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Saiga 12g, how reliable?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by cajun47, May 9, 2010.

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  1. cajun47

    cajun47 member

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    are they the most reliable semi auto shotgun? how much do they go for?
     
  2. Still 2 Many Choices!?

    Still 2 Many Choices!? Member

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    The tolerances vary from gun to gun, but after shooting some high brass rounds to loosen the action, it should eat almost anything. They run about 600 around here.

    It comes with two settings for the gas plug; one for light loads, and one for heavy recoiling stuff. If you use settng two(the light setting) with heavy loads, you can beat up the receiver, or wear out parts faster, plus you get too much recoil. You'll want to check to verify that you have three holes in your gas system, as some have said there's left the factory with less(jokingly referred to as vodka specials). You may want to check over at Saiga12.com.

    Depending on what you want it for, you should look into returning it to actual AK configuration. The cost can be as little as 200 for parts and your time if you can DIY(YouTube or Saiga12com), or as much as 800 to have it professionally done. Tromix is the king of conversion, but back ordered for like two years. I'm going to have mine converted when funds allow. The conversion will allow you to customize your AK almost as much as an AR! Parts are everywhere from 20-30 round drum mags, railed handguards, different chokes, muzzle brakes, magwells to speed up reloads, extended safeties, extended magazine release(as fast as the AR's release), combat sights, folding/telescoping stocks, and the list goes on and on!

    Finally, you must look into the parts count. Imported detatchable magazine shotguns can only have
    so many foreign parts if you want to use the larger magazines and drums. The import law covering this is 922(r). I don't know if the magic number of rounds the mag can hold is 8,10, or 12, but I'm converting anyway so it won't matter to me, but you should read about it at Saiga12.com again, and if you think the EBR's make Leftist extrimist squeamish, and Gun enthusiast :D; wait 'til you have an Evil Black Shotgun!;)!

    Thoughts of a verrrrrrrrry happy Saiga 12 owner:):):)!!!!:p!!
    Still 2 Many Choices!?
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2010
  3. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    Generally, after breaking in, and with an improved gas piston from King Armory, they'll eat anything you throw at them except maybe some Fiocchi ammo (unusually light loads). I've heard reports of up to 1000 rounds cycled between cleaning. That's pretty obscene. Out of the box, mine cycled #00 reliably. I still haven't gotten mine broken in yet, but it's a solid shotgun and I plan to take it hunting once I do.
     
  4. jmortimer

    jmortimer Member

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    It is not top tier reliable but better than nothing. For serious reliability you would need a FN SLP or Benelli M4. If you take the time to sort out all the "issues" (many threads on all the issues), and there are a few, it would be a decent shotgun but, again the FN SLP or Benelli M4 are in a different/better class in all areas. The issue of magazine versus tube feed is moot as you can "load as you go" with a tube and if you do not convert to last round bolt hold open the tube feed is better. I would save my $$$ for the best for HD unless you want to go out and shoot-up a bunch of "stuff" where the Saiga would shine.
     
  5. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    You go here. Must drink Vodka while load video. Izmash good weapons makes. Much testing in freezing and hot.

    Click Weapons video. Much time takes as from Russia>

    http://www.izhmash.ru/eng/product/weapon.shtml

    :D
     
  6. Al LaVodka

    Al LaVodka member

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    They're an adaptation of an AK rifle action. And I'd say it is too early to tell how reliable they are. But more reliable than the Benelli Armi system? Somehow, I doubt it...
    Al
     
  7. rogertc1

    rogertc1 member

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    Base gun Sells new for about $600 but after you are done moving the trigger, getting new furnature, polishing the bolt, spending $ on 300-400 -hi brass 00 12ga ammo to get it broke in (If you don't have top send it back to get the ports redrilled.), new gas port adjuster and plunger....almost forgot the magazines and muzzle brakes...so it will cost perhaps total $1200. If you do it yourself.
     
  8. dom1104

    dom1104 Member

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    I agree, it is a 900 dollar shotgun by the time you are done with it.

    Which is fine, and it is very interesting.

    For my money, it would go to a more "refined" brand.
     
  9. malix

    malix Member

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    That seems a bit excessive. I didn't spend anywhere near that much on mine. I have less than $800 into it and I didnt need to do any "break in", it worked fine from day one - no bolt polishing, and no aftermarket gas plugs or pistons.

    Also, i believe that the issue of "vodka specials" with the misaligned gas ports has been addressed. I haven't heard of any new Saiga 12s having that problem for quite some time now.
     
  10. RXtion

    RXtion Member

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    The high brass break in period is only to break the gun in so that you can shoot low brass target ammo for busting clays. A Gunfixers gas plug at the right setting should do the trick to get bird shot and target ammo cycling without issue on a broken in gun, if you weren't able to get it to cycle with the factory gas plug. The Saiga-12 out of the box should cycle any heavier home defense ammo that you should be using in it when you need it for that reason. High brass buckshot & slugs should cycle just fine in an off the shelf Saiga-12.
     
  11. faizi

    faizi Member

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    +1 for tube fed semi auto.
     
  12. MachIVshooter
    • Contributing Member

    MachIVshooter Contributing Member

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    Add another.

    Saiga's have some sort of appeal, I guess. But I'll keep my 11-87 Police for the EBS. Doesn't like value-pack low brass stuff, but 100% with high brass field, mags and slugs, 2-3/4" or 3".
     
