wrapped up my Saiga conversion


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SSN Vet
March 24, 2008, 11:47 PM
finally wrapped up my Saiga conversion.....

75186

75187

Details.....
16" 7.62x39 Saiga (Stanleys Pro Shop)
G2 single hook trigger group (on sale at Midway)
NATO length fixed poly stock (KVAR)
domestic regular style PG (Midway)
PG nut and bolt (KVAR)
Surplus mags (Romanian?) (Scopes Dist.)
surplus mag. tabs filed
10 round OEM mag. trimmed w/ utility knife.
bullet guide fabricated from 3/4" pipe.
fore stock slots cut with 5/16" end mill at work
binder bolt heads turned down and painted.
BHO cut into safty lever with a Dremel.
trigger plate rivots and spot weld drilled on drill press.
PG nut & trigger cutouts were there waiting for me when I popped off the sporter triggerr plate :)

Rifle has passed function tests with Wolf MC HP, Win. FMJ and Fed. FMJ ammo. no cycling or feeding issues noted.

I've got just over $400 into this rifle, including FFL fee and shipping charges.
This is my first AK, so I can't really comment on accuracy untill I get more time with standard AK iron sights.

I set up to load x39, so it's time to crank out some ammo and get this puppy some serious time on the range.

my one word of advise......

don't fool around with #6 taps when you install your bullet guide. Trust me, just go straight to a #8 and go VERY slow and easy. :o

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chris in va
March 25, 2008, 03:32 AM
Nice conversion. I've thought about it, kinda tempting.

nalioth
March 25, 2008, 03:55 AM
Is there a linked picture? (If so, I can't see it)

SSN Vet
March 25, 2008, 10:24 AM
Is there a linked picture?

I uploaded the image and inserted the thumbnail. Clicking on the thumbnail brings it up in a seperate window for me.

Can anybody else see it? I'd like to learn how to get this right if not.

Deer Hunter
March 25, 2008, 11:17 AM
I may have to do some work on my saiga's forend like that, good job!

Schofield3
March 25, 2008, 11:22 AM
Looks great, really clean and straight forward, have fun shootin the hell out of it- :D

AirForceShooter
March 25, 2008, 11:31 AM
Why are you sitting behind a computer screen?
Get out and shoot that thing.
We want a range report and pictures. Movies even.
Nice job.

AFS

MIL-DOT
March 25, 2008, 11:37 AM
Nice looking rifle. Can you tell me more about cutting the ventilation holes in the fore-stock ? I've wanted to do that for a while, but i'm afraid i'll screw something up.

SSN Vet
March 25, 2008, 12:40 PM
Can you tell me more about cutting the ventilation holes in the fore-stock ? I've wanted to do that for a while, but i'm afraid i'll screw something up.

The first thing you'll need is access to a milling maching, as a drill press won't cut it. Doesn't have to be a mongo Bridgeport, you could even use a mini-mill.....but you have to be able to use a collet mounted end mill. And you have to have a precisely controlled table.

I laid out the slots with pencil, they are 1/4" off and parrallel to the top edge. I cut them 1-1/4" long with 1" space inbetween, using a 5/16" end mill. I used the DRO (digital read out) but I doubt I could tell the difference if I had just cut to the pencil line. I referenced all of my measurements to the rear edge of the fore-grip as it is perpendicular to the top. Used a combination square and a sharp #2 pencil.

I'm a far, far cry from a machinist, but we have an old beast of an end mill in our maintenance shop at work and I keep on friendly terms with the mechanics.....so they let me play with the toys.

With the right tools, it was easy to do.

OBTW.....I also cut slots in the bottom of the fore-stock on the center line. You do have to be carefull up around the sling swivel as there is metal imbeded in the molded plastic. I just avoided that area all together.

Deer Hunter
March 25, 2008, 12:51 PM
SSN VET,

I've got a Dremel, does that count? :)

azhunter12
March 25, 2008, 07:28 PM
Good job. i can't wait to do mine.

SSN Vet
March 26, 2008, 09:55 AM
I've got a Dremel, does that count?

Ah the higher powers of Dremel-Fu!

How steady is your hand Grasshopper?

May the force be with you :neener:

MIL-DOT
March 26, 2008, 10:08 AM
Thanks for the info SSN vet, now i KNOW i ain't gonna do it !!! One of the gurus over at the saiga12 forum does it for about $40 or $50 , last i checked, but that's a lot of bucks for just an superficial alteration. But it sure does make them things look cool !!

