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The Saiga Rifle 101 - An Introduction

the saiga rifle 101 an introduction

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#81 Destro

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Posted April 25 2017 - 12:41 PM

Not a fan of this new company I heard some bad things already

From a technical standpoint they are not making AKs the way they were meant to be made. They are using tighter tolerances (and a CNC machine process) which seems nice, but defeats the "will eat any" ammo practicality of an AK.

Reminds me back when the PTR company (based in CT) started making HK91 clones. I owned a PTR-91 (.308 battle rifle G3 clone) and it was beautiful. It was made off the HK machinery they brought over from Europe and they gave it a match grade barrel. Problem became it couldn't run a lot of military surplus .308 ammo, so they eventually made a PTR-91 "GI" edition, with looser tolerances.

 

If Kalashnikov USA priced them similar to what the Saigas were going for before the sanctions, then maybe that would be something, but they're pretty pricey for what they are. In free states there are many very affordable genuine AK style options.



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#82 Semperfi

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Posted April 25 2017 - 12:47 PM

From a technical standpoint they are not making AKs the way they were meant to be made. They are using tighter tolerances (and a CNC machine process) which seems nice, but defeats the "will eat any" ammo practicality of an AK.

Reminds me back when the PTR company (based in CT) started making HK91 clones. I owned a PTR-91 (.308 battle rifle G3 clone) and it was beautiful. It was made off the HK machinery they brought over from Europe and they gave it a match grade barrel. Problem became it couldn't run a lot of military surplus .308 ammo, so they eventually made a PTR-91 "GI" edition, with looser tolerances.
 
If Kalashnikov USA priced them similar to what the Saigas were going for before the sanctions, then maybe that would be something, but they're pretty pricey for what they are. In free states there are many very affordable genuine AK style options.



Agreed they're using Chinese or Asian parts I heard

#83 Destro

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Posted April 25 2017 - 12:55 PM

Agreed they're using Chinese or Asian parts I heard

 

Well, that's "no bueno". Yeah, they already had a lawsuit with one of their sub-contractors and are not really putting much out.



#84 Semperfi

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Posted April 25 2017 - 01:10 PM

Well, that's "no bueno". Yeah, they already had a lawsuit with one of their sub-contractors and are not really putting much out.


We'll see what happens. I really would like a ptr-91 hmm wonder if it's possible in ny with thread protector and spur

#85 Countrylife307

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Posted April 25 2017 - 03:59 PM

Looks Sweet 



#86 Destro

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Posted May 14 2017 - 06:11 PM

We'll see what happens. I really would like a ptr-91 hmm wonder if it's possible in ny with thread protector and spur

 

The thread protector or getting the barrel crowned would be doable (sending it out to Adco prior to transferring it to NY might be one way to go). The problem is the HK lowers for the G3/Hk91/PTR-91. They are composite and one piece (the "Navy" lowers )and cutting the grip and re-molding would be hard. You'd need one of lowers with a detachable grip (SEF type IIRC) to make it do-able and even then you're talking some work to make it nice (you can see in the lower..lower it can be done following the contour of the grip. Whether it would control a .308 battle rifle is another story). Interestingly enough it's the upper on these HK types that is serialized.

img_2798_1331_detail.jpg

 

surg3tgmtl.jpg

 

The PTRs were really nice though. Made them of the HK equipment they got from Portugal. Anyway the Saiga sporter configuration is the model for what you want to do with a featureless semi auto rifle.

Attached File  HKpara.jpg   320.54KB   4 downloads

 

 

The interesting thing is that what neutered the Saiga for import law reasons (Russia can't export military style AKs into the US for decades back) makes them "NY Compliant" in the factory sporter config. There are simple bolt on aftermarket pistol grip stocks you can use for non-converted Saigas that you can quickly convert back into a sporter. This would help, say if you have a place in PA you want to shoot at.

 

before545.jpg


Edited by Destro, May 14 2017 - 06:14 PM.


#87 Semperfi

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Posted May 17 2017 - 08:55 AM

The thread protector or getting the barrel crowned would be doable (sending it out to Adco prior to transferring it to NY might be one way to go). The problem is the HK lowers for the G3/Hk91/PTR-91. They are composite and one piece (the "Navy" lowers )and cutting the grip and re-molding would be hard. You'd need one of lowers with a detachable grip (SEF type IIRC) to make it do-able and even then you're talking some work to make it nice (you can see in the lower..lower it can be done following the contour of the grip. Whether it would control a .308 battle rifle is another story). Interestingly enough it's the upper on these HK types that is serialized.
img_2798_1331_detail.jpg
 
surg3tgmtl.jpg
 
The PTRs were really nice though. Made them of the HK equipment they got from Portugal. Anyway the Saiga sporter configuration is the model for what you want to do with a featureless semi auto rifle.
attachicon.gifHKpara.jpg
 
 
The interesting thing is that what neutered the Saiga for import law reasons (Russia can't export military style AKs into the US for decades back) makes them "NY Compliant" in the factory sporter config. There are simple bolt on aftermarket pistol grip stocks you can use for non-converted Saigas that you can quickly convert back into a sporter. This would help, say if you have a place in PA you want to shoot at.
 
before545.jpg



Yup exactly what I was thinking just don't know how it will feel with a chopped grip

#88 Mycher

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Posted May 17 2017 - 11:09 AM

I always appreciate the Saiga/AK info you bring us Destro.  All this nonsense makes me want to try and do a Saigaesque build with a parts kit.  


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#89 Mr.Rmz

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Posted May 17 2017 - 05:51 PM

They making usa made ones yet ?



#90 Destro

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Posted May 17 2017 - 07:00 PM

They making usa made ones yet ?

