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Saiga 12 sbr not only able to shoot high brass

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Hello everyone.  I have a converted saiga 12 as shown below.  the barrel has been reduced to factory length including the 6" tromix monster brake.  It has an mdarms 6 position gas plug, the main spring has been slightly reduced, and the bolt has been polished.  It currently shoots high brass rounds and 00 buckshot but will not cycle low brass.  I am interested in potentially sending it out to a known saiga 12 vendor to get it working correctly, or attempt to work with my local gun shop to work on it further.  I believe it currently has 4 ports at .072".


Can you suggest a saiga 12 gunsmith that could work with it to get it running well on low brass?  Could you suggest the next steps I might take locally?  My first thought would be the port size being larger might help?


Any help would be greatly appreciated.



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Yes, Cadiz used to do all the warranty work for the importer.


I would not give it to a local smith for several reasons: 1) many of them are blundering around and just guessing at what might work. Odds are just by coming here you know more about it than many an otherwise talented smith. 2) factory documentation tells them to do a horrible "cure": grind off the front sight and drill at 90* to enlarge. That's insane but even famous licensed youtube gunsmiths do it. {This is like watching a video of someone stomping on kittens http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLVrGPRrIak } 3) Best case scenario, most smiths will charge you a bunch and hold your gun for months, and will do a rush job when they get to it. 4) This is very easy to do in most cases. I would estimate that if you read around here first, you can use a punch, scribe, heavy hammer, and a chunk of soft metal, and a $0.85 drill bit or two and have the job done in 45 minutes plus a range trip to check. You might need to repeat that once or twice, but you will have a perfectly tuned gun if you do.


also many people consider 4@.078 to be a starting point with 4 @ .093" as a max, so you could probably cure your woes by simply reinstalling the factory spring and plug on #2 and bumping up the ports until it works. It's not that hard. The reduced effectiv barrel length likely means you will need larger ports than even 4 @.078" since that is often a winning combo for normal barrels. If I were gambling, I would bet that you will get what you want around 4@ 0.082"

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For encouragement for the DIY, this was done in a campground with a punch and drill bits from the nearest walmart, a piece of hard firewood to prevent marring, a cordless drill, and a hatchet. (Sometimes hatchet jobs are quality work.) The whole process took two steps with about 30 minutes for the first time and approximately 15 minutes the second time. 









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With that brake you will probably need a fifth port to cycle low brass. For some reason that muzzle brake reduces the amount of gas that is available for the system.  I guess it shows how much the brake works when you take one off and the weapon cycles,,,put it back on and it short strokes. I've run into this on a couple of S-12s.

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  • 2 weeks later...

one might look at the possibility of an internally threaded choke to add some backpressure instead of screwing with the ports...any gunsmith could really do that. you would have to have them fabricate a wrench or just leave it in there for good and not shoot solid payloads down the thing though...still would have to be an NFA manufacturer because of the removal of the brake, unless you just brought the barrel in by itself....

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  • 1 month later...

hello everyone.  Been extremely hectic at home.  Sorry to bring this thread back up, but can anyone recommend any other gun smith companies.  I am considering Cadiz, but the last time I spoke with them I was told the waiting list was near a year.

Edited by BrcWyn
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  • 4 years later...

A punch, drill bits, trial and error. 

You knock the pins out of the gas block and drill them bigger, put it together shoot it. The gas system on yours appears to be shortened. You can measure the port size by using the back of a drill bit. This will be helpful https://www.brokenbolt.com/images/starrett-inch-metric-tap-drill.pdf

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