Saiga Options


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dsmith8504
December 28, 2011, 12:33 AM
I know over the past 8 years or so, Saiga rifles have littered forums. I remember almost buying one for $600 in 2007. Now that prices are at their current low I'm finally gonna snag one. 5.45x39 or 7.62x39? I'm not concerned about a ballistics debate, I don't question the capacity of either one of these rounds. My concern is availability. I know the 5.45 accepts 74 mags without modification and mag prices are fairly cheap but not readily available. 5.45 ammunition is cheaper but once again, in short supply. I like the weight of the 5.45 round but I'm concerned about ammo shortages for this caliber. I have a Romanian AK with a few good mags and if I get a 7.62 I could retrofit the receiver. Everybody talks about how easy it is to grind the receiver but is it worth it compared to the 74 mags locking right in? As of 2012 almost, what would you do?

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RainDownmyBlues
December 28, 2011, 12:53 AM
How exactly is the 5.45 in short supply? When you can get a case of 1,000 for $140 that's a sign of abundance not lack of such. Unlike the 30-06, the 5.45 is a current military cartridge that is used in many countries and produced in mass quantities. We won't see the end of surplus 5.45 until the Russians adopt a new cartridge, and that's likely a long ways off.

Twiki357
December 28, 2011, 01:46 AM
I can't address the 5.45, but the modification to the Saiga 7.62x39 is not a big thing. Here's a link to a vedio on the Carolina Shooters web-site for the instalation of the bullet guide. I think it's the 6th or 7th down.
http://store.carolinashooterssupply.com/servlet/-strse-template/Videos-and-Links/Page

Either way, don't forget about making it 922r compliant.

JHenry
December 28, 2011, 02:14 AM
bullet guides are one of the easiest mods to do, but 5.45 is cheaper than 7.62 last i checked

dsmith8504
December 28, 2011, 03:29 AM
Whenever I see 5 options for 74 ammo and 5 pages for 7.62, I jumped to the conclusion there is not enough on the market. The prices threw me off though. I'd honestly much prefer the 5.45 even though magazines can be hard to come by.

M1key
December 28, 2011, 11:27 AM
74 mags are not hard to come by. Just have to look for them. Tapco is even now making them in 10rd and 30rd configuration. Will need to add a bullet guide though.

M

RainDownmyBlues
December 28, 2011, 01:34 PM
Whenever I see 5 options for 74 ammo and 5 pages for 7.62, I jumped to the conclusion there is not enough on the market. The prices threw me off though. I'd honestly much prefer the 5.45 even though magazines can be hard to come by.

That's mainly due to the fact that there are many more types of U.S. factory production for the 7.62x39. Most of the 5.45 is surplus from Russia and ex-combloc countries. Having shot both, I prefer the 5.45 but that's likely a bias due to carrying an M16 for years. The 7.62 isn't a proper hunting cartridge so if it's a general purpose rifle I would go for the 74 variant, unless you're set on the 7.62 that is. They are both great cartidges, but take it for what it is- a military rifle/cartridge.

I'm looking to snag up one of the 5.45 Saigas soon while the prices are still really low and do a conversion on it as well. I really liked the AK74m I got a chance to shoot overseas, and the Saigas are better quality than the cheap recycled AK's around, just a bit more work involved.

Best of luck to you friend.

leadchucker
December 28, 2011, 03:46 PM
7.62x39 ammo has been around for about sixty plus years. There are tens of millions of AK47's, and other rifles out there that use that round. It is not going to go away any time soon.

It took me about fifteen minutes total to install a bullet guide and convert the mag catch for standard AK47 mags, on my Saiga 7.62.

dsmith8504
December 28, 2011, 03:51 PM
Is that all it is, is a bullet guide? I know Tapco's got a bad rap but I like them in my AK. I read the disclaimer on their website about special fitting required to make a Tapco mag work in a Saiga. I was wondering if that's all it is.

W.E.G.
December 28, 2011, 04:10 PM
Before you assume that you are going to be modifying the SAIGA to make it look more "Kalashnikov," You might want to shoot it some with the configuration it comes with.

I handled one this week, and I gotta say, I find NOTHING WRONG with the way it is configured. With the SAIGA furniture, it feels like a sleek modern rifle that takes AK-mags.

Why do I HAVE TO spend a bunch of money to make it look like something from 1968, and that millions of shooters already own?

I already own "more than one" traditional-looking AK.
I almost bought the SAIGA this week because it really did feel THAT GOOD in its stock form.

my762buzz
December 28, 2011, 07:03 PM
Why do I HAVE TO spend a bunch of money to make it look like something from 1968, and that millions of shooters already own?



