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Someone talk me out of getting a Saiga .308

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by davek, Oct 4, 2004.

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  1. davek

    davek Member

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    I keep waffling. I'm in the market for a trunk/fun/SHTF gun and every time I think I've made up my mind, something else comes along to shake my conviction. Currently I keep coming back to a para SKS, because I definately want an inexpensive semi-auto carbine that I can tinker with, but am not interested in a .223. I have Yugo, and love the 7.62x39 round, but like I said, I'd like something a little shorter, lighter and handier.

    I was happy. I knew what I wanted and it was in my price range. Some day I'll get a DSA FAL because I really want a .308, but that day is far into the future.

    Until two days ago when I got a catalog from CDNN advertising Saiga's...including one in .308 for about the same price, or maybe a little cheaper than a para.

    So how about it? I've read very little about the Saiga .308, but all of it has been good. How good are they? How accurate? What kind of accessories are there for them? Milsurp or factory ammo? How much do they weigh compared to an M1A?

    If there's an online source of Saiga info, you can just point me in it's direction in lieu of trying to answer all of my rambling questions.

    Thanks.
     
  2. SLCDave

    SLCDave Member

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  3. RichardW

    RichardW Member

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    davek,
    I could have written that post myself, I agree 100% with everything you said. I went ahead and sold my SKS (which I loved, and will get another) and bought a Saiga 308. Couldn't be happier. There will be a FAL someday though!
     
  4. JohnMc

    JohnMc Member

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    They're about 4 moa at 100 yards, give or take.
    They are what they are; a reliable AK action in .308. Pull the trigger, it goes bang. Enjoy. Repeat.
     
  5. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

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    I had a chance to buy one at Turner's a few years back before they became illegal here in California. I've regretted it ever since.
     
  6. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    Someone talk me out of getting a Sagia .308

    OK, Ill try- Its UGLY!
     
  7. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

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    Prolly why it's banned in California :rolleyes:
     
  8. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Member

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    I keep thinking of getting one. The only thing really holding me back is that the mags only hold 8 rounds. I figure for $300, I can get another Greek Garand that also holds 8 rounds, but is easier to reload after those 8 rounds. Also, a Garand immediately jumps up in value and probably has better long-term value.

    I figure I will wait a while until they start shipping in higher cap magazines and maybe offer a standard pistol grip.

    Saiga .308 sure seems appealing though. I don't think you can really go wrong.
     
  9. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    AFAIK, there are two functional issues with the Saiga - its balance point is too far forward (even for an AK variant), and it has no bolt hold-back facility when the mag runs dry. Both issues can be addressed with aftermarket and/or homegrown solutions, but there they are. It also has a really bad (IMO) quality of machine work and metal finish in non-critical areas, but nothing that appears to affect its actual function.
     
  10. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    Why not just get the Saiga in 7.62*39 ....?

    :confused:
     
  11. davek

    davek Member

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    Why?

    Oh I would like to get a Garand eventually...but right now I'm interested in more of a carbine.

    If I'm going to go with another 7.62X39, it's going to be a para. I'm already familiar with it, and it's handier.

    The thing that's making me look at the Saiga .308 is the fact that it's a .308...and one I can currently afford.
     
  12. RooK

    RooK Member

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    I got mine a couple weeks ago and I'm currently doing a pistol grip conversion on it. It entails knocking off the bottom 'cover plate' and installing a proper FCG. After that, almost all the parts are standard AK; pistol grip, stock, inards (sans bolt), gas tube. They just lack the lower handguard retainer which can be installed by an AK smith or wescoging. I posted part of my pistol grip conversion on the forum that Dave provided a link to. http://forum.saiga-12.com/index.php?showtopic=1903

    Weight is about 8lbs for the 16incher (the one I own). It definately is forward heavy, but seems to balance close to the front of the mag, so it's not too bad. Mags are 8rnds, but the factory follower/floorplate can be trimmed so 10 fit. EAA has said that hicaps are on order, but some enterprising people are working on G3 mag conversions as we speak.

    Although I haven't shot mine for groups yet (need a scope mount), the average groups sizes seem to be around 2 MOA or less with surplus ammo. Plenty accurate for a battle rifle.

