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I was wondering if having the dimples actually make much of a difference on the 7.62 x 39 version of the new RAA Saigas or AKs in general? Any input on the topic would help. Thank you.
 

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Non-dimpled saigas have guide rails inside their mag wells (like the current production military RPKs).

Functionality is not an issue.
 

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Makes no difference except for appearance and value of the rifle. Since the dimples are rare, dimpled Saigas command a premium. Even more rare are the dimpled Saigas with the Y-stamp for the third pin.

I just got back from the PDX gunshow. Over the last two years I've probably gone to nearly every show (maybe 9 or 10 shows now). At every show in those two years, I've seen 7.62x39 & 5.56 Saigas everywhere. Probably 10 or so (on average) at each show. Of those 10, maybe one or two at most would be dimpled.

Very rarely, I'd come across a Saiga that not only was dimpled, but had the Y stamp as well. Of all the Saigas I inspected at these shows, I have only found two so far with the Y stamp (and I bought them).

Now I don't know how many individual Saiga's I've seen over the last two years at the gunshows and shops (alot of them could have the same rifles brought to the shows multiple times). But lets say I saw a total of 50 unique Saigas in those two years. That sounds about right. Of all of those, only two of them had Y's. That's 2/50 = 4%. So clearly the dimpled and Y'd Saigas are quite rare, representing (on average) probably no more than 5% of the total number of imported 7.62 and 5.56 Saigas.

But something strange happened at this show today. I didn't see the normal 9 or 10 Saigas at the PDX show. I only saw two. And neither of them were dimpled.

I think these things are drying up. I believe that this whole dimpled and Y'd phenomenon was indeed related to the Venezuelan military contract overrun at the Izhmash factory. This has been a long-standing rumor, and I don't think RAA (Saiga importer) has ever validated this rumor.

But what I can say is that the dimpled Saigas, and the more rare Dimpled & Y'd Saigas that I saw were all dated '06. It is quite likely that whatever issue it was that caused Izhmash to mix the military contract receivers in with the civilian rifles seems to have been a one-time occurance.... And since the '06 Saiga's seem to be drying up, it's probably going to be harder to find dimpled and Y'd Saiga's in the future.

So long story short, if you have an opportunity to buy one. Buy it.

Here's mine in the process of conversion:



-Thirtycal
 

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And since I'm on this topic, I'd like to mention something else. I have made it a habit to collect (and save) all photos of dimpled and Y'd Saigas that I have found posted on all of the various AK sites around the web. I probably have a total of 8 individual photos (including my two).

On my two dimpled & Y'd Saigas, as well as on the other 6 or so Saigas for which I have photos, every one of them has a very peculiar feature: The right side of the receiver has a section about three inches wide that has obviously been exposed to an abrasive disk or sander, indicating that the Izhmash factory was trying to remove something. I have been intrigued by this for quite a while, trying to come up with an explanation. Originally I thought perhaps they were trying to grind the outside face of the spotweld that holds the small section of rail that had to be removed because it contained the feature that trips the disconnector tail for full-auto functionality. However, I don't think that actually is the reason because grinding the outside of the receiver over such a large section just wouldn't have been necessary - and not only that, there wasn't a spot weld that needed to be removed.

So, I ended up finding a nice high-res photo of a real AK-103... And I noticed that the Izhmash factory stamps a nice big "AK-103" stamp in the general vicinity of that sanded area of the receiver. So I'm starting to think that the grind/sand marks on the receiver were actually the result of Izhmash removing that "AK-103" stamp from the receiver. To me, the evidence is pretty clear. The exact position of these grind marks vary from receiver to receiver, but in all cases, they do appear to be in the same general location of where the Izhmash factory positions the "AK-103" stamp.

Here's a photo:



The grinded area in question starts right below the selector lever and extends over under the import stamp. The example above is just one of several... Some of them extend further across (above the magwell dimple and towards the front trunnion).

Anyone else have any guesses?

If there is no other explanation for that grind mark, then "removal of the AK-103 stamp" seems to be a very likely. And if this is true, then this would pretty much be conclusive evidence that the "Venezuelan overrun" rumor is indeed fact: These Dimpled and Y'd Saigas were true military Izhmash AK-103 receivers.

And this is why they are valuable to collectors. :goof:

-Thirtycal
 

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thirtycal said:
I think these things are drying up.
As we read this thread, containers are arriving at distributors with Saiga rifles and Saiga shotguns.

Word from one of them is that they were delayed in customs.

They are not "drying up" (except maybe the dimpled / dimpled w/Y models).
 

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I read on one of the boards that the trip lever slot on the right rail had to be welded up and that some of these actually had full penetration and possibly burn threw of the receiver wall. Is it possible they are grinding flush the exterior receiver wall where they have "fixed" that evil feature?
 

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nalioth said:
thirtycal said:
I think these things are drying up.
As we read this thread, containers are arriving at distributors with Saiga rifles and Saiga shotguns.

Word from one of them is that they were delayed in customs.

They are not "drying up" (except maybe the dimpled / dimpled w/Y models).
I was hearing that some of the new Saigas may have arsenal marks on the barrel trunnion. Has anyone seen one?
 

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Enoch said:
jithaca is correct. The trip lever slot is welded closed. They did a sloppy job doing it.
Ah ok that makes more sense. I could definitely understand how the small section of welded rail would be possible to burn thru... So they would just grind the external area of the receiver to fix it.

Yes I like that explanation better than mine.

Thanks everyone! Now I can finally rest easy.

-Thirtycal
 

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My Saiga is also dimpled - and has an 06 mfg date. Mine does not have the "Y" stamp, BUT has the FA right rail that has the sear-notch welded over... No exterior grind marks.
 

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I have an 06 dimpled, no welding to the RH rail(was factory semi), outside is ground as shown. I believe it was done to remove the cyrillic safe & fire symbols(П & О), which are still visible.
 

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wgallc said:
I have an 06 dimpled, no welding to the RH rail(was factory semi), outside is ground as shown. I believe it was done to remove the cyrillic safe & fire symbols(П & О), which are still visible.
Hmm, this is interesting. So you have a dimpled with no welding on the rail, yet you still have the grind marks.

Can you post a photo (in good lighting) that will show the texture and location of the grind marks?

This might help us solve this mystery.

-Thirtycal
 

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I've refinished the receiver, I didn't want the grind marks to show.

I'll show what I have, though... just a minute...

Inside:


Charging batteries (dang Xboxes & kids = no good batteries!)

Ok, slight divot visible, I blended the rest out( & filled the S & F):


LH proofs:
 

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That is actually comforting that it may not be due to the slot. I was worried about receiver strength being comprimised :smile:
 

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wgallc said:
I've refinished the receiver, I didn't want the grind marks to show.

I'll show what I have, though... just a minute...
Dang that is bizarre. Your rail is untouched, yet you pretty clearly have something going on there in the same region that I've seen all of the other 'scuff marks'.

I don't think it has to do with the cyrillic lettering, since all of the ones I've seen that have scuff marks all have intact lettering like yours.

The factory is trying to get rid of something. But what? If it were just a small stamp, they'd "X" it out like the do the triangle Ihzmash logo. Whatever it is they're getting rid of, your rifle would seem to indicate that it has nothing to do with the removed-and-welded section of rail on the inside.

So now I'm wondering if it really is the AK-103 stamp? This would be too big to "X" out, and it would be in the generally correct area.

Oh well maybe we'll never know. Thanks for posting the pictures.

-Thirtycal
 
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