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Old 11-30-2017, 03:43 PM   #1
RaytheGreat
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Default Should I stay away from Arsenal's 106 series?

I would love to have a 5.56 "74m" style AK, and the Arsenals look great.
However, I have heard a lot of bad things about them...
I have heard from Chase at Definitive Arms that they weren't designed well, and I know about the early production issues... After all, they ended up discontinuing the 106 series of rifles.

Also, I heard the barrels don't last long lol. Like, less than 10k rounds.
Can anyone give me any clarification on this? I want to hear from as many different sources as I can. I know the 5.45 74 is a safe design, but It would be nice to have a 5.56 rifle (always easy to find ammo).
What do you all think? How many rounds have you put through your 106 Arsenal, and what's your take on the series on a whole?

Thanks so much guys... - Love from Ray
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Old 11-30-2017, 04:12 PM   #2
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What you read about "bad guns" on the internet reflects less than .01% of reality.

Human psychology, anonymity, blah blah blah ( I wrote a very detailed post here explaining all this years ago )

If you want one, buy one.
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Old 11-30-2017, 04:22 PM   #3
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Yeah! If you want an IO, just buy one then! All of that "bad stuff" about them reflects less than .01% of reality!

Ignore reviews!
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Old 11-30-2017, 04:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Worm View Post
Yeah! If you want an IO, just buy one then! All of that "bad stuff" about them reflects less than .01% of reality!

Ignore that rubbish!
There are exceptions, again based on numbers.

You don't see many posts / threads about the 106, relative to the IO/Century-made guns, do you?

Every gun manufacturer pushes out lemons ( some run a lemon factory that pushes out good gun on occasion ). The number of posts bitchin' about any particular gun will indicate which is which, and - relatively speaking - the 106 series is hardly complained about. This indicates a "normal" lemon rate plus the usual "i hate arsenal, so I'm gonna copy this guy's harsh review over to dozens of discussion boards under different names and make it seem like a suicide weapon for whoever buys it" campaign.


I really need to find my original post on this.
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Old 11-30-2017, 04:30 PM   #5
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I'd worry more about finding mags.
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Old 11-30-2017, 04:32 PM   #6
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Thanks for your responses, guys. I'm used to 5.45 and 7.62 AK's, so I'm totally new to 5.56 AK rifles. I was really going off this post by Chase from DA, on why they stopped accepting SLR 106 guns for repairs/mods:



"The bolt pattern and feed geometry is not the best for the 5.56 cartridge.
There is even some speculation that the rails and ejector are not correct as well.

Probably the biggest issue we encountered were short or rapidly worn ejectors.
We have welded up, re shaped, re hardened and re tempered more 106 ejectors then I care to recall.

The feed geometry is quite steep as well. The distance from the front of the magazine to the chamber is around an 1/8" shorter on the 106 then say a Saiga or VEPR.

The 106 is patterned more like an AKM rather than a 74.
The AK 74 with its longer stem bolt pattern and longer feed geometry are a better set up for feeding narrow/small diameter cartridges like the 5.45x39mm and likewise the 5.56x45mm cartridge.

Without a rather large scallop at the entrance of the chamber (which can be seen at the 6 o'clock position on all 106 chambers) there is great stress on the cartridge as it tries to feed into the chamber while the rear of the cartridge slides upward against the bolt face on its way into lock up. Often times, using brass cased cartridges, these rifles may buckle the cartridge or stuff the projectile in the case from hitting the inside of the chamber at the 12 o'clock position on entry. Something we have experienced a lot of in our shop. This is rifles WITH OUT our conversion. Factory rifles.

Also consider that the large scallops at the bottom of the chamber, often times appearing to have been ground out by hand, can cause case support issues. We have experienced 106 rifles with very poor case head support. Some that had bulged brass and were dangerously close to having blow outs.

This is a cause for concern as a shop that was retrofitting these rifles.
It played a large part in our decision to stop offering our services on them, not to mention a whole bunch of other issues that are inherent with 106 series rifles.

Now to be fair. We have a number of 106 rifles owned by DA that are perfectly fine. Some that just needed a little love and they are now OK rifles. However for the price point they often demand, they should run well out of the box.

The other rifles offered by Arsenal that come through our shop have been just fine.
The 106 rifle is simply lacking in the quality most should expect from Arsenal. As such, it is no wonder they are being discontinued despite all the different stories I've heard as to why they're being discontinued.

