A few questions to Saiga 308 experts


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judaspriest
March 12, 2008, 11:25 PM
Hi all,

It looks like this AK clone might be a worthwhile SHTF / go-to / all-around rifle, especially in 308. However possibly because it's so new, I cannot find enough information about it yet to decide whether I want to buy it. These are my questions:

- Reliability - is it really AK-reliable or tinkering with the magic AK formula changed any of that?
- Saiga parts seem non-existent - even e-gunparts has none. What parts are compatible with the AK (and which one - 47/74, etc). Especially those that need spares - firing pin, recoil spring, bolt, extractor, hammer spring, etc
- The flimsy plastic mags don't look trustworthy and are hard to find. Any hope of converting to any more common ones, the FAL's or M14's? Any legal issues with doing so?
- What accessories / upgrades do people suggest? Is the Red Star trigger any good? Better iron sights - peeps even maybe?
- What is the barrel twist rate? Good bullet weights for the barrel? Barrel upgrades?
- How is the accuracy - can it do 2MOA or better?
- What are the good scope mount choices? Any scopes that are especially good for Saiga?

Many thanks in advance for any suggestions / info,

JP

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nalioth
March 12, 2008, 11:39 PM
- Reliability - is it really AK-reliable or tinkering with the magic AK formula changed any of that? It's a Kalashnikov

- Saiga parts seem non-existent - even e-gunparts has none. What parts are compatible with the AK (and which one - 47/74, etc). Especially those that need spares - firing pin, recoil spring, bolt, extractor, hammer spring, etc. So all those AKs still in use 50 years after they were made over in Africa and the Middle East and you worry about spares?

- The flimsy plastic mags don't look trustworthy and are hard to find. Any hope of converting to any more common ones, the FAL's or M14's? Any legal issues with doing so? They're not flimsy. If you use a magazine of over 10 rounds, you'll need to bring the rifle into 922r compliance. Why mangle your rifle to "make it work with FAL or M14 mags" when 25 round USA manufactured Saiga .308 mags are available?

- What accessories / upgrades do people suggest? Is the Red Star trigger any good? Better iron sights - peeps even maybe? Why don't you get one and shoot it, and then decide.

- How is the accuracy - can it do 2MOA or better? The Kalashnikov platform was never designed for precision accuracy. It'll do minute-of-man at distances you can see.

- What are the good scope mount choices? Any scopes that are especially good for Saiga? See above. A dot reflex sight would be a better suggestion.

rangerruck
March 13, 2008, 12:52 AM
Brevity is the soul of wit, so here goes. Literally evey worry you have is wrong, or out of fear that is not justified. It is all good, the quality, durability, the mags, the accuracy, after market parts sources, Tapco, Dinzag, and Tromix can handle most you needs. Any and all questions can be answered at
http://forum.saiga-12.com/index.php?http://forum.saiga-12.com/
Except for my cz stuff, i would say that Saiga, is the most for your money rifle on the market right now, hands down.

rangerruck
March 13, 2008, 12:59 AM
Lemme tell you a story on accuracy... I decided after many weeks of trying i discovered that all the former british empire stuff(including u.s., but not India)
and all the nazi S. american stuff shot the best. So one day I am out at the range, and i am shooting open sites at 100yds. i load up a bunch more mags, and the shoot period is almost over. Then I hear the speaker anounce " 2 minutes" and i say outloud , "2 minutes eyyh?" A couple of dudes sitting on the bench behind me heard me say it, and start laughing.
I then proceed to dump ALL 100 rounds, of mixed mfgr, downrange, at a 5 inch
shoot n see disc downrange. I pop off all 100 rounds before I hear, "cease fire!"
The dudes sitting behind me were impressed, I was doing proly 1 shot ever 5 seconds or so. We go downrange and look at the target, it is popped 96 out of 100 times. So I know it is accurate, and I will also say that I have pulled off moa groups at 100 yds with it many times, again with open sites. I have 3 saigas now, and for my entended use, I don't even bother to scope them any
more.

elmerfudd
March 13, 2008, 03:31 AM
I can get less than 2 MOA if I use handloads and let the barrel cool between shots. I'm still working up a good load for it and I'm pretty sure I can shrink the groups a little more. It likes 125 grain bullets. With factory ammo that it likes it shoots 3 MOA. With South African surplus and a hot barrel it shoots 5 MOA.

Reliability is very good.

The RSA trigger is very good, but if you make the second stage too brief it'll tend to bumpfire if you don't hold it tightly.

