With a real plug and play high cap mag solution in sight, the practicality of another project now must be re-evaluated.
In short, the G3 mag adaptor was developed in August 2004. That was during the 1994 domestic so called "assault weapon" ban. During the ban, a high cap magazine could only be modified if it still worked in the original gun, and no new ones could be made for civilian use. My G3 mag adaptor satisfied that criteria and was legal back in August 2004.
Then, as we had all hoped and prayed, the ban expired on schedule. High cap mags were now legal to make and modify as drastically as we wanted. The door was open to something different, but nothing walked through immediately. Now that seems to have changed for real.
Another difference in the times was that Saiga 308s were being wholesaled as low as $220 for a synthetic carbine. Add the prices of a conversion and adaptor and you're still competitive with a G3 or FAL, with Saiga accuracy and AK durability. Now they'll be over $100 more, and looking to stay that way. Still fair for such a fine rifle, but not something one would be as comfortable modifying.
That doesn't mean there's no reason for a G3 cap mag adaptor. Here are advantages it still has:
1.) It is more or less a straight insertion magazine. Not as much as an AR-15, but G3 owners know what I'm talking about. This is advantageous for mag changes.
2.) Surplus G3 mags are $2 a piece, give or take. You can't make mags for that price, period. I'm going to guess that prices for these upcoming mags will be $40-60, which is quite fair and believable. We're talking 20-30 times as much. My current tentative price for a G3 mag adaptor would be $100. So at about three mags the G3 conversion would be more economical.
3.) As this conversion was designed with the ban still in place, it may also be legal in states that have their own bans that grandfather existing pre-ban mags. NY comes to mind.
Now for the drawbacks of the G3 mag conversion.
1.) It adds a part and weight to the rifle. Nothing major in my opinion, but it does. And it limits the space you have in the trigger guard. I'm ok with it, but it's not a strength.
2.) It moves the magazine well rearward and requires replacement of the original recoil rod limiter with a BlackJack buffer for proper feeding timing. This is not really a bad thing either, but it too limits your options.
3.) It requires skilled modification to the rifle on the part of the owner or a licensed gunsmith who's comfortable with the project. If you want my opinion of how much skill, I'd rate it this way - that it's an equivalent step along this progression: 1 - Saiga conversion to p-grip, 2 - Saiga X39 conversion to hi-cap, 3 - Saiga 223 conversion to hi-cap (varies), 4 - Stamped AK build, 5 - Switching a regular AK to underfolder or AMD style sidefolder, 6 - G3 mag adaptor conversion to Saiga-308, 7 - rebarreling an AK trunion, 8 - building an AK receiver from flat or bent blank.
4.) This conversion is tentatively permanent. What I mean by that is that it would take the same skill to switch it back to factory mags as it would to tweak and rework it to make it work with the G3 mags.
5.) The G3 mags do require modification. It is not significant, and they will still work in a G3. But you can't just pick up any old G3 mag and stick it in. Economically the G3 mags are still better, but this is a limitation.
6.) It alters the structure of the receiver by removing the cross post, a part more important in construction than in operation. The sides of the mag well brace the receiver to compensate. To me this is not a big deal, but it is a drawback. Lots of folks say the scope rail is not much good of a mount anyway for the 308 (even Robarm says so on the thicker receivered VEPRs), but I would say there's a good chance the siderail scope mount would be off.
Now don't just get scared by the longer list of drawbacks. It's just that the advantages are simple and clear, while the drawbacks require explanation for you to know whether or not they make the difference.
There's been a long saga of false starts, tentative interest, and updates to the design, and here are pictures of the current one, the MkII:
In explanation and apology to those sincerely interested, the whole dang thing has taken far too long. I have what I feel are legitimate reasons, mostly relate to the fact that one must make ends meet, and that this project is so sensitive to details that I feel I shouldn't take prepayments. It might have moved things faster, but probably time would have shown it not to be fast enough.
So with this information on the table, I'd like to know who would still be interested in my adaptor conversion for a Saiga-308 to use modified G3 mags. If not, I have other projects to be involved in, some non-commercial. One of them involves seriously showing up RAA regarding the Saiga 30-06 that was supposed to be in fall 2002. Another is what may be one of the best bullpup conversions possible. And of course customized wooden furniture for Saigas and, coming soon, other AKs.
But if people are still interested in a G3 mag adaptor for a Saiga-308, I want to come through. Just let me know.
Hope to observe the right priorities in order to make the most of my efforts, for everyone's benefit.
Edited by BattleRifleG3, 09 June 2006 - 09:43 AM.