As a business, we lost lots of money by fixing a number of customers NIB 106 rifles for free. Why would we do that?
Well, consider you're our customer and you just sent us a NIB 106. In fact you never even handled it. You ordered it directly to our shop.
We would perform our conversions and do a whole host of other work to these rifles. Upon test fire there would be one of any number of issues wrong with them. Often times resulting in an extensive amount of time to not only disassemble and diagnose, but to repair and refinish the firearm. Considering we would permanently alter the firearm, Arsenal was reluctant to warranty the rifles (understandable on that note). However, for example, we don't alter the ejector what so ever. Failures to eject due to short ejectors has little to nothing to do with our conversions. Again, this is just one of the many issues we'd encounter. Calling up the customer and saying "Hey, I also need to tack on another $200 to your bill to cover repair X and problem Y" is not something that goes over well. Especially when the customer sent you a NIB gun. As such, we didn't want to leave our customers holding the bag. We genuinely care about their satisfaction. Taking their money and sending them a rifle that doesn't work under the cover of "That issue wasn't caused by us... not our problem" still sits poorly in the customers mind, even if the problem isn't our fault.

After eating enough free repairs in the name of satisfying our customers combined with the host of general issues/concerns we had with the 106 series of rifles, it was our only choice to stop offering our services to them.
We do not want to encourage people to spend their hard earned money on a rifle we don't believe is the best bang for their buck. Furthermore, consider that we are back logged with Saiga conversions, VEPR conversions, and tons of regular smithing work on a host of other AKs and it simply doesn't make sense for us to continue to spend our time on the 106 rifles.

I hope everyone finds this post informative. This is merely our opinion from a prolonged experience with those rifles. We have nothing to gain by convincing you one AK is better than the other. This is simply our experience.
We hope this doesn't offend anyone, we just want to share any knowledge we can and help the community as a whole.
Thank you all for your understanding."
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Old 11-30-2017, 04:33 PM   #7
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Rmiller, yeah finding mags is hard... but I could deal with that annoyance if the gun worked fine long term... AK mags don't wear out lol
- Ray
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Old 11-30-2017, 04:34 PM   #8
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To me a 5.56 AK is a fun gun, if you want it buy it. I find it odd how people here want to buy a firearm that needs to be combat proven, Spetsnaz approved and 100% reliable for the next 50k rounds to go plink with.

It's an Arsenal, it'll work and you can shoot it till it keyholes then keep shooting it some more. Now if the conversation was, is this the proper rifle for my SHTF setup? Then it would matter, and in which case using a 5.56 AK would be laughable, in my humble opinion.
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Old 11-30-2017, 04:47 PM   #9
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You should take what Chase says with a grain of salt and a lot of what he says is in respect to modding the Arsenal AK to take AR mags.

Well the 106 wasn't designed to take AR mags, it was designed to take its own AK mags. If you want an AR-mag-taking AK then you should get something else like the Yugo M90NP's that were factory modified to do so. Of course based on my experience with it they aren't that smooth to operate and have their own issues that I dealt with.

I have a 106 from 2006. I only use Bulgarian and Polish surplus mags with it not crappy aftermarket ones from ProMag. No issues.

If you are worried about barrel life then don't use crappy steel-cased ammo. Spend a little more and use brass. I myself never had much good luck with steel-cased 5.56 always having issues. 5.56 was designed around brass; use it for the best results and longevity.

Also the reason they stopped selling 106's is because 5.56 AK's are not popular and don't sell well, not because they were bad. They are even less popular than 5.45 AK's. Only diehard AK fanboys (like myself) want a 5.56 AK. The vast majority of shooters would rather have a much cheaper AR in 5.56 that takes cheap, readily available mags.
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Old 11-30-2017, 04:52 PM   #10
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personally, I would go for a Bren... the rifle costs more upfront, but it balances out once you include the price of 10 or so magazines.
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Old 11-30-2017, 04:53 PM   #11
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I have a 106FR, CR, and UR. The CR and UR have been sbr'd. All three have been flawless, and pretty heavily used. Never once had any kind of hiccup.
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Old 11-30-2017, 05:29 PM   #12
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Thanks guys, I feel more comfortable about this now... Do you have any idea of the round count you guys are getting?
I know what bi-metal does to chambers and bores, but AK's sometimes run better with steel case. Does brass run fine through your guns?
Thanks everyone
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Old 11-30-2017, 05:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaytheGreat View Post
Thanks guys, I feel more comfortable about this now... Do you have any idea of the round count you guys are getting?
I know what bi-metal does to chambers and bores, but AK's sometimes run better with steel case. Does brass run fine through your guns?
Thanks everyone
What's the tired old axiom that always gets tossed out at times like this?

