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saiga in 308win shooting distances


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#1 Unknown Poster

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 12:15 PM

I been wondering at what distance does the accuracy of the saiga in 308win with the 16" barrel fall off at??

My point is whats the limit on accuracy with the 16" barreled saiga in 308win at what yardage?

I'm thinking when the 16" barreled 308 saiga at the longer distances falls off accuracy wise this is where the 21" barreled saiga in 308 will take over. Now how far will the 21" barreled saiga in 308 will shoot accurately, how far out past the 16" barrel??

Or is the 16" barrel more accurate than the 21" barrel in 308 with the saiga?

Sorry i can only shoot 100yds here and i would like to know and shoot at a longer distance to find this out for myself but we have no longer ranges here. Has anyone pushed the limits of there 16" and 21" barreled saiga's in 308 yet? Reading here about the 1/2" moa's has anyone thought of entering there saiga's in the shooting competions yet? I hear the swiss k31's are stirring things up in the long range competitions and i was wondering when the saiga's will appear and stirr things up even more at the shooting matches? Sorry but i have a gutt feeling the saiga is much better than were seeing it is right now at the longer distances. Plus I would love to see the saiga kick butt over the higher priced rifles in its class. UNKP.....

Edited by Unknown Poster, 05 July 2011 - 12:20 PM.


#2 Calijohn

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 02:33 PM

I've been wondering the same thing but I think most of the accurate saiga 308's have 16" barrels but I could be wrong. But they do seem to be on par with a really good ar-10 as far as accuracy goes.

#3 RobRez

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 04:03 PM

I've been wondering the same thing but I think most of the accurate saiga 308's have 16" barrels but I could be wrong. But they do seem to be on par with a really good ar-10 as far as accuracy goes.


Typically the longer barrel delivers optimum performance.
As for comparing the Saiga to a Good AR-10, I would have to say a good AR is going to be more accurate. I have owned both, and my DPMS in .308 was much more precise than my Saiga. I could basically get Sub-MOA grouping at 100 yards with the AR and only get a 2 1/2" to 4" group with my Saiga. All using the same Federal 150gr. ammo.
I don't shoot my Saiga .308 past around 250 to 300 yards or so, but I have iron sights, and my eyes aren't what they used to be.

#4 SOPMOD

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 07:56 PM

I have had to change my thinking of late on the Saiga 308 now that information has emerged that it's very loose twist produces optimum results with 110gr "Varmint" bullets.The lighter bullet has less inertia to carry long distances and buck wind but it is screaming at 3100fps out of the full length 22in barrel.

This means functional accuracy for us non-snipers will be increased due to a lack of bullet drop but it also means that the power drops rapidly after a certain point.The good news is that at practical shooting distances(where you would use a ruggedized semi-auto 308)like 500 yards the energy and velocity of the 110gr bullet is higher at 500 Yards than the M118 sniper round currently used by the US Military and it shoots flatter which to those of us who might not be experts at bullet drop calculations and need to make fairly rapid successive hits.


There is an Appleseed Rifleman who was hitting the "Tombstone" military target at 700 yards with the cheapest surplus parts Romanian 7.62x39 AK scoring 4 out of 5 hits. If he can do that with a 4-6MOA weapon with 257 inches of bullet drop then we can do better with our 1.75-3MOA Saiga 308s with less than 72 inches of drop.Unfortunately for me my shooting spot maxes out at 580 yards if I chop the brush down and setup to shoot at the cattle gate by the road diagonally across from the hill I use as my backstop so I can't prove that theory without a change in shooting venues.


I am currently excited to try the 125gr Corelokt PSP since the 150gr Corelokt is what has given me the best accuracy to date out of a Saiga 308 and the 125gr is better suited to the over 1 in 12 twist while offering a bonded core pointed soft point bullet instead of the flimsy "varmint" type projectile of the 110gr TAP.It might be the "Magic Bullet" for Saiga 308 performance.

The best answer I can give you is get out there and shoot until you really get a feel for the rifle and can hit consistently with it then start hunting down a load it really likes and then start worrying about engagement ranges.
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#5 Gonzo the nothingman

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 10:38 PM

I have had to change my thinking of late on the Saiga 308 now that information has emerged that it's very loose twist produces optimum results with 110gr "Varmint" bullets.The lighter bullet has less inertia to carry long distances and buck wind but it is screaming at 3100fps out of the full length 22in barrel.

This means functional accuracy for us non-snipers will be increased due to a lack of bullet drop but it also means that the power drops rapidly after a certain point.The good news is that at practical shooting distances(where you would use a ruggedized semi-auto 308)like 500 yards the energy and velocity of the 110gr bullet is higher at 500 Yards than the M118 sniper round currently used by the US Military and it shoots flatter which to those of us who might not be experts at bullet drop calculations and need to make fairly rapid successive hits.


