Saiga, Golani, or AR choice?


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christcorp
December 16, 2009, 12:31 AM
In a nutshell; here are my choices that I've somewhat narrowed down to: Curious which you would choose, and more importantly; WHY????

1. Saiga .223: (Locally available) Final price after mod to stock and hi-cap magazines to keep it 922r compliant; and tax... $500

2. Golani (Galil) .223: (Locally available) Used, but in excellent shape. After the recall situation, so it's not an issue. Out the door including an extra magazine: $600

3. Olympic Arms AR15 .223: (Online order). Final price after s/h, FFL, etc... $650

My thoughts are:
Saiga: Dependable AK architecture, chambered in .223, additional quality .223 30 rd mags $28. Cheapest initially, but manufactured by a quality company.
Golani (Galil): Dependable AK architecture, heaviest and sturdiest of the AK frames. Chambered in the .223. More expensive up front compared to the Saiga, but it's complete and finished.
Olympic Arms AR15: CHEAPEST of the AR15 clones/piece rifles. Complete. Chambered in .223. Mags and additional parts cheaper and more available. But I'd have to go through the ordering process, and any issues I might encounter, I'd have to deal with the manufacturer. The Saiga and Golani I can deal with the local dealer I bought them from. I've bought numerous guns from them and they are good people.

So; any thoughts or opinions/suggestions?

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Avenger29
December 16, 2009, 12:53 AM
Of the choices, Saiga. Take a look at the Magnolia State Armory AR-15 mag adapters.

christcorp
December 16, 2009, 01:01 AM
Avenger; I appreciate your thoughts. I was wondering if you might be good enough to explain however, "WHY" you say the Saiga???? Also, the Magnolia adapter just added another $125 to the Saiga, bringing it now to $625. For that same $125, I could have bought 4-5 Surefire magazines. Trying to figure our why you recommend the saiga. Especially with the price getting up to the cost of the Olympic Arms AR15. Thanks. mike.

Avenger29
December 16, 2009, 01:08 AM
Avenger; I appreciate your thoughts. I was wondering if you might be good enough to explain however, "WHY" you say the Saiga???? Also, the Magnolia adapter just added another $125 to the Saiga, bringing it now to $625. For that same $125, I could have bought 4-5 Surefire magazines. Trying to figure our why you recommend the saiga. Especially with the price getting up to the cost of the Olympic Arms AR15. Thanks. mike.

Because I'd rather have a quality AK than a lower quality AR. Yes, the price was increased with the MSA adapter, but being able to use common AR magazines has a quality all of it's own.

I wouldn't want anything to do with the Golani. At all.

christcorp
December 16, 2009, 01:27 AM
Appreciate the comments. Definitely something to think about no doubt. Thanks again. Mike....

nalioth
December 16, 2009, 02:20 AM
2. Golani (Galil) .223: (Locally available) Used, but in excellent shape. After the recall situation, so it's not an issue. Out the door including an extra magazine: $600 Unfortunately, the "recall situation" did not address the horribly (and irreparably) out of spec receivers that many were saddled with.

The "recall situation" only added a lawyer recommended spring loaded firing pin to the rifle (millions of military rifles have been made w/o this "feature").



Get the Saiga. Don't buy guns made by drunk monkeys.

TexasRifleman
December 16, 2009, 08:50 AM
The Saiga and Golani I can deal with the local dealer I bought them from.

With the Golani you'd likely be dealing with that dealer OFTEN.

I'd steer a wide path around the Golani. Drunken monkeys indeed.....

GunTech
December 16, 2009, 09:00 AM
My 2nd Golani (replaced prior to the recall) has been 100% solid. But $600 for a used on is high.

snakeman
December 16, 2009, 09:41 AM
these people that say olympic is low quality don't know what they are talking about. I owned an ml 2 for a good while and it had at least no hiccups while my dads Bushmaster jammed every time it got a little dirt on it. i would go olympic

Avenger29
December 16, 2009, 10:51 AM
these people that say olympic is low quality don't know what they are talking about. I owned an ml 2 for a good while and it had at least no hiccups while my dads Bushmaster jammed every time it got a little dirt on it. i would go olympic

Yes, Olympic is lower quality. They cut costs so you pay less. That's just the simple truth. It may be fine for a plinking gun, but my firearms are intended for defense and are brought with an eye towards reliability/durability.

Z-Michigan
December 16, 2009, 11:02 AM
Another vote for a Saiga.

