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Saiga .308/ Romanian SAR1 7.62x39 Comparisons

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Redlg155, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Well-Known Member

    Fellow Shooters,

    As many of you already know, I have recently aquired a new Saiga .308 rifle. Comparing the rifle to a Romanian SAR1 I saw many similarities as well as differences. Some are obvious and some not so. No measurements were taken, so these pics are for comparison purposes of course.

    Picture#1. Reciever comparisons.

    One would expect that the Saiga would have a lengthened reciever to accomodate the extra length of the .308 cartridge. The Saiga does this not by lengthening the reciever, but by changing the location of the parts. Both the SAR1 and the Saiga recievers appear to be exactly the same length.

    If you look at the Saiga (TOP) you will see where the trigger guard is actually in the same place as the the pistol grip is on the SAR1. You can see where the trigger would have been had this been built like a standard AK.


    Picture #2. Muzzle. Saiga (TOP) has no extra section for threading. It also has no provision for a built in cleaning rod. I would have to move the front sight base back in order to get the barrel threaded for a MB. A pinned MB is also an option, but I'm not sure they will stand up to .308 pressures.


    Picture #3. Rear Sight Base. The Saiga (TOP) is only marked to 300 meters, although there are notches for further adjustment.

    Picture#4. Trigger location/ Mag Release. The mag release on the Saiga (TOP) is not attatched to the trigger guard as with the SAR1. The trigger is also a swept back version to allow comfortable reach with the sporter stock. The mag release is in the exact same location on the reciever with both rifles. In this pic you can also see where the standard AK trigger would be.
  2. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Well-Known Member


    Picture#5. Reciever cover. Both are identical in length and will interchange. The Saiga (TOP) is smooth compared to the ridged SAR1.

    Picture#6. Recoil Springs. Both appear identical in length. The Saiga (TOP) does have an extra part that is pinned into place.

    Picture#7. Bolt Carriers. Both appear to be identical in length. The Saiga (TOP) has a solid gas piston cylinder. The SAR has one with ridges. You can notice in this pic the the bolt stem is smaller in diameter than the SAR1.

    Picture#8. Bolt front profile. The Saiga (LEFT) has a smaller extractor. The engagement surfaces do appear larger. In the company literature they state that the Saiga has a third lug to deal with the increased pressure of the .308. Where it is I can't tell..

    Picture#9. Bolt side profile. The Saiga is on the bottom this time. (I mixed up the order by mistake). The SAR1 is definitely thicker. I believe the designers of the Saiga went with a thicker carrier instead of a bolt stem to help with durability.

    Picture #10. Gas Tube. The gas tubes seem to be the same length. The Saiga (TOP) does not have any wood due to the sporterized stock. The Saiga also has a leaf type spring to provide a tighter seal against the front of the gas block.

    Picture#11. SAR Gas tube attatched to the Saiga. This will work with minor metal removal on the bottom tab of the gas tube. This is easy. Finding a lower grip will be harder without the AK hardware. I could always design my own lower grip.


    So far it looks like my "Saiganov" project will be a go. I'm looking for a supplier for the Romak III buttstock or Romanian thumbhole buttstock. If anyone has one for sale...let me know!:D The RSA trigger group wil also be ordered soon.

    Good Shooting
  3. Murphster

    Murphster Well-Known Member

    Nice posting. I have a question. I own a Saiga .308. Regarding that extra part that is pinned to the recoil spring (as shown in your photo) - can you (or anybody) tell me why that's there/what it does? Thanks.
  4. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Well-Known Member

    I own both of these as well but my saiga .308 is the synthetic version.
    In fact yesterday AM I shot 20 rounds of australian surplus, and 20 rounds of South African through the saiga. The recoil felt for the SAR and the saiga despite the difference in cartridges is about the same (due to the smaller AK butstock on the SAR) Only problem with the saiga is the lack of hicaps. but the 8 rounders are better than the current commercial BAR.
    I like mine alot, next I will get a scope mount for it and some type of scope or reddot (havent decided which yet) I have no problem hitting a paper plate at 100 yards with the included sights. I wish it had a good peep sight though. I think the three lugs refers to the lugs in the reciever, which has an extra bump out for the third lug, somone told me that its an RPK reciever rather than the standard like on the Sar-1 which only has two lugs in the receiver.
  5. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Well-Known Member

    The actual internal trigger parts are really in just about the same place as a standard AK. Look at the pivots to see that this is true. The external trigger is the result of a lengthened and bent trigger extension and a triggerguard/trigger hole that is moved back on the receiver.

    The Saiga receiver is really sort of an AK/RPK hybrid. It has the extra reinforcement on one side of the receiver but not the other.

    Interesting post--great pics.

    I believe the extra part on the recoil spring assembly is a recoil buffer.

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