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Saiga Conversion?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Birdmang, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. Birdmang

    Birdmang Well-Known Member

    Can someone please explain to me what this is?

    Mainly the conversion part...what is being converted?

    Thanks....I am very ignorant on this topic.
  2. phoglund

    phoglund Well-Known Member

  3. Birdmang

    Birdmang Well-Known Member

    Do you need to convert them to make them legal or something?

    I have read so much lately idk what is real...thats internet for ya though.

    THE DARK KNIGHT Well-Known Member


    There is a federal law that makes it illegal for an AK to come into the country. So the Izhmash factory in Russia makes an AK, then modifies it by adding a plate at the bottom, which covers the original trigger/grip holes, and has a new slot for the trigger rearward and a regular rifle stock on the back of it. This makes it no longer an AK for legal purposes, so it can enjoy a boat ride across the Atlantic. Once here, the neutering can be undone.

    "Converting" is the process of removing that plate and the modified trigger and replacing it so that the grip and trigger are back to their normal AK locations. This process takes maybe 2-3 hours and costs $80-150 depending on furniture you want. It greatly improves the handling and trigger pull of your rifle.

    The legality some people speak of, is another federal law called 922r, which, simply put, means when you do all this, use USA made parts.

    Also, that site was nice but there is now a much better, more clear, and in depth video which also uses a simpler process to do the work:

    There's a lot more to all this but really, that video, 3 hours, and $80-150 and you turn the awful-triggered, awkward handling rifle into the finest crafted AK out there. And best of all, it's made to YOUR specs.
  5. PandaBearBG

    PandaBearBG Well-Known Member

    Correct me if I am wrong (which I maybe) doesn't it have to have a specific number of parts? Like if it started with 11 (not counting screws or nuts) and you added something like 12, I thought it was legal? I remember reading it somewhere from a guy who moved his trigger.
  6. D Boone

    D Boone Well-Known Member

    There is a parts count, http://www.dinzagarms.com/922r/922r.html , has a pretty good rundown of how it works. He can also help you if you want to change the furniture up front. The process of a conversion is pretty easy. I really enjoy doing it. The biggest drawback is if you want a bayo lug and brake it can get expensive and time consuming.
  7. nalioth

    nalioth Well-Known Member

    . . and when you do, please consider this:

    1) it's over 11 years old
    2) it's the opinion of one man with a machine shop (of course he's gonna use his expensive machine tools - which are totally unnecessary)
    3) it's over 11 years old (laws have changed, the guns have changed, the aftermarket parts situation has greatly changed)

    It's a good one for a very general overview, but mostly it's based on the sociopolitical situation in 1999.

    There is much more up-to-date info over at the Saiga forum.
  8. Birdmang

    Birdmang Well-Known Member

    So if I want a Sagia .308 and leave it the way it is then I am fine...I like how it looks when it comes!
  9. nalioth

    nalioth Well-Known Member

    Nothing wrong with 'em that way at all.

    It's just nice having the option to 'upgrade' to a better handling, nicer trigger equipped rifle if you feel the 'itch'.
  10. Birdmang

    Birdmang Well-Known Member

    Alright thats great, I can just buy it and then upgrade down the line if I feel like it.

  11. Girodin

    Girodin Well-Known Member

    Yes but you can not run magazines that hold more than 10 rounds in its factory format.

    I would add that the conversion for the .308 is a little different than one for the the other saigas. The .308 doesn't require drilling out the axle pins of the factory FCG. Rather the FCG group is held in by wires. This makes the process a little easier and less intimidating for a first time converter.

    It really is very simple to do, and even more so on the .308. You will in time want to. Then you will wonder why the heck you waited so long to improve your rifle so much. The worst part is you will then feel the need to get other saigas, a 12 gauge, 7.62x39, a .223 and perhaps others. You will want to convert them all. Saigas are addicting, as is working on them.

