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Teej
02-05-2010, 08:35
I don't know much about AK's and even less about Saigas.

I am told that Saiga AK's are more accurate that AK-47's. I am wondering if the Saiga's are as dependable in water, mud, snow, etc. as the AK-47's are?
Although being imported as sporter rifles, are they a battle rifle?

Thank you

CarlosC
02-05-2010, 09:15
Terminology...Saigas are sporterized versions of the Saiga SGL series. At heart though, they are AKMs, as most of the guns for sale today are. There are actually very few pure AK-47s available. There are several differences between AK-47s and AKMs with the biggest being that AKMs have stamped receivers and AK-47s have milled receivers (except for the very first ones). There are however, hybrids which mix receivers and parts from AK-47s and AKMs.
Saigas appear to be more accurate than your average AKM, except for possibly the Bulgarian AKs, but there are plenty of other AKs that can be very accurate as well. As for whether an AKM is more accurate than an AK-47 or vice versa....well, that's like the which is better - Ford or Chevy - debate. Some people believe the rigidity of the milled receiver lends itself to more accuracy. To me, they're very close and has probably more to do with the shooter's ability and the ammo selection.

In sporter configuration, I don't feel Saigas are battle rifles. That's just my opinion though. To me, the rifle would have to go back to its original configuration to be a battle rifle.

More on terminology...real AKs are more assault rifles than main battle rifles because they fire intermediate cartridges. A main battle rifle would be something more like a G-3, FAL, or M-14.

Teej
02-05-2010, 09:20
So how reliable are they in adverse conditions compared to the AK-47?

my762buzz
02-05-2010, 09:27
At heart though, they are AKMs, as most of the guns for sale today are. .


The AKM parts will not interchange only AK 74 or later.
The bolt is strictly Ak103/104 specific.

CarlosC
02-05-2010, 09:33
Believe me...99.99% of all AKs are reliable in any weather and under any conditions, regardless of origin. They were designed with loose tolerances so as to focus on 100% reliability. Mikhail's #1 priority was reliability.

To illustrate AK reliability from personal experience, I once purchased a Romanian G-kit AK that had been put together with pop rivets by an idiot and then run over by the idiot in his truck. The receiver was bent and the damned thing still fired without a hitch.
This is that piece of garbage that I paid $50 for:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/CarlosC/Guns/AIMS%20project/DSC00244.jpg
And here are some close-ups of the moron's craftsmanship. He should have been shot for abusing such a fine weapon.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/CarlosC/Guns/AIMS%20project/DSC00246.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/CarlosC/Guns/AIMS%20project/DSC00249.jpg
Check out the bend in this receiver
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/CarlosC/Guns/AIMS%20project/DSC00255.jpg
What really surprised me is that the gun fired even when bent. Try that with an AR.




By the way, I took it apart, straightened the receiver and gave it a makeover that even Oprah would have been proud of. Here's what a $50 gun and $150 in parts gets you...
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/CarlosC/Guns/AIMS%20project/DSC00295.jpg

CarlosC
02-05-2010, 09:38
The AKM parts will not interchange only AK 74 or later.
The bolt is strictly Ak103/104 specific.

With the Saiga...yes. But even the AK-74 is merely the evolution of the AKM, and so are the AK-103/104. My point was not to go into too much detail about parts interchangeability among the AK-47s/AKMs/AK-74s.

Teej
02-05-2010, 09:38
Looks fantastic.

But if I run over and bend a Saiga, drop it in the mud, leave it out in the freezing rain, find it frozen in the morning, kick the bolt back with my foot to brake the ice, will a "Saiga" function and empty the magazine without a hitch?

I know 47's will, but what about these Saigas?

my762buzz
02-05-2010, 09:41
Believe me...99.99% of all AKs are reliable in any weather and under any conditions, regardless of origin. They were designed with loose tolerances so as to focus on 100% reliability. Mikhail's #1 priority was reliability.

To illustrate AK reliability from personal experience, I once purchased a Romanian G-kit AK that had been put together with pop rivets by an idiot and then run over by the idiot in his truck. The receiver was bent and the damned thing still fired without a hitch.
This is that piece of garbage that I paid $50 for:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/CarlosC/Guns/AIMS%20project/DSC00244.jpg
And here are some close-ups of the moron's craftsmanship. He should have been shot for abusing such a fine weapon.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/CarlosC/Guns/AIMS%20project/DSC00246.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/CarlosC/Guns/AIMS%20project/DSC00249.jpg
Check out the bend in this receiver
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/CarlosC/Guns/AIMS%20project/DSC00255.jpg
What really surprised me is that the gun fired even when bent. Try that with an AR.