There is an Appleseed Rifleman who was hitting the "Tombstone" military target at 700 yards with the cheapest surplus parts Romanian 7.62x39 AK scoring 4 out of 5 hits. If he can do that with a 4-6MOA weapon with 257 inches of bullet drop then we can do better with our 1.75-3MOA Saiga 308s with less than 72 inches of drop.Unfortunately for me my shooting spot maxes out at 580 yards if I chop the brush down and setup to shoot at the cattle gate by the road diagonally across from the hill I use as my backstop so I can't prove that theory without a change in shooting venues.

I am currently excited to try the 125gr Corelokt PSP since the 150gr Corelokt is what has given me the best accuracy to date out of a Saiga 308 and the 125gr is better suited to the over 1 in 12 twist while offering a bonded core pointed soft point bullet instead of the flimsy "varmint" type projectile of the 110gr TAP.It might be the "Magic Bullet" for Saiga 308 performance.

The best answer I can give you is get out there and shoot until you really get a feel for the rifle and can hit consistently with it then start hunting down a load it really likes and then start worrying about engagement ranges.


I've come around to this line of thinking as well. I'm going to try the 125 Nosler ballistic tip next. From what I've read, it's more of a deer bullet than a varmint bullet. Or it jacket is at least tough enough to penetrate somewhat without completely exploding. It's also a boat tail bullet, which should help it retain energy better than the 110 VMAX or other flat-based bullets of similar weight.

However, a lightly loaded (probably ~2550ish FPS) 110 VMAX shot very accurately for me at 100 yards, had very little recoil, and still fully penetrated 3 milk jugs full of water at 10 yards (penetrated 3 and bounced off the 4th, then back into the 3rd). That's ~18" of water. From what I read, the TAP 110 round penetrates about 9-11" in ballistics gel, so I think driving the bullet a little slower than the factory loaded stuff might result in less fragmentation and more penetration. Even if the penetration doesn't quite reach 12", I have a sneaking suspicion that it wouldn't really matter due to the sheer volume of the cavity it would produce where it did penetrate. The largest fragment was about 60 grains with the base intact. The total recovered fragments (those that weren't just dust) weighed 75 grains. Most of the fragments were in the second jug. Here's a picture of the fragments I recovered:
Posted Image

Honestly though, I live in a place where it's rare to get an open space at much more than 350 yards (or at least can't find somewhere where I feel safe to shoot at that distance), so can't offer much help there.

Edited by Dudethebagman, 05 July 2011 - 11:04 PM.

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#6 Unknown Poster

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 03:11 PM

My saiga in 308win will shoot 1 1/2" groups @ 100yds using the surplus south african 308ball ammo benchrested. Now some shooters here with the 308win saiga are shooting 1/2" moa's @ 100yds. With this kind of accuracy i'm thinking the saiga maybe accurate at the longer distances too. With the russians @ izhmash admitting the two american calibers of 223 and 308 are a tad more accurate over the russian calibers. I'm also kind of certain at some point at the longer distances the 21" barrel would take the asaiga in 308win out even farther at the longer distances over the 16" barrel. The norm has been the longer the barrel the more accurate the gun is its been a rule of thumb for eons. I'm just wondering if anyone has taken the 308win with the 16" barrel to its limits in long distance yet? And then has taken the 21" barreled saiga in 308win at that point to see where it takes over and how far can it shoot accurately. I've heard great things about the 308 saiga's in accuracy but i'd like to know if there are any limits or pro's and con's in long distance shooting. Its a great gun and I feel its under rated but it fills a nitch in our market in cost and quality and i'd like to see just how accurate it is at all the distances. Another point is can it be accurate enough to compete in matches. I'm sorry if i'm boring anyone or trying to make false statements but think about it. Were(me & my son) shooting 1 1/2" groups @ 100yds using surplus ammo. There are way more expensive bolt action & semi auto rifles that can't do that even when the manufacturer says its guarenteed to shoot 1 1/2" groups. I think the saiga's are far better than most shooters/owners think they are. The russians at izhmash did say they focused on making the saiga more accurate than its ak/akm brothers but i think its beyond those in accuracy. I think they need to be tested at all the distances maybe out to 800yds or were the accuracy falls off. Evey rifle has its limits. UNKN

BTW; We had the saiga in 308win out now at the range so many times benchresting it we can affirm it constantly shoots 1 1/2" groups using the SA 308ball ammo. Now the saiga in 223 is up at bat next. I can only test these at 100yds thats all the distance we have here.

Edited by Unknown Poster, 08 July 2011 - 03:15 PM.

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#7 Berzerker2

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 05:56 PM

There is a great article in the current issue of the G&A 2011 edition of their magazine AK47 by Gabe Suarez who was reviewing AK type sniper rifle choices and he said he had a student with a Saiga 308 with the 16" barrel and he was hitting metal targets at 1000M.He thought thatis a better choice. I have one with the 21" barrel and I think I would have gotten the 16" barrel if I had it to do all over again. It's better I'm sure in CQB situations that the 21" version.

