unbiased "what to buy" question?


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Trumpet
May 12, 2006, 10:41 PM
Hey all,
Well, I just sold an AR upper and now I have some money to burn. There are a few options here. Now, I've always liked the idea of a "precision" AR, but was turned off by the heavy bull barrels. The RECCE concept really has me intrigued and I figure it would work great as a "walking varminter" and also do duty for 3-gun. I'm particularly looking at a 1" Noveske bbl. If I do that, would the TA-31F ACOG I already have be "good enough" for wringing out the accuracy potential?

I also like the CMMG M10M upper (like a Dissipator, but better. Chrome lined, 1:7, 5.56 chamber, mid length gas system) as I've always been attracted to "dissys".

At one point I had a DSA FAL and loved it (I replaced it with an M1A and love that as well)

I don't have an AK in my collection, but I figured EVERYONE needs one, right?

I'm also intrigued by the Saiga 12 shotgun. If I go that route, I'd have it "converted".

Regardless of my decision, I have about $1K to utilize.

What would you get?

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The Real Hawkeye
May 12, 2006, 11:26 PM
I said Arsenal AK, but the DSA FAL would be real nice too. The FAL is going to cost you quite a bit more, though, and since I have an identical one (Austrian STG-58) built on an Imbel receiver with a parts kit that cost me about $350 total, I can't see spending what they are asking for them.

KaceCoyote
May 12, 2006, 11:43 PM
those arsenal rifles are awesome.

rangerruck
May 13, 2006, 03:31 AM
the converted saigas are the prince of the 3 gun shooters right now, they are also the baddest boy out there right now. Ive go t 2 saigas, and will never get rid of them.

Trumpet
May 13, 2006, 06:08 PM
What is the magazine availability like on the Saiga 12? Also, anyone have any experiences with the PTR91 rifles?

beerslurpy
May 13, 2006, 08:06 PM
We're all still waiting on 10 rounders for the saiga 12.

Onmilo
May 13, 2006, 11:31 PM
You are going to wait a very long time indeed for 10 shot shotgun magazines intended to fit an imported sporting weapon.
The '86 gun ban pretty well sealed the fate of high capacity shotgun imports to the realm of not going to happen.
Destructive devices don't you know,,,,,,,,,,,

Trumpet
May 14, 2006, 11:01 AM
There are already two companies (well, one considering it) working on them. From Saiga-12.com....

"What can I do to my Saiga shotgun?

This seems to be a VERY confusing area. You have what the ATF says in law and rulings, you have what the wholesalers and dealers say, and you have what RKI’s say. Well, I don’t know if I would consider myself a RKI, but I have been looking into the matter as much as I can since getting my first Saiga 12 and this is a compellation of what I have come up with.

What does the 1994 Crime bill say about assault shotguns?

While getting info from the ATF can be confusing and hard to find exactly what you are looking for, luckily there are sources on the net that have complied that info in easy to find and read pages. For the purpose of this essay, I will be drawing from the ATF FAQ page, and “The Gunnery Network’s” compellation of the Crime Bill. Also I will pull from time to time from James Bardwell and Jim Jeffries. So let’s get to it.

The law defines firearms as "assault weapons" by one or both of two methods: name and description. [18 U.S.C. 921(a)(30)]. All told, the law affects more than 175 semi-automatic rifles, pistols and shotguns and revolving cylinder shotguns a cross-section of firearms of various sizes, shapes, and calibers/gauges. Under the law, the term "semiautomatic assault weapon" means:
• any of the firearms, or copies or duplicates of the firearms in any caliber, known as: Norinco, Mitchell, Poly Technologies Avtomat Kalashnikovs (all models); Action Arms I.M.I. UZI and Galil; Beretta AR-70 (SC70); Colt AR-15; Fabrique Nationale FN-FAL/LAR, and FNC; SWD M-10, M-11, M-11/9, and M-12; Steyr AUG; Intratec TEC-9, TEC-DC9, and TEC-22; and revolving cylinder shotguns, such as (or similar to) the Street Sweeper and Striker 12;

a semi-automatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least two of the following:
• 1) a folding or telescoping stock;
• 2) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;
• 3) a bayonet mount;
• 4) a flash suppressor or threaded barrel;
• 5) and a grenade launcher;

a semi-automatic pistol that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least two of the following:
• 1) an ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip;
• 2) a threaded barrel capable of accepting a barrel extender, flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer;
• 3) a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned;
• 4) a manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded;
• 5) and a semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm; and

a semi-automatic shotgun that has at least two of the following:
• 1) a folding or telescoping stock;
• 2) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;
• 3) a fixed magazine in excess of five rounds;
• 4) and an ability to accept a detachable magazine.

