View Full Version : What do you think about Arsenal's Saiga Shotguns?

January 9, 2011, 03:42 PM
I'm considering buying the Saiga SGL12 Series shotgun from Arsenal. It will be used for home defense and hog hunting.

What does everyone think about these shotguns in the following categories?

Durability/ruggedness under harsh conditions
Resale value (just in case)

Thanks everyone for your expertise!


January 9, 2011, 10:18 PM
I didn't know that Arsenal had the Saiga import license, but I do remember hearing RAA had let it go, so I'm not too surprised.

I imagine anything that could be said for the Saigas before could be said for them now.

January 10, 2011, 05:00 AM
Aresenal is very good, they usually hand inspect and tweak their imports. The Aresenal AKs are some of the top quality out there. Look at Nutnfancy's praise of the Aresenal series on youtube.

January 10, 2011, 02:58 PM
Thanks for the reply guys.
Im still trying to decide between the Saiga shotgun and the Benelli M4. Money is not an issue; i just want a shotgun that is rugged and reliable for hog hunting here in Texas.

Saiga is a shotgun designed from the AK platform. You can't get more reliable than that right?

If anyone has any experience with the reliability and ruggedness of either shotgun, please share.


January 10, 2011, 03:28 PM
Saiga is a shotgun designed from the AK platform. You can't get more reliable than that right?

If anyone has any experience with the reliability and ruggedness of either shotgun, please share.

You'd think it would be just as reliable, but it isn't always. I've said my piece about my S12 before, but I'll give a bit more detail here. Here's my view of the weaknesses of the design:

1) Gas ports. This is more a failure of factory assembly quality. Ideally, there are 4 gas ports from the barrel into the gas tube. Usually there are three (like mine), and you'll be ok. Sometimes, there's two, one, or none. That's a problem. I wouldn't buy one I couldn't look over first, but maybe Arsenal will take a more active role in examining them once they're imported. You want at least 3 ports; two or one and it might not cycle light loads.

2) Feeding. Mine has a tendency to put a round nose-up into the top of the chamber on occasion. It isn't common, but neither is it rare. It's enough to give me pause before relying on it when reliability is a real need. It appears that this is not uncommon with the design, but neither is it a given. Kind of a YMMV kind of thing.

3) Conversion parts. I switched mine over to the pistol grip/AK stock configuration by moving the trigger group forward. it's an easy swap to do, but on my G2 trigger group there was a bit of a mold part line on the hammer that caused it to not reset after release. Some Dremel work fixed this. It isn't a concern in the stock config, and it isn't a hard fix, I'm just saying it so if you do the same conversion, you'll know to check that.

4) Sights. The S12 has rifle type sights. That's fine for slugs, but a real pain if you decide to use yours for things like waterfowl or clay games. Do-able, but they do get in the way.

5) Magazines. They need to be fit to the gun, usually by sanding down the top of the hump on the back of the mag so it will lock into place- compare the stock mag to new ones just so you know what you're doing. Easy enough, but it's a lesser known item for new owners.

6) Break-in. Reports are that they like to be broken in with a hundred or so heavy loads- as in full power slugs. I haven't done this with mine, so this could be an issue, but I do have a couple or three hundred target loads through it (not light target, I mean full power birdshot loads).

They're fun, but based on my experiences, I don't know that I'd grab one or recommend one for those who are really wanting reliability. They can be very reliable, but they can also be so-so.

January 10, 2011, 08:05 PM
Wow! interesting...technosavants post has given me second thoughts about the saiga.

How do you, Technosavant and others, feel about the Benelli M4? Would it be a reliable "go-to" shotgun?

January 11, 2011, 08:53 AM
Jerry, for a more balanced view on the Saiga, check out the Saiga 12 Forum (http://forum.saiga-12.com/). As for the Benelli, I've never used one, but I have yet to hear one bad word about them.