Ready to Convert my Saiga 7.62...


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cat_IT_guy
November 26, 2012, 12:28 AM
Im ready to convert my Saiga 7.62x39 to a pistol grip configuration. Its all beginning to make more sense to me, much in part due to this guide: http://www.mississippiautoarms.com/page.html?chapter=10&id=10.

The build Im thinking will consist of the following:
1. Tromix Saiga FCG from Mississippi Auto Arms (http://www.mississippiautoarms.com/tromix-saiga-fire-control-group-tromix-p-126.html)
2. RAM Bolt on trigger guard from MAA (http://www.mississippiautoarms.com/ram-saiga-bolt-on-trigger-guard-p-595.html)
3. Arsenal NATO length AK stock from Midway USA (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/997714/arsenal-inc-buttstock-nato-length-ak-47-ak-74-stamped-receivers-polymer-black?cm_cat=Cart&cm_pla=ProductDesc)
4. Hogue AK Pistol Grip from Midway USA (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/197441/hogue-overmolded-pistol-grip-ak-47-ak-74-black?cm_cat=Cart&cm_pla=ProductDesc)
5. TAPCO AK screw set (http://www.mississippiautoarms.com/ak-screw-build-set-tapco-p-418.html) for filling holes from MAA
6. TAPCO Pistol Grip screw and bushing from MAA (http://www.mississippiautoarms.com/ak-pistol-grip-screw-and-bushing-tapco-p-220.html)

So my question is... what, if anything, did I miss? Did I overlook anything? I was originally going to purchase a conversion kit from Carolina Shooters Supply, but I like the idea of being able to pick all the parts myself (and I think Im getting better parts for about the same price this way).

Thanks in advance!

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Rob G
November 26, 2012, 03:03 AM
If you want to use hi cap magazines you're going to need a bullet guide as well.

chris in va
November 26, 2012, 03:25 AM
Dinzag bullet guide KIT. Includes the tap and drill bit. Turn the handle 1/8 at a time, back off. Otherwise you run the risk of breaking that tiny tap off in the hole.

You'll need to file down the mag release to accept stock AK mags. Just a little bit, enough to where it finally clicks in.

Consider a Warsaw length stock. I had the NATO, it was too long.

Get the Tapco single hook G2 trigger.

It's a PITA but consider reinstalling the factory bolt hold open. Comes in handy at the range. I Dremeled mine down to half length as my finger kept hitting it once the grip was moved forward.

I probably should have bought the 'shepherds hook' for easier installation.

I'm assuming you already know about the Saiga-12.com board.

JFtheGR8
November 26, 2012, 09:05 AM
Might want to get a sling mount plate that goes between the grip and receiver. Good for mounting a sling and it will eliminate that slop that people talk about with the Hogue grips.


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BSA1
November 26, 2012, 09:19 AM
A camera to post pictures of your build. :D

aka108
November 26, 2012, 10:28 AM
The Saiga is plenty good as she comes from the factory. Putting a pistol grip on it won't make it shoot any different and you stand a chance of mucking up the whole rifle. I keep the Saiga stock and save up some money for a Arsenal.

cat_IT_guy
November 26, 2012, 10:29 AM
Im content with the Saiga-specific mags for now, so Im not going to need a bullet guide is my understanding. Theres no reason I cant do one later, is there?

Consider a Warsaw length stock. I had the NATO, it was too long.
Im 6' 3" and had a Warsaw length Tapco stock on a past AK - it felt short to me. You have me thinking though - might make it nearly unshootable for my wife or shorter friends.... I could always buy an extension I suppose...

Also on this note, I was getting the Arsenal because it was the only Nato length I found.... I can save $15 by buying the TAPCO Warsaw length rather than the Arsenal one.... is there a noticeable difference in build quality?

It's a PITA but consider reinstalling the factory bolt hold open. Comes in handy at the range. I Dremeled mine down to half length as my finger kept hitting it once the grip was moved forward.
I'll have to consider this. I wasnt aware that I would have to mess with / remove that.

A camera to post pictures of your build.
Check.

Thanks for the responses - Im looking forward to this gun project.

