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Rifle Dynamics Saiga Rifle Review


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#1 physicsnerd

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 07:25 PM

Introduction:

I haven’t had a chance to review the work done on my Saiga rifle by Rifle Dynamics so I wanted to correct that today.

As with my review of my Saiga 12 (http://forum.saiga-1...aiga-12-review/ ) I am going to start out with the bling pictures. I borrowed a camera and am not as familiar with it as I would like so the pictures don’t really do it justice.

This should be shorter than the shotgun review as there is less story to cover!


Pictures:

I don’t have a lot of before pictures but you all presumably know what a fresh out of the box Saiga rifle looks like.

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details of the addition of the bullet guide (flat trunnion).
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Detail picture of the Fuller rear sight modification:
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Me shooting the first of two exploding targets:
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Detonation of the second!
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Parts:
K-Var Warsaw length buttstock
K-Var forearm set
MD Arms Molot style pistol grip
Tapco G2 FCG
Retaining plate
AMD65 brake


Work performed:

I purchased RD’s full Saiga package that is a restoration to AK specifications. Their website has a list of generally what is performed but a brief recap includes:
Removal of the barrel and re-headspacing
Thread barrel
Install bullet guide
Install new FSB
Install new GB
Cut handguard retainer slots
Fit new gas tube
Move FCG forward
Weld over old trigger pins holes and BHO slot
Refinish gun
Test fire and zero

I also had the Fuller rear sight mod done, which opens the gap in the rear sight leaf and slightly rounding the edges.

Craftsmanship:

I must admit, I think the Saiga rifle looks even better than my Saiga 12. The finish is even better! The whole thing is rock solid. I was expecting excellence and I was still surprised. The gun is sighted in and still the FSB and the front sight post are straight and centered. Nothing is loose or ill fitting, the trigger is clean and a huge improvement over the stock trigger. My mags (Hungarian tankers, Chinese through Yugoslavia 30s and a pair of Bulgarian Circle 10 40s) lock in tighly with little wobble. This is my first AK rifle so I can’t really compare but the Circle 10s are the loosest but don’t have much more movement than my dad’s Mini 14 factory mags.

I do miss the white and red lettering on the F and S like on my S12 but that is a pretty minor detail. ;)

Needless to say, when I unboxed it at my in-laws (did not have time to do so beforehand!) I was very excited and eager to get it to the range.

Range Report:

I’ve gotten it out to the range. Both times were over Christmas at my inlaws so I haven’t been able to put too many rounds down range. But those that I have were flawless. To date, I’ve used Herter’s 154 gr SP (for shooting old cans of beer), Herters 122 gr FMJ, Uly 122 gr FMJ and Golden Tiger 124 gr FMJ. There was nary a hiccup.

Accuracy is a little harder to address because I didn’t bench it but I did fire off a 30 rounder at 30 yards or so and made a nice baseball sized grouping. There was no walking of shots as the gun got hot. Not too shabby for not really being familiar with the rifle!

The Ordering Process and Customer Service:

Ordering was very straightforward. I shipped the gun and many of the necessary parts to Jim just before New Year’s Eve in 2010 and did a work order with him near the end of January 2011. The rifle came back all ready to go mid-December 2011.

Jim was willing to talk to me several times during that time frame to keep me posted on the progress of the work. In the end it was 11.5 months from the time I UPSed it to the day it arrived home.

Conclusions:

I would certainly recommend Rifle Dynamics for your AK building needs. The full rebuild is $725 plus parts, which will certainly make your build more expensive than an Arsenal SGL. However, for that price you do get the option of complete customization for the exact parts you wanted (like an AMD65 brake and MD grip). Note that extras like the Fuller rear sight mod or folding stocks are an added cost.

Overall though I am delighted with my rifle and am eager to get back out on the range with it!

#2 hutchsaiga

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 05:22 AM

Well put together. Thank you

Now shoot the hell of it!!!

#3 physicsnerd

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:04 PM

Well put together. Thank you

Now shoot the hell of it!!!


Thanks, I plan on it as soon as I finish school. Posted Image

Edited by physicsnerd, 22 February 2012 - 01:19 AM.


#4 jrlk2005

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 01:02 AM

Very nice!

#5 Son Of Jared

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 07:38 PM

Looks nice, Just out of curiosity; Is there a specific reason they chose to use an AMD muzzle brake? Why does your rear sight sit on the rear most portion of the ramp?

#6 physicsnerd

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 11:44 AM

Looks nice, Just out of curiosity; Is there a specific reason they chose to use an AMD muzzle brake? Why does your rear sight sit on the rear most portion of the ramp?


I was actually the one that chose the AMD brake. It was the coolest looking one for 14x1 LH threads. AS to the sight, I have no idea. It was like that when I got it back. Should it be moved up?

#7 Son Of Jared

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 01:34 PM


Looks nice, Just out of curiosity; Is there a specific reason they chose to use an AMD muzzle brake? Why does your rear sight sit on the rear most portion of the ramp?


I was actually the one that chose the AMD brake. It was the coolest looking one for 14x1 LH threads. AS to the sight, I have no idea. It was like that when I got it back. Should it be moved up?

It should be battle zeroed at the lowest part of the ramp. The sight is moved forward as you compensate for longer ranges. I am not exactly sure on the specifics but; you can find people on You Tube discussing this topic and most likely people on this forum.

As a point of reference, I was refering to the 3rd picture in your post.

#8 physicsnerd

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:51 PM



Looks nice, Just out of curiosity; Is there a specific reason they chose to use an AMD muzzle brake? Why does your rear sight sit on the rear most portion of the ramp?


I was actually the one that chose the AMD brake. It was the coolest looking one for 14x1 LH threads. AS to the sight, I have no idea. It was like that when I got it back. Should it be moved up?

It should be battle zeroed at the lowest part of the ramp. The sight is moved forward as you compensate for longer ranges. I am not exactly sure on the specifics but; you can find people on You Tube discussing this topic and most likely people on this forum.

As a point of reference, I was refering to the 3rd picture in your post.


Thanks for the heads up. When I get a chance to shoot some paper at known distances I will check it out.




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