If you decide to get an AR, get a S&W M&P15 for $800 or so. There are also some other options that are only a bit more than the Olympic but are better quality.

christcorp
December 16, 2009, 11:06 AM
Avenger; excellent points. Another question then.... Would a Saiga in .223 be better than say a traditional AK-47, say Romanian; and in 7.62x39???? I figured that the saiga .223 had the reliability of the ak, with the better availability of the .223. (Especially if the SHTF, or other bans by government). Obviously, the biggest drawback with a Saiga, is repair and spare parts. Other than magazines by Surefire or Promag; trying to find parts if needed, would be difficult. AR and AK parts are a dime a dozen. Saiga, and even the Golani (Galil) seem to be the odd balls. Your thoughts???

Z-Michigan
December 16, 2009, 12:12 PM
A Saiga is an AK in all aspects other than cosmetics, magwell/bullet guide, and name. If you do a conversion on a Saiga you have an AK for all practical purposes. AK replacement and spare parts will work.

The drawback to a Saiga .223 is magazines. There are options, but none are terrific. Bulgarian AK-223 mags and Galil Orlite mags are probably the best options. If you get a Saiga in 7.62x39 or 5.45 you have better and cheaper magazine options (after a compliant conversion).

Basically, if you want a good stock of magazines, a converted Saiga 223 won't be much cheaper (including magazines) than a lower end AR-15 with the same number of magazines. Then it simply boils down to what you want. Both are good, and in practical usage, with sufficient practice, they will perform quite similarly (Saigas are accurate for AKs and low-end ARs are 2 MOA guns, generally).

Avenger29
December 16, 2009, 12:17 PM
Avenger; excellent points. Another question then.... Would a Saiga in .223 be better than say a traditional AK-47, say Romanian; and in 7.62x39???? I figured that the saiga .223 had the reliability of the ak, with the better availability of the .223. (Especially if the SHTF, or other bans by government). Obviously, the biggest drawback with a Saiga, is repair and spare parts. Other than magazines by Surefire or Promag; trying to find parts if needed, would be difficult. AR and AK parts are a dime a dozen. Saiga, and even the Golani (Galil) seem to be the odd balls. Your thoughts???

I don't know if I would say a Saiga in .223 would be better or worse than an AK variant in 7.62x39...

If you already run an AR or two (or other gun) running .223 and especially if you reload .223, then an AK in .223 makes a lot of sense, and doubly so if you've got a large stock of .223. The prices of a case of Wolf in .223 and 7.62x39 are within $10 of each other, so cheap plinking ammunition is about the same for both calibers. BTW, promags are worthless. And if I had an AK in .223, I'd get a magazine adapter to run AR mags and have the rifle set up with that rather than relying on one manufacturer of magazines...

If ammunition imports are cut off, that cheap 7.62x39 (and that cheap .223) imported by Wolf is going to disappear. AK owners are going to be in a world of hurt. Have you seen the prices of 7.62x39 as loaded by the domestic manufacturers? At the very least, mid priced domestic ammunition is available for .223...

A Saiga is essentially an AK, so after conversion your parts would be the same. I still say the best backup against parts breakage is another rifle and some spare parts on top of that.

For ammunition, your best bet would be to have a large stockpile of your own, IMHO.

To me, the AK is a good match with 7.62x39 because that's the caliber it was originally designed for. Also, the AK's accuracy and purpose matches the range of the 7.62x39 (i.e., 300-400 yards), giving it a good match. Magazines are widely available, and the ammunition availability isn't too bad.

I'd be fine with going with .223, AK or AR, but I wouldn't be against going with 7.62x39 in the AK.

Norinco982lover
December 16, 2009, 12:51 PM
I really like my converted Saiga 7.62x39. If you do get the .223 I will also recommend getting the AR mag adapter.

Basically what you will get from the internet is this:

Good AR > Good AK variant in .223 > Cheap AR > Cheap AK

Then you have to add $$ to the above:

Good AR ($800+) > Good AK variant in .223 ($500-625) > Cheap AR ($600-800) > Cheap AK ($250-400)

My recommendation: get a Saiga .223 and convert it. THEN keep your eyes open for a cheap WASR (I'm picking one up soon from a friend for $250). Now you have 2 decent guns that should cover all of your bases AND they use similar replacement parts (probably identical FCGs).

~Norinco

nalioth
December 16, 2009, 12:58 PM
Other than magazines by Surefire or Promag;

Three words for ya: "Galil magazine adapter".

A fellow nicknamed RenegadeBuck makes them for the Saiga, and they just pop in like a regular AK mag on some .223 Saigas (some require a little tweaking - this is the nature of mass production).

With one of these adapters, you can use commonly available AR15 mags all day long . .

trying to find parts if needed, would be difficult. AR and AK parts are a dime a dozen. Saiga, and even the Golani (Galil) seem to be the odd balls. Your thoughts???Please get it into your head: A Saiga IS an AK.

