Saiga 308 just arrived- now for the fun


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rockheadd
June 11, 2009, 12:16 AM
Just picked her up today. She looks kinda "sedate", so I have some work to do.
I've decided (actually my wallet decided for me) to go the cheap route first and see if I can live with it. By cheap, I mean no trigger rework, fancy stock, muzzle breaks, etc...
So, I'm going to install an RAA skeletonized stock, a Surefire Tri-Rail and a POSP scope. The question is which scope is best suited to the .308 w/21.8" barrel? I'd like to still be able to use the iron sights while the scope is in place, so does that mean the 8x42 is not gonna fly? Is the 8x42 overkill given I probably will never fire her beyond 400 yards? Is the 6x24 adequate? Do the chevrons work within reason for the .308?
Anyone have any input?
You guys that are used to the AK systems would have laughed your butts off watching me try to get it back together again after field stripping it without any directions. All was well until it came time to get her back together again. That bolt alignment step was a little interesting....
But, after figuring it out and going through the drill 5 times in a row to see if I could memorize it, these AK's are a breeze to strip and reassemble.
Any ideas what some of those parts are in the little "pill holder" that comes with the rifle?
Thanks and I think I may have made a good choice over the PSL I almost bought.

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Storm
June 11, 2009, 09:20 AM
It isn't necessary to go with a full conversion if you don't want to. This configuration works for me.

http://img44.imageshack.us/img44/3537/saiga308.jpg

lipadj46
June 11, 2009, 02:38 PM
With the price of the RAA Skeleton stock ($70??) you can buy nearly all the parts for a pistol grip conversion ($30 for buttstock, $15 for PG, $40 for trigger group, $3 for retaining plate, then maybe $25 for the rest of the parts to make it compliant). That is if you have the tools or can borrow them (Dremel, Drill, punch, file). It's the only way to fix the horrendous trigger. If you can deal with the trigger (I couldn't, it's bad) then the RAA skeleton stock is a nice solid option. the pistol grip is a bit narrow though.

sarduy
June 11, 2009, 02:46 PM
how long in the stock from the end of the receiver to the end of the stock?

lipadj46
June 11, 2009, 02:50 PM
Also I forgot to add nice rifle, congrats. Before I bought my Saiga 12 I almost bought one in .308 but I already had my M1A and want another shotgun. Believe me though you may be happy with the unconverted rifle for a little while then the more you read the more you will want to convert it so my advice is to just do it then you will not be wasting money on the skeleton stock. Ask me how I know (in other words do you want to buy a slightly used skeleton stock?).

Storm
June 11, 2009, 02:59 PM
I have had my .308 for a few years (and a similar .223) (from back when they were $250) and haven't felt the need to do the conversion. My triggers aren't that bad at all. I already have a standard configuration AK (wood furniture) and I consider my Saigas fun as they are something different. I can always convert them if I feel the need, but that need isn't there.

lipadj46
June 11, 2009, 03:03 PM
My triggers aren't that bad

Personally I like clean breaking triggers with no creep. Bad triggers are a pet peeve of mine. I may be spoiled by my M1A's match tuned trigger but every Saiga trigger I have felt is the same with tons of gritty creep due to the linkage required to move the trigger back from the normal position.

Storm
June 11, 2009, 03:08 PM
but every Saiga trigger I have felt is the same with tons of gritty creep due to the linkage required to move the trigger back from the normal position.

I guess I got lucky as that doesn't describe my Saigas' triggers. Not at all, at least not now two years later. They were a little stiff when I got them, but they lightened up and smoothed out a good deal with use.

how long in the stock from the end of the receiver to the end of the stock?

I have no idea, but I can tell you that the skeleton stock is between and inch and an inch-and-a-half longer than the standard wood stock on my WASR

malix
June 11, 2009, 03:21 PM
With the price of the RAA Skeleton stock ($70??) you can buy nearly all the parts for a pistol grip conversion ($30 for buttstock, $15 for PG, $40 for trigger group, $3 for retaining plate, then maybe $25 for the rest of the parts to make it compliant). That is if you have the tools or can borrow them (Dremel, Drill, punch, file). It's the only way to fix the horrendous trigger. If you can deal with the trigger (I couldn't, it's bad) then the RAA skeleton stock is a nice solid option. the pistol grip is a bit narrow though.

