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I picked up a Saiga 12 (sporter configuration) at a pawn shop that looks unfired. It has a Tapco pistol grip and collapsible stock that seems to have been added as the surface of the earth was cooling.  I have been reading here trying to get a handle on what it takes to turn this into the gun I want. I am a shotgun guy through and through but this is my first AK style gun of any kind. I have built dozens of AR's and have most of the popular "tactical" shotguns offered today. I hadn't seen a Saiga at a price I was willing to pay until I stumbled on this one.  $750 out the door and it seems unfired, so I jumped. 

I have been poking around for a conversion kit but I can't seem to find one in stock. Carolina Shooters seems like a good choice but all three of their trigger conversion kits are out of stock. I'd rather keep the stock parts unmolested (if that is an option) but I am curious if there is other suppliers you guys would recommend to convert the trigger group?

I know I would like the following and I am really open to advice on what parts to track down. I am looking for quality over budget but i do want to do all the work myself. I am a hobbyist but have access to a mill, tig welder, etc. I am no stranger to getting in over my head!  I am REALLY OPEN TO RECOMMENDATIONS! 

I want the following:

  • Convert the trigger group
  • Add a folding stock mechanism 
  • Add an AK "triangular" stock (magpul maybe) 
  • MLOK handguard 
  • I want to mount a red dot via a receiver side mount or top picatinny rail. 

Once the parts are in and fitted, I will get the gun running reliably, if I like it, then I will  likely FORM 1 it and chop it down to 12" or so. Seems to be a sweet spot from what I have read. 

I am looking for advice on what parts to get, and where to get them. 

Thank you in advance- I have learned a ton already and look forward to documenting the journey. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I converted mine over a decade ago and don't want to lead you astray. A friendly word of warning...there is conflicting information out there and telling the difference between good and bad advice is challenging. Search this forum extensively and practice a light touch. Certain parts are unobtanium and you do not want to bogger something by removing too much metal, enlarting ports too much, etc. I had Pauly polish my BCG and the job was so effective at lowering friction I had to get my gas system under control.


Root around here and I think some of the experienced professionals will weigh in.

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For the folding stock are you planning on doing the AK 100 series side folder ?



Or are you thinking more of an ACE style ?




Also if you go down to 12" you'll likely have to do gas block/ port work to run reliably.

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