Saiga 12 project

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Girodin, Sep 6, 2009.

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  1. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    I have had my newest S12 stuff for a while but not had the time to update this thread. With some time off for the holidays it is time to rectify that.

    The saiga obviously is a box mag fed weapon. Its greatest stregnths and often the things it is the most vehemently critized for relate to that fact. Whether one believes that the box mags are part of what makes the S12 one of the top combat shotguns in the world or what make it a dud one thing is certain, without a mag the S12 is an overly complicated single shot. Without spare mags it has ten (5, 8, or 12 depending on the mags) shots and then is rather slow and complicated to reload. What that means is that if one wants to run a S12 they need mags. I am one that believes you can never own too many mags. I always like to own at least ten mags for any box mag fed weapon that I own. I'm not sure that there is anything magical about ten, it is just a nice round number, additionally it is often more mags than I can carry meaning I have plenty to use and some spares to boot.

    I ordered my self 10 AGP 10 round mags. Mags are IMO part of what makes the S12 great. They are, however, not cheap and thus stocking up on mags adds hundreds of dollars to the end price tag. This is something to factor in when considering the S12.

    I have a bunch of other AGP 10 rounders and they all ran great. Thus in the interest of keeping common mags (more on why this was an important factor for me later) and based on my previous experiences I decided on the AGP. It also helped that I was able to get a great deal on them and they cost my $12-$15 less per mag than surefire mags would have. When one is buying ten mags the difference adds up.

    Unfortunately I took out the mags for some testing and two of them had issues. I have an idea of what the problem is but I need to test my theory before I make any claims. I'm hopeful that I can regulate the issue myself if not, I have read AGP has good customer service.

    I have long been unhappy with the stock sights. They work but are fairly rudimentary. I have had a hard time deciding what sights I wanted to add. I have considered the Krebs ghost ring set up with the addition of a XS tritium post. I have also considered HK sights with a tritium front post. The Hk set up would run around $215 ($90 for the sights and $125 for the tritium front sight) and requires welding. The Krebs runs roughly $90 and the XS post is around $60 or $70 IIRC. I have seen some other setups but these two were the ones I was leaning towards.

    I decided to punt rather than make a choice. I had the top rail to make my Chaos tri rail a quad. I ordered a Burris Fast Fire II and mounted in on the Chaos rail. I figured that I had another use for the Fast Fire if I didn't like it on the S12 or ultimately wanted a different setup.

    Upon mounting the fast fire I found that it sat too high for my liking. If I maintain my typical cheek weld I cannot see the dot. If I raise my head it works fine but it is not the position that I am accustomed to.

    Upon shooting with the fast fire I found what I have come to expect from red dot sights, target acquisition is quick and quick accurate fire is greatly facilitated. After shooting I was pretty happy with the red dot. I may try to add a raised cheek rest and see if that resolves my biggest issue with the optic. If I decide to keep it on the S12 I will also order a protector mount to shield the optic from damage it might otherwise have inflicted upon it.

    Some people think that a red dot on a shotgun is silly. This thread is not the place for that debate. I will simply say that like most things it has its trade offs. I believe that in terms of performance, for the type of shooting this gun is intended for, a red dot is hard to beat. The flip side is that it is not as sturdy or reliable as iron sights. People will complain of the potential for battery failure. While it is possible the battery life of the fast fire is very long. Further at room distances simply looking through the rectal and centering the target is enough to get on on center mass of a humanoid target. Another factor on the con side changing the battery does require dismounting the sight so it takes some time. A big con that is particular to the way I have it mounted is that I have no back up irons. The top rail of the chaos quad rail covers the factory sights. Even if the sight can be quickly removed the top rail cannot.

    I do like that the sight is very light weight. I also like the way the gun shoots with it on. I think a red dot is as fast a sight as anything it is definately faster than the stock sights. I have a fair amount of experience shooting with HK sights and the dot is faster that the open notch setting of the HK drum sight. The dot also allows for greater accuracy with slugs than a bead.

    The fast fire has some pros and cons. Some of them are the general ones of an optical sight, others are specific to the fast fire, and others still to the way it is set up on. Ultimately I am not sure if I will keep this setup or not. I will most likely try to tweek it a little to get it more to my liking. Over all I am happy with the way it shoots and the sight is still on the gun and a big improvement over the crude factory open sights.

