View Full Version : SAIGA-12

June 24, 2012, 10:37 AM
Does anyone here like this weapon system? What are your thoughts about it?

June 24, 2012, 11:51 AM
It functions as a shotgun, although as a sporting gun it leaves much to be desired. Many say it is a great gun, but a gun that costs what it does and then usually needed work to make it perform as it should leaves many questions.

I know Red Jacket has their own version in the $1600 range, but a gun costing that much made from sheet metal stampings and spot welded together????

I have seen a utube vidieo of one guy shooting a Saga --- he ran through 40rounds of 12 gauge (three magazines). Don't know why he didn't go through 50 rounds maybe he ran out of magazines.

Magazine changes are difficult, for sporting/hunting the hunter is limited to 3 shots water fowl/ 5 shots small game.

The short barrel makes for a very loud shooting gun, many trap/skeet/5 stand shooters don't care for the noise and will not shoot with a Saga on the team, even with hearing protection.

Is it fun to shoot -- YES it is for a while.

June 24, 2012, 12:59 PM
I don't own one but a gun range around here will let you rent one. It was fun while I was at the range and I can see where it might make a decent self defense or entry shotgun.
But I wouldn't want to lug that thing around all day in the field through draws in the snow and ice. For trap/skeet shooting it did fine for me but I remember the thing kicked like a mule.

My $0.02

June 24, 2012, 01:02 PM
Is it fun to shoot -- YES it is for a while.

June 24, 2012, 01:47 PM
Well this is my personal Saige12. Everything you need to do to get it to run flawlessly can be done by your self. I do not have a short barrel so its as load as any other shotgun. The bolt was reprofiled so loading a mag is easy. I converted mine BACK to the ORIGINAL pistol grip setup myself so after the $600 cost of the gun I only spent maybe a couple hundred on accessories. So that a much better deal then the RedJacket $1600 price. Here are some links to my saiga12 videos I've done.




June 24, 2012, 02:00 PM
Here are some links to my saiga12 videos I've done.Do I smell SPAM?

June 24, 2012, 02:06 PM
why do you say its "spam"?

June 24, 2012, 02:31 PM
I guess that would be considered good looking by those who play video game or are on zombie alert, but a bipod? on a shotgun? Perhaps you can educate an old man like me why I would need such plastic accessories

June 24, 2012, 02:37 PM
Because I only have ONE arm....maybe?

June 24, 2012, 02:39 PM
You know a lot about the Saiga 12 but my thoughts are that it has no last round bolt hold-open and needs some tweeks to work for self-defense. Done right, it would be an option but I like the FN SLP, Mossberg 930, or the Benellis with tube mags better. You can top-off as you go and load specific rounds. All of these are bet-your-life reliable out of the box , but not the Saiga, in my opinion. But I've never owned a Saiga and wouldn't mind owning one.

June 24, 2012, 02:53 PM
Well you can load different rounds in the saga's box mag just like you do with a tubular mag, but how many 20 round tubular mags are there?

If you go to buy a Saiga12 and know what to look for, IE # of gas ports, the one you buy should run right out the box too. Its just like shopping for an AK, seeing as they are made in the same factory. Look for the common mistakes like unseated rivets. Find a good one and your in business.

All Ive done to mine is 1-convert it back to the pistol grip 2-added a better gas regulator 3-polished the bolt and added a l/h charging handle 3-put a collapsable stock and break on it.

Bought it at a gun show for $600 and with the conversion parts and add ons Im still under $1000. How much do other hi-cap auto loading 12ga shotguns coast?

June 24, 2012, 04:23 PM
Because I only have ONE arm....maybe?

HMMMMMMMMMMMMMM, let's see - need to use another and to release bolt handle while holding gun
not for that
Need to hold gun while lowering bipod - doesn't work there either
Need top hold gun while trying to change magazines - doesn't work there either
need to be able to reload magazines - not there either

SO far, am not seeing where you having one arm can mean you can work this gun, let alone with a bipod

but please try to keep educating me

June 24, 2012, 05:04 PM
No...I seriously only have one arm lol. I use it when or if I shoot it from a bench. I use a sling with it so loading takes a few more steps. If you watch the last video link you will see me shooting and reloading the saiga although its not fast as I wasn't going for speed. In the video you can see that I DONT need to hands to release the bolt. The one downfall for me is that it doesn't have a lrbho(last round bolt hold open) but for me that is easy. Its not in the video but what I do is keep track of rounds in my head. Each box mag that I have is 5 rounders so after the first four of the first mag I reload so that there is one chambered. Then I load the next mag and count to a full five rounds and so on till Im out of mags/drums.

