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Cobra's Custom - Testimonials Thread (-w- video review)

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Mere weeks before the great panic of 2012 started I was lucky enough to grab a SGL12-07 at their introductory price.  I had a few cycling issues and the bolt was finished pretty aggressively at the factory and it wasn't possible to charge from a closed bolt.  The bolt had a sharp piece of slag hanging off the bottom that would literally cut into the top round and nix the ability to charge from a closed bolt at all.  I was planning on doing some polishing myself but after looking into it I decided I simply didn't have the time or tools to do it properly. 


Around the beginning of the year I sent my parts in to Cobra's Customs for the basic service.  I had an overall pleasant experience in dealing with Shannon and he answered all my questions quickly. 


After I got my parts back I was really impressed.  It's coming right up on a year since he'd worked on them and I've put hundreds of rounds through my SGL 12 in that time and I have had nothing but positive experiences.  My ability to charge from a closed bolt was restored, and the action feels like butter.  After about 6 months I'd completely forgotten about the work he'd done and took my smooth action for granted, then I shot a friends Saiga 12 and the difference was pretty staggering, to say the least.  Here's a quick video review I did on Cobra's work:




He still maintains contact with me to make sure everything still works smoothly (and it does).  If I purchase another Saiga 12 I wouldn't have any hesitation about sending it back to Shannon.  I believe he does an amazing job, and his quick turnaround time is just a bonus. 

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Pleasure doing business with you Barrage. Thank you for sharing your comments on your experience dealing with us and especially for taking the time to film the video. Great job on that. I'm happy we were able to get your S-12 running the best it possibly can. Hopefully our other customers will see this thread you started and follow up with their own testimonials here as well. We like hearing back from you guys and knowing you are happy with the results after the upgrades on your parts.



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I spoke with Cobra about getting the trigger, bolt, and bolt carrier smoothed out for a Saiga 223 sporter with factory Russian skeleton stock. I wanted to keep this configuration. Anyone that has ever picked one of these up knows the trigger has a long, mushy pull with no distinctive break. As a result many people hate the trigger and action in these rifles.
I sent my trigger, bolt, and bolt carrier off. While I waited for the parcel to return I had dreams like little Ralphy, in the movie Christmas Story, of great adventures when my Saiga would be functional again.

All I can say is WOW. The action is butter smooth, and Cobra actually made the trigger into a two stage trigger feel. I now have a trigger with a very easy to determine break. Accuracy has improved from 4-5" groups at 100 yards to 2" groups at 100 yards. Pretty damned good for a "sporter" Saiga!
Thanks for the great work Cobra!
Sean Faires

liberty -r- death

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I wanted to add my customer experiences with Cobra. I have always found Cobra to be very helpful to me. Over the years I have asked him many questions and have always been very gracious for the quick and thoughtful responses. I also have experiences buying some of his products and services, I have always been extremely happy with the entire process. He is quick to answer questions, advise my decisions, shipped quickly, and delivered a product that I was very happy with. I own one of his vented tube covers, have tried several of his hot sauces, and have one of his triggers(TXAK w/OTL). I have always been extremely satisfied in my dealings with Cobra's Customs and will certainly recommend him to the other members here.

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  • 10 months later...

I thought I'd add my pair of pennies to the testimonials for Cobra's Custom.


First, I'm no seasoned AK guy.  I've dealt with shotguns sparingly as well, but when the VEPR 12 was finally imported in the US I felt that it was something that had to be added to the collection.


And then it was a safe queen - I was leading myself to believe it was because I wasn't finding the time to get it out on the range, but really, it was because I bought the VEPR a little high during the 'scare', and then spent a fair amount of money making it a pretty spectacular *LOOKING* gun, but the reports and rumors of regularly failing AK shotguns had me scared. I didn't want to take my little gem out on the range and have it end up being an expensive dud.


I reached out to some established sources to have work done on my shotgun.  Wait times and exorbitant rates were pretty much leading me to believe I needed to turn around and sell my VEPR.


Then I found Cobra's Custom.  I read their posts.  I looked at their work.  It made sense.


I contacted them, I got the full service and the tapco trigger, sent off my parts.  They left looking like parts from a Russian factory.  They came back looking like something you'd find in a treasure chest.  The pictures you see aren't really doing the work justice.  They looked incredible, and I was ecstatic putting the weapon back together.


Well, the shotgun only got a tiny workout at first, but a couple weeks ago I took it along to a weekend 'retreat' -   and put everything from cheap target loads to military surplus buckshot through it.


Only problem I was really having was that my 10 round mags empty too friggin' fast.  If they ever release a VEPR drum I'm all over it.