By the way, I took it apart, straightened the receiver and gave it a makeover that even Oprah would have been proud of. Here's what a $50 gun and $150 in parts gets you...
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/CarlosC/Guns/AIMS%20project/DSC00295.jpg

Awesome. Was that guy's name bubba?

Teej
02-05-2010, 09:45
I can show you a hand brazed or welded shot gun sight that looks like a shark fin that makes bubba's work look like he's an artist!

CarlosC
02-05-2010, 09:46
It should have Bubba Tool. I was horrified when I saw it. Here are some more pics, but be careful if you have a weal stomach...

Notice he riveted the safety selector stop on the wrong side of the trigger.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/CarlosC/Guns/AIMS%20project/DSC00252.jpg
Yes, it had full auto parts!!!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/CarlosC/Guns/AIMS%20project/DSC00256.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/CarlosC/Guns/AIMS%20project/DSC00263.jpg

I had to take it down to bare bones...
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/CarlosC/Guns/AIMS%20project/DSC00267.jpg

Sorry for the hijack, OP.

Teej
02-05-2010, 10:43
Does anyone know if Saiga's version of the AK [i get the opinon that many of you do not consider it an AK]

If it gets full of mud, sand, crap, will the Saiga still function?????

photoguy
02-05-2010, 11:32
In short, yes.

Think of the Saiga rifles as "dumbed down AKs" that are legal for importation into the US. The insides are pretty much the same. Once purchased they can legally be "restored" to AK format as long as you maintain the proper amount of US parts vs foreign parts. This is called 922r compliance. It sounds more confusing than it is :)

You can learn more than you'll ever want to know at the various forums over at Saiga-12. (http://forum.saiga-12.com/index.php?showforum=65)

In this pic the top rifle is an Arsenal SGL20 and the bottom is a Saiga 7.62x39 rifle.
I'm in the process of restoring (converting) the Saiga. When it's finished it will look and function exactly like the Arsenal AK, I will even be able to swap parts between them.

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac300/mp_photoshooter/long%20guns/saiga_14.jpg

It's not necessary to convert the Saiga to AK format but in it's imported form it's referred to as a sporter rifle. I'm relatively new to all of this so I've oversimplified it a bit but if any of my info is lacking someone please jump in.

photoguy
02-05-2010, 11:42
A few more things;

The Arsenal AK is based on a Saiga rifle. Arsenal imports them and "restores" them to AK format. They are quality AKs.
If you buy a Saiga rifle and restore it yourself you could save a few bucks over buying an Arsenal or you could spend a lot more depending on the options you add to it.

The Saiga rifle takes only Saiga mags. After conversion it can take all AK-47 mags.

The rifles are made in Russia in the factory that makes military AK-47s.

Here's a video (http://vimeo.com/2787027) that goes over the basic conversion in a very easy to understand manner. This video was the one that made me have my "a-ha!" moment.

CarlosC
02-05-2010, 12:01
To an extent that is correct, but the Arsenal AKs lack the extra holes for the relocated FCG. The holes are not drilled in the receivers from the factory. There are other things done at the factory as well such as the pre-installed bullet guide and the Arsenal AKs lack all the extra commercial markings. It's not a big deal though.

The idea of buying a sporter and converting it is gaining more popularity as the prices for the Legions creep back up. A year ago, the 7.62 versions were over $1,000. They dropped to half that a few months ago, but have started going back up. The 5.45 versions still remain relatively expensive. In the case of the 7.62 version, it may be very close in price to do the conversion yourself or just outright buy a Legion. In 5.45 however, it is much cheaper to do it yourself.

I have the 7.62 Legion, but I really want a Russian AK-74 too. I'm probably going to simply do the conversion myself since the base sporter version is only about $350. At that price, I could probably afford to convert a 7.62 into a regular AKM.

my762buzz
02-06-2010, 18:52
I am told that Saiga AK's are more accurate that AK-47's.