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Edited by Berzerker2, 08 July 2011 - 05:58 PM.


#8 RobRez

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 06:38 PM

I may have to put a scope on my 16" S-.308 and see how good of a group I get then. I always liked it more for a close quarters gun with more punch, as it is comfortable to shoot. Even with the wire folder! I have always figured anything under 4" at 100 yards was good enough for me. Maybe I need glasses :cryss:!!

#9 cbr

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 07:40 PM

The biggest difference you will see is the huge flash and how much louder it is, honestly the 16 is too short and the 21 is too long buy a 21 and chop it down
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#10 Rhodes1968

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 05:43 PM

The biggest difference you will see is the huge flash and how much louder it is, honestly the 16 is too short and the 21 is too long buy a 21 and chop it down


Ditto. IIRC the optimum length for the 308 is 18-19" but the difference is minor except for powder burn. Now if you are reloading you already know about faster burning powder.
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#11 Cali_Armz

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 10:03 PM

when faced with this decision i decided to go with the longer barrel. 16" just seemed a little too short for such a powerful round. im very eager to see what kind of accuracy i can get, although im so damn broke i wont be able to afford very many 308 rounds.

#12 Unknown Poster

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 10:50 AM

I was only shooting the south african 308ball ammo and benchrested at 100yds were shooting 1 1/2" groups constantly. We just ran 8k of 308win using the 145gr FMJBT with IMR4895 powder and CCI #34 nato primers which were going to shoot next. I just received some lake city once fired brass and some 175gr FMJBT sniper bullets to load and try at the sametime too. I regret we can only shoot 100yds. I have two saiga's in 308 w16" barrels and one with the 21" barrel. We haven't shot the 21" barreled saiga yet we been busy putting the 16" barrel thru its paces. The IMR 4895 gun powder is for the military surplus semi auto's its the correct burn rate for the cycling. The CCI #34 primers are for the floating firing pins in the semi auto's too. Besafe; UNKN

BTW; When i mention the group sizes were shooting its me and my son shooting the same exact groups so its no one group fluke. I don't accept one good tight group as being the norm it has to be constant to go on record.

Edited by Unknown Poster, 23 July 2011 - 10:55 AM.


#13 Unknown Poster

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 11:13 AM

when faced with this decision i decided to go with the longer barrel. 16" just seemed a little too short for such a powerful round. im very eager to see what kind of accuracy i can get, although im so damn broke i wont be able to afford very many 308 rounds.


I think even the 16" barreled saiga in 308win will surprise anyone with its accuracy. At first our problem was with the sks many years ago we were too busy shooting soda cans while blasting off 30rd mags having too much fun to focus on accuracy. Once we got into benchresting them the word accurate came into our vocabulary. I was very surprised at the groups we were shooting. Before this I would laugh at the pics of the sks snipers. We needed to get past the myth that the sks's & ak's/akm's aren't accurate and hunker down and give them a try benchrested. Get down right serious about accuracy with them. I make a solid rest out of 2"x10" for the front of the gun and the rear. I padded them with old coataroy (sorry bad spelling) pants folded over many times to hold the gun. I pull the gun down into the rests and slide the rear rest forward or rearward till the sights are lined up on the bullseye at 100yds. Then use the breathing technic and hold and shoot once its on the x ring. Again i pull the gun straight down in the rest solid. The rests line the gun up and i just hold in down. I know of no other way to hold it down thats as solid. Then we know just what the rifle is capabile of and have to live with it wether its accurate or not. I'm taking the human error out of it so its the gun plus the ammo were shooting. Once i shoot my 308 145gr FMJBT loads everyone of the 8k of them is exactly the same i reloaded each one singley by hand. They all should be equally and a match grade. If we can eliminate the error of the ammo now its up to the gun for accuracy as to wether its really accurate or not. The print on the paper tells the story now and it doesn't lie.

I did purchase those newer plastic gun rests for benchresting but i haven't tried it yet. I'm not throwing away my 2"x10" home made gun rests yet.

Now about the barrel length. The 16" barrel is decent in accuracy but it has to fall off somewhere around 500yds+ to maybe around 600yds from what some are saying about there shots. At this distance the 21" barrel should take over and be better, but like some are suggesting about the 18" barrel makes me think it they tried the 21" barrel before cutting it? Does the longer 21" barrel have a harmonic problem because of its unsupported longer length? I'm not sure if its a problem or not if its not accurate at the longer distances. I don't think that anyone has put the 21" barrel thru its paces yet in long distance shooting. UNKN

Edited by Unknown Poster, 23 July 2011 - 11:24 AM.





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