View Full Version : Russian AK-47 Saiga Carbine Question

July 20, 1999, 11:10 PM
Howdy All:
Could some AK-knowledgeable person advise me on the following? I have bought the Saiga carbine variant of the AK series (7.62 x 39). I have been told it is easy to modify it to accept standard high-capacity AK mags. It came with two dinky 5-round mags which were probably designed to meet BATF import regs, I'd guess. I'm certainly not interested in trying to modify into an illegal auto weapon, of course, but WOULD like a larger mag capacity than 5 rounds. Please advise/point me in the right direction. Thanks in advance. Tribune.

July 21, 1999, 02:05 AM
I thought this rifle because of no pistol
grip could use h-cap mags,if not they sell
at Zanders for $36,I have FFL, all they list
are 5 shot mags, modifing the rifle to accept hi-cap mags if its not supposed too
is a felony and you'll be fined, go to jail,
and never shoot a gun legally again, HARSH

July 21, 1999, 03:12 AM

[This message has been edited by Prichard (edited February 07, 2000).]

George Stringer
July 21, 1999, 07:26 AM
Prichard, I think you're right but I've got to the point where anytime someone brings one to me anymore I pick up the phone and call the ATF if I have a question. In this case, it would be like putting a 30 rd mag in an SKS. As long as it doesn't have a protruding pistol grip a la AR-15 and no more than one of the list of no-no's; bayonet lug, flash suppressor, etc., then it's legal. I can scan and send you a copy of the no-no's if you'd like. Just let me know. George

July 21, 1999, 10:34 AM
zot/Prichard: Thanks for the input. I think it's best to leave this rifle in its 5-round configuration to avoid any possible violation of the law - so that's exactly what I'll do. Since it's just a plinker, anyway - not even close to the assault version of the AK-47, I certainly don't lose anything by leaving it "as is." I am aware of the laws preventing mix/matching of pre and post-ban receivers, etc. We all have a responsibility to try to comply with ATF regs - complex though they might be at times. That's one of the reasons I asked for input from knowlegeable shooters on this topic. Good shooting to you all. Tribune.

July 23, 1999, 01:50 AM
Lots of the AK's that arrived with 5rnd mags require no modification to insert a 30rnd mag. The newest imports were made to only accept a strange-looking 10rnd magazine (single-stack).

July 26, 1999, 02:17 AM
Some guns being imported are allowed to come in because they are unable to accept high capacity ammunition feeding devices. To alter the rifle, as it is with an SKS, to accept a HCAFD would be illegal since you would be creating a non-importable weapon. HOWEVER, ATF has repeatedly allowed pre-ban high cap mags to be modified to fit a number of firearms. So, while it may not be legal to modify the firearm, it is legal to modify the perviously existing hi cap mag.

July 26, 1999, 12:59 PM
Jeff OTMG:
Thanks for the info. You are pretty much confirming what George was kind enough to help research for me. I definitely WILL NOT illegally alter this rifle, of course, which was never my intention and probably will just plink a little with it, as it is not an intended personal defense weapon, so the high-capacity mag issue isn't all that important. Still, it's good to know what your LEGAl options are in this ever increasingly complex legal/political environment. The Saiga I bought doesn't have pistol grip, flash suppressor, bayonet lugs, etc, that define an assault weapon, as I understand it, but I normally just shoot 3-5 round groups anyway. The rifle is so darn heavy, it would probably be unbalanced and cumbersome with giant mags full of 7.62 ammo, in any event. An AR-15 looks like space-age technology when one compares these two. Still, I know many shooters own and love Russian riles. I bought this one, not knowing much about them, based on their reputation for ruggedness, simplicity of design and price. Good shooting to you. Tribune.