Cut a 21" Saiga 308 down to 16" for accuracy?


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Col. Plink
November 7, 2010, 02:42 PM
Fishing for recommendations out there, don't know how hard this would be. Just a cut and a crown, right? Not that I would do it myself but hoping it would increase accuracy for a reasonable price... Thanks!

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desidog
November 7, 2010, 02:46 PM
I don't know about accuracy, but the noise and flash will definitely increase!

If you do go ahead with this, i'd really like to see a comprehensive before-and-after report. I've heard the longer barrel S308's have more whip, and are consequently less accurate...which is why i got a 16", but one-gun / one-barrel proof of this assertion would be great.

Carl N. Brown
November 7, 2010, 03:45 PM
Is there a difference in barrel thickness between the 21" and 16" Saiga barrels?

If the 21" is thin and whippy and the 16" is thicker, cutting the 21" down to 16" would not necessarily be equivalent.

sappyg
November 7, 2010, 03:53 PM
what kind of accuracy are you getting now? could be just recrowning the barrel will help.

RatDrall
November 7, 2010, 04:30 PM
The guys on warriortalk.com have done this. I'd check there...

Col. Plink
November 7, 2010, 05:03 PM
looking for first-hand experience if there's any out there, and I know there are some with extensive Saiga308 knowledge around here as well.

W.E.G.
November 7, 2010, 05:30 PM
Gas guns are regulated for whatever amount of barrel there already is beyond the gas port.

When you reduce the amount of that barrel beyond the gas port, the gun has to do the same amount of work, with less gas.

Be prepared to enlarge the gas port, or expect malfunctions.

Girodin
November 7, 2010, 05:33 PM
I always here people talking about the risk that cutting the chrome lined barrel will lead to flaking. I do not now how much one really needs to be concerned about that. If I were actually going to cut one I would investigate that issue much more thoroughly.

I hear people talk about the 16" guns being more accurate but I'm not sure there is really enough difference to make it worth cutting a gun for that purpose alone, particularly depending the intended use of the gun. Also depending on what specifically I wanted to do with the gun and distances I wanted to shoot I would think about the velocity loss that will result in losing 5" of barrel on a .308 vs. whatever gains you think you might get from going shorter.

As mentioned the 16" guns do have a fair amount of muzzle blast.

I 'm with desidog, if you do go ahead with this I'd love to see you document it.

sturmgewehr
November 7, 2010, 05:36 PM
It's my understanding the Saiga barrels are chromed lined. Cutting down a chromed lined barrel usually causes the chrome to flake which in turn absolutely destroys accuracy.

M1key
November 7, 2010, 05:42 PM
According to Chuck Hawks, the .308 Win/150gr bullet is capable of about 2600fps out of a sixteen inch barrel. Still pretty effective out to 300yds, I would think.

Saiga forum "legend" AKSarben has shot a .56 inch, 100yd, 5-shot group with Remington Core-Lokt 150 PSPs out of his 16 inch Saiga/scope. Target was scribbled on pizza box. :cool:

With match quality ammo, I have shot 1.0 MOA, using irons, with my 21-inch Saiga. Others have reported 1-2 MOA fairly consistently. I would learn to live with that if I were you.

I wouldn't cut down a 21 incher, just buy a 16.



M

Col. Plink
November 7, 2010, 05:47 PM
Well, I'm no legend.

M1key
November 7, 2010, 05:56 PM
Me neither. Just telling ya' what is possible. From what I understand, ol' Sarben is just a middle-aged, hobby shooter like a lot of us. ;)

Col. Plink
November 7, 2010, 06:13 PM
It's definitely accurate enough to live with, just wondering how to improve if at all.

kaferhaus
November 7, 2010, 07:10 PM
I'd have to see a .56 group shot out of a saiga with my own eyes before believing it....

The Saiga has way too many things going against it to be anything more than about a 2MOA rifle IF you got a great one by some mistake of manufacturing. Most of them shoot 3MOA or a little worse.

I can't think of a worse operating system than a AK when it comes to accuracy potential.

I've shot a captured Dragonov at Ft. Benning and even with custom ammo and a hand fitted bolt it was a 1.25" gun. Good enough for what it was intended for but a match rifle it ain't.

That said, no way I'd ever cut a chrome lined barrel. As others have said, it's just gonna open a whole new can of worms.

Girodin
November 7, 2010, 07:53 PM
According to Chuck Hawks, the .308 Win/150gr bullet is capable of about 2600fps out of a sixteen inch barrel

I've chronoed Brown Bear 145 grain FMJ at right around 2600 FPS out of a 16" barrel.



Saiga forum "legend" AKSarben has shot a .56 inch, 100yd, 5-shot group with Remington Core-Lokt 150 PSPs out of his 16 inch Saiga/scope.

Do you have a link to his five shot group? I only ever recall seeing three shot groups but I don't see every thread over there by any means.

M1key
November 7, 2010, 08:29 PM
Link: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=514751&page=4

Post #90

I would post the target again, but THR won't let me. I believe he said it was a 5-shot group. You will see a picture of the 'ol boy hisself up above. Apparently his name is Vernon Jenewein. I have seen many of his targets online. Some have 3-shot groups, others have five.

The other group was from a guy I met on Glocktalk. He shot 5 rounds of mil surp ball (Australian, I think) out of his Saiga with 21 inch barrel. Don't know if he used a scope or irons.


M

EDIT: Here is another from the Saiga forum. Looks like he was testing handloads out of his 16 incher.

