Saiga issues [Archive] - Glock Talk


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11-24-2011, 17:32
My son just bought a Saiga 12 ga. shotgun, and it is giving him fits with ftes with birdshot. Buckshot and slugs cycle just fine. Has anyone ever had this problem, and is there a fix? Any serious replies would be appreciated.

11-24-2011, 18:06
Is the gas plug open?
What kind of ammo?
Going to need a bit more info.

11-24-2011, 18:18
Using Winchester 7 1/2 shot, 2 3/4 inch shells. If you mean the adjustment on the end of the piston, then I have tried it at position 1 & position 2, and position 2 was more reliable that 1. It seems that as it cycles that the front of the plastic gets caught on the back of the chamber and gets squashed.

NH Trucker
11-24-2011, 20:40
The Saiga 12 as designed wasn't made to fire the "low brass" birdshot loads. However, there are some parts you can add to make it more reliable using birdshot.

Carolina Shooters Supply has a ton of parts for the Saiga, as well as kits for modifications. One of those kits is the "Low Brass Reliability kit"

I have this for my Saiga and it has run without an issue with birdshot ever since. Just make sure that before you go running buck shot or slugs through it you switch back to the factory spring, otherwise you will damage the gun.

Once it's running 100% with any ammo you put in it, maybe do a few mods, you'll find just how fun these things can be. :supergrin:


11-24-2011, 22:43
Mine runs on Walmart bird shot but it took a few hundred rounds of break in and I polished the bolt a bit. Check out (, they have quite a few threads on the subject.

11-24-2011, 23:37
Get an auto plug and tune it to the weakest ammo used, problem solved.

Mine runs like a sewing machine on anything from bulk birdshot to slugs and 00 buck.

Louisville Glocker
11-26-2011, 21:11
Sorry, but the thing to do FIRST is have him (or you) get over to the saiga 12 forum. Here is the direct link to the S12 section of it (there are a bunch of different sections also)

There are many possible causes here. First of all, the inability to shoot birdshot is extremely common. This gun is designed for military use, shooting slugs or buckshot, not birdshot. (and winchester is particularly bad, the federal seems to work better, but....). The first thing I do, and many others do, when they get an S12, is to remove the gas plug and inspect the gas ports. Frequently, there may be less than the correct number of holes, or they may be obstructed. If you're not getting enough gas, the birdshot won't function properly. (Oh, setting 1 is for slugs and high brass, it allows less gas through, and setting 2 is for low brass birdshot, where you need more gas). Even if you don't have enough clear holes (3 does the trick), the fix is pretty simple (two or three hours).

Assuming your gas ports are ok, you may simply needs some of the "rough spots" and edges smoothed out on your bolt and carrier. There are people who do this for you, polish it up nice, or you can fire slugs/buckshot for a while, or you can hand cycle.

Those are the most common issues causing birdshot to FTE/stovepipe. The forum explains it all in glorious detail...

Read, Fix, Enjoy your awesome shotgun....


(p.s. I haven't gotten an auto plug yet, but do want to. It is on my list of things to do.)

12-03-2011, 18:20
Just to touch on what has been posted. It is not designed for low brass rounds. It was meant to run on Buckshot and slugs. You can shoot some high brass shot with not mods at all.
If you want it to run cheap low brass then you need to some mods. Check out JT engineering. He can make it perfect for 250.00.

As far as the autoplug it is great but if your gun does not cycle low brass now it will not with that. They will tell you that right on there sight. There is a video of hi explaining that as well.

So do not be to worried. If it is running buckshot and slugs fine then it is how it should be. After a long break in period most are able to run just about anything. But not all will.
I sent mine over to JT and got his basic $250.00 basic work. He makes it so it can run anything. He can also do much more. You will see many of his Saiga's in the open class of major 3 gun competitions.
Take care