Different saiga conversions


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kayak-man
November 8, 2010, 07:14 PM
I have a Saiga carbine in 7.62x39 that is still in the original configuration, but I would like to convert it to the more conventional AK style. Most of the methods I've found for the conversion involve replacing the Fire Control Group and moving the trigger and trigger guard forward to accommodate the pistol grip. I could probably do it, but I'm not that confident with my dremel tool skills.

1) Does moving the FCG and trigger guard forward improve the performance of the rifle? how big of a difference in performance does replacing the FCG make? Can you replace the FCG but leave it in the same spot, or do all the replacement U.S. parts require that you move them forward?

2) Tapco has a stock that is both the pistol grip and buttstock, so it can be mounted without having to move the trigger guard, does anybody have any experience with it? Opinions?

3) In replacing the handguard, is there any benefit to the Galil style vs the two piece AK style?

My goal is to end up with an AK style carbine that I can run the high capacity mags through, and use mostly for plinking and possible home defense. Hopefully, it will end up being used in the practical shooting sports, probably three gun. If theres any other critical information I left out, let me know, and I'll add it as soon as I can.

Thanks in advance,

Chris "the Kayak-Man" Johnson

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desidog
November 8, 2010, 07:32 PM
It's an easy operation. Go slow and you'll be fine. There's some good videos on youtube as well you could follow along.

If by Galil handguard you mean Tapco products, they're on the lower end of the quality spectrum, from what i've read. Their G2 trigger group and SAW grip have worked just fine for me, though.

For parts i'd look at Dinzag and Kvar; and get an AKM gas tube and some wood furniture from numrich.

kayak-man
November 8, 2010, 07:40 PM
Thanks Desidog,

Tapco does sell one of the "Galil Style" handguards, but I was refering to that particular style( http://www.tapco.com/products/ak_modern/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=41) over the 2 peice construction (http://www.tapco.com/products/ak_modern/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=3) apart from the one pictured has accessory rails.


I forgot to post the link to the stock I was looking at:
http://www.tapco.com/products/saiga/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=159

Thanks,
Chris "the Kayak-Man" Johnson

desidog
November 8, 2010, 07:48 PM
Yeah, I'd stay away from that handguard, on account of the retainer being bolted on to the barrel: I've heard they come loose easy.

I got dinzag's lower bolt-on retainer, and it has worked very well.

I got that stock for my S410, and then moved to CT, where telestocks are verboten. I got a Bulgarian thumbhole stock instead. Send me a PM and i'll sell it to you at 50% of the best price you can find for a new one. It's lightly used but perfectly serviceable. Screws included!

mshootnit
November 8, 2010, 09:14 PM
moving the fcg forward and the trigger guard forward really make the rifle alot better if you ask me. So much so that there is really no reason to leave them stock.

jhansman
November 8, 2010, 10:53 PM
In converting my Saiga, what I noticed most about it was how much more comfortable the rifle was to shoot offhand with a PG installed and the FCG moved up. I did not replace my handguard, as I have always found it comfortable to hold. FWIW, I originally went with the KVAR furniture, but have since replace it with a Mako pistol grip and collapsible stock, which I love.

Mooseman
November 8, 2010, 11:02 PM
I converted one of the 308 saigas and it is a much better rifle for it. The conversion was very easy. As others have said, go slow and you'll be fine. I kept the original hand guard but added a rail and vertical grip to it. Setup works well for me. I bought a wasr10 with with the tapco galil type forend. It works fine but I may change it eventually and add a stubby vertical grip, just personal preference. I'd suggest handling a couple of different type hand guards at your local shop or show and see which one feels best for you.:)

Dinzag makes very nice parts for conversion

Girodin
November 9, 2010, 12:57 AM
1) Does moving the FCG and trigger guard forward improve the performance of the rifle? how big of a difference in performance does replacing the FCG make? Can you replace the FCG but leave it in the same spot, or do all the replacement U.S. parts require that you move them forward?


Moving it forward makes a huge difference in performance. You will see notable enhancment of your rifle in the following areas

1) Balance. AKs are a bit of a front heavy design anyhow, but this is really accentuated by the sporter configuration of the Saiga. The balance of the rifle is off. It is very front heavy and the lack of a PG makes it all even worse when performing various manipulations of the rifle. Moving the FGC makes the weapon less front heavy and better balanced

2) Trigger pull. Pulling a factory trigger with the goofy wishbone linkage and then pulling a tapco G2 is a night and day difference. If you care to you can tune the G2 and use a different mainspring for an even better pull. The G2 alone is a dramatic improvement.