A rear montecarlo stock isn't bad and there are wood factory versions.
However, the factory linkage system makes the trigger pull rough and heavy.
It would take way too much work to make it much smoother.
A tapco, red star, or other proper trigger set can be polished and tuned into a much better installation option, but this requires removing the existing trigger set and using the trigger forward system already used on conventional AK pattern rifles. A buddy of mine tried his stock saiga trigger versus one of my polished sets in another rifle. He couldn't believe how much nicer it was.

my762buzz
December 28, 2011, 07:15 PM
The 7.62 isn't a proper hunting cartridge

Millions of deer and hogs killed with 7.62x39 would certainly argue that it works very well.

Here is a recent thread in this link to someone's experiences with this caliber.
Graphic Pictures
http://www.texashuntingforum.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1909371/1

amd6547
December 28, 2011, 07:56 PM
I have left my 5.45 Saiga in stock form so far. Yes, the trigger was a little stiff at first. But, I have paid attention to keeping the linkage lubed and, after 600 rounds through it, it has gotten just about as nice as the G2 trigger with light polishing in my Yugo AK.
I like the way it handles with the sporting stock. The only reason I might convert it is the magazine issue. Converting it is the easiest way to achieve US parts count to make the surplus mags legal...funny...the law almost forces you to convert it.
The surplus poly mags seem to function in 5.45 without a bullet guide, BTW.

M1key
December 28, 2011, 08:15 PM
^^^same here

Mine has a very decent trigger, shoots 1.5 inches, shoulders well. Other than trimming 1 1/2 inches off the stock for my wife, I'll leave it as is. Mine also fed fine with AK mags without a guide, though I added one anyway.

M

amd6547
December 28, 2011, 08:21 PM
I Have to add that I love shooting the 5.45 cartridge. It is an impressive little cartridge.
I keep the 10rd mag full of the Hornady Vmax load for HD duty.

leadchucker
December 28, 2011, 09:11 PM
Sorry, there's just no other word for it. The "sporterized" stock Saiga trigger SUCKS! The Tapco trigger conversion took about three hours, including touching up the paint, and converted a "ten-pound-monster" trigger into a slick five-ounce pleasure to shoot.

M1key
December 29, 2011, 01:27 AM
^Next time try a $10 JTE Performance hammer spring. Or apply a little moly paste to the bearing surfaces. Makes a marked improvement. :cool:

M

toivo
December 29, 2011, 01:49 AM
The Tapco trigger conversion took about three hours, including touching up the paint, and converted a "ten-pound-monster" trigger into a slick five-ounce pleasure to shoot.
I hope you're exaggerating for effect, because I wouldn't want a five-ounce trigger on anything but a benchrest rifle. Benchrest Saiga? :scrutiny:

untranslate
December 29, 2011, 01:59 AM
If you want some good videos on how to do the conversion.
try the videos section at:
http://store.carolinashooterssupply.com/servlet/StoreFront

I liked the videos so much i decided to buy my 922 parts from them.
I did a 5.45. If you shop around and buy in bulk you can shoot for 13 cents a round. That is about as cheep as it gets.

Im considering converting a Saiga 12 or 308 next. If i dont purchase a PSL in the mean time.

leadchucker
December 29, 2011, 04:40 PM
I hope you're exaggerating for effect, because I wouldn't want a five-ounce trigger on anything but a benchrest rifle. Benchrest Saiga?

Well, I haven't measured it, but it is light. Considerably less than the original trigger. Certainly more than five ounces. My bad. :banghead:

toivo
December 29, 2011, 04:45 PM
Well, I haven't measured it, but it is light. Considerably less than the original trigger. Certainly more than five ounces. My bad.
No harm, no foul. As long as they don't use it in their advertising, everything is cool. ;)

dsmith8504
December 30, 2011, 09:15 PM
I have no intention of turning it into an AK, I just want the magazines. The stock configuration suits me fine. I'm all aware of 922r and I'll make the appropriate adjustments but I don't find it necessary to add a pistol grip. I agree with wearing it in first. Probably a thousand rounds or less and it'll be real tolerable. Damn sure not putting a scope, red dot, or anything I find unnecessary. We used peep sights in the military and nobody was ever crying over a scope. I would like to see 1.5 moa in this but I'll settle for 3.

leadchucker
December 30, 2011, 09:46 PM
If all you want is the mag conversion, you're home free. It involves a basic ability with hand and small power tools, a +-$20 part, a few minutes work with a drill, and another few minutes of work with a file. Magazines (depending on what you want) are extra.

922r compliance is a bit more sticky, since you won't be replacing the five or so qualified parts in the pistol grip conversion kit.

922r checklist (http://thegunwiki.com/Gunwiki/BuildSaigaVerifyCompliance)

I opted for the 7.62x39. JMO, it's a better "all purpose" round. Good luck!

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