Saiga 12 gauge


January 12, 2003, 10:55 PM
I have one shotgun right now, a Winchester Model 12 20 gauge, which I have been told was manufactured in 1953. It was my great-grandfathers, and has been passed through my family for 50 years. It is a great shooter at the trap line, and a whole lot of fun. It is also in great shape, with a near-flawless stock and pump handle. Most of my shotgunning is clay pidgeon blasting, though I may be doing some pheasant hunting soon. I really like my Winchester. My only problem is that it has been in my family for quite a while, and I would like to preserve it for future generations. I have been casually looking at shotguns, and one catches my eye- the Saiga 12 gauge. AK design and reliability, semi-auto, uber cool detachable magazine. Can anyone reccomend them/ has experience with them? If not, can you point me in the direction of someone that does? Or, am I paranoid and should continue to use my Winchester?

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January 12, 2003, 11:53 PM
woops, missed that law saying classifying a semi-auto shotgun with a detachable magazine illeagal. any other suggestions?:fire: :fire: :fire: :cuss: :cuss: :banghead:

January 13, 2003, 12:11 AM
Natedog, you can still get the Saiga, the detachable magazine is the one evil feature the Saiga is allowed to have. I have read alot about it on and the basic thing I've found is people like it, they say it has less felt recoil than other semi-autos and is based on the reliable ak design.

This is legas for citizens:

This is not(LEO):

January 13, 2003, 12:12 AM
Thy're only illegal under certain circumstances. If you like it, go for it.

January 13, 2003, 12:29 AM
i llive in california, so i guess its different

January 13, 2003, 12:41 AM
Oh, state law. I guess the Saiga is just too evil for California. Sorry to hear.

January 13, 2003, 12:36 PM
Clay's - Most shotgun fields require that the action be open while not shooting. Most Saiga's won't lock open. I've heard that mods can be made to the safety lever (cut a notch) to allow you to hold it open, and that newer versions have an extra lever on the side to hook the action open. I don't have experience with either of these (read, this is hearsay). If you could get one that locked open, or if you are tossing your own, then you can ignore this.

Hunting - It hit me that a capacity of 3 or less is usually required. Don't know how you'd "plug" your box mag. Might get you in trouble with the warden. But if you hunt your own property, you might be ok? I haven't seen any 2 shot mag's being sold, but someone straighten me out if they are.

Everyone who reads this now owe's me .02! :D

January 13, 2003, 01:42 PM
My brother has a Saiga 12 guage. Real fun to shoot, especially once it broke in. Take down is simple but some of the parts take some effort to get back where they belong, especially at first. BTW my brother got his because he thought it was only a matter of time before some idiot made them illegal for being evil looking. We're from Pennsylvania so that hasn't happened there yet, but with the Rendell administration coming in who knows...

A couple thoughts. My brothers Saiga is cylinder bore. If you want something else your going to have to get it smithed, because I don't think anything else is offered by the manufacturer. Not the most comfortable stock so your prolly going to want to buy an aftermarket buttpad, etc. I believe you can lock it open, but its been a while since I shot it so I could just be mis-remembering from my brief range time. Don't think you can get a 3 round mag for it either, since the only mags that come to mind are the 5 rounders and a big drum that holds 20 or so.

January 13, 2003, 02:10 PM
According to ads I've seen for them most of the 22" sporting models have interchangable chokes. The 19" defense version might have a cylinder bore barrel.

What kind of sights do they have?

Also, would it be at all possible, through addition of US made parts, to legally convert it to have a pistol grip and standard AK stock? 'Cause that'd be really cool...

January 13, 2003, 04:08 PM
There is no 20 round drum for it that I am aware of. To the best of my knowledge almost all of the magazines that have been imported are 5 rounders. There are 7 rounders and 10 rounders in Russia, however the 10 rounders are not very popular because under recoil the bottom shells tend to get deformed and then not feed well. (this according to Russian Small Arms by Cutshaw).

