Saiga-12, first impressions

Saiga-12, first impressions

This is a discussion on Saiga-12, first impressions within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I picked up some Saiga-12s yesterday. Mind you, I'm an 870/Benelli sorta guy, and I am a bit biased. First impressions: - Higher production quality ...

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16

Thread: Saiga-12, first impressions

  1. #1
    Member Array bae's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    San Juan Islands
    Posts
    257

    Saiga-12, first impressions

    I picked up some Saiga-12s yesterday.

    Mind you, I'm an 870/Benelli sorta guy, and I am a bit biased.

    First impressions:

    - Higher production quality than I had been led to expect
    - The manual is the suck
    - The balance of the gun is superb, and the sporting stock fits me fine. Most of the weight of the gun is between your hands, it swings and points really fast compared to anything else I have. As soon as I picked up one, I got a big grin on my face, it instantly mounts properly and is very fast in your hands.
    - Comes with Commie side-mount optics clamp-thingy attached, I did not expect this.
    - The trigger is a bit on the gritty, creepy side. It's the stock Commie trigger though, it appears. Slapping in a US-made trigger package would really help
    - My wife loves it, as soon as she saw it, she said "that's really stupid..... Everyone needs one!"
    - Functionally, I ran a few boxes of buckshot and birdshot through it, and it operates without complaint, and with pretty pleasant recoil. The stock butt has a hard plastic "pad", it looks like two screws would allow you to attach a rubber one easily enough if you wanted to.

    This works so nicely, and handle so well in out-of-the-box trim, that I'm not sure I'm going to bother to do a complete conversion job. I may leave one stock and use it for a deer gun, the sights are fine for this.

    I ordered a Polychoke, for which the barrel is already externally-threaded, and will take one to the trap range to freak out the Fudds next week.


  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array randytulsa2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    1,548
    I got one not too long ago, too. I agree with everything you've said. The gun points and handles much better than one would think. The "manual" is ridiculous. It is as reliable, in my admittedly limited firing of it, as the day is long.

    I've got to hand it to your wife, too: the thing is so stupid and awkward-looking that is simply a must-have smile-maker.

    My wife said "What's that? A shotgun with a magazine?"

    "Yeah", was about all I could manage as a response - - with kind of a dumb grin on my face, along with "Uh...it's Kalishnikov's design, Hon..." & etc.

    I was going to go dove hunting with it, so I ordered up some 2-round magazines from SaigaStock.com. They don't work. At all. I got some extra 5-rounders (all of which function flawlessly). I might get some 10-rounders, but I think they'd make the surprisingly well-balanced weapon a little clumsy.

    It's still a thing of beauty, properly considered. Extremely functional and well-made, IMHO. Tough-as-nails and made cheap. What else could you ask for?
    "...bad decisions that turn out well often make heroes."


    Gary D. Mitchell, A Sniper's Journey: The Truth About the Man and the Rifle, P. 103, NAL Caliber books, 2006, 1st Ed.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array Rustynuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    777
    Converting it properly to US trigger is a bit more involved than just slapping it in. But if you are at ALL handy, it's not too bad. A couple rivets need to be ground off to get the bottom plate removed. You will need to paint this area as well. If you are REALLY unlucky you might also have to cut a pistol grip nut hole. The new trigger stuff does drop in, but the springs are a pain. Now grinding off the stock "tang" to a fit a folder is also a pain. Also get a Tromix DIY trigger guard, will save LOTS of grief and looks cool. DON'T get the all-in-one stock and pistol grip combo (for use without converting and moving trigger forward. They look dumb and not considered a "true" conversion. Note, whenever you slap a 8 or 10-rd mag or put a folder or pistol grip on, you need to be aware of the importation 922r rules (10 foreign parts or less), so buy US made stuff for the conversion.

    My converted Saiga with Tromix DIY guard and foregrip, Ace folder setup.



  4. #4
    Mo
    Mo is offline
    Member Array Mo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Missouri, USA
    Posts
    247
    Hey RN - mind if I ask how much the folder setup cost? I'm thinking about it for my saiga. Looks like about $130 for the folder and about $40 for the hinge mechanism? And which hinge mech did you use??

    Sorry to hijack the thread. I'll add that the 7.62x39mm is similarly awesome, considering you get a brand new Russian-built AK with a perfect bore.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array Rustynuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    777
    No, I think the $130 folder price is already WITH the folding mechanism (but you still would need the internal block). I bought mine separately though since I wanted the push-button type. It's $90 alone. The non-button version is $60.
    ACE LTD. USA

    The stock itself can be used fixed or folding, $65, and I got the extra deep 1" pad, no charge.
    ACE LTD. USA

    To do it "right" you have to grind off the stock tang on the receiver and fit the internal block which structurally supports the stock assembly, or there are plates that need welded on made by Tromix. This Ace internal block doesn't add any extra length to the gun and bolts on with one bolt (after a little fitting). $40
    ACE LTD. USA



    Another good place to look for parts is MAA

    http://www.mississippiautoarms.com/i...ort=20a&page=1

    So all-in I have $90+ $65+ $40 = $195 just in the stock setup.

