New Saiga vs Bulgarian AK-74 Need input

New Saiga vs Bulgarian AK-74 Need input

This is a discussion on New Saiga vs Bulgarian AK-74 Need input within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Just received my Centerfire Systems Catalog. I have been considering a Saiga in 7.62x39 for some time. The catalog also has a Bulgarian AK 74 ...

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Thread: New Saiga vs Bulgarian AK-74 Need input

  1. #1
    Member Array BAGMAN's Avatar
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    New Saiga vs Bulgarian AK-74 Need input

    Just received my Centerfire Systems Catalog. I have been considering a Saiga in 7.62x39 for some time. The catalog also has a Bulgarian AK 74 in 5.45x39. The Saiga is new for $350, which I would eventually like to convert, and the AK-74 is $370.

    Need input:

    Value - in your opinion which is better? Cost/quality

    7.62 vs 5.45?

    I am looking for a reasonably priced shtf rifle. Can't afford an AR...
    "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli" Clemenza


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    Tough question. The Bulgarian is better quality, but I'd rather have the 7.62x39, and it isnt like the Saiga is junk.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Member Array BigFish's Avatar
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    I went down this same sort of thought process and ended up getting a Saiga in 7.62x39. Ammo is cheap and widely available in quantity. Most of the places I buy ammo from, local and online, don't carry 5.45x39 so that was a big red flag for me. On the other hand, if you are looking for the longer range of the AK74, a Saiga in .223 might be a better option on your wallet. I don't hunt, but I've heard that the 223 and 5.45 rounds aren't effective and illegal to hunt with in many places so it kind of limits the rifle to defensive only use.
    "Legitimate use of violence can only be that which is required in self-defense."
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    Tough question. The Bulgarian is better quality, but I'd rather have the 7.62x39, and it isn't like the Saiga is junk.
    Can't really add anything to that. Tough question. I'll apologize for not being of much help here. In the interim of your deciding.......look around for ammo in either caliber.............calculate the availability and the costs of your first 500-1000 rounds, then chose your rifle based on that. I already have a stockpile of 7.62x39 so that would make my decision easier for me if I were in the market.

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    For not so long time ago I went through the same thing. I ended up getting a Saiga 7.62x39 with dimpled receiver, which I will convert. I will send it to Red Jacket alternative Rifle Dynamics depending on the type of conversion. I do not regret the choice.
    "The Second Amendment: America's Original Homeland Security"

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    VIP Member Array obxned's Avatar
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    For the price 0f 3-4000 rounds of 7.62x39 you can get the same amount of 5.45 AND a Bulgarian AK-74. The surplus Russia 5.45 ammo is plentiful, very lethal, accurate, and amazingly inexpensive.
    "If we loose Freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the Last Place on Earth!" Ronald Reagan

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    Senior Member Array zeppelin03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GM View Post
    For not so long time ago I went through the same thing. I ended up getting a Saiga 7.62x39 with dimpled receiver, which I will convert. I will send it to Red Jacket alternative Rifle Dynamics depending on the type of conversion. I do not regret the choice.
    Does the dimpled receiver make any difference as far as conversions go?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zeppelin03 View Post
    Does the dimpled receiver make any difference as far as conversions go?
    I am not sure I understand what you mean, but you can convert a dimpled receiver without problems. The dimpled receiver reduces magazine slop.
    "The Second Amendment: America's Original Homeland Security"

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    The Saiga is the way to go. For that price the Bulgy is probably a Century Arms International kit gun. The rifles in order to be 922 compliant or simply because they are worn out are put together with US barrels which are not accurate and have the tendency to keyhole, the round turns sideways in flight and enters the target in profile. They have been fired with corrosive ammo and not maintained. Now you may luck out and get a good one but once you buy you are stuck with it.
    Save some money up and get the Saiga converted.
    I currently am having Rifle Dynamics build both and AK and an M4 for me. You can also look for AK kits and send them in to be put together it is not as expensive as you think.
    Personally I carry an AK on a daily basis over here and prefer the 7.62. It will do anything you need it to do but it is up to you.

    In regards to AR's. Go to the CMMG website they have bargain basement M4's for $500 something. They are name brand guns that were used for T&E. You may get a Rock River, Armalite or maybe even a Colt for the same price. CMMG is a great company and sells AR parts to other companies and also has their own line of rifles.