The only Saigas I have seen have had a bead front sight.

Cool shotgun. I wouldn't mind having one myself just for kicks and giggles.

January 13, 2003, 04:46 PM
My brother has the 19" defense model. He shot clays with it a few times but gave up after he realized that he was never going to have the time to practice regularly. Performed well at the range though. I think there is a drum mag for it but all I've heard is talk and I doubt it is importable into the US anyway.

Its probably been 5 years since I shot it so take any advice with a grain of salt. Wouldn't mind having one, but won't be my next shotgun purchase either.

January 13, 2003, 05:04 PM
Also, would it be at all possible, through addition of US made parts, to legally convert it to have a pistol grip and standard AK stock? 'Cause that'd be really cool...
Yes it would be legally possible. Someone was going to make a conversion package which would use modified mags to avoid problems with ATF. According to his legal research, if there are no mags for the gun that hold more than five rounds, the weapon is exempt from the AW ban restrictions. So you could have a semi auto shotgun with folding stock, pistol grip, etc. and be totally legal. I've heard nothing about the project in a while, so I don't know if he's still working on it, or abandoned the idea.

January 13, 2003, 05:06 PM
Saiga can't have a pistol grip and its really stupid. The law goes semi-auto shotguns can only have two of these evil features on them.

1) fixed mag capacity of more than 5 rounds
2) pistol grip
3) folding/collapsing stock

The Saiga is already considered to have two, it has #1 and #4. Those 7 round mags that are supposed to be floating around are considered #1. The only way you can have a pistol grip is by getting enough US parts and then making your own 5 round mags and magwell for it.

January 13, 2003, 05:17 PM
Yeah, that's what the guy was going to do. He intended to offer a US parts conversion that would only accept special mags. According to him, if there are no mags with >5 rnd capacity, it is exempt from the AW ban restrictions. I can't speak for him, but IIRC he had ATF letters confirming that.

January 13, 2003, 05:24 PM
I believe that Mark Krebs was the fellow who was going to do the conversion if I recall correctly.

January 17, 2003, 12:42 PM
Let me regurgitate what I've read and seen quoted elsewhere about the "evil features" a shotgun can posess.

The four items quoted above are exactly right, but you can only have ONE of the 4 items. That means no pistol grips or folding stocks.

I think there are 2 reasons larger mag's aren't allowed. They probably suffer from reliability (rimmed shells are tough) and they probably are not importable. Your best bet for hi cap mags would be to make your own (disect two mags) or hope for a US mgfr to take it up (not likely, not enough are owned)

Where's my .02?!

from another48hrs

1) fixed mag capacity of more than 5 rounds<--- Saiga's mag isn't fixed
2) pistol grip
3) folding/collapsing stock
4) ABILITY TO ACCEPT A DETACHABLE MAGAZINE<---Only allowed Saiga feature

January 17, 2003, 03:15 PM
Thanks, for the correction. I read that on the board about the Saiga conversion and that was their argument, I too thought it was one so I went to go and quickly checked the ATF site. They used the wording "at least 2" and then thought it meant you could have 2. Mistakes are made, just like you. It is illegal to make a high-capacity magazine by destroying one magazine. And semi-auto shotguns with detachable magazines are limited only to 5rnds.

January 17, 2003, 03:18 PM
Oh yeah, the original post was for natedog looking for an alternative. I don't know if you are still intersted but have you thought of one of those Valtro shotguns with detachable magazines. I believe its legal because it is only a pump.

January 19, 2003, 11:56 PM
For it to count toward making the Shotgun an Assault weapon, it says a "fixed" mag capacity of 5 rds? I've heard others say above 5 rds would add the second evil feature, but not the way I read it. You might be right, as you don't see any mags of higher cap out there (I've heard 8 rd .410 mags exist, and know someone who ordered 10 rd mags a year ago, that have yet to show up). Problem is that they are pretty rare, so I've not heard of a definitive answer from the ATF on this one.

