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Convert Saiga to AK pattern easy?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by C-grunt, Dec 4, 2008.

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  1. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    Is it easy to convert a Saiga in 7.62x39 into an AK pattern rifle? By this I mean the stock and pistol grip. I handled one today for the first time and I was amazed at how good the thing looked and felt in my hands. The quality was a lot better than any AK I have handled before.
     
  2. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    Yes, provided you have a few basic tools it is fairly simple.
     
  3. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    Depends on how you define easy. It can be done in a few hours with a Tapco parts kit and a drill (to remove spot welds), plus a pistol grip and lug. However, because you are drilling through welds, it's not a drop-in conversion, and not one that's reversible if you decide to back out.

    The good news is that the holes for the standard trigger group and pistol grip are already in the receiver. The bad news is that you have to drill through some spot welds and deal with spring-loaded parts to perform the conversion. Also the bolt hold open will require some modification if you wish to still use it.

    The option I went with was just buying the skeleton stock (that has a pistol grip) and being done with it. My Saiga is a perfectly reliable rifle as it is, with well-made parts, and I like it like the way it is. I decided the risks and drawbacks to conversion were just not worth it.

    I also enjoy the fact that many people will underestimate it, not knowing what it truly is.
     
  4. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Member

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    There is a ton of info available on the web, detailing the steps.
    There is a youtube video series of it which was the most help to me in converting mine.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XU96VbnSoTc
    The other parts are in the small window on the right of the video.
     
  5. SN13

    SN13 Member

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    Converting a 7.62x39 is really easy. I did my first one with hand files, cold chisels and a rubber hammer.

    The second one went much faster with a Dremel and a hand-drill :)

    Check out forum.Saiga-12.com. They know a ton about converting and can probably point you in the right direction.

    You can do what Mike the Wolf did, but you need to consider 922r legalities with a conversion. /cheers.
     
  6. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    If you have the common "man tools" in your garage, you can convert a Saiga in an afternoon.

    As has been mentioned, keep the 922r law in mind.
     
  7. jbauch357

    jbauch357 Member

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    If you're going to do the conversion you might as well go the distance and convert all the functional parts, the forend is basically aesthetics and not necessary.

    - Stock
    - Pistol grip and nut
    - Fire control group
    - Gas piston
    - Mag catch
    - Bullet guide

    Do yourself a favor and get a Harbor Freight drill press and dremel if you don't already have them. Those and regular hand tools are really all you need to do the job.

    I did my 7.62 Saiga in a couple nights tinkering after work, and spent a lot of time doing extra grinding and polishing to make the action like butter.

    Soon as the parts show up I'm also going to convert my Saiga 12 :)
     
  8. Gord

    Gord Member

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    I knocked mine out in a couple hours with a Dremel, a hand file and a cordless drill. You might get a little nervous reading the Cross-Conn site with all its mentions of mini-mills and drill presses, but the hardest part is working up the gumption to start grinding and drilling on your receiver, and trying to get the cotter pins or E-clips onto your FCG pins afterwards. :)

    Matte black brush-on Krylon, on a tip from another member, does indeed match the factory finish pretty much perfectly (except for the texture, but there's not much you can do about that).

    Go for it - you won't regret it.
     
  9. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    I did my first one with a hand file, screw drive, and a drill. It took a few hours. The next one I did with a dremel took maybe 45 mins. Go slow on the first one and it is easy.

    I have seen exactly one conversion be screwed up and it was on a model that required cutting a pistol grip nut whole. Aside from that I have never seen one ruined. You would practically have to try to ruin the gun in order to do irreversible harm. I'm not a super mechanical guy by any stretch and I found it to be very easy and even fun. The hardest part really is bringing yourself to take a drill to your gun.

    The only people I have ever heard make real strenuous arguments for leaving it stock have never done a conversion. The conversion is not only easy it vastly improves the gun. The trigger alone is worth it. The stock saiga trigger is crap. The tapco G2 is a night and day difference. Ergonomics, such as being able to reach the safety lever are another advantage. The rifle is much better balanced in the configuration it was designed to be. Standard AK mags are another reason to do it. AK mags are plentiful, cheap, and durable. If you find saiga ten rounders the are double the price you can find AK 30 rounders for. Sure fires is expensive and not legal anyways unless you change out other parts to be 922r compliant. Thermolds are cheaper but require modification, seem less durable than metal mags, and still present the 922r legal issues.

