No crap. Of courser, I would prefer other models and chamberings (like a pioneer in 308 or 7.62x54R), but the pioneer is better than nothing---and will certainly kick the crap out of a Saiga Sporter or, worse yet, Mini-30. In addition, I don't think you can convert a saiga sporter to a standard AK easily, since that crappy Saiga Sporter trigger is moved further back and there is some awful linkage used to bridge the gap. Pulling that trigger is about as gritty as having sex with a 90 year old.
It's a very easy conversion to put in a new trigger. That's exactly what the pistol grip conversion is. Moving the fire control group forward and adding a PG and furniture. That's all there is to it to make it into a Russian AK with a genuine milspec AK barrel. There's videos of the easy process all over youtube etc. It's a very popular practice in most states since it's the only way to make a Russian AKM. There are threads on here with member builds doing this. You can probably move the FCG forward add a pistol grip and real AK furniture in an hour. This is pretty basic stuff, but again they are two very different rifles, a crappy trigger--and they vary very much from rifle to rifle-is more forgivable in an AKM.. Oh, and btw you can even change the 2 stage trigger in a factory Saiga sporter, which sure, is crappy, but this is less of an issue in an AKM (Carolina SS and Dinzag both sell kits).
I mean you do understand that a Saiga rifle is just an neutered Russian AK, they ship them in a "sporter version" to circumvent import laws that have been in place for decades. You are not allowed to import Russian AK types with features, unlike say Romanian WASRs, Hungarian AMDs, Polish Tantals, and many other AK types popularily sold in the US. A few years ago importers were only offering the sporter version so everyone would buy that then change it back to an AK (with the trigger moved back forward, and a pistol grip, real stock and foreend, and a proper AK gas block). Now some importers like CAI are offering them already converted stateside but most AK aficionados in free state still prefer to do their own Saiga AK conversion.
Saiga-AK Pistol Grip/FCG "Conversion Kit"
That's why Saigas are the premier AKM conversions in free state...pricey Arsenal AKs are just converted Saigas.The Saiga receiver is a Russian AK receiver and th barrel is a mil spec AK barrel. The rest is just a moved trigger group for the sporter stock and dressing. Again, no crap, a Vepr is a nice accurate Russian rifle, but it's not an AKM. Try putting a pistol grip and AK parts in minutes on it for a trip to PA, or doing an AK conversion. There's a reason all the premier custom shops use Saigas for their custom AK builds, including Tromix, etc.
These are both Saigas. The "converted one" is as close to a Russian AKM in a free state.
Saigas with new crisp aftermarket trigger groups and proper AK furniture.
Again, the VEPR pioneer is nice, but it's not even the nicest of the VEPR line, but still great, but it's apples and oranges. You can mention a ton of other rifles as well. The saiga (in it's only allowable sporter version) is still the closes thing to an AKM in NY. AKMs are not supposed to be premium match grade hunting rifles like the Vepr was intended. Like I said the Vepr is a great rifle and I own both. Before the embargo, the Saiga was half the cost, and yes, you have to account that it takes AK mags and AK parts and furniture and can be -easily- converted. Vepr is in a one piece sporter stock so you can't put any Ak parts on and off.
Both nice rifles for different reasons. Nice to have different tools in the toolbox.
Edited by Destro, May 26 2017 - 05:04 PM.