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All - Writing about the build I've almost completed and want to go through the steps I had to take to turn a Saiga Sporterized 7.62 hunting rifle back into the AK47 Assault Rifle it is meant to be. I hope this write up is not to boring and maybe helpful to others that would like to do a conversion.

1. I ordered and received a Saiga Sporterized 7.62 rifle. Most know what sporterized means but for the sake of this thread, I will explain the best I can.

When the Russians make Saiga rifles, they are fabricated and sent to the US in what is called a sporterized configuration. What this means is the following.
a) The trigger assembly is moved back on the rifle frame bringing the entire trigger assembly a few inches away from where the Magazine fits into the rifle.
b) All of the furniture is of a hunting style. (Sort of a Monte Carlo configuration) Long reach for the trigger, strong trigger pull (about 10 to 12 pounds)
c) Extended stock and a 10 round Magazine.
d) My experience was that the trigger mechanism and milled parts were a bit rough, sharp in some areas and not a very smooth action.

None of the above really matters because I did a lot of studying before my purchase and knew that I would be doing a complete conversion or what I would like to think of as – Returning the rifle back to it’s intended assault configuration. I wanted a new rifle but also wanted to be able to make it “mine” and not just a basic rifle.

2. The first thing I did was order a conversion kit. The kit came with the basics needed to achieve the assault configuration. It was intended to re-use the trigger assembly, the stock was of a Monte Carlo style stock although a bit shorter than the standard, front grip was of a basic style and none of these items allowed for expansion. (example: No rails, no adjustment for personalization, etc)
a) I purchased a new trigger and spring assembly, American Made; and moved the assembly forward. This was not difficult as the dimples were already in place to show where the trigger assembly would have gone had the change to the "Sporterized” version had not taken place. I watched videos, read material and followed the directions of fellows that had gone through conversions themselves. Drilling and tapping for the new trigger assembly position turned out just like everyone said it would. Everything lined up and the new, American Made assembly went together rather easily. Trigger pull is now smoother at about a 4 to 5 pound pull wilth some extra polishing on my part.
b) The true AK 47 has what is called a “Bullet Guide”. This amounts to being a little piece of metal about 1 inch square that fits just in front and a bit under where the bullet enters the chamber for fire. I decided to install the Bullet Guide for one reason. Without the guide being in place, the Saiga rifle will only work with Saiga Magazines. With the guide in place, I can now use the standard issue magazines, ProMag magazines and the Saiga Magazines. HOWEVER – Be warned. The guide has to be exact in placement or it will not work correctly. I read where people had tried to install the guide without studying anything on the installation and basically ruined the rifle because once the guide is in and wrong, no magazine will work. Anyone can do the install, just take the time to study and then take the time to do it right. The screw that mounts the guide must be flush and smooth to keep from hindering the bullet to enter the chamber properly.
c) Since I wanted the rifle to be more of a sniper type of configuration, I went ahead and removed the rear site (easy to do by following direction available on the net) and cutting off the pressed on barrel end shroud and front site. A small hand tool with cutting disk works well with the front site and little shroud. I’ve heard that they can come in different configurations but mine had the little shroud and front site built as one piece. I went slow and cut on each side of the front site assembly taking care not to touch the barrel and after a while the metal thined enough to break loose and fall off. The barrel was not touched at all.

3. I decided to go with a Dark Earth furniture kit from Tapco. Since I had decided to go with a sniper rifle configuration, I ordered a butt stock that extended just a little longer than the standard adjustable stock that came with the kit. Also, I had decided to go with a Houge pistol grip so it ended up working out well. To explain.
a) I order a kit that was built for the “Sporterized” version of the rifle. This enabled me to install a Butt Stock that extended out longer than the kit that is built for the converted Saiga AK 47. This kit will not allow for the pistol grip to work with the converted Saiga AK 47 but that was of no concern for me as I had planned on a Houge rubber pistol grip anyway. I kind of took a risk with the Stock not knowing if it would work or not but in comparison with pictures and such on the internet, the attachment to the rifle assembly looked exactly the same. The only difference of course was that the adjustable stock extended out another 6 inches or so. I tried it and it works perfectly. Also, the Houge grip worked perfect as it’s made to extend all the way back to the end of the rifle assembly where the Stock is attached. This covers up one of the screws that is needed to secure the stock assembly.
b) I purchased a scope mounting bracket for the AK 47 and it looks and works awesome. With a slide of a little handle, I can remove the entire bracket with my extra’s intact. (Will go into extra’s later)

4. After putting all of the parts together and then looking at it for a couple of days to see where I wanted to go next with the build. (also got some advice from forum, dealers, etc) I decided to go a little radical again and paint over the Dark Earth. I went with a desert Tan instead and then decided to use a Black tiger stripe camo. I ordered a ProMag Magazine to use for the paint job as this will most likely never be used. It’s only for the showing of the rifle. For firing, I will use the standard issue Magazines. The extras I decided on are as follows.
a) Scope – I went with a Nikon 40mm BDC centerfire scope. I purchased flip covers to keep the optics in tact and they turned out better than I expected. With the flip covers up, the rifle just looks like it wants to shoot something. Also mounted a cheek rest.
b) For a side mount mechanism, I went with an LED\Red Laser combo unit. Mounts on the side of the AK 47 Scope mount perfectly and looks completely ominous.
c) I will be threading the end of the barrel and adding a full barrel length, extended shroud. This has been developed and is being fabricated to fit my rifle.
d) I decided to name the rifle. Kind of silly I know but I couldn’t help myself. The name I chose was “Dragon of War” I had this engraved on the trigger assembly cover in Latin – Draco Bellum –

That’s where I stand now. I have a threading kit ordered to arrive any day now. For anyone that would like to know. To thread the barrel of an AK47 it requires a M14X1 LH Thread for a 30 caliber bore. If you are going to thread yourself, purchase the Threading Alignment Tool (TAT). The Thread has to be perfectly straight if you are going with a compensator or shroud on the barrel.

I will end by copying the following that is required to have a Legal AK 47 in the US.

Damage may occur if the individual doing the upgrade does not take care while working. Furthermore Saiga conversions fall under section 922(r) of BATFE regulations. 922(r) requires that a "non-sporting" weapon imported to the United States have a certain number of its components manufactured in the United States. Since the Saiga is Russian made, care must be taken to make sure that the foreign parts count after the conversion does not exceed ten components out of the rifle's fourteen. As with all civilian-held firearms in the United States built after 1986, it is a felony to convert, transport, buy, sell, or be in possession of a Saiga with full-auto capability that does not fall under the grandfather clauses of the US government.

My AK47 is 922(r) complient......

Pictures are attached and I hope you like my write up and my rifle. Opinions Please.

Thanks,
Greg Carithers (Paybella from Pensacola FL)
 

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Compensator is in and build is complete. Compensator worked better than excepted. Cut the recoil down to not much more than a 30 cal carbine. Noise dispersion was pushed to the sides and laying behind the rifle in fire position almost allowed for no hearing protection. Signature also pushed up and to the sides and flash was cut to almost Nil.
 

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