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View Full Version : Saiga AK 47, First Shots and more...


WildBill45
January 15, 2013, 08:03 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNNuC9pSW2o

I took my Saiga AK 47 to the range for my first shots … of this rifle … and first shot of any AK 47. The rifle is a ball to shoot, although humbling for me today. I normally shoot stuff from the hip all day long with my CZ 458 LOTT, and especially so with my O3A3! The pistol grip should have made it even easier, but, and there always is a but in life, that wasn’t so today. I need to adjust to the pistol grip and this rifle from the hip. Snap shots from the shoulder were right on, and my group at 100 yards off-hand was very good for shooting with the kludged Ruskie sights and shooting first time with this rifle … not to mention frozen hands being a bit of a hindrance, but we both worked through that.

The rifle feels good, and should prove to be a great ‘working rifle’ for truck, horse, or bike carry. I can shoot it fairly fast while keeping it on target, and that will speed up with a little practice with the new rifle. I just hope I can still get import ammo to shoot … that is the question tonight … as it may change tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed, and keep shooting!!!

The attached video says it all...

chris in va
January 16, 2013, 07:31 AM
Pretty much what mine looked like after conversion. What stock is that?

WildBill45
January 16, 2013, 09:36 AM
What stock is that?

It is a factory fresh Saiga stock, that came on it in the box ... straight from the factory ...

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE

Fishbed77
January 16, 2013, 11:25 AM
It is a factory fresh Saiga stock, that came on it in the box ... straight from the factory ...

That's not a Saiga stock. Those rifles are imported in as new IZ-132 sporters and converted in the US to meet 922(r) regulations by moving/swapping out the trigger group and adding a US-made stock and pistol grip.

It has to be a US-made stock - looks like a Tapco, but I could be wrong. The forearm is a standard Saiga forearm with the slots milled in for aesthetics and to improve cooling. The mag latch is filed down and a bullet guide added to use standard AK mags.

Nonetheless, that is a great rifle - in my opinion, these converted Saigas represent about the best AK value you can find these days. I just converted a Saiga myself, and the end result looks almost identical to your rifle (except with a KVAR stock and without the milled forearm slots). I would have just bought an already-converted rifle like yours if I could have found one locally, but, alas, none were to be found. Still, doing the conversion process myself was a great learning experience, and only took an afternoon.

WildBill45
January 16, 2013, 11:58 AM
It has to be a US-made stock - looks like a Tapco, but I could be wrong. The forearm is a standard Saiga forearm with the slots milled in for aesthetics and to improve cooling. The mag latch is filed down and a bullet guide added to use standard AK mags.

I just took the rifle out of the safe to inspect the stock and pistol grip. After doing so, I cannot find a stamp or name on either piece.

Fishbed77
January 16, 2013, 12:18 PM
One other difference I noticed. It looks like whatever shop converted the rifle elected not to re-install the Saiga bolt hold-open (note the small empty slot just to the side of the trigger) and instead notched the top of the safety to serve as a hold-open. No big deal - that's exactly what Krebs does with their high-dollar custom AKs. Re-installing the stock Saiga bolt hold-open during a conversion is a major pain - it probably took me 45 minutes of fiddling to get it back in.

But, just so you know - that's what the notch at the top of the safety is - it won't be described in the Saiga instruction manual.

WildBill45
January 16, 2013, 01:18 PM
One other difference I noticed. It looks like whatever shop converted the rifle elected not to re-install the Saiga bolt hold-open (note the small empty slot just to the side of the trigger) and instead notched the top of the safety to serve as a hold-open. No big deal - that's exactly what Krebs does with their high-dollar custom

WOW, this is useful information ... I did not know that! I am so glad I did some detailed photo work to find that out. My AK is now sitting here with the bolt open, something I would have to liked to do at the range but did not know!!!

Thank you very much!!!

"Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship"

as said by Rick in Casablanca

Fishbed77
January 16, 2013, 05:08 PM
No problem. I'm no AK expert - I'm fairly new to them myself. But there are guys on the Saiga forum who can answer any question you'll ever have about your rifle:

http://forum.saiga-12.com/

WildBill45
January 16, 2013, 08:10 PM
The Saiga forum looks nice ... will check it out in detail later...