I'm not so enthusiastic about peep sights on AK's. I ordered a couple of Krebs peeps and they are a nice product, but I don't find them much easier to shoot than a notch sight. As far as I'm concerned, if a peep's not located back by your eye it's really not that good.

LKB3rd
March 13, 2008, 06:46 AM
I just got one, and I don't have many rounds through it yet, but I have gotten a lot of good information over at the saiga forum. There is a .308 subforum too. The stock trigger isn't so great, but converting one into 922r compliance looks to be pretty easy and I plan to do that soon. That will shift the trigger forward, add a better trigger and a standard AK pistol grip and butt stock.
They can be modded to accept m14 magazines.

williamthedog
March 13, 2008, 07:15 AM
i own one and get 1 1/2 MOA with milsurp ammo.
i did the p-grip /trigger mod.
for the price it is a bargain indeed.

rangerruck
March 13, 2008, 11:07 AM
yes that is true, the stock trigger is absolutely terrible, it is a long pull, and at the end, you are almost pulling straight up.

nalioth
March 13, 2008, 11:38 AM
They can be modded to accept m14 magazines. Again, why would you want to, when the Thermold folks are making a 25 round capacity .308 Saiga-specific magazine (http://www.mississippiautoarms.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=25_38&products_id=139)?

judaspriest
March 13, 2008, 10:57 PM
Thanks much for the tips!

I do worry about the parts because unlike the African and middle-Eastern bandits, I only have one. If theirs last for 50 years generally, doesn't mean that every specific single rifle lasts that long and since I only have one, I don't want to take chances (esp. given the political situation whereby parts may get regulated past '08 the way receivers are now). Bottom line, agree or disagree with my paranoid assessment, I am very interested in knowing what is compatible and what isn't and where to buy anything besides the mags.

Has anyone tried to glass bed the stock or switch the barrel? Any idea of the barrel twist rates?

I know AK wasn't designed for accuracy, but that was 60 years ago and Saiga has improvements (like the 3rd bolt lug for example), so I'd like to push it a bit if I can.

I am very surprised it likes bullets that light, 125gr - what about more common stuff like 170-180gr, won't stabilize?

Again, thanks for all the tips and info

JP

elmerfudd
March 13, 2008, 11:18 PM
I can keep handloads with 168 grain bullets in about 2.5 MOA, but with the 125 grain bullets I can get closer to 1.5 MOA and I'm thinking that I can do a little better still. It also likes 150 grain boat tail bullets, just not as much as the 125 grainers and strangely enough it didn't do that well with the 130 grain bullets I bought and it doesn't do well at all with South African surplus.

Bottom line is that it's pretty accurate for a Kalashnikov based rifle, but it won't hang with a decent bolt action or AR when it comes to accuracy. It's plenty good enough to do the job out to 400 yards or so, but it's no DMR rifle.

rangerruck
March 13, 2008, 11:51 PM
hmm... that is strange, I always used the south african for my known baseline zero, before I went to diff ammo for testing...

Onmilo
March 14, 2008, 09:08 AM
What you mean one of these?
http://www.fototime.com/714FACEDE2B09ED/standard.jpg
Oh, it's OK, especially if you like to shoot!:D
Mine is super reliable, will digest steel case ammunition without any problems and likes 165 PowerPoint Winchester best.
The scope mount is from K-Var, excellent stuff.http://www.k-var.com
The standard 10shot magazines work fine and can still be found for about $35.00 each, brand new, if you are diligent, about $20.00 used.

WinkingTiger
March 14, 2008, 01:30 PM
I'm in NY. Are any preban high-cap mags available for this rifle?

How long has the Saiga .308 been around?

jlbraun
March 14, 2008, 01:38 PM
Surefire also makes 25rd magazines that people seem to like better than the FBMG magazines.

judaspriest
March 14, 2008, 11:46 PM
What about parts availability / compatibility with other AKs?

Thanks,

JP

rangerruck
March 15, 2008, 12:15 AM
no prebans, this rifle is not that old, even when it was intro'd by EAA, you can take the current mag, cut about 1/4 of the spring , cut the bottom of the follower off, until just about 1/4 of the inside case/upright plastic guides remain, on the bottom of the follower. this will allow you to hold ten rounds in the mag.
surefire makes a current 25 rounder.

Quiet
March 15, 2008, 12:24 AM
How long has the Saiga .308 been around?
Kalashnikov USA imported Saigas (7.62x39mm & .308) from 1997-2000.
Kalashnikov USA went out of business around 2000/2001.