    Here are some pics:

    Here is the S12 with the Fast Fire mounted and 9 of the 10 mags plus the factory five rounder.
    [​IMG]

    Here are some various views of the fast fire mounted up.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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  2. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    Here is a pic looking through the sight

    [​IMG]
     

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  3. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    I finally got some time to go shoot. I went to a private range with a friend and we set up a three gun style shooting stage. It was a course that took 15 shots if there were no misses. Distances were 7-40 yards and with most in the 15-30 yard range. The course required a considerable amount of movement requiring the shooter to move travel about 75 yards and required different shooting positions to engage the various targets.
    We had several guns on hand carbines, shotguns and handguns. For shotguns there was my S12 featured in this thread, a Mossberg 500 and my friends Remington Spartan coach gun.

    We both shot our fastest times with the S12. The fastest time for our little course was 40 seconds. The fastest time with the pump gun was 1:09. The pump gun tended to be very close in time on the first part of the course that had more distance to travel with the shots more spread out. The S12 pulled ahead at the end where there were more shots, and closer together. The fastest time with the coach gun was roughly 1:45. It should be noted that the Spartan had a stiff action, and in addition to lacking ejectors the shells would stick in the chamber so that dumping them out did not work at all they had to be pulled by hand.

    We had a lot of fun and this type of shooting is great practice IMHO. What did I take away from this range session? I was reminded how much more fun this type of shooting is than simply plugging away on a square range or plinking around. It also was clear that the S12 was quicker than the pump gun. Several factors were at work to make it quicker. The first was faster follow-up shots. I have read that the S12 is the fastest cycling shotgun in the world. IDK if that is true but it is fast and more importantly it is such as soft shooter that it allows one to get back on target quickly. Second the added capacity (I was using AGP ten round mags) helped. The fast fire sight allows for quick target acquisition. I have debated the merits of dot sights and some will say a shotgun doesn’t benefit from them but they allow for the fastest sighting possible they also allow for more accuracy with slugs than a bead and more speed than open sights or ghost rings. In short there is a reason they are used by the top competitive shooters (3 gun) and are only allowed in open class. Do you need one for home defense, probably not. Are there other factors to consider beyond what is fastest? IMO, yes, but I’ll be leaving the dot on for now. The biggest reason for the difference in the times though was surely the reload times. The saiga takes one reload to shoot 15 rounds and that one reload if done smoothly is much faster than the combined reloading time to allow the Mossberg to fire 15 times. Reload times and frequency or reloads were obviously what put the coach gun so far behind the other two. Although, as I eluded to earlier, a tuned up double would have been faster

    Some lessons specific to reloading can be gleaned as well. Bobbled reloads killed the times on a few runs with the S12. I had already decided to put a mag well on my S12 to allow for drop free mags and straight insertion. This addition would have made the S12 even faster. A mag well is probably one of the very best mods for the S12. It makes reloads easier and much faster.

    All in all, it was a very fun day and evening (we did some night shooting as well). This type of shooting, in addition to being great practice, gives good insight into your equipment in terms of what works and what needs improving. I encountered two bad magazines that I need to work on, and as mentioned above, galvanized my desire for a mag well. I came away liking my S12 even more, and I believe it earned the respect of my friend since he had his fastest times with it as well. We shot a few hundred rounds and the saiga ran like a top. I had also put a 100rd box of federal wal mart ammo through it the last time I was out and not cleaned it. This S12 has proven a very reliable gun. I cannot wait for Santa to bring me a mag well and to get out and test it.
     
  4. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    Santa brought me a new part for my S12. It is IMO one of the best additions one can make to a Saiga 12, the JTE magazine well

    [​IMG]

    I've got it installed and have modified a few mags to work with it. I have yet to shoot with it on but I have been getting a feel for reloads and I am pretty excited about how much quicker and easier they are.

    I will probably make a few posts. The first will be an explanation of why I chose to add a mag well and why I believe it is such a major enhancement for the S12. Second I will try to post some pics and give a short write of the install and mag mods and last I will post a review of its performance and perhaps some side by side times of reloads and some shooting courses with the mag well installed vs the use of standard mags.
     
  5. ChileRelleno

    ChileRelleno Member

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    That is a very nice S12 :cool:
    Great job.
    .......................................