Don't let the stupid butt stock mislead you from this fact.

christcorp
December 16, 2009, 02:29 PM
nalioth; thank you for being straight forward and blunt. Too many people worry about feelings; and thus are vague. You answered exactly what I needed to know. So, I think I am now leaning about 70% towards the saiga in .223. I will definitely do some research on the galil mag adapter. But the other 30% still has me looking at the goloni (Galil) that is also available at a local gun shop; used. I can get it; out the door; price and taxes; plus 2 magazines; for $600. But there are still some people that say to stay away from the galil. I know it weighs a ton; but is that mostly because the parts/material are better? Is it better forged and heavier steel? Why is it so much heavier? Also; are there really problems with them?

If I get the saiga; my modification would be the ultimate basic conversion. $60 for a new stock/pistol grip. Plus, american made surefire 30 round magazine. It's 922r compliant, and not a lot of money out of pocket. Total price $500. The golani (Galil) would only be $100 more; but there's no conversion required. But are the golani (Galil) a POS or are they OK. I've heard nothing bad about a Saiga. But I've heard mixed reports on the Galil-Golani. I think most have convinced me to stay away from the Olympic Arms AR15. Thanks for opinions..... mike.,

Norinco982lover
December 16, 2009, 02:36 PM
christcorp,
I don't know anything about the Golani but I can tell you this: the Saiga is extremely well built and there is no way the Golani is better than it. The Saiga rifles are very "heavy duty" plus you get the ability to modify them to YOUR needs and on your schedule. They can be found for sale on the internet for $339...may be be cheaper in your local shop since you won't have a transfer fee but then of course you have taxes...

Once converted, the Saiga is essentially an AK. You will need to grab some handguard retainers if you want an AK handguard but all other parts will work fine on it.

~Norinco

jobu07
December 16, 2009, 02:43 PM
I have several AK variants, several AR variants, one Galil (Golani), and no Saiga's (not to say the Saiga is a bad rifle). They have all proved reliable and accurate under any conditions. You'd probably be happy with any of the above.

christcorp
December 16, 2009, 02:57 PM
I've been doing a lot of research. That combined with you'alls comments have brought me to certain realizations.

1. No one seems to have anything NEGATIVE to say about the Saiga.
2. About 3 in 10 say to stay away from the Golani (Galil); with the other 7 saying they're great.
3. Most everyone says the AR platform is excellent if you are on the high end of AR's. Most say that the low end of the AR's have a lot to be desired. And about 50/50 say that Olympic Arms AR-15 is crap/good.

Definitely a lot to think about. thanks. mike.

nalioth
December 16, 2009, 03:08 PM
But there are still some people that say to stay away from the galil. I know it weighs a ton; but is that mostly because the parts/material are better? Is it better forged and heavier steel? Why is it so much heavier? Also; are there really problems with them? Several [hundred|thousand] Golanis shipped with irreparable defects in the receiver. Century stopped using the vendor that provided the receivers and jumped into bed with another manufacturer for the receivers.

The Israelis designed the Galil with the help of the Finns, manufactured several hundred thousand of them, and subsequently removed them from front line service in deference to the M16A2 / CAR-15.

IMHO, Galils not worth the money today (unless you've got lots of money and are a collector), and the "Golani" is something I'd never recommend anyone purchase . .

christcorp
December 16, 2009, 03:32 PM
excellent info and position. Obviously, there are reasons things are the way they are. So, the question BEGS to be asked.

Except for the Saiga and the Gilil (clones); are there any other AK derivatives chambered in the .223 caliber? Except for the Saiga and Golani; are they just so rare, that they cost a lot???

Avenger29
December 16, 2009, 03:37 PM
excellent info and position. Obviously, there are reasons things are the way they are. So, the question BEGS to be asked.

Except for the Saiga and the Gilil (clones); are there any other AK derivatives chambered in the .223 caliber? Except for the Saiga and Golani; are they just so rare, that they cost a lot???

Arsenal makes or at least used to make one. Course, I believe they deal with some Saigas, too, nowadays.

There are a couple of other variants scattered here and there, too. I think one of the WASRs (WASR-3?) was/is in 5.56. Maybe there was a Chinese in 5.56? I don't know- all of that was before my time. I think some of the Valmets were in .223, too.

Other than that, I don't know. There are bound to be more, though.

nalioth
December 16, 2009, 04:34 PM
Except for the Saiga and the Gilil (clones); are there any other AK derivatives chambered in the .223 caliber? Except for the Saiga and Golani; are they just so rare, that they cost a lot??? Romanian WASR-3 (currently imported) and Romanian SAR-3 (no longer imported, but findable (at an affordable price) on the used market).

Cost a lot? A WASR?

