Saiga vs Regular AK vs SKS


June 7, 2008, 09:27 PM
Which would be better:

Saiga in 7.62x39mm

Regular AK (Yugoslavian,Russian,Romanian)


I am mainly looking for accuracy...yeah I know not the most accurate guns. So if you could only have one of these for now what would it be?

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June 7, 2008, 09:32 PM

June 7, 2008, 09:33 PM
As long as they are all made, or at least barreled, in the factories that make them for the military of the country issuing them, they actually all shoot about the same. My experience has been lacking with the US assembled guns.

The SKS may be just a tad more accurate.

Of what you have listed, my first choice would be a Saiga restored to its original configuration. Then any of the others.

I'd have to shoot one of the US guns before I decided to keep it.

June 7, 2008, 09:37 PM
Saigas are real AK's they have are in disguise check out.
they convert Saigas to the real deal AK.

June 7, 2008, 09:37 PM
What do you mean restored? like original AK stocks/furniture...and the ability to take AK magazines?

June 7, 2008, 09:41 PM
Yup. The Saigas actually are "converted" so they can be imported here. You need to convert them back. :)

Mines a Kreb's AK103K

June 7, 2008, 09:43 PM
how much does that cost...and what is done to them before they can be imported?

June 7, 2008, 09:47 PM
I paid $700 for mine, but that was a few years ago. I believe they are up to about $1000 now.

They basically look like this for import....

They cant have the "evil" features and have to have a certain number of US parts to be restored.

June 7, 2008, 09:51 PM

June 7, 2008, 09:51 PM
I never shot a Saiga but my Yugo sks is a little more accurate than my Romanian ak with Wolf black box.
Neither a real tac drivers but do what they were ment to do great.
I wanna pick up a Saiga while their still cheap, what can they do at say 50 yards?

June 7, 2008, 09:53 PM
I have heard they hold about 2 to 3 moa at at 50 about 1 moa but I don't know that for sure maybe someone will chime in shortly

June 7, 2008, 10:02 PM
These were shot at 100 using the above AK103K and its red dot.

Slow fire, offhand....

These were about 2 second snap shots from low ready, 100 on the left, 50 on the right.

These were shot at 100 yards, one target was my SOCOM's, the other the Saiga, but I dont remember which was which now. Either way, the main groups are about the same, so you get the idea.

Just to give you an idea of what the cheaper guns are capable of, this was shot at 200 yards with my SAR, using the iron sights and Wolf 154 grain soft points. The bottom group was from a rest, the upper from cross legged sitting .

To give you an idea as to the size of the groups, the "head" is about 6" square. I dont usually shoot at targets with an aiming point, nor do I shoot off a bench, so they might do a bit better from a rest with an aiming point.

June 7, 2008, 10:03 PM
A Saiga is a Kalashnikov.

It just has different furniture on it and some slightly different cosmetics to allow it to be imported. They are newly manufactured in the same factory as Russian Kalashnikovs (not rebuilt here from parts kits of unknown origin and condition).

It takes very little work to bring them back to the standard 'look':

June 7, 2008, 10:50 PM
I just posted today in another thread here that I have an SLR106FR and actually prefer my SKS due to the milled receiver and reliability of the SKS.....typical issue guns shooting issue ammo will shoot 2"-4" no matter what gun made where....the "AKs" out there are modified/redesigned internally to be semi-auto-only, and my preference for the SKS also hinges on it being designed as a semi-auto, no dubious quality conversion parts being swapped into the system to give you a legal gun....I'd vote differently were we talking full-auto guns with original parts....a very high condition new GI-issue SKS Type 53 PRC gun is still a relative bargain, and I'm not talking about one of the later/for-export SKS's....

June 7, 2008, 11:17 PM
the "AKs" out there are modified/redesigned internally Actually, no mods or "redesigns" are required to make a "semi auto only" Kalashnikov.

