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Saiga in 7.62x39

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by tonytor58, Jul 15, 2013.

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  1. tonytor58

    tonytor58 Member

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    I have been thinking of picking up a Saiga, my local store has one for $535. I know last November they were around $400, I guess I'm asking if its worth it? Also how are they to shoot? Convert? I have always wanted an AK and really like the unique look of the Saiga when they are converted. I've done some searches but am looking for opinions here since I can't judge a market value locally seems around $550. Another question maybe for the reloading forum but do you reload the round are they hard on brass? Or just buy the cheap steel case stuff and have a blast? Thanks for your input in advance. If you have pics to post they are always welcome.
     
  2. brunowbe

    brunowbe Member

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    I think $535 is too steep for a stock Saiga, but that is only because I bought mine for much less 2 years ago and do not have any idea of what the market is for them. If you are going to convert (trigger, pistol grip, and bullet guide) you are looking at $100 or so for parts alone (for basic butt stock and pistol grip, if looking for a folder or adjustable stock the price goes up). You are now in close to $700 for the Saiga if you are going to do the work yourself. If it's worth it to you, go for it.

    I had mine unconverted for about a year; over this past winter I went ahead and converted it and it is night and day. The rifle is that much better after moving the trigger group to where it should be. You also learn a lot about how your rifle works along with a satisfaction of doing it yourself. The conversion process is relatively easy, just take your time with it and make sure you have some sort of dremel type of tool (it saves a lot of time).

    I would not bother using brass in my Saiga, it puts a nice crimp in the side of every spent case it fires to where I can tell if it came out of my rifle or not. Stick with steel cased ammo, it's what they were built to run off of.
     
  3. tonytor58

    tonytor58 Member

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    Thanks for the info, I will be doing the conversion myself and am a little worried about drilling and grinding on the receiver. But I want the experience of doing it myself, I have been watching prices of wasr 10's and they are right around $800 now and thought I could come in under that with the basic conversion kit. I am interested in the conversion process and seems like a lot of satisfaction when you finish. Still deciding weither or not to drop $100 more than they were in 2012, but like I said price seems to be stopping me now! Haha
     
  4. fireside44

    fireside44 Member

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    If you don't have an AK style rifle yet then I would say yes, they are worth it. Russian barrel and receiver, pretty sweet. My Century conversion is built straight as an arrow, a great shooting, looking, and functioning gun. If you do the full conversion it will look like your average AK but if you just convert to pistol grip it retains the long front handguard, which, in my opinion, is great. There are plenty of aftermarket handguards for Saiga's with an unconverted front end.

    I reload and bought the weapon so I wouldn't have to reload another caliber. The cheap steel cased stuff is great. Golden Tiger is teh best of the steel case according to myself and many others.

    You can get a Yugo PAP from J&G sales right now for $599, that's probably the ticket unless you are hell bent on the Russian built gun. Cheaper and less work than the conversion and by many reports, a fine weapon.
     
  5. baz

    baz Member

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    I purchased my Saiga (in .223, already converted by Tromix) in 2006. So it has been a while since I followed things relating to Saiga. But then, and I would imagine now, the supply of new Saiga's was very chaotic. Being imported from Russia, they seem to arrive in bunches, get sold, and then the supply dries up for a while. They may have something to do with the price increase. If I were you, I'd try to find more out about the supply, and whether there are more on the way from Russia, and if so, when they might be arriving. Of course, markets being what they are, any new ones might be priced higher than before.

    I see one on Gunbroker right now for $749, the auction about to expire, and no bids. Compared to that, $535 seems like a good deal. I think it will all depend on how bad you want a Saiga.
     
  6. JFtheGR8

    JFtheGR8 Member

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    I would call Classic Arms and ask them if and when they anticipate a shipment. They seem to sell quite a few Saiga rifles. That's where I got mine a few years back. The conversion is simple. Threading the barrel is probably the most difficult. Some are already threaded. There are clues to look for but I don't remember off the top of my head what they are. I think I've posted them here in the past. I'd link the thread if I weren't on my phone. I found them by doing a Google search. Sure enough, my rifle had those features and when I cut off the barrel shroud there were threads. The only thing left to do on mine is the hand guard, if I even want to do it that is. Good luck!


    Posted from Thehighroad.org App for Android
     
  7. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Member

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    Converting your own Saiga is definitely the way to go for your first AK, provided you can find one for a good price.

    A well-converted Saiga is hard to beat. It's a real Izhmash-made Russian AK with a tough chrome-lined hammer-forged barrel and the product improvements of the AK-100-series line. The bolt-hold-open is a nice little feature most AKs don't have. There's not much that's not to like. The finish (a baked-on black paint-like finish over what looks like a very thin grey parkerization) is quite tough, but not that pretty.

    Doing the conversion yourself is a great way to learn the ins and outs of the rifle. I'm not terribly mechanically-inclined, but was able to the do the conversion in a Saturday afternoon. Here is my 7.62x39mm Saiga.

    It started life as this (stock photo of Saiga IZ-132):

    IZ132.jpg


    I converted it to this:

    DSC_0002-rotated_zps6832e8ba.jpg


    About the only thing I still might do with it is thread the barrel for a muzzle brake (even though recoil is not bad at all).
     
  8. Cryogaijin

    Cryogaijin Member

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    Saiga++ It isn't a terrible price, and getting all original/matching parts is the best way to go.
     
  9. vujade

    vujade Member

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    I love these guns. Once you convert one - you become '1 with the gun' and you'll never get rid of it.

    I named mine and even if I now shoot nicer/more accurate rifles, my Saiga will always a my favorite.

    It's a shame the price though; I used to pass on $329 unconverted ones because of stories when they they used to be 'cheap'.
     
