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Options for loading on a closed bolt...?

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Hello S-12!


After lurking for about 2 months I decided to join the forum here and take better advantage of the wealth of knowledge you all have to offer!


I received my converted S-12 about a month ago and have been in love with it since. (I know, I should have converted it myself, but I got a good deal and didn't have to tear down my gun with tools I'm unfamiliar with.)


That being said, the only thing I don't like about the platform is the inability to load on a closed bolt. I know there are several solutions to this, including mag wells, bolt re-profiling, and a LRBHO (which I understand are both relatively non-existant and are a sore spot for many on the forum).


I wanted to see what the community thought about the advantages/disadvantages of each. To my knowledge, that list is as follows:


Magazine Well

Pro: Looks nice, functions well, can be relatively inexpensive

Con: Must tap receiver, magazines must be modified, inability to accept all magazines (JTE may be solving this problem?)


Bolt Re-Profiling

Pro: Looks NICE, functions well, generally smooths the action of the S-12

Cons: Expensive (if done by a professional), must ship parts away to have it done right, replacement parts hard to find



Pro: Potentially works perfectly, no permanent changes made to receiver (?), drastically reduced reload times

Cons: Magazines must be modified (I think?), nearly impossible to find


These are the options I've found and some of their pros and cons as I have come to understand them. This list is probably not comprehensive, given my short experience with the platform, but this is what I have found.


What does the community think is the best option out of these or other options available?

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Community thinks you should take our advice we gave you or sell s12 to community for cheap


But seriously, bolt job by a pro is a good investment. Turnaround isnt that long

Talk to cobra customs, Shannon will hook you up

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I think your summary was good, and all of the above in combination is the best. They are all worthwhile.

Obviously the video linked in my signature line applies to the rest of what I think. If you haven't watched that yet, do so before you spend money and spend 45 minutes practicing. Welcome to the forum. Thanks for starting with an intelligent post and doing your own searches.


If you have no money: Practice, home profile if you feel brave.


If you can only apply $100 to any solution described there, it would be magwell hands down. and again home profile if you feel brave.


If you want every thing and have the cash, get the forthcoming super magwell, a profile and LRBHO by the person installing LRBHO. They all help.

And since you are burning money, get them to add either a galil, dogleg, or left side charging handle while they are profiling the bolt.


Oh, and the Cadiz installed LRBHO I saw was a big disapointment. I cannot comment on Gunfixer's or the two other ones that are not currently for sale, but I would do about any other task myself before attempting to diy a lrbho. There are a lot of ways to ruin everything during installation.

I could do the bolt profile, but for the money, I would say Cobra or Pauly is a smarter move for most of us, and nicer.


And as said above, if you want all that junk, get an IZ433. It has everything from factory and their LRBHO is good. You can swap out the magwell or take it off to use more common mags too, but they will need modifications to activate the LRBHO. You will probably be money ahead and have a nicer gun to show for it.

Edited by GunFun
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GunFun, given my inexperience with tools of almost any kind, I'd certainly leave any profiling to the professionals, and for around $150 from some of the folks on this forum (Pauly and Cobra) it would be well worth saving some pennies for.


When I first fired my S-12, I didn't have any problems loading on a closed bolt out of my 5 mag round or my 12 mag round. After watching your video I guess I was doing this automatically, but last night at the range I couldn't manage to load on a closed bolt (maybe I was paying more attention to what I was doing?). I will try your method again next time I'm at the range.


Still though, the new JTE mag well sounds tempting if they can work it out where it will accept any mags including the MD 20. What kind of modifications are needed to the magazines to work in a mag well?

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I do not and will not attempt to discuss others' work, services, or techniques.


Speaking strictly of my own... this is my own experience and that of those I've helped.


The only technique required to load ANY mag (
including drums
downloaded one round) on MY closed bolt is as follows:

1. Hook front locking lug in receiver and push forward.

2. Rock into place til you hear / feel it click.... just like any normal AK mag in an AK rifle.

BTW that is with 3" shells as well....


No magwell or LRBHO required. I do have both and find it just as easy to load with or without them in use or engaged. (The two separate S-12s I normally use...one with Russian magwell, one without, both with my LRBHO...)


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Another vid with Loading an emptying a 10 rd Promag with 3", and LRBHO....



The text from my youtube post on the first video. (And yes I was rockin the Slayer that night...lol)


"To some people it seems almost impossible to insert a loaded Saiga 12 mag with even 2 3/4" shells on a closed bolt.

With a modified bolt like this you can easily load and shoot 2 3/4" AND 3" shells with no problems. Even the drum mags can be loaded on the closed bolt, something not really possible with an unmodified bolt. It's still best to download the drums one round though for ease of loading, and especially chambering the first round, unless you inset it on an open bolt. This video is just to prove that every popular mag for the S-12 can be easily inserted with 3" magnums, if the bolt has been correctly re-profiled and polished.