3) ergos: The safety is a totally out of reach in sporter configuration. I also prefer the LOP of the standard AK stock or similar when shooting an AK. If you run it like its an AK (what a novel idea) then its a much better fit.

2) Tapco has a stock that is both the pistol grip and buttstock, so it can be mounted without having to move the trigger guard, does anybody have any experience with it? Opinions?

Garbage and a waste of money avoid it. I cannot even tell you how many people I have seen on the saiga forums get that only to be ultimately unhappy with it and then do a real conversion anyhow. This product offers essentially none of the benefits I mentioned above. It is a looks thing and IMHO it looks very very off. I know looks are subjective but I find it repulsive. I'd just as soon keep the factory configuration.

3) In replacing the handguard, is there any benefit to the Galil style vs the two piece AK style?

The Tapco Galil style doesn't need a handguard retainer. Personally from a function standpoint I actually prefer the factory handguard. I know some people don't like it because they want an AK look. MI makes a saiga specific handguard that gives that look. I have not used the Tapco galil handguard but I have read several reviews on the saiga boards where people are not totally happy

http://www.midwestindustriesinc.com/images/products/mi_ak4774hndgrdpu.gif

kayak-man
November 9, 2010, 02:25 PM
Thanks for all the input guys, I really apreciate it!

Unfortunately, it likes do to financial type problems, I'm going to have to postpone the conversion until I can actually afford the parts, and I have enough use of my arm to use a dremel tool.

Thanks a bunch everyone!

Chris "the Kayak-Man" Johnson

Girodin
November 9, 2010, 02:30 PM
I'm going to have to postpone the conversion until I can actually afford the parts, and I have enough use of my arm to use a dremel tool.


That's one of the nice things about it, you can buy stuff as you have the money. Get the basic conversion done and then again as you save the money add other things or make tweeks to it.

Storm
November 9, 2010, 04:05 PM
If for some reason you decide to skip the conversion there is a pistol grip with side folding stock rig made by Ace that I can highly recommend. It is a top quality product. But, it's on the pricey side. For about the same price you could pay a gunsmith to do the conversion for you. For a number of reasons I chose to leave my Saiga 223 be, and for me the Ace rig is excellent.
http://riflestocks.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=93_106

DoubleTapDrew
November 9, 2010, 07:35 PM
My (limited) experience from a recent saiga 308 conversion and upcoming 12ga conversion:

1) Does moving the FCG and trigger guard forward improve the performance of the rifle? how big of a difference in performance does replacing the FCG make? Can you replace the FCG but leave it in the same spot, or do all the replacement U.S. parts require that you move them forward?
Yes, it has much better balance (that's the way the rifle was originally designed anyway, the only reason it's in "sporter" config is so they can be imported). It also has a much nicer/smoother trigger pull.
Dinzag has factory config FCGs but they cost twice as much as the AK style and you still have the awkward balance of the sporter configuration
http://www.dinzagarms.com/misc_parts/fcg.html
I went with the Arsenal single stage, he polishes them so the trigger pull is like butter with a surprise break

2) Tapco has a stock that is both the pistol grip and buttstock, so it can be mounted without having to move the trigger guard, does anybody have any experience with it? Opinions?
Quite a few people have done that and seem to be satisfied but I haven't tried it. You'll still have the same (IMO, crummy) trigger pull as stock.

3) In replacing the handguard, is there any benefit to the Galil style vs the two piece AK style?
I think it's just an asthetics preference or if you want to put a railed handguard for accessories. Left mine stock.

I was nervous and had a few snags but overall it was easy and fun, plus you learn the internal workings of your rifle really well. I have shoddy dremel skills myself but it was easy and I could have done it without a dremel just using a file and electric drill.

nalioth
November 9, 2010, 09:07 PM
If for some reason you decide to skip the conversion there is a pistol grip with side folding stock rig made by Ace that I can highly recommend. It is a top quality product.It's a top quality product that does nothing to address the FAIL that is inherent in the factory Saiga.

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