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7.62 accuracy

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I recently purchased a Saiga in 7.62 x 39. After the first firing, I found it necessary to move the front sight to move the point of impact to the right -- at 50 yards, it was shooting several inches L. Moving back to 100 yards, I found that I needed to move the front sight a little more. During this initial sighting, I was firing one shot, then another -- very slow firing.


I discovered that, from a cold barrel, the first shot impacts to the L of the point of aim. Subsequent shots move to the right. Firing my first full clip in close succession, I discovered that I could get groups of about 1.5 inches with open sights at 50 yards -- except, the first shot shoots well to the left of the subsequent shots. Shot 2 moves to the R, and 3-10 are in a very tight group -- three or four touching. At 100 yards, the group opens up to about 4 or 5 inches. Moving the rear sight one notch moves the bullet impact elevation several inches at 100 yards. This is shooting with the rifle resting on a rolled-up jacket, nothing high-tech.


I have only fired 60 shots, so I am not sure exactly what is happening, yet. Maybe there is some "break-in" required. I did not expect it to chalk up world class accuracy, given the barrel length, the front / rear sight spacing, and the trigger. I was shooting Wolf 122 gr JHP, which may or may not be well suited for use in this rifle.


I am thinking about a .223, and am wondering if I would want this in a Saiga or perhaps a Ruger or a Bushmaster. I realize this represents a considerable cost spread, and is not really comparing oranges and oranges.

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deecee, the first round flyer may be due your bolt locking up a bit differently manually than it does when cycling during normal firing. This could improve with use.

As far as sight adjustment, have you invested in one of the front sight tools that are like a "C" clamp? They do make adjustments a lot easier.

What barrel length do you have? I have a 20" that is pretty accurate for a 7.62X39.


You mentioned considering buying a .223. I picked up a 16" .223 Saiga at a show last weekend. I also picked up a 30 round waffle Bulgarian mag, that with a little filing worked perfectly. I have ordered US PG conversion parts for both guns from K-Var and some 30 round German .223 mags from Interordinance.


As far as a scope, I think most people feel a 4 power or a red dot like the Kobra is more than adequate.


Good shooting.

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Mine is a 7.62 with a 16.3" barrel.


I do not like the flyers, which is why I am considering something else in the .223. I do not know if they make a Saiga .223 in 20".


I had thought about an AK74, as they seem to be pretty dependable, but the 5.45 ammo is hard to find. Pretty much ruled that out.


Another weight on the Saiga side of the scale: Wolf .223 ammo is 2.79 a box at Meijer's stores. I do not think it is advised to use this ammo in the Rugers or in the AR-15 types.


But, I would rather spend more money and get something that is consistent. Although -- I have heard stories about the Rugers being less than tack drivers. A dealer told me that a Bushmaster with a 20" bbl should shoot in at 1 MOA.


What is the going rate for a Saiga .223? I had a dealer trying to find one with a 20" bbl., and he could not come up with one. He wanted $360 for a 16.3" bbl model. Said he could not find a 20" listed. I paid 199.00 for the 7.62.


I was looking for scope mounts -- wanted to SEE one in person -- but nobody has one in stock. Maybe I need to go to a gun show. The thought was, a QD scope mount could be used on both the .223 and the 7.62.


From what I have seen, with a 4x, the 7.62 could probably be held in the 2" range at 100 Y. -- if one can eliminate those flyers. I will experiment with loading. I thought that maybe the gun is sort of skewed to certain engineered factors -- designed to shoot most accurately at what might be typical rates of fire (for the AK, which it is based upon). I think they are built primarily to function dependably so far as putting out rounds -- extreme accuracy at longer ranges not really the plan. Like the ejector -- that is evidently designed to function. I try to police up empties at the range, and it throws them about 10 feet forward and 30 feet to the right. The green empties do a good job of hiding in the grass.

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I have one of the first Saiga's imported in 1994. It came from the factory with a 3.5x Russian scope and mount. The scope has a German type recticle with side posts with square ends and a pointed post on the bottom. Shooting reloads with .311" 123 and 125 grain bullets it will group 5 shots in 2" and sometimes a little less at 100 yards. I am sure with a higher x scope with fine cross hairs it would get smaller groups.

EAA imports the same scope mount that came on my rifle and CDNN has them.


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Just to compare the two side-by-side, I took out the Saiga and one of my SKS's (a Yugo) this evening. The SKS has a better trigger and shoots into a pattern half the size of the Saiga at 100 yards. The Saiga is still fun to shoot -- it has more muzzle blast and recoil.


If you lived somewhere you could hunt deer with it, I think it would be fine. I don't know if one would need 5-shot clips to hunt .... Probably would.


For my .223, though, I think I will go to an AR-style rifle. To me, that first shot is the important one, even if you are just punching paper.

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  • 1 month later...

