Avoid this business


New Member
Mar 7, 2008
TEXAS.......where else?
I don't know if this is the appropriate place to post this and mod's if it needs to be moved, please do.

A vetted member at Lightfighter.net has requested a wide broadcast. Read on!

Since this situation has been concluded by no action on the part of TGI, Henderson Defense Industries has stepped up to the plate when they didn't have to
and in which they will lose money but gain a whole new battalion of supporters and probably customers. If you guys want an AK, save your dimes and buy right the first time. Henderson Defense Industries is the schizel!!

A few words about Tennessee Guns International, ‘TGI’ http://www.tnguns.com/shop/

This is a long post: if you want a simple summary, I received FOUR inoperative or nearly inoperative rifles from TGI, experienced absolutely miserable customer service, and ended up expending about $250 above and beyond the cost of the rifles to ship them back for replacement and pay FFL fees. That’s right, I bought ONE rifle to begin with, and here I am on the FOURTH rifle, and I still don’t have one that works right.

The details:
TGI provides AK style rifles for AIM Surplus: In February, I purchased one of those rifles, the Bulgarian SSR-85C, for about $550. The rifle that arrived was functional, but had serious problems:
-the barrel was seriously warped to the right, dramatically affecting accuracy
-the front sight post was severely canted
-both trunions seemed to be installed at an angle, meaning the rear sight was also
rotated and warped oddly, and the stock was at an angle

Essentially, the rifle curved in a sort of parentheses or crescent shape. While it functioned, it could not be zeroed to shoot true (in terms of windage) at different ranges (you could zero it temporarily for a set range, of course).

I attempted to return this rifle to AIM for a replacement but they were out of stock: AIM didn’t do anything wrong in this transaction, as I elected to return it through TGI directly.

I promptly contacted TGI and, per their instructions, wrote a letter to send with the rifle. I sent the rifle at my own expense, and a few weeks went by: I had to repeatedly contact TGI in order to receive a response, which was, ‘we are out of that rifle: would you like this wood-stocked version?” I did not want the wooden stocked version, and was told it would be another few days. Again, I waited for some time, and had to contact TGI again.

Meanwhile, I decided I might try a Saiga conversion instead, and purchased one from AIM. Unfortunately, this conversion turns out to have been done by… you guessed it, TGI. I opened the box of this rifle in my dealer’s store, cleared it and function checked it ONCE, at which point it went SPROING! The pin the hammer pivots on came loose of the frame, and the hammer and trigger mechanisms rotated inside the frame, locking up the action. This was the FIRST time I had ever touched this rifle, the first time the action had ever been operated, literally, standing in the store.

That rifle went back to AIM, who replaced it with another Saiga conversion by TGI. THAT rifle would not feed ball or JHP ammunition, both of which hung up on a rudimentary bevel on the breech. Either the magazine well was machined in to low when TGI did the conversion, or the rifle needs a cartridge guide. After this rifle failed to feed any ammunition I offered it, I returned it to AIM for a refund. I communicated these events and my concerns to TGI while awaiting my replacement rifle from them, and asked for a hand-picked rifle.

TGI finally (after I began contacting numerous staff members) agreed to send my rifle back TO ME DIRECTLY, having me fill out some form authorizing them to do so, which would save me another FFL fee. Then, after another week or two, they sent it to my dealer, instead.
THAT rifle, (this is the FOURTH, remember) had a bent rear sight leaf, canted front sight base, and an extremely worn finish: it was provided filthy and had the appearance of being quite well-used. It pitched the slant muzzle brake down range on the 10th shot I fired: I discovered that the barrel’s threading was worn entirely down and the muzzle device had been tack-welded in place. The tack weld snapped in half.

I sent the following email to TGI on 13 JUN 08: it is the most exasperated communication I had with them, after many emails and phone calls politely expressing my disappointments and asking for their assistance:

Mr. Bill XXXXX and Mr. Ryan XXXX,

I am writing to you as an extraordinarily dissatisfied customer. To date, I have had 4 (four) TGI AK rifles not operate to an absolute minimum standard, or fail to operate entirely. I will summarize these purchases and the problems I had with each; also attached are the more detailed letters I wrote with the 3 returns thus far. This is a lengthy email: I sincerely hope you will devote the time to read it through.

In February of this year, I determined to purchase two 7.62 AK rifles, and bought the Bulgarian model your company provides to AIM Surplus. This rifle had a severe cant to the front sight base and a warped barrel; it would not shoot to point of aim despite sight corrections. As AIM was out of the rifle at that time, I contacted TGI in April to request a replacement (see rifle letter.doc). I received this replacement in mid May, after the email trail below and several calls. I paid for both shipping back to TGI and the two FFL transfer fees from my dealer, a total sum approximately $100.

(continued in next post)


New Member
Mar 7, 2008
TEXAS.......where else?
Simultaneously, I purchased a TGI converted Saiga model from AIM, and had the hammer assembly pop free of the frame and lock up the action on my first ever function check of the rifle, literally while standing in the store next to the open box (see rifle letter 2.doc). I contacted AIM Surplus and they replaced this rifle with another Saiga: again, I had to pay the transfer fee and background check charge at my dealer.

This second Saiga rifle also proved non-functional: it experienced repeated failure to feed as the nose of rounds would crush on the feed ramp beveled into the breech (see rifle letter 3.doc). You will note that in this letter I am becoming very frustrated and inform AIM I will purchase no further TGI products from them: I take great pains to not write when angry, but I believe you will understand my mounting irritation at that point. AIM paid for return shipping on this rifle.