Only Semi's are affected. Pumps are the place to "accessorize"! Add your 10 +1 extension, light, red dot, pistol grip, collapsing stock, laser, sidesaddle, heat sheild, tac sling ..... now your talkin!


I'd recommend an 1187. Lots of em out there, soft shooting, fit most shooters out of the box, can be configured for clays, HD, deer, ducks or dove! My pick for the "one gun does it all" winner

January 20, 2003, 12:52 AM
Isn't it also true that the Saiga .410 gauge also doubles as a meg fed semi auto .45-70 gov?!?!?! Now that's a battle rifle!

Sir Galahad
January 20, 2003, 09:05 PM
No, that's not true. The pressures for .45/70 are significantly higher than .410.

January 12, 2006, 05:38 PM
Does anyone know where one could buy a 5 round mag thats in the US and has them readily in stock?

thank you

January 12, 2006, 05:47 PM
The Saiga in all variants is specifically banned in California, even though it would not qualify as an "assault weapon" otherwise.

The problem with high-capacity 12 Gauge detachable magazines is that they're huge. But if you want a shotgun with a huge detachable magazine, consider a Mossberg 500 with a Knoxx Sidewinder.

Otherwise, you're "limited" to 8 shots or so. Of course, it's REALLY easy to top off a shotgun. Fire a couple, stuff a couple in the magazine.

I'm not interested in a shotgun that doesn't work for trap or bird hunting, though. How's the Saiga's balance?

January 12, 2006, 06:16 PM
Wow, old thread brought back to life. :)

wormyxl, I'm a Saiga distributor. The first shipment of guns and accesories into the country just left the customs warehouse. I should be getting my guns and magazines in the next week or so.

ArmedBear, the balance is relatively neutral. Kind of like most large mag fed weapons, just forward of the shooting hand, and relative based upon where you keep your support hand. For bird hunting the sight rail is high relative to the bore, so the sight picture is different than what you are used to on a regular sighted shotgun. It will work for birds and clays just fine, but the sight picture you have to learn is different.

It was designed for land mammals. :)

January 12, 2006, 08:06 PM
I just started reading this thread and looked at the posting date. All of the stuff that you couldn’t legally do to a Saiga before is doable legally thanks to the sunset clause of the AWB except of course in California. Hate to point out the obvious but I am so glad that ban is gone:neener: .

January 12, 2006, 08:18 PM
I was able to purchase a Saiga 12K and it came w/ 5 & 8 round magazines. This model might not be acceptable there because it also has a foldable stock and 18" barrel.

January 12, 2006, 11:10 PM
Saiga currently comes with 5rder in the states. You can get grey market 8 rders from the UK and russia for retarded amounts of money. There are some 10 rders coming out later this months. Yes, 10 rders.

Here is my detachable magazine + folding stock + pistol grip 18" saiga, recently back from tromix:

Btw, the saiga12 in all its forms is currently illegal in CA because they reduced the "evil feature count" by one for both rifles and shotguns. So a pistol grip and removeable mag AK is illegal, as is a removable mag semiauto shotty.

January 12, 2006, 11:20 PM
What folding stock do yo have on that Saiga-12?

There is no butt pad on my 12K as there is only the metal plate w/ the button for releasing from the folded position.

Am looking around for a useable butt pad and a buffer.

January 12, 2006, 11:33 PM
Ace Ltd USA 7.5" with 1" recoil pad. It is made of aluminum tube and a milled aluminum buttplate. The buttplate is bead blasted it looks like. Tony refinished my gun with some sort of non reflective coating.

Tony Rumore at does the entire conversion for 350 including parts. I'm sending my AK off to him for similar treatment soon.

January 13, 2006, 10:43 AM
beerslurpy, Tony does awesome work huh? :)

January 14, 2006, 03:17 AM
Yeah he is pretty much a god IMO.

December 24, 2006, 03:58 PM scroll to the bottom please and enjoy.:evil:

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