Saiga RAA Skeleton Stock Install


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rockheadd
July 10, 2009, 05:23 PM
Most of you are very adept at firearms and how to do the simple things in converting/adding parts. For those that aren't...
My Saiga RAA Skeleton stock just arrived for my .308, so I thought I'd just switch them out. There's more to it than I imagined. For those nimrods like myself, here's how to do it.
Remove the two obvious screws: one on top where the stock and receiver meet. The second where the trigger guard and stock meet on the bottom. Now the fun part, there's a third that must be removed. I found this one after 45 minutes of tugging, prying and such.
Remove the dust cover (if you don't know what this thing is, it't the metal thing on top of the receiver that you remove by pushing the button). Then you have to take out the big 'ol spring with the metal rod in the center. After that's gone, you'll see a screw head that is obviously doing something. That something is keeping you from removing the stock. So remove it.
Now pull the stock off- much easier after removing that third screw. Put the new stock on. Take a rubber mallet and encourage it to go further onto the receiver. Now you'll have to drill two holes. I measured the depth to drill, not sure if that's required, but pretty easy to do. Now install the screws- there will only be two to put back in. One inside the reciever (the hidden one) and the second on the top. The screw where the trigger guard is is not visible or accessible, so you just saved a step. You are now done.
Several observations for those considering an RAA stock:
1. It is shorter than the stock that comes OEM.
2. The cheek piece will lock in the straight up position and at about a 30 degree postion for right handed shooters and in the 90 degree positon on the left. You will not be able to view the iron sights with the cheek piece in any position other than the 90 degree configuration.
3. For lefties, you will have to place the cheek piece in "unlocked" positions to shoot the rifle. I've done it, no problems. You may be able to "alter" the cheek piece for lefties, but that's beyond my skill/patience levels.
4. Trigger situation? Still odd, but that's all. You'll get used to it. Let's be honest here. Will your life ever depend on a shot beyond 400 yards? Will a 2 MOA rifle deliver that shot? Will a converted trigger allow you to make that shot on a 2 MOA rifle? Be honest with yourself and make the correct decision.
For the money, time, frustration, skill required, resale, etc... it's not worth it for me.
So, bottom line, I went with the RAA Skeleton stock, a POSP 6x24 scope, two 15 round Surefire mags and a 3 round Surefire (hunting) and I'm done. Total cost $910.00. What do I have? A hyper-reliable, hi-cap, .308 semi-auto rifle capable of hitting 8" tins at 400 yards all day long. Could I sell it for that? Doubt it, but that's not the point today, here and now. Am I happy? Without a doubt.

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lipadj46
July 11, 2009, 12:50 AM
Trigger situation? Still odd, but that's all. You'll get used to it. Let's be honest here. Will your life ever depend on a shot beyond 400 yards? Will a 2 MOA rifle deliver that shot? Will a converted trigger allow you to make that shot on a 2 MOA rifle? Be honest with yourself and make the correct decision.
For the money, time, frustration, skill required, resale, etc... it's not worth it for me.

I like good triggers with little to no creep. Bad triggers bother me and Siagas have pretty much the worst triggers out there that I have experienced. I had the RAA skeleton stock on my Saiga 12, decided I could not live with the trigger and converted it. Congrats on your rifle.

WardenWolf
July 11, 2009, 12:52 AM
I converted my Saiga rifle for a number of reasons, the weight being one of them. I needed to bring that heavy barrel in closer, so I converted it and put a Romanian Dragunov-style stock on it. My new Saiga 12, on the other hand, is likely not getting converted. I slapped the skeleton stock on it, and that's probably how it'll stay. I love how it feels like that. Handles great. Even being a lefty, I don't mind the cheek pad. It holds tight enough to not be a problem.

THE DARK KNIGHT
July 11, 2009, 01:06 AM
What's funny is for an additional ~$75 and 2 hours in the garage you'd have an ergonomically corrected rifle with a beautiful trigger instead of that awkward garbage stock.

How do I know? That piece of junk used to be mounted to my Saiga too.

Storm
July 11, 2009, 02:27 AM
What's funny is for an additional ~$75 and 2 hours in the garage you'd have an ergonomically corrected rifle with a beautiful trigger instead of that awkward garbage stock.

How do I know? That piece of junk used to be mounted to my Saiga too.

And, after two hours in the garage he may also end up with a piece of garbage. The man said he wasn't adept at doing a conversion. The man is happy so why not let it be?

lipadj46
July 11, 2009, 02:02 PM
And, after two hours in the garage he may also end up with a piece of garbage. The man said he wasn't adept at doing a conversion. The man is happy so why not let it be?

That's a bit of an exaggeration. It would be really hard to mess up a conversion. I understand if someone would rather not bother because they are happy as is, but the conversion process is pretty simple and it would be difficult to ruin the rifle.

I paid to have mine converted as I was busy at the time and I was sending it in for warranty work anyways. If I had it now though I would convert myself.

