PSL vs. "Saiganov"


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TheWarhammer
December 15, 2009, 01:28 AM
I've seen some really good looking Saiga .308 rifles that were modified to have the PSL/Dragunov look. I've been wanting a PSL for a while, but I'm starting to wonder if I should get a Saiga .308 and build a "Saiganov" instead.

So what would be the pros and cons of each choice?

I've read that the 7.62x54r round is ballistically very similar to .308, but I've also read that it is very similar to .30-06. I know the PSL is limited to light ball ammo, so full-bore .30-06 performance seems unlikely. Surplus 7.62x54 is cheap, but there seems to be more options available in .308. According to Saiga's website, the Saiga .308's barrel is only 10mm shorter than a Tigr's barrel. I'm not a big traditionalist, so "having a real PSL" is not a good enough reason in itself for me to choose the PSL.

Talk to me about accuracy, power, range, price, ammo, etc... Opinions from anyone who has actually owned or shot BOTH the PSL and the Saiga .308 would be especially appreciated.

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CnRnut
December 15, 2009, 06:46 AM
Just get both!!! I did. ;)

FMJMIKE
December 15, 2009, 09:36 PM
I have owned both and fired both. I now own two PSL-54Cs. I prefer owning a real military rifle. The mag situation with the Saiga bothered me (Saiga has expensive mags). The PSL is just such a nice looking rifle too. It comes with a good scope too. Recoil is nothing with the PSL. Ammo is cheap. I also believe that the PSL will appreciate in value more than a Saiga.
http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/mbmphoto/PSLa.jpg

Will Zermeno
December 15, 2009, 09:40 PM
I vote both. I just wish the PSL came with a longer stock.

TheWarhammer
December 16, 2009, 12:26 AM
Guys, if I was interested in buying both, I wouldn't have started the thread in the first place. :scrutiny:

Thanks for your thoughts FMJMIKE. How did you feel about the comparative accuracy of the two rifles? Does either have a clear edge, or is it too close to call? I've read that the PSL's accuracy really suffers if you don't let it completely cool down between shots. Does the Saiga do the same?

Victor1Echo
December 16, 2009, 09:11 AM
I do not own either and wanted to make a Saiganov. Making a Saiginov will cost you time+parts. People on the Saiga 12 forum mentioned that you really need to do a trigger job, or at least it was how the rifle was intended to be. I just wanted to drop in the stock, which you can do, but people cmmented that it didn't feel right. I like the idea of of a Saiga because of its 308 round--more readily availible varity of ammo. Plus you can get bolt action in 308 to complement the saiga.

Col. Plink
December 16, 2009, 10:56 AM
I recommend a Saiga 308 ver.21 unless you're absolutely married to the idea of a 'dragunov' style stock. The ver.21 has a wooden thumbhole stock with no need to move the trigger group, etc. Replace one part and you can use the big 'ol aftermarket mags.

zoom6zoom
December 16, 2009, 09:19 PM
I vote both. I just wish the PSL came with a longer stock.
Ironwood announced they would be making a NATO length stock, as well as a left handed one.

Flea
December 16, 2009, 09:23 PM
If you don't mind changing the look, perhaps an adjustable gas block would allow you to shoot whatever ammo without worry?

http://www.copesdistributing.net/product_info.php?products_id=1336

sarduy
December 16, 2009, 10:10 PM
go with the psl

THE DARK KNIGHT
December 16, 2009, 10:16 PM
Ironwood announced they would be making a NATO length stock, as well as a left handed one

Yeah, and once you order it, it'll take 3 years for the stock to show up at your door.

Seriously, I don't get that guy at Ironwood Designs. At all.

He's an extremely talented craftsman making excellent, high demand products, often times the only maker of any such thing (wooden AR furniture, US made AK wood, etc.)

And yet, his website can't take a credit card, hell, not even a paypal. In fact you don't even order off the website, you have to print out and fill out a form and snail mail a check/MO and then your stock comes in months later.

Heck, almost everything I've bought from classifieds ads here, almost every average joe has a paypal account. You'd think the guy would at least have a credit card machine for his business. The whole process with Ironwood is a little....shall we say....1972?

FMJMIKE
December 16, 2009, 10:18 PM
Accuracy is close between the two. Just have to try different ammo. I don't shoot them like a machine gun either.

jojo200517
December 17, 2009, 01:30 AM
I like the idea of of a Saiga because of its 308 round--more readily availible varity of ammo. Plus you can get bolt action in 308 to complement the saiga.

I never had problem finding 7.62x54r around here the local hardware store has it every time I go in. Choices in bullets are kinda slim tho, you either get corrosive FMJ surplus, or silver bear soft points. Not near the selection you will find with the .308 but then again I only give 12 bucks a box (20 rd) for soft point and 8 for FMJ with local markup added in. You could get a Mosin Nagant if you want a bolt action to complement the PSL. I have a Mosin, and I plan on getting a PSL soon, I been eyeballing them for a long time. I might even break my rules and leave the wood on both of them just because the PSL is so pretty IMHO.

EDIT: I always been told not to shoot the heavy loads like the 203 GR soft point silver bears in a PSL. Someone wanna tell me if its ok to shoot them or not?