    I'd love to add a Surefire compatible magwell... But.
    I really love my MDArms 20 rnd drum, and it is not compatible :uhoh:
    And since I plan on one more MD20, it ain't happening.
     
  6. EdLaver

    EdLaver Member

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    This is probably one of the best Saiga set-ups i have seen, congrats on the build.

    For me though I have contimplated the use of one of these shotguns and where I get stuck is what would be the purpose of it? Sure for home defense, but a normal pump or semi-shotgun (Beneli or 930 SPX) would do the same. SHTF? Nah, I couldnt imagine carrying all those mags instead of a carbine with the same amount. To me, its kind of a niche weapon, it'd be great for competition though, they have been blowing the scene in three gun.
     
  7. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    I have heard this from a number of people and certainly understand it. I would not tell anyone they are wrong but I have included some of my thoughts on the issue.

    Drum vs Mag well

    Because of the size of the feed tower the MD 20, the famed 20 round drum, cannot be used with a mag well. I do not discuss the AA drum because it is inferior to the MD and comes from a very disreputable company. Honestly that drum is not worth discussion beyond that it should be avoided (for what it is worth I do not believe it works with a mag well either and often not even with unmodified guns). The mag well (at least the JTE) can be removed and one can run a drum, while this could be important say a three gun stage that requires fewer than 20 rounds and no slug transitions. It is of limited value, however, if one modifies their mags for a mag well since they will no longer work without it. Mags cost enough that few people will keep two sets. For most people the choice is between the benefits of a mag well, faster reloads, versus the capacity of a the MD 20.

    This debate might hinge on what you want the gun for. If it is just for fun, then the MD 20 might give maximum smiles. For a fighting gun I believe the speed of the mag changes trumps the intitial capacity of the drum. Some would posit just the opposite. One argument is that having 21 rounds on tap would preclude the need for a mag change in many situations. That said the drum is heavy and big. For handling considerations I would rather have the mags and a mag well. Getting to a slug also means changing mags on the saiga, another reasons mag change speed might be more important than initial capacity.

    Another major consideration is cost. The drum is expensive at $260. It is the price of several mags. For my purposes, I feel the mag well is worth precluding the use of the drum. In the end the cost and benefits of each need to be considered along with the purpose of the gun by the end user.

    When MD Arms releases its new double stack mags and mag well the discussion might be completely moot. It could provide the best of both worlds. I was tempted to hold off on buying more mags and a mag well and await the release of these two products. The fact that there was no firm ETA and new products have a tendency to get pushed back I went ahead and got what is currently available. If a new better product is released I may change or use it on another gun.
     
  8. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    Why Install A Magazine Well?


    There is a significant deficiency in the S12 that is rarely brought up when the gun is discussed, the difficulty of inserting a magazine on a closed bolt. Someone will probably say that it really isn’t that hard and that they can make fast smooth reloads on a closed bolt every time. They might even be telling the truth. The fact is, however, that the vast majority of people I have seen try to do reloads struggle. I have definitely gotten better and smoother with practice but inserting the mag must be done just so, and it is easy to bobble. My experience is when I am moving and shooting and doing so under pressure (the clock) it is even more difficult than when I practice in my living room. Ten round mags are more difficult than 5s and 3” shells more difficult than 2 ¾ shells.

    If a major advantage of the saiga 12 is the speed with which it can be reloaded then that advantage is diminished by reloading difficulties. Conversely that advantage is made greater by speeding up the reloads. This difficult leads some people to simply take the time to lock the bolt back and then insert a charged magazine as the shooter in this video does http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2NLz-kgUoE . This works but eats up valuable seconds. If you were in actual combat those extra seconds are very precious. For the competitive shooter they can be the difference between victory and defeat.

    What solutions exist to this problems? I have seen two. The first is to reshape the bolt. The problem with reloading on a closed bolt is that the shells must be decompressed in magazine, thus the mag has to go in at the right angle for that to happen. Relieving the bolt alleviates this problem. This mod works well. It offers additional advantages of making the gun cycle more smoothly and relieving pressure on shells left stored on a closed bolt. Its biggest disadvantage is that one can FUBAR their bolt if it is done incorrectly. I actually know of someone who did this. Saiga bolts are not impossible to find but they aren’t the easiest thing to find either. This is one mod I would likely be inclined to pay a pro to do. Jack Travers of JTE will cut and smooth the bolt and also hard chrome it. The hard chroming offers additional advantages, corrosion resistance and a very smooth surface for reduced friction. I do not remember the price but it was something like $125. Cobra 76 on the S12 boards will shape the bolt for $80 I believe. There is a thread on the s12 board where they debate their methods. For those interested in the differences, I would suggest reading this thread. If I can find it I will post a link otherwise try the search function or google.