    This setup still allows enough room for a lefty to shoot and has room for the left-handed optics mount to still be used.


  6. #6
    Mo
    Mo is offline
    Member Array Mo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Missouri, USA
    Posts
    247
    Right on, I meant $170 for the whole thing, including block. If I do it, I'll do it right and cut off the tang. Looks like I was about $25 short.

    Thanks for the price breaakdown!

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    OK
    Posts
    3,468
    If you call Ace, they may have parts in the "seconds/returns" bin. I bought 2 AK folder setups for $109 delivered. A touch of matte black Krylon, and they looked new.

  8. #8
    Member Array kohburn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Lusby, MD
    Posts
    210
    so if you were to make your own foregrip and buttstock, would those count as usa made parts for the 922r compliance?
    "An armed society is a polite society" - Robert A. Heinlein

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array Pete Zaria's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    737
    I've been very interested in the Saiga 12; it will probably be my next gun purchase.

    Nice weapons, for sure, guys.

    Mind if I ask, has anyone tried grouping it with slugs? That's one of my concerns about buying one... I'd like it to at least be able to put a 5-shot group on a dinner plate from 50 or 75 yards. Anyone know if it'll do that?

    Peace,
    Pete Zaria.
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
    - Margaret Mead


    "Booger Hook Off the Bang Switch" - unknown

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array Rustynuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    777
    I'd ask that question over at Saiga-12.com forum. It's smooth bore, but with rifled slugs it might do it.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array Rustynuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    777
    Quote Originally Posted by Mo View Post
    Right on, I meant $170 for the whole thing, including block. If I do it, I'll do it right and cut off the tang. Looks like I was about $25 short.

    Thanks for the price breaakdown!
    You can still do that price with the regular hinge at $60 to get $165. I have a regular hinge but haven't installed it yet on my 410, so not sure how the action compares. Same build quality, just no push button lock.

  12. #12
    Mo
    Mo is offline
    Member Array Mo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Missouri, USA
    Posts
    247
    Quote Originally Posted by kohburn View Post
    so if you were to make your own foregrip and buttstock, would those count as usa made parts for the 922r compliance?
    Sure! You could even leave them completely off and be legal if you wanted. The number of US parts don't mean anything according to the law. The only thing that matters is the number of foreign components. An AK with 11 of the listed foreign parts and no US parts is just as illegal as an AK with 11 of the listed parts and 20 US parts.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array Rustynuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    777
    Small 922r discussion ripped from Dinzag over at Saiga-12.com.

    "Parts Count on Saiga Shotguns and Rifles

    In this document I will attempt to express my understanding of the current laws and how they apply to the Saiga firearms. If you have questions & concerns or disagree with what I've put together, we can modify. The scope of this is to have a post to link members to if they have parts count questions. I realize there are several posts on this, but most do not specifically apply to both rifles and shotguns. Maybe this can be stickied somewhere handy.

    Before doing anything, check with your local and state laws as you may have tighter regulations than what the ATF has laid out for us.

    The Saigas have a certain number of parts in their unmodified “Sporting” configuration. They are considered imported because they have more than 10 imported parts in them. As such they are held to 922 compliance.

    If you want to use high capacity magazines, convert the weapon to pistol grip configuration or use a flash hider, it will then be considered unsporting. You will need to swap out parts so that you have no more than 10 imported parts in it. It will then be considered a US made firearm and 922 does not apply. See bottom of this post for more 922 info and some grey areas.



    Parts List

    Here’s a quick overview of the parts count determined by the ATF definition letter listed at http://www.soupbowl.kalashnikov.guns.ru/page12.html. For the Saiga rifles, refer to the Galil/AK parts count. The Saiga Shotguns are directly referenced.

    A Saiga Rifle in factory configuration has 14 parts.
    A Saiga shotgun threaded for chokes has 14 parts.
    A Saiga shotgun not threaded for chokes has 13 parts.

    (parts on a factory config saiga are in bold)

    (1) Receiver
    (2) Barrels

    (3) Barrel extensions
    (4) Mounting blocks, trunnion (rifles only)
    (5) Muzzle attachments (shotguns w/ threaded barrels only)
    (6) Bolts
    (7) Bolt carriers

    (8) Operating rods
    (9) Gas pistons
    (10) Trigger housings
    (11) Triggers
    (12) Hammers

    (13) Sears
    (14) Disconnectors
    (15) Buttstock

    (16) Pistol grips
    (17) Forearms, handguards
    (18) Magazine bodies
    (19) Followers
    (20) Floorplates




    Examples:

    You have a Saiga-12 with factory threaded barrel. (14 parts) You want to convert it to pistol grip configuration. You will need 5 U.S. made parts to make it a U.S. firearm since adding a pistol grip is adding a part from the list.