SSN Vet
March 26, 2008, 04:02 PM
trying to link URL photo off SnapFish for first time.....as requested.....

http://www2.snapfish.com/slideshow/AlbumID=221797844/PictureID=4760295535/a=126348959_126348959/t_=126348959

or maybe the link...

http://www2.snapfish.com/slideshow/AlbumID=221797844/PictureID=4760295535/a=126348959_126348959/t_=126348959

SimpleIsGood229
March 26, 2008, 10:06 PM
Very, very nice work! Too bad Saiga doesn't have a 5.45 version.

rangerruck
March 26, 2008, 11:39 PM
I've got a question, explain more about cutting the safety, and this gives you a last shot BHO? I don't get it. Or is that just a notch to hold the bolt handle back?

Coronach
March 26, 2008, 11:48 PM
It's not a last round BHO, but it will hold the bolt back if you pull the charging handle back. It's useful for situations where you need to demonstrate that you have an empty weapon and don't want to mess with chamber flags, or for popping in a magazine and dropping the bolt by clicking off the safety.

Mike

nalioth
March 27, 2008, 12:27 AM
Why this talk about cutting the safety, when the Saiga comes with a bolt hold open from the factory?

IronSightRot671
March 27, 2008, 12:36 AM
Marvelous :evil: I really like your saiga.

SSN Vet
March 27, 2008, 10:49 AM
It's not a last round BHO, but it will hold the bolt back if you pull the charging handle back. It's useful for situations where you need to demonstrate that you have an empty weapon and don't want to mess with chamber flags, or for popping in a magazine and dropping the bolt by clicking off the safety.

That's it exactly....range rules at the rod & gun where I shoot require firearms to be on the bench (rifle range) or counter (handgun range), unloaded, with the action locked open during cease fires.

There's a different mag. follower profile (Chinese & Yugo if I'm not mistaken) that will hold the bolt open on the last round, but will then let it slam shut when you pull the mag.

I initially thought that I could position the safety notch for use in concert with the mag. follower BHO, enabling me to flip up the safety and catch the charging handle in the exact position the mag. follower stops it (which would then permit dropping the mag. without letting the bolt go). But to do this, the notch has to be positioned at the extreme end of the safety, right into the bent over thumb tab area. There's a guy over on the Saiga-12 forum who shows this and reports good results, but I didn't care for it.

Why this talk about cutting the safety, when the Saiga comes with a bolt hold open from the factory?

Four reasons.....all of which are in the 'personal preference" catagory...

I wasn't crazy about the Saiga factory BHO, as it did not pass my own personal BHO test. With the BHO engaged as securely as possible, if I held the rifle vertically and let it drop ~4" onto the butt of the stock, the BHO would disengage, letting the bolt snap shut.

When you move the trigger group forward to do the conversion, the factory BHO is in the trigger gaurd and can interfere with you trigger finger. The work around for this is to grind the tab down, but I thought that this would only make it more difficult to securely engage the BHO.

The 'hub' on the factory tigger group is cut short to provide room for the factory BHO. The hub on the G2 trigger group is 'normal' AK length and you need to grind it down to reinstall the factory BHO. Also, reinstalling the spring on the factory BHO is reported to be a royal pita.

I like the notched safety BHO as it was easy to do, doesn't appear to weaken the safety at all, is easy to engage/disengage, and passes my personal BHO test as described above.

Coronach
March 27, 2008, 11:03 AM
Interesting. Is the Saiga's BHO a last-round BHO, or just a manual-engagement type deal? I assume the latter?

Thanks,

Mike

Coronach
March 27, 2008, 11:11 AM
There's a different mag. follower profile (Chinese & Yugo if I'm not mistaken) that will hold the bolt open on the last round, but will then let it slam shut when you pull the mag.

I initially thought that I could position the safety notch for use in concert with the mag. follower BHO, enabling me to flip up the safety and catch the charging handle in the exact position the mag. follower stops it (which would then permit dropping the mag. without letting the bolt go). But to do this, the notch has to be positioned at the extreme end of the safety, right into the bent over thumb tab area. There's a guy over on the Saiga-12 forum who shows this and reports good results, but I didn't care for it.This really does sound ideal, and I've heard of it before, but I also heard that it couldn't be made to work reliably. My understanding is that the bolt hits the BHO, you then flick the safety up and drop the mag. The bolt then moves up to engage against the notch in the safety. You insert a full mag, and the bolt is now too far forward to reliably strip the top round.