Chinese .223 AKs are not a good idea, because they use magazines that are designed to work with those models - only. IOW, unless you find one with mags, you'll just have a headache trying to find mags for it. Plus the chinese guns are RARE, as they've not been imported in a couple of decades, and you know what 20 years will do to a http://forum.novarata.net/images/smilies/poop.gif - it'll drive it's price up to stupid levels (the Chinese AKs were the WASRs of their day).

christcorp
December 16, 2009, 10:31 PM
Well, I was right at about 90% ready to pull the trigger on the Saiga today. But before I got to that store, I stopped off at one of the other gun shops. They had a Kel-tech SU-16 there. Price wasn't bad. Right around $550. The 2 things I really liked about it was 1)It uses standard AR-15 magazines. also: 2) There really isn't any need to modify it. There's a rail to add accessories like a scope, light, laser, etc... These 2 things would definitely save quite a bit of money. And it's USA, so there's no 922r issues.

Most reviews of the gun was very positive. Most forums were pretty positive. However; the vast majority of posts that compared guns, still thought HIGHER of the Saiga .223. So; I will hope that the other gun shop still has the Saiga in stock. They only had 1 left. If they do, I think that is the way to go. For the following reasons.

1. It's the caliber I want. .223
2. It's got the dependability and reliability of an AK
3. The vast majority of the parts ARE AK parts, so repairs are easy.
4. While magazines are a bit more than AR magazines, it's not a real issue for me. I'm not the type that needs 20 magazine. 3-4 30 round mags are enough.
5. The price is right
6. If I did decide to do upgrades, it's very common. Including retro to AR magazines.

Anyway; we'll see if they still have it in stock tomorrow. mike

Avenger29
December 16, 2009, 11:38 PM
I would NOT choose an SU-16 over the Saiga unless compactness was an overriding factor.

The SU-16 fills a niche market and fills it very well (compact rifle). The Saiga is better as far as durability, reliability, etc.

4. While magazines are a bit more than AR magazines, it's not a real issue for me. I'm not the type that needs 20 magazine. 3-4 30 round mags are enough.

Supply may very well be unavailable in the future. You're relying on one manufacturer for your magazines that may very well go out of business in the near future. Magazines wear out- they are expendable items.

I highly advise just going ahead and buying an AR magazine adapter. Just do it.

christcorp
December 16, 2009, 11:46 PM
Actually; I have found 5 different manufacturers of Saiga magazines. 3 overseas and 2 American. I'm definitely not going to waste another $150 on a magazine adapter. If I was going to spend that $150; plus $70 for a new stock/PG; that would bring the gun up to about $650. Then I'm getting into the price range of the AR's. And then I probably wouldn't be looking at getting a Saiga in the first place. Plus, for the $130-$150 it would cost for the adapter, I could buy 5 30 round magazines. I just don't see it.

Then again, I've always wondered why people would pay $350-$400 for a saiga; then spend $400 more on "CONVERTING" it. If the AK design is so good, there isn't a need to convert it. Other than the very basic needed for 922r purposes to allow you to use hi-cap magazines.

Z-Michigan
December 16, 2009, 11:57 PM
then spend $400 more on "CONVERTING" it. If the AK design is so good, there isn't a need to convert it. Other than the very basic needed for 922r purposes to allow you to use hi-cap magazines.

Most people spend only $100-150 converting, not $400.

The basic AK design is very good. It's the neutered-for-import Saiga sporter design that's not so great. People are paying extra money to get it back to AK configuration, and to have a new Russian AK instead of a used other AK.

Really, both AK and AR are good choices, and the initial price difference will become small over time if you shoot a fair bit of ammo. Buy the one you like best and don't dwell on $100 more or less in price.

nalioth
December 17, 2009, 12:08 AM
Then again, I've always wondered why people would pay $350-$400 for a saiga; then spend $400 more on "CONVERTING" it. If the AK design is so good, there isn't a need to convert it. Other than the very basic needed for 922r purposes to allow you to use hi-cap magazines. Does this look like an AK to you?

http://www.novarata.net/images/p/p_saiga.jpg

As I've mentioned in other posts here, "converting" is not the actual operation conducted.
A more accurate word for it is "restoring" or the kludgy "deconverting" (from the neutered imported state).

Restoring a Saiga toward it's natural state brings lots of benefits (one of which is cost savings over the substandard competition).

christcorp
December 17, 2009, 01:17 AM
Most people spend only $100-150 converting, not $400.

That's not what I'm seeing. Even on this forum. The cheapest conversion, restoration, etc... seems to be about $100. That's for a new stock with pistol grip, and a standard Surefire 30 round magazine. But there also seems to be the push for the AR Magazine adapter. That runs $125-$150. Now you're up to $250. I don't think the price of ammo is a factor. I have found that whether you're shooting .223 or 7.62x39, I can find ammo for about the same price.