Fishbed77
November 26, 2012, 12:25 PM
The Saiga is plenty good as she comes from the factory. Putting a pistol grip on it won't make it shoot any different and you stand a chance of mucking up the whole rifle.

I disagree. Changing the rifle back to its correct configuration greatly improves ergonomics and the trigger feel.

Girodin
November 26, 2012, 03:29 PM
The Saiga is plenty good as she comes from the factory. Putting a pistol grip on it won't make it shoot any different and you stand a chance of mucking up the whole rifle. I keep the Saiga stock and save up some money for a Arsenal.

Bullocks. It will make the rifle shoot and handle differently. By adding a G2 trigger you greatly improve the way the rifle shoots. By adding a pistol grip to where one is disgned to be you shift the balance of the rifle considerably. AKs are front heavy as it is. Sporter saigas are much worse in this respect, and balance horribly, because the grip is inches behind where it should be. The safety selector also comes within reach when the grip is where it was designed to be. The conversion is a dramatic functional improvement.

As to mucking up the whole rifle. Honestly you would have to try to ruin it to muck up the whole rifle. An AK is a pretty simple machine. If illiterate cave dwelling folks can figure out how to assemble one it shouldn't be to hard for anyone with an internet connection and a bit of common sense. Anyone who asserts you are likely to ruin a rifle doing a basic pistol grip conversion likely doesn't understand what it consists off. Honestly, if someone cannot manage do it, I'm not sure I trust them to safely handle and operate the firearm.

What is really questionable is the premise that an Arsenal is going to provide a weapon that has any functional advantage over a converted saiga (which is in essence what many aresenals are).

As to NATO length stock. One thing that I have noticed affects peoples preferences is how they stand. I have noticed a lot of folks that think the warsaw stock is too short use a bladed stance. I shoot more squared up with a stance and grip like this. I find that a shorter stock suits me better with than stance than if I were bladed off.

http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/6387/image051w.jpg

http://img822.imageshack.us/img822/3918/etacmagk000120090524120.jpg

One option that sounds like it might serve your purposes is to use an AR style collapsible stock with an adapter. I like this setup on my AKs. I would advise not using the Tapco T6. Something like the CAA or Vltor adapter is a much much better product. They also look a lot better IMHO if that is a concern of yours.

As to the Tapco fixed stock. Quality wise it is fine. I have a few of them. One has lived a very happy life on one of my Saiga 12s. It is the Tapco folders and telescoping stocks that I think are suspect.

I'll have to consider this. I wasnt aware that I would have to mess with / remove that.


I re-installed and reshaped mine on one of my shotguns. I did this for reasons unique to the shotguns. However, on all my rifles I simply toss them. If I wanted a bolt hold open on the rifle I would notch the safety lever.

One thing that you don't strictly need but makes life easier is a retaining plate for the FCG. It will make the install much easier. Seeing as a tapco one costs $5 I would get one of those as well.

You also will likely want to get a can of paint to paint the bottom bare metal, unless you are planning a full refinish.

Another thing is that the nylon hole plugs are a nice way to fill the holes left from the axis pins for the factory fire control group. They cost about $1.

Im content with the Saiga-specific mags for now, so Im not going to need a bullet guide is my understanding.

I've PMed you something to consider with respect to mags.

cat_IT_guy
November 26, 2012, 09:15 PM
Thanks all, for the replies, especially Giroden. Im feeling pretty good about this and will be pulling the trigger (so to say) on Friday, along with some new toys for my 1911. Pics sometime later.

amd6547
November 26, 2012, 09:44 PM
I would definately spend an evening or two reading threads at Saiga12.com.
Based on the discussion above about the bolt stop (a basic consideration) you need to build your knowledge base. The FCG is either Saiga specific when you buy, or must be altered to accommodate the bolt catch...or you just throw the catch and use a standard Tapco.
The conversion is simple, and it is clearly described in many stickies and threads at Saiga12.

