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The Saiga Saga - The Adventures of a GEN1 .410 to a Kushnapup

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Well I've been meaning to post this for a while now, but unclejake's post spurned me on... hopefully it may help him and others.

Many pictures lie ahead

Well I got my Saiga .410 at a gun show, fair price... completely stock.




After finding this site I discovered that I had a 1st generation Saiga .410 from 1994. And that it's an oddball shotgun compared to it's younger siblings.

First, a non-standard sized, non-adjustable gas plug and gas piston/puck... none sold that I have found will fit the GEN1's smaller gas tube.






...and no Bolt Hold Open mechanism


So after confirming with the Kushnapup company that their stock would fit... I ordered one and waited...
Whilst I waited I took the gun to the range to see how well it cycled various ammo, including the Silver Bears.

Well... the first few runs did not go well... but much was learned... RIO ammo sucks and my ejector would strip the cap off leaving the shell in the barrel and Silvers can swell, refusing to eject. So now I keep an 1/8" wooden dowel in my range case.
The other issue came from Failure To Ejects (FTEs) and Failure To Feed (FTFs). And in the process of one or more FTFs with the Silver Bears, the edge of the chamber developed a decent nick in it, causing almost everything to hang up. So I tore it down, taped it up, and began filing and polishing. Got the nick out and beveled the inside edge to help with feeding. Took it to the range... happy happy.
I then bought the JTE Performance Power Hammer/Main Spring... man, it made an enormous difference and my FTEs dropped like a rock.




Then the Kushnapup arrived...


WTF is up with the giant oil stain... I hope it's packed well...


Really... that's how you pack a $275 plastic item... really... and...



A flimsy little piece that helps hold the stock to the barrel, using the factory stock screw, was broken. Well crap... but it didn't matter... why?


The GEN1 .410's stock fitting doesn't line up with Kushnapup and I assume it's other Saiga siblings. So, after dremeling away to portion of the interior lattice, I attached six 1/8" fire-resistant left pads to key points around the barrel housing. When screwed together, it's tight as a drum and it anchors the barrel centered surprisingly well.


Another issue was the fitment around the magazine release. This required further dremelling.




I added some washers to the trigger spring, and used felt to smooth out some of the trigger assembly's contact points to the plastic shell. As in this video...

I also had to trim the trigger bushing to get the proper trigger reset.


Because I didn't want to cut the stock tangs off the back, I bought the SGM TACTICAL- RECOIL PAD. I then routing holes in the back and fitted it to the Kushnapup... great product. I also replaced the factory sling mounts with QD cups.




I then purchased two Magpul rails. After drilling and tapping the factory "rail"... twice... slightly off the first time.. I mounted them. Note the side rail had a bend because it's larger, but it doesn't effect my flashlight/laser ability to mount solidly.




Edited by Kurokaze
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Now the final piece that was bugging me was... no BHO. Well... can't have that. So I ordered the lever and spring, did some research and proceeded to drill and sand.



I also had to sand down the hammer to allow for the BHO lever to sit next to it.


Then the real problem came... the GEN1 requires a much longer latch to lock the bolt... well... my slack ass can't weld... yet... so I broke out the torches, hammers, and anvil. I then hammer extruded the lever as much as I could.


After cleaning and sanding, I installed it and... well... It could be longer and thicker... but couldn't it always wink.png
But it does work extremely well, minus how much is exposed when locked.






add a Phantom muzzle break, red dot scope, and it's done...



...well mostly... it fires most slugs and 000 buck reliably but I'm still playing with my 15rd mags to get a consistent 15 fired with no issues. And I have to mount the pressure switches for the flashlight/laser combo after I figure out how I'm going to deal with the uneven nature of the stock's fitment and possibly a better bolt/nut solution for taking it apart.




Edited by Kurokaze
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Just finished a Gen1 Kushnapup conversion myself. Was going to sell it but .410 ammo might be the only ammo to be found for awhile. I cut the old stock to extend mine instead of the tang. Still have another old buttstock laying around if I want to go back. Had to cut the receiver cover some for extraction purposes. Hopefully I cut it enough, weather's been too crappy to go out and try it. When the weathers nice I'm busy. Used a CSS rail for a cheap red dot. So I still have to sight it in. Love the way it shortens it up. Don't feel the need to cut the barrel anymore. My barrel is of the 20 + variety. Hopefully it will be warmer and sunny tomorrow. I really am turning into such a wuss as I get older!

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  • 4 months later...

Kurokaze, excellent write up with very good pics! Shortly after I had posted, my wife went in for what we THOUGHT was a simple knee replacement , she is now finishing up another hospital visit of seven weeks from a strep bacterial infection in that same leg that spread to the new knee, has three weeks to go, so I am sorry I hadn't seen this...GOOD WORK!

I was able to get a pretty decent job done for the customer, a lot of fitting and dremmeling, but turned out well to the customers satisfaction, and I was pleased with it. The .410 is a really nice platform for the Kushnapup stock and makes a dandy little SD shotty!

Thanks for the work and documentation that you put into this, it will help a lot of folks dive into this worthwhile project!

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Thanks guys! It's truly a labor of love... or OCD.


I'm currently turning the factory "rail" into swiss cheese by drilling and tapping three more hole in it to mount a full length 12" rail on top so I can mount MagPul backup sights. After I do this and I mount the flashlight/laser, she'll be ready for the prom wink.png and I'll post some more pics.


It now feeds Winchester SuperX 000 and slugs like a champ from any of the three 15rd. mags. Any low power or easily deformed hull shell ("the Bears") do not perform well. But because of the cost of ammo, I'm also playing around with the idea of handloading 000 buckshot for the 'pup. I figure I can do it for about .50 to .60 cents a round... assuming I can get them to feed and cycle without detonating the gun or I.

By the by, slugs are actually cheaper to buy as complete ammo.

Edited by Kurokaze
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My thanks to you and Uncle Jake for a great deal of learning on my part! I did hit a snag on the line up for the stock fitting bolt, but with some creative assistance from my local gunsmith, we got the barrel locked down tight. I am having him drill & tap for my full length rail for me, as I lack the tools & skills (mostly skills) to do so without risk to the firearm. Again, thanks to you guys for the great information and advice. Truly what a forum was meant to do.

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Dogster, now you can say that YOU have done one and not many people will tackle a job like this. You have a good basic understanding of the Saiga system, and you will be having many a fun hour wasting money through the new toy!

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Great job on everything mate! I too have a Gen 1 410 and can appreciate all that goes with her. Great job improvising, adapting, and overcoming. I'm all about that and making things work for other projects. I love when someone tells me "hey that won't work"...lol! I say "hey watch this"! 032.gif

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