Yung.gunr
January 17, 2013, 10:25 AM
Did you look closely at the muzzle to see if you can see the start of threads under there? I've heard there are some that are threaded so all you have to do is cut the plastic off of the end. Unfortunately, I don't think mine (.223) is.

WildBill45
January 17, 2013, 10:31 AM
Did you look closely at the muzzle to see if you can see the start of threads under there? I've heard there are some that are threaded so all you have to do is cut the plastic off of the end.

Why would I do that?

Fishbed77
January 17, 2013, 11:00 AM
Why would I do that?


If you want to install a flash suppressor or muzzle brake on the rifle.

From what I can tell, lately most IZ-132s (and by extension, rifles converted from them) do not have threaded muzzles, so if you wanted to add a barrel attachment, the the shroud (which is steel, not plastic) at the end of the barrel would have to be cut back, and the barrel threaded. Alternatively, the whole front sight base could be cut off and new front sight base with built-in larger-diameter threads could be installed by a gunsmith with a press.

Yung.gunr
January 17, 2013, 11:48 AM
Yes, brain fart... Not plastic.. Thanks. :)

WildBill45
January 17, 2013, 01:02 PM
If you want to install a flash suppressor or muzzle brake on the rifle.

I see... I think it is funny that someone would want or need a muzzle break for a 7.62 X 39! A 458 Lott, YES for some, but an AK, which feels like a .22 ... that is funny!

Even if you are sensitive to recoil, and that is subjective, the noise damage to your hearing outweighs any felt recoil from such a small caliber ... AND, since it may be used indoors with no time to find your ear protection, that magnifies the hearing damage tenfold. If you did find your ear protection, now you cannot hear where the bad guys are, another bigger problem than the tiny recoil of the AK!

WildBill45
January 17, 2013, 01:59 PM
Is this the liner you are talking about???

See Attached photo

From what I can tell, lately most IZ-132s (and by extension, rifles converted from them) do not have threaded muzzles, so if you wanted to add a barrel attachment, the the shroud (which is steel, not plastic) at the end of the barrel would have to be cut back, and the barrel threaded. Alternatively, the whole front sight base could be cut off and new front sight base with built-in larger-diameter threads could be installed by a gunsmith with a press.

WildBill45
January 17, 2013, 02:13 PM
It is built into the safety lever, a cut out to capture the bolt manually.

See attached photos that I just shot @ 2pm...

Fishbed77
January 17, 2013, 02:31 PM
Is this the liner you are talking about???


Yes. That's the shroud at the muzzle that's attached to the front sight base.

WildBill45
January 17, 2013, 04:20 PM
Yes. That's the shroud at the muzzle that's attached to teh front sight base.

Does it twist off with a wrench of some sort?

Fishbed77
January 17, 2013, 04:31 PM
Does it twist off with a wrench of some sort?

No. It's pressed on. The only way to remove it is to cut it off.

If you just want to remove the shroud (and keep the front sight), it's possible to use a Dremel or the right diameter pipe cutter to remove the shroud forward of the front sight. Then the barrel under the shroud can be threaded for a muzzle attachment.

Alternatively, you can cut off the whole front sight block w/ shroud and replace it with something like this:

https://www.k-var.com/shop/AK-167B.html

From what I understand, these new front sight blocks are not easy to install and would require a competent gunsmith. AK barrels (including Saigas) come in many different profiles, so you have to make sure that you have the right front sight block to match your barrel.


.

WildBill45
January 17, 2013, 05:08 PM
If that is the case then I shall leave it be. I am NOT a gunsmith by any means. I thought it may be already threaded with the just the cover to protect the area. OH well. I think of it as a working rifle, and the more simple, the more better ... if you know what I mean?

I am wonderfully surprised how much fun it is to shoot. It is a like a big .22 to me, blast about and have fun!

Venom1956
January 17, 2013, 11:30 PM
Well it's not a pure sporter nor is it modeled after an military ak. It's a blend between the to I suppose.

I don't mean that in a negative way.
It's definitely an izhmash! it just looks like a blend of their sporter models and a AK style one?


I think its really cool actually. I'm also totally digging that box. please please PLEASE tell me that is a WOOD crate!

Can u PM details where you got it? I have a friend who would love that rifle!

