Saiga 308 or Mini 14/30: which to buy?


PDA






NY'er
August 5, 2007, 10:23 PM
Hi all, and thanks for looking and hopefully chiming in~

I prefer traditional vs pistol grip stock setups, so AR's, AK's and several others are out the window... Anyone who's had experience with both Saiga 308's and/or Mini 14/30's, I'd love to hear your experiences and guidance.

I realize that putting the standard Saiga rifle up against the Rugers wouldn't be a fair comparision due to the price of admission...:fire: so I used their 308 to even the field, putting the emphasis on durability, accuracy, and overall performance.

Side question~ what advice can you share as to which caliber and why, including ammo prices and availability.

Thanks, NY'er

If you enjoyed reading about "Saiga 308 or Mini 14/30: which to buy?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
LiquidTension
August 5, 2007, 10:30 PM
Most of the .308 surplus is gone so the price is MUCH higher than it used to be - upwards of $450/1000 at Widener's if they still have any. .223 is up over $300/1000 for brass cased stuff but at least it's easy to find. 7.62x39 runs about $170/1000 but it's steel cased - brass is more expensive.

If you're not picky about caliber, I'd say look for a Saiga in either .223 or 7.62x39. Ammo is cheaper and it's still the style you want.

The Deer Hunter
August 5, 2007, 10:31 PM
Saigas cost less, but in .308 they cost more to operate.

Minis cost alot and apparently they aren't very accurate and cost 500+.

raginrednek
August 5, 2007, 10:46 PM
an sks is cheaper and better than a mini 3o. i sold the 30, bought a chinese sks.

NY'er
August 5, 2007, 10:49 PM
WOW~ thanks for the quick replies, great info on the .308 pricing!

Ok, between the Saiga .223/ 7.62 or Mini 14/ 30... there's a BIG price difference, I know... but are there any functional or quality difference that justify the price disparity? I prefer the look of the Rugers, but for the price of a Ruger I could get a Saiga rifle AND a Saiga 12....


And just to shake it up~ anyone have any experience with the Keltec SU-16C? And are those even legal in NYS?

Samuraigg
August 5, 2007, 11:26 PM
If your looking at .223 as well, why not take a look at the Mini 14 Target? Supposed to have better accuracy, From what I've seen they run around 800 or so on Gunbroker.

As for the price difference, I don't really know why Minis cost so much. Saigas are always a good choice. Keep in mind you can't use high cap magazines in a Saiga unless you convert it or put in 922r complaint parts.

NY'er
August 6, 2007, 12:13 AM
Ok, my post count should tell you I'm still new to all of this, and obviously I live in NY... That being said, I've seen references about 'converting' Saigas, as well as 922r, but what exactly does that entail?

For that matter, if I -didn't- want go hi cap, but rather wanted a folding stock on a Saiga, would swapping for 922r parts cover me?

And, please accept my apology for the 'noob' questions!

busy_squirrel
August 6, 2007, 01:53 AM
being 922r compliant will always cover you, even though sometimes it's not necessary.

dscottw88
August 6, 2007, 02:28 AM
I own a Saiga in .223 and love it. It has a loud and primitive design, but the quality in the Saiga family is by far better than that of most AK's iv'e handled and seen. Saigas are manufactured in the Famous Izhmash factory that developed some of the first AKs ever produced if I remember correctly. Iv'e held some ruger mini 14's and 30's but wouldn't consider myself "familiar" with them or their performance. Hope I could help! Let me know if you have any other direct questions about the Saiga family.

pmbiker
August 6, 2007, 02:38 AM
The first saiga .308 I owned would shoot a milk jug at a hundred yards with nearly one-hundred percent accuracy. Another in 7.62x39 would print groups the size of a pop can bottom at 50yds all day. I also had a saiga .308 that would blow the top cover off with heavier hunting loads. I only did that twice. The .308 has a very wierd trigger, try before you buy.

I have not owned or shot a mini-anything, so mine is a one sided opinion. Ruger makes fine rifles and opinions of the new ones seem to be improving over older models.

JWarren
August 6, 2007, 02:48 AM
My vote is for the Saiga 308, but I concede that it's gonna be expensive to feed these days.

