesting to see an accuracy comparison between a stock SVD and one equipped with SAG free floated handguard. I’d suggest SAG to make such a video to visually demonstrate the difference.
After looking at the adjustable cheek piece, I tried to politely express my hatred towards the metal cheek pieces by asking if they plan to make a polymer one. Guess what, the cheek piece was made of polymer, it was just matched to the color of the anodized aluminum.
The +5 extension is also machined from aluminum and seems to work well, too.
The SAG flash hider has about a 4 3/4″ overall length, however, it adds only 1.5″ to the length of the rifle. As you might have guessed from the external threads on the flash hider, it doubles as a suppressor mount. There is also an angled conical surface in front of the threads to ensure a tight fit and seal with the use of a suppressor. The flash hider also comes with a thread protector and features flat surfaces to fit a wrench for tightening or disassembling it.
Here is a video with Valentin Vlasenko, the founder, co-owner and chief engineer of SAG, shooting this rifle.
During the Arms & Hunting 2017 exhibition, the Sureshot Armament Group showed their K31 chassis. They have also announced that it will soon be available for the Remington 700 and Tikka T3 rifles.
The company officials told us that Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) is testing the SVD chassis and adjustable sock. The initial phase of testing was satisfying and now their products are passing extensive field tests. If the results are satisfactory, FSB will adopt the mentioned SVD upgrade products. The company also works on submitting the SVD upgrade kit to other, larger military organizations in Russia.
SAG also showed Ruger 10/22 rifles which barrels, receivers, and bolts are made by them. The rest of the parts are purchased and assembled in their premises.
Valentin Vlasenko also disclosed his intention to make an SVD chambered in .300 WSM. Earlier they have chambered an SVD in .300 Win Mag. The advantage of the .300 WSM for such a conversion is that this cartridge fits the SVD bolt face and doesn’t require special magazines or any modifications to the magazine and mag well dimensions. The .300 WSM fits single stack in normal SVD magazines designed for the 7.62x54R cartridge.
SAG also has a joint project with Kalashnikov Concern which we reported about earlier. In a nutshell, SAG supplies Kalashnikov with KeyMod free floated AK rails, which Kalashnikov factory installs on one of their competition ready rifles.
Last, but definitely not least, SAG plans to manufacture complete SVD rifles in their Czech Republic facility. Should their plans come true, it will mean that newly made SVD rifles may appear in the US market!
The Sureshot Armament Group has a pretty simple corporate structure which allows them to work both in Russian and US/European markets overcoming the political obstacles. They have facilities and legally separate entities both in Russia and in the Czech Republic. Both companies have the same owners and work under the same brand, but they serve different markets. That way they can ship orders to the USA from the Czech Republic and at the same time be able to take part in Russian government procurement programs via their Russian branch. This way of diversification gives them the flexibility to exercise “Firearms, not Politics”.