Saiga sporter - how crude are they?


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Dollar An Hour
August 27, 2009, 02:41 PM
Does anybody just leave a Saiga in its non-converted form? Are they a decent rifle as-is, comparable to a Mini-14 as an all-around rifle?

I'm considering one in 5.45 that I might convert some day but am also considering a Mini-14.

I already have a 5.45 Tantal, so the Ruger would be adding another caliber to the arsenal, but I like what I've heard about the 580 series Rugers and liked the older one that I spent some time with. I realize the Ruger has better sights and a nicer fit / finish, but it's another $200+.

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ArmedBear
August 27, 2009, 02:48 PM
Crude.

Are they a decent rifle as-is, comparable to a Mini-14 as an all-around rifle?


No way.

The unmodified Saiga handles like CRAP. The weight balance is way off. The Mini, OTOH, is one of the best "pointers" I've tried, whatever its other faults may be. That's the main reason I haven't been able to part with my Ranch Rifle (Xytel stock, which I like).

You may not notice from the bench, but you sure will if you run around trying to hit things quickly.

The Saiga's sights are terrible, too.

The things may be reliable, but they are bottom-of-the-barrel if you are someone who appreciates good gun handling.

Heck
August 27, 2009, 02:50 PM
I had one in 7.62 X 39 unconverted and thought it was a nice rifle. Reasonably accurate and extremely reliable. I would still have it but got a ridiculous offer for it last fall.

HoosierQ
August 27, 2009, 02:57 PM
I really like the Saiga concept but they are front heavy and the sights are indeed just awful. Tech-Sights has a new peepsite for AK style rifles but it's new and attempts to put rearward mounted sights on AKs tend to have return to/maintaining zero problems.

I think it helpful to understand that Saiga makes them in that sporter configuration simple to get them imported into the USA...otherwise they cannot...they are not designed or configured as even they would like...they're pretty much counting on you either living with these compromized or converting it.

My concept is to do a different conversion and make it more sporterized rather than more AK. But that would be a lot simpler with an SKS and that's probably what I'll do.

All that said though, they sell around here (Indianapolis) for about $400 or less and I am always tempted...lot of gun for the money regardless.

ArmedBear
August 27, 2009, 03:01 PM
When they were $250, they were REALLY tempting.:)

If you ask me, they should can the rivets, and screw the things together so that they could be converted with little hassle. There's no law against using screws to hold guns together.

WRT Sporterizing, maybe you could get a stock from Zastava. Looks like a drop-in fit, or close.:D

http://www.zastava-arms.co.rs/images/civilni/lovacki_karabini/14501.jpg

Deer Hunter
August 27, 2009, 03:10 PM
Not crude at all. My Saiga .223 was a great gun as is, but my dremel-finger got itchy.

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x91/Captain_Kennedy/P7190057.jpg

But stock they are great. Bugs me when people rag on the AK sights, though. It's just a notch and post. Those sights are EVERYWHERE. No one ever complains about Mauser, Finnish, marlin, etc sights. I can keep my shots within 4 or so inches at 100 yards with my Saiga and Irons. And that's with the cheap ammo.

Hammerhead6814
August 27, 2009, 03:20 PM
When the Saiga (any of them) hits $300 again they will be a good alternative to the Mini-14. Conversion parts can cost $100, the beryl-style mounts (US made, with the detachable rear end) cost $150-275, and then a good optic will cost $100.

So $650-ish dollars (about the price of a Mini-14), you'll get a rifle that a out of the box Mini-14 couldn't hold a candle to.

rizbunk77
August 27, 2009, 03:54 PM
I wouldn't trade my saiga 308 for any mini 14 in the world. I bought a morgan adjustable pad and cut the rifle to my length of pull, installed the pad (easy) and now it fits perfect. I am using a Kobra red dot which is very high quality and rugged. I have shot a five shot group at 220 yards that was less than 2.5 inches. I believe the accuracy with the saiga 308 will generally be better than the mini. Plus with 308 you can go deer hunting.

ArmedBear
August 27, 2009, 03:58 PM
A Morgan adjustable pad on a Saiga?

That's awesome! Never seen one on anything but a trap, skeet or clays gun.

Still doesn't make the Saiga balance well, but a real round like a .308 might be worth it, especially for a cheap rifle that shoots straight. For a .223 or 5.45, though, they can keep the things.:)

Dollar An Hour
August 27, 2009, 04:07 PM
Yeah I think I'll just get an already-converted '74 to go with my Polish Tantal.

And probably a Mini-14 as well, just 'cause I always wanted one.

rizbunk77
August 27, 2009, 04:26 PM
Keep in mind guys that a saiga is a Russian AK47 built at Izmash. That by itself is worth something. I have heard they are heavy and the trigger is bad, but speaking for my 308 the rifle is somewhere around 8lbs with optic, and the trigger is a two stage trigger that breaks clean. Recoil is light.

