Question for Saiga 7.62x39 owners


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geo57
October 12, 2012, 12:52 PM
Among you owners of the unconverted Saiga AK style rifles in 7.62x39 that have had, tried, & use the hi-cap mags offerd by Surefire and ProMag, which has given you the most trouble free service ? Thanks.

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desidog
October 12, 2012, 03:13 PM
Neither. It's worth the effort to make the changes.

You'll spend the same amount of time messing around with them.

Girodin
October 12, 2012, 05:45 PM
First things first. Unless you make some modifications to the gun putting either one of those magazines in it violates 922(r), federal law.

Assuming 922(r) is squared away,

I wouldn't use either of those magazines. I would drill one hole and tap it and file the mag latch a little and use steel AK mil surp mags. They are SO MUCH better quality.

If I wanted a magazine I didn't need to add a bullet guide to use, or needed US made magazines I still wouldn't use either of the mags you list. They are needlessly expensive. Thermolds are as good and in the case of the promags almost assuredly better magazines and work with out a bullet guide. You would need to file either the tabs on the mag or the guns mag latch. Thermolds are 1/3 or perhaps even 1/4 the price of the surefires.

geo57
October 12, 2012, 06:03 PM
Thanks. He'll likely leave it as is and just use the 10 rounders.

M1key
October 12, 2012, 06:37 PM
delete

OilyPablo
October 12, 2012, 06:53 PM
Among you owners of the unconverted Saiga AK style rifles in 7.62x39 that have had, tried, & use the hi-cap mags offerd by Surefire and ProMag, which has given you the most trouble free service ? Thanks.

I scored some (4) 30 round SGM Tactical USA mags for my Saiga (legal) converted AK style. The are absolutely reliable. I store them full. I've used them very abusively. I bought them before the conversion, but using them with my other USA parts is perfectly "legal" in the eyes of a very inane law.

berettaprofessor
October 12, 2012, 09:52 PM
First things first. Unless you make some modifications to the gun putting either one of those magazines in it violates 922(r), federal law.

huh? I thought both were made in the US so they are good to go?

OilyPablo
October 12, 2012, 09:56 PM
You are if you have other USA parts to the correct total of usa parts. Mag counts as 3. 10 total needed I think.

Sebastian the Ibis
October 12, 2012, 11:38 PM
Surefire and converted thermolds are the best. But, Surefires are expensive, and thermolds need some dremmel work so pick your poison.

Pro-mags cause misfeeds from time to time. I got a bunch for cheap, but I wouldn't get anymore.

IMHO- If you only need one just get a surefire. If you want a bunch, order a dozen thermolds and file them down.

Jeff H
October 13, 2012, 12:12 AM
You are if you have other USA parts to the correct total of usa parts. Mag counts as 3. 10 total needed I think.

you have it bass awkards. You can't have more than 10 imported parts. You have to know the total part count (as determined by the BATF), and then replace enough items. Simple.

http://www.tapco.com/section922r/

Wishoot
October 13, 2012, 12:20 AM
Surefires have worked 100% in my semi-converted Saiga. One of these days ill find the time for a complete conversion.

Girodin
October 13, 2012, 12:23 AM
huh? I thought both were made in the US so they are good to go?

You clearly do not understand what 922(r) is all about then.

This thread has some info.

IMHO- If you only need one just get a surefire. If you want a bunch, order a dozen thermolds and file them down.

Filing the mag catch is IMHO a better option than modifying each mag. There are some pros and cons to each approach and either will work.

OilyPablo
October 13, 2012, 01:59 AM
you have it bass awkards. You can't have more than 10 imported parts. You have to know the total part count (as determined by the BATF), and then replace enough items. Simple.

Thanks - yeah it's been awhile since I did mine.

aka108
October 13, 2012, 09:36 AM
Do you really need more than a 10 rd mag? 10 shots fired rapidly heats the barrel up enough. I see these guys with 30 rd mags empty them as fast as they can. If bang bang bang is all you want to hear get some firecrackers. It's nice to put up some targets and actually try to hit them. I have some 30 rds mags for a AK I own and the only reason I have the 30's is that when I ever decide to sell the AK it might make it easier to sell to the bang bang guys.

meanmrmustard
October 13, 2012, 10:03 AM
You clearly do not understand what 922(r) is all about then.

I sure don't pretend to, but that's because I don't make the effort. I agree with Oily, it's an inane law, written by a person with obviously too much time on their hands. Do I blatantly break the rules set forth by government?

