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Greetings. I haven't been in this forum in years now, but I find myself in need again.

I goofed up and tried to speed load my mags, tried to catch the bolt hold open on the recoil of the last shot, thinking if I was fast enough I could catch it and quick reload. I think you might see where this is going.

I was successful the first time. The second attempt, the recoil jammed the bolt hold open lever up inside, the bolt is now stuck back as far as it can go, and the failed bolt hold open is lodged to where I can't do anything.

I'm about to be brave and start a full disassembly. I've never attempted this sort of smithing, and I'm just about resigned to find a pro.

I'm in Northern Arizona. Trying to find a Saiga expert in the area. Anyone have a directory of good gunsmiths?

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After hunting around the forums, I found Arizona Armory ran by a guy Jeff Covino. I'm going to set up an appointment in the morning. He's confident he can fix it while I wait. Happy dude here :)

This is beyond awesome. Last gunsmith I used kept my Mosin for 6 months on a scope mount, tap and die; he didn't use the mount I provided (called it crap), and overcharged by double because of him. Claimed he had to clean the cosmoline off (which I had already done with oven cleaner). The worst part was, the mount he used was truly CRAP; at max adjustment I had to aim 6 FEET low. Putting a yard stick against the mount it damn near touched the barrel.

I will post an honest appraisal of Arizona Armory after my appointment. This guy seems to know his shit!!



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TBH, you'd be so much better off practicing "rock and lock" on a closed bolt. The bolt does NOT have to be open to load a magazine. Don't be intimidated doing a full stripping. It's really very easy. There are plenty of videos on Youtube on disassembly of an AK.

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The guy that I met, Jeff, actually did me a solid and showed me how to fix the issue. That, and he was dirt cheap to. I was really sweating the issue because I could not get the bolt out.

The failure was in the retention spring on the BHO. It popped off, the BHO went a little sideways and up inside. This was pushed back with a pick to allow the bolt to go down and the normal field stripping to occur. He even added a better notch to the the BHO to try and resolve it from happening again.

I would recommend Jeff Covino with Arizona Armory to just about anyone. They don't get much nicer.


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