June 24, 2012, 06:42 PM
Fair enough then.........good for you if you can make it work!

Dave McC
June 25, 2012, 01:52 PM
I was lent an unaltered Saiga 12 for an extended T&E. I wrote about it over on THR.

For reducing threat levels in one's immediate vicinity, a fine choice.

For trap, skeet,etc or birds, not so good.

I did not like the sights, lack of a bolt hold open device or the trigger.

I did like the stone cold reliability, ruggedness and super soft kick.

It ran everything I fed it. from 7/8 oz target loads to 1 3/8 oz Brenekkes.

It was fun, especially plinking at a coffee can with slugs.

IMO, not a good choice for GP shotgun, but good as a mission specific tool....

June 25, 2012, 04:10 PM
Well if you shot one that still had the "sporter" stock on it and not a converted pistol grip saga then thats why you didn't like the trigger. It was made to be a pistol grip just like an AK. In order to import them into the US the ATF has them put that "sporting" stock on it. To do that they have to move the trigger group back, so the trigger group is were the pistol grip should be. With that they have to put extra linkage in to actuate the trigger like a mini reverse bull pup. Also this was meant to be a "combat" shotgun so its not really meant to cycle the low brass rounds. Without any modification it will cycle high brass all day with no issues. The problem with all the cycling issues is when a guy buys one and expects it to run the Walmart Federal bulk pack right away. You need to break the saga in with around 200 high brass loads. Then if you have enough gas ports, 3 or 4, you should be able to run the cheap stuff. If not you can always tap the gas block off and open the ports just a little and your good. My saga runs the cheap stuff great now with the little Ive done.

June 25, 2012, 05:11 PM
Just think for about the $1000 one would invest in one of these guns a person could have a: Lanber $700, L.C. Smith $900, Winchester 101FN $1000, S & W sxs $1000, Weatherby $900, or a Super X3 $850.

Any of those will be very good target, upland bird, or small game guns.

Not so good for blasting water puddles, sides of a hill, or pumkins.

June 25, 2012, 08:17 PM
Depends on what you want it for.

For hunting or clay target games, I think you'll be disappointed. It can work for that, but it is hardly ideal. For fun or defensive purposes, it will work fine, but it isn't really the end all be all. Its advantages come with some corresponding disadvantages.

I'd not want to be on the receiving end of one, but my S12, although extremely intimidating, is not my first choice for a defensive shotgun.

Lloyd Smale
June 26, 2012, 06:57 AM
Ive got one and will say this. Ive got probably close to a 100 guns and theres NOTHING in the safe more fun to go to the range and shoot crap up with then the saiga. Sure it has some faults id love to have a bolt hold open and easier mag changes. For a few bucks you can fix the mag changing and theres guys working on bolt hold down mods for them as we speak. But theres nothing that will put more OO buck on a target in a 2 minute period then a saiga. At least nothing the average guy can afford or purchase. It would be the last gun id want to face in a close range gun battle. I didnt buy mine dreaming of a day id have to defend myself with it though. I bought it to have fun with. I cast my own buckshot and load my own rounds so going out and shooting a couple hundred rounds of buckshot isnt going to break the bank. It cost me less then someone who has to buy trap rounds to compete with. I dont think a guy should have to justify every gun he owns. Some guns are just fun. I feel the same about my ar set up with a bump fire stock. Sure it isnt practical but who gives a dam. It will put a smile on about everyones face thats ever shot it. I feel the same about my saiga. Anyone who doesnt smile from dumping a 20 round drum out of a saiga probably isnt a gun guy.

Dave McC
June 26, 2012, 02:24 PM
I'm aware of the linkage issue. I could have bought that one for $600, what the owner had in it, gussied it up and moved the trigger group, and ended up with a defensive shotgun little if any more effective than my well known and well worn 870s.

So I sent it back. I haven't missed it much.....