So we are really only interested with here is this part:

a semi-automatic shotgun that has at least two of the following:
• 1) a folding or telescoping stock;
• 2) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;
• 3) a fixed magazine in excess of five rounds;
• 4) and an ability to accept a detachable magazine.

How does this affect the stock Saiga’s available for civilian purchase? Lets review the features it DOES and DOES NOT have.

• 1) a folding or telescoping stock; NO
• 2) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon; NO
• 3) a fixed magazine in excess of five rounds; NO
• 4) and an ability to accept a detachable magazine. YES

So, item one is a non-issue. Item two can be a big issue, item 3 is a non-issue since there is not a fixed magazine. And item 4 is our first evil feature. So how can we modify the gun past this point and stay legal?

1) Can I add a folding AK style stock to my Saiga? Not without a bit of work to the gun. You would not only have to modify the rear trunion of the gun (just like on any other AK) but you will have to comply with another section of the crime Bill that we will soon get to, the 10 US made parts.

2) Can I add a pistol grip to my Saiga? Again, you will have to do a bit of modification to the gun. If you have looked closely at your Saiga (which I am quite sure most of you have!) you will see that the original trigger locations are already there. So now you know where you put your parts, and you will then be able to figure where to cut your pistol grip bolt location (some need this, some don’t). But again you need the 10 US parts. Now I ask the local compliance agent with ATF (for what THAT’S worth) about the Choate SVD style stock. His response was that the ATF had yet to rule the Choate stock on this weapon to be a pistol grip. So by their logic it would be legal. Then again, the field agents don’t make rulings or policy, the Tech Branch would be the group to get a definitive answer from, IN WRITING. But there are several good reasons not to do that very thing that I will cover shortly.

3) Can I add a fixed magazine? This may be a way around the traditional AK style stock addition without the 10 US parts. By fixing a magazine in place you could add the traditional stock without the US parts. But now you must ask yourself “Will I be putting in more work just to load the thing than I would to do the proper legal conversion?” and “Why the hell would I want to do that?”

4) It already has a detachable magazine, but are there round capacity limits? NO! According to their ruling, there is NO MENTION of the 5 round magazine being the largest mag a civilian can own. By their own words, there is NO REASON that a civilian can not own the 8 round mags. People have already begun to use this and modify the old USAS-12 ten round mags to fit the Saiga 12ga’s. Personally I think the biggest reason wholesalers and dealers wont sell these mags to civilians is out of ignorance of the wording of the law. It clearly says a 5 round mag, but ONLY IF IT IS FIXED MAGAZINES!

So what is the whole US parts count thing?
Just like the other assault weapons, specifically rifles, there are specific pieces that the ATF consider enough to make up a weapon. While just these listed parts would not make a weapon complete, they are the ones that the ATF recognize as parts that can be changed out with US made parts to allow you to convert your stock weapon to a configuration cover as an “Assault Weapon” by their definition. So what are they?

27 CFR section 178.39

(a) 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.

( The provisions of this section shall not apply to:

(1) The assembly of such rifle or shotgun for sale or
distribution by a licensed manufacturer to the United
States or any department or agency thereof, or to any
State or any department, agency, or political subdivision
thereof; or

(2) The assembly of such rifle or shotgun for the
purposes of testing or experimentation authorized by the
Director under the provisions of section 178.151; or

(3) The repair of any rifle or shotgun which had been
imported into or assembled in the United States prior to
November 30, 1990, or the replacement of any part of such
firearm.

© For purposes of this section, the term imported parts are:

(1) Frames, receivers, receiver castings, forgings or
stampings
(2) Barrels
(3) Barrel extensions
(4) Mounting blocks (trunions)
(5) Muzzle attachments
(6) Bolts
(7) Bolt carriers
(8) Operating rods
(9) Gas pistons
(10) Trigger housings
(11) Triggers
(12) Hammers
(13) Sears
(14) Disconnectors
(15) Buttstocks
(16) Pistol grips
(17) Forearm handguards
(18) Magazine bodies
(19) Followers
(20) Floorplates

So there they are. For a long time it was hard to find many of these pieces for the AK’s, but now they are everywhere. Got to love that American ingenuity! But finding enough parts to convert your Saiga will be a bit more difficult. They simply are not made yet. But if you CAN find enough parts to do it, then you are free and clear to convert your Saiga to the LEO/dealer models that are out there.