2aHawaii
August 27, 2009, 10:09 PM
I just took my unconverted Saiga in 7.62x39 out to the range and really enjoyed shooting it. The trigger pull was a little heavy but seemed good enough and shouldered really nicely.

Ranger J
August 27, 2009, 10:10 PM
I have a Saiga 762/39, a SKS and at one time had a mini 30. The Saiga will out shoot the SKS, and the SKS would out shoot the Mini 30 that I got rid of.. because both the Saiga and SKS out shot it. The only thing I can say for the Mini is that it at least shot every time I pulled the trigger. As to where the bullet went.....

RJ

CornCod
August 27, 2009, 10:14 PM
Unconverted Saigas are fine. I like my 7.62X39 very much. The large stock is easy to use. I had a Chinese AK once and it was a good rifle, but the tiny stock was a little awkward.

OrangePwrx9
August 27, 2009, 10:50 PM
I've got 3 Saigas, all unconverted and I like them fine. They are a bit heavy, but that's because they're overbuilt. Trigger pull is also on the heavy side, but at least it's consistent. You can get used to it. Might be too heavy for precision offhand marksmanship at 200 yards, however. The original stock fits me very well.

I've got a couple of Mini-14s too. I like them also. They don't shoot any better or worse than the Saigas even though they have better triggers and sights. They are handier.

Minis have the fit and finish of well-made Western consumer goods. Saigas are more like well-designed industrial equipment...and work like well-designed industrial equipment.
Bob

rangerruck
August 28, 2009, 12:08 AM
I have 2 that are still unconverted. put day glo orange front sites on them, wrapped the front/rear stocks in real tree cammo tape, and put single point slings on both. Lights out baby. accurate as any semi auto you could want.

rangerruck
August 28, 2009, 12:11 AM
... now then, the 308 has the absolute suckhole of all sucky triggers ever made; it is loooonnnnng, lowoooowoowoow, and will make your finger scrape the bottom of the trigger guard. then , at the very end, it is a straight, upwards, verticle, pull to break. Very Harriet. So what you do , is buy the one that is the hunter type; it has a 22 inch bbl, and the wood furniture. This one allready has the 'conversion' done to it, becuase of the rear wood thumbhole stock, and has a much better trigger.

TexasPatriot.308
August 28, 2009, 03:57 AM
I bought a Saiga .308 about the time of obamanation, aint shot it, chambered a round in it, if anybody want to buy it I will part with it for $600. dont want it, need it, but somebody out there might.:evil:

Girodin
August 28, 2009, 09:57 PM
I will part with it for $600.

600 or NIB for $540 like I see them for all over the place, humm.

rangerruck
August 29, 2009, 12:30 AM
Texas patriot; is that a converted model with pistol grip, or plain jane?

Eightball
August 29, 2009, 01:33 AM
Enh.....the trigger sucks, and it's about 3MOA....but it was a gift, so it's still kinda nifty. Not like I can get rid of it in good conscience.

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/701/saiga5bz5.jpg

Coronach
August 29, 2009, 02:26 AM
If you convert it, the trigger gets better. If your version uses a standard AK trigger group, you can get a drop-in from Tapco that makes the trigger pretty darned good.

Mike

CZ223
August 29, 2009, 05:41 AM
an early mini-14 and a saiga 7.62x39. While I really like the idea of the mini, and always wanted one for a very long time, I would keep the Saiga over the mini. I would definitely buy a new Saiga over the mini or, should I say two new Saigas for the price of a mini.

RockyMtnTactical
August 29, 2009, 02:00 PM
They are decent, but I would strongly encourage converting for use with 30 round mags.

Quiet
August 29, 2009, 05:29 PM
The Saigas come with chrome lined barrels. Something that is good to have when shooting surplus (corrosive) 7.62x39mm and 5.45x39mm ammo.
Almost all US made AK clones (such as the Tantal) do not have chrome lined barrels.

Saiga-223, Saiga-545 and Saiga-762 currently sell between $300-400. Which is half the cost of a Ruger Mini-14. Converting the Sagia, would still cost less than a NIB Ruger Mini-14.

Lawnman380
August 29, 2009, 07:29 PM
Crude.....out of the box...iron sights....off hand....3 MOA....No Failures eats everything....both my 223 and 7.62....$349 out the door....I call them what they are....Battle Rifles....not Sniper or Custom or Pretty

kmcintosh78
August 31, 2009, 10:16 AM
I love my unconverted Saiga 308. Installed the front quad rail hand guard, and an NcStar Pistolero Scope (Scout Mounted) and I love it.
Yes the trigger pull is long, but that just makes it better for the "Surprise" factor when it goes boom.