If you were going to use it for hunting, you want it sighted in for that first shot.That's usually all you get when your hunting.And you need a 5 round mag.I have 2 of them, but I don't know where to get them.I have the CDNN scope mount with a cheapo Simmons 3-9x40 and it seems to work pretty nicely.I couldn't see putting a $200. scope on a $180. gun.I just ordered one of those Yugo SKS's.I cant wait to try it out.

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I agree with J A. A good scope might make your shooting better. With a scope, 3-9x scope, I'm shooting 1" or better at 100 yrds. I have the carbine version of the Saiga 7.62x39 (16" version). Without a scope, I'm still shooting 2" groupings at 100 yrds, and this is after 3000 rounds through it.


I wouldn't expect the Saiga to shoot accurately right out of the box though. I had to adjust my sights too before I got some accurate shots. Now I rarely have flyers and if I do, it's my fault.

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I have to say that the current imported Russian ammo is not very accurate in my Saiga rifle. I get 4" or larger groups with it. The bullet design as only the rear .003" is the listed diameter with the rest of the shank of the bullet being .309". This coupled with the variences in powder charge weights is the cause of the accuracy problem with this ammo.


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This is getting off the topic of accuracy a little ways, but ... I have seen some Romanian "AK-47s" for around $330. From what I can see from photos, the action and barrel look to be about the same as the Saiga, other than the hand grip, and the stocks. I just wonder if the difference between the two rifles is these types of things? Of course, the Saiga will not accept the mags that the AK will accept -- at least not without modification. Will AK parts (at least some of them) work on the Saiga? Scope mounts?


I have never taken my Saiga down beyond taking the bolt assembly out and swabbing out the gas tube. I see that there is a lever such as is found on an SKS (to the right of the rear sight) that (on the SKS) is raised to remove the gas tube. Can one further strip the Saiga beyond just pulling out the bolt / gas piston assembly? I have never tried to remove the forearm, as the front screw (the one holding the front swivel) seems very tight, and I did not want to screw up the slot.


Maybe just cleaning the gas tube as I do is sufficient. I guess I always like to take things apart as far as possible without getting into big trouble.


Any thoughts?


I have been shooting Wolf ammo, which I can find for anywhere from $1.99 to $2.79 per 20 in JHP and HP.


I do need to get one of those tools and screw my front sight down -- it seems to be pretty high. I have not yet figured out the trajectory of the 7.62 x 39 -- I never shoot it beyond the 100 Y. line. With the open sights, I figure why try?

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deecee, Removing the handguard is really easy. The only screw that holds it on is the one at the bottem rear of the guard. the sling screw does not have to be loosened or removed. Remove the rear screw and simply slide the guard forward along the barrel until it clears the the end of the barrel......that's it!!! Want a different stock?Saiga_Aft_Pistol_Grip.jpg




My Saiga will do about the same at 150yds with the 3x9x40 scope on a bench when I do my part and don't screw up

Edited by F4D
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The Romanian SARs (AK-47) are actually of rather poor quality. I would pick one up just so I could have something to mess around with. Perhaps using it to learn gunsmithing skills etc... and of course plinking. That way, if I manage to screw it up, I know I'm not exactly messing up a good AK type rifle. I wouldn't expect the Rom SAR to be as accurate as the Saiga nor are they expected to be as robust as an actual Russian AK.

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I was wondering which AK parts might interchange with Saiga parts. I see on the EAA site, tho, that many parts are available for the Saiga -- altho not the bolt or barrel.


I was looking at all the trigger linkage -- that is surely not common to an AK -- probably has to do with changes necessary in eliminating the handgrip / trigger setup.


I have never had the opportunity to inspect a Saiga and an AK side-by-side.


My understanding is that the only AK - style rifle currently allowed to be brought into the States is the Romanian version. Does anyone know if this is correct?


Having fired only about 10 boxes (200 rd) thru the Saiga, I certainly have not come to a lot of conclusions about the gun. I would say that it is fairly accurate, and it has never failed to load or fire. It does not crunch the empties the way my SKS does. Right now, I think I consider it primarily a dependable, inexpensive rifle that could be used for hunting (I know a guy who has used it to make 3, 1-shot kills on deer), and which would probably make a better defensive weapon than most 5.56 semis because of the potential of the heavier bullet to penetrate such things as car doors, (although it might be safer, for neighbors, if one used a shotgun with buckshot -- but, since I live in a rural area with a back yard a mile deep, I am not so worried about how far it will carry). The fact that fairly decent ammo is available at 10 for $1.00 makes it cheap to use for practice, which, afterall, is how most such weapons are used. I don't know of anything in its class, for the money. Some of the guys at the range don't like the looks of it, as they consider it to be an assault rifle, and, therefore, something that gives shooting a bad name among the non-shooters.


I like it more each time I use it.

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