"If you can afford enough steel cased ammo to burn out a barrel, you can afford to buy a new barrel with the money you've saved on steel cased ammo"


. . and to be honest, the differences in barrel life 'tween steel & brass cased ammo isn't big enough to even worry about - on paper.

On internet forums - of course - it's a whole different story . .


Do I want my barrel to last until my great-grandchildren wear it out, or their children?

Last edited by nalioth; 11-30-2017 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 11-30-2017, 05:37 PM   #14
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Thanks Nalioth... its more of a concern for me because I'm looking at the 106CR, and I probably wouldn't be able to find a replacement barrel... I just want to get as much life out of the thing before the barrel is shot out... Then I could buy another rifle
Sorry for these stupid questions, I'm just new to 5.56 AK's and sometimes new is intimidating.

Thanks - Ray
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Old 11-30-2017, 05:44 PM   #15
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Twotoedsnapper has good input here,

He has been successfully modding 74 mags to work as well. His is running GREAT! But him saying that would be form the horse's mouth. But I did sell it to him... Both of us were impressed with how well it was actually built and the reason he bought it from me...

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Old 11-30-2017, 06:16 PM   #16
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I am curious, how often do people actually shoot out their semi-auto AK barrels? I know it can and does happen, but am asking just how common this is?
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Old 11-30-2017, 06:23 PM   #17
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I want a 106, I would be more worried about paying for good mags and the whole feeding angle thing before I would worry about the barrel getting shot out. I see the appeal of a 556 AK
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Old 11-30-2017, 06:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mishaco View Post
I am curious, how often do people actually shoot out their semi-auto AK barrels? I know it can and does happen, but am asking just how common this is?
If you have plenty of AK rifles, their is really no need to worry about barrel ware. Unless, you have a particular favorite.
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Old 11-30-2017, 06:30 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMiller View Post
I'd worry more about finding mags.
This^^, other than that.. I have a SLR106UR and a 5.56 AK that I recently built. Both 5.56 AK's are fun to shoot.
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Old 11-30-2017, 06:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mishaco View Post
I am curious, how often do people actually shoot out their semi-auto AK barrels? I know it can and does happen, but am asking just how common this is?
If you own 20 AKs, and shoot them all infrequently then rarely to never. If you shoot the same amount of ammo through 3 of them then it can happen eventually.

I just plumped down deposits for some classes in 2018....it will add up to 7k rounds for that year not including range trips or "plinking". If I do the same the next year and the year after that will anybody be surprised that I burned out my vz58 barrel after 21k rounds?
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Old 11-30-2017, 06:52 PM   #21
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If you own 20 AKs, and shoot them all infrequently then rarely to never. If you shoot the same amount of ammo through 3 of them then it can happen eventually.

I just plumped down deposits for some classes in 2018....it will add up to 7k rounds for that year not including range trips or "plinking". If I do the same the next year and the year after that will anybody be surprised that I burned out my vz58 barrel after 21k rounds?
The "barrel ratings" for military barrels are envisioned for "worst case" conditions.

What does "21K rounds" of full auto fire equal in semiauto?
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Old 11-30-2017, 06:58 PM   #22
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I'd love a 556 AK. The only real issue is magazines. I'm surprised 556 AK's aren't widely popular in the US considering 762 Russian is a dying caliber and 554 is on it's deathbed as well due to import restrictions.
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Old 11-30-2017, 07:08 PM   #23
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Ok you can also still find 223 saiga on the used market fairly cheap if you don't mind converting them. Both are good options and should run fine for you. Some early slr106cr did have issues feeding and I believe it had to do with the trigger guard spacer and feed angle from what I read a while back so check the build date of the one you want. 5.56 Aks are fun though good luck
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Old 11-30-2017, 07:44 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nalioth View Post
The "barrel ratings" for military barrels are envisioned for "worst case" conditions.

What does "21K rounds" of full auto fire equal in semiauto?
Ive asked that same question myself.
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Old 11-30-2017, 10:04 PM   #25
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Exactly, what I am curious about too. Full-auto fire is much harder on barrels than semi only. Plus how many guns are treated/abused in military service. With a semi-auto that is privately owned and cared for reasonably well, I wonder how many rounds it would take to truely wear out the barrel? I don't just mean a small loss in accuracy, but to get it to the point of shotout/a smooth bore ready for shotgun shells hehe.

Personally, I have a couple Romie and a couple more Radom CHF virgin barrels squirreled away. They were cheap enough and never know when one might come in handy for some reason.