Another note...some stick mags will hold one more shell than they are advertised as being their "full" capacity. (like an 8 rd factory Izhmash mag will actually hold 9, and a SGM 12 rdr will hold 13...) They left that extra bit of spring compression room for a reason. Don't overload the mag and it will be easier to insert.

Another plus to this mod, you don't have as much trouble with the top round in the mag being flattened by spring pressure against the underside of the bolt, meaning a mag can be left loaded in the gun and ready for use.

Of course, it also makes the gun cycle much better because there's less resistance encountered by the bolt and carrier as they go back and forth over the spring pressure of the mag and hammer.

(My memory card filled up just before getting to the MD Arms and Wraithmaker drums....you can see the Promag 20 rd drum did fine though with 19 rds loaded."

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I've entertained the idea of a magwell before, and may still go that route to gain some of its advantages. Honestly though, while it just takes practive, I've never really had any issues attempting to load mine on a closed bolt. It's tough, but remember that this thing is built like a brick and sometimes you just need to be rough with it to get it to do what you want. It is, 'Strong, like bull' /cheesy russian accent.


Welcome to the forum! You'll find all you need here! big_smile.gif

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Another possible option to help loading on a closed bolt....




Bad Advise....I bought 200 rounds of this shit and it does not work worth a damn. My S12 does not have a problem with anything other than this.


That being said, the only thing I don't like about the platform is the inability to load on a closed bolt.


Practice for awhile. At first I thought it was not possible and now it's not an issue. The magazines insert easily. It is just getting the feel for it.

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Man I love your collection Shannon. I am surprised you still have the tampon holder. Thanks for the video, it does make the point pretty clear. Also Quit making me jealous of your LRBHO. No fair. You get pretty guns and a hobby for a job, you make the first AK styled saiga, the first chainsaw bayonet toy, and you beat up cancer. What are you going to leave for the rest of us to accomplish?

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After my trip to the range earlier tonight (fired a whole pack of Wally World Federal bulk), I practiced loading on a closed bolt, and I found that it is certainly possible to do with the right maneuvering. That being said, it did take a certain level of concentration on loading for me to do it (as opposed to being effortless). I am not quite to the point of GunFun's easy loading on an unmodified closed bolt, but I do see it can be done.


I did have one round get deformed to the point it wouldn't chamber, and I had to dig it out by hand, but such is the cost of practice! I was hoping my next big purchase for the gun would be a Chaos Titan, but now it looks like I might sink the money into having reprofiling and polishing done. Now maybe I'll have to do a coin toss to decide Pauly or Cobra. XD

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  • 8 months later...

please help i just recently bought a saiga 12 and was very succeful at loading a magzine with a closed bolt but i can not charge the round into the weapon.. the magazine did click into place and everything seemed good but can not charge 5 rd mags and 10 rd mag same result whats up saiga guru's help


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The bottom of the bolt face (think potbelly) is trying to back over the top front edge of the shell in the mag. A properly reprofiled bolt will fix this.


DO NOT TRY TO REPROFILE YOUR BOLT WITHOUT READING... A lot!!! I am going to pay to have it done, personally. It's very easy to severely damage your bolt if you cut too deep.


Also, it may become easier if you load to magazine capacity minus one, for the time being. Hope this helped! Use google to search "saiga 12 forum searchtopichere"

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Bad Advise....I bought 200 rounds of this shit and it does not work worth a damn. My S12 does not have a problem with anything other than this.



Sorry they didn't work for your Saiga. As you could see in the vid, they work great in mine. If you want to sell them, feel free to PM me with a price.

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thanks nephilmi yeah i will not do it myself will get pauly to do it ...also last night i just maned up onit and racked the charging handle harder than the first time i tried and presto it cycled i can see that getting the custom work by pauly would be benifical to the the over all action of the weapon performance.. thanks again for your concern... brand new gun i was worried i would discharge a round but everything is still super tight is all..

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The whole point of not trying to load a full mag with a closed bolt is the issue of damaging the shell where it causes feeding problems. By stuffing the magazine into the shotgun you damage the top shell so it is deformed before you even jack the bolt back and try to get it up the feed ramp and into the chamber while it is out of round shaped. (lets agree - some brands damage more easily - ie - Duplex buckshot - it is not a crimp but a cardboard disk rolled in. Even crimped shells can get damage enough that it is out of round and will not slide up the feed ramp smoothly or fit smoothly in the chamber - requiring the forceful bolt rack and slap to make sure it goes to battery)


That is the reason I don't try to load on a closed bolt. I just make it habit to use the bolt hold open or store it with an open bolt.

Edited by DNR
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