Don't get me wrong. I think the Saiga is probably the best deal going initially. But it's very easy to add even more money into this gun beyond the basic I mentioned. $50 here and there for additional items can easily make this an $800 gun. If I buy it, which is the direction I'm leaning towards, I would only do so with the minimum $100 conversion. A new stock with a pistol grip and a 30 round magazine. If I even thought of spending even more money on a magazine adapter or any other part, then there is no doubt that I'd probably just aim more towards a true AR in .223. To each their own.

gun addict
December 17, 2009, 01:36 AM
have you thought abouth a Century C93 btw? Those are running $650 and from the review they're pretty good, not to mention unique.

also, AIMsurplus has Delton AR for $650

nalioth
December 17, 2009, 02:07 AM
have you thought abouth a Century C93 btw? Those are running $650 and from the review they're pretty good, not to mention unique.

No. You. Didn't.

Please don't recommend any more Century hack jobs to the guy . .

(the Golani is enough)

I'm not even gonna begin on how Century screws up each and every G3 action build they make, and hopes they work long enough to get past the warranty period . .

Avenger29
December 17, 2009, 02:10 AM
And hey, while we're on the subject of the Century C93...have you checked out the price of HK 93 magazines? Yeah. No thanks.

mordechaianiliewicz
December 17, 2009, 02:37 AM
Go with the Golani Arms. The only issue is extra mags. (buy two more). Online, you might be able to obtain them @ say... $35 a pop. Atleast that's what mine were. Because it's an after recall thing, you have a gun that should last many thousands of rounds.

Saiga is decent, but why pay for mods, when you can have a gun of comparable quality and accuracy (and better sights) without any of those mods. Because, a weld job to get those peep sights would be alot more expensive than you mentioned.

Now, Oly Arms aren't bad.... that being said, get the most for your dollar. Unless you are $850 and up, an AK pattern might be a little better.

Oh, and on the SU-16 idea, here's the thing. I have a hard time seeing Kel-Tec's .223 rifle or pistol having that much more longevity than their pistols. Fine, if an SU-16 was the cost of a P11 or PF9. But, it's around $500+ brand new. Yes, it will work, it will be light, and it will be compact. But I doubt it will have the same toughness that a Golani will. And it will work and it is compact. Only issue there is a little extra weight.

funnelcake
December 17, 2009, 03:19 AM
My 2-page reply to this thread got toasted somehow (guess I got logged out while typing!). Anyway, short version based on first hand experience(s):

-Anything from Century is a crapshoot. Absolutely including the Golani...no matter which receiver or "fixes".
-ProMag Saiga mag's (at least the .223's) feature a very flawed design. Spend the extra $10-bucks on a SureFire.
-I wouldn't buy turd parts like $50 buttstock assemblies and $15 optics mounts for a real, Russian military-grade weapon.
-If you don't want to roll your own "conversion" Arsenal .223 rifles can be found under $700-bucks w/ a bit of looking.

Funnel

RockyMtnTactical
December 17, 2009, 04:16 AM
Between those, I would choose the Saiga. It's important to note that although the Saiga's are marked ".223", they are in fact chambered in 5.56.

jobu07
December 17, 2009, 08:49 AM
We hear a lot about Golani's having bad receivers. If you wanted one, look for the serial number prefix "GLN." Those, from what I understand, haven't had any issues. It's the "GOL" (I think that's it) prefixes that wouldn't feed.

That said, I haven't had any issues with my Galil, any of my AR's, or any of my AK's. Everyone loves to hate Century.

dschflier
December 17, 2009, 09:05 AM
I would go with a the AR all the way. Even though many people talk badly about lower quality ARs I rarely hear any problems with any of them from people who own them. You can get tons of info on them, they are fun to shoot ergonomically I personally love the fit and feel of the weapon and the carbine especially is just a light weapon as well.
Years ago I used the M16 in the Marines and am very excited about now having a carbine of the full length one I used in the military. AR all the way.

Norinco982lover
December 17, 2009, 09:18 AM
OP: I am going to go ahead and give you the parts list for a Saiga conversion (just once) so you can "believe" that conversions CAN cost very little. This is an actual conversion that I did on a budget.

1 Tapco SAW-STYLE PISTOL $18.00 (can substitute any $5 AK pistol grip if US)
1 TapcoAK/SAIGA GRIP NUT $6.60
1 TAPCO Warsaw length fixed stock, black $31.30
1 Tapco SINGLE HOOK G2 FCG $28.45
1 KREBS AXIS PIN RETAINING PLATE $9.45 (can substitute with $3 or less part)
1 TRIGGER GUARD MOUNTING HARDWARE $0.95 (can use any small bolt)
1 Bullet guide ordered from Dinzag $26 (can make your own out of piece of pipe)

Total: $120.75

AK mags can be found anywhere for $10 or less.

