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Best all-around optic for Saiga .223?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by geojap, Sep 13, 2007.

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  1. geojap

    geojap Member

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    I ordered a converted Tromix Saiga from Correia. I'm going to put a scope on it, but I don't want too much scope on it. I'll mainly be using it at the range between 50 and 200 yards for target practice, practicing grouping on bulls. What scope would you put on it?

    I already own a VEPR with a PK-AS-V which can be seen here:
    http://www.jasonphillips.org/content/photos/VEPR/VEPR.asp

    I like that scope just fine because it offers great ease in acquiring the target, the 1 MOA black dot in lieu of a red dot is very nice, and since the eye relief is so generous, head positioning is very flexible. I just wish it had 2x or 4x magnification like an ACOG. But as is, it is quite nice.

    I am considering buying a PK-AS for the Saiga .223 since I can't find anything else that stands out above it. Does anyone have any suggestions to consider for a better scope for this rifle? Thanks much.

    The PK-AS that I am considering: http://www.tantal.kalashnikov.guns.ru/pkas.html
     
  2. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    I am looking at scoping a Saiga 308 carbine as soon as I convert it. I'll be using a Ultimak mount and a Leupold scout scope.
     
  3. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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  4. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Member

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    I'm looking at one of the side-mounted kalinka scopes for mine. Thinking about an 8x.
     
  5. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Member

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    I've got a 2-7 BSA airgun scope on mine and I've been fairly pleased with it. It's an inexpensive scope that seems to hold up to the recoil and it has large range of adjustment which is important when you're using a siderail mount. Side rails often don't line up very well with the bore and many scopes will not adjust far enough to for you to zero them in. 2-7x seems to be just about right for an AK IMO. 2x gives you a wide field of view and lets you get on target quick and 7x gives you all the magnification you need for target shooting with an AK. I just wish it were a mil-dot.
     
  6. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    I've got four Saigas with optics, and a total of about eight AKMs with optics. The issue I have with the side mount is that the receiver walls are too flexible on the stamped receiver models; any side loads on the scope body visibly deflect the receiver wall. For a range rifle, I guess that's OK. For a rifle that will be replaced by the Motherland if it gets pranged, I guess that's OK.

    For a field use rifle on my nickel - I'd prefer the solidity of the Ultimak.
     
  7. JWarren

    JWarren Member

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    rbernie,

    I've read before where you've mentioned receiver-wall flex on side-mounted scopes on AKs.

    I am not, per se, questioning your observations. But I haven't experienced this in the least with my Saiga 308. It is a converted EAA that has a 8X PSOP.

    The only zero issue I had was recently where I took it out for some recoil therapy after moving into our new house. It looks like I knocked off the elevation on the scope during the move. A little dialing in and it was shooting fine.


    -- John
     
  8. geojap

    geojap Member

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    The more I look at it, the more the Ultimak looks like what I want. I'll probably mount a Burris long eye relief scope on it. Thanks for the recommendation.
     
  9. KadicDeshi

    KadicDeshi Member

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    How do you plan on mounting the Ultimak on the S308? From everything I've read, the barrel is too thick to use the standard or even the VEPR version of the clamps that hold the Ultimak to the barrel.

    Barrett

    Edit:

    Geojap, that sounds like a good idea. That's what I would like to do with my S308 but unless rbernie knows something about mounting the Ultimak that I don't, I won't be able to use it. Should work like a charm on your S223.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2007
  10. thereisnospoon

    thereisnospoon Member

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    Absolutely the best conbo for an AK platform, I use the Leupold 2X SCout scope though. The Burris doesn't have quite the right eye relief for my set up.

    On another note, have you tried the guns iron sights? I have become an iron sight (KISS) proponent and would recommend you try the guns original "optics" before you spend the extra $$$. You might be suprised how well you can shoot irons with a little training and practice.

    In the end, it is your setup, but I am amazed at how many people show up at tactical matches and if/when their Red Dot or other scope goes Tango Uniform, they haven't even sighted in their irons and have to pack up and head home.

