If i were to get a Saiga Rifle, should i go 7.62 or 5.45?


Carolina Kalash
January 2, 2012, 06:08 PM
the 5.45 i know is a little cheaper, but i'd have to order it online, the 7.62 i can go buy at walmart and it is still fairly cheap, a box of 20 is about $5

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January 2, 2012, 06:12 PM
you'd want to convert either one... 5.45 is comparable to .223 or 5.56... it has less recoil than 7.62 x 39... either way they are a great deal at $300 each... what do you want to use it for? you can't go wrong either way... I own 2 saigas 12 guage and .308... converted both and love em both...

January 2, 2012, 06:15 PM
Get the proper 7.62x39 it's cheaper and easier to find everywhere.

January 2, 2012, 06:17 PM
pay sales tax at wally world... pay shipping online... both work out to cost around the same... wait for shipping from online... get same day at wally world... guaranteed to find online... not so much at wally world... pros and cons to everything... buy a thousand rounds online and don't worry about running out for a little while...

Carolina Kalash
January 2, 2012, 06:17 PM
which ever i get, i'll probably convert it eventually or find somebody who can do it for me... at the moment i just want a cheap rifle that shoots cheap ammo...

Double Vision
January 2, 2012, 06:21 PM
Get the proper 7.62x39 it's cheaper and easier to find everywhere.

Agreed. I'm a fan of that caliber for inexpensive shooting.

Carolina Kalash
January 2, 2012, 06:22 PM
oh, and i know these for whatever reason weren't made to take hi cap mags without some kind of conversion, what do i need for that?

January 2, 2012, 06:24 PM
If you can't find 7.62x39mm ammo then you must not be trying too hard. Every single place that sells ammo stocks the stuff. Plus, it's one of a few cartridges you can buy cheaper at places other than Walmart. (My LGS will run 20rd boxes of Commie stuff for $3.99 on occassion.) Ordering ammo online is good if it saves money. I don't want anything that I can't source ammo for WITH EASE locally.

January 2, 2012, 06:25 PM
look up carolina shooter supply... the video section they have a video of how to make the changes... you need a kit... which included tapping a screw... it doesn't look hard.. that's where I got my info and equipment to convert my saigas... Greg is great guy and answers all your questions pretty fast...

January 2, 2012, 06:26 PM
Go on YouTube and look up how to do the conversion.

Rob G
January 2, 2012, 06:34 PM
Get the proper 7.62x39 it's more expensive but easier to find everywhere.
Fixed that for you.

Milsurp 5.45 is significantly cheaper than just about any type of 7.62 and does about the same amount of soft tissue damage as milsurp 7.62. Once you start talking hollowpoints and such comparing the two gets a little more complicated. 5.45 also has a bit more range on it. It is, however, more difficult to find locally (although that's changing now) so that might be a factor in your decision.

Carolina Kalash
January 2, 2012, 06:57 PM
well i mean hell, who am i kidding, one of these days im gonna wind up with a 5.45 and a 7.62, im just trying to figure out which to get first...

January 2, 2012, 07:07 PM
Which 7.62? The 7.62x51 Saigas are longer range and pretty nice too.
They tend to be a little different to do a conversion with, and use unique magazines though. You can't just convert them to AK magazines.
So they are a great low priced .308, but less suitable for conversion and multiple magazine sources.

While the 7.62x39 and 5.54x39 rounds are shorter range.
The 5.45x39 is very similar to the AR-15 round in performance, and so less popular in the US because why duplicate performance with another round when you can just buy the more prevalent AR round?

While the 7.62x39 is very popular in the US because it is the AK-47/SKS round, and it has different performance and characteristics unique to it.
It is more powerful and loadings can be heavier and more suitable for hunting, but it is not as accurate at range, the cartridges are larger and heavier, and it has more recoil.

Personally I wouldn't get the 5.45 chambered gun because I can just buy an AR to get similar round performance from a more common, competitively price, continually refined platform in the US.
While the .308/7.62x51 version is very attractive as an inexpensive good quality longer range gun, especially in California where round count is limited by law to 10.
If limited to 10 rounds they might as well be bigger and better, and where I won't probably convert any option anyways because then I have to install a bullet button. So the unique magazine is less of a downside.
It allows for longer distance shooting for hunting and extended target shooting.
However it has the most expensive ammo of the 3.
Also if converting it was more likely I would benefit less from conversion in that caliber.

While the 7.62x39 is probably the ideal one if you plan to convert it. It can take much more abundant and just as reliable AK-47 magazines after conversion. Giving you a high quality AK in a caliber still useful and unique even if you have an AR in the future. Even if you own an AR the 7.62x39 Saiga may be preferred for hunting at shorter ranges with better bullet weight options for example. While the 5.45 Saiga wouldn't really do anything unique and so give less variety for use as tools.

January 2, 2012, 07:24 PM
5.45 is definitely cheaper but the rifles themselves are more expensive (only $100). I love the SGL-31's and drool over them frequently, but 5.45 can't be found locally as said in other posts. 7.62x39 can be found at Wal-Mart, Cabelas, and about 99% of your local gun shops.

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