    The second solution is a mag well. One installs the magwell and modifies the magazines for “straight” insertion. This does away with the rock and lock motion required to insert AK mags. The mags also come out much easier. All in all, reloads are faster and much easier with the mag well. An important consideration of using a mag well is that they require the mags to be modified. Another is that mag wells preclude the use of the MD20 drum magazine. Also a mag well is likely to function better with one brand of mag or another. The JTE mag wells for example are made in an AGP version and a surefire version.

    The mag well in sum allows one to insert a magazine on a closed bolt more easily and perform reloads more quickly and consistently. It is both easier and faster.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010
  9. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    *I'll add some pics of the magazine mods and the install later*

    JT Engineering Magazine Well

    I chose the JTE mag well for my gun, available for Carolina shooter supplies. It costs $125. Installing the mag well requires drilling and tapping 3 holes in the receiver. The most difficult part of that is making sure that the holes get put in the right place. To do this, one starts by first modifying a magazine to fit the mag well. I have APG mags, which require removing the side ridges, the front lug and the top front screw. When enough material has been removed that the mags will insert into the mag well set on the receiver the position of the front hole are is marked, punched, drilled and tapped. After checking for positioning and fit the two back holes are marked, , punched, drilled and tapped. The mag well is held in place by three hex screws. I’d recommend blue lock tight to keep them secure. It is not a very difficult install. I’d put it at a step above installing a bullet guide in terms of difficulty. The difficult part is bringing yourself to start grinding into an expensive magazine. My suggestion is go slowly and check for fit often.

    Also don't get too aggressive trying to make them drop free or insert with the utmost of ease. If you remove too much material they dont seat properly and can have feeding problems. This is an easy problem to avoid by checking fit and regularly and stopping when they come in and out reasonably well. I pushed the limit with one trying to find where the line was and now I need to try to fix that mag. Don't worry though I only ran into that problem by deliberately pushing the limit.
     
  10. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    I'll try to get some install pics up soon and then post my evaluation of the product.
     
  11. bullturkey

    bullturkey Member

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    There is a third alternative. I simply drilled a hole through the top of the mag and inserted a cotter pin that has a small key ring on the end of it. The pin keeps the top round depressed so rock and lock is a breeze. I then simply pull the pin as I shoulder the weapon and presto all is good. This has the added benefit of preventing top shell deformation that happens when top round is pressed against the bolt when the mag stays in the weapon for any amount of time.
     
  12. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    I've seen the grenade pin used for purposes of storing a charged magazine on a closed bolt. I think it is a decent option for that, where one can have a designated mag and tie the pin off to something so that merely picking gun up is sufficient to make it ready to fire.

    I'm sure it works well for allowing the mag to insert and appreciate that you mentioned it. It likely is faster than locking the bolt back as seen in the video above (which is now really there). The biggest advantage I see to this approach is that it is inexpensive.

    I am not trying to disparage what works for anyone, but I see one issue. This still requires additional movements and actions as opposed to just needing to insert the thing. It adds a step to the manual of arms. For either a life or death situation (admittedly and hopefully that is very unlikely to every occur) or even competition simple is better and the simpler and faster the better IMHO.

    A mag well is likely faster and simpler not only because there is no need to pull a pin
    but also because the motion required to insert the mag is smaller and simpler. Mags also come out of the mag well more easily.

    Additionally the mag well provides the benefit of re-enforcing the mag. I have seen reports of mags breaking of the front tab and I have even witnessed it once. This is thought to happen when a long mag is full of magnum shells and the weight and leverage overcome the tab. Some people suggest that cold weather may contribute. I have shot my AGPs (pre mag well) when it is roughly 15 degrees F and never had a problem. Who knows how likely a mag is to break but a mag well eliminates the possibility.

    If I didn't want a mag well I would likely have the bolt modified. If money is very tight, however, the grenade pin idea might have some merit.
     