This is EVERYTHING you need to convert a Saiga. .223 or 7.62x39. As noted above you can substitute cheaper parts if you wish or make the bullet guide yourself to save even more $$. My Saiga was $350 cash + this $120.75 and this is what I ended up with:

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_-Md8K2jDlyk/SrPMVeUuGTI/AAAAAAAAAdI/pMblh9AAODM/s576/287992125573.jpg

I picked up an ACE FX buttstock at a gunshow for $25 and then cut off the tang of my Saiga and installed an internal stock adapter ($40). I also installed a rail and a vertical foregrip + I made my own sling for around $15.

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_-Md8K2jDlyk/Syf0APfw4KI/AAAAAAAAAmY/PHsNVsJUrWk/s576/Solarforce%20L2m%20and%20AGP%20mag%20extension%20for%20XD9%20016.jpg

christcorp
December 17, 2009, 10:42 AM
Excellent opinions by all. I have been around guns too long to know that not everyone is going to agree on which way to go. But I can read the passion of many of you, and can tell which direction can apply best to me. Norincolover; I see your parts list, but I don't think I see anything there for converting magazines. I could in fact use surefire mags for the saiga, but you mentioned AK mags for $10. Obviously not for the .223. If so, I didn't see anything on the list to convert to that magazine. But I get your point. But the magazine conversion is still another $125-$150 depending on the manufacturer. Thanks again all for your suggestions. mike....

GunTech
December 17, 2009, 11:22 AM
The Israelis designed the Galil with the help of the Finns, manufactured several hundred thousand of them, and subsequently removed them from front line service in deference to the M16A2 / CAR-15.

This had more to do with US military aid to Israel than any shortcoming of the Galil. US military aid comes with strings - a large proportion of the money must be spent on US gear. Israel cannot manufacture Galils at anywhere near the cost of what they pay for M16s.

Never forget that politics can be a big factor in procurement. Would we have the M9 if there weren't bases in Italy in the mix?

Z-Michigan
December 17, 2009, 11:35 AM
But I get your point. But the magazine conversion is still another $125-$150 depending on the manufacturer. Thanks again all for your suggestions. mike....

I don't think many people are using that magwell adapter, but in any event you are focused on the biggest shortcoming of the Saiga .223, the limited magazine options. It is not a big deal if you are happy with 2-4 mags, but if you want a dozen plus, you should probably look at an AR15, or an AK in one of the original Russian calibers.

christcorp
December 18, 2009, 11:14 AM
Well, I have decided that if the shop still has the Saiga when I get off work, that I will be buying it. I've had in the past a number of AK's. Chinese Norinco, Roma, and Bulg. As for dependability, reliability, etc... I don't believe anything else can touch these. They will shoot any ammo and under any conditions. That is important to me. I wanted the .223 caliber because of availability. Not necessarily now; but just in case there are any types of bans coming. .223 is/will be more available in the USA than 7.62x39. Even though I will have a decent stock, it's nice to know that even at a high price, it will almost always be available. Finally, I like the price of the Saiga and the fact that if I WANT to modify or convert it; I can.

But the whole converting the Saiga is not really an issue for me. I don't mind the original stock. In time, I might put the pistol grip type stock on it. I'm not worried about hi-cap magazines. I only need a few of them, and I feel confident in the Surefires; based on what others have said. And for normal day to day life, I have no need for a 30 round magazine. A 10 round is fine. But I will have some 30's. And I don't care about 922r. WHY? Because, the gun will stay original, so it's not a 922r issue. But MORE IMPORTANTLY; if our society got into such a situation where 30 round magazines were necessary to protect me and my family, than either 1) We've gotten to the point where the government probably abused their power and has banned or tried taking away our gun already. In which case, most guns/magazines would be illegal anyway. OR 2) Our society has broken down so far that if we're allowed to use our firearms for such urban/multi-person defense, then the cops aren't going to give a rat's A$$ about 922r. In other words, the ONLY TIME 922r is an issue, is during times of peace, when the government doesn't have anything better to do with our money. But at this same time, I don't really have a need for a 30 round magazine anyway. And when I do need one, we'll have a lot more troubles to be worried about.

Anyway; thanks for all the info, advice, and opinions. Hopefully the Saiga will still be available and wasn't sold. If it was; then no big deal. I'm going to New Mexico for christmas vacation in a few days. I can always look there for a gun I like. And rifles are usually OK to buy out of state out here. Thanks again. mike....

khegglie
December 18, 2009, 03:03 PM
$550.00 is a little high for a SU-16 around here(EaST COAST).