Not necessarily. But, I don't make it a point to read every article and section, as most law enforcement I know personally don't even know what 922r is, or have let alone heard of it. I'll probably get caught someday, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. I'm kind of a rebel anyways, so believe you me, if I don't agree with it, then I don't go out of my way to worry about who made my rifle parts and how many I have from what country. Forget that.:barf:

I'll write you guys from prison.

jodavk
October 13, 2012, 12:49 PM
+1 Surefire.
When I first purchased my x39 (still original, skeleton stock) I also bought one Promag. One trip to the range and I quickly returned it for a Surefire at twice the cost. I've run several hundred rnds thru it, no problems. But, with the cost of ammo, I usually stick with the factory 10rnder for most range trips. If I get invited somewhere where I can have fun, I'll bring a couple 30rnders to bump & blast away.

berettaprofessor
October 13, 2012, 07:27 PM
http://www.tapco.com/section922r/

Thanks Girodin, but now I'm really more confused than ever after reading the link. 922r talks of assembling similar guns to foreign guns using imported parts. An unaltered Saiga 7.62X39 is a whole imported gun....which is not illegal to have. Now if I use an American-made magazine specific for that gun, how does that make me noncompliant with 922r?

If it somehow magically does, then why do we only have this discussion with AK's and SKS's? Why isn't every Italian Beretta or CZ75 noncompliant the first time we use a made-in-US magazine in it? Or, for that matter, the CZ452 that I just put a Canadian-made shim and spring in?

Rob G
October 13, 2012, 07:47 PM
Thanks Girodin, but now I'm really more confused than ever after reading the link. 922r talks of assembling similar guns to foreign guns using imported parts. An unaltered Saiga 7.62X39 is a whole imported gun....which is not illegal to have. Now if I use an American-made magazine specific for that gun, how does that make me noncompliant with 922r?

In it's original unaltered form a Saiga is a "sporting weapon" and therefore is not subject to 922r, so it can have as many foreign made parts as you want. Once you put a high cap mag (of any origin) in it, it's no longer a "sporting weapon" and is then subject to 922r. At that point it can only have 10 foreign made parts from the BATFE's list. An unaltered Saiga has 17 of those parts so seven must be US made. A US magazine constitutes three of those parts.

Why isn't every Italian Beretta or CZ75 noncompliant the first time we use a made-in-US magazine in it? Or, for that matter, the CZ452 that I just put a Canadian-made shim and spring in?

922r only applies to foreign manufactured semi-auto centerfire rifles or shotguns. A CZ75 is a handgun, not effected. The CZ452 is a bolt action rimfire, not effected. Beretta makes very few semi-auto centerfire rifles and the ones they have are manufactured stateside to avoid the 922r bull----t.

Again, putting a US made magazine in a gun doesn't make a weapon noncompliant. Putting a detachable hi cap (10+rounds) magazine of any origin in a semi-auto centerfire rifle or semi auto shotgun make it subject to 922r. Things that also make is subject to 922r include adding a pistol grip or a muzzle brake.

Truthfully, unless you commit a crime or shoot someone in self defense with said weapon then it's unlikely you'll ever get caught for a 922r violation.

jodavk
October 13, 2012, 07:51 PM
You can run US made 30rnders in a stock Saiga (state law provided); a mag counts as (3) pieces for 922 purposes. If you were to run an imported mag, you would have to delete (3) imported pieces...like a fore stock, butt stock, and gas piston...and add the US made ones. Or You could knock the import mags down to (1) count, by replacing the followers and springs with US made ones and make up the difference with (1) other piece. SEE, it's as clear as mud!

berettaprofessor
October 13, 2012, 07:56 PM
Once you put a high cap mag (of any origin) in it, it's no longer a "sporting weapon" and is then subject to 922r.

You can run US made 30rnders in a stock Saiga (state law provided

Okay, I may just be dense, but didn't jodavk and Rob G just contradict each other????

Girodin
October 13, 2012, 10:25 PM
Now if I use an American-made magazine specific for that gun, how does that make me noncompliant with 922r?

If it somehow magically does,

It does and there is nothing magic about it. The ATF did a study on what made guns sporting or readily adaptable for sporting use. The main thing they said that made a gun not sporting was being able to accept large capacity military magazines. Basically it seems to be accepted that a mag over ten rounds (in the case of rifles) means the gun is no longer sporting. This is why the saiga as imported will not accept standard AK mags and comes with a ten round magazine.