See update on pg. 4. Kalashnikov USA--a completely new company (nothing to do with the old Kalashnikov Concern --formerly Izhmash--in Russia) has moved their original plant plans in PA down south to FL and have a lawsuit from one of the sub contractors they originally planned on going with. Classic Firearms was pre-selling some of their AK/Saiga clones but the roll out has been very slow, PSA had one of their AKs but it's out of stock.

http://palmettostate...-7-62x39-iz132l

 

. Again these are different tolerances from the Russian Saigas and made on CNC machines (many would prefer looser AK-style tolerance for cheap and surplus ammo. An AKM is supposed to eat any ammo).

 

Bascially Kalashnikov USA has had hiccups, lawsuits, high pricing and trouble running behind schedule.

 

Whatever Happened To Kalashnikov USA’s Guns?

http://www.thefirear...ikov-usas-guns/


Edited by Destro, May 17 2017 - 07:02 PM.


#91 PeepSight

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Posted May 25 2017 - 12:13 PM

Can anyone link me to the Kalashnikov Accurizing thread? Or do you simply put in a larger capacity magazine to ensure hitting the target?



#92 LarryD23

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Posted May 25 2017 - 07:34 PM

Can anyone link me to the Kalashnikov Accurizing thread? Or do you simply put in a larger capacity magazine to ensure hitting the target?

That or you could save the cost of a high capacity magazine and simply move closer to the target.



#93 set2374

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Posted May 26 2017 - 11:38 AM

As nice as the Saiga rifles are (especially for the money), the Molot VEPR is a much nicer firearm--worth the extra money.   Most of them are made with an RPK milled receiver (versus stamped lighter AKM style receiver) and a heavier RPK barrel.  It's guaranteed to have less than 20% degradation in accuracy over 50,000 rounds.   That's 250 to the range at 200 rounds per trip--and I guaranty you it can handle a lot more than 50,000 rounds.   Moreover, you can get the VEPR Pioneer model which is NY and California legal.   Only negative is that they take single stack mags, but the VEPR mags are not crazy expensive.

 

VPR-801.jpg



#94 Destro

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Posted May 26 2017 - 12:08 PM

As nice as the Saiga rifles are (especially for the money), the Molot VEPR is a much nicer firearm--worth the extra money.   Most of them are made with an RPK milled receiver (versus stamped lighter AKM style receiver) and a heavier RPK barrel.  It's guaranteed to have less than 20% degradation in accuracy over 50,000 rounds.   That's 250 to the range at 200 rounds per trip--and I guaranty you it can handle a lot more than 50,000 rounds.   Moreover, you can get the VEPR Pioneer model which is NY and California legal.   Only negative is that they take single stack mags, but the VEPR mags are not crazy expensive.

 

VPR-801.jpg

 

VEPRs are very nice, we can only have the  Pioneer model (which is offered in .223 and 7.62). I would prefer some of the other models like the Super Vepr, but we are only limited to the Pioneer in NY.

 

 

However there are more notable differences. It's really apples and oranges.

 

1. Saiga is an AK dimpled receiver and an AK milspec barrel. You can convert it easily to a great AK format in a free state. Can't do that easily with a Vepr.

2. Saiga takes AK mags (all sorts, inexpensive, easily available)

 

3. Aftermarket parts, including things like handguards, and  an easily swappable bolt on stock that you can put on the saiga to turn it to a pistol grip if, say you want to head out one weekend to PA, then come back.

Attached File  Saiga_x8.jpg   183KB   0 downloads

 

 

So there are some advantages to a Saiga as a NY AK platform if that's what you're looking for, though the VEPR is a great Russian sporting/hunting style rifle. I own both and am in the market for a Pioneer .223, if priced right, but they're really two different things.


Edited by Destro, May 26 2017 - 12:08 PM.

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#95 set2374

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Posted May 26 2017 - 12:12 PM

VEPRs are very nice, we can only have the  Pioneer model (which is offered in .223 and 7.62). I would prefer some of the other models like the Super Vepr, but we are only limited to the Pioneer in NY.

 

 

However there are more notable differences. It's really apples and oranges.

 

1. Saiga is an AK dimpled receiver and an AK milspec barrel. You can convert it easily to a great AK format in a free state. Can't do that easily with a Vepr.

2. Saiga takes AK mags (all sorts, inexpensive, easily available)

 

3. Aftermarket parts, including things like handguards, and  an easily swappable bolt on stock that you can put on the saiga to turn it to a pistol grip if, say you want to head out one weekend to PA, then come back.

attachicon.gifSaiga_x8.jpg

 

 

So there are some advantages to a Saiga as a NY AK platform if that's what you're looking for, though the VEPR is a great Russian sporting/hunting style rifle. I own both and am in the market for a Pioneer .223, if priced right, but they're really two different things.

 

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.  



#96 hawkeye

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Posted May 26 2017 - 12:19 PM

http://www.thefirear...rupt-will-sold/



#97 set2374

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Posted May 26 2017 - 12:34 PM

 

That's interesting.   26 million bucks seems like a pretty good deal to me.   Let's all get together and buy the company.  :)



#98 Destro

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Posted May 26 2017 - 04:47 PM

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"

S12-KIT-3-FOLDING-5PC-2.jpg?1433496915

 

maxresdefault.jpg

 

 

 

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.

Attached File  Saiga_x1.jpg   47.85KB   0 downloads

 

Saigas with new crisp aftermarket trigger groups and proper AK furniture.

Attached File  Saiga_x4.jpg   171.51KB   0 downloads

 

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.


#99 LarryD23

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Posted May 27 2017 - 06:57 PM

In case anyone is tempted, here is a NIB Saiga 7.62x39:

 

http://www.gunbroker.../item/650158841







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