JFtheGR8
November 27, 2012, 12:22 AM
I would definately spend an evening or two reading threads at Saiga12.com.
Based on the discussion above about the bolt stop (a basic consideration) you need to build your knowledge base. The FCG is either Saiga specific when you buy, or must be altered to accommodate the bolt catch...or you just throw the catch and use a standard Tapco.
The conversion is simple, and it is clearly described in many stickies and threads at Saiga12.

Yes, decide whether you are going to install the BHO before ordering your FCG. One hammer is milled to accept it and the standard one is not. It's really fairly simple to put back in the way I do it. I hold the BHO spring in place with a pin punch while installing the FCG and the retaining pin from the other side. Once it's all in place I use a dental pick to pull the end of the spring up onto the BHO where it belongs. The dental floss method on YouTube will drive you mad.


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Lucifer_Sam
November 27, 2012, 01:03 AM
I'd put the BHO back in, its really not a big deal, even if you get a standard tapco trigger and file/sand it down to fit (I used belt sander, keeping things square was the only kind of tricky part). I also sanded down the bho tab some, it is pretty long in the new configuration.

I spent the 5$ and got the retaining plate from Carolina shooters supply, and also got one of their mainsprings, I consider both money well spent. You dont have to get one of their kits, I think they sell all the kit parts individually. At least I got all I needed from there, and got the grip and stock elsewhere... and didnt get one of those crazy expensive trigger guards. The main reason I ordered from them is they're the only ones I'm aware of that sell that improved mainspring, which I wanted.

Shooters supply has videos on their site on how to do the conversion, and there are quite a few Saiga conversion videos on youtube. Watch a few of those, they're really, really helpful.

cat_IT_guy
December 11, 2012, 12:15 AM
Finished it tonight. Conversion went very smoothly, beginning to end probably 2.5 hours. I ended up buying the 'plugs' (to fill old rivet holes), trigger guard and Tromix FCG from CSS. Bought the Arsenal stock (talked into Warsaw length), hogue grip, arsenal pistol grip screw/bushing, and Power Custom FCG retaining plate from Midway. I'm very happy with how it turned out. Thanks for all the help and advice.

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii46/benatilstate/2012-12-10_21-26-46_276.jpg

Only problem is I saw a peep sight on Midway that is tempting me to replace the rear sight..... I need to just stay off of gun store sites!

Girodin
December 11, 2012, 02:42 AM
Is it the peep that goes in place of the factory rear sight? Something like this?

http://www.krebscustom.com/RawPhotos/12-13-06/peepsights2.jpg

If yes I'd skip them. They sit too far forward. You'll note that every other gun with peep sights has them at the rear of the gun. Personally I'd rather put the $70 or so dollars for that part towards a good red dot sight. If I really wanted peeps I'd be more inclined to get something like the tech sights or a TWS rail with a rear peep. Again with the tech sights, I'd be more inclined to putting that money towards a RDS.

chris in va
December 11, 2012, 03:13 AM
Sweet, nice build. Mine took a bit longer than 2.5 hours.

How did the bullet guide go?

Skip that 'peep' that replaces the rear sight as in the picture. Rather, find a low profile sight rail or get the true peep ($$$) that bolts to the rear trunnion.

cat_IT_guy
December 11, 2012, 10:09 AM
If yes I'd skip them. They sit too far forward. You'll note that every other gun with peep sights has them at the rear of the gun. Personally I'd rather put the $70 or so dollars for that part towards a good red dot sight. If I really wanted peeps I'd be more inclined to get something like the tech sights or a TWS rail with a rear peep. Again with the tech sights, I'd be more inclined to putting that money towards a RDS.

Skip that 'peep' that replaces the rear sight as in the picture.

Reached the same conclusion about the replacement sight after some research.

Chris - I didnt do the bullet guide, so I'm still using my Saiga-spec mag. I may in the future (eh, for $20 I probably will) but its fun to save some projects for another day.

JFtheGR8
December 11, 2012, 12:13 PM
You left out the BHO? I didn't see it in the pics.


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cat_IT_guy
December 11, 2012, 12:30 PM
You left out the BHO? I didn't see it in the pics.

For the moment, yea. I'll probably add it back in, but ran out of time last night.

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