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My Saiga 308 bbl threading experience


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#1 saiga545

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 04:05 AM

Here are photos of my S308 barrel threading to M17x1 adventure! I started by removing SGM bolt on break (which I'm selling in the classifieds) to expose the front sight block.

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I then knocked out the pins and used my makeshift aluminum punch (.410 snap cap) to knock the front sight off the barrel.

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I then bored out the back of the front sight by .04" by going around with a dremel grinding stone. I know it's not precision work, but it's just the front sight and it's an AK. In hindsight, I would have sent it to Dinzag to have it done because of the fast turnaround time and the hardware he includes (3mm drill bit and pins). Oh well - DIY is more fun Posted Image

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Measuring inside of front sight. The step in the bbl was .687". When I tapped sight back on, it fit nice and snug.

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I then reamed sight holes to 1/8" using a cobalt bit. I used 1/8" roll pins from Brownells which fit in just right (went in easy with 4oz hammer). I then ground down excess.

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Now it's off to threading with tools from Dinzag! Starting the threading with the thread alignment tool (TAT) installed and using CLP as cutting fluid, which worked pretty well. Remember to go slow and turn the die stock ~1/8th of a turn at most (when you start feeling resistance), then back off to break the chips - re-apply cutting oil - repeat.

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After you get ~4 good threads, it's time to remove the TAT (per instructions from Dinzag) then continue as before. Remember to thread the die caarefully over the threads you just cut. Keep going until the die is ~1/16" from the sight base. Don't go any further because you can booger up all the threads you just cut (sorry for the blurriness in the photos).

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Then clean off any chips and go over it again with the die to make sure the threads are clean. Do a test fit with your muzzle device. If it is too tight, then you will need to cut deeper threads. Tighten the screw on the die 1/2 turn, then repeat above procedure with oil and breaking off chips as you go. Test fit again, if device is still not screwing on smoothly - repeat! I had to do this twice for my 74 break. Finished product at the range. I reamed out a YHM AR10 crush washer to 17mm using a cone grinding bit. I also used red loctite for extra security.

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Sighting in Tru glo 4x scope using Tula 150 grain FMJ ammo at 100 yards. Took almost a full 20 rd mag to get centered. I would like to run some high quality brass through her to see what she's really capable of.

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Overall, I am happy with my conversion and always find it rewarding working on my own weapons. The 74 break does tame recoil nicely, but there is still a nice fireball. The SGM break did tame both the recoil and the muzzle flash, but it made the weapon too front heavy for my taste.

Edited by saiga545, 09 March 2012 - 04:15 AM.

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#2 Dad2142Dad

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 05:37 AM

Very nice job on the rifle and write up.

#3 DrThunder88

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 06:18 AM

Good job!

#4 RED333

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 09:55 AM

Very nice job on the rifle and write up.

+1, looks like ya have done a few in the past.

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#5 macbeau

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 10:29 AM

I see enough questions about threading the .308, that this should be pinned by one of the Mods
to the .308 thread... (hint, hint Indy, Drew, ETC...)
Great Job - BTW!

Macbeau sends...

Edited by macbeau, 09 March 2012 - 10:29 AM.

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#6 tritium

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 05:26 PM

this should be pinned by one of the Mods

Macbeau sends...

Done.
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#7 Rhodes1968

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 07:50 PM

Most excellent.
Hooah
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#8 saiga545

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 08:56 PM

Wow - thanks for all your kind remarks - I hope this will be a help to anyone wanting to thread their bbl.
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#9 PapaSmurf

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 04:13 PM

K now that I've seen it...It does make me as worried.

#10 ManOnTheHIll

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 03:48 AM

Thanks for this post. It made me brave enough to just go ahead and do mine. I was going to send it out, but after reading this post I went for it with the little dremel sanding wheel. I needed to bore the back .45" out an additional .025". I went slow and measured many times. Pounded it back on with a rubber mallet, re-set the original pins, and viola! Of course I also fixed the slight cant of the factory front sight install.

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Thanks again! I saved a little cash and now feel smart enough to fix the cant on the front sight of my other AK.
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#11 49north

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 02:04 AM

You presented a very nice technical piece and have motivated me to get the tools to thread my 308.
I have been looking at the misplaced fsb on it for almost nine years. Thanks.

#12 saiga545

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:07 PM

You're welcome! Best of luck and hope it goes smoothe!
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#13 TxAgSaiga1979

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:47 AM

Question: what prevents you from using the original FSB pins in the new hole and original hole to re-mount the FSB?

#14 DeathsHead1503

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 09:34 PM

Nicely done, I did the same a few months ago and put the same muzzle brake on. I wish I would of seen this post before I did it. I had a hell of a time putting the FSB back on and I had to pound the crap out of the original FSB pins. When I shot it the aim was off. I don't use a scope so I had to get a front sight tool to sight it in.  I think I put it on a cunt hair crooked but it shoots great now. I did notice the 74 muzzle break was louder, but recoil was reduced.  