I'm not going to say there were no problems at all - we're talking about a military shotgun design meant for running some high FPS heavy load, and I was spending a lot of time running bird shot through it (managed to hit a few clays, too!)  and I had a stovepipe or two.


Overall, though - it ate EVERYTHING.  And I'm very confident that if I ran nothing but slugs and buckshot through it, it would go bang every time I pull that trigger.  Provided I hadn't already pulled it enough times to clear the mag.  


If you don't like how your Saiga/Vepr runs (hell, even if you like it, but you think it could be better), and you aren't contacting Cobra's Custom, go ahead and give yourself a kick in the ass for not getting in touch with them already.  Then get it done.  Your only regret's going to be not doing it sooner.

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  • 1 year later...

Cobra Custom took my money and parts over 14 months ago.  I finally received them back at the beginning of May 2016 missing bolt and fire control parts, I did receive in the box recoil spring, and bolt carrier.  Cobras custom blamed Post office for loss.  Two months later I have a non-working shotgun with no replacement parts.  I sent them my parts insured overnight, you would think they would have sent them back to me insured.  I would never do business with them ever again.  Main reason to post is so no one else has to go through what I have experienced.

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 Posted this same reply on the Vepr forum so I'll just paste it here too...



While it is true we had some serious setbacks last year that forced us to close up shop for months, and we got very far behind, we have been working long hours here to get through the backlog and are currently in the middle of finishing and shipping everyone's parts received up through Sept of 2015. The rest will quickly follow now that we are up and running full speed again.


 As far as this apparently missing bolt and FCG go...I have spent countless hours with this customer and the US Post Office officials over this matter for a couple of months now, including multiple trips in person to and from postal facilities to make sure things got done. I have provided proof to him and through multiple reports I've filed by mail, in person, and on the telephone with the USPS, provided proof to them that all of the contents were securely placed his package, sealed up, and weighed on USPS scales before it left here with the shipping label we processed and printed. It was definitely complete without question, and the weight was correct for these particular contents down to the last hundredth of an ounce. I even sent him photos of an exact duplicate set of contents belonging to another customer, sitting on the scales showing the correct weight printed on the label on his package. 

 Due to the quick timeout cycle of the USPS Click & Ship feature on their website (the process used to print shipping labels), every package gets packed, padded, closed up, and sealed BEFORE the sealed box is weighed and shipping label is printed. Because of the extreme care given to each part during shipping of our packages, (each part is carefully padded, wrapped, and placed in the USPS Priority Mail box separately, and then all voids are filled to keep everything secure inside...) there simply is not time to enter the exact weight of each package in the system (which must be done to complete the label application part) any other way unless it's all done after packing and sealing the box. That is the only way we carry out the process at least, and this never changes even if shipping multiple orders in one day like we're doing today, and did the day his shipped.

 He claims his package was incomplete when delivered and that we either forgot to put the bolt & FCG in or accidentally mixed them in with another package. Well that too is impossible because we never, and I repeat NEVER open more than one customer's sealed plastic container of parts at a time while packing and shipping orders. This is the exact reason we have always packed, sealed, and labeled each separate box individually, as they are going out of the shipping room...one sealed box at a time. This process never varies. Even then, just to try and appease him by eliminating every single possibility, I did double check the shipping labels / weights vs contents of both other packages that shipped that day. They were also spot on for what they contained, the S-20 set weighing slightly less, with both correct weights printed on the labels. By the way these shipping weights and labels on the boxes are verified by the post office while being processed in their system, and if the amount paid for the shipping label does not equal correct cost for that weight, the shipper (me) is flagged and notified of this. Still further, I spoke on the phone with both the other gentlemen shipped that day, about their shipments, and everything was in order... no extra parts, nothing missing, and they were very happy with the work even after the delay. Then... we emptied the entire shipping room and searched everywhere possible for these parts I know very well (and all evidence shows) were shipped to this customer. I actually met the mail carrier out front and handed him the boxes myself so there is absolutely no question they were un-tampered with by anyone up to the point they left here in the mail truck.


 As per my reports filed with USPS and also their facility that handles any lost contents while in the system, the entire route of the package was traced through the system and photos were even taken through the process. It's part of what they do. These photos reportedly did not show any signs of tampering on the package while in their system. If ever there is a problem like a box gets crushed or torn open, it is re-packed in a new box and labeled as such, or at the very least any substantial rips or holes get taped up with USPS marked tape and then a special "damaged" sticker applied. I have received packages like this before from people not following my directions to pad everything carefully and having sharp edges poke through. 