Putting a mag that holds more than ten rounds in that rifle per se makes it non sporting. That makes it a gun that wouldn't be approved for importation. That means assembling in here "from imported parts" is a 922(r) violation. Putting the magazine it in constitutes assembling from parts. One is deemed to be assembling from imported parts under ATF regulations if the rifle has more than ten imported parts from a list of 20 specific parts. As imported the saiga rifle is believed to have 14. If you use a US made magazine then you reduce that number by three, mag body, follower, and floor plate. That means you still have 11 parts. This means you have assembled a rifle from imported parts that could not be imported and thus is a violation.

An unaltered Saiga has 17 of those parts so seven must be US made.

That is incorrect. Let's look at the list:

27 C.F.R. 478.89 lists 20 parts:
(1) Frames, receivers, receiver castings, forgings or stampings
(2) Barrels
(3) Barrel extensions
(4) Mounting blocks (trunions)
(5) Muzzle attachments
(6) Bolts
(7) Bolt carriers
(8) Operating rods
(9) Gas pistons
(10) Trigger housings
(11) Triggers
(12) Hammers
(13) Sears
(14) Disconnectors
(15) Butt stocks
(16) Pistol grips
(17) Forearms, hand guards
(18) Magazine bodies
(19) Followers
(20) Floorplates

Which 17 parts does a factory saiga rifle have? It has 14. At most one could argue that a sear should be counted because although combined with the trigger in AK designs it still exists and thus the one part should be two parts. The ATF letters I have seen on parts counts have not taken that opinion and state they have 14 countable parts. Some ATF letters have stated the shotguns have 15. A saiga after being modified may have 17 of those parts, but a factory sporter does not.

Why isn't every Italian Beretta or CZ75 noncompliant the first time we use a made-in-US magazine in it?

Many of the questions are very easy to answer if you simply take the time to read the law. 18 USC 922(r) reads as follows


(r) It shall be unlawful for any person to assemble from imported parts any semiautomatic rifle or any shotgun which is identical to any rifle or shotgun prohibited from importation under section 925 (d)(3) of this chapter as not being particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes except that this subsection shall not apply to—
(1) the assembly of any such rifle or shotgun for sale or distribution by a licensed manufacturer to the United States or any department or agency thereof or to any State or any department, agency, or political subdivision thereof; or
(2) the assembly of any such rifle or shotgun for the purposes of testing or experimentation authorized by the Attorney General. (emphasis added)

The law by its express terms only applies to shotguns and semi auto rifles.

then why do we only have this discussion with AK's and SKS's?

It comes up with those guns a lot because they are often purchased in a legal configuration and then people start modifying them However, it applies to other guns as well.

Okay, I may just be dense, but didn't jodavk and Rob G just contradict each other????

They appear to have depneding on how we interpret what the former said. I think he was not careful to be percise with his language and nor was he exactly technically correct in what I believe he was trying to say. I believe he was trying to say, and he can correct me if I'm wrong, that one can use US mags that hold more than ten rounds provided one removes another countable part as well because the would make the parts count ten (the 3 mag parts and another part). The easiest part would be a handguard. Other options would be some US made FCG parts (even for the wishbone linkage design, Dinzag sells them) or a piston. Swapping another part by definition means the gun is not stock. This is where I think he was not precise or technically correct with his word choice and made things confusing. What I think he meant to say by "stock" was a gun that did not have a pistol grip conversion.

amd6547
October 13, 2012, 10:30 PM
"... Basically it seems to be accepted that a mag over ten rounds (in the case of rifles) means the gun is no longer sporting. This is why the saiga as imported will not accept standard AK mags and comes with a ten round magazine..."

...And yet, the Saiga 5.45, as imported will accept, and function, with a standard AK74 surplus magazine.

Girodin
October 13, 2012, 10:54 PM
thermolds need some dremmel work so pick your poison.

I just thought I would add on this that if I were going to modify the mag, versus the gun (I'd rather do the gun) I wouldn't use a dremel. You don't have to remove much material. i would do it by hand with a file, stopping to check for fit often.

Girodin
October 13, 2012, 10:59 PM
...And yet, the Saiga 5.45, as imported will accept, and function, with a standard AK74 surplus magazine.

Lets assume that is true agruendo. I have read some say theirs required a bullet guide and others say they had to file the mag latch. But lets say the gun as it was sold accepted them (after all that's the same as, or at least substantially similar to any of the others that take mags made for them). Be that as it may, one arguably has not "assembled" a gun that cannot be imported until one actually puts such a magazine in the gun. You'll not the gun doesn't ship with those mags now does it? There is actually some more to be said about this and the advent of the US made saiga mags. However, it speaks more to importability in the first place and would only confuse the discussion for most folks at this point.