If you happen to have a selective fire Kalashnikov and just wanted to run a G2 in it ( no go-fast parts ), it'd work fine as a semi auto only

Hell, the Romanians just snipped an ear off of one of the internal parts to create a 'semi auto only' Kalashnikov ( Romanian Guards rifle ).

June 8, 2008, 12:01 AM
There's generally more to it than that, to go either way with an AK...and swapping out milled parts for cast/MIM fire control parts known for causing trigger slap is precisely the sort of mods I was talking about that are avoided with a Type 53....also most AK-type guns are built in the US with quality of build/receivers/rivits varying wildly, not to mention the parts kits used...I'll give the Saiga credit for at least being built correctly from the start, even if the trigger group and feed varies from the least no concern over incorrect style rivits or receiver heat treat to worry over....

chris in va
June 8, 2008, 01:10 AM
I just converted my Saiga. No small undertaking, but it wasn't rocket science and was a lot of fun. I like knowing I have a brand new gun straight from the factory with full accuracy potential.

BTW, can someone with a GOOD scope show 100yd groupings with their Saiga? I don't have glass yet, probably wont to be honest.

June 8, 2008, 04:25 AM

June 8, 2008, 09:54 AM
SKS, a LOT of gun for the money. Reliable, a little more accurate than the AKs generally, easier to sporterize and scope (a bonus for me as I couldn't care less about black rifles other than your right to own one), and lots of aftermarket to play with.

Saiga sporter? Maybe, I could see that, but my Norinco SKS 20" rifle cost me 75 bucks and is perfect. Hard to beat it for the money.

June 8, 2008, 10:11 AM
I have been looking for a Saiga to do the conversion. No one seems to have the 7.62x39. Any suggestions on where to look? I'm going to try Centerfire Systems on Monday.

June 8, 2008, 12:58 PM
I checked out the Saiga at my local shop I just wasn't to impressed with them but to each his own, for about $100 in parts and my own bolt modification I can use Tapco 20 Rd. detachable mags if I so choose. I just don't see a point in buying something them having to spend lots of money to make it what I wanted in the first place. Both my SKS rifles shoot way more accurate than any AK I have ever shot and thats quiet a few. If you want accuracy test out different brands of ammo before you buy in bulk to see which one or one's do best,I shoot mostly reloads.
$150 YUGO SKS unissued
75 Yd Target iron sight 10 shot group.
50 yd. 5 shot target

June 8, 2008, 01:29 PM
Both my SKS rifles shoot way more accurate than any AK I have ever shot and thats quiet a few.

That’s been my experience as well with a Yugo and Russian SKS.

Just my opinion, but based on personal experience and some research I believe the Simonov system – where the gas piston is not connected to the bolt carrier - to be more inherently accurate then the Kalashnikov, all other factors remaining equal; there’s less moving metal with the Simonov system. The Czech Model 58 also uses a variation of the Simonov system and is reported to be quite accurate as well.

I love and own AKs for their high capacity, reliability, ease of use and maintenance but the SKS would be my choice for the more accurate platform.

June 8, 2008, 01:29 PM
I just don't see a point in buying something them having to spend lots of money to make it what I wanted in the first place. If you get a Saiga, you won't be 'spending a lot of money to make it what you want'.

Saigas cost around a hundred less than a WASR on average. You spend the $100 or whatever you want to spend (depending on where you want to go) and convert it yourself.

At this point you have a brand new Russian Kalashnikov type rifle for about the same price as a WASR (which is made of rejected military parts)

Not sure where the "spend lots of money" comes in. . .

June 8, 2008, 01:32 PM
the Saiga bbl is made the way you would make a highly accurate bbl. the only way more accurate is cut rifleing. CZ and steyr both make the bbls the same way saiga's are made.

June 8, 2008, 02:52 PM
I'll give the SKS a little leeway on accuracy, but I wouldnt say its WAY more accurate. I have a Russian SKS that shoots about the same as my Saiga at 100 yards.(keep in mind, the AK's also have shorter 16" barrels. My Saiga is only 14") If anything, the advantage of the SKS is probably the slightly longer sight radius. Both rifles are at the mercy of the ammo they are fed. With good ammo, they both do well.