EAA imported Saigas (7.62x39mm, .223 & .308) around 2004-2006.

RAA started importing Saigas (7.62x39mm, .223 & .308) around 2005.
RAA Saiga-100 (.30-06) should be showing up this year.

elmerfudd
March 15, 2008, 12:48 AM
hmm... that is strange, I always used the south african for my known baseline zero, before I went to diff ammo for testing...

It might just be my rifle, or the batch of SA that I had, but in any event I was shooting about 5" groups with it and I didn't see any point in shooting more of it when I was getting that kind of accuracy. Why continue wasting ammo, right? I shot some again the other day when I was at the range and had much better results, (about 1.5" 8 shot groups at 50 yards), but I only had about 20 rounds of it with me, so I'm going more by the earlier groups.

Oddly enough, one of the cartridges that my Saiga really likes is some sort of oddball communist corrosive ammo. It comes in a light blue box of 20 and all it says on it is ".308 Winchester". I had an ex-coworker sell me about 200 rounds of the stuff some time ago and it shot close to 2 MOA with it. I found another couple hundred rounds of the stuff at a gunshow about six months ago, only this batch also had "1978" on the box. I bought it all, but it wasn't the same. It threw a massive fireball, and while it shot well enough, it wasn't as good as the earlier stuff.

rangerruck
March 15, 2008, 04:44 AM
I have seen the 30.06 models for about 2 years now, but they are very hunter friendly types; long bbls and wood furniture...

Correia
March 15, 2008, 11:56 AM
I make magazines for the .308 Saiga. http://www.fbmginc.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.flypage&product_id=360&category_id=47&manufacturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1

In stock, ready to go.

I can't comment on the Surefire mags. I've never used them. Met the guy at SHOT, and he seemed nice. Ours have been around a lot longer. I did tweak the spring pressure up 10% last year and opened the interior up a bit from the first run. We've not had any issues on the last two production runs.

Desert 45 Rat
March 15, 2008, 12:02 PM
I make magazines for the .308 Saiga. http://www.fbmginc.com/index.php?pag...emart&Itemid=1

In stock, ready to go.

I clicked on the link and on that page it says "usually ships in 1-2 months? I'd like to buy some if they're in stock and ready to go.

chauncey
March 15, 2008, 08:39 PM
you are all correct with your complaints about peep sights. I wish someone would weld an HK or AR peep sight on the top of a dust cover (ala the Galil), so I can slap it on top of my rifle and shoot this platform more accurately.

wally
March 15, 2008, 09:34 PM
The manual that came with my RAA Saiga (local gunsmith conversion) say the accuracy acceptance is 5 shots into 100mm circle at 100m. That's about 4" group at 100 yards. Some shooters claim better, so far I've only shot mine at 50 yards and wouldn't expect much better than 4" extrapolating what I got at 50 yards.

My FBMG 20 round mags have worked well so far, as have the standards I converted to 10 rounds as described previously.

I put a Romanian PSOP 4X scope on mine, I like that the irons are still there and usable for backup.

--wally.

Correia
March 15, 2008, 11:24 PM
Desert, I've got about 300 in stock as of today.

chris in va
March 16, 2008, 02:56 AM
I wish someone would weld an HK or AR peep sight on the top of a dust cover (ala the Galil)

They've got a rail available now for the AK platform, but runs ~$200. Too much for my wallet.

KadicDeshi
March 16, 2008, 09:53 AM
I wish someone would weld an HK or AR peep sight on the top of a dust cover (ala the Galil), so I can slap it on top of my rifle and shoot this platform more accurately.

Well, while the seller is or has been associated with Hesse/Vulcan/et al, there is a product offered by Blackthorne (http://akpartskits.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=18) that does exactly what you mentioned.

Personally, I'm waiting on Techsights' peep they mentioned here a while back (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=289514&highlight=tech+sights&page=2).

Barrett

williamthedog
March 30, 2008, 11:51 AM
http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l272/billhedges/messyhalloween066.jpg

williamthedog
March 30, 2008, 11:52 AM
that was with paki milsurp
http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l272/billhedges/davesdrive053-2.jpg

nalioth
March 30, 2008, 12:06 PM
They've got a rail available now for the AK platform, but runs ~$200. Too much for my wallet.

I think you're looking in the wrong place.

http://www.stubbygear.com/catalog.asp?categoryid=63240

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