Converting Saiga to take AK hanguards?
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:32 AM   #1
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Default Converting Saiga to take AK hanguards?

What is the bare minimum parts needed to make a stock Saiga take AK handguards?

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Old 09-01-2013, 04:28 AM   #2
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Ok, to give the Saiga normal handguards, you need to replace the gas tube and get a handguard retainer. To put a real AK handguard retainer on, you need to remove both the Gas Block and Front Sight Block. Now, there are two methods that I know of to avoid doing this. Dinzag sells a bolt-on retainer so you don't need to remove the GB or FSB, but they are expensive. The other option is to take a dremel and drill to a regular AK retainer and convert it to a bolt-on.

As far as which Saigas will accept High Cap mags, as far as I know, the 5.45 and 5.56 will accept high caps right out of the box. The 7.62 will need to have the mag latch filed down some. The 7.62 also needs a bullet guide to feed properly. I have heard that the 5.45 and 5.56 don't really need it, but I would add one anyways. They aren't hard to install at all.

I am pretty sure that the majority of Saigas being imported now have the barrel cuts. If you get an old one, they may not. Another thing to look at for when converting is if it is cut for a pistol grip nut.

A dremel and some hand tools will convert a Saiga. Even if you don't have a dremel, a file will work as well. The work isn't hard to do at all. I did my 7.62 conversion in about an hour, if that.

You also have to make sure you are 922r compliant. So you need to make sure you add enough US made parts to the rifle. Usually, a new trigger group, furniture and gas piston take care of that.

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Old 09-01-2013, 01:21 PM   #3
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Now I'm just wondering, what's the best method to remove the Saiga front sight and gas block?

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Old 09-01-2013, 03:13 PM   #4
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The easiest way to remove the front sight and gas block from your Saiga is to use a hydraulic press. If you don't have one a simple 12 ton press can be purchased at http://www.harborfreight.com for $99.99. It is also good for removing the barrel from the front trunion and squeezing rivets among other things.

If you want to avoid the hassle, put the pins back in. It is easier to modify the handguard retainer by removing the locking lever. Then you drill, tap and countersink the hole that is left for a socket head cap screw. A 12-24 tap fits the hole in the retainer real well.

After that you take your trusty dremel tool with a fiberglass re-inforced cutoff wheel and slice through the center of the top block and the entire retainer into the cleaning rod hole.(Stop cutting here! Do not cut all the way thru!) When this is done you can carefully spread open the handguard retainer and slip it around the barrel. The final thing is to use your dremel to grind a groove into the barrel in the proper place for the locking screw.

It sounds overly complicated but is really simple to do. You can then install your AK style handguard, slide the retainer into place and secure it with the screw you just installed. You will probably want to refinish the disturbed area with some matching paint. Plasti-kote "Bumper Black" spray paint at an auto parts store. It's a nearly perfect match.

Be careful when grinding into you gun barrel and wear eye protection. Hope this helps.

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Old 09-02-2013, 04:24 AM   #5
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Thanks so much. Your posts have been eztremaly helpful!!!

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Old 09-02-2013, 04:31 AM   #6
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Your very welcome 180


Just don't attempt it and then blame it on me if something doesn't go just right.

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Old 09-04-2013, 11:29 AM   #7
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Haha I won't

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