I posted this in his other thread. I'm glad fishbed knew more about its 922r conversion. because I was searching high and low for it. I'll post my baby on this thread too. :D

http://i1184.photobucket.com/albums/z330/Shaine_Spielman/IMAG0088_zps09c75f34.jpg

EdInk
January 18, 2013, 09:51 AM
They are conversions (but they have to be in order to be legal.)

Venom1956
January 18, 2013, 10:12 AM
Yeah but who made his conversion it what I wanna know.

WildBill45
January 18, 2013, 11:11 AM
Yeah but who made his conversion it what I wanna know.

Please find photos of all the markings, save the serial number...

WildBill45
January 18, 2013, 11:13 AM
Yeah but who made his conversion it what I wanna know.

PS: IF this is a fake AK, do you think I can trade it with an SKS for a real AK at the gunshow tomorrow???

Fishbed77
January 18, 2013, 11:59 AM
PS: IF this is a fake AK, do you think I can trade it with an SKS for a real AK at the gunshow tomorrow???

Huh? There is nothing "fake" about that AK. All those markings you show are those applied at the Izhmash factory in Russia, aside from the importer's markings (RWC). It is made on the same production line as military AK-74/AK-100 series rifles.

In order to be legally imported into the US, it has to come into the country in a "sporter" configuration. These civilian rifles are marketed as the Saiga IZ-132, and they look like this when they come into the U.S.:

http://cf.mp-cdn.net/8e/ce/9078db0c1474836861ebe17c5d49.jpg

They have the same chrome-lined cold-hammer-forged barrels and other critical parts as the military rifles. In other words, they are high-quality guns.

Some shop in the US did the conversion back to a typical AK layout (pistol grip, Warsaw-length stock, moved trigger group forward, added bullet guide to use standard AK mags). About the only major things that separate your rifle from a full-blown modern military production 7.62mm AK-103 (which are of course illegal for US civilians to own) is the lack of a full-auto fire-control group/receiver, the threaded barrel/muzzle device, and the standard AK-100-series forearm and mounting hardware (the shop kept the Saiga forearm and modified it by adding the cooling slots).

I can't tell you what shop did the conversion work, but you've proven in your videos that the work they did is good, since the rifle appears to function reliably and accurately.

In other words, it's about as "real" a new Russian AK as you can legally get. You could make it "look" a little more like an AK-103 by adding a standard AK forearm and muzzle device, but as you said, it's a "working gun," so those mostly cosmetic changes are kind of pointless.

You'd be taking a bath if you tried to trade that Saiga AK plus an SKS for any other AK-pattern rifle, and you'd probably end up with an inferior rifle.

WildBill45
January 18, 2013, 12:19 PM
You'd be taking a bath if you tried to trade that Saiga AK plus an SKS for any other AK-pattern rifle, and you'd probably end up with an inferior rifle.

Whew ... now I feel better!

it is so silly that you can convert one, but can't buy one as is... Talking suits in DC ... what are we going to do?

OK then, I will just see about zeroing it in at 100, and chronographing it with my Oehler 35P. I would like to see the real muzzle velocity out of that 16" barrel. Once I know what I am dealing with, I have a gift for bullet drop and can extraculate a lot from a little!

Does anyone know the posted velocity for Tula ammo, etc???

Venom1956
January 18, 2013, 03:13 PM
It's defiantly a legit Russian ak reciever. They all come over as sporter rifles then they are converted to the traditional ak style.

mine is an arsenal. It's about as close to an ak74 as possible.

fish beat me to it and has a wonderfully detailed post! curse replying on a smartphone.

WildBill45
January 18, 2013, 06:35 PM
I may check the gunshow tomorrow for Tula ammo, so I can sight in and try 300 yard offhand shooting my with girl, my lovely AK...

Fishbed77
January 19, 2013, 01:49 AM
For comparison, here is a photo of my recently acquired and recently converted 7.62x39mm Saiga. I picked it up around Christmastime as a bone-stock IZ-132, and used a conversion kit from Carolina Shooters Supply to "restore" her to original AK configuration. It took me a whole Saturday afternoon to do the conversion, but it was my first Saiga conversion, and I was very deliberate.

http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff427/Fishbed77/DSC_0709-rotated.jpg

Justice06RR
January 19, 2013, 02:44 AM
Congrats man! Looks like a nice AK.