    [The above is not meant as a flame or a critique, but only an observation. I am not opposed to optics, as I have them on an AK and a Scout Rifle I built from an Enfield.]
     
  11. geojap

    geojap Member

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    I know totally what you mean. This will be my third AK, and the sights on all three will all be configured differently. One will always have irons.

    My SLR-95 has plain old Mojo peep sights on it: http://www.jasonphillips.org/content/photos/SLR95/SLR95.asp

    My VEPR has a 1X black dot/red dot scope: http://www.jasonphillips.org/content/photos/VEPR/VEPR.asp

    This Saiga is going to have a scope with a little magnification, but not much. I think I'm going to get this 2x20 Burris from Midway: http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=504349
     
  12. MD_Willington

    MD_Willington Member

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    Call the guys at Ultimak in Moscow Idaho about the S308, they are very easy to get along with, I've been to their shop twice now... Very friendly.
     
  13. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    If I apply any significant lateral load to the scope, I can watch it deflect 3mm-5mm side to side. It seems to hold zero well enough, but it certainly doesn't look to be able to hold zero if it gets dropped and the scope is subjected to a lateral impact.

    I've used a number of mounts (usually low mounts, usually bought from Tantal) and it's definitely the receiver flexing and not just the mount.

    Copes has an interesting looking scope mount that mounts into the rear sight base and screws onto the buttstock tang. That should be pretty stable, but it likely won't hold zero if you have to remove the dust cover for cleaning.
     
  14. Samuraigg

    Samuraigg Member

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    Wait, so using a scope on the side rail is a bad idea?

    I've been looking for a modest scope for my unconverted 7.62x39 Saiga.
     
  15. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

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    geojap, your Tromix is on the way. :)
     
  16. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    my experience scoping AK's is admittedly very limited,so FWIW, i am really happy with the 4x POSP scope i got from kalinka for $120-something. i got it dialed in quickly, and it has stayed dialed in. BTW, this is also on a converted saiga.
     
  17. aka108

    aka108 Member

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    I'm running a Lyman Alaskan (garage sale purchased) on a side mount to Weaver base. The 2.5 power scope does very well since the Saiga's are not tack drivers. If it wasn't for running across that scope I probably run a Kobra red dot.
     
  18. geojap

    geojap Member

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    Thank you, kind sir. :) You're doing me a great service and I'm sure I'll enjoy the hell out of that rifle.

    Regarding the issues with side mounts that rbernie brought up, I found some other info on the internet discussing this exact same thing in the last few days while I was researching optics for my new Saiga. I have never considered this before, but basically it seems that side rail opticss are less desirable on stamped receiver AKMs, especially. I have always had milled receiver AKs (SSR-99, SLR-95, multiple VEPRs) and all the optics I have used were side mount PSOP scopes and the like. They all worked just fine for me, but this Saiga will be the first stamped receiver AK that I will have ever owned. So the idea that a side mount optic may be an imperfect solution never occurred to me.

    Check out this other thread that I found yesterday in the midst of all my google searches. I've never seen this forum before, but it appears to be very active, and quite a lot of the traffic is international. Look at the exchange regarding side rail and above-the-barrel optics between el_kab0ng and Catch22 on the first five pages. The attached pics of the Euro former communist block soldiers and their AKM configurations is helpful so that you can see more about what Catch22 is talking about.

    http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?t=71530
     
  19. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    Not necessarily. I just notice that it's less rigid than scope mounts on my ARs and bolt guns.
     
  20. geojap

    geojap Member

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    Well, like I posted on another thread here, here is my new baby (Tromix Saiga). I ended up going with the Ultimak rail mount, rbernie. The URL below links to a complete write up on my website of the rifle, including the thoughts that lead to this Saiga in its current configuration, as well as my opinions of the Saiga after the purchase. Lots of picture-goodness included. She's definitely a keeper.

    http://www.jasonphillips.org/content/photos/Saiga/Saiga.asp

    If anyone has any suggestions about a good sling for this rifle, let me know. Thanks.
     
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