Arsenal/K-Var has/had virgin 5.56 barrels. Maybe not a terrible idea to buy one, if you own an SLR-106 and plan to put 21,000 rds through it.
That's roughly $7,000 in ammo for brass cased, and the barrels were $150-$200 depending if bought on sale or not.
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Old 11-30-2017, 10:21 PM   #26
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Quote:
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.....and 554 is on it's deathbed as well due to import restrictions.
Oh no you didnt....
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Old 11-30-2017, 10:39 PM   #27
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Thank you everyone! I'll look into a spare barrel if I decide to go with the 106 route....
I definitely don't have 20 AK's, and If I go with the 106 it'll be my new go-to gun... And I shoot a lot. I am sure the barrel would last a very long time, but as far as ammo is concerned, I want to make my guns last as long as I can. Changing an AK barrel is not as simple as changing a Glock barrel or an AR barrel lol. I'm lazy, I just want to shoot and not have to worry...
It would be nice to have a 5.56 AK for the obvious reasons, ammo availability is awesome. I have been thinking about this for a long time. I am still debating this in my head, but I might just get a 107CR, or if I can't find one for a reasonable price, a 104fr.
Thanks all - Ray
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Old 12-01-2017, 05:54 AM   #28
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For 5.56 I would better buy good AR15 or rifle like Tavor, Scar, Bren etc. Nothing against of 106 but that is just me. Tons of good AR’s for cheap is around this year, and I love mine new LWRC DI

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Old 12-01-2017, 07:12 AM   #29
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For several years I wanted an Arsenal 106 series rifle. Have quite a few Arsenal Magazines for them. I started out my own AK journey with a 5.56/ .223 Chinese BWK 92, which I still have. If you are set on a .223 AK perhaps a VEPR in that caliber would do - I know mine will accept a Bulgy waffle in .223. I have numerous .223 AK's - Romanian, VEPR, and Russian (the old undimpled receiver style) and one of the Russian Saiga is modified to resemble an Arsenal 106 series rifle, in particular as I had it converted with a Bulgy sight/threaded Gas Block, and it feeds and functions very well.
Post number 28 sums it up for me at this point. That LWRC DI, and others of lesser geld load - like PSA, offer all the advantages of modern American AR technology in that rifle and caliber.
However, I do understand the AK Bug, and the desire to own AK's in that caliber (I am keeping mine) it is just that there is not a lot to choose from rifle and mag wise that is new and standard and plentiful out there like there is with the AR and a few other rifle types.
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Old 12-01-2017, 08:00 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaytheGreat View Post
I would love to have a 5.56 "74m" style AK, and the Arsenals look great.
However, I have heard a lot of bad things about them...
I have heard from Chase at Definitive Arms that they weren't designed well, and I know about the early production issues... After all, they ended up discontinuing the 106 series of rifles.

Also, I heard the barrels don't last long lol. Like, less than 10k rounds.
Can anyone give me any clarification on this? I want to hear from as many different sources as I can. I know the 5.45 74 is a safe design, but It would be nice to have a 5.56 rifle (always easy to find ammo).
What do you all think? How many rounds have you put through your 106 Arsenal, and what's your take on the series on a whole?

Thanks so much guys... - Love from Ray

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Old 12-01-2017, 04:19 PM   #31
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I really like my 106 and have had no issues. In fact I like it so much I cut down to one AR. I know there are many purists that just can't tolerate a 5.56 AK (and they have a right to their opinion), but I look at it this way: I truly enjoy shooting an AK, I like the reliability, I like the simplicity, my 106 is reliable as hell, and I have a shit ton of .223 and 5.56 ammo. The mag cost? That sucks - sucks bad, but I like the rifle so much I'm just pushing the mag cost aside and moving forward with my 106 and enjoying it.
P.S. I agree with Mr. Nalioth on this:
What's the tired old axiom that always gets tossed out at times like this?"If you can afford enough steel cased ammo to burn out a barrel, you can afford to buy a new barrel with the money you've saved on steel cased ammo". . and to be honest, the differences in barrel life 'tween steel & brass cased ammo isn't big enough to even worry about - on paper. On internet forums - of course - it's a whole different story . .

Way too much B.S. about shooting barrels out. We wanna-be's on the internet spend too much time making non-issues into the Himalayas.
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Old 12-01-2017, 04:40 PM   #32
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ARs.......

......yawn.

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Old 12-01-2017, 05:24 PM   #33
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Just start your own lemon factory by building a .223 AK74, yukedy, yuk!
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:09 PM   #34
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Love my 106fr, it's a keeper. Is it my shtf rifle no, but my other Arsenal AKs are not either.
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Old 12-01-2017, 07:53 PM   #35
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I probably have less than 200rds through my 106ur, but having inspected initial wear and having had no failures so far, there is no reason I wouldn't trust mine.
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