Well, I broke down and went to my LGS and bought a used Saiga 223 for $465 with tax.
I picked up a box or two of Tulammo and went out and shot it, after I field stripped it and cleaned it.
It shoots well - about 3 inches low but I was able to shoot 20 rds off hand at 50m and keep them around two inches, and I was shooting pretty fast, with the iron sights, not great but it was the first time I shot it too. I was mostly checking for function.
I am gonna have to do some work on it.
I will have to convert it I think.
It has a Tapco stock that has a 4 position collapseable and that worked okay buyt one of the sling mounts I will have to cut off/take off - I am a lefty and I want to carry it with a one or two point sling. The one on the side digs into me a bit
It has an NCStar flashlight mounted on a rail in front of a Blackhawk vertical grip - I like the switch on it because I am able to reach up with my weak hand index finger and turn it on easily
The front forearm is not good, SGM Tactical molded with rails - I will probably order a Tapco Infuse or other forearm with rail mounts to replace that.
It came with a 30 rd Surefire Magazine that holds the bolt open after the last shot - I really like that.
The iron sights are very good but I will probably get a Vortex Strike Fire and either use a regular mount or scout configuration type of scope mounting
I will have to cut off the barrel shroud and get it threaded for a AK 74 type flash suppressor or other type of sight suppressor.
So, I am gonna surf YouTube and figure this all out