SGWorks: The Company That Wouldn’t Quit
THIS is my rifle, there are … not many like it … but THIS one is MINE! The story of this rifle, for me as well as the company that manufactures the stock, is long and arduous. I have had a long fascination with the SKS, the long barrel, the bayonet, the Garand-esque, yet distinctly Soviet look of it, all of these things made we want one with a passion. Now, I didn’t want it for the historical aspect or to keep it in its original configuration at all (I know, the horror). I wanted to mold it into something more modern. Back in 2008 I started my search for drop-in bullpup stocks and, at that time, the selection was abysmal. There was one option available, put out by some guys with a shop that cost $600, this was truly unacceptable to me. There was another mom-and-pop company, www.cbrps.com, that put out a very star-warsy-looking kit for it that pushed $300, not a very pleasing design, nor was the price.
But in 2009, I saw a product demonstration video that got my attention in a way that no other had before:
This one video as of NOW has almost as many views as my entire YouTube channel does, and it convinced me flat-out that this was the space-gun kit I was looking for. The guys at SGWorks whetted the whistle of many as they offered the stocks pre-production (as a way to raise revenue) for $119.95. This was a great way of getting interest and initial investors except for one small problem known as Murphy’s Law. Murphy not only reared his ugly head, but he nearly beat SGWorks to death with his mighty war hammer.
SGWorks was able to raise the capital needed to get the initial toolings and forms for the molds, and that’s where the good news ends for quite a while. Tooling machines were breaking, molds were the incorrect dimensions and new ones had to be ordered at great expense, revisions to the designs had to be made. All of these things caused the ship date to balloon from the initial claim of a few months to over a year. The owner and his family were the only workers and worked around the clock, trying to manage their day jobs with the task of unscrewing the faulty molds, modifying, and assembling the packages.
Eventually, kits started getting mailed out, very frustrated customers were beginning to receive their long-awaited packages. Though it was a PR nightmare for SGWorks (and they received a mountain of hate mail, calls, and rebukes on forums), the family toughed it out. After the initial capital-raising fiasco, SGWorks raised the base price of their kit to $200 ($230 for the rails and extended magazine release package) plus shipping. This move still kept the kit at a fair price point while increasing the revenue needed to keep producing the kits. While the production problem was mostly solved, final fitting and assembly was still causing a major bottleneck in the process. The owners were able to secure an investor that was willing to bankroll the hiring of staff and that’s where SGWorks finally, bruised and battered (bleeding and with a few missing limbs), made it over the hump.
The following months saw orders shipping in droves and the back orders went from over a year away from delivery to just a few months. My personal order took a year and four months from time of purchase to delivery. I will gladly repeat the praise that many before me have, that this product is very much worth the wait. Though a bit of fitting is required (considering it was made to fit almost every model of SKS, this is a feat in and of itself), once assembled, the rifle feels like it’s a real modern firearm. I made an installation and initial thoughts video review of the kit which can be watched here:
If you’re interested in reading their blog history from the beginning, I highly recommend it.
I have a lot of respect for the crew at SGWorks. They did something that I think very few people in this day and age can do. They took a concept to production, went through a brutal birthing process, never gave up, and against all odds they succeeded in making their company economically viable with a coveted product. They have my respect as a company and my appreciation as a customer. I look forward to seeing what they have hinted at coming up next.