Storm
July 11, 2009, 05:07 PM
That's a bit of an exaggeration. It would be really hard to mess up a conversion.

Not an exaggeration at all. There are some people who have absolutely zero skills of that type, and, a good man should always know his limitations. I would bet dollars to donuts that there are more than a few botched conversions sitting high up on shelves trying to be forgotten.

rockheadd
July 11, 2009, 05:18 PM
Sorry guys, didn't mean to start a controversy. Just to reiterate some points:
1. I could make the FCG conversion (have the skill, tools, etc) I just don't think it's necessary given the constraints that the AK platform presents in regard to accuracy.
2. The trigger is crappy unless you like a very long pull followed by a heavy tug before the firing pin activates. Ishmash could have done better; my daughter's Daisy Red Ryder has a better trigger. Disappointing, but that's the way it is.
3. I figured I had several choices to get the following: A .308 or larger caliber, semi-auto, high cap, reliable, under $1000.00. That pretty well leaves you with only a couple of choices:
A. CEMTE- used, questionable reliability (Century build)
B. Romy PSL- used, corrosive ammo, accuracy poor as barrel heats
C. Saiga 308- New, reliable, less expensive out of the box
I chose "C". Still within budget even with the 3 extra (expensive) mags ,the aftermarket stock and same optics as the PSL (6x24 rather than the 4x24 that comes on most PSL's).
None of the above are "sniper" rifles, none are gonna hold a 4" pattern at 400 yards (okay, perhaps 1 in 10 of the rifles may have that capability with handloads and a very skilled, experienced marksman firing from a bench).
So, to convert the FCG or not is totally a personal choice. It will give you a much better trigger, allow you numerous choices in stock configurations. I simply didn't feel that it was necessary to achieve my criteria nor would it make the Saiga anymore "serviceable" for the distances that it is intended to be fired.
If money were not an object (unfortunately it is) I'd change the FCG and put a different stock on the rear and a tri-rail on the front and a Leupold scope on it, change the finish, add some gear to the tri-rail. But, it still wouldn't hold a 4" group at 400 yards. It would, however, look exraordinarily cool.

Storm
July 11, 2009, 05:39 PM
Rockhead, my decision to not convert my Saiga was based on very similar factors as your decision. I think where I part ways with many is this attitude that it has to be done calling configurations and parts that I find to be quite acceptable "junk". I also find it a little optimistic to assume that anyone can do the conversion. I'm familiar with the process. I'm also familiar with some folks who given a set of tools and a task, one even far simpler than a Saiga conversion, who will botch it bad and end up in the ER. I've had folks like this in my workshop over the years and thankfully most of them know their limits. As I've said before, before attempting anything like the Saiga conversion, or any gunsmithing, one must look realistically at what is required and the skills necessary to accomplish the task.

Beyond that it is a personal choice and I for one do not see the need. Bless those who do see the need, but this "convert your Saiga" mantra gets tiring especially when someone has clearly stated from the git-go that they have no desire to do so. It's getting as predicatable as "get a Glock".

rogertc1
July 11, 2009, 06:00 PM
Just put a Tapco T6 Infusion stock on it. No trigger work and counts as 2 points. The couple inches and trigger location is fine with me on the Saiga. I already have 10 AK variations.
JMO

rockheadd
July 11, 2009, 06:18 PM
I heavily considered the Tapco T6 rather than the RAA, but decided to go with the RAA. I put a Tapco on my 10/22 and was only sort of happy with it. Nothing necessarily bad to say, but I thought that if the quality was the same, the recoil of the .308 may make the telescoping a little suspect.
That being said, I wish I could reconfigure the cheek piece to be more "southpaw friendly" on the RAA, but the fact that I can't "lock" it hasn't been an issue and doubt it ever will be.
Storm, yep, I agree about the conversion. Could I do it? probably. But I have gotten myself into situations that I wish I hadn't when doing "mechanical" things. I rebuilt a carb once. I wish I hadn't started that one. Same with an old Toyota Corolla tranny. It boils down to cost/benefit- will the new FCG make the Saiga a much better rifle, or will it simply make it a better rifle that allows you to put a different array of stocks on it?
This is a great example of a subjective choice. Neither answer is wrong.
Now onto another question: are there any ready-made recoil pads that will fit the RAA stock (a couple of extra inches would be nice)?

seanie!
July 11, 2009, 11:32 PM
I totally agree with rockheadd and Storm. For a while I was floating back and forth between converting and not converting my Saiga .223. I never really used to like the look of an AK, and for a LONG time was really into the G3 look. The AK started growing on me after I picked up my Saiga, and the more I read up about them the more I ran into the "The Saiga isn't worth crap unless you convert it." mentality. I went as far as to almost order the conversion parts several times, but I never did it. From time to time I run into a thumbnail of a stock Saiga and think "Oh man that's a really cool looking gun." Maybe it was because before I settled on picking up a Saiga I was in the market for an SU-16. I guess that's just my brain telling me I like Monte Carlo stocks better than pistol grip ones.

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