I dont think the slight accuracy advantage out weights the AK's mag capacity, reload speed, ease of carrying ammo, or available "issue" and practical accessories, etc. You can "try" to make an SKS into an AK, but why bother, the AK is already well past what you'll end up with. Most of the aftermarket SKS "upgrades" are lacking to downright useless. By the time you spend your money to figure it out, you'd be close to having a converted Saiga from Krebs or AK-USA.

Ammo is probably the biggest issue for any of them, as far as accuracy goes. The difference between a good lot and a fair lot, can be quite substantial. Find one what works well and load up. Wolf is pretty much hit or miss, and not the most consistent. The old Barnaul, which I believe is now marketed under the Silver and Brown Bear labels, has always been the most consistent and accurate for me, and especially the 125 grain SP's. I never saw the need to reload for the AK's as ammo was always plentiful and cheap, although thats changed a bit. Still, I dont know that its worth the effort and really all that much cheaper, as components have gone up just like ammo. I suppose if your a tinkerer, and trying to wring every last millimeter out of your groups, it might be worth it, but for me its just not practical.

June 8, 2008, 03:13 PM
The SKS has the option of best iron sights if you add a Tech-Sights ( rear aperture (longest sight radius too).

The AKs have the advantage of optional magnified optics, and more firepower with the 30 round mags.

If it were me, I'd go with a 20" barreled Saiga as first choice, SKS as second.

June 8, 2008, 03:24 PM
If hi-cap speed reloads are important to the buyer, there might be better choices than the SKS, for a LOT more money....quality-wise, the SKS is as good or better than, I decided the 10-rd stock mag that works every time was plenty of ammo, and it can be reloaded with stripper clips faster than many might believe....since I doubt intense firefights are in the cards since I left the military, the stock Type 53 works fine....because it IS a suprisingly accurate carbine with ammo it likes, and accurate enough even with any old ammo.....but the important thing is to just get what YOU want, and if what you want is a plastic stocked gun with folded sheetmetal receiver, then go and get her.....they all have advantages and disadvantages....

June 8, 2008, 04:16 PM
I said Saiga but it would have been more accurate to say "Converted Saiga".
I think I'd take a Yugo over an unconverted Saiga.

June 10, 2008, 12:07 PM
I was just at the gun show last weekend, and a survey of prices was revealing. Lots of junk for $300-500. Saiga was priced at $800. Attractive AK clone with cast receiver at $1100.

I think that the prices have gotten ridiculous. For that kind of scratch, there are alot of other fine choices available in very well made rifles, accurate.

These rifles were great deals when you could get a well made copy under $300. But it appears that everyone is in a rush to buy one before the dems take over (hopefully not), and are driving up the prices higher than I'm willing to pay.

My .02.

June 10, 2008, 12:13 PM
One of each..

problem solved!

June 10, 2008, 02:09 PM
I would say Saiga, they are fine rifles converted or unconverted. Personally I would rather have an unconverted Saiga than any WASR AK. As for a Yugo, well its kind of a toss-up, I love my M70B1 and for $429 its a heck of a nice AK. The Yugo AK's are certainly a step above the WASR models and for under $500 they are hard to beat. The SKS is a fine rifle and will go bang every time, I think every gun owner should have at least one in there collection.

I picked up my converted Saiga last year for $340 and it was in like new condition. So far I have about 500 rounds through it and it works like a dream.

June 10, 2008, 04:57 PM
Saiga was priced at $800.
Was that a converted Saiga? If it was one of the top of the line conversions then I can understand it. That is a joke of a price for an uncoverted Saiga 7.62x39. I bought one a few months back for $250 and know of at least one shop that still has them at that price. I thought it was crazy when I saw them a week later at a gun show for $340.

The S12s on the otherhand are fetching that price until the next shipment arrives.

June 10, 2008, 05:11 PM
anything more than 280 for an unconverted Saiga in 7.62x39 is ripping yourself off. I saw them for 240 two months ago.

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