Got a Saiga12. Looking for new owner tips.
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Thread: Got a Saiga12. Looking for new owner tips.

  1. #1
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    Got a Saiga12. Looking for new owner tips.

    So, I ended up getting a Saiga12. Appears to have been converted by Century. I got it off GunBroker from a PawnShop for 530.00.

    It came with an AR stock adapter and a polymer SGM Tactical railed handguard.
    I have yet to completely take it apart.
    The crappy Century compliance pistol grip was cracked and the Shepard's hook was hanging off of it. Both are fine, because I was going to replace them immediately anyways. It doesn't look like it has more than a 100 or so rounds through it.
    I think the person who had it, tried taking it apart and couldn't figure out how to get it all back together.
    Legion had a good sale on Saiga/Vepr12 parts so I grabbed a few Kalashnikov USA 5-rd mags, Vepr12 puck and Vepr12 trigger group.
    I will see if they put an aftermarket gas regulator in it. If not, I'll get one.

    So I've been going a bit of research on these and it seems that the Saiga12 is really hit or miss. A lot of people have reliability issues.
    The FFL that I picked it up from has one and he had to pull off the gas block and open up one of the gas ports (I believe that's what he said). After more research, it looks like the gas port issue wasnt uncommon.

    Does anyone have any tips for a new owner? I've never even operated a shotgun before and it seems that these are finicky. Any tips would be appreciated.
    Saiga IZ132L - Cugir WASR2 - Bulgarian AK74
    Finnish VKT M39 - PSA Freedom
    Walther PPS M2 - Canik TP9SA - Glock19 G5
    Yugo M57 Tokarev - Bulgarian Makarov

  2. #2
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    The early imported ones were pretty hit and miss but they got better. People figured out how to fix the "vodka specials" by driving off the gas block and adding or enlarging holes, as necessary. You can polish things up to improve reliability too. The goal is usually to get it to work reliably with cheap Wal Mart Federal bulk pack skeet rounds.

    Mine was fine out of the box but I had to drill a couple extra gas holes when I SBS'd it to a 12" barrel. It doesn't run the cheapest stuff but it works 100% with low recoil 00 so thats good enough for me.

    There is a S-12 forum that I learned a lot from but it's been pretty dead for a while because of the sanctions. The Vepr forum is more active now but I haven't been following it much since I finished that project.

    Forums - forum.Saiga-12.com
    http://vepr.org/
    scottyb and JeepFan like this.

  3. #3
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    What Atomic Punk posted has been my experience. Mine is a 99 dated model which I bought new. Over the years I upgraded to a normal pistol grip along with a Magpul 870 handguard and buttstock. I also replaced the front bead with a green fiber optic (I forget where I got it from). It's my only diversion into a "tactical" AK as all my others are as issued.

    I guess I am lucky as mine functions 100% with WM value packs which is most of what I shoot through it. I can't remember having any issues with slugs or buck. Very fun shotgun. I've shot mine in a local trap match and it is also a grouse and quail terminator. Any time I'm busting clay pigeons it's always one of my shotguns I bring. It's been an ongoing project over the years and there is still some mods I'd like to do.

    As for tips, I'd say shoot it with different brands and types of ammo to see what it likes and to troubleshoot any issues. Learn to properly adjust the gas. Be aware that leaving your mags loaded for a time may deform the plastic hulls and cause feed issues. I would definitely hit up the forum link posted and do some reading, tons of good info.

    When you say "converted by Century", do you mean they put a regular AK pistol grip and trigger group on it and welded up the old holes?
    Atomic Punk likes this.

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  5. #4
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    Yeah that's pretty much what I've gathered.
    I'll do some more research on it and take it to the range for some testing.

    Regarding the Century conversion, yes that's what Century did when they imported Saiga's early on. They just did the rear conversions on them.
    Saiga IZ132L - Cugir WASR2 - Bulgarian AK74
    Finnish VKT M39 - PSA Freedom
    Walther PPS M2 - Canik TP9SA - Glock19 G5
    Yugo M57 Tokarev - Bulgarian Makarov

 

 

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