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S12 side optics mount vs Russian optics (weighing options)

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After a ton of research here's what I have come up (and some thoughts) with for as options for my Saiga 12.

Anyone want to weight in with thoughts/experience.


Main goal is to have something better than iron sights that is effective and reliable.

I know it is a shotgun and not a sniper rifle, so any overkill would have to be adaptable to a more accurate gun.


1)  PK01-VS can be had for ~$320. 


Very simple, all in one solution.  (Skipped the PK-AS, as it appearantly might break on the S12)

Low profile.  Can co-witness if desired (I think).

Support is non-existent. (only con?)

Reasonable price for the quality.

Rakurs is too expensive.

Should retain zero after R&R.


2)  UTG Pro (MTU-016) plus any RDS  (see below...)

Cheap ~$45

Probably has decent support.

Not easy to R&R because of tolerances.

Tightening mechanism deforms the mount (con)

Some reviews state quality is subpar, others swear by it.

Can hold zero "well enough" (this is a shotgun after all...)?


3)  RS regulate AK303M (~$207) 

30mm (lowest possible profile with Aimpoint Pro) or Rail (more universal? but higher mounted)

Seems to be the undisputed best.

Sturdy and non-deforming clamping mechanism.

Holds zero as good as anything with R&R  

Expensive (only con)


Can be adjusted to be perfectly center over the barrel.


Runner ups:

Midwest Industries (might not be centered, deforming clamp?)

KV-04s (did I read about one or a knock off breaking?, does have a non-deforming clamp)

SM-13 (seemed similar to MI above)

NPZ Universal (hard to find?)

BP-02 (can't find one, gamble on center)


If I go with anything besides #1, odds are that if I ever get a real long range rifle I could just transfer the red dot to it, and hope it plays nice with a scope.


So in summary, I'm having a tough time deciding. Too many options.  Need a second opinion on what is realistic.  ~$500 seems reasonable.  I would need a damn good reason to go closer to $1000.  Anything decent/reliable for less, I'll take.


Budget option ~$100:  UTG Pro and a Aimpoint CLONE (Primary Arms?)  (haven't looked too hard into pricing...)

A step up ~$150:  KV-04s + Aimpoint CLONE

$350:  PK01-VS

$500-800: UTG + real Aimpoint pro or T1/T2

~$650: RS regulate + aimpoint pro

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I think the MI Gen2 30mm setup is damn near right on par price wise, with RS. EDIT1; What i see as a limitation to the new MI Gen2 mounts is stationary front to rear positioning, you're stuck with what they give you. 

I'm not sure how they compare height wise.


Regarding RS Regulate, not sure why you pick the 303M when the 301M or 302M are lighter and lower profile. Unless you're planning on an actual scope that would require two points of attachment.  

EDIT2; With a non magnified red dot, forward positioning is the only way to go. Positioned over the 'magwell opening' in the receiver gives the best balance and peripheral field of view.


Russian optics are weird and awkward IMO (i'm sure you'll hear arguments to differ), especially to someone accustomed to western optics. 


Only thing i have from UTG is their PRO branded carry handles for AR15's. Their PRO line is made in the USA. 


You can get Trijicon MRO's cheaper than Aimpoint PROs these days. They both have their pros and cons (research) but both are high quality. 


Dont buy anything until you see what Black Friday prices are going to be.


You get what you pay for. 

Edited by Mullet Man

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303m because I can always chop off whats not needed, and it would be identical (my workmanship aside) to the 301 or 302.  I wasn't sure where I wanted the optic mounted so that model left me options for mounting, and the option to move the setup to a more appropriate rifle (and add a scope) if this is overkill for a shotgun.


If anyone has experience with comparable parts on my list and has a preference or something better in the same price range, I'm all ears.


MRO looks nice with field of view compared to the Aimpoint pro/t1.


I usually shop car parts on Black Friday, but the car is done... good call.  I found a deal on the RS and Aimpoint as a package that puts it under the price of a Rakurs. I hope Black Friday puts it under/near the PK01-vs, then its a done deal.


MRO + RS looks like where I'm headed.  Still have a few days to decide.

Edited by Slinky

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Just FYI, RSRegulate has a blemished section on their sight under "other products". They have the 302m and 303m for $100, listed as factory seconds/cosmetic blems.

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Not that it would be a deal breaker, but does the MRO co-witness the s12 iron sights (around the bottom third), or does it sit too high?  I am pretty sure the RS is among the lowest mounting options.  It would be nice to have that option or add a space if I didn't like it.

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Those blemished seconds were/are going for half off. 



I run my MRO on an AR, so i can't comment on your question. If memory serves me correctly tho, 'Horse' did a topic about it and it had like a lower 1/4 or 1/5 co-witness. However, i could be remembering incorrectly. 

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I got the "blemished" lower on the Black Friday sale. Seriously, I can't find a blemish on the "outside" (the visible side).  There are a few slight imperfections that I found on the other side that are well hidden when mounted.


Added an MRO which was $353 shipped, from a (reputable) seller on eBay.  All in all, came out to be just below $500 for what should be a near first class optics setup.


There is no way I can co-witness with the sight up front, despite the extremely low profile.  Mounted in the rear, I can barely cowitness.  I can see both sights and line them up in the left/right direction, but not vertically.  Won't be able to aim if the dot dies, but that's what quick release is for.


And I just confirmed I have an astigmatism...  I was sure it would show up since I barely need to use glasses.  Using glasses fixes it, and even without glasses, the dot distortion is bearable.  Now I'm forced to pony up for contacts or wear my glasses when I shoot.

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Try focusing on the target and keep the red dot out of your eyes focus. Should appear clear and symmetrical then. That works for me.

Edited by Mullet Man

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