View Full Version : First Impression: Saiga .410

Rob Pincus
June 22, 1999, 05:21 PM
Wow!.. I've been waiting for this gun since SHOT show, and I found it in the gunshop today when I went to pick up some other guns. I have wanted a semi .410 for a long time, I have always thought that one would be fun and a viable home defense piece. I couldn't resist getting my hands on an AK .410.

I fired about 30 rounds through it this afternoon, and it functioned flawlessly with 3" shells, both #4 and 7.5 shot. It shot well with the 2.75" Slugs I bought, but it wouldn't feed them. I believe they are meant for 3" shells only, but I couldn't find any 3" slugs today. I fired them at a Target at 50 yards and they hit in a nice group, but significantly below point of aim.

The #4 shot patterned well at 20 yards, keeping all pellets in the body of a BT-5A silhouette.

The 7.5 also patterned pretty tightly, but I think it could still be fun at the skeet range. The full choke might be a little much for the fast movers from the center, but it would certainly be worth the looks I'd get from the standard Skeeters.... ;)

Rapid fire was fun and effective on widely spaced bowling pins at 15 yards. Recoil is about the same as a .22 rimfire.

I'll be trying it out on Clay targets at the Celebrity Shoot This weekend.

Regardless of the "supply vs. Demand" issues, The way these things are priced, You should be able to buy one for around $250, and I think you'd enjoy it every bit as much as any other $250 gun.


Daniel Watters
June 22, 1999, 09:37 PM
Rob, you should check out the Sellier & Bellot four-pellet 000 Buck and five-pellet 00 Buck loadings. These are all based on the 3-inch hull.

I have continued an odd personal crusade for improving the .410 as a defensive cartridge. Experimenters have surpassed the pellet count of the S&B loads by one
apiece. C. Rodney James wrote an article on six-pellet 00 Buck .410s in _Handloader's Digest, 11th ed_. Furthermore, in _Cartridges of the World, 6th Ed._, Frank C. Barnes mentions playing with five-pellet 000 Buck loads. These were launched with either 16 grains of 4227 or 14.6 grs of 2400 to achieve a muzzle velocity of 1,100 fps. He was getting patterns of ~6 inches at 25 yards.

Playing with ball diameters other than standard buckshot, I have calculated that a 3-inch .410 hull could hold either five 93gr .395" balls or four 104gr .410" balls. (The former is calculated from the length of a six-pellet 00 stack, and the latter from the length of a five-pellet 00 stack.) The .395" ball is available for muzzleloading rifles from sources such as Hornady, while NEI offers a .410" ball mold. Given the straight stack of the pellets, a rifled choke might actually enhance the patterning...shades of the Paradox shotguns!

The .410 would appear to be an ideal size for a high capacity box magazine unlike the 12 gauge. The 10 round magazines for the Saiga 410 appear to be equal in length and definitely thinner than the 5 round
magazine for the 12 gauge Saiga 12. Given the similar size envelope of the
3-inch .410, 7.62x54mmR Russian, and the .303 British, a double-stacked .410
magazine might even be feasible (although the straight walled hull would
probably proscribe double-position feed lips).

The Russians seem to be sold on the general concept, producing a version of
the Saiga 410 equipped with military AK-style furniture: folding stock,
pistol grip, et al. (All the nasty bits that prevent importation short of a
bayonet lug.) http://club.guns.ru/eng/saiga410.html

Franchi played with a cute little full-auto bullpup in .410 during the mid-80s. It used a 15rd magazine and had a cyclic rate of 200 rpm. Unfortunately, that is all that I know of its existance other than a photograph and a tid bit that Franchi was using steel buckshot pellets.

June 24, 1999, 07:58 PM
Well... here's what Babelfish pulled up for that article in italian. It's pretty spotty occasionally, but an entertaining read nonetheless. Hehe sorry for the poor formatting, but i'm on my way out the door.


Attention terrorist, the final arm has

Thought in order to defend embassies, airports, stages, quarters to risk. Here why marines the
Americans have chosen a product made in Italy. And soon also the house police ours...




1. Calciolo in rubber: it absorbs the recoil of the gun (is leaned to the

2. Accorciabile telescopic soccer, express demanded from the marines.

2. Here the heart of super M4 90. Two steel pistons and as many cylinders
start the cycle of talk nonsense using captured exhaust gaseses to the
beginning of the cane. E' the principle of the internal-combustion engine.

