AK or Saiga Rifle?
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:29 AM   #1
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Default AK or Saiga Rifle?

I was looking to buy an AK-47, but ever since Obama said the words "gun control" I've seen the prices on those rifles double to around $600 on average. I know that Izhmash makes the civilian version of the Kalashnikov called the Saiga (not to be confused with the Saiga 12 shotgun). I've seen Saiga rifles go for a little over $300 not two days ago online and they are probably even more affordable at a gun show. I'd like any feedback from AK and/or Saiga owners on the similarities of the two rifles.

Answers I'm looking for about this rifle are these things:
1. Is the Saiga as durable as the AK?
2. Are magazines for these rifles interchangeable?
3. What sort of modifications can you do to a Saiga (optics, pistol grips, stocks, etc.)?
4. How accurate is the Saiga (I'm planning to buy one chambered in 7.62x39 mm)?

Any other feedback would be appreciated. This rifle will not be for self-defense, but rather recreation and the coveted "SHTF" scenario.

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Old 05-10-2010, 02:08 PM   #2
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I own a few AKs and (so far) one Saiga (7.62x39) so far.

The Saiga is a Russian AK modified to more of a "conventional" look. It does add the complexity of an extra trigger linkage due to the location of the trigger.

The Saiga uses a proprietary mag that is similar to, but not the same as, an AK mag. ProMag makes standard capacity mags for the Saigas.

Many people convert the Saigas (be mindful of 922r requirements) back to full AK, but I like them as they come. I prefer the ergonomics of the Saiga to the AK.

Accuracy with mine is excellent, even though the sights are marginal at best.

Saiga has a side rail for various optics mounts.

Reliability is the same as an AK.

Buy a Saiga and you will not regret it. If you need an AK, convert the Saiga as funds allow.

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Old 05-17-2010, 02:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HawkI View Post
Answers I'm looking for about this rifle are these things:
1. Is the Saiga as durable as the AK?
2. Are magazines for these rifles interchangeable?
3. What sort of modifications can you do to a Saiga (optics, pistol grips, stocks, etc.)?
4. How accurate is the Saiga (I'm planning to buy one chambered in 7.62x39 mm)?
If you are going to get a 762x39 then you need to go with the AK. Century arms if your looking for low cost reliable and traditional, or Arsenal if you got some extra money and want a BAD to the BONE AK. Now days you can get AR stocks on AK's and Quad rail systems. You can trick out an AK anyway you want now days. The BEST bang for your buck is going to be a Century Arms AK and purchase a $15 Recoil buffer that you insert behind the pistol spring, small cheap mod makes shooting it feel smooth like buttah! Trust me i sell BOTH the AK and the Saiga on my site but i OWN an AK!
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:21 AM   #4
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I have .308/7.62X51 version of the Saiga. 22" barrel, Monte Carlo Polymer Stock. I love mine.

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Old 05-17-2010, 07:38 AM   #5
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I have .308/7.62X51 version of the Saiga. 22" barrel, Monte Carlo Polymer Stock. I love mine.
Is 7.62x51 more accessible compared to it's smaller counterpart 7.62x39?
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:54 PM   #6
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Saiga magazines cost more than AK ones.
Just get the AK unless you want a 308.

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Old 05-20-2010, 07:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HawkI View Post
Is 7.62x51 more accessible compared to it's smaller counterpart 7.62x39?
From what I've seen, the 7.62X51 is harder to find AND the extra magazines are more expensive.
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Old 05-20-2010, 08:39 PM   #8
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A tad off-subject, but is the 7.62x51 the NATO equivalent of .303 British?

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Old 05-20-2010, 09:59 PM   #9
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A tad off-subject, but is the 7.62x51 the NATO equivalent of .303 British?
No.

7.62x51 is the NATO standard .30cal. It is very similar to the .308Win, but not identical.
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:46 AM   #10
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The Saiga is a great deal if you don't want to modify it. But if do want it to look and function more like an AK then it's easy to spend a couple hundred or more depending how far you want to go.

Really, it's hard to beat an entry level Century WASR-10/63 for around $400. I've had one four years now and still love it. You can spend a lot more for more quality but you quickly start reaching the point of diminishing returns.

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7.62x39, ak-47, izhmash, saiga rifle, shtf
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