THE DARK KNIGHT
December 18, 2009, 03:06 PM
Norinco982lover has it right, basic conversion is only Ī$120

I just bought the materials to convert a 5.45 the other day

AK Pistol grip $10
TAPCO Stock $32
G2 FCG $28
Retaining plate $8
Bullet Guide $26
Shipping $15

$119

I expect to pay no more than $385 for the rifle


But the whole converting the Saiga is not really an issue for me. I don't mind the original stock. In time, I might put the pistol grip type stock on it. I'm not worried about hi-cap magazines. I only need a few of them, and I feel confident in the Surefires; based on what others have said. And for normal day to day life, I have no need for a 30 round magazine. A 10 round is fine. But I will have some 30's. And I don't care about 922r. WHY? Because, the gun will stay original, so it's not a 922r issue. But MORE IMPORTANTLY; if our society got into such a situation where 30 round magazines were necessary to protect me and my family, than either 1) We've gotten to the point where the government probably abused their power and has banned or tried taking away our gun already. In which case, most guns/magazines would be illegal anyway. OR 2) Our society has broken down so far that if we're allowed to use our firearms for such urban/multi-person defense, then the cops aren't going to give a rat's A$$ about 922r. In other words, the ONLY TIME 922r is an issue, is during times of peace, when the government doesn't have anything better to do with our money. But at this same time, I don't really have a need for a 30 round magazine anyway. And when I do need one, we'll have a lot more troubles to be worried about.

OK, just a reminder, you are in violation of 922r if you stick a 30rd surefire mag into an unconverted saiga.

Conversion greatly improves ergonomics and trigger by leaps and bounds. Also, you will see for yourself why people do the bullet guide. Spend $26 and half hour in the shop, magazines now cost $8-15. Skip the guide, and Magazines are $30 a pop.

Bullet guide and 5 surplus magazines (assuming $15 price on mags, can be found cheaper) = $101

5 Saiga Magazines = $150

atlanticfire
December 18, 2009, 03:33 PM
Iím a fan of the Olympic rifles. I've had several of them and despite what some Internet "experts" are saying they are a solid gun. I think the whole saiga thing is over rated. Yes, I've shot them in all there various calibers. Now the Vepr is another story but that doesnít fall into your budget range unless you could find a used one in that range. I go to several local ranges during most of my weekends and I see tons of half chopped saigas all over. Like a dime a dozen. Get something different don't be a sheep. There are plenty of AK variants if thats what your looking for that donít require a hammer.

[Pb]
December 18, 2009, 05:21 PM
The AR15 is going to beat the piss out of a Saiga or Golani in accuracy and weight. Beyond that, it's a matter of personal preference and reliability. Saiga wins in that regard.


I considered getting a Golani but was scared away by the horror stories, like every other attractively priced century product I've seen. They really are absolutely horrible gunsmiths.

Z-Michigan
December 18, 2009, 08:05 PM
The AR15 is going to beat the piss out of a Saiga or Golani in accuracy and weight. Beyond that, it's a matter of personal preference and reliability. Saiga wins in that regard.

Well, not sure I agree. Saigas are well made and 2 MOA is not an unreasonable expectation for a Saiga 223 with a good shooter. Many ARs do better than that, but certainly not all. As for reliability, a well tuned AR with quality, undamaged magazines is very reliable. The Saiga/AK might be better if both guns are full of mud, but with decent care I don't think it's a big difference.

Really, get the one you like better. Both can be very good. I have both, I like both.

Maverick223
December 18, 2009, 09:22 PM
Get the Saiga. Don't buy guns made by drunk monkeys.I agree, but that is not true at all...a well trained drunken monkey could do a much better job than a Century goon. :evil:

]I considered getting a Golani but was scared away by the horror stories, like every other attractively priced century product I've seen. They really are absolutely horrible gunsmiths.ROFLMAO, he said gunsmiths. :rolleyes:

[Pb]
December 18, 2009, 10:59 PM
Well, not sure I agree. Saigas are well made and 2 MOA is not an unreasonable expectation for a Saiga 223 with a good shooter. Many ARs do better than that, but certainly not all. As for reliability, a well tuned AR with quality, undamaged magazines is very reliable. The Saiga/AK might be better if both guns are full of mud, but with decent care I don't think it's a big difference.

Really, get the one you like better. Both can be very good. I have both, I like both.

2MOA is majorly pushing it with a Saiga. Most are at best 3-4 while many AR15s are sub 1-1.5MOA with the same ammo.

By reliability, I meant the Saiga needs a lot less maintenance to run right.

ROFLMAO, he said gunsmiths.

