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Saiga vs. SKS

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by timfromohio, Apr 17, 2008.

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  1. timfromohio

    timfromohio Member

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    First off, let me apologize for asking for a comparison which has been made before. I've read a lot on the forum about both guns, but a recent thread (about SKS slam firing) made me want to start a new thread and ask for recommendations with safety (along with other attributes of the gun) in mind.

    I'm going to a show this weekend - was planning on buying an SKS (I have several handguns, no long guns, want to get some, want 7.62x39). It seems to be a good, reliable, inexpensive rifle. Had read before about Saiga, but figured liked idea of milled receiver and ability to use stripper clips rather than buy mags.

    All that said, I didn't pay much attention to the safety issues associated with the SKS.

    Opinions? Which to buy? Like the milled receiver of the SKS, ability to use stripper clips, military heritage. On the other hand, have never read of slam firing or other safety issues with Saiga, like the chrome-lined barrel, fact that it's new.

    What to do (I know, but some of each...)?
     
  2. timfromohio

    timfromohio Member

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    Follow-up - I had also considered the STG-2000, but have not read enough about it (good or bad) to make it a contender - any thoughts on this rifle appreicated.
     
  3. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    The STG-2000 is a WASR under a different name and importer.

    The SKS has "slam fire" issues due to the improper cleaning of it. Cosmoline can gum up the firing pin and cause this.

    As far as "milled receivers", I think you've been listening to the guys with big pocketbooks. The SKS is only available (and has only been available) with a "milled receiver".
     
  4. ndolson

    ndolson Member

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    Get a Saiga, it's a much better firearm IMO than the SKS. I own both, so I can make this statement.

    They're both super reliable, but the SKS is pretty darn heavy, large (long), limited to 10 rd capacity (the aftermarket mags don't work worth a damn), and will cost you about the same as the Saiga.

    The Saiga is basically a Russian built (Izmash) AK-47 in disguise. It can be converted back to the AK config for a couple hundred bucks if you so chose at a later time. Accepts high cap mags, much lighter than the SKS, accurate, and priced right.
     
  5. timfromohio

    timfromohio Member

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    Regarding milled vs. stamped, I meant I liked the milled SKS over the stamped Saiga.

    So Naliot, which do you recommend? Thanks for any recommendation.
     
  6. Shear_stress

    Shear_stress Member

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    Not quite. There were a few made with a stamped receiver, but they are like hen's teeth. Note that only the Yugo SKS barrel had no chrome lining, but the rest did, to the best of my knowledge.

    As far as SKS vs Saiga, they are both very good rifles for the price and both have plenty of aftermarket support. I don't think you could lose either way.
     
  7. chupacabrah

    chupacabrah Member

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    they're both great firearms.

    sks-- uses stripper clips. but is heavy
    saiga -- have to buy mags. but then you can use hi cap(standard cap) mags after a conversion to AK (about $100 for a basic pistol grip conversion).


    sks is about $200.
    saiga is about $250.


    i would go with the saiga. it's a more advanced platform to start with.
    ...THEN i'd get the SKS later on ;)
     
  8. chris in va

    chris in va Member

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    I've had both. Get the Saiga.

    Advantages? Saigas are lighter, have a scope rail, don't generally slam fire, are NEW from the factory, have chrome lined bores, and can be converted to traditional AK platforms very reasonably. 30rd magazines can be had for $12 plus shipping, provided the rest of the gun is 922 compliant.

    I had a Yugo. It really bugged me having all that added crap on the end of the barrel. I have a love affair with carbines, and it was really too long to be considered 'carbine' length in my book.
     
  9. timfromohio

    timfromohio Member

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    How long have the Saiga's been around? What's the history? You guys are making me lean towards the Saiga.
     
  10. chris in va

    chris in va Member

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  11. railroader

    railroader Member

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    I have 2 chinese sks's and a saiga. Weight wise the chinese rifles aren't front heavy like the yugo sks's people are using for comparison. Overall the finish on the sks's is better than on the saiga which looks almost like paint. The stock trigger I would say is a toss up. Scoping a saiga is much better because it has a stable side rail to work with. I give just a edge to the saiga because of the detachable mags. Mark
     
  12. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    The SKS is a heavy and rugged beater rifle that will work well. The stock sights are a bit rough, but you can get upgrades such as Tech-Sights.

