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Romanian WASR vs Unconverted Saiga

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Noah, Jun 23, 2012.

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  1. Noah

    Noah Member

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    http://www.classicfirearms.com/product-specials/romanian-wasr10

    http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/storeproduct796.aspx

    I've been looking into getting an AK for several months now. I've put in many hours online, at gunshows, ect and I've narrowed it down these two, but I can't decide between the two. I don't plan on converting the Saiga as I don't trust myself to do it well enough. The gun would be primarily for target shooting but RKBA/ WROL/ defense is still a consideration as my family does not possess a semi auto carbine in an intermediate (or full size) cartridge ( can I say assault rifle here? JK :neener:

    Cost is a large factor, particularly ammunition cost, which is why I'd want the Saiga in 5.45.

    I would greatly appreciate your experience with Saigas and comparable WASR-10s, particularly just how much disparity exists in the accuracy/ quality of the two.

    I can afford an Arsenal but do not want to spend my life savings. Although I am fortunate enough to be employed at 16 I only make minimum wage :eek:

    If I chose the Saiga and decided I needed hi caps and a PG I have access to the tools to convert it, but would need to develop the skills; and purchase the parts and the tap for the bullet guide screw. I don't plan on converting it, at least not initially.
     
  2. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    I have no experience with WASR, but rather Galil, Maadi, Saigas. The Saiga is a very good gun. I highly recommend it if you go that route.
     
  3. TurtlePhish

    TurtlePhish Member

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    Saiga. Much better gun. Unconverted, it's still more of an AK than a WASR could ever hope to be. ;)

    Conversions aren't hard, go slow and careful. Find a good guide and stick to it. They're perfectly serviceable in sporter form, anyway.
     
  4. sodajerk

    sodajerk Member

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    How much are you talking about spending? The saiga is a better gun hands down but if you want the traditional AK look check out Norinco Mak90, they can be converted to a traditional look easier than the saiga and are far supieror to a wasr.
     
  5. MiniZ

    MiniZ Member

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    I would choose a Saiga, even unconverted, over a WASR.

    Even if you decide not to do a full conversion on a Saiga, at least convert it to the point that the trigger is back in the proper location.
     
  6. FMJMIKE

    FMJMIKE Member

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    Saiga !!!
     
  7. Driftertank

    Driftertank Member

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  8. cat_IT_guy

    cat_IT_guy Member

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    Saigas seem to have a much better reputation. Ive never shot one, so I cant say. What I will say about a gun that I did have, is that I dont think the WASR deserves its bad rap. Maybe I got lucky, but I never had any problems with mine. It did have some 'trigger slap' early on, but that was at most mildly uncomfortable and was easily remedied with a TAPCO trigger group. Just my $.02.
     
  9. Noah

    Noah Member

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    Thanks for the input guys, so far far it's a unanimous vote in favor of the Saiga haha.

    Anyone have suggestions on where to get the kit to convert it? I'd need the bullet guide to include the proper tap bit.

    What new parts are needed to complete the relocated trigger group?
     
  10. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    Go to carolinashootersupply.com
     
  11. Rob G

    Rob G Member

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    I'd go with the Saiga as well. When converted they're really sweet rifles. Even unconverted they're pretty nice except for the trigger being a little off. Plus as you stated you can get them in 5.45 which is a big deal when you can buy 1080 round spam cans of that ammo for $140.

    If you can stretch your budget just a touch you might consider this model of Saiga: http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/storeproduct1076.aspx

    It's $90 more than the one in your original post but the front end conversion is already done which is actually the hardest part of converting them anyway. All you would have to do to make it a full AK is convert the back end and add a muzzle brake.

    Good luck with whatever you choose and be careful, AKs are addictive and tend to multiply.
     
  12. Noah

    Noah Member

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    I have considered that model, but I wasn't sure it would be worth it as I could live with the Saiga foregrip. the PG/ hi caps are a higher priority. I also read that that model lacks a heat shield, however I don't know if that's important. I'm not the bump-fire-a-75rnd-drum type. I prefer to hit my target, paper or otherwise ;)

    Would a 5.45 Saiga be 922r compliant with the original foregrip, US PG, US Stock, and a US mag? Would it require a US foregrip to legally take a foreign mag beyond 10rnd capacity?

    How do you remove the "thread protector"?
     
  13. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    You can have no more than 10 foreign parts, and there are a total of 16 parts on the Saiga.

    To use the PG and the 10+ magazines, you need 6 US parts. A stock, grip, and trigger group are 5 parts (trigger group counts as 3). So you could either do a US follower in your magazines (or use Tapco/US Palm magazines that are US-made), or a US-made handguard, which is probably the way to go. There are several options for the standard Saiga handguards out there. Just a note about magazines... to use non-Saiga magazines, you have to install a bullet guide. Very easy, and $20 from CSS.

    To remove the "thread protector", just get a Dremel. If you're a chosen one, you'll have factory threads. Otherwise, you'll have to thread it yourself (very easy).

    I suggest you head over to Saiga-12.com, where it's all about Saigas and conversions.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  14. Noah

    Noah Member

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    Looked at parts at CarolinaShooterSupply. I was happy to see they sold all of the varieties of bullet guides with taps included, thanks for the link. I was surprised at how expensive the retaining brackets for the handguards cost- $50!

    What would you guys recommend? Could I leave an IZ240 model with the original non-AK style forend?