If that's not the problem (and it may not be, I could easily be mistaken), what is? Is the safety too thin that far forward?

Mike

GTSteve03
March 27, 2008, 11:18 AM
How did you attach the trigger guard under the mag catch? That was the hardest part for me when I did my conversion.

Looks nice! Are you going to thread the muzzle? Those slots in the handguard will help cool the barrel when you rapid fire. :evil:

ashtxsniper
March 27, 2008, 11:26 AM
Looks awesome. I have a 7.62x39 and a 7.62x51 Saiga that I am going to convert soon.

SSN Vet
March 27, 2008, 01:55 PM
Is the Saiga's BHO a last-round BHO, or just a manual-engagement type deal? I assume the latter?

You assume correctly.

The bolt then moves up to engage against the notch in the safety. You insert a full mag, and the bolt is now too far forward to reliably strip the top round.

My thought was that you could position the notch in the safety lever so as to catch the charging lever 'dead nuts' and not let it move forward. Then, once the fresh mag is inserted, you could angle the back side of the notch, allowing you to just crank the charging handle back and let it snap forward. This would push the safety out of the way enough to allow charging, but you'd then have to snap it all the way down to enable the trigger.

The top to bottom width of the safety where I put my notch ~3/4", and the notch is ~3/8" deep. The metal is quite hard and the notch doesn't violate the stiffening rib. I positioned the notch at the exact spot where the bolt carrier hangs up on the cocked hammer. So it's easy to charge with my thumb and flip the safety lever up with my index finger knuckle.

The postion where the mag. follower BHO stops the bolt is so far forward, that your way up on the tip of the safty where the width is only ~1/4".

It might work well if you tooled up a uniquely shaped safety....but that's beyond me.

How did you attach the trigger guard under the mag catch?

I didn't! I trimmed ~1/8" off of the end and slightly re-bent the profile to give a "spring fit". Then I simply stuffed the remaining tab up under the mag. catch. It's very secure and won't so much as wiggle.

Coronach
March 27, 2008, 02:04 PM
The postion where the mag. follower BHO stops the bolt is so far forward, that your way up on the tip of the safty where the width is only ~1/4".

It might work well if you tooled up a uniquely shapes safety....but that's beyond me.Ok, so if I'm understanding you correctly, the problem is that the safety is too thin (well, not wide enough) at that point to allow for an adequately sized notch and still maintain enough material not to fail through repeated use. Is that the only problem, do you think? Because if it is, I agree with you that the answer would be a "wider" safety that would allow a good-sized notch (along with appropriate places for the user to place his trigger finger to engage/disengage the safety, since we're already doing a custom job, may as well do it right).

However, if the thing will still not work due to the problem I mentioned (bolt being held too far forward to properly catch and/or strip a round), it's all for naught.

Mike

Deer Hunter
March 27, 2008, 02:07 PM
SSN,

I did the same with mine for my trigger guard. However, if I remember I dremeld off a section of the end that had one hole for a screw. There were two on that side, so I was still left with one that I could use. However, getting through the mag latch was a pain.

nalioth
March 27, 2008, 04:30 PM
I wasn't crazy about the Saiga factory BHO, as it did not pass my own personal BHO test. With the BHO engaged as securely as possible, if I held the rifle vertically and let it drop ~4" onto the butt of the stock, the BHO would disengage, letting the bolt snap shut. Yeah, that's a problem every M16/AR15 has, too.


The notched safety is not a new idea. You can get them from various vendors (or do it yourself).
http://www.krebscustom.com/RawPhotos/3-6-08/MarkIVSafety.jpg (http://www.krebscustom.com/PartsPages/KalashnikovParts.shtml)

strat81
March 27, 2008, 04:49 PM
http://hunting.about.com/od/guns/ss/ak_safety_notch.htm
Directions for an AK safety notch. I did it to my WASR, works fine.

SSN Vet
March 27, 2008, 05:03 PM
Is that the only problem, do you think?

As far as I see it...that's it. As noted, there's a guy on the Saiga-12 board that did it this way and says it works fine.....but after seeing his photo (just tried to find it but couldn't) I didn't want to go that way.

Here's another good thread on the topic....

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=4&f=55&t=84152


getting through the mag latch was a pain.

to mucnh of a pain for me....it looked like the Mag catch assembly was going to need to be removed.....:barf:

Deer Hunter
March 27, 2008, 05:18 PM
I need to go back and take a look at my Saiga. I was sure I got around the mag latch issue pretty easily. Gotta go remember how, though.

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