If people would take the time to read exactly what the code and CFR says (instead of just relying on what they have always heard or what they think it should be) and then think about it a little, they would find that while there are some unsettled issues, none of this is really very hard to understand.

hso
October 13, 2012, 11:05 PM
the Saiga 5.45, as imported...isn't in a military looking configuration and are converted once here to achieve the correct parts count. Sellers simply don't go into the gory details of what has to be done to the guns to sell them with a pistol grip.

If everyone would be as transparent as these guys folks wouldn't be as confused.
Made in Russia by Izhmash, Imported by TGI Knoxville, TN. Modified by Delta Arms in USA to AK pattern by installing a bullet guide (to facilitate feeding from hi cap magazines) relocating the trigger assembly and installing Tapco fire control components, also fitting a USA manufactured military pattern buttstock and pistol grip.
http://www.jgsales.com/saiga-5.45x39-ak74-style-semi-automatic-rifle.-imported-by-tgi,-converted-by-delta-arms.-new.-p-6905.html

Every one of the new pistol grip AK pattern carbines start out as "girls" "over there" and are converted to "boys" after they get here.

Girodin
October 14, 2012, 12:30 AM
...isn't in a military looking configuration and are converted once here to achieve the correct parts count. Sellers simply don't go into the gory details of what has to be done to the guns to sell them with a pistol grip.

Actually, what we are talking about is that some people have reported "sporter" configuration 5.45 saigas accepting and functioning with standard 5.45x39 AK magazines. That is the work with standard mags without the mag catch being filed or a bullet guide being installed. I have read reports of them being that way and reports of them requiring either or both of those mods.

Bhi curamach
October 14, 2012, 12:24 PM
Do you really need more than a 10 rd mag? 10 shots fired rapidly heats the barrel up enough. I see these guys with 30 rd mags empty them as fast as they can. If bang bang bang is all you want to hear get some firecrackers. It's nice to put up some targets and actually try to hit them. I have some 30 rds mags for a AK I own and the only reason I have the 30's is that when I ever decide to sell the AK it might make it easier to sell to the bang bang guys.
Yes, yes I do need them. I'm somewhat in agreement with you about using your rifle to hit objects as opposed to making noises but every now and then that's fun. Expensive fun.
More importantly I need my 30 rounds because I want to shoot 30 rounds at something or 30 somethings with out having to stop the aim/shoot sequence.

berettaprofessor
October 14, 2012, 04:13 PM
Be that as it may, one arguably has not "assembled" a gun that cannot be imported until one actually puts such a magazine in the gun.

Got it now Girodin. At least I hope I understand it now. And I am slightly relieved that I can have the magazine in the same house with the rifle, I just can't shoot them together;)

That Tapco reference you sent me to, BTW, lists the Saiga as having 17 foreign parts....

Somewhere, I get the feeling that whatever bureaucrat wrote 922R, that individual must spend a lot of time laughing at the rest of us trying to stay legal. It is probably a conspiracy; if we're worrying over the wording and number of parts to try to fit this mess, the original writer probably figured we'd spend less time chopping off shotgun barrels or switching out sears.:what:

Rob G
October 14, 2012, 04:21 PM
Originally Posted by aka108
Do you really need more than a 10 rd mag? 10 shots fired rapidly heats the barrel up enough. I see these guys with 30 rd mags empty them as fast as they can. If bang bang bang is all you want to hear get some firecrackers. It's nice to put up some targets and actually try to hit them. I have some 30 rds mags for a AK I own and the only reason I have the 30's is that when I ever decide to sell the AK it might make it easier to sell to the bang bang guys.Yes, yes I do need them. I'm somewhat in agreement with you about using your rifle to hit objects as opposed to making noises but every now and then that's fun. Expensive fun.
More importantly I need my 30 rounds because I want to shoot 30 rounds at something or 30 somethings with out having to stop the aim/shoot sequence.

Another thing to point out about the 30 rounders is that some folks, like me, prefer to use a magazine hold when shooting an AK style rifle. It's easier to do that with a 20 or 30 round magazine than it is with the 10s.

That Tapco reference you sent me to, BTW, lists the Saiga as having 17 foreign parts....

The tapco thing is wrong. I read through it a second time and Girodin is right in saying 14 or 15 parts. Tapco lists a pistol grip and a muzzle brake as parts on the Saiga. Factory Saigas do not have either of those so 15 is a more accurate number. And as Girodin said the seer possibly does not count as a separate part so the count could actually be 14.

Somewhere, I get the feeling that whatever bureaucrat wrote 922R, that individual must spend a lot of time laughing at the rest of us trying to stay legal.