#15 koyotetan

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Posted 11 March 2016 - 08:00 PM

Rock on man. Thanks for write up. I like how you widened out the back of the rear sight so you didn't have to re-profile the shoulder on the barrel.

 

I just converted mine. Used the Strike Industries stock adapter and the new Magpul SL K stock, to keep the length adjustability range tight and the butt small like a traditional AK stock. ALG Defense trigger is 3.5 pounds. I think that I'll do the thread job you did. Good stuff.

 

saiga-308-w-si-adapter-magpul-sl-k.jpg



#16 Netpackrat

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 06:19 AM

necro2.jpg

 

Consider taking it to a gunsmith and having the barrel lathe threaded.  With a 16" barrel you only get one chance to do it right, and if you ever want to mount a suppressor, you will kick yourself if you used the redneck DIY method described in the above posts. 

 

OBTW a suppressor really makes the 16" .308 much more pleasant to shoot.  True story...  Last year I was shooting my .308 for groups with the can on, and the guy at the next bench over asked if that was a silencer.  I said that it was, and he said "doesn't seem to be doing much good."  So I took it off, and fired a group unsuppressed.  The next words out of his mouth were "Holy %$^& that thing is loud!"  Then I put the can back on and finished my shooting with no further commentary from the peanut gallery.



#17 hughes35e

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 02:39 PM

Uh oh. This looks just easy enough that I'm thinking of doing it. I've threaded barrels before, both on an x39, and a .223. But the .308 I have is a 308-1. On the front of the barrel, and the FSB is a sharp taper. Has anyone threaded a .308 with a tapered muzzle? Or do I have to have it cut and re-crowned to be able to thread it?
"The only thing that can stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun."-- Louis L'amour.

#18 hughes35e

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 12:03 PM

Went shooting this weekend with my 21.5" .308. Not to sound like a wimp or anything, but every time I pull the trigger on that thing, it's like a punch in the mouth. I need to do something about that recoil. It's weird but I think my Rem 700 7lb 308s recoil is tamer than my 10lb 308 Saiga. It's still fun to shoot, but getting a brake on it has moved up on my priority list.
"The only thing that can stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun."-- Louis L'amour.

#19 HB of CJ

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 11:18 AM

Nicely done indeed.  How does the Saiga print on target left to right using the factory OEM iron sites ... if the rear iron site still exists?  What we did was about the same only before drilling those pesky pin notches in the bottom front barrel was to instead clamp the entire front site base down using small cheapo C clamps.  One in front, one in the rear.  We used 2 small pieces of flat stock to hold everything together.

 

Then the whole thing got test fired at 100 yards to see how where the bullets went.  Some rocking adjustment side to side was needed.  Then reclamped down hard.  When the bullets went exactly down the pipe right to left using both front and rear OEM irons, the steel pin holes were then drilled through the front site base holes into the barrel material.  Then steel pins made from long drill bits were driven in.

 

Just another way of doing a fun home shop project.  Thank you for the pictures.  I need to learn how to do that. A camera would be nice.  Elite Iron used to have a threading service.  Their Battle Dog moderator begs use with "Maxine Maxblast", our Saiga 16.3" 7.62x51.  Right now the boss says wait until the Hearing Protection Act gets some traction in Congress.  I hate waiting but it is much cheaper than not.  :)



#20 Netpackrat

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 03:10 PM

If you wait for the HPA to pass you will probably never buy a suppressor.


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#21 HB of CJ

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 07:50 PM

Agreed.  Another suppressor.  Plus the fact that right now language is in the HPA draft bill returning the $200 bucks should the HPA pass during our very long can processing time wait? 

 

PS:  Elite Iron used to frown on home done barrel muzzle threading.  Their cans are very precise.  Potential baffle strikes.  They used to want to do it themselves.  Dunno about now.



#22 Netpackrat

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 09:18 PM

As I described earlier in this thread, I had my S-308 threaded in a lathe, locally by a gunsmith friend of mine.  He's done several barrels for me, and so far no baffle strikes.  He didn't need the barrel removed from my .308...  His lathe is large enough to take the whole barreled action, and the back of a standard AK receiver can be clamped in a 4 jaw chuck, and the barrel indicated to true with the muzzle in a center.  A friend had him do a VEPR and we had to press out the barrel for that one since the slant cut receiver wouldn't work in his lathe chuck.  No biggie if you have the tools.

 

Re: suppressors, the manufacturers have been hit by the double whammy of 41F and irrational optimism about the HPA.  Lots of guys like me bought our suppressors last year in order to beat 41F, and that level of sales just wasn't sustainable.  Now a lot of guys who were on the fence to begin with about buying cans, seem to have gotten the idea that the HPA is a done deal, and between those two factors sales have dropped to nil.  Only a few weeks ago Silencerco had to lay off half their workforce.


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