    Edit- Read the last post. You meant no more than 10 foreign parts, right? Or I'm I really really lost instead of just lost?

    I think I've decided on the IZ-240 from Atlantic. I'll install a bullet guide, a US grip, US stock (probably Tapco for both), and use US manufactured mags, also Tapco. The lack of AK-74 cosmetics (forend, muzzle brake) is OK with me.


    Where is the best site with in stock 5.45 tins? Was thinking Sportsman's Guide as Dad is a buyer's club member.
    Is their a better place to get the Saiga? Centerfire systems has cheaper shipping but Atlantic seems better.
    Does anyone have experience with the Tapco sidefolder stock? Does it wobble after use, wear, and tear?
    Assuming their FFL is on file, what information do I need to pass on to the FFL after I order?
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  15. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    Yeah, that would work fine. Just make sure you have enough US parts and a bullet guide, and you're good.

    If you think you'll ever do a full conversion, I'd just say get an Arsenal.
     
  16. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    Yeah, I fixed it lol. That sounds like you're compliant. Without the muzzle device, you only need 5 US parts, so 3 from the magazine, 1 from the grip, and 1 from the stock.

    As far as WHERE, it depends on who has them... They've been kind of hard to find lately. I would check Atlantic Firearms regularly, Buds might have them, just gotta search around. The gun shows always have them in my area, so check that out as well.

    I've never handled the Tapco stock, but I'll say their grip is just... Eh... I'd recommend US Palm or Hogue (I'm pretty sure they're US-made).
     
  17. One_Jackal

    One_Jackal member

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    The russian made saiga is hard to find anymore. The American made saiga is expensive for a few bucks more I can buy a BAR. At least your Grandkids can sell the BAR for a fat profit. Saiga will be dust in the wind.
     
  18. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    Ease up there, you're being entirely too helpful...:rolleyes:
     
  19. Noah

    Noah Member

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    Thanks for the help Inebriated. The cost of the Saiga given a bare-bones conversion as I plan and 1000rnds of ammo would be no more than the WASR and 1000 rounds or so. At that point it's a pretty easy choice.
     
  20. plouffedaddy

    plouffedaddy Member

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    I'd take a WASR (if it is a recent build over the Saiga if you don't plan on converting it. CAI's warranty is pretty good and if you get a WASR and anything's wrong CAI will fix it. A properly built WASR is a fine AK, problem is a lot of them aren't properly built but CAI has made great strides in QA/QC in the past couple years.
     
  21. ifit

    ifit Member

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    i would skip the saiga, and pick the romy if its made at the cuguir factory on the left side of the receiver should indicate this. the cugir ak is as close to owning as close to an original akm still being imported to this day without any stinkin conversion like saiga, look what you have to do to convert them, time and more $$$. the cugir romys....nothing. dont have a saiga probably will never own one, well maybe thier shotguns. i have 4 cugir built type ak variants and no regret purchasing them, they may not be made in mother russia frankly i dont give a poop, if it works like any ak should at a good price im buyin, and it may not look pretty like the saiga/arsenal but i buy it to shoot not for entering a beauty contest.

    as for accuracy shooting offhand w/irons, found on youtube
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSuAPjw2Jgw&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiuuW3Mc8qA&list=PLEC9E573CEBBBE9E5&index=6&feature=plcp
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  22. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    Izhmash of Russia. It is made (wait for it!)...in Russia! WASRs are too hit or miss with quality, and accuracy is substandard (IMHO having shot a half dozen in recent months) even for AKs. To each their own though.:)
     
  23. msrfrog

    msrfrog Member

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    I have a saiga 7.62 and love it sporter right now and it is fine.
    The quality for the price is way better than others I looked at.
    Reasonably accurate also, I shoot it better than when I used my friends big $$$ AR.
    I personally like the fact it is made in Russia in the same factory that produce real AKs. They must have some kind of pride while making them I would think.
    Not to mention all the stuff available for them.
     
  24. .338-06

    .338-06 Member

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    I have a .308 Saiga and it's great! I bought the conversion kit from Carolina Shooter Supply and a big thumbs up for them.

    One thing though, I read EVERY THREAD on converting the Saiga I could find. They ALL started the same way-drilling out the pins. Guess what? YOU DO NOT DRILL OUT THE PINS ON THE .308 SAIGAS!!! Not a single conversion post mentioned this.:cuss:

    Yes, I did feel very stupid. Gun works fine now.
     
  25. Rob G

    Rob G Member

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    OP, when you do the conversion you're going to have to replace the trigger group completely. Use a Tapco G2 for this. Then use a US made stock and US made pistol grip. For the stock use what you like, for the pistol grip I'd recommend US Palm or Hogue. That brings your US made parts count to 5 which for an AK without a muzzle attachment is 922r complian. At this point you can use 100% foreign made magazines, which I strongly recommend.

    The commbloc mags are more expensive and harder to find than Tapcos and PMags (at the moment at least) but they're much better built. Tapco and PMags don't have any metal reinforcement in them and I've had my share that have broken in ways that can't be repaired. I've had zero issues with my commie mags though and I abuse them pretty badly.

    For ammo try sgammo.com. They routinely have the 1080 round cans of Russian 5.45 for $140. Aimsurplus.com also has really great prices on it but last I checked they were temporarily out of stock.
     
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