    The Saiga is a new AK clone that can be modified back to AK configuration to take 30 round mags. Its sights are likely just a little better and it has the side road to mount optics like a red dot. It will be much lighter and likely more accurate.
    ------------------------

    I got my SKS when they were cheaper. I like it, but again it was cheaper. I liked the idea of a rugged semi-auto rifle and a satchel full of 10 round strippers. It was a poor man's Garand.

    I think I would get the Saiga now and then keep my eye out for a good deal on an SKS later.
     
  13. Ghost Tracker

    Ghost Tracker Member

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  14. Drusagas

    Drusagas Member

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    Saiga. It just plainly looks cooler. If you like the tacticool looking stuff, plus, in the converted look, especially with say, vertical foregrips and all such, it'll scare so many anti's they wont know what to ban :evil:
     
  15. BeJaRa

    BeJaRa Member

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    ok I own a norinco SKS and I love it. After reloading the 7.62x39 I can get 2" groups with it at 100yrds, with wolf or surplus it was more like 4-5" groups. I think the saiga would be a nice platform, but I personally would not want it changed to AK furniture. I wanted an AK clone bad until I actually got to sholder one, now I definatly do not want one. They may be reliable as all get out, but the traditional AK furniture is not comfortable at all, to me Then again my favorite rifle I own is a garand. So if you want a "rifle" then I would suggest getting the SKS as it has a bit longer sight radius than the Sagia, and I have yet to have my SKS out shot (in person, no offense but I don't count accounts on the internet)by any AK including an Arsenal AK. And I really don't understand how anyone can call an SKS "heavy"
     
  16. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

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    They are both great. I can't help but feel like I prefer the SKS, but only the partrooper models.
     
  17. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    I have had 5 Saigas, and they have all been great; However , the stg-2000 does look fabulous, and the bbl is made on steyr machinery. so this will be my next purchase.
     
  18. chupacabrah

    chupacabrah Member

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    i thought that was a rumor, and it was actually made using "steyr techniques" by some other company?

    could be wrong, though.

    I've heard it's a pretty good rifle
     
  19. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    I personaly would rather own the Saiga. I own two of them. That said I might go either way if the price was right or wrong for one or the other.

    Now is a good time to get into Saigas as the price has been nad apears to be going up. SKS prices are climbing too.

    If it was between a $185-$200 SKS and a $250-$280 Saiga I would take the NIB Saiga as it seems the superior weapon to me and is brand new.
     
  20. jdc1244

    jdc1244 Member

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    I consider the question moot given the price of each rifle, owning both eventually should be well within most collectors’ budgets. The only reason not to get an SKS or Saiga is because you don’t like one or the other.
     
  21. J Star

    J Star Member

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    I was checking out SKSs and Saigas for quite a while. I ended up buying an AKM.

    I wanted removable magazines. The SKS-M and -D models seem to go for about $400 on up. The Saiga takes it's own proprietary magazines unless you mod it. The price is also going up on them. Right now, my dealer has one for $280 or so.
    To give it a pistol grip and stock, it'd cost me quite a bit more.

    So, screw it, I thought. I'll spend the extra on a Romanian SAR-1. The dealer even had some nice pre-ban high cap mags to go with it.
     
  22. MD_Willington

    MD_Willington Member

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    I found a book at a used book store in Moscow Idaho, the book was a firearms of the world book from around the 60's - 70's IIRC, even then it had a reference to the Saiga hunting firearms.


    The .223 will take OEM mags, Galil mags, Bulgarian 5.56 mags, and AK-74 mags, the .308 will take OEM and large cap US mags, the 7.62x39 will take OEM or AK-47 mags, domestic and foreign, with minimal changes and you have to play the 922R points game...

    It is easy... nothing hard about it.

    That's the reason I now have 10 Galil magazines for my S.223
     
  23. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    While I enjoy the SKS, I really like my Saigas. As has been mentioned, they are Kalashnikovs through and through.
    saiga556_662.jpg

    We've been over this before, folks. The barrels are made in Romania just like any other Romanian military barrel. Nowhere in any sales literature or tech sheets does it say "Steyr manufactured".
     
  24. Dollar An Hour

    Dollar An Hour Member

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    Do Saigas have a 'normal' LOP out of the box? I'm not crazy about the short stocks usually found on AK's.
     
  25. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    If by 'normal', you mean comfortable for us large Americans, the answer is yes.
     
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