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Saiga 12 PDW- the journey begins

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Enough gab, I'm board and dont have much to do until my unit gets back from Ft.Irwin in August, so I packed up the car, kissed the wife g'bye for a week and took the long drive to ID to the home of Bill Vaughn, a Class III manufacturer friend of mine who caters to Machinegun owners far and wide, as well as being an armorer for a local county sheriff's office.


Tonight I sleep in a gun-room that I dream about whenever I'm away, a sort of bunker in the basement of a licensed MG Manufacturer's house. Got to shoot my own Cobray M-11/9 SMG tonight after dinner (that Bill has graciously been sitting on for me since I moved to Washington, a non Class III state), as well as one of FIVE FA Valmet M.76s and a couple of Uzis. Once I get my bandwith issue resolved I'll be scanning and posting the pictures along with my old China trip pix on previous request.


My buddy had not seen a Saiga before and tore mine down with rabid abandon, curious to see how the beast worked. After discussing my ideas for a 12-C PDW style weapon we got to cutting. As of 12 midnight when we decided to knock it off in favor of a pizza and Blackhawk Down, We've got the general layout already down and are working in a trial-and-error mode with the gas system.


As-is, a Saiga-12 will NOT function with a 10" barrel. To combat this issue we've decided to tackle the problem from both ends. Using a copper plumbing fitting (it was handy and saved us a trip to the store) and a spare "0" choke we've constructed a small baffle at the end of the barrel that aught to give the same sort of pressure building effect that the Krinkov muzzle break gives, allowing the gas system to operate more efficiently.


We are ALSO planning on drilling out the small regulator in the Saiga gas-port, to let the gas system function at 100% potential. That said, the gas adjustment system is in for a little change as well becoming a four position in-stead of the standard 2.


On the cosmetic front, a krinkfreak friend of mine has graciously given up a spare Krinkov reciver cover that is currently being cut to fit Saiga-12 action needs. The Krinkov mounts its sight on top of the action itself, just over the ejection port. With some skilled cutting on my part, and some skilled welding on Bill's part we dont anticipate any issues with the enlarged ejection port size.


We've also cut down the original sythetic fore-end handguard and mounted a Weaver rail for accessories. For shits and giggles I slid a M-4 style virtical fore-grip on the gun and Bill pulled an M-6 tactical light out of a safe (damn thing is worth more than a 1911!) we slid on the rail in front of the 'broom handle'. After we've tweaked the gas system tommorow so that it works properly, the entire front "rail" will be replaced with a ghost-ring system based on a standard AK front sight setup- mounted atop the gas block.


The final touch will be a Saiga-12C style side folding stock, with a nice thick recoil pad on it. Bill ordered the parts from K-Var on Friday for an American '74 style side-folder and we'll start cutting on that once the mechanical end is done.


The entire fire-control system has been replaced with Red Star Arms parts, and I'm in the process of seeing if an American-made hard chrom AK bolt carrier can be made to handle the Saiga-12 piston and bolt. Once the weapon is complete it will recieve Bill's special green parkerizing and get a dozen or so USAS-12 mags modified to fit.


If successful, Bill is going to take the prototype here and offer it to his LEO customers as a close-quarters combat shotgun on a shoestring budget. If not, it'll join my Cobray M11/9 in his safe of guns I've paid for but arnt allowed to take home to WA.


Personaly I believe, after shooting it even tonight with the gas system disabled, it'll turn out to be a real show stopper. Without any sort of padding or recoil buffer in place, on a straight SAR-2 stock, it was comfortable to shoot with slugs and double-aught, and felt "right" in the hands. I will admit though that my machine screws for the trigger guard didnt do so hot though, my guard popped off after my first magazine. Oh well, rivits in the AM I suppose.

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This is what I was initialy going for on the prototype, but a barrel that short proved unable to provide the pressures needed to cycle the action. Besides the Krinkov-inspired muzzle device, the other option would have been to move the gas block back six inches, this however would require removing the barrel and turning it down on a lathe, something I could do, concievably. It would require drilling the pins holding the barrel and gas tube out, and then re-installing new pins. As I'm still sorta new to all this, that strikes me as trying to fix something not broken. Bob has taken the dimensions of the barrel and will turn me out a new barrel and gas tube for a SECOND prototype that I plan on building on yet another Saiga-12, one I'll hopefully pick up soon once Uncle Sam decides to pay me the $8,000 he currently owes me for services rendered :)


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