One of the main things the saigas have going for them is brand new barrels
that are very well made. Wearing out the barrel chamber throat and bore surface makes any rifle potentially lose accuracy. Surplus barrels that have been used extensively become worn out. The chamber throat is the part of the barrel that bears the most flame pressure and is the very likely to erode before the rest of the bore. The more the thoat erodes the accuracy only gets worse. This is why used surplus barrels can potentially show very bad accuracy. A new barrel is going to perform the best. The fact that the ATF has in recent years banned military surplus barrels from being imported has caused parts kit builders to get new US made barrels. The Yugo kit built rifles
that have nice new barrels I have been hearing have better accuracy than other kit builds. The wasr 10 sporters sent from Romania have in the past been built from out of spec worn out retired rifle parts. If you end up with an arsenal new barrel in a wasr that is unusual in comparison to the past years.

Saiga's are also AK 100 series rifles that have a shorter gas piston than AK 47 or AKM 47 pattern rifles. From what I have gathered, this reduces structural
flexing of the gas piston which would keep shot to shot conditions more consistent for better accuracy.

Saiga's like the other 100 series have more reinforcement of the receiver than its AKM predecessors. This helps with accuracy.

As Novocaine has stated before, the russians know a thing or two about
building a modern AK that is not going to be shared with other countries.
There is good workmanship and quite possibly the best trade secrets in making these. I guess they have to make them exceptional its their flagship weapon system and like the character in lord or war says


quote:
~ Of all the weapons in the vast soviet arsenal nothing was more profitable than Avtomat Kalashnikova model of 1947, more commonly known as the AK-47, or Kalashnikov. It's the worlds most popular assault rifle, a weapon all fighters love. An elegantly simple nine pound amalgamation of forged steel and plywood, it doesn't break, jam, or overheat. It will fire whether it's covered in mud or filled with sand. It's so easy even a child could use it, and they do. The Soviets put the gun on a coin. Mozambique put it on their flag. Since the end of the Cold War, the Kalashnikov has become the Russian people's greatest export. After that comes vodka, caviar, and suicidal novelists. One thing is for sure, no one was lining up to buy their cars.~ Yuri Orlov

whistler52
02-07-2010, 14:06
As CarlosC pointed out, all AKs tend to be reliable.

If anything, I would think that the Saiga's are MORE reliable than the average AK because Saiga's are Russian factory built guns. Many other AKs are kit guns sometimes using a mix of worn parts. Also, the final product for kit guns is somewhat dependent upon the skill of the builder.

toshbar
02-07-2010, 19:13
quote:
~ Of all the weapons in the vast soviet arsenal nothing was more profitable than Avtomat Kalashnikova model of 1947, more commonly known as the AK-47, or Kalashnikov. It's the worlds most popular assault rifle, a weapon all fighters love. An elegantly simple nine pound amalgamation of forged steel and plywood, it doesn't break, jam, or overheat. It will fire whether it's covered in mud or filled with sand. It's so easy even a child could use it, and they do. The Soviets put the gun on a coin. Mozambique put it on their flag. Since the end of the Cold War, the Kalashnikov has become the Russian people's greatest export. After that comes vodka, caviar, and suicidal novelists. One thing is for sure, no one was lining up to buy their cars.~ Yuri Orlov
Awesome movie.

I'm also doing some heavy research into converting a Saiga 5.45 and the price tag is looking close to $600 for the rifle, shipping, ffl transfer, all the compliance parts sans a Romanian wire folding stock, and shipping on all that. I figure I can do the actual conversion in a few hours if all parts are present.

I do have a question though: What is the easiest way to get a threaded barrel on a Saiga? Have a gunsmith do it, or can I get the die and do it myself relatively easy?

my762buzz
02-07-2010, 19:31
Awesome movie.

I'm also doing some heavy research into converting a Saiga 5.45 and the price tag is looking close to $600 for the rifle, shipping, ffl transfer, all the compliance parts sans a Romanian wire folding stock, and shipping on all that. I figure I can do the actual conversion in a few hours if all parts are present.

I do have a question though: What is the easiest way to get a threaded barrel on a Saiga? Have a gunsmith do it, or can I get the die and do it myself relatively easy?