    ReadyontheRight, EAA will never offer a pistol grip version. It has to look like it does to get imported, but you can buy them from certain custom AK suppliers converted for a modest fee or do it yourself. On the 7.62/.223 models, this entails cutting two pins and drilling 3 rivets and a spot weld. On the .308 it involves 2 rivets and 3 spot welds. The trigger hole, and usually the pistol grip nut hole are usually cut, making it a straight forward conversion.

    My only complaints about it are: FSB on mine is canted about 1/16" to the left, making it just noticeable when centering the front sight for windage. The finish they come with comes off very easily. Neither effect its function or ability to work though. I plan on making it my new deer rifle. I've heard that the quality of the finish on the Saigas is only bettered by the custom jobs and Bulgarian milled models.

    TallPine, if you have to ask, then you just don't understand the extra power offered by the .308.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Member

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    I like mine and as soon as I can order a collapsible stock she's going to get one. So far I've got the RSA trigger group, Ergo type pistol grip, and ACE reciever block with AR stock adapter installed. So far it looks pretty good. Now to come up with the funds for more collapsible stocks!


    The one negative point I found with the Saiga .308 was addressed when I put in the RSA trigger group. Other than that I didn't find any really bad qualities about the .308. It becomes a totally different animal once you do the PG conversion.

    Good Shooting
    Red
     
  14. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    :confused:
     
  15. Shane333

    Shane333 Member

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    Very good description Rook.

    I've got the Saiga .223, but a .308 is high on my wish list.

    I find that the silly buttstock makes the rifle too front-heavy, which is why I'm going to do the pistol grip conversion (yes, with the appropriate number of US parts). Other than the buttstock, I love the rifle.

    For me the question is whether to get the 16" barrel or the longer 20+" barrel. The longer barrel would certainly make better usage of the .308 velocity potential, but many people claim that the 16" version is more accurate (and you get a wicked looking flame out the front).
     
  16. Risasi

    Risasi Member

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    Okay, I'll try...

    Bah,

    What? Are you nuts!! Get a Century CETME. It's worth the extra $50-100. You can make up the price in mags alone. (Bought 15 for something like $80 from Tapco)
    Just make sure you read up at www.cetmerifles.com so you don't get a lemon.

    Advantages:

    20 round mags (cheap, stated above)
    Older ones have the nice wood stock, (which grows on you BTW) don't know if the newer ones can be had in wood.

    Trigger job easy, got mine down to about an 8lbs pull.

    This in turn means I got it shooting about 1.5MOA.

    Disadvantages:

    You can get burned if you get a bad one.

    Stupid crap backward safety.

    ---------

    Another option is a DIY FAL clone. I know you used to be able to put together one for about $500 or so.


    ---------


    I dunno, I guess it's personal preference. And how much your budget allows.

    ------

    P.S. Edit: Hmm, I see they have wood stocks for the Saiga .308 Hmm....okay poplar on the CETME still looks better, but hmm...

    ------

    P.P.S Edit:

    Okay, these might not be the $300 I thought they were. (Anybody got local prices they can quote?) And I think the mag situation is definitely iffy:

    http://www.akfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1078

    Granted the AWB has expired. But it seems like a lot of work to go through right now to get 20 rounders that are reliable. In which case you might as well get a CETME or FAL if you have to go through that hassle. I dunno it's a toss up. If you are okay w/ 8 rounds go for it and bank on them improving the mag situation. I'll bet you can improve the groups on these weapons to shoot better than 1.5MOA too.
     
  17. RooK

    RooK Member

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    Which is why I stayed away from CETMEs. CAI rifles seem to be a 3 in 4 chance of getting one that needs fixing. At least the Saiga works out of the box.

    Edit...

    I got my Saiga .308 for $279+tax ($295 out the door). The mag situation is improving. Once guy has a G3 adapter made that he is testing for durability and applied for a patent. Another has a different G3 adapter that he is working on. Old conversions involved Galil or M14 mags, if you can find a good gunsmith/machinist willing to assist in chewing away at the trunion you can have those. Now with the AWB gone, new possibilities are showing themselves in being able to modify the mags and not the guns.
     
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