Trade Saiga .223 in for AR?


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Pyzik
December 21, 2011, 12:23 PM
So here is my dilemma… I have a Saiga .223 converted. I am seriously thinking about trading it in and getting an AR and then getting another Saiga in 7.62 later. My theory is, these .223 mags are hard to come by and there is only a few custom parts for it.

What do you guys think? Would I be better off keeping the Saiga and getting an AR, then I have two rifles for 5.56 (Yes it is okay to shoot in the Saiga) I can use IF SHTF. Or, get the 7.62 and have PLENTY of mags, cheap ammo and just have two rifles with separate calibers…

Thanks for the help guys. I am really conflicted.

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JustinJ
December 21, 2011, 12:49 PM
I didnt think the mags were that hard to come by? They're not as cheap as AR mags though.

I'm on the verge of doing a Saiga conversion with AR magazine adapter. I can't think of a better end of the world zombie apocalypse gun.

Ranger30-06
December 21, 2011, 12:55 PM
Personally, I think you should do an AR mag well conversion. Then you get super cheap magazines with AK reliability. Then you can just save for the AR and not regret selling it later...

Z-Michigan
December 21, 2011, 01:17 PM
Do you like the Saiga? How many mags do you need? What accessories do you want?

If you can identify something you really can't do with the Saiga, like if you want to hoard 50 mags without spending $1500, then go ahead. If you like the Saiga, keep it, buy an AR later.

Pyzik
December 21, 2011, 02:13 PM
Thanks. I do like the Saiga. I guess I just kinda feel its inferior to an AR. I realize they each have their pros and cons... I guess I just see more guys running ARs then AKs.

W.E.G.
December 21, 2011, 02:18 PM
The SAIGA is everything a SAIGA tries to be.

An AR can be much more than a SAIGA if you are willing to spend the money to get there.

As a bare-bones, iron-sight, blaster rifle, I don't see much practical difference between the SAIGA and the AR.

Once you start adding optics, fancy triggers, custom barrels, and various bolt-on accessories, the AR can take you farther into the realm of specialty gun.

JustinJ
December 21, 2011, 03:36 PM
In what way do you find the Saiga inferior? What accessories are you wanting for your Saiga? A good rop rail is available as is a good quad rail. Scopes can also be side mounted. Muzzle can be threaded. And unlike an AR you can use a side folder. And while i believe a good AR is sufficiently reliable and durable its still not equal to an AK in this regard. The AR does have more accuracy potential but the AK is more than sufficient with decent ammo.

Girodin
December 21, 2011, 04:08 PM
and there is only a few custom parts for it.

What do you want to put on it that you can't find? There is likely more stuff to tart up an AR but there is much much much more than what one could ever need available for the S223.

Personally, I think you should do an AR mag well conversion. Then you get super cheap magazines with AK reliability.

Then you get a trunion with a huge chunk of metal removed from it. You also compromise reliability by going to inferior magazines (seems people say Pmags don't work well). If you order from MSA you also risk getting ripped off as happened to number of people on a number of occasions. If one doesn't already have AR mags on hand or other weapons that will take AR mags it is not really economical either. Mags and ammo are the primary sources of stoppages. I would not cripple an AK by reducing it to GI mags.

What kind of AR are you thinking of replacing it with? I think that I prefer my AR to my S223 in certain respects. However, I greatly prefer my S223 to a good number of ARs I have come across. I prefer a high end quality AR to a S223 but prefer the S223 to non spec and lower end ARs.

Also as to accuracy the mechanical accuracy of some ARs is way better than the S223. However if you are talking a rack grade mid tier AR shooting cheap ammo they are likely very near equal.

I've had more stoppages with one of my saigas than my Noveske. However, at least two were just bad ammo. One was a very odd stoppage and required taking the dust cover off and stripping the weapon down to clear.

I love both AKs and ARs. I'd keep the S223 get some good mags like circle tens and then save up and buy a good AR.

Pyzik
December 21, 2011, 06:40 PM
Thanks for all the info. Maybe I just forgot how much I do like my S223. I do have two cirle 10 mags and they both work great until I load them completely full, I have to leave two rounds out.

I also have another mag, forget what kind kind, that only works so so and has a bit of wobble.

JHenry
December 21, 2011, 06:55 PM
you could always try a straight trade, .223 saigs for 7.62 saiga, but yea the .223 saigas have no metal mags available without the AR adapter and im not a huge fan of polymer

JustinJ
December 21, 2011, 07:44 PM
Thanks for all the info. Maybe I just forgot how much I do like my S223. I do have two cirle 10 mags and they both work great until I load them completely full, I have to leave two rounds out.

I'm surprised to hear that. All my 5.45 Circle 10s run great.