12131
November 7, 2010, 08:56 PM
Cut a 21" Saiga 308 down to 16" for accuracy?
Sorry if I'm stupid, but, could someone please explain how shortening a barrel increase its accuracy? Thanks.:confused:

M1key
November 7, 2010, 09:08 PM
Adds rigidity, reduces barrel vibration or "whip".




M

-v-
November 7, 2010, 09:56 PM
Also you loose about 75-100 yards of effective range due to lower muzzle velocity. POF did some chrono tests of .308 out of 14.5 (eeek!) and 16.5" barrels, here's a link to what they found: http://www.pof-usa.com/pdf_files/P-308ballistictestresults.pdf

mshootnit
November 7, 2010, 10:04 PM
I believe the 0.56 inch Saiga group. Here is mine:
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d14/rizbunk77/IMG_1091.jpg
5 shots 150 grain Hornady SST, 200 Meters. Kobra Red Dot sight. Not sure if I could do it again, but I feel the rifle is up to it if you are.
BTW I own both the 21.8 inch rifle and the 16" rifle. I have not shot the 21.8 yet because I am in the process of conversion, but I expect it to be no more than 1/2 moa worse than the 16" rifle with some added velocity. I plan to put a Russian 8X scope on there and see what she will do! My conversion parts for the 21 inch rifle are: Dinzag Conversion Kit, Arsenal 2 stage trigger (reworked for the Saiga) and Tapco black furniture. Scope mount will be either TWS rail or BP-02.

W.E.G.
November 7, 2010, 10:36 PM
The chrome plating in a rifle barrel is NOT like the bumper chrome on your Biscayne.

Barrel chrome does not "flake" when a barrel is cut.

I challenge anybody to show proof that I'm wrong about this.

M1key
November 7, 2010, 10:38 PM
^^^Gunsmith friends say it's not a problem.

mshootnit
November 7, 2010, 10:51 PM
Wanted to add the 21 and 16 inch rifles have the same diameter, one is just longer. Also the 21 I have has a barrel that is a little different. Its exterior is finished with very small concentric grooves and the other barrel is just smooth. They have similar front sight blocks and crowns.

my762buzz
November 7, 2010, 11:35 PM
The chrome plating in a rifle barrel is NOT like the bumper chrome on your Biscayne.

Barrel chrome does not "flake" when a barrel is cut.

I challenge anybody to show proof that I'm wrong about this.

I tried to find all the info I could for a long time on this issue and came to the same conclusion. Chrome lining is suppose to be only 0.002 inches thick versus the more common plating 0.005 to 0.05 inches thick.

I am not exactly sure how different the process is from regular electroplating
but the best concept explanation from a manufacturer I ever saw was in Bushmaster's FAQ page "This chroming process isn't like car bumper chroming. It actually welds each chromium molecule to the steel bore."

I suppose the regular or more common chrome plating thickness or process would be dangerous in a rifle barrel bore and would be subject to flaking but since its not the same thing. Even remington's 870 marine magnum shotgun barrels which are electroless nickle plated have been problematic in recent years because of some QC issue and I seen reports of flaking but then again these are not chrome lined just special plated. Flaking in a shotgun barrel might not be dangerous but in a rifle barrel could be real dangerous.

So I guess if chrome lining even could flake like regular plating I do not think I would want to shoot any chrome lined rifles. I have not seen one report with an actual picture of such in a rifle and thankfully so.

Kymasabe
November 7, 2010, 11:46 PM
I agree with W.E.G., if you shorten the barrel , expect reliability issues unless you enlarge the gas port. If you want to add ridgidity, install an Ultimak scope mount. Even if you don't use it, many people had reported increased accuracy because it stiffens up the barrel.

my762buzz
November 7, 2010, 11:52 PM
The Saiga has way too many things going against it to be anything more than about a 2MOA rifle IF you got a great one by some mistake of manufacturing. Most of them shoot 3MOA or a little worse.


That has been the reputation with 2-3 MOA Russian ammo that performs the same in my Rem 700 heavy barrel vss that otherwise shoots 1/2 or better with Federal match ammo. If anyone happens to shoot submoa with wolf black box ammo in a bolt rifle, I would have to see that to believe it. Until then, I would have to believe it is the ammo that is the issue at hand.

sturmgewehr
November 7, 2010, 11:55 PM
The chrome plating in a rifle barrel is NOT like the bumper chrome on your Biscayne.

Barrel chrome does not "flake" when a barrel is cut.

I challenge anybody to show proof that I'm wrong about this.

Tell that to my buddy with a wrecked SCAR barrel he SBR'ed. About 100 rounds after being cut and crowned it started to shoot wildly unpredictable groups. You can see the chip missing from the muzzle under close inspection.

Try getting a replacement barrel for a SCAR from FN by the way...

It's not guaranteed to happen, but it certainly can. Believe what you want, but I've seen it happen.

my762buzz
November 8, 2010, 12:07 AM
Wow, this must be a new issue with SCAR barrels. I just did a search and found quite a few threads. This just does not usually happen with

AK barrels and I can't remember an AR15 cut and recrown where this happened also. I wonder what FN is doing different with the chrome lining?

http://fnforum.net/i-think-my-barrel-is-flaking-t14762.html

The flaking on the link above looks like it is occuring a bit far from the crown's edge. I can't see how recrowning even would have caused flaking at a distance from the
cut area. Something seems wrong. Some tool might have galled the surface during the process. If this is the case, flaking can be avoided by using a better method.

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