I finally got to go out and play with my new toy today at the range. As promised, here are my comments. But, first, for others' sake, let me provide some background. A while ago, I bought an S12 from my gun shop. It has had some problems. It was my first fun of any kind; yes, I was a gun virgin. I picked Saiga because of overlap with AKs and because I wanted an HD/SHTF weapon of first (and last) resort. It lived up to all of my expectations until it started having some problems. At this point, my shop's gunsmith has it worked out and it's just time and tweaking. Problem wtih that gun: 1) 2 ports open and 1 port maybe 1/3rd open, 2) bore diameter is not consistent which makes it so that the puck/tappet won't move like it should, and 3) gun acts way overgassed and has caused other problems up till I realized it was having problems and stopped shooting it. It's in the shop, again or I'd use that for contrast. Before I get too much more into the text, lets do the gun porn (shown by a Maadi RPM for contrast and I'll try to do some other pics in my gallery shortly):
Concurrent with this, I researched all of the vendors here on the forum. I didn't want:
- A huge backlog and wait time, which ruled out a lot of the vendors here.
- A gun that I could pick up at a gunshow or my local gunshop, which ruled out a few more.
- A gun that I'd have to ship around to a bunch of different people and/or go out and acquire a bunch of add-on parts I knew would be required for the conversion.
- A warranty and service relationship that would not be susceptible to a huge backlog and wait time.
I made extensive use of search and called on a few of my first choices. Search showed a high degree of satisfaction with Tac47... and I think they could do a better job advertising themselves. I selected them and Tac47's TCS Saiga 12 Converted Shotgun... If you follow the link, you'll see the basics of what they do. From first order to now was about 6 weeks. Beyond all of the stuff noted here, the only things I asked Keith to change up was to add: 1) a better puck/tappet (Chaos), 2) HK sights, and 3) I need an adjustable stock because my wife shoots these too... at the risk of getting mugged, I hate the side folders and my length of pull is too short of OEM stocks. Keith talked me over to an adjustable M4 stock by CAA. I was leery of the M4 stock, because (well without overcomplicating things) it's an M4 stock. After shooting today, it's perfect and works for my wife as well. I had jumped on Chaos' July 4th special to get a tri-rail... and so added that as soon as I got the range, along with some rail covers - for those of you with other rails... Cameron's stuff is sharp and solid, no rounded edges.
Tac47 kept in touch, advised me on some of my initial selections, and worked with me to avoid unecessary delays... like a flash hider I had requested was not available so they upgraded me to a Chaos Warthog and barrel nut. Throughout, they represented their business partnerships with King Armory, Chaos, and others well. I felt their level of communication with me was appropriate and timely. The FFL transfer to my gunshop went easily. The process could only have been better if I could have gone in and worked with them on the conversion. It's too bad I don't have customers in Texas or I might have found an excuse to head out and do an AK course with them or Suarez.
So, lets get into it. How is the Tac47 gun different from the gunshop gun? In no particular order...
- It's a different color. I think Tac47 refinished the entire thing so that it not only looks flawless, but (specifically) the Izmash paint job that looks like some wino emptied a can of Rustoleum in the gun's general direction is all missing. To quote my wife, "It's beautiful." It's also more of a matte finish. The pictures probably don't show it, but there's a shade of earth tone in there.
- Cosmetically, Tac47 also redid the rivets and pin holes. There is no wasted space and the overall result is a weapon that looks like it got some TLC.
- The feel is unimaginably better. I knew that the conversion would do wonders over the sporting configuration and trigger/lever mess. But wow... what a difference!
- The gun's balance is better. I'm going to attribute this to experienced hands knowing what they are doing. My first Saiga did not ever feel balanced, not even a little bit.
- Tac47 checked out everything. There are numerous things that bugged me about my first. I went over all of them and found them completely missing in the TCS. An example? The 2.1 gas ports on my first Saiga are clear (and enlarged) ports on the TCS.
- The bolt, carrier, and action... my first Saiga gave me the impression that these parts are made from recycled beer cans that got kicked around a junkyard. TCS? Not so at all. Like everything else, they've been smoothed up and refinished. Parts that stuck on my first Saiga are satiny smooth on the TCS.
Lastly, shooting. I shot about 100 rounds of Remington 2 3/4" 7/8oz HV slugs without a single jam, FTC, FTE, FTF on gunfixer's plug # +1. I shot 20 similar managed recoil slugs at setting #2 and #3. When I was done, I took it apart and enjoyed not seeing scratches everywhere from simple dissassembly. The gun looks like it had about 120 rounds shot through it. I had fun peppering the targets and messing around with the HK sights. When I was done, and this always seems to happen, there were people watching. I guess it's the cannon boom of the S12 they can't resist and the faster rate of fire draws attention. The "AK shotgun" discussion that followed led to a lot of questions and comments, but mostly things like, "So that's a Saiga huh? They all shoot like that?" Umm, no sir... only if you get them from an S12 vendor with the skill and experience to put the right package together, like Tac47 Industries.
Thanks Tac47. I'll be cleaning this up with some other pics and sending it to you for your Customer Wall. When lighting gets better, I'll do some more pics and link this into the S12 forum itself.
Very Satisfied Customer,