Agreed. I tried using the Skeleton stock and not converting mine, but that rube goldberg trigger drove me crazy. I would recommend skipping the skeleton stock and just going straight for the conversion. The .308 is probably the easiest Saiga to convert, no bullet guide to worry about and on mine the hole for the pistol grip was already cut out underneath the trigger plate. Ive heard that all newer .308 saigas are like that, but i dont know it for a fact.

If you really want to do the skeleton stock, ive got one i could sell you. PM me if you're interested.

As for the scope, i went with a 6x24 POSP.

lipadj46
June 11, 2009, 03:27 PM
If you really want to do the skeleton stock, ive got one i could sell you. PM me if you're interested.

Ha see what I am talking about!!!

OrangePwrx9
June 11, 2009, 03:41 PM
I've got both .223 and 7.62x39 Saigas...actually two x39s. The triggers are stiff and creepy, but as long as they stay consistent, I can live with them. Not only are they consistent, they're consistent with each other. All three feel the same.

As to stiff, I'd say about 5lbs. presently. Not too bad. I've got a nice Marlin lever gun that's worse. They'll probably get better over time.

So far, I've seen no reason to convert mine either. They fit me well and, when I throw any of them to my shoulder, the sights seem to line up by themselves. Might lose that if I did the conversion.
Bob

Storm
June 11, 2009, 03:46 PM
I've got both .223 and 7.62x39 Saigas...actually two x39s. The triggers are stiff and creepy, but as long as they stay consistent, I can live with them. Not only are they consistent, they're consistent with each other. All three feel the same.

This evening I'll have to spend some time with those triggers. Maybe I've just gotten used to them. Funny what you can get used to, or, what can happen with use.

My WASR on the other hand has a trigger that is nothing short of incredible. I wish I had one like it on my SL8.

308sc
June 11, 2009, 03:48 PM
nice...enjoy!

malix
June 11, 2009, 03:50 PM
Ha see what I am talking about!!!

lol, i didnt even notice that you already offered to sell yours.

ive got a few of the standard "sporter" stocks too if anyone has any use for them. :neener:

Col. Plink
June 11, 2009, 05:24 PM
Am interested in a Saiga 12, but not a conversion process. I understand this is done in deference to unsatisfactory triggers and the desire for a pistol grip.

Would a thumbhole stock suffice for someone uninterested in trigger improvements? Is there something about Saigas that requires their conversion to be legal in the US (w/'high-cap' mags?)? Thanks!

lipadj46
June 11, 2009, 05:36 PM
Would a thumbhole stock suffice for someone uninterested in trigger improvements?

Sure or you could leave it stock as it they are pretty good that way too (besides the trigger).

Is there something about Saigas that requires their conversion to be legal in the US (w/'high-cap' mags?)? Thanks

Yes US law (922r) does not allow importation/ownership of non-US, non sporting firearms (pistol grip, hi cap mag). So if you make your Saiga non sporting you need to make sure a certain number of parts are made in the USA. Google or search here for 922r for more details.

Col. Plink
June 11, 2009, 05:42 PM
How does a thumbhole stock fit into the 922r legality equation? What puts an otherwise stock Saiga into the outlaw category where capacity is concerned (factory mags, capacity ceiling)? Thanks!

malix
June 11, 2009, 10:33 PM
Am interested in a Saiga 12, but not a conversion process.

Thats what i said too... but honestly, the conversion isnt really that hard at all and when you finish it you will be glad that you did.

As far as i know (someone please correct me if im wrong) in order to avoid 922r, you will be restricted to configurations that are available by import from RAA. So that means either the standard sporter or the russian skeleton stock, and standard russian saiga mags. Any 8, 10, 12+ round american magazines would require adding extra US made parts to stay compliant.