  13. Narwhal

    Narwhal Member

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    From what I've seen, not very. Then again, I haven't been impressed away with the benellis I've seen playing IPSC shotgun either. I think people too often just show up with any old box of shells and expect them to cycle - not true with semi automatic shotguns.

    I've had good luck with the mossberg 930. If I was going to buy an imported gun for gaming I'd probably go with a saiga though....if you're willing to do the trial and error involved with making them reliable, you'll have a winner. Brian Enos forums has a lot of detailed information about what modifications need to be done and what parts need to be upgraded on the saigas.
     
  14. Still 2 Many Choices!?

    Still 2 Many Choices!? Member

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    Nothing "needs to be upgraded" on the Saiga, it's a matter of preference. I would like to see a Benelli fold in half and fit in a backpack though. Or maybe use a 20 rnd drum just because. Or maybe have a magazine of slugs standing by at the ready if you need it(unlikely but why not?). Or be left to drip dry after being dropped in a puddle or out in the rain maybe.

    The Saiga is by no means the end all be all shotgun(I don't know which one is), but with a chrome-lined bore, external threads for chokes or muzzle brakes, virtually limitless mods available, drum mags, soon to be double stack mags(no more 13" 12rnders), and ability to use 2 3/4" light target loads on up to 3" magnum slugs, it is pretty darn close.

    As I said, they run 600, and a do-it-yourself/DIY conversion can be done for 200 so that comes to 800. I don't know where this 1200 figure came from for a DIY job:rolleyes:! I don't happen to weld or have the ability to refinish my Saiga, so I'm getting it professionally done. Might cost me 600(depending on all the mods I choose, but I'll have all the mods I want for that 1200 total. It'll be refinished, all the holes will be rewelded, the trigger will be better, it will have fast mag changes, the ability to fit in a smallish range bag, the ability to take ALL game in North America(law permitting),and it will give antis nightmares and cold sweats when they see it posted on The High Road, lol. I say 600 more dollars well spent.

    PS- The Saiga may be the most reliable semi shotgun in the world, but at 1/4 of the price it's hard to beat a mossberg 500!
    YMMV
    Still 2 Many Choices!?
     
  15. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    Obviously the cost depends on what your DIY job consists of. You can spend less than $200 easy for a basic PG conversion and one can even more easily spend much more.

    Also $600 is a bit out of line for a stock gun based on what I have seen them going for locally and online (even with shipping and typical transfer fees).
     
  16. Still 2 Many Choices!?

    Still 2 Many Choices!? Member

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    If it were 9-12 months ago I would agree that 600 is out of sorts for a NIB Saiga 12, but with the buying frenzy still in full swing, 600 seems to be what the going rate is today. If you find one for less, jump on it!!!

    A year ago they could be had for 500 or less in the right places :(!

    Still 2 Many Choices!?
     
  17. Narwhal

    Narwhal Member

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    Okay, now that is funny.
     
  18. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    More like $450 or less if you knew where to look.

    BTW it took me like five seconds of internet checking to find them at a price that would get you out the door for less than $600 (at least based on what I've paid for shipping and transfers).

    I'm not sure what buying frenzy you are referencing. The last few months have been a buyers market when it comes to guns, particularly of the evil black variety.
     
  19. MAX100

    MAX100 Member

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    Mine was reliable right out of the box without even cleaning it.


    GC
     
  20. Diamondback6

    Diamondback6 Member

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    And prices are a little overstated--I've seen a group buy on another board (in the Ridiculously Overpriced NorthWet, even) at $475.
     
  21. faizi

    faizi Member

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    I think Beretta semi auto shotguns gas system is the most reliable.YMMV
     
  22. berettashotgun

    berettashotgun Member

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    No way, no chance is a Saiga even tested to reliable standards of a shotgun.
    That is not saying it is BAD/GOOD, that is saying I doubt the Saiga has been ran thru 20k rounds.
    Over 15 years.
    With a few different shooters.
    That were kids.
    That never cleaned it.
    I know of a Beretta AL-2 ( Garcia import ;) ) that met this criteria.
    It is currently in my brothers closet, with his maroon tights:neener: and is semi retired.
     
  23. Still 2 Many Choices!?

    Still 2 Many Choices!? Member

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    Well group buys are another animal all together, but like I said, if you find a Saiga 12 for less, jump on it.

    Oh, and I forgot the smiley after I wrote it MAY be the most reliable semi auto shotgun in the world, I've never torture tested mine; but I bet a few guys in Spetnaz have probably given them a pretty hard time ;)!

    I'm also not trying to get into a poo flinging contest here, no diss intended to the Berreta and Benelli owners, but the Saiga was designed at the same factory the entire AK line is made, it is chromed, it was intentionally made as a combat shotgun, and is used in one of the worst climates around, by some of the most hard core operators out there, and it works; plain and simple. It may not be as refined as the Benellis, and Berretas, but after returning it to proper configuration, it will eat more ammo than you can carry while getting the job done:)!

    Again, YMMV.
    Still 2 Many Choices!?
     
  24. memphisjim

    memphisjim Member

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    i had one and it was 100% reliable from the beginning no breakin required what so ever
     
  25. femoralis

    femoralis Member

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    Russian quality control is lacking. Mine came from the factory with only 2 gas ports, and I got it fixed under warranty from the gunsmith who converted it.

    If you have a new Saiga 12 in the stock configuration, they have a good warranty if they prove unreliable.

    Also, they are notorious for hating cheap winchester bulk birdshot or other weak shells. They should eat federal bulkpack birdshot of at least 1 and 1/8 oz shot weight.

    They are very, very fun.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
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