Bought a Yugo underfolder and a Saiga...


October 16, 2008, 11:30 PM
Some observations:


- The Yugo's stock locks up tight, is comfortable to shoulder and doesn't produce a cheek weld any worse than the Saiga's. The pistol grip is a joy, and actually fills my hand, unlike the comically-small standard AK grip.

- The mag that came with the Yugo had some small areas of rust on it; I'd say only about 5% of the mag's surface, but what was there was pretty well pitted. It cleaned up easily enough with a Dremel, but I was a bit annoyed that it was present at all. The catch also needed to be dremeled down a bit on both the top and bottom to fully clear the mag latch on the gun, and still fits really tight.

- The Yugo is in perfect condition, but the rear corners of the receiver are pointy and the edges of the sheetmetal are sharp! I had a sore, tender spot going on the second knuckle of my thumb and a decent amount of skin scraped off within a few minutes of playing with it, so I took the Dremel to that corner and lightly rounded it off a bit. Much better now.

- The grenade launcher sight is cool aesthetically, but for practical purposes, it's just a useless, floppy piece of sheetmetal to catch on stuff and/or block my sight picture. I'm planning to remove the screw through the gas block and take it off; anyone done this?


- The dust cover had a few small scuffs in it out of the box, down to bare metal. I don't mind this and I'm actually kind of glad they're there, because it's obvious that the finish on the Saiga is just a thin coat of black paint and so I'm feeling much better about using Krylon or BBQ paint on the bottom of the receiver after I convert it; doesn't seem so ghetto anymore.

- The firing grip is doable, but I have to reach enough for the trigger that it causes hand fatigue after a minute or two. It's going to be much more comfortable after the conversion. The trigger also feels really spongy compared to the G2 on the Yugo.

- The Saiga mag fits very tightly, and the unidentifiable 30-rounder that came with the Yugo won't fit at all. I have a dozen Hungarian mags from AIM on order and I'm hoping that they'll fit, because otherwise it would appear that the magwell on my gun is a bit short.

- The only thing that's really irking me is the fact that the rear sight is canted to the left by about two or three degrees. It's noticeable when sighting, and the front sight post was factory drifted quite a bit to the left to compensate. I'm bothered, but I already ground off the trigger plate before really taking a look at the sights so I doubt Centerfire would be willing to take it back. Guess I'll just mount a Kobra on it and call it good, unless there's some way to correct the cant.

Obligatory pics:

[to be posted tomorrow, when the sun's actually up to provide lighting]

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October 17, 2008, 02:35 AM
Sounds good!

The thing with the Saiga mag catch is that it is purposely made a bit too tall for standard AK mags. Dremel it down just a bit in order for AK mags to fit.

October 17, 2008, 02:37 AM
congrats, i still need a yugo m70 in my collection. cant wait to see pics!

October 17, 2008, 02:45 AM
Dremel it down just a bit in order for AK mags to fit.

Any advice on how to do that without cutting into the catch enclosure?

i still need a yugo m70 in my collection.

I'm very impressed with the quality and fit overall. It'll make a great truck/ATV gun.

Deus Machina
October 17, 2008, 02:52 AM
An un-reinforced cutoff wheel worked for me. Be careful to keep the angle the same. Insert mag, trim, repeat until it clicks solidly but easily in place.

The receiver on mine had the parked finish under the trigger guard/group cover plate, and not the black enamel. Brush-on flat black Rustoleum matches the paint color exactly.

Edit: It seems to me that the holes in the plate are some minuscule amount larger than in the receiver. Grinding the rearmost down then trying to punch it out of the plate and receiver at once netted zero results. A trick to getting that off is to grind the heads off the rivets and pry up on the plate to pop it off them, not vice versa. Then grind the remainder of the rivets still in the receiver down and use a pin to punch them out.

October 17, 2008, 03:18 AM
The hardest part, as far as I'm concerned, is waiting for the conversion parts to arrive. I don't want to disassemble the gun and lose pins or springs in the meantime.

It ended up being cheaper to just order everything except the pistol grip from Dinzag (ordered a Command Arms PG from CheaperThanDirt, since Dinzag only carries traditional and SAW grips), who quotes a two-week average ship time running out to 6-8 weeks max on the site, IIRC. Patience isn't one of my strong points. :p

October 17, 2008, 10:30 AM
For trimming the mag catch, I used a diamond-tipped Dremel bit, about $9 from Lowes or Home Depot. Helps of someone else holds the rifle upright for you ,stabilizing the rifle and leaving both your hands free. Press the mag catch to expose it better, and carfully grind away, checking with a magazine every little while. The steel is very hard,you won't quickly grind too far and screw it up very easily. It'll take a few minutes.I'd wear glasses too, as micro-metal shavings are everywhere.
I'm also waiting to hear about removing the Yugo grenade lever.

October 17, 2008, 10:55 AM
Sounds like you need some pics.

October 17, 2008, 11:18 AM
You really don't want to put the dremel on your mag catch.

You want to hand file and check for fit > repeat until you get the fit you want.

If you dremel too much off your mag catch, you'll have at best > floppy mags and at worst > a nonfunctional Saiga

BTW, the Saiga finish is paint over parkerizing.

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