I can't speak for non-converted Saigas, but I am very pleased with mine. The trigger in mine is a Tapco G2, but I may replace it with a RSA adjustable. No complaints from the Tapco, but the RSA is worth a look.

I've had no trouble with hunting rounds. This past year I used Winchester Ballistic Tip 150 grain cartridges and it fired flawlessly. With that round, it is doing a little better than 1 MOA, and I can expect 1-1.5 MOA out of SA surplus. Bear in mind, I am using optics on mine. AK iron sights don't lend themselves to much accuracy unless you get used to them.

-- John

rangerruck
August 6, 2007, 04:45 AM
about 3 years ago, I could buy a 20 rond box of S. african, from carters for 4 or 5 bucks. I saw it this weekend at carters for 15 dollars!!!! I also was buying S. african battle paks for 23 to 26 dollars, they are 3 times that now. So maybe avoid the Saiga in 308, just get it in 762 russian. I have had a 16 in bbl Saiga in 308 , and it was ultra reliable, and sick accurate, plus, you can make the factory mags , from 8 to 10 rounders, by cutting off most of the bottom of the follower, and some of the spring coils. Plus now, you can buy 20 round mags from Fbmg, and other places I believe. But again, your ammo cost is going to take this out of the plinking range, target funday, of usage.

Navy87Guy
August 6, 2007, 07:40 AM
Ok, my post count should tell you I'm still new to all of this, and obviously I live in NY... That being said, I've seen references about 'converting' Saigas, as well as 922r, but what exactly does that entail?

For that matter, if I -didn't- want go hi cap, but rather wanted a folding stock on a Saiga, would swapping for 922r parts cover me?

And, please accept my apology for the 'noob' questions!

There are 14 "countable" parts on a stock Saiga rifle that apply to 18 USC 922R. If you want to add a folding stock, you will have to make yourself compliant. There are two ways - a full conversion or a "Frankenrifle" conversion. Either way, you need to replace enough parts to meet the 10 foreign parts or fewer requirement of 922R.

About the only way to have a folding stock without a full conversion is to use the ACE receiver block/pistol grip (I don't know of any folding, sporter-style stock that would allow you to install it without some kind of pistol grip to make it functional.), here: http://riflestocks.com/SaigaAK.htm

It bolts on to a stock rifle without any other work needed. Now, you've added a pistol grip so you're up to 15 countable parts - but the stock and the grip are US-made, so you only have to replace three others.
Options there include gas piston, handguard and magazine parts. (A magazine counts as three separate parts - body, follower and base plate).

If you opt for the "full conversion", then you'll have to replace the fire control group -- that counts as 3 parts. There's a different set of receiver blocks to use, and you have a wide choice of pistol grips and buttstocks. Again, keep them US-made and you're compliant.

Check out the Saiga 12 forum (http://forum.saiga-12.com/index.php?) for everything you ever wanted to know about Saigas.

Jim

Coronach
August 6, 2007, 07:58 AM
Saiga .308 is a much better gun, but it will cost more to operate. The caliber, however, is also more powerful than either of the ones in the mini.

Mike

thegriz
August 7, 2007, 01:08 AM
I like them both. However, I can tell you this. If you shoot a prairie dog with the mini 14, it will get knocked over but make it back to it's hole about 3 out of 4 times before it dies. If you hit one with your 308 it's going to make one heck of a mess and it's not going to make it back to its hole.

I'm not sure what your intended use for the rifle will be. If you need quick stopping power go with the 308. Otherwise, the mini 14 is a sweet little rifle and it's a lot cheaper to operate.

kcmarine
August 7, 2007, 01:17 AM
Dollar for dollar, the Saiga is the best rifle made by anyone, anywhere, period.

Also, if you like to tinker, you could put it in an AK configuration.

The Mini is a good rifle, but for it's price, you could buy a DPMS or Stag AR-15 that would satisfy you MUCH more than any Mini could. The Saiga is a much better value. But then again, if you have that kinda cash to throw around, you might want to look at an entry- range AR. You might find that you like the pistol grip system... the world may never know.

But in this competition- Saiga.

If you enjoyed reading about "Saiga 308 or Mini 14/30: which to buy?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!