I would personally rather get a surplus front site block that has the retainer
button for a muzzle device. Then you don't even have to thread anything.
You simply need to tap out a few pins and slide the old block off and the new one on. The surplus front site block has 24x1.5mm right-hand threads and
allows you to use several newer design brakes or flash hiders. The legion SGL versions have the 24x1.5mm threaded end. If you can tap a pin with a hammer and rubber mallet tap a site off with a block of wood it should be easy. I'm sure Carlos has a pictorial of this somewhere.

http://www.k-var.com/shop/product.php?productid=16352&cat=290&page=1
$83.99 but well worth it

http://www.k-var.com/shop/images/AK-167B.jpg


The other way is to cut the saiga block barrel shroud carefully with a pipe cutter and then get a die to thread.
No gunsmith needed. The problem there is no retainer button like on the surplus blocks.

toshbar
02-07-2010, 19:37
I would personally rather get a surplus front site block that has the retainer
button for a muzzle device. Then you don't even have to thread anything.
You simply need to tap out a few pins and slide the old block off and the new one on. The surplus front site block has 24x1.5mm right-hand threads and
allows you to use several newer design brakes or flash hiders. The legion SGL versions have the 24x1.5mm threaded end. If you can tap a pin with a hammer and rubber mallet tap a site off with a block of wood it should be easy. I'm sure Carlos has a pictorial of this somewhere.

http://www.k-var.com/shop/product.php?productid=16352&cat=290&page=1
$83.99 but well worth it

http://www.k-var.com/shop/images/AK-167B.jpg
Awesome. I totally forgot about the retaining pin.

$84 is a bit much.

lanternlad
02-25-2010, 20:49
Saigas are made by Izmash in Russia. guess who oversees their production? Mikhail Kalashnikov himself. Yeah, Saigas are good. I got mine for $275 OTD before the Dems took power. Can still get them cheap at classicarms.us

If you want a pistol grip on it, there is no real need to do a conversion. Just get a skeleton stock.

http://www.centerfiresystems.com/sai-stk-ske.aspx

toshbar
02-25-2010, 21:15
Saigas are made by Izmash in Russia. guess who oversees their production? Mikhail Kalashnikov himself. Yeah, Saigas are good. I got mine for $275 OTD before the Dems took power. Can still get them cheap at classicarms.us

If you want a pistol grip on it, there is no real need to do a conversion. Just get a skeleton stock.

http://www.centerfiresystems.com/sai-stk-ske.aspx
How do you know Kalashnikov oversees himself? He just turned 90 years old.

I ordered my Saiga 5.45 from Classic for $345 shipped 3 weeks ago.

So what if I want a pistol grip AND a folding stock!:tongueout:

The conversion went well. anyone can do it.

GreyEclipse
02-25-2010, 21:48
Converted Saigas are awesome.

In fact, the Saiga is pretty kool as is.

I'm planning on buying one sometime this year.
I'll probably convert it after a year or so.
I like the look of an AK with a folding stock so that's what I'll do.

GreyEclipse
02-25-2010, 21:52
Believe me...99.99% of all AKs are reliable in any weather and under any conditions, regardless of origin. They were designed with loose tolerances so as to focus on 100% reliability. Mikhail's #1 priority was reliability.

To illustrate AK reliability from personal experience, I once purchased a Romanian G-kit AK that had been put together with pop rivets by an idiot and then run over by the idiot in his truck. The receiver was bent and the damned thing still fired without a hitch.
This is that piece of garbage that I paid $50 for:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/CarlosC/Guns/AIMS%20project/DSC00244.jpg
And here are some close-ups of the moron's craftsmanship. He should have been shot for abusing such a fine weapon.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/CarlosC/Guns/AIMS%20project/DSC00246.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/CarlosC/Guns/AIMS%20project/DSC00249.jpg
Check out the bend in this receiver
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/CarlosC/Guns/AIMS%20project/DSC00255.jpg
What really surprised me is that the gun fired even when bent. Try that with an AR.




By the way, I took it apart, straightened the receiver and gave it a makeover that even Oprah would have been proud of. Here's what a $50 gun and $150 in parts gets you...
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/CarlosC/Guns/AIMS%20project/DSC00295.jpg

That's awesome. You did a great job, man.

lanternlad
02-25-2010, 21:55
How do you know Kalashnikov oversees himself? He just turned 90 years old.

He works for Izmash as a consultant. He's responsible for the Saiga line and is the inventor of the Saiga shotgun.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3zV1Y-ijiU&feature=related Look at 1:00. The announcer clearly says:

"The world famous AK-47 designer Mikhail Kalashnikov works at Izmash."

surety agent 1
02-26-2010, 11:16
I just got the 2010 dealers price list sent to me by k-var, A new employee took over that dept. I guess. The 2010 dealer price for a SGL20 with black warsaw stock is 569.00 the SGL21 is 615.00 Guess it pays to be on their email list even though I'm not a dealer LOL.