  13. bullturkey

    bullturkey Member

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    I agree with your last post. The simpler the better in a stress situation. A good training regimine is absolutely necessary with any firearm. When the SHTF you do not have time to think you fall back to your training. The Army pounded that into my head to the point that I could perform immediate action drills on my M16 in my sleep. My biggest problem with the S12 is the shell deformation that would happen in a matter of 8hrs that could cause a FTF. Does the bolt mod eliminate this? This is why I use the pin.
     
  14. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    Maybe. In my experience shell deformation varies. I've seen shells that will deform very quickly like you describe and others that have shown no significant amount of deformation after weeks of being loaded on a closed bolt. With that as a preface it has the potential to help with that problem but I would be uncomfrotable to promise that it would with all shells. I've seen some owners suggest that it does help but the question of what their starting point was in terms of how quickly shells deformed is not known to me.

    None of the "duty" shells I use deform quickly enough for it to be a problem for me for the ammounts of time I leave a loaded mag in there. For those worried about shell deformation for a serious use gun that might see a loaded mag left on the bolt for a considerable ammount of time I think the most sound solution would be to find a type of ammo that does not deform and use that at lest for the top round of the loaded mag.

    I want to reiterate I am not deriding the grenade pin, it sounds like it might serve your needs better than my set up would. It is simply that I think a different setup is better tailored to my particular needs and desires.
     
  15. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    Here are the pics I've been meaning to get uploaded for a while now.

    Here is a front view of a modified mag next to a stock one. You can see the that the front tab is removed. I used a dremel to do it, I think a belt sander would be even better.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a side view that shows both how the front tab is gone and that area is straightened out and that the side ridges are removed.
    [​IMG]

    This picture shows the three screws that hold the mag well in place.
    [​IMG]

    Here is a close up of the mag well. You can see that I do not have an extended mag release installed in this picture. The extended mag release is nice to have and really useful with the mag well. Hopefully I can get some pics of it up soon too.
    [​IMG]

    Here it is with the mag inserted. One nice thing about the mag well is it reinforces the front area where the tab was. This is an area some people experience breakages when the mag is fully loaded and they are shooting magnum shells. I've seen it happen once. I've most often heard of it happening w/ 12 round surefire mags but have heard of it happening with AGPs. I've never experienced it but the mag well precludes such a problem at any rate

    [​IMG]
     

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    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010
  16. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    I am getting closer to being done. There are some things that still need to be done. There are also some things I still think would be pretty cool additions but I could live without.

    I should be receiving a new part for it tomorrow and I will talk about it then.

    The extended mag release really is needed, particularly with the mag well so I hope to get some pics of that up as well.

    I wrote earlier about the fact that the optic sits too high for a good cheek weld. I do not like that. A jaw weld will work but I prefer the more natural and repeatable cheek weld. I ordered a riser for the MOE stock from magpul. It should ship tomorrow (along with my art of the handgun DVD set!!!!!!!!). I hope that this will rectify that issue to my satisfaction.

    My other issue also involves the optic. I feel it is just too vulnerable the way it sits right now and so I would like to add a protector mount to armour it from the bumps and bangs that are sure to come through hard use. Alternatively I might go with a similar style mount that sits in the rear sight dovetail. The advantage of that would be that I could remove the upper section of the quad rail. It is not real heavy but it would save a bit of weight. The other option would be to go with some other iron sights. I like the advantages that the red dot offers though. I'm not sure how I'll resolve it but I'm not real satisfied with the status quoa.

    There are a few other performance mods I would like to do, but we will see. My time and money are getting usurped by the .233 above as I want to get it set up a little more to my liking as well. I have a few other projects in the works as well.
     
  17. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    I got a few new parts.

    A MD 20. The famous 20 round drum. When they cut the prices on these I figured I would get one just for the heck of it. I'll write a review of the drum later.

    I also got a magpul 3/4" cheek riser for the magpul moe stock. This was $20 very well spent. I can now use a proper cheek weld and the things are lined up just right. I am much happier with the fast fire now that I have the cheek riser. The cheek riser simply snapped into place and is very secure. Another great, functional product from magpul.

    The fast fire still needs a protector mount. I'm still malcontent that I have no quick back up sight but I may have found a satisfactory solution to that.