    Watch the you tube video it will help you know how and help your confidence, a guy does it on his kitchen table with basic tools. Then go to Dinzags site for parts. He is really helpful answering questions and is pleasure to business with. He has almost everything you'll need. I would recomend finding a NATO length stock and not the standard length unless you are 5' tall or less.
     
  10. dscottw88

    dscottw88 Member

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    I was only 19 when I converted mine. Took me an hour or two in my brothers garage. I remember using a dremmel and thinking afterwards that just for fun, I should convert a couple more. Still havn't picked up any more yet though.
     
  11. rocinante

    rocinante Member

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    I have done a rifle and a shotgun. Drilling and taping for the bullet guide was the most worrisome thing. The rest is just brute grinding and banging.

    all you need to know and helpful guys are on forum.saiga-12.com
     
  12. RP88

    RP88 Member

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    I bought my Saiga pre-converted from Atlantic Arms a few months back. I had to add my own bullet guide, fix the tirgger guard, and fix the mag catch.

    After doing those, I'd say that it can't really be too hard. The only real clencher will be taking the drill to the receiver.
     
  13. regal

    regal Member

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    The problem isn't the pistol grip or mag ramp. After the home conversion you end up with a quasi-AK in that the FSB has no muzzel thread. Changing that out requires a lot of work or a gunsmith.

    A month ago it was much cheaper to buy a regular AK than home convert a Saiga. I guess the gunbroker prices lately makes the Saiga conversion more viable.
     
  14. RP88

    RP88 Member

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    not really. You can either buy a converted saiga and add the bullet guide yourself if needed or you can buy the Saiga rifle for its current gouging price and pay the same amount total after conversion parts - at least thats what I've been seeing now.
     
  15. regal

    regal Member

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    What kept me from going the Saiga route was the cost/hassel to get a muzzle break on the damn thing.
     
  16. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    Not sure what you consider "a lot of work".

    1) cut off shroud and expose a shiny barrel

    2) rent a barrel threading kit from any of the many folks that do rentals and thread the shiny barrel 14x1LH

    or

    My local gunsmith threads barrel while you wait for $20


    It's not that difficult.
     
  17. regal

    regal Member

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    My understanding is cutting the shroud requires precision to get the muzzle to mate with the FSB and look good. Finding/renting the die is a big hassel.

    You live in Houston, where I am (rural PA) gunsmiths haven't ever even seen an AK, let alone have the proper die to thread.
     
  18. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    Saigas used to be the best deal in town...

    I picked mine up for $247 and did a nice conversion for ~$100.

    Haven't felt the need to do the muzzle break, but it would help speed up follow on shots.

    The days of the $250 Saigas are long gone though!
     
  19. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    When you cut the shroud off, you get a standard AKM FSB. The barrel sticks out 1/2 inch past the FSB for threading or whatever.

    Precision is always nice, but quite a few folks do this with a dremel or <gasp> a pipe cutter.

    Converting a Saiga isn't rocket science.
     
  20. MD_Willington

    MD_Willington Member

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    I used these simple hand tools for my S.223
    • chainsaw file for filing rivets off trigger plate
    • cordless drill with various cobalt bits
    • hacksaw
    • needle nose pliers
    • prick punch
    • hammer
    • tap for the bullet guide
    • bench top vise
    • hand file

    basic stuff, you could do it with less tools if need be.
     
  21. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    You could have gone to Dinzags site and done so in not much more than the time it took you to read nalioth's posts and respond.

    As Nalioth mentioned it might be cheaper and easier to have a smith thread it. a compentant smith should be able to handle that task. If one of those isn't near you it can be done at home. A little work may cause some people to buy lesser quality rifles for more money but as nalioth said none of these jobs are rocket science. They don't require that much work or money either.

    Considering I saw a beat wars 10 at a shop here with an $800 price tag. A saiga covnersion looks even better. My friend bought a saiga a week ago for $325 out the door. $475 will get you a threaded muzzle and a whole lot more. The rifle will be noteably superior than that wars 10 I saw.
     
  22. Gord

    Gord Member

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    Oh no, it doesn't have a slant break. It's useless!

    If by "much cheaper" you mean $30 and by "regular AK" you mean "hogged out WASR-10."
     
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