    -or-

    You have a Saiga-7.62x39 and want to use high capacity magazines. Since high capacity magazines are considered “unsporting”, and would be in violation of 922. Your rifle with mag has 14 parts. Use U.S. made mags and one additional U.S. made part like a gas piston and you are good to go.

    -or-

    You have a Saiga-410 and want to use the factory 10 round magazines. This is believed to be considered high-capacity in a shotgun and be in violation of 922. You will need to remove imported parts and replace them with U.S. made parts so you have no more than 10 imported ones total.



    Grey Areas

    Sporting Purposes…
    While this was defined in the now-defunct AWB of 1994, the term "Sporting Purposes" is in actuality determined by the opinion of the Secretary of the Treasury. There is no clear ruling on what exactly that means so adding a bayonet lug or flash hider to the firearm may be considered "unsporting" and in violation of 922.

    High Capacity Magazines…
    It has been argued what exactly high capacity magazine means. Generally it has been understood that the magazine limit for rifles is 10 rounds and shotguns is 5. Anymore than that and it’s considered “unsuitable for sporting purposes”. Problem is there are no clear definitions stating that exactly.

    Flash Hider/Muzzle Brakes/Compensators…
    Any type of FH, Brake, Comp or choke are considered muzzle devices. They are included in the parts count. However there has been some disagreement in the past as to whether adding a muzzle brake constitutes making the imported weapon “unsporting”.

    Shotgun Chokes…
    It’s also arguable whether chokes are considered a part or not and the threading itself is not considered a part, but to be on the safe side I’d consider a choke or thread protector a muzzle device.

    Shotgun Pistons…
    It’s been the general understanding that the grooved plug in the gas block on the shotguns is considered the piston and the rod on the bolt carrier is either and operating rod or carrier extension. The gas piston on the rifles and other AK’s is the part that is threaded into the bolt carrier.

    Parts count difference between the rifles and shotguns…
    The main difference between the rifle and shotguns parts counts is the shotguns do not have #(4) Mounting blocks, trunnion. I don’t really understand that part because to be they look to have the same general construction, but that is how the definitions are listed by the ATF themselves.



    922 in short…

    Section 922, of Title 18, U.S.C. prohibits assembly of certain semiautomatic rifles from imported parts. The implementing regulations in Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) section 178.39(a), provide that no person shall assemble a semiautomatic rifle or any shotgun using more than 10 of the imported parts listed in paragraph of this section if the assembled firearm is prohibited from importation under section 925(d) (3) as not being particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.

    For further information about 922, go to the ATF Website or Office of the Law Revision Counsel and search for 18 U.S.C. 922 and 27 CFR 478.39 of the Gun Control Act (GCA) of 1968.



    In Summary

    So you made it through all the gibberish above, I hope I have enlightened you a little about the legalities of modifying a Saiga. In short, convert the thing to a U.S. made firearm and do whatever you want to it. Just mind your parts count!

    922 isn't such a bad thing, think of all the U.S. business you are helping to support. Also you are turning that ugly little antelope into a much more graceful looking thing of beauty! Remember, a factory configuration Saiga is an example of what the gun control fanatics would like to have all assault weapons look like. Do your job to support the American economy and convert them to U.S. made firearms!"

  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array randytulsa2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    1,548
    Rusty:

    That's a heckuva post. Wow.
    "...bad decisions that turn out well often make heroes."


    Gary D. Mitchell, A Sniper's Journey: The Truth About the Man and the Rifle, P. 103, NAL Caliber books, 2006, 1st Ed.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array Rustynuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    777
    Wish I had written it! Kudos go to Dinzag (who BTW, sells some good stuff for Saiga conversions). I read all that stuff over there when I got my first Saiga. I had no clue about 922r and didn't even know it existed. A lot of gunshop staff don't either. They think you're talking about the AWB or something and scoff at putting US parts on a Russian gun. That kind of thinking can get you in hot water! Esp. if you start putting folding stocks, pistol grips, and/or hi-cap mags on that aren't US make.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Sponsored Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. S&W CS9 Impressions...
    By Siafu in forum Defensive Carry Guns
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: January 29th, 2010, 12:23 AM
  2. bad impressions?
    By Ghettokracker71 in forum Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: October 27th, 2008, 03:20 AM
  3. M-Tac ... First impressions
    By jfl in forum Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: August 20th, 2008, 10:20 PM
  4. G36 Impressions?
    By matt8185 in forum Defensive Carry Guns
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: May 13th, 2008, 03:32 PM
  5. Saiga IZ-108 vs IZ-109?
    By Wasabi in forum Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: January 11th, 2008, 02:33 PM

Search tags for this page

best muzzle brake for saiga 12
,

best saiga 12 muzzle brake

,
difference between a saiga 12 iz 109 and a iz 108 saiga
,
saiga 12 bayonet
,

saiga 12 bayonet lug

,

saiga 12 bayonet mount

,

saiga 12 bolt carrier

,

saiga 12 diagram

,

saiga 12 iz 108

,

saiga 12 parts

,

saiga 12 parts diagram

,
saiga iz-103 .410
Click on a term to search for related topics.