    Anyways here are the pics and then I'll give my thoughts on the MD 20.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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  18. ChileRelleno

    ChileRelleno Member

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    Yep, it is nice that the magwells are easily detached and one can enjoy the MD20. Even nicer since ProMag announced their new S12 12 & 20 round drums, thus driving the MD20's price down significantly, i.e. from $260. to $120.. And now they are on production preorder and on sale for $100., $50 deposit and $50 prior to shipment.

    I just bought another, that makes two :D

    Good Gosh! Just think of it, in less than 30 seconds I can put 360 #00 pellets downrange. Anything exposed within 50 yards is in deep doo doo.:evil:

    Also, Mike, MD Arm's Owner, says he is very close to bringing his double stack box mags to market, 16-20 rounds in the same length mags as current 8-10 round box mags. He has said they will cost approx $30-40, so save a few $$$$.
     
  19. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    I think a big part of why the MD20 prices came down is because the double stacks will make them much less desirable.

    You will have to be a few shells shy of double for same legnth mag on a a double stack because the thing needs to tapper down. Thus a double stack the length of a 10 rounder will probably not hold 20 rounds, one the length of an 8 rounder will likely not hold 16. That said the double stacks will probably be the round to have. I mag the length of a 10 rounder that held 15+ rounds would be cool, even it works with a mag well it would be really be the way to go.
     
  20. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    Drum Review

    The MD 20.

    The MD 20 always comes up when discussing the S12 with anyone familiar with it. There is something about have 21 rounds of 12 gauge on tap that catches people’s attention. Put an MD 20 in your gun and people at the range stop and look. Even those who aren’t into guns at all seem to know there is something unique and cool about it.
    The MD 20 is very well made. I wont take time harping on that point rather I’ll reference you to the drum torture test. I hate to give away the ending but the MD lived and continued to function while the competition (AA wraithmaker) crashed and burned. As an aside the AA drum is a joke and I can find no reason one would purchase one over the MD 20. In short the MD is well made and very robust. Quality is not an issue.

    As discussed above in this thread I have a mag well. Mag wells preclude the use of the drum while the mag well is installed. This means that you end up deciding which to run. Previously I had determined that a mag well would probably work better for me. I didn’t have a drum and this was a theoretical determination. When the drums came down in price I decided to buy on and test my theories.
    Upon receiving my drum I was first suppressed that it was actually more compact than I thought it would be. The next thing I noticed was that it was not particularly light even unloaded. After loading it up with 20 rounds of 00 buckshot it really started to feel heavy. The reason it feels so heavy is because it is. It weighs roughly 4 pounds fully loaded. My S12 weighs between 8-9 lbs, which adds some perspective of how heavy a 4 pound drum really is.

    With the drum inserted in the gun the gun starts to feel heavy. Holding it shouldered with one hand is noticeably more difficult and causes fatigue much more quickly. The extra weight makes things a bit more sluggish and difficult. It would also get old carrying the gun very far.
    On the plus side 4 extra pounds can only make what is already a very soft shooting gun even more of a cream puff.
    The size of the drum is also an issue. You can still shoot the gun easily enough but you do have to change the way you hold the gun and/or have your support hand arm hitting the drum. It is not going to stop you from using the drum or making hits but I like consistency and it gets in the way of that. As does the dramatic weight difference between drum and stick mag.
    Loading a drum on a closed bolt is for me infinitely more difficult than loading a stick mag on a closed bolt. Carrying the drum around is also somewhat problematic because of its shape, size and weight.

    I like my drum and I am happy I bought it. I am even more convinced that a mag well is better though. Carrying ten rounders is easier. Reloads with the mag well are a breeze. The gun handles better with a stick mag. Slug transitions and transitions back to buckshot are much easier with stick mags. I hope to get to the range this weekend and do some timed testing with each set up. I want to test 30 rounds of fire with each set up and do some slug transitions etc. Overall I like the mag well better. The mag well comes off easy enough to allow use of the drum when I want but I’ll probably use it more in another S12.

    In sum the drum is cool and hard to beat for wow factor but I find the mag well more functional.
     
  21. ChileRelleno

    ChileRelleno Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Deep in the Heart of Dixie
    The drop in price was the direct result of ProMag announcing their new S12 drums.
    Mike posted this exactly on S12.com., he undercut his competition and flooded the market, getting his product into the hands of every S12 owner who could scrape the cash together.
    And a hell of a lot of those who didn't/couldn't buy at $260. bought'em faster than a stray dog scarfing down a dropped hotdog.