This brings me to the fourth TGI rifle I have owned, the replacement for my original purchase Bulgarian model, the subject of the prior emails below. I received this rifle after some wait: on seeing it, I was immediately disappointed to find it used and with a worn finish (I purchased a new rifle from TGI and expected a new rifle in replacement when the first was sent to me damaged). Additionally, the rear sight leaf was bent. The rifle also arrived with a conspicuous "Sold As Is" tag, another distressing indicator. However, I contained my irritation, and today took it to the range to test fire.
The slant muzzle device flew off with the 10th shot, exposing a barrel end that had only the slightest indication of threads, worn entirely smooth. The tack weld snapped clean in half.

At this point, I am simply disgusted with the quality of product TGI has sent me. I have wasted money pursuing replacements, driving back and forth to my dealer, paying for shipping and FFL transfer fees over and over to the tune of nearly $250 (to say nothing of the time I had to invest in the process). I am amazed that after being notified of my extensive issues with prior TGI rifles and requesting a hand picked, personally inspected rifle as a replacement, TGI could do no better than the worn, used rifle that was sent. I honestly can't say whether these samples are entirely indicative of TGI quality, or simply incredible coincidences; there is, I suppose, the tiny chance that I am simply unlucky enough to receive the odd lemon. After four rifles, however, that chance is extraordinarily slim, I believe.

I'm tired of asking for replacements or sending rifles back for refunds: I won't do that any more, I don't want to invest any more time, money and effort into this rifle. What I will ask is that you simply do what you feel is appropriate, whether it be nothing, whether it be sending me an entirely new rifle for free, or some other action. It is simply up to you, and how you choose to represent your business. For my part, I have decided that following whatever action you might (or might not) take, I may write and blog about my experiences with your company: if no effort was made to make this right, it seems appropriate for me to warn my friends about your products. I would do so on my personal blog, as well as sigforum.net, lightfighter.net, ar15.com, theakforum.net, getoffthex.com, and other tactical and firearm related websites, posting simply my experiences with TGI rifles, as well as emailing AIM Surplus and my military and private contractor friends with the full story. That story could be one of a company that made some mistakes but ultimately took pains to ensure their customers were satisfied, or it could be one of a company producing inferior products and making no effort to stand behind their quality.



I sent this email on a Friday afternoon. That Monday, I was not contacted. That Tuesday, I was not contacted. Finally, Thursday afternoon, I called them myself and asked what they meant to do. I was told they would ‘get back to me tomorrow or Monday.’

The next week, they got back to me, offering to give me a tag to send in the rifle for a replacement. I told them this was unsatisfactory: I had now accumulated $250 in expenses and would not shell out any more on this rifle. The representative I spoke with told me he would check and see what could be done.
Today, MORE THAN A WEEK later, I received a call, saying that is all they would do. I declined: I have no reason to expect another rifle from them would work any better, and I have every reason to expect it would be non-functional, and moreover, probably take a number of weeks to arrive.

I am posting my experiences as a man of my word: after all, I told them I would do so. I have documentation and logs as to the communications, I have logs as to the malfunctions on the rifles. I invite scrutiny, if there is any question of these events.

I can only strenuously recommend AK shooters and prospective buyers avoid TGI products (as sold through their various distributors).
Ask who makes the rifle you’re buying. Here is a list of TGI's distributors:

Aim Surplus

Centerfire Systems

Chattanooga Shooters

Classic Arms

Ellett Brothers

J&G Sales

Lew Horton

RSR Group

Sarco, Inc.



If I had to do it again, I would have just waited a bit for a Henderson Defense Industries rifle and been happy.


Mar 11, 2008
DFW, North Texas
2 separate introductions then 2 posts cut and pasted form another site where some other guy had a problem. Hmmm... :p

I'm sure his issue sucked, but I wonder how many people will read 2 pages worth of a 2nd hand issue. I got a couple sentences in and started skimming and skimming and skimming, faster and faster and it just wouldn't stop!!!....

Maybe not being an AK shooter I'm just not feel'n the love. :D


New Member
Mar 7, 2008
TEXAS.......where else?
Well, then sign your butt up and go over to the Lightfigher and read it fo yourself. There was a warning that it was a long read. If your not an AK shooter, why waste the time, space and bandwidth? Not interested in the post, the move on and read something else.

Thanks for the warm welcome. Feeling the love now?


Mar 11, 2008
DFW, North Texas
Well, then sign your butt up and go over to the Lightfigher and read it fo yourself. There was a warning that it was a long read. If your not an AK shooter, why waste the time, space and bandwidth? Not interested in the post, the move on and read something else.

Thanks for the warm welcome. Feeling the love now?
No warning, but the length is pretty obvious. :D

And speaking of wasted time, space and bandwidth......

The intent I'm sure was genuine, but I think the effectiveness is limited for a few reasons. Not trying to start an argument, but your participation is well, very limited. Actually is 2 introductions and that's it. Then the post is 4 miles long. If it were an active member it'd get more points. If it weren't a full cut and paste from another site, it might get more points.

People have problems with vendors. We hear one side. They get posted all over with emotion and passion and we have to read between the lines.

Oh, and thanks, but no love needed. :D

I hope you find this site worthy of your time enough to participate more going forward. Obviously you like to help others out and that makes sites like this great. ;)


Active Member
Feb 29, 2008
I've had nothing but positive experience with AIM Surplus. I've purchased thousands of rounds of ammunition and a Yugo AK (CAI conversion) with them and have been completely satisfied with my experience.

I did find it interesting that AIM has a sudden crop of new AK rifles lately - The Bulgarian and Hungarian rifles all showed up in a flurry, but didn't think much of them otherwise. If I buy that Tantal I've been eying, I'll be sure to ask about the conversion before committing.


Mar 6, 2008
Being a consumer in modern America is in fact a job, be prepared keep all paper work, when all else fails contact the consumer division of the Attorney General's office in your state and the state which you purchased the product, not that it always works but sometimes if you hit the correct button it does.



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