TheWarhammer
December 17, 2009, 10:12 AM
EDIT: I always been told not to shoot the heavy loads like the 203 GR soft point silver bears in a PSL. Someone wanna tell me if its ok to shoot them or not?

From my research, I have found that the PSL cannot handle heavy ball. It should only be used with light ball ammo. If you were willing to spend the money, and could get past how horrible it looks, you could add an adjustable gas block to a PSL and then safely use heavier bullets. Without such a modification, the PSL's receiver could not handle the beating.

Babarsac
December 17, 2009, 11:09 AM
Since I already have a bunch of Mosins (and ammo!) I'll probably get a PSL to compliment them since prices have come way down. My only question is there anybody who makes after market stocks other then Ironwood? I'm a southpaw and have long arms so a longer stock would be needed.

jojo200517
December 18, 2009, 01:59 AM
From my research, I have found that the PSL cannot handle heavy ball. It should only be used with light ball ammo. If you were willing to spend the money, and could get past how horrible it looks, you could add an adjustable gas block to a PSL and then safely use heavier bullets. Without such a modification, the PSL's receiver could not handle the beating.
Humm that adjustable gas block is kinda ugly, I could deal with it tho to shoot all kinds of ammo. What about just porting the gas tube? I never seen it on a PSL but I have seen it on a few AK's. Would that let the excess pressure out or would it still push the piston too fast and hard before the gas could escape?

TheWarhammer
December 18, 2009, 03:31 AM
Humm that adjustable gas block is kinda ugly, I could deal with it tho to shoot all kinds of ammo. What about just porting the gas tube? I never seen it on a PSL but I have seen it on a few AK's. Would that let the excess pressure out or would it still push the piston too fast and hard before the gas could escape?

The vented gas tubes on some AKs are to let dirty gas escape in an attempt to keep the gas system a little cleaner. The vents don't effect the speed or force of the gas piston. By the time the head of the piston leaves the gas block, it's already moving at its top speed. I have heard of folks doing a DYI adjustable gas block by drilling and tapping it and then inserting a headless Allen bolt. I emphasize "heard" because I have not been able to find anyone who has posted pics or instructions on such an animal; just guys who "heard" that someone else had done it.

I read on another forum that the best, most accurate ammo for the PSL (short of working up your own hand loads) is Wolf 148 grain. Apparently, Wolf developed this load specifically for the PSL and SVD. I have found several reviews that state that Wolf 148gr (not 150 or 180) is the most accurate off-the-shelf ammo you can get for the PSL. A bonus is that it is non-corrosive.

halogrinder
December 18, 2009, 09:45 PM
meh. my romak3 isnt the cats meow. i bought it cause i thought it looked cool, and to hang out and shoot the **** with my mosin's in the safe. its nothing spectacular, doesnt shoot *FANTASTC* groups, and im left handed, so the scope and stock doesnt fit me. meh.

elmerfudd
December 20, 2009, 03:38 AM
I've got two Saiga .308's and one PSL. The PSL definitely looks sexier and it doesn't shoot bad, but it doesn't really shoot good either. The Saigas on the other hand shoot very well by AK standards. If you use handloads or good ammo I've found that most Saigas in either .308 or .223 will do 2 MOA or better. Both my .308's do that, while my PSL doesn't shoot much better than 3 MOA.

The build quality of the Saiga is also a couple of steps higher than that of the PSL.

Somebody mentioned mags earlier. Saiga .308 mags do cost a small fortune and while I haven't experienced any failures with my aftermarket mags, they just feel cheap to me. On the plus side though, they hold more than 10 rounds.

zoom6zoom
December 20, 2009, 11:24 PM
DK, my last Ironwood order arrived in under five weeks.

WardenWolf
December 20, 2009, 11:37 PM
PSL. Hands down. The PSL can be had for under $600 from AIM. You'll spend a LOT more money converting and modifying a Saiga .308, for a gun that probably won't be as good. The PSL has excellent recoil compensation and is very comfortable to shoot.

I have a Saiganoved Saiga .223. It's a nice gun, but it's still 2.5 MOA. I know someone who's getting well under 1 MOA with their PSL. That Saiga cost me more to put together than what a PSL can be had for now, and it's also a lot heavier than my PSL. Get the PSL.

rangerruck
December 21, 2009, 02:19 AM
you can get an allready converted saiga 3o8 , with the wood furniture , for about 550 bucks or less now. Having had 2 of them in 308, I can also tell you that they reliably fire, from the standard 8 round mags, or the aftermarket longer ones. Also, they accurately fire, and I do mean accurately, anything from 145's , to the 205's made by brown bear; they actlually seem to like any load that is hotter and faster and heavier. They would proly love the yugo milsurp then, or whichever one it is that really seems to spit fire in about 170-175 grain loading.
Plus since it is allready converted, you can get a set of Tacticool furniture for it as well, and turn it from a hunting rifle, into whatever wood or synth furniture house buster you like.

Col. Plink
December 21, 2009, 12:36 PM
Ranger, where did you see converted Saigo308's in wood for $550? I found a new ver.21 ('converted' trigger group configuration, thumbhole wood stock) for , uh, a bit more...

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