I thought I had done enough research... Saiga 12 [Archive] - Glock Talk

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G36's Rule
02-15-2011, 17:56
I have been looking to get a new shotgun for a couple months. I did what I usually would have considered good research and had in mind the Mossberg 930SPX.

Problem is, every one I found around here was junk. Canted front sights, foreends wobbly as hell, bad finishes...

I tried to get a couple local shops to order one, but no luck there either. So I started looking at the Saiga 12's. A little bit of "ban" fever was building and I never need too much reason to get an AK anything so I picked one up. Standard model.

I had done what I thought was good research on the Saiga as well as the Mossberg. Apparently not.

Damn thing chokes on everything EXCEPT full power buckshot and slugs. Runs those through like **** through a goose though. So I start digging again and it turns out S12's are known for gas port issues and failures to eject because of this.

Anyway, I checked mine out and it has three ports that are visible once the plug is removed so that isn't the issue. I put in an MD Arms five position plug so hopefully that will correct my ammo sensitive AK.

:steamed:

I'm sure it will get worked out, but I expected better from an AK.

Wish me luck...

Glocker08
02-15-2011, 19:06
Did you adjust the gas plug to setting "2" when shooting the lighter loads ? Setting "1" is for high brass, setting "2" is for low brass.

The Saiga 12 tends to have somewhat of a break-in period as opposed to AK rilfes. They were originally designed to shoot strictly full power loads.(they are combat shotguns after all)

I would recommend shooting a couple hundred rounds of high brass ammo on setting "1" to help break it in, (doesn't have to be buck or slug, as long as it's full power) then try the lighter loads on setting "2".

If it still won't cycle the light stuff, you can polish the bolt, the bottom of the bolt carrier, as well as the hammer to smooth out the action and help it run low brass. It's not hard to do as long as you know how to use a Dremel.

Here is a tutorial that tells you how to do it. Note: This is for a converted Saiga 12/Vepr 12, but the internal parts are basically the same.

Polishing_Molot_Vepr_12_and_Saiga_12.pdf (http://glocktalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=213935&stc=1&d=1297816806)

Also, you will find a wealth of knowledge regarding the S-12 at the saiga12.com forums. Hope this helps. Good luck. :wavey:

G36's Rule
02-15-2011, 19:11
I should have noted that in OP, but yeah it was on 2. And I just joined Saiga forum because of this.

Thanks

DD26
02-15-2011, 20:14
Mine choked up on birdshot too, at first. (Not totally surprising, as S12's were designed to run full power loads, as Glocker said)

That being said, given that you have 3 unobstructed ports, you're already ahead of the game, compared to some people. Some S12's have been seen with only 2 gas ports.

As for a solution, Glocker nailed it perfectly; run some high brass through it for awhile and it should smooth things out enough to run low brass reliably. Also, Pauly, a business member over on the Saiga boards is doing the bolt-polishing for a very good price, and his work is outstanding. That's the route I'd recommend, unless bolt polishing is something you like to do or are trying to save money.

I've been over on the Saiga boards since '07, and have lost count of how many people have joined up, disappointed that their S12 won't run birdshot. Only to find out that it's very easy to get to do so, 99% of the time, and then fall back in love with their chunk of Russian steel :supergrin:.

I'm sure you'll be more than pleased with your new purchase once you get it running smooth.

method
02-15-2011, 20:15
It's a fighting shotgun, meant to be fed buck and slug. I don't really care if mine hangs up on birdshot sometimes. Unless you're shooting competition with it and NEED it to run on birdshot, it's immaterial, I think.

mdfd
02-15-2011, 20:30
Agree, technically there is nothing wrong with your Saiga 12 if it shoots the high brass buck and slugs fine. That is what it was designed to do. It's kinda like taking a tool and using it to do something it wasn't originally designed for and then saying that tool is unreliable or broken....

Now if you want to shoot lesser loads, you need to do some tuning to accomodate that. I'm not sure if the 5 pos plug is your answer right off the bat. Cadiz Gun Works, which IIRC is the warranty shop will ensure the gas ports line up correctly. Many folks do a polish and tune job on the bolt assembly either by themselves or have it done by someone who has experience with it. There is a "How To Polish Your Bolt" sticky on the S12 forum.

I too considered the S12 for a long time and did my research. For me, the only way I would get one is if it had been professionally converted/tuned. I consider myself fairly hands on as I mod my own cars, motorcycles, etc. However, for something like guns and the S12, I'd just as soon not experiment and leave it to folks who have a track record of doing it successfully and know what they're doing.

Best of luck, I'm sure it'll get worked out. The S12 board has a ton of info and alot of the pro tuners are available on that forum.

FWIW, I went with the Moss 930 SPX b/c I was not about to fall victim to the price gouging as a result of the ban scare and also just didn't want to have to support yet another platform of magazines....With enough practice, I think I can top off and keep loading my SPX just as effectively as slapping on a fresh mag most of the time.....

I may get an S12 eventually, but will wait for the dust to settle and the right deal to come along...

DD26
02-15-2011, 21:59
For me, the only way I would get one is if it had been professionally converted/tuned. I consider myself fairly hands on as I mod my own cars, motorcycles, etc. However, for something like guns and the S12, I'd just as soon not experiment and leave it to folks who have a track record of doing it successfully and know what they're doing.

You're underestimating yourself. Converting an S12 is far easier than anything you've done on your cars or motorcycles. I'm serious.

I'm 3/4 retarded and I managed to convert an S12 and a 7.62x39 Saiga. (The S12 is the easier of the two, FWIW)


Check out these videos, and you'll see just how easy it is:

http://store.carolinashooterssupply.com/servlet/-strse-template/Videos-and-Links/Page

Nothing against professionally converted S12's, but you're mainly paying for welded up holes, a professional refinish and (with reputable converters) a guarantee that it runs on ever kind of ammo.

The welded up holes and refinish are purely cosmetic, and like has been stated, it's fairly easy to tune an S12 (not counting SBS's which may require moving the gas block back and re-drilling new ports).

Not trying to convince you not to get a pro converted Saiga. Just keep in mind though, you can do 99% of the same stuff yourself for far less money.

IronRonin
02-16-2011, 01:17
The MAJORITY of Saiga-12s run fine and eat birdshot 100% all day right out of the box. SOME are finicky and VERY FEW are lemons....just like many production firearms.

Get a lemon? Then send it in to Cadiz Gun Works, the official US warranty service provider, and they will fix it 100% and send it back quickly. Other than that, fixing/breaking in a finicky gun is easy.

Mine eats walmart birdshot all day, has since day one.

G36's Rule
02-16-2011, 18:00
You're underestimating yourself. Converting an S12 is far easier than anything you've done on your cars or motorcycles. I'm serious.

I'm 3/4 retarded and I managed to convert an S12 and a 7.62x39 Saiga. (The S12 is the easier of the two, FWIW)


Check out these videos, and you'll see just how easy it is:

http://store.carolinashooterssupply.com/servlet/-strse-template/Videos-and-Links/Page

Nothing against professionally converted S12's, but you're mainly paying for welded up holes, a professional refinish and (with reputable converters) a guarantee that it runs on ever kind of ammo.

The welded up holes and refinish are purely cosmetic, and like has been stated, it's fairly easy to tune an S12 (not counting SBS's which may require moving the gas block back and re-drilling new ports).

Not trying to convince you not to get a pro converted Saiga. Just keep in mind though, you can do 99% of the same stuff yourself for far less money.

Thanks for that link. I plan on doing that ASAP.

DD26
02-16-2011, 19:46
Thanks for that link. I plan on doing that ASAP.

No problem.:cheers: