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Found 5 results

  1. Having been recently smitten by the Saiga-12 bug I finally succumbed to its allure, so, ... here I am... Hi, Everybody! Right off the bat I knew there were a few things I wanted to change about a stock Saiga to better suit my idiosyncrasies (actually, my wife calls it my 'need to tinker') and, of course, this forum was THE place to research my ideas first. Although I have a bit of experience with firearms, none of it included anything in the AK/Saiga world, and not wanting to be just another noob on the forum (with all due respect for noobs everywhere), I read just about every post, and followed every thread I thought may have been pertinent, prior to buying and building MY Saiga. This post is to share with those that may be interested how I went about MY build. Yes, I realize some of you might have made different choices, and you probably would have had great reasons for doing so for YOUR build. I welcome any constructive criticism or questions from anyone and promise to reply as may be appropriate. Now here's my story. As I learned on the forum, the Saiga-12, as imported into the US, has had a few changes over time. Looking at the date of a post helped me put into perspective its content as far as the vintage and the importer relative to applicability for MY intended build. Also learned that some posters just repeat stuff they heard/read somewhere but lack personal experience, knowledge, common sense, or some combination thereof. This observations helped explain some of the apparent conflicts in facts and opinions, enabling me to make better use of the information. I will stick to providing factual details, evidence-based analysis and opinion, and verifiable references. The first building block is a NIB, current production (March 2012) IZ 109, imported by RWC and purchased at retail. The intended use is exclusively for high-power slugs, maybe some ocassional magnum loads of buckshot for hunting hogs - not tactical, not skeet, not urban warfare, not PD, not 'zombies', not inexpensive plinking fun, etc., just hogs. This meant I would disregard 'low brass reliability kits', flash hiders, CQB and door-breaching accessories, and other such useless (to me) items. The following list shows the functional objectives, the selection criteria, and the chosen solution. Comments or other clarifications are included as I felt warranted. Objective Criteria Solution ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Reduce muzzle climb Consistent, reliable, JT Engineering brake installed with and perceived rugged, compatible a barrel lock nut, both steel, from recoil for faster with all full-power loads, Carolina Shooters Supply (CSS) and second shots low or no maintenance LimbSaver recoil pad from WalMart Comment: This brake includes crenellations for door-breaching which I don't need and will machine off in my lathe and then refinish. Multiple Picatinny Same as above Billet Tri-Rail and rear sight rails for lights, dovetail rail from CSS lasers, red dots, forward grip, bipod Comment: The rear sight was staked in the dovetail. Using a small cutoff wheel and a hacksaw I made a vertical cut on top of the sight to within a few thousandths of the bottom and then tapped it out. This allowed installing the dovetail rail. Avoid battering Same as above Tromix Full Power Recoil Spring damage from recoil and recoil buffer from CSS of regular full- power loads use Comment: After installing the recoil spring, testing showed the bolt carrier still hitting the rear trunnion; only then was the recoil buffer installed. I didn't know the pin retaining the guide rod to the return spring guide was slightly tapered - it only came out, and went in, one way (I mic'd it to be sure it wasn't just burred). Buttstock with Same as above but without ACE Hammer from Del-Ton. External adjustable LOP cutting off rear tang or Receiver Block Extension and Pignose and cheekpiece welding. Strongest made Adapter from CSS Comment: The bottom of the External Extension required drilling and tapping for securing to the bottom of the receiver using existing screw hole of the replaced stock. This precluded keeping the trigger there, requiring to be retro-fitted forward to its Kalashnikov-intended location (See next item). Greg Queen from CSS was very helpful in confirming this workaround and in responding very quickly to my emails asking specific product questions. I very much appreciate his prompt, knowledgeable, and candid answers. Without his help this whole project could have turned into a nightmare. Thank you Greg. Move trigger forward Use highest quality JT Engineering Main Spring, Axis components pin retaininjg plate, BHO kit, Tromix FCG, Carolina Trigger Guard, and trigger group hole plugs, all from CSS Comment: The instructions and videos from CSS were invaluable. I didn't use a 3/16 drill to drill out the trigger guard rivets; I center-punched the rivets, made a 1/16 pilot hole and then drilled out the rivet to its O.D. only, keeping the holes at their original size. I did notch the BHO lever for the spring but only after watching the video several times while playing with the parts to better understand why and how. I installed the main spring upside down at first, and it worked, but didn't look right. After I installed it correctly I tested it and found the trigger pull to be rather light; it tested at an average 2 1/2 lbs. That seemed too light for safety on a high- recoil shotgun so I chambered and cocked on a 12 Ga. snap cap. Multiple hard inline impacts on the butt and on the muzzle failed to allow the hammer to strike the firing so pin so now I won't be worried about a light trigger pull inducing accidental discharge. Rear pistol grip Same as above, non-slip, Hogue Monogrip for AK from local no pinch points, feels store good in MY hands Comment: The screw hole in the grip needed to be elongated to match trigger guard's. I used a Dremel tool to do it. It wasn't much, but removing that material made me feel like I had compromised the structural integrity of the grip's fastening so I built a thick rounded-rectangle-shaped washer to fit inside the grip's bottom surface to distribute the screw's tension over the entire surface and not just the thin 75% area beneath the screw head. This would increase the load-bearing capacity of the grip's mounting while allowing for a little more tightening torque on the screw; both important to me on a high-recoil shotgun (It might be a little disconcerting if the grip comes off while a disgruntled hog is charging at me). Other accessories on this Saiga include a Grippod, a green Beamshot, CenterPoint red/green dot scope, Ergo rail slot covers, fitted case, YHM 45 degree rail adapter with an AR grip adapter and generic AR pistol grip. Checking out this Saiga for 922r compliance found 9 foreign parts out of a max of 10. This is including the original 5-shot magazine which counts for 3 parts all by itself. I think I am OK there. The ammo intended to be used includes, in no particular order, the following: Ddupleks Hexolit 32 Sauvestre Balle Fleche Dan Arms Gualandi Nitro Company Gualandi and '200 Yds Slug BPI DGS Thunderbolt Hornady SST Lightfield Hybred and Commander IDS Remington Slugger Federal Fusion and Power-Shok Various domestic (US) buckshot loads in lead, and non-lead alloys and my own 600 gr. hollow-points I machine from copper stock, loaded in custom brass shells from Rocky Mountain Cartridge with Hodgdon Longshot and CCI primers... not for use by the timid or pain-intolerant (higher recoil, much, much louder than a church mouse). I am considering a couple of other possible tweaks as they may be needed. It seems, even with the recoil buffer, recoil impact on the rear trunnion is excessive; an even stiffer recoil spring, modified gas plug, enlarging the gas vent on the gas block, or reducing the barrels's gas ports, may be options. A low-profile scope side mount and a Hi-Lux EER 2-7X32 scope are also future options. A sling, and a rifled barrel are also subjects for future consideration. That's it for now... I can't think of anything else right now. Long-winded post... (Sorry, moderators) I tried to edit for brevity but couldn't decide on what to leave out. Ill try to be more succint in the future.
  2. Well, Phase 1 is complete! My Saiga 12 is now 922r compliant, looks better and feels better to use! Thanks to Cadiz for the gun, and thanks to CSS for Conversion Kit#4 in Dark Earth, plus the Magpul Enhanced recoil pad. I took me several hours to do this, since it was my first conversion. I used a whetstone to polish up some of the contact points on the hammer, bolt carrier and bolt. I also took a couple of breaks to watch the CSS videos again. Had a few minor difficulties, but at last I was triumphant! Oh yeah... there's more to come. Just need some more fundage.
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