I just bought my first AK too, a Romanian Draco and have yet to shoot it yet.

Venom1956
January 19, 2013, 10:52 AM
Does the sporter fore end have any sort of heat shield in it? or is it just poly?

Fishbed77
January 20, 2013, 09:07 AM
Does the sporter fore end have any sort of heat shield in it? or is it just poly?

No heat shield on the standard Saiga forearm.

That said, I did quite of bit of shooting yesterday and the barrel got very hot, but the forearm never heated up anywhere close to the point of being uncomfortable.

Venom1956
January 20, 2013, 09:13 AM
cool cool, did you have to file out your magwell? How much 'wobble' do you get in yours?

WildBill45
January 20, 2013, 09:52 AM
For comparison, here is a photo of my recently acquired and recently converted 7.62x39mm Saiga

This seems like an older one than mine ... the trigger group and pistol grip are further back towards the rear it appears...

Here are two images to compare...

I adjusted the Fish AK to make it easier to see the pistol grip/trigger area.

AK103K
January 20, 2013, 10:03 AM
The Saiga in Fishbed77's post #26 is a Saiga as it comes into the country to meet import regs. They are then "converted" back to some level of the original configuration.

Mine was done by Krebs back around 2000. Its one of his AK103K versions, with a 14" barrel. Its been a great gun and I wouldnt hesitate to buy another, although they have climbed a bit in price since I got mine.

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b7d700b3127ccec27f61ca596000000010O00CYuWbdo5bsQe3nwk/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

The AK74 type "brake" does make a difference in muzzle rise and getting back on target quickly. Besides this one, Ive had them on a couple of other AK's, and you can tell the difference between the guns that have them and the guns that dont when fired side by side.

The only downside to the brakes is, they tend to be a little louder and "flashy" in lower light. My buddy picked up a more recent AK103K from Krebs, which has a flash hider, and its better in those respects, but you do notice a little more muzzle rise when fired.

Venom1956
January 20, 2013, 10:43 AM
Bill i think its just the Saw grip he has on it compared to yours. Trigger/mag release seems the same.

Fishbed77
January 20, 2013, 04:52 PM
This seems like an older one than mine ... the trigger group and pistol grip are further back towards the rear it appears...


Bill i think its just the Saw grip he has on it compared to yours. Trigger/mag release seems the same.

Venom is correct. The trigger group & mag release are at the exact same location on both my rifle and WildBill45's.

The SAW-style grip (which I am not very fond of and will likely replace) is much larger than the grip on his rifle, and does not "wrap" around the rear of the trigger guard, creating an optical illusion that the trigger may be in a slightly different place. Also, my trigger guard (from the CSS kit), has a slightly different shape, adding to the illusion. The photo of my rifle is also at a slightly different angle.

Note the identical location of the trigger and hammer pins.

Puddle
January 20, 2013, 06:48 PM
I'll trade your Saiga for my WASR-10 Romainian AK.

Nah, just kidding, but saiga's are great. I have a Saiga12 converted shotgun and quality is TOP notch. It was converted by Legion (added pistol grip, hinged pic rail receiver cover, AK style front sight, etc.) I would have bought one of their AK rifles, but had to choose one. So I picked the 12ga.

Anyway, it's a great firearm from a good company. Enjoy.

AK103K
January 20, 2013, 06:55 PM
I'll trade your Saiga for my WASR-10 Romainian AK.
Dont sell your WASR short. :)

My WASR and SAR shoot just as well as my Saiga. They arent as pretty, but they can easily hold their own.

Puddle
January 20, 2013, 06:57 PM
Heck yeah. That's why I said "nah". I love my WASR. It shot straight right out of the box, eats anything, is fun to shoot, and so on.

I love that thing. I got lucky with mine on furniture, too. Mine actually came with some nice wood. I have seen some that are pretty beat up. Plus it only cost about $350. But that was a couple years ago.

Fishbed77
January 21, 2013, 12:31 AM
cool cool, did you have to file out your magwell? How much 'wobble' do you get in yours?

The magwell of the Saigas do not require filing to accept standard AK mags. The mag catch, however, does.

Using a steel AK mag as a guide, I filed the top of the mag catch until the mag locked up. There is zero wobble with steel AK mags I have (mix of brand-new Polish and lightly-used Hungarian mags).