4. Guide on which it is possible to couple slow and cannocchiali.

5. Throttle: servants in order to manually shoot (the only way in order to use
not lethal bullets in rubber).

6. Here the cartridges become part for recharge it (can be introduced also
while it is gone off).

7. Stopper with rotary testina in order to seal the cane.

8. Ergonomic Semigusci of plastic that allows to appeal the gun M4 without

9. Smooth cane (that it allows to shoot ammunitions of varied type) Beretta in
special steel.

10. Tube tank: it can contain until six cartridges (long 7.6 centimeters).

We won', we have won. To the 19 of 19 fridays February a two sun has arrived
fax with these words in the center of the Benelli arms with Urbino. The sender
was John Meloy, a colonel in dismissal of the marines that it seems the
transposition of a cinematographic hero in the truth: six years of Vietnam and
ten from sharpshooter in the Forest boema during the cold war. The Vietnam
has left one dark cough it and the signs of one exploded Chinese grenade under
the feet. Physically it is similar Joe Cocker and it demonstrates more of its 60
years. It is also merit of hard Meloy colonel if the Benelli (of property of the
Beretta group with participation of the Finmeccanica, 80 billions of turnover) has
obtained one historical store clerk: 20 mila guns super M4 90 for the marines to
deliver in four years to leave from the 2000. Meloy is the man who has made
from intermediary between the company and the government American. And it
has allowed the second exploit of an Italian arm on the American military
market: in 1985 Beretta 92 f bore 9 came choice from the army to stars and
strisce in order to replace the Colt and in 15 years it has entered in the means
holsters million soldiers Americans. Hour touches to the guns made in Italy.

The Pentagon has them chosen for the military police (the marines with the
fascetta on the arm ' Mp') and has sent in old pension the Mossberg to pump,
those that are loaded making to slide a crossbar under the cane. Their defect?
For usarli two hands are necessary, one in order to load, the other in order to
talk nonsense. The semi-automatic one, instead, arm alone and hand can be
used with one, like in action films, also guiding the machine or with a wounded
arm. But who thinks that the Americans have surrendered and accepted to use
the semi-automatic guns to the European mistake.

In Europe semi-automatic guns and mitragliette they have the striped cane (the
rotea bullet on if same, like the tip of a bottoming drill): they shoot a single type
of bullets and are lethal also to 300-400 meters. It could seem a pregio, but it is
not therefore. In fact, in the cities empty spaces do not exist immense
therefore, are obstacles everywhere: palaces, car, coach, persons. And the
bullets shot with striped canes most times become dangerous wandering
bullets. Instead M4, like the old pump guns, it has the smooth cane and for this
it is lethal only to inferior distances to the 100 meters. The objective is always
visible, knows who is hit. In more it can shoot all the types of ammunitions: to
only ball, broken (with littles ball and pallettoni), smoke-producing, rockets
signalers and above all, to the contrary of the striped cane, also not mortal
rubber bullets.

Thanks to the possibility to use broken ammunitions super M4 90 have an
impressive fire volume. In a second it can shoot also 5 cartridges with 9
pallettoni: 45 blows before that the first one falls to earth bossolo. More blows
than a mitra. And every cartridge is a lead big wave: the pallettoni from 8
millimeters they cover an area of approximately average squared meter,
impossible not to center the target.

' our guns are previewed for an enemy that sbuca to the improvviso' Lucio
Burigana explains, 47 years, director of the Benelli you arm. ' they are been
born in order to defend embassies, to control airports, stages and quarters to
risk. But also they are adapted to the forest, where the visibility difficultly
exceeds the 50 metri'. Insomma, M4 is anti-riot crews, anti-terrorism and
antiguerrilla, also city. They allow to hit a hidden adversary who can attack
anytime. A gun thought for the new enemies of the cities Americans.

The philosophy of defense of the territory to stars and strisce is taking foot also
in Europe. ' In Germany, France and Italy model continuous Usa' Burigana is
believed to adopt the gun to smooth cane. ' already we have been interpellati
from the Italian police: they have understood the usefullness of the smooth cane
in order to make forehead to the new requirements of the public one sicurezza'.
And soon we could see on our roads armed policemen like marines. ***

Rob Pincus
July 2, 1999, 05:45 PM
This gun was a lot of fun to shoot at the clays.. but it was really hard to hit anything at first. Given the lack of pellets and range, combined with the awkwardness of the sight being on top of the recoil system, a good inch above the barrel, it was tough shooting.

My and my Step-dad passed it back and forth ata few Sporting clays stations and didn't do too much damage. I think it would be easier to use at skeet, where the targets are more consistent and you could get a better feel for the leads. With the variety of target presentations at Sproting Clays, you would really have to get to knwo the gun better than I had a chance to last week.

But it was FUN trying !!

July 4, 1999, 09:59 AM
Interesting translation, such as it is.

There's a Saiga .410 for sale in the local want-ad paper for $250. Maybe I'll pick it up so I can "talk nonsense" with it. Don't know what that means, but I like it!


Daniel Watters
July 4, 1999, 02:21 PM
boing: The garbled translation is probably from the Italian link I posted under the Benelli M4 JSCS thread. The link I listed for the Saiga .410 is in English.