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WhiteRabbit

Feasibility of building a 500 yard Saiga?

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I'm thinking of purchasing a S308 and accurizing it as much as I can with my own two hands. Why? Because it looks like a fun project gun, and because accurate AKs are something the world needs more of. The goal is to hit a man/deer sized target at 500 yards with good ammo, a conversion, a new trigger etc.

 

I'm worried that might be too much to ask for. What I've read here has convinced me it can be done, but I've also seen at least a couple of posts from people with lemon guns that just won't shoot straight. Even if I get a good one, the pro-AR10 part of me says that there's a good chance that amateur tinkering will never produce the desired result. I can't machine my own barrel, nor would I want to pay someone else to do it for me.

 

One more thing: is there some system for separating good and bad Saigas before you buy one? Please tell me this isn't like CETMEs where you have to check every little thing.

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500yd torso hits with an AK aren't that difficult. You're not going for ultra-precision here, you just need to hit an 18" circle @ 500 yds. Approx. 3.57 MOA. Very achievable.

 

1. Better trigger.

2. Make sure the stock fits you, and is firmly attached. No folders or wire stocks. Too much wobble.

3. Sights. Stay away from any sight or optic mounted to the dust cover. It's not solid enough and will affect repeatability. Stick with receiver mounts if you want to use optics. Also, don't hang stuff off the barrel.

4. Shoot at least 5 5 round strings of each ammo you can get. They'll all perform a little differently. Select what your rifle likes best. Try Federal if you can get it.

 

You may want to look into free floating the handguards. I've never done this with an AK, but someone on here may have. It's a good accurizing trick, as it minimizes interference with barrel vibrations during firing.

 

Have fun.

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A 308 with a 200 yard zero you have a drop of about 50 inches at 500 yards with any rifle. So it would seem a well fitted Saiga on the right day (wind) with the right ammo gives you about the same chance of performance as any 308 in it's class depending on all the equipment used and the shooter. People tend to underestimate their equipment and abilities.

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going12220 user_popup.png:

 

Your avatar? Frazetta, right? I'm a big fan of fantasy art. Frazetta, Vallejo, Hildebrand...

 

...it all started with a Molly Hatchet album cover....

 

Molly Hatchet

 

B0000025D5.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg

 

/hijack off :)

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Thanks for the positive responses. Free-floating the barrel looks pretty easy. I'm still wondering if there's a checklist like there is for CETMEs, but if there isn't because I got the wrong impression about quality... ^_^ I've found my rifle.

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ive reliably hit 700 yrd with my 7.62x39, now dont get me wrong my saiga is nothing special and i am not a "great" shot, however i now know it is possible

500m with the aim being to hit a fig 11 (man size target over here!) i would be sure is possible with the right handload - i am currently trying 1680 as it was designed for the 39 (ive tried other powders though, as other shooters didnt rate the 1680) all i know is that my first batch at start weight grouped about 2.5 inches at 100 today so i will definatley carry on trying with it.

 

with a 308 i would say that unless u have a crap bore the main thing to effect accuracy at 500 would be the heating of the barrel, if i was trying i would limit myself to short strings as posted above in another post

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Simple logic... look at the testing done on the 45-70... more than 100 years ago. It was proved to be able to reliably hit at two miles.

 

Any rifle can be made to achieve a hit that is within the distance drop of its bullet. It doesn't take significant adjustment of the weapon. (Example - the 200 yard tight circle hits with the Ruger Redhawk 44 mag demos.)

 

It's genuinely a matter of learning the action and limitations of the weapon and the efficacy of the ammo.

 

Take a look back at the most successful sniper in history... 600 yard shots with steel sights on the bolt action Mosin-Nagant you can buy at Big 5 for $85.

 

People get way way over technical with adjustments to weapons when simply learning the weapon and ammo are actually the primary restrictions.

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Simple logic... look at the testing done on the 45-70... more than 100 years ago. It was proved to be able to reliably hit at two miles.

 

Any rifle can be made to achieve a hit that is within the distance drop of its bullet. It doesn't take significant adjustment of the weapon. (Example - the 200 yard tight circle hits with the Ruger Redhawk 44 mag demos.)

 

It's genuinely a matter of learning the action and limitations of the weapon and the efficacy of the ammo.

 

Take a look back at the most successful sniper in history... 600 yard shots with steel sights on the bolt action Mosin-Nagant you can buy at Big 5 for $85.

 

People get way way over technical with adjustments to weapons when simply learning the weapon and ammo are actually the primary restrictions.