What about the dealers/wholesalers that say I will be making a Destructive Device?
Pure crap. Here is what it says about DD’s:
DESTRUCTIVE DEVICES

26 U.S.C. sec. 5845(f) "The term destructive device
means

1) any explosive, incendiary or poison gas
A) bomb
grenade
C) rocket having propellant charge of more than four
ounces
D) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of
more than one-quarter ounce
E) mine, or
F) similar device

2) any type of weapon by whatever name known which will, or
may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the
action of a explosive or other propellant, the barrel or
barrels of which have a bore of more than one-half inch in
diameter, except a shotgun or shotgun shell which the
Secretary or his delegate finds is generally recognized as
particularly suitable for sporting purposes; and

3) any combination of parts either designed or intended for
use in converting any device into a destructive device as
defined in subparagraphs (1) and (2) and from which a
destructive device may be readily assembled. The term
'destructive device' shall not include any device which is
neither designed nor redesigned for use as a weapon; any
device although originally designed for use as a weapon,
which is redesigned for use as a signaling, pyrotechnic,
line throwing, safety or similar device; surplus ordnance
sold, loaned or given by the Secretary of the Army pursuant
to the provisions of section 4684(2), 4685 or 4686 of title
10 of the United States Code; or any other device which the
Secretary of the Treasury or his delegate finds is not
likely to be used as a weapon, or is an antique or is a
rifle which the owner intends to use solely for sporting
purposes."

Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t see anything that specifically says that if you make an assault shotgun you will automatically be making a DD. You would just be making an assault weapon. BUT! That said, I think this is what causes a lot of dealers and wholesalers sleepless nights:
any type of weapon by whatever name known which will, or
may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the
action of a explosive or other propellant, the barrel or
barrels of which have a bore of more than one-half inch in
diameter, except a shotgun or shotgun shell which the
Secretary or his delegate finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes;

As you know, they have already decided that the Street Sweeper, Striker and USAS-12 were DD’s. People are just plain worried that the ATF will rule these to be DD’s as well, and they will be left sitting on an inventory of weapons that is now EXTREMELY hard to sell and one which the clientele is very small for. Sure they would be worth more money as a DD, but how many of you out there will pay that $200 tax on your $250 gun? My theory is that the wholesalers and dealers hope that in the traditional configuration, and with only the 5 round mags being readily available that the ATF will not take a keen notice of these weapons. After all, the detachable mag is the big factor that made them rule the USAS-12 semi-auto a DD. It is no stretch at all to see the ATF doing the same thing to the Saiga. And if you think they will do it to just those with the pistol grips…. Are you familiar with the way these guys function??? These guns can be converted to an assault weapons configuration in less than an hour.

Personally I see them doing this either around the time frame of the Crime Bill sun setting (as you will be able to make whatever conversion you want to after Sept. 13th 2004) or in the near future if they see something to spark their interest. Like the gun being used in a crime or a number of US made parts becoming available to perform the conversion within the parameters of the Crime Bill as it is now. How many dealers out there do you know that are willing to pay $100 a year for their Type 9 FFL so they can sell these guns? And do you know a dealer in your area that is willing to do the same thing so he can bring it in for you, even if you are willing to pay the $200 tax?

I hope this helps, as I said I am no RKI but this is what I was able to find on the issue. If anyone else has anything to add please throw it out and let’s see where it lands."


Sorry for long post.

BozemanMT
May 14, 2006, 11:15 AM
Recce.
talk to Paul at mstn.biz
He can build anything.
I have had two amazingly light and amazingly accurate uppers built by them. The whole gun probably doesn't weigh 7lbs and if I'm paying attention I can put a whole magazine into one ragged hole at 100 yards.

Trumpet
May 14, 2006, 11:28 AM
Paul's build is another one of my options. I'm also looking at one of his 17" 3-gun type setups. He told me their 17" bbls are up to 1/2 MOA at 300 yards (provided the shooter does his part). He builds a lot or rifles that win a lot of 3-gun matches. I'm just trying to factor in the base $1100 cost of one of his uppers AND whether or not I want the ACOG or something else (which could add up significantly).

R

BozemanMT
May 14, 2006, 12:42 PM
That's what I have.
Two of them actually.
probably over 3k in each. (including optics)
worth every penny. Light and accurate and really smooth. The 17" with a rifle length gas system is the way to go.

http://home.pcisys.net/~bdhopkins/guns/bigARs.jpg

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