    Mike bought back all of his distributor's stock at full price and resold them, ran out of stock and is now having another production run. Expected delivery date 6 weeks.
    ......................................

    Promag will have a hard time finding customers, at least those who know a great product/customer service is.
    Promag is like Century Arms, which is to say IMPO, 80%+ trash.
    ........................................

    MD20 serves a few distinct niches.

    Yep, sure enough there is the cool and super fun factor.

    But, there is also few weapons short of FA/SA which can lay down more close range, defensive suppression fire on a perimeter.
    Or allow one to work thru a CQ HD or clear rooms without reloading as frequently.
    My plan in a SHTF, natural/man made, is to hunker down on my property, and let the S12/MD20 combo fills those niches.

    I agree this is not the setup to be toting around by hand.
    Ya don't see SAW gunners toting their beasts around that way, no exception here. Get a good two point sling setup on it, padded or not.
    And a good VFG, many like the offset type, allows one to easily reach around the drum.
    I use a unpadded two point and Tapco SAW style VFG.
    100_7579.gif
    100_7580.gif
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  22. Girodin

    Girodin Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Messages:
    5,601
    He also posted that the comming release of the double stack was a factor:

    "The ProMag drum was the final decider in dropping the price. But the double stacks do have something to do with me wanting to drop the price before I did. For a few different reasons. I will explain those better once I can release more info on the double stacks. Sorry for withholding information on them but I am sure you understand.... And always trust your gut, lol!"--Mike Davidson http://forum.saiga-12.com/index.php?showtopic=50457&st=90

    Further you'll note that I said that I said "I think" the double stacks are big factor. How much of a factor versus the pro gag drum IDK. The double stacks were a factor however as Mike has made clear. If they turn out as good in real life as they are on paper they will really cut his drum off at the knees along with any others, particularly if the work with a mag well. Thus it makes a lot of sense to move your stock and get as many preorders on another run as possible prior to releasing the drum. I'm not saying this is a bad thing per se.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  23. Girodin

    Girodin Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Messages:
    5,601
    The type of sling one needs is dependent on use. For the type of CQB stuff you describe I prefer a sling like the Magpul MS2. A single point that can be quickly transitioned to a two point if there is some specific need.


    I do not like the offset VFG. If you grip a vertical fore grip under sway is an issue (even more so when the gun weighs 12-13 lbs with a full drum), it is not the most stable way to hold the gun. I index off of my VFG with a broken grip. To me that is the way to use a VFG. The off set grip doesn't allow for that. It also kills ambidexterity. In sum the offset grip is an expensive piece of equipment that is an answer to a non existent problem. The point is to be off set to allow rock n lock reload on an AK. A stubby VFG or an AVG allows for ak rock n lock reloads plus offer a more stable grip and is more ambidextrous.
     
  24. Girodin

    Girodin Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Messages:
    5,601
    I just thought I would add a picture of the gun in a more recent configuration. The Burris RDS held up fine but had some shortcomings as a combat sight. It wasn't as robust as I wanted. Furthermore, it didn't have the batter life of an aimpoint. It also had an off off switch. I like having an aimpoint I can leave on for years and not worry about. It is sitting on the riser in this photo but works better without the riser. I did like the size of the burris. I think an RMR would work well. Mounting it perhaps on a ultimak and losing the top rail. This should save some weight. Which is a bit of an issue with this gun. The gun as pictured it not a light weight. It is a soft shooting gun.. However, it is not as fast handling as a lighter gun. It also is unwieldy for smaller/weaker shooters. It wouldn't be the shotgun I would grab if I were going to walk a long ways.

    The light I'm using now is a surefire. I had another use for the TLR 1. I use surefires on another guns as well so there is commonality, which I like.

    The sling is a Magpull MS3.

    The gun has proven reliable and durable. I still like it very much and believe it is a formidably fighting shotgun. I'll probably still tweek it some as things constantly evolve. I would love a very similar SBS. However, were I starting all over today I would consider starting with an MKA1919 because I think it might be more economical and offer some other advantages.

    [​IMG]
     

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    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  25. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    13,936
    Location:
    MD.
    Thanks for the update. Just for grins, what's the curb weight on that?
     
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