Norinco982lover
August 31, 2009, 11:18 AM
I am hopefully picking up my Saiga 7.62x39 for $350 today... I've heard that there is really no comparison between the unconverted and converted versions. The tapco trigger is $32 and I've heard it is like night and day. I will post a full review with pictures when and if I get my Saiga. i can tell you that my plan will be to convert it as quickly as possible. Parts needed for conversion back to original AK type:

(please note these are the cheapest parts)

1. Tapco single hook trigger $32 (will need to be slightly modified or you can get it for $52 pre-modified by Dinzag)
2. Tapco warsaw length composite buttstock $32
3. Tapco SAW type pistol grip $18
4. Pistol grip nut and screw $7
5. Bullet guide to allow the use of AK mags ($23 from Dinzag..you will also need to shave down the mag catch a little bit)
6. Nylon hole plugs for the holes left by the rivets $1
7. AK 30rd magazine (tapco or romanian..$15)


= $128 or $148 (if you buy pre-modified trigger group) + shipping. All prices taken from Dinzag or Carolina Shooter's Supply (I think).

Gun is $350 so total = $478 or $498

It will look something like this: http://lh3.ggpht.com/_-Md8K2jDlyk/SowXnsFkSOI/AAAAAAAAAaE/DNb5d4NwcyE/s720/saigatapco.jpg

SN13
August 31, 2009, 01:33 PM
Saigas are nice.

5.45, 7.62x39, .308, .30-06, 12ga, 20ga... they're all nice. The converted ones shoot better.

Norinco982lover
August 31, 2009, 01:42 PM
Supposedly we may get 7.62x54R soon as well! and don't forget the little .410... or the new 5.45 AK74 round or whatever it is:D

SN13
August 31, 2009, 01:42 PM
Oh and the irons,

I have zero issue shooting with them. Open both eyes. Line the flat leaf with the top of the post. Shoot. Hit.

AR: Stick the front sight post somewhere in the middle of that ghost ring, pray it's in the center, shoot... hopefully hit.

I don't know why Ghost-rings are praised as more accurate... they MAY be a bit quicker but no more accurate. I actually prefer the leaf/post.

malix
August 31, 2009, 02:16 PM
I am hopefully picking up my Saiga 7.62x39 for $350 today... I've heard that there is really no comparison between the unconverted and converted versions. The tapco trigger is $32 and I've heard it is like night and day. I will post a full review with pictures when and if I get my Saiga. i can tell you that my plan will be to convert it as quickly as possible. Parts needed for conversion back to original AK type:

(please note these are the cheapest parts)

1. Tapco single hook trigger $32 (will need to be slightly modified or you can get it for $52 pre-modified by Dinzag)
2. Tapco warsaw length composite buttstock $32
3. Tapco SAW type pistol grip $18
4. Pistol grip nut and screw $7
5. Bullet guide to allow the use of AK mags ($23 from Dinzag..you will also need to shave down the mag catch a little bit)
6. Nylon hole plugs for the holes left by the rivets $1
7. AK 30rd magazine (tapco or romanian..$15)


= $128 or $148 (if you buy pre-modified trigger group) + shipping. All prices taken from Dinzag or Carolina Shooter's Supply (I think).

Gun is $350 so total = $478 or $498

You might also want to spend ~$5 on a retaining plate, it will make things easier when you reassemble everything.

I dont know, maybe your fingers are more nimble than mine and you wont have any problems with getting the retaining wire back into place. Not me though, I hated that thing. :p

Paul82
August 31, 2009, 11:58 PM
4. Pistol grip nut and screw $7
I didnt use mine it didnt fit with my tapco pistol grip......? I just used a screw I had in the tool box.
you can get the nylon hole plugs at ace hard ware for like $1

nulfisin
September 1, 2009, 10:48 AM
I convert mine, but do NOT make any alteration to take standard AK mags. There are some Saiga-specific 30-round mags that work fine in a sporter. I use the same mags after the conversion. Perhaps it's not "authentic," but it works like a charm.:)

rangerruck
September 1, 2009, 11:05 AM
okay... so crude, that all should be given to me in disgust, for their disposal.

Storm
September 1, 2009, 12:16 PM
The bottom line is that if you don't convert your Saiga you will only have the lowest of low rifles that can't hit a thing, you will be in the lowest order of shooters, your wife will leave you, your dog will bite you, they will repossess your car, you will be audited, your IQ will drop fifty points, and your wedding tackle will quit working. And then, things will really get bad :D

On the other hand, having a TAPCO trigger is a wonderful thing. I have one on a WASR and it's and incredibly fine trigger. A conversion would be worth it for that alone.

Actually, I kinda like the look of that wood stock. It sort of reminds me of a Valmet.

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