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I recently bought my first Saiga-12. It came in a nice case with a Kobra Red Dot scope, which I did not realize was missing its on-off switch. Upon investigation, I saw my scope's problem was about as bad as a Kobra on-off switch problem could be. I had a switch knob which had the axis pin (the little potmetal ramp which actuates the arm that actually operates the power microswitch) sheared off inside the knob. I had no detent ball or spring, and to make the situation worse, when I pulled the cover off I found that the axis pin itself was broken in three pieces. It was a suck situation to be sure, and my initial research on Kobra on-off switch problems turned up a lot of people saying, in effect, "Scrap it since you can't get it fixed. Go with an Aimpoint and forget the Russian stuff." I did find that Kalinka Optics in the U.S. had a repair kit for the on-off knob, which included the knob, spring, detent ball and knob attachment screw/washer, but they knew nothing about the axis pin and had no idea how to help with that. I wasn't willing to accept scrapping as an answer because the rest of the scope looked solid, so I did some more research. I turned up a fellow in Russia running a business called TopArsenal.net. The proprietor is a guy named Ignat. I e-mailed this fellow to see if he knew anything about Kobra scopes. It turned out he was an expert. Ignat knew all about the various models of Kobras, including mine, and knew he could supply the correct axis pin. His price for that was USD 34. He also had the same repair kit as Kalinka Optics but was charging about USD 8 more. Figuring that 34 bucks was a cheap gamble on fixing my Kobra even if it went wrong, I wrote and explained the situation. I told him I would order the axis pin from him but would buy the knob repair kit from Kalinka since they were in the U.S. and cheaper. He agreed to match the Kalinka price and the whole deal, plus shipping, cost about USD 65. It took about twenty days to get the stuff here to the U.S. from Russia, but it was worth the wait. Ignat sent me a tracking number that was followed up by a company called PackageRadar. I was able to track the package every step of the way. I couldn't have asked for better communication from Ignat, whose English is extremely good and who made it clear he was quite concerned to make sure I was happy with my purchase. Once it got here, everything I got fit perfectly and my Kobra is now back in action. I used some molybdenum lube on the axis pin to make sure there wouldn't be any further problems with excessive friction/lack of lubrication. I also put a bit of clear silicone over both the knob securing screw and the six cover securing screws, figuring that if they came loose they wouldn't be able to fall off at the range. I haven't shot my Saiga yet but I expect that I will be doing so soon, and I'll be doing it with a functional Kobra. If any of you have the same problem with your Kobra, I strongly suggest you get in touch with Ignat at TopArsenal.net. It might save your Kobra from the scrap heap and you a decent chunk of change.
Dear Forum Members! I would like to announce that we now are importing Russian optics, manufactured by Zenit-BelOMO, the largest manufacturer of optical scopes and sights on the territory of the former USSR, located in Belarus. There was interest on the forum to optics and we decided to explore the possibility of bringing them to the United States. This summer we have even visited the factory in Minsk and left quite impressed. We are glad to announce that we are now an official distributor! There are currently two types of scopes that are available in our store: Red Dot Collimator Sights and POSP Optical Crosshair Sights. There are several different models that we carry with different mount types for Saiga, Vepr, Tigr, PSL, SKS, and SVD. We also have weaver rail mount sights that can be mounted on just about any platform. Please visit our store to check them out - http://www.saiga-12.com/products.asp?cat=25 Let me know if you have any questions - I would be glad to help!