    THE DARK KNIGHT Well-Known Member

    Yes. +1 on the magazines. If you add a magazine over 10 rounds your rifle becomes a non-sporting, non-complaint rifle, illegal rifle as per 922r.
  13. chris in va

    chris in va Well-Known Member

    Maybe, maybe not...depending on political climate and state laws. I unconverted mine a couple years ago, glad I did.
  14. Birdmang

    Birdmang Well-Known Member

    I don't need a magazine that holds more than ten...so I will be fine with it how it comes.
  15. rangerruck

    rangerruck Well-Known Member

    that is it, that is the whole idea for the conversion; adding a high cap eurotrash or some other country magazine, adds either 3 or 4 more foreign parts, which your lovely govt., says is a no no. So then you would have to add the equivalent of U.S. made parts, to keep things in balance, see?
    I know, a magazine is not a permanent fixture, but that is how they look at it, and I think the count a magazine in these parts; 1- floorplate, 2- body, 3- spring, 4- follower.

    so you then add U.S. parts; say a new stock, pistol grip, forearm, piston, and trigger group. actually I think a trigger group counts for 3 parts right there.
    It's just that if you do the trigger group, you might as well go ahead and add a pistol grip, and a new buttstock.
  16. nalioth

    nalioth Well-Known Member

    The term "high cap magazine" is a legalism. It has no basis in reality.

    Let's quit dancing to the anti's agenda.
  17. seanie!

    seanie! Well-Known Member

    A brief aside:
    I'm not 100% following you. It means high capacity. The 17 round magazine in my 24/7 has a high capacity compared to the 8 round magazine in my buddy's 1911. That's as real as reality gets.

    Back on track:

    The conversion is up to you. My .223 isn't converted because I'm simply not an AK guy. I like Monte Carlo style stocks and not pistol grips. Seeing as how in your last few posts you've been bouncing back and forth between possibly re-chambering a Garand in .308, you don't seem all that into them either. The best thing about Saigas is that they're easy to convert, and you don't have to do it right away. Get a feel for the gun. Shoot the gun. If you don't like how it handles, you can do the conversion and practically have a brand new gun. An AK feels like an AK. A Saiga feels like a front heavy hunting rifle. I like the way mine handles, the aesthetics, and am not exactly fond of the AK look, so I've left it be. There are quite a few people in this world who don't seem to grasp the concept that you(believe it or not) don't need a pistol grip, 30 round magazine, or 90 round drum to fire a rifle.
  18. nalioth

    nalioth Well-Known Member

    Was your 24/7 designed with an 8 round magazine? If so, then yes, an aftermarket 17 rounder would be considered "high cap" for it.

    These 30 round snail drums for 1911 pistols are "high cap magazines" because they hold more rounds then the firearm was originally designed for.

    Calling a 30 round AK mag a "high cap" is a misnomer, as the weapon was designed and issued with 30 rounders since it's inception.

    Now this is a "high cap magazine" for an AK:


    You have designed capacity - which is any magazine capacity the inventor specified and manufactured for their firearm. Back before the national AWB put "high cap mag" into our lexicon, we just called these "[name of gun] magazines". Sometimes "double stack mag" was used to differentiate from the single column magazines.

    You have legislated capacity - which is what NYS, NJ, CA and a few other states still have. This is when the state decides they know better than the designer and legislates a magazine capacity (for the children, of course). These are commonly referred to as "low cap" [which seesaws some to use the opposite term "high cap"] or "ban mags".

    You can't compare one gun's designed capacity with another ones when you're passing out the "high cap mag" label.

    Every time we erroneously use the term "high cap mag", we are vindicating the antigunners position: "Hey Marge, check this out. These fellas admit their magazines hold too many bullets" (yes, antis read THR)
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2009
  19. nulfisin

    nulfisin Well-Known Member

    How much would a reasonable gunsmith charge

    I have 4 small kids and, therefore, not a lot of time. I do have the tools and, I'm confident, the technical expertise for this task. However, the wifey no like it it if I disappear for a Saturday afternoon to build an AK-47. She's pretty open-minded on all things guns, but this would be pushing it.

    So, the question: if I buy the parts, what should I expect a fair gunsmith to charge for the conversion? Thanks.:D
  20. malix

    malix Well-Known Member

    I said pretty much the same thing before i bought my first Saiga... Now i have 3, and I have converted all of them. :D

    So true.

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