Personally I've just always assumed that they're an idiot myself.

jodavk
October 14, 2012, 05:40 PM
So much for trusting my LGS, it worked; they had me believing I was legal shooting Surefire 30rnders.

Rob G
October 14, 2012, 05:44 PM
they had me believing I was legal shooting Surefire 30rnders.

They get you close but not quite there. You'd still have to replace at least one more part and depending on the BATFE's ruling on the presence of a sear, possibly two. If it were me I'd just do two to be safe.

Girodin
October 14, 2012, 08:46 PM
If it were me I'd just do two to be safe.

Me too. It is still pretty easy to be compliant with US mags and the sporter conversion (although unless state rules required it, I would never leave the gun in sporter configuration). Either go with the two FCG parts from dinzag or do the piston and the hand guard.

SSN Vet
October 15, 2012, 05:30 PM
If people would take the time to read exactly what the code and CFR says (instead of just relying on what they have always heard or what they think it should be) and then think about it a little, they would find that while there are some unsettled issues, none of this is really very hard to understand.


:uhoh: I'll bet you think they still teach people how to read in public schools. :rolleyes:

the #1 reason to convert a Saiga (imho) is to get rid of the clunky, creapy trigger transfer bar and clean up the trigger with a Tapco G2 fire control set.

the #2 reason to convert a Saiga is to move the hand doing the trigger work 3" forward (and closer to the COG) so the rifle isn't so darn muzzle heavy.

#3.... hi caps (if you feel you need them)

Girodin
October 16, 2012, 01:41 AM
I'll bet you think they still teach people how to read in public schools.

Well I did have good private school education so I perhaps I'm at an unfair advantage.

the #1 reason to convert a Saiga (imho) is to get rid of the clunky, creapy trigger transfer bar and clean up the trigger with a Tapco G2 fire control set.

the #2 reason to convert a Saiga is to move the hand doing the trigger work 3" forward (and closer to the COG) so the rifle isn't so darn muzzle heavy.

#3.... hi caps (if you feel you need them)

I totally agree with that. I've always said cheap 30 round mags are just a cherry on top of the other major performance advantages of doing a PG conversion.

amd6547
October 16, 2012, 08:29 AM
Yes, that is a popular opinion. However, I already have a standard format Kalashnikov. I have found that with proper lube, and use, the standard Saiga trigger is not nearly as bad as it is made out to be.

meanmrmustard
October 16, 2012, 08:34 AM
Yes, that is a popular opinion. However, I already have a standard format Kalashnikov. I have found that with proper lube, and use, the standard Saiga trigger is not nearly as bad as it is made out to be.
Agreed. It's not too terribly difficult to be accurate with the stock setup. The G2 is sweet, however. You have the crap stock trigger, not-as-bad unsegmented trigger, and the G2 being above and beyond those.

OrangePwrx9
October 16, 2012, 09:10 PM
To shoot US made high-capacity magazines (>10 round) in an unconverted Saiga, one (non-magazine) factory part must be replaced by a US made part. This could be the buttstock, gas piston, forearm, trigger, disconnector or any of several other parts listed as 'imported' by ATF. See the 922r screen on dinzagarms.com for the list.

This is because an unconverted Saiga rifle is regarded as having 14 imported parts (from the list) and this count must be reduced to 10 by substitution for the high-cap. mag to be legal. Fortunately, the US made magazine counts as 3 parts (mag. body, follower, floorplate) so only one more is needed.

The easiest by far to obtain and replace is the forearm. Several US made forearms are available that add rails. These are fairly inexpensive and can be changed out in a few minutes.

Here in blue-state NY, 10 rounds is the limit regardless, so I have no experience with anything larger. 10 round Surefires have always worked fine for me.

Mr. Mustard is right; this whole thing is nuts.

the count
October 16, 2012, 09:27 PM
Mr. Mustard is right; this whole thing is nuts.
Hahahaa.. Whoever thought up these 922 rules must have been smoking way too long.

meanmrmustard
October 16, 2012, 10:28 PM
Hahahaa.. Whoever thought up these 922 rules must have been smoking way too long.
True that, yo. But, follow the laws, and adhere to the rules. As much as Girodin and I don't agree all the time, he has good links for keeping stuff legal. When I do what I want, when I want, how I want, I'm taking a chance. Don't be like me. I agree, these rules are stupid, very not well thought out, and ridiculously inane. But, they are the rules.

I thank you for thinking I'm right, even when I'm wrong. You dudes are great. But, seriously, don't break the law!

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