  10. tonytor58

    tonytor58 Member

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    Thanks for all the input guys, and photos! Where do you guys get detailed instructions? And also conversion parts? I know of Carolina shooters but are they the only company?
     
  11. Piratesailor

    Piratesailor Member

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    Price is high but not outrageous. $300 or was the old norm.

    Get and convert it. Great guns that you'll love.
     
  12. cat_IT_guy

    cat_IT_guy Member

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    Sounds a bit high for a year ago, but doesnt sound far off for the current market. I bought mine with the intention of NOT converting it. So I converted it about 4 months later LOL. Tromix trigger, hogue grip, and Arsenal stock. If I did it over again, I would choose NATO length stock. I stilli have the original handguard, and havent yet installed the bullet guide. I suspect when the PMAGS for AKs come out, I will then have a good enough reason to install one. I also wasnt going to thread the barrel.... so I ended up doing that about 2 mos ago (btw, let me know if you are interested in the threading kit).

    The conversion was pretty easy, probably only a few hours. Threading, also a couple hours. Very satisfying on both counts, as I had never done that before.
     
  13. Godsgunman

    Godsgunman Member

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    The price is what it is, sounds like the going rate nowadays. I got mine for 299 a couple years ago. I like mine and have kept everything stock on it as I use mine for deer so the hunting stock is fine for my uses.
     
  14. jodavk

    jodavk Member

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    Mine came with the factory skeleton stock. I like it just how it is.
     
  15. tonytor58

    tonytor58 Member

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    Ben how hard was threading the barrel? That was one of the last things I had planed on doing since it seemed so hard. Also factory skeleton stock? Do they come with those? Cause I was looking at the ace stock kit from Carolina.
     
  16. cat_IT_guy

    cat_IT_guy Member

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    Like you, I was a bit intimidated at first... Im a software developer, with exactly no formal training in metal / machining / shop / etc, so Im sure Im hardly qualified. But if you take your time and follow instructions carefully, theres no reason you cant do it.

    Really, its a matter of removing the barrel shroud that wraps around the barrel in front of the sight post. I used a dremel with a cutoff disk, just cutting a bit deeper each time to minimize over penetration onto the barrel until I could use pliers to twist it off. The actual threading wasnt hard at all - the kit I purchased from CNC warrior included the thread alignment tool (TAT), die + handle and cutting oil. The TAT makes starting your threads pretty straightforward. Biggest warning I heard was to not wait too long to remove the TAT, as if you do you can strip your new threads. Also make sure to ease back on the die every 1/4 turn or so to cut the metal chips off. Lastly dont skimp on cutting oil.

    Note that the distance between the end of a Saiga's barrel and the sight base is a bit longer than most AKs. CNC Warrior (I dont work for them, just where I got the stuff) has some extra long thread brakes to handle this situation. Alternatively, you can just leave a bit of a gap between the front sight and start of the brake/hider. You will probably want a nut that you can turn the brake/hider against in order to secure it.
     
  17. JFtheGR8

    JFtheGR8 Member

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    I used a tubing cutter. It kept the cut a uniform distance from the front sight. I used 2 crush washers to take up the gap between the flash hider and the sight base too. Those features I was talking about are on the Saiga forum. I believe they are: '09 manufacture, handguard retaining notches on barrel, non-stepped chamber, beveled chamber and dimpled receiver. Mine had all those features and had threads.


    Posted from Thehighroad.org App for Android
     
  18. jodavk

    jodavk Member

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    tonytor58: Yes, some Saigas come with a factory sketelton stock. It has a flip up cheek piece for use with an optic. You can occasionally find the OEM Saiga ones in the WTS/classifides of the Saiga forum or Gunboards. I was able to purchase another and put it on my 5.45 Saiga.
     
  19. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Member

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    That sounds interesting. Could you post a photo? I've never seen one before. Is is a sporter-style stock?
     
  20. tonytor58

    tonytor58 Member

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    I think I'm gonna go pick it up tomorrow, try to get the guy down to $500. It's pretty bad that I already have how it should look down and the parts I want. I don't even have the rifle yet hahaha, I think I'm gonna go caa pistol grip, with dph skeleton stock, leave the stock hand guard for now. See how I do with the rear end of the gun before I cut threads into the barrel. Does anyone have pics with the dph stock I can't get any good ones on google!
     
  21. jodavk

    jodavk Member

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  22. Cryogaijin

    Cryogaijin Member

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    For Saiga parts, my 1st stop, in this order, is: Dinzag for the FCG and any other bits and bobs he sells, followed by Mississippiautoarms.com for just about anything else. If it was a Saiga 12, I'd go Dinzag then MD arms for 20 round drums. If it was a .308 I'd go Dinzag then CSS for metal magazines, etc. Mississippiautoarms is my go to once I've exhausted the specialists, and I've always been pleased with their service, including the one mistake I had with them. Note: they offer a discount to Saiga12.com forum members.
     
  23. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Member

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    Neat. I've seen those before, but always assumed they were some kind of aftermarket item. I would never take one over a proper pistol grip/AK trigger group configuration, but it looks like a cool option for folks in those states (Cali., New York) that do not honor those human rights protected by the 2nd Amendment.
     
  24. tonytor58

    tonytor58 Member

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    Just picked it up today! The shop had not even taken it out of the box yet, still in the original bag! It came to $525 total and he threw in a box of Tula which I thought was cool just so I could shoot it before I start converting. That skeleton stock looks pretty cool, is there a way to tell manufacture date on these? Cause most all that is on the box is Russian haha.
     
  25. JFtheGR8

    JFtheGR8 Member

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    Congrats, you will love it. On mine the serial number has an alpha character followed by numbers. The first two numbers designate the year. For instance mine starts with an H followed by 09xxxxx


    Posted from Thehighroad.org App for Android
     
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