 

 

This seems to be a fairly popular question... one I've pondered as well. Although I am new to Saigas, and generally don't have a whole lot of experience overall; one thing I've learned through my own research is that your biggest advantage is going to be the ammo you use. It seems that the 308's have a slower twist rate @ 12", meaning that the stock barrel isn't very well suited for projectiles over about 180g as the barrel simply cannot spin the bullet fast enough to effcently stabilize the round. That being said, 500 yd accuracy is still within reach, but with a lighter round. Obviously the lighter round will be more affected by external factors (wind, humdity, barometric pressure, etc...) than a heavier bullet, but should still find it's mark.

Also, being a semi-auto, gas pressures will need to be slightly less than a bolt action, thereby scrubbing muzzle velocity, but then again velocity doesn't necessarily equate to accuracy, but I sure does impact distance... As does bullet weight

 

basically... Trial & error until you find the magic formula that works for YOUR rifle... please share what you find though

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Simple logic... look at the testing done on the 45-70... more than 100 years ago. It was proved to be able to reliably hit at two miles.

 

Any rifle can be made to achieve a hit that is within the distance drop of its bullet. It doesn't take significant adjustment of the weapon. (Example - the 200 yard tight circle hits with the Ruger Redhawk 44 mag demos.)

 

It's genuinely a matter of learning the action and limitations of the weapon and the efficacy of the ammo.

 

Take a look back at the most successful sniper in history... 600 yard shots with steel sights on the bolt action Mosin-Nagant you can buy at Big 5 for $85.

 

People get way way over technical with adjustments to weapons when simply learning the weapon and ammo are actually the primary restrictions.

 

 

This seems to be a fairly popular question... one I've pondered as well. Although I am new to Saigas, and generally don't have a whole lot of experience overall; one thing I've learned through my own research is that your biggest advantage is going to be the ammo you use. It seems that the 308's have a slower twist rate @ 12", meaning that the stock barrel isn't very well suited for projectiles over about 180g as the barrel simply cannot spin the bullet fast enough to effcently stabilize the round. That being said, 500 yd accuracy is still within reach, but with a lighter round. Obviously the lighter round will be more affected by external factors (wind, humdity, barometric pressure, etc...) than a heavier bullet, but should still find it's mark.

Also, being a semi-auto, gas pressures will need to be slightly less than a bolt action, thereby scrubbing muzzle velocity, but then again velocity doesn't necessarily equate to accuracy, but I sure does impact distance... As does bullet weight

 

basically... Trial & error until you find the magic formula that works for YOUR rifle... please share what you find though

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People get way way over technical with adjustments to weapons when simply learning the weapon and ammo are actually the primary restrictions.

 

+1

 

I find in my practice that the main contributor to inaccurate shots is not my dirty, 30 year old commie-made steel-cased ammo, nor my fat front post or crude rear sight, or anything like that, but me. When I perform, the weapon performs. But if I start flinching, or failing to pull the trigger smoothly without moving the rest of my hand or other parts of my body, then the shot goes off-target.

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Simple logic... look at the testing done on the 45-70... more than 100 years ago. It was proved to be able to reliably hit at two miles.

 

Any rifle can be made to achieve a hit that is within the distance drop of its bullet. It doesn't take significant adjustment of the weapon. (Example - the 200 yard tight circle hits with the Ruger Redhawk 44 mag demos.)

 

It's genuinely a matter of learning the action and limitations of the weapon and the efficacy of the ammo.

 

Take a look back at the most successful sniper in history... 600 yard shots with steel sights on the bolt action Mosin-Nagant you can buy at Big 5 for $85.

 

People get way way over technical with adjustments to weapons when simply learning the weapon and ammo are actually the primary restrictions.

 

 

Totally ignorant question... but I've seen several articles where snipers describe "hollow point" ammo as significantly superior in distance shots. Does anybody know if this is fact or myth... and if it is fact what the science is behind it?

Edited by sofageorge

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I shot my 7.62x39 this weekend at a 3-gun match with a long range stage. I hit the 300yard (10 inch circle) and 400yard (12 inch circle) targets several times. That was with a 4.5X scope and a 200 yard zero. With a little practice and understanding of the bullet drop, it was not too hard to do. The reaction of the RO was kinda humorous. He said that was really good (everybody else was shooting ARs).

 

Saiga's have the capability to hit out to 400-500 yards with a little setup care and practice.

 

jrmock

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sofageorge, the best long range bullets (for accuracy) are the super slick low drag bullets such as berger makes. The onese with the highest ballistic coeficients. The plastic tips such as Hornady Amax are also in that league. Used to be that all low drag type bullets were made with solid bases - with the opening a the nose, thus the hollowpoint - that's kinda outa date now...

 

As to a Saiga .308 for 500 shots, my carbine has given me 1.5" groups at 100 yards with PSOP scope and a "random" handload. I am quite sure I can beat that with handloads taylored to this particular Saiga using a better quality bullet. Staying within 10" at 500 yards would be quite easy as long as the wind is doped correctly.

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