View Full Version : Saiga Shotgun

January 16, 2008, 05:58 PM
There's a local gunshow coming up this weekend and I'm considering a Saiga 12 shotgun. Looks like a fun HD shotgun. Anyone have experience with them? Good functioning, good HD? Any tips on what to look for if it's used?

January 16, 2008, 07:48 PM
All the info you could possibly want and more: http://forum.saiga-12.com/

I have one, and while it's been reliable, in it's stock form there are a few drawbacks. My biggest complaint is that it lacks a bolt hold-open feature, which means either holding the bolt back while loading a magazine, or else having to press upward very hard to compress the springs in the magazine (the top shell hits the bottom of the bolt if it's in the forward position).

I'd like to send mine off to Tromix (http://www.tromix.com/Welcome.htm) for some improvements, but they're so backed up that they're not taking any more orders until 2009! Guess I should probably get on the waiting list...

But it's definitely a unique gun and it's gotten a lot of questions and stares from people when I've taken it out before!

January 17, 2008, 08:05 PM
ebuff: Thanks. Not sure if I'll see one this weekend but... the hunt is on.

chris in va
January 18, 2008, 12:20 AM
I'd *love* to get one. You can actually bump fire the sucker.:eek::D

January 18, 2008, 01:41 AM
Good luck. It took me a year, half a dozen unproductive gunshows, and finding an outstanding fellow from another gun forum on the other side of the continent to hunt for one out there for me before I found one.

I'm finally headed out to the range with it this weekend. I've got a mountain of slugs and buck and an itchy trigger finger.


January 18, 2008, 05:42 PM
I found one in my local gunshop a couple weeks ago. Promptly bought it. It's ran great with the limited amount of shooting I've done. Hope to shoot it more this weekend and try out my new AGP 10 round mag.

There are several listed on gunbroker.com, but most are fairly high priced.

January 18, 2008, 07:00 PM
Wow! I guess the availability of these has changed in the last few years. I got mine locally from a private FFL about 18 mo ago and there seemed to be quite a few around at the time. Mine was $250, but after a quick look around, it appears that the prices have jumped since then. Good luck with your search chuter!

January 18, 2008, 07:55 PM
I found one this weekend at the local gun shop. But convinced myself that my pump Fabarm was all the tactical I needed so I passed on it.:rolleyes:

Until I came to my senses and bought it first thing on Monday morning when they opened. :D

Those who have them seem to swear by them.

Ebuff: seems that there are several sights offering conversions at this time. I would like to send mine to Tromix as well but may choose another vendor after some research and when $ permit. Given the current political atmosphere I want to get the conversion done asap before there is a change in the laws preventing this type of conversion.

January 18, 2008, 08:59 PM
as far as how they work, well in a word fast.. AK action in a shotgun, there is a gas plug that is marked 1 and 2, some will shoot anything on the #1 setting (lower gas pressure) and some will not..

the plug is intended for the 1 setting for high brass shells, and the 2 setting for low brass

as far as the models, there is a 108, which has the sight rail, the earlier ones did not have a bolt hold open..(it will be by the trigger) the 109 has the rifle sights and most have the bolt hold open.

for the original imports they will be marked European American Armory, current ones Russian American Armory

as far as stocks, the butstock can be swapped with romanian ak stocks, as far as the trigger, it can be swapped with a red star, or tapco g2,
the parts count on them is 14 parts, so if you wanted to go high capacity, or pistol grip, not a lot to change out.. standard mag capacity is 5, but there are mag capacitys of 8,10, and more than that..

generally on break in, they like energetic shells, then see what you can do with birdshot..

as far as cycling, I've had 5 shells in the air at the same time.. there is also a polychoke that you can put on it as well..

prices for new ones are around 500$.. as far as conversion, there are companies that do that as well, or not real hard to do yourself..

as others have said, the saiga forum has a wealth of information.

one of the distributors os local to me, and he tries to keep them in stock, when possible. they are made by Izmash, in Ivshek Russia, same folks that have been making AK's for the russians for years..

only problem I see with them, is it will cause you to look at their other carbines..223,7.62,308....

I like mine..:D

January 18, 2008, 09:38 PM
I have a saiga 12 and 7.62x39 and like them both. Conversation is not that hard to do at all. I did both mine.

As far as the 12 FUN GUN and especially after conversion FUN GUN. Honestly most people have never seen one and people are always asking me about. Kind of like an AK on steroids especially with a ten round magazines.

January 19, 2008, 05:59 PM
Spent about six hours at the show today. Not a Saiga in the building. No shotguns, AK's in x39 or .308. My Law-12 will have to do for a while longer. A few of the "usual suspects" I spoke with at the show that have one really like it. They commented about how the supply has dried up over the past six months or so. Lots of rumors about more coming soon but at higher prices. Oh well. What else is new.
Lots of other AK's from all over the world at the show. Nothing more expensive than $500-$525 for even the more nicely tricked out versions. I didn't leave without spending a few $$$ though. Got a case of .308, some '03 parts I needed and other misc. Good show but no Saiga. Now I have to save up a few more $$$ but, the hunt goes on.

January 21, 2008, 11:12 AM
jaymce, what other customizers were you looking at besides Tromix? That's seems to be the big name, but since they're so backed up, I'd be interested to know who else does that kind of work. I'd also like to get mine done before the political winds shift...

January 21, 2008, 07:31 PM
Ebuff: I've been reading a bit on the web site: www.warriortalk.com under the Saiga shotgun forums. Gabe Suarez lists off the mods for a gun in one of the forums. If you could get the parts, possibly a good shotgun gunsmith could do the conversion. Tromix sure makes a beautiful weapon but as you said, 2009 is a long way off.

January 21, 2008, 07:47 PM
There is a video on youtube where a very mechanically inept guy shows you how to convert the saigas yourself. People have been doing it themselves for quite sometime now, this guy just recorded his and posted it for all to see. It really isn't that hard. If you can turn a screwdriver without hurting yourself, drill a rivet head off without puncturing a lung...you can convert a saiga to pistol grip and meet the fed's rediculous requirements for it to be legal. Read up over at saiga-12.com 's forums and then jump in.

January 21, 2008, 09:33 PM
If you want to convert your Saiga 12, pick up the model without the russian-installed swapable chokes. One has 13 "parts" (BATFE has a weird definition), the choke model has 14. With the 13 part model (the 108 I think, but mine is not marked w/ a model number) you can slap an AGP US-made 10 round mag into the gun and hey presto, 10 or fewer foreign-made parts (magazine counts as 3 US-made parts). This makes the gun more or less instantly 922r compliant. Nice.

If you get the 14 part model, you will have to swap out other stuff before you can legally use the AGP mags.

I was out at the range with mine all weekend and it is a thing of wonder. Something like 400 rounds of various el-cheapo slugs and buck without a malfunction. My shoulder is black, blue, and purple, but I have a permanent grin plastered on my mug.

Everyone needs one of these.:D

January 28, 2008, 09:00 PM
Here's a dirty secret, check out http://www.classicarms.us/ to see when they come back in stock. Should be any day now. All December shipments are all but sold by now. They had them for $389 last month and I missed by one day. Ended up paying $100 more. My dealer said classicarms' price was lower than what they bought for! Be warned though, the new shipment will have a Russian imposed price increase. Probably $30-$50.

Forgot to post what mine will look like soon! but with collapsible stock. I HATE the stock stock!