The Sarge
December 21, 2011, 07:55 PM
I have done numerous AR mag conversions on Saiga's. All Renegadebuck's mag adapter. Do not listen to anybody telling you it consist of removal of "huge chunk of metal" from your trunion. Flat/frankly not true. Very little dremel work required. Simple installation. Rock solid. Dependable and shoot USGI AR15 (or whatever) mags to your hearts desire. Cost $78 bucks.
The Saiga 5.56mm is right there in absolute dependability, accuracy and firepower.

M1key
December 21, 2011, 08:09 PM
More gunz is better. :cool: Keep the Saiga.

M

Girodin
December 21, 2011, 09:08 PM
Do not listen to anybody telling you it consist of removal of "huge chunk of metal" from your trunion. Flat/frankly not true. Very little dremel work required.

For the MSA adapter its true. I must admit I do not know how much must be removed for the renegade buck adapter. That is the one people report doesn't work well at all with Pmags which is deal breaker for me. I can get over the amateur, crude look of the renegade buck adapter, but not the inability to use Pmags reliably. I just don't get why someone would want to use USGI mags in an AK. They are a weak point in the AR why handicap an AK with them?

M1key
December 21, 2011, 11:33 PM
Yeah, I would rather not have to rely on any adapter to make my mags work. Just one more part between you and your rifle going bang. What if it breaks? If AR mags are all you have for your rifle, you are out of action.

M

6x6pinz
December 22, 2011, 05:36 AM
Clearly not much exposure to the Renegadebuck adapter and how it works. Putting the adapter on does not mean you loose the ability to use Saiga mags. All it means is you have two choices, either Saiga mags or AR mags. There is no reliability problem with the Pmags but rather an issue with the Pmags not being as true on the outside as a metal mag. It is too bad the GI mags don't work in the AR platform reliably(if that is the case) as they have not given me any issues in my AK. I don't just throw my mags on the ground when I change out mags like some do in competition so the metal mags don't get all beat up.
Anyway just some observations from someone who as actually used the Renegade mag adapter and not someone who has just seen them on line. To each there own I guess.

Bovice
December 22, 2011, 05:57 AM
I've never had a stoppage caused by a GI magazine. I have had P-Mags that just plain didn't work unless I downloaded them to 28. I couldn't get the rifle to charge with 30 rounds in it. If I have a 30 round magazine, I want to be able to start with 30.

Get the conversion or get the AR. GI magazines are so commonplace and so inexpensive that you'd be foolish not to get a weapon that uses them.

6x6pinz
December 22, 2011, 10:45 AM
if this is how you change your mags in your AR then yeah the plastic ones are better.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksZqzPWm7VQ

gopguy
December 22, 2011, 10:55 AM
The Saiga however was designed to use steel case ammo, hence much cheaper Wolf .223 won't be an issue. Same can't be said for AR's which will eventually choke after being fed a steady diet of laquered steel cased Wolf...

Hacker15E
December 22, 2011, 11:11 AM
The Saiga however was designed to use steel case ammo, hence much cheaper Wolf .223 won't be an issue. Same can't be said for AR's which will eventually choke after being fed a steady diet of laquered steel cased Wolf...

The shape of the chamber in the Saiga is the same as the shape for any other that shoots 5.56 and .223 (slight differences between the two rounds dimensions notwithstanding). It's folly to say that the Saiga was somehow "designed to shoot steel" and the AR wasn't. There's no design difference -- they are the same. If we were talking about a 7.62x39 Saiga, which has a different case taper than the .223/5.56 case, then this would be a valid point of discussion.

Second, it's a gross generalization to say that "ARs will eventually choke". There are many individual rifles across many different manufacturers that have run thousands of rounds of steel without problem. There is no inherent problem with the AR platform that means it will eventually run in to some problem running steel case.

Third, the "lacquer gumming up the chamber" issue has long-since been debunked as the primary cause of extraction issues in some ARs.

6x6pinz
December 22, 2011, 12:10 PM
as hacker15e has said I can't buy into the ar platform not handling steel cases. I have shot a ton through one of mine and have never had an issue with the case. It seems to me from my observation that the amount of gumming that occurs in the gas system is where my ar differs from the ak. My ak is more tolerant of a dirty gas system then my ar. so yes the ar will struggle sooner than the ak using steel ammo but I believe it to be the quality of the powder, the residue left in the gas system and amount of powder that gets burnt. That is why keeping the ar clean is important.
I don't know why some folks with ar's shy away from steel cases. I don't see any noticeable issues with the chambers after using steel as some say happens but I always remember it is their rifle and they are free to do with it as they please (which leaves the less expensive ammo for me)

Hacker15E
December 22, 2011, 01:21 PM
I don't know why some folks with ar's shy away from steel cases

They've likely:

- Had some extraction issues with some Russian steel-case ammo (especially Tula-manufactured ammo) in their own ARs
- Heard/read stories about other people with ARs that had extraction problems with Russian steel
- Some AR manufacturers actually have it written into their warranties that shooting steel will invalidate the warranty

It's a fact that ARs can be finicky with Russian steel ammo for a number of reasons; case shape/chamber sizing, carbon fouling in the chamber, primer/bullet sealant fouling the chamber, lower pressure loads causing cycling issues, variances in springs and buffer weights causing cycling issues, etc. This was especially the case prior to the early '00s and related to the manufacturing processes and quality control in that ammo combined with the maturity of the civil AR platform market at that time.