Did I say gunsmiths.... I meant drunk, blind, gorillas :banghead:

christcorp
December 18, 2009, 11:00 PM
Khegglie: Not sure where you read that the saiga was going to cost $550. I bought it today for $410 + tax. Total cost; $434.

Dark Knight: I know if I use a 30 round magazine in an unconverted Saiga, that I am in violation of 922r. Personally..... I don't really care. Why??? I already mentioned it. For normal go to the range; plink; have fun; practice; etc... I have no need for a 30+ round magazine. Even when I had my Norinco MAK-90 7.62x34, I almost always used a small magazine, because you can't hold the weapon on a bench or laying prone with a long magazine sticking out the bottom. I WILL HAVE some 30 round magazines on hand. Not for plinking and such, but for any SHTF scenarios. And in that case; if I NEED a hi-cap magazine; I don't/won't care about 922r. And frankly, if such a scenario existed where I needed a 30 round magazine, it would be a "Society Issue", and the cops nor anyone else would care about 922r either. They simply won't. There will be much more important things that they are worried about, which cause society to be where it's at, and thus caused citizens to even need to be using hi-cap magazines. I've worked for the government way too long. They won't care about 922r. Mind you, I said a scenario where a person believed that they NEEDED a hi-cap magazine. We're talking total societal break down. Riots in the streets; looting; mobs; police having no control; etc... Nothing like New Orleans during Katrina. I'm talking way beyond that. And in that scenario, 922r won't mean a thing. Now; if a person is going to the range, showing their gun, or doing the other normal day to day firearm activities; and they have a hi-cap magazine, making the gun non-compliant to 922r; that is a totally different situation. But that's not going to happen to me, because I have no need or desire to shoot 30+ round magazines.

Anyway, as you all might have deduced; I went ahead and bought the Saiga today. I liked the Kel-tec SU16, especially the AR magazines, but I heard too much negative about the gun itself. A lot of positives, but definite negatives. I spent a lot of years with an AR (M-16), and I probably would have been satisfied with an Olympic Arms model for about $700 after s/h and FFL; but for the $300 difference, it just didn't seem practical. Especially for an AR version that also had mixed reviews. Some love them, some don't. And buying a Bush, Rock, Colt, etc... for $1000+ just wasn't going to cut it. Buying a lower and upper separately also didn't seem very practical unless you just like to customize. The price was going to be about the same as buying one already together. Basically, $650-$700.

So, I got the saiga. And in my opinion, which is limited on this weapon (But extensive in 2 areas that are significant: /223 and AK's); the saiga gives me the best of both worlds. It gives me the .223 caliber, which in my opinion is more practical in a defensive scenario if the SHTF. I say this because 7.62x39 is mainly an imported round. yes, there is some U.S. made, but it's not as abundant. .223 is predominantly our caliber. Yes, I could stock up a few thousand rounds of X39, but currently, the silver bear, wolf, etc... is about the same price for x39 as it is for .223. But, if they legislate a ban on importing x39 or similar; .223 will still be available. Maybe expensive, but available. Plus, if for some reason, citizens were called upon to assist local and state government; including possibly being armed; .223 is a common available caliber for logistical purposes.

The other side of best of both worlds, is the reliability of the AK. Yes, an AR-15 CAN be reliable. And if all we're talking about is recreational shooting, where you get to clean the gun any time you want to, and it doesn't matter if it hiccups; then it's an extremely reliable weapon. But if it was truly needed, the AK is simply more reliable. That has never been disputed. Even among our military, law enforcement, and others who use the AR15/M16. The simple truth is, American Made, there's very few weapons that shoot the .223. Mini-14, SU16, AR15/M16 variations. Obviously, the American military, police, etc... are not going to contract with a foreign government or contractor, to have AK's built for them and supplied to our troops. But the fact remains, the AK format is a more reliable and dependable weapon. And if you are going to use it, for what it was designed for, (Under 100 yards), then the AK is going to win. I personally can't imagine having a need for using the AR15/M16 as a sniper rifle. I didn't even have that need when I was in the military. Small arms combat is pretty much under 100 yards. The AK format is great for that. So, I get the reliability and the caliber.

So, I get a brand new gun, from the same manufacturer who designed and built the AK-47. I get the reliability of the AK. I get the .223 caliber which should always be available. I have all the capabilities of the AR and the clones, but at less than half the price. I get a chromed barrel. And so on. I think logically, this is the best deal. At least for me. Thanks again for everyone's input. It helped a lot when deciding which way to go. Thanks. Mike.

Maverick223
December 18, 2009, 11:21 PM
Did I say gunsmiths.... I meant drunk, blind, gorillasAt least you fixed it...all is forgiven. :D

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