rockheadd
June 12, 2009, 01:22 AM
After fiddling around with it some more, stripping it, putting it back together again...holding it and such ( you know how it goes....) Without firing it, here are some observations:
1. The balance is kind of odd- very front heavy.
2. Something about it, and I can't put my finger on it, but I keep grasping for a non-existant pistol grip...it's kind of weird? Perhaps it's the fact that the trigger assembly is so far back...
3. The OEM stock has to go. It feels and looks just like my daughter's pellet gun stock. Regardless of how I do it, that stock has to go.
4. Decided against a foregrip. Can't see hanging a bi-pod, flashlight, saw grip or laser from any rails.
5. The finish is different- not blued, not like my CZ 75 either. I have no idea what you'd call it...It has a couple of small scratches from me just operating the safety bar (numverous times). I'd guess that this is normal for the AK's (I don't know since this is my first experience)
5. I'm down to optics. Since the POSP 6x24 V seems pretty popular for this, and it's supposed to be an easy fit, I'm down to finding one. Has anyone ever dealt with "East Wave" as they have them in stock and the price is okay?
Anyway, I can't wait to get her out and fire her. I think I'll get some boxes of different ammo to see how she eats them. A local dealer has some .308 that is on a belt- about .38 cents per round. Just pluck them off and go, he swears by them for the price.

lipadj46
June 12, 2009, 09:09 AM
1. The balance is kind of odd- very front heavy.

See you are already heading down the dark path... :evil:

2. Something about it, and I can't put my finger on it, but I keep grasping for a non-existant pistol grip...it's kind of weird? Perhaps it's the fact that the trigger assembly is so far back...


strike 2

3. The OEM stock has to go. It feels and looks just like my daughter's pellet gun stock. Regardless of how I do it, that stock has to go.

Ha strike 3, that was fast :D

5. The finish is different- not blued, not like my CZ 75 either. I have no idea what you'd call it...It has a couple of small scratches from me just operating the safety bar (numverous times). I'd guess that this is normal for the AK's (I don't know since this is my first experience)


It's paint and yes the scratch under the safety is normal and should be a mark of pride. If someone has an AK without the scratch it means they don't shoot it enough.

5. I'm down to optics. Since the POSP 6x24 V seems pretty popular for this, and it's supposed to be an easy fit, I'm down to finding one. Has anyone ever dealt with "East Wave" as they have them in stock and the price is okay?


Eastwave is good. You can always get the russian BP-02 low mount and mount anything you want but it is cool to stick with the russian optics with the built in mounts.

Anyway, I can't wait to get her out and fire her. I think I'll get some boxes of different ammo to see how she eats them. A local dealer has some .308 that is on a belt- about .38 cents per round. Just pluck them off and go, he swears by them for the price.

That is an awesome price buy all you can afford.

heron
June 12, 2009, 10:27 AM
Here's a link with all you need to know:

http://forum.saiga-12.com/index.php?act=idx

Storm
June 12, 2009, 11:26 AM
Just be careful in determining the level of difficulty in making the conversion relative to your own abilites. What one person considers simple or basic might well be way beyond someone else's skill level. Also important is to accurately and honestly assess your own abilites relative to the task.

One man's "easy peasy" is another man's "Oh crap".

rockheadd
June 12, 2009, 12:38 PM
Yeah, I know. Been all over the Saiga12 forum. There are some fantastic conversions that can be done, but there are some issues:
1. Money is pretty tight, so I'm thinking the RAA stock is going to be about it for the furniture for the time being ($75.00). 2 Surfire 15 round mags ($80) and a POSP 6x24 V ($155 is the best I can find in stock) will be about all I can do. At that point I'll have $850 in it total. Which is really more than I wanted to go as I was deciding between the Saiga and a Romy PSL ($750).
For the extra $100, I think this is a much better choice than the Romy, but I really don't want to spend any more than neccesary at this point.
Hopefully, that will take care of issues 1,2 and 3 on the cheap. Down the road, if I can't live with the trigger, I'll do a Dinzag FCG conversion and find a better stock with a pistol grip. Perhaps do a Surfire TriRail just to comply with the 922.
Another question- I was looking into the ProMag scope base for AK's, but it sounds like they don't fit the Saiga (per J&G Sales). Is there a scope base with a top rail that will fit the Saiga without modification? If so, I could get an inexpensive red dot and an inexpensive scope both for the price of the POSP- kinda kill two birds with one stone..

Storm
June 12, 2009, 01:44 PM
I've used this one on my .223 and .308. It slides and then clamps (with the lever) onto the side mount on the Saiga. On/off is very easy and it's rock solid. Thsi one is sold as a "low rise". I picked it up off eBay a few years back for around $35. I'm not sure if the ones on there now are the same.

http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/245/img5988s.jpg

lipadj46
June 12, 2009, 01:45 PM
That is the BP-02 low mount I mentioned above. Eastwave sells them on Ebay for $50.

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