Unfortunately, there are also a ton of wives' tales, consumer snobbery, and internet myths that have taken these issues and amplified them to a colossal level.

I think people who haven't taken the time to understand all the factors involved in causing these issues think it's easier just to avoid Russian steel case ammo all together.

There are now more choices in equipment, and have been changes to the ammo, which mean that currently Russian steel is actually a viable option for some. It all depends on a number of factors that only each individual can decide for themselves.

gopguy
December 22, 2011, 02:04 PM
I did not mention chambers Hacker. I was thinking in terms of extractors, which are much beefier on the Saiga and not as bothered by steel cases. As a past president of my gun club, twenty years on the board and an active shooter I have seen ARs fail for multiple reasons and some were indeed gummed up on lacquer build up from using Wolf, so believe what you will...

6x6pinz
December 22, 2011, 03:37 PM
Hacker15E
Thanks for the explanations. Seems to be common trouble with a lot of AR owners. They just read too much internet myths.

I have always been a die hard AK guy but do respect the AR for its differences. I own several AR's and while fun to shoot I prefer the Ak platforms. I don't base that on any of the SHTF hype just what I enjoy shooting. I don't for see the need to ever have my life rely on my rifles or shotguns.... pistols on the other hand;)

Girodin
December 22, 2011, 07:07 PM
I reload more like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5i5NPsG_3M

Yes, my mags are going to hit the ground training during various drills. I might also go prone quickly while wearing mags on my chest rig. GI mags simply do not hold up as well to hard use. I don't think that is really even debatable these days. GI mags in an AK may make sense for some but they certainly do not for me.

The Saiga however was designed to use steel case ammo, hence much cheaper Wolf .223 won't be an issue. Same can't be said for AR's which will eventually choke after being fed a steady diet of laquered steel cased Wolf...

I run wolf through my AR without issue. Of course my AR is a Noveske not some low end gun or some ubber tight match chambered gun.

6x6pinz
December 22, 2011, 07:18 PM
Yes, my mags are going to hit the ground training during various drills. I might also go prone quickly while wearing mags on my chest rig. GI mags simply do not hold up as well to hard use. I don't think that is really even debatable these days. GI mags in an AK may make sense for some but they certainly do not for me.


not wanting to upset anyone but you answer you previous question I just don't get why someone would want to use USGI mags in an AK. in this statement.

You see just like you we have our own style or way we use our firearms. It does not line up with your way and that does not make either way wrong just different.

I don't go throwing my mags on the ground or lay, sit, stand.... on them so the GI's work great for me and yes I do use them in my AR's without problems. This does not make me right either just correct for my intended use. I realize the Pmags are more durable in adverse conditions (which I don't do).

Hacker15E
December 22, 2011, 07:23 PM
I have seen ARs fail for multiple reasons and some were indeed gummed up on lacquer build up from using Wolf, so believe what you will...

Well, believe what *you* will, but I go with empirical data.

When you look at the melting point of the lacquer that Wolf (and other Russian ammunition makers) used to coat the cases, and the temp that is actually generated when firing (and the duration it persists for) it's just not realistic that chamber extraction issues were caused by "gummed up" chambers because of "melted lacquer."

There was a related issue with the red sealant that some of the Russian producers placed around the necks and primers -- this DID come off during shooting, and introduce foreign matter into chambers, bolt faces, etc,...which contributed to the *actual* issue at hand:

This is the accepted issue: carbon buildup due to the differing heat expansion properties of steel and brass.

http://theboxotruth.com/docs/edu18.htm

It's just not the big boogey man that many people (and the internet) have built it up to be.

As for extractors...two points.

#1 Steel cases are very soft; significantly softer than the hardness of extractors. Is it possible that steel cases increased the wear rate? Certainly...but it's folly to think that extractors are significantly damaged by the use of steel or that they wear out at an obscene rate.

#2 Based on the price difference between most Russian steel-case ammo and most brass-case plinking ammo, you could buy two new premium BCM AR-15 extractors and springs for each 1,000-round case of steel you shot, and still pocket some money left over.

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