    Just an opinion good luck on your search
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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    Member Array BAGMAN's Avatar
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    Thanks to all for your input. I really had intended to go with the Saiga but then questioned that choice once I saw the AK74. The reason I considered the AK74 was because no conversion would have been necessary like I'd need to have done to the Saiga, thus saving that expense. I have heard of quality problems with the Bulgarian/Romanian rifles that have been cobbled together using new US barrels and receivers along with used parts. Getting a reliable, accurate rifle is somewhat of a crap shoot from what I've read here and on several other sites. I did research the availability of 5.45x39 ammo and that doesn't appear to be a problem. Tacman605 thanks for the heads-up on CMMG. I hadn't seen AR's (not of any quality anyway) in the $500 range. Maybe I'll wait and save a few more pennies and go that route. Thanks again.
    "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli" Clemenza

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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    Tough question. The Bulgarian is better quality, but I'd rather have the 7.62x39, and it isnt like the Saiga is junk.
    I have to disagree with your statement. The Saiga's are made in the orginal AK factory in mother Russia and are very high quality rifles. The Bulgarian 74's that Centerfire and others sell are built by the Century Arms grinder monkies from used parts kits with US made barrels and recievers. From my own first hand experience handling and shooting several, and the reports from many other owners the quality of these guns has been very spotty at best and many have problems with keyholing. OP.....Get the Saiga and convert it to AK configeration yourself, its relatively ease with basic tools and even limited mechanical skills. And its a satisfiying project you can be proud of when its compelted.
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    Senior Member Array zero's Avatar
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    The Saigas are defiantly not junk, they are sleepers that should not be underestimated. The convert/restoration is $150ish on top of rifle charge, depending on how much you want to spend.

    If you don't desire to move the FCG and other stuff then go for the Bulgy. Plenty have no problem with them, some do.

    I picked up a Saiga 5.45 as a practice AK. At .13 a round (corrosive from AIM) I figured I wouldn't have to worry about counting. Just ordered Wolf Military Classic hollow point (8m3) from Ammoman for 209 delivered. It is nice to see 7.62 coming down.

    The 5.45 is plenty mean and the 7.62 has a lot of punch. Either is fine as a SHTF rifle to me.

    Shop wisely and buy lots of ammo to enjoy your rifle, regardless of caliber.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pirate View Post
    I have to disagree with your statement. The Saiga's are made in the orginal AK factory in mother Russia and are very high quality rifles. The Bulgarian 74's that Centerfire and others sell are built by the Century Arms grinder monkies from used parts kits with US made barrels and recievers. From my own first hand experience handling and shooting several, and the reports from many other owners the quality of these guns has been very spotty at best and many have problems with keyholing. OP.....Get the Saiga and convert it to AK configeration yourself, its relatively ease with basic tools and even limited mechanical skills. And its a satisfiying project you can be proud of when its compelted.
    I guess I got to agree with you if the assumption of it being a kit gun is correct.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array pirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    I guess I got to agree with you if the assumption of it being a kit gun is correct.
    All AK style rifles now sold in the US are built in the US from imported parts kits (of varing quality) with US made receivers because an "assault type" rifle cannot be imported. They may be manufactured (from parts kits) and sold domestically, but not imported........that its why Saiga's are imported in the "sporting configuration" and have to be converted back to military config. (pistol grip). So all the Bulgarian AK74's are parts kit rifles and the Century rifles are at the lower quality end.
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    Senior Member Array Macattack's Avatar
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    I bought a tgi "truck gun" ak74 back when they were discounted to 299. The reason i bought it was it had a new bulgarian CHROME lined barrel. I got this rifle after selling my keyholing junk century rifle. If you can find a chrome lined bulgy at a good price (but not a century) then go that route. Having to do it right now, I would probably go the Saiga route.

    Either way, you can have a rifle that shoots the 5.45 cartidge. Check out aim, as their prices are usually the best on this ammo. buy a tin of 1020 rds for 129.00 and just clean the rifle at the end of the day. You'll be shooting long after the other guys have to pack up and leave!!!!!
    "In those days, there was a lot more respect for other people and it showed in peoples values.... Today the word value means nothing more than something you get on the $1 menu at McDonald's." -BARK'N

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