Saiga AKM Quality & Price


December 30, 2011, 05:06 PM
For now I've realized I need a simple AK, and found a very nice looking Saiga in plastic stock, handguards, big russian compensator, and pistol grip. The rifle accepts 30rd magazines, and has a pretty good trigger.
I'm looking at about 800$ dollars thereabout. Is the Saiga the cream of the crop? I've heard nothing but good things, but then again I've spent more time looking at AR's.
I've decided on a high quality AK, and I'm 90% ready to pick it up on tuesday.

I'm a bit peeved I missed the boat on AK's, I know you guys were picking them up cheap as chips for 300-500 not too long ago, but I honestly don't see the prices going down anytime soon with the 2012 freakout on the horizon.

Can you AK guys advise me?

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December 30, 2011, 05:16 PM
Classic is selling new converted Saiga's in 7.62x39 for $450 and stock "sporter" Saiga's in .223, 5.45 and 7.62x39 for $300. Here is the link

December 30, 2011, 05:52 PM
It sounds like you are talking about a converted or partially-converted Saiga (not a Saiga, I.E. pistol grip), which may be an Arsenal. For the price of $800.00, I am guessing it's an Arsenal. I've never shot one and don't doubt their quality, but I do think they are overpriced. If you want a beauty queen, get one. If you will be satisfied with something that works and shoots just as well, you have plenty of options at lower price points.

I was thinking about getting an Arsenal, but got an M10-762 instead. It was $500.00 and if figured "What the heck". I am so glad I got it and will never think of buying an Arsenal... ever.

December 30, 2011, 07:11 PM
Saiga is not the very best, but it is good - very good for the money. Izhmash is the original manufacturer of AK's. As the rifle comes from Saiga, it is in US legal "neutered" form. You have to make it into an AK. I guess it depends on whether you would be willing or able to make modifications to a rifle.

Here is roughly what I paid for something similar to what you are speaking of.

Saiga IZ132, shipping, and FFL fee. - $350
CSS Tapco conversion kit (stock, pistol grip, trigger guard, FCG components), and shipping - $150
CSS bullet guide, and shipping - $25
Front handguards, brackets, and shipping - $100
Compensator, and shipping - $50
30 round magazine, and shipping - $25

Some of this is optional. You might want other, or more expensive options. It depends on just how far you want to take the project.

$700 total. YMMV. I had to put it all together, but it was cheaper, and I got exactly what I wanted.

December 30, 2011, 09:04 PM
pretty much all new AKMs being sold in the US are converted saigas, otherwise theyre part kits which tend to be more problematic. Veprs and Zastavas have a good reputation as well but are far less common than converted saigas.

Rob G
December 31, 2011, 01:43 AM
At that price point and from your description you were definitely looking at an Arsenal. I have an Arsenal myself and they're very well put together rifles. I do love mine and I'm glad I put out the extra cash for one.

Truthfully though with AKs price doesn't necesarily get you a more functional rifle. All properly assembled AKs from $400 WASR 10/63s to $2,000 Arsenal SA M-7s shoot about the same accuracy with the same level of reliability. Mostly what you get for your money is a better level of fit and finish on the gun and maybe some special features like folding stocks and such.

So if you're looking for a high quality in terms of functionality, just buy whatever you find that has the sights on straight and shoots when you pull the trigger. You can always make it pretty later. On the other hand if you want something that's pretty as well, then probably you want the Arsenal. Although if you want a 74 style (in the 5.45x39 round) then Waffen Werks and TGI also make some very nice looking AKs for about $200 less than an Arsenal.

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