 What happened to his bolt and FCG?? I honestly don't know but I can (and have) assure(d) him and everyone else they did in fact leave here carefully packed and sealed in a brand new secure box. They were shipped to the customer's supplied address, and tracking info was immediately emailed to him the same way every other package leaves here. This is the first and only time we've ever had anything like this happen.


 Our standard policy has (up until now...) always been to try and keep shipping costs as low as we could for the customer, and only shipped overnight or with extra insurance to those customers who requested it. Never ever lost a package this way. Before just recently there was nowhere to even buy replacement bolts / carriers so every package would have to be insured for the value of an entire new shotgun...if you could even find one. After this though, and now that new parts are available domestically, our new policy will be all new orders shipped USPS Priority Mail with $500 - 600 added insurance, over and above the $50 already covered by every Priority Mail package. That's also going to include all the remaining jobs we have in for service who only paid enough for standard priority shipping. Future orders will have to include enough payment to cover insured shipping though because I'm not going through this mess again with anyone.


 I have told this customer we were very sorry that somehow his bolt and trigger parts apparently vanished into thin air? after we did a spectacular job taking this duracoated set and giving them the full treatment, plus his requested all over full polish. Like every other package we ever shipped they were then all carefully padded and packaged then shipped to his address. Your guess is as good as mine what happened to them after they left here but we did nothing wrong or out of the ordinary.


 Zzippydog we do regret this happening, and as I have told you I always do everything in my power to make the customer happy. My work alone speaks for itself so most everyone we've ever done business with has indeed gone away happy. Even though we are not at fault for where ever your parts supposedly disappeared to, if you want to purchase a new bolt and FCG somewhere, I am still willing to offer you the full service already performed on the original bolt and FCG, at no cost and in guaranteed less than one week turnaround, with free shipping included. That is assuming you don't still get these other parts sent to you by the USPS when they have completed their internal search of their system I ordered done for you. That is all I have been waiting on since you told me 30 days ago you would be back in touch with me to check the status. That is all I know to do to go out of my way further to try and help you out with this problem.

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I have not ben on here in a very long time and wanted to provide some feedback. 


First off I purchased a used barely used Saiga 12 back in late 2012 IIRC. I tried a lot of different ammo and had many of the same issues others have. After a lot of searching I came across this forum and did the best I could on educating myself not only on the gun but the services from various providers listed here provided.


In short I got caught up with a vendor that took our money and disappointed so many of us. I was very fortunate though when I contacted the Oregon DOJ and finally got my parts back after more than 2 years after sending them. My parts has been bead blasted and had some rough grinding done when I got them back.


Now to the good stuff. I contacted Cobra's Custom and after a lengthy conversation via email and over the phone, I went to see him with my parts in hand a couple of days later.  I conveniently live about 40 minutes from him and should have gone with him to begin with. Hind-sight sucks. I left my parts with him with a good feeling and new it would be a while but not sure how long. IIRC, I was the first or second person to get my parts back via the OR-DOJ and to Cobra's. I had contacted Shannon a few times and he explained about some delays from an assortment of personal and health issues. I always knew if I was no longer comfortable that I could just drive up and get my parts back so was patient and did not bother messaging and emailing constantly. He did send out some additional emails reassuring everyone he was working hard to get caught up.


Last week he emailed me to let me know that my parts were done and weather I wanted him to mail them or have me come up and he would install everything and we could test it all out. Well I never turn down an opportunity to do some shooting so I chose to go up there today. I swung by wally world to get a couple different target and game loads of 2 3/4 and 3 inch shells. Got to his place and had good conversation while he installed everything. Shannon even wen thru my gun and found a bur on the lower area of the 'feed ramp' and ground and polished it. He also inspected the gas ports and had clean visibility on 4 proper ports. Did a couple of test shots and found an issue with a JTE performance hammer/main spring. Tried a few modifications and it just would not cooperate. I had all my original parts so we put in the factory main spring and went back to the "Range". Had mixed both rounds in a factory 5 round mag and a 12 rd mag. Now it worked like a dream. Everything is smooth. It had no issues cycling low brass 1200fps target/game loads  or the high brass  1 1/8 oz #6 shot loads on setting 1 for the factory gas plug.

I know waiting can be hard and we all want our parts back in the guns and at the range where we all like to be. Shannon does do excellent work and has everyone's parts in numbered drawers with original instructions/notes for each set. The time I have spent with him and our conversations over the last 13 1/2 months, I can recommend his services 100%.

  • Will you get your parts "in a week", no. In a month, I don't know. You will need to work this out with him.
  • Will you get them back, Yes.
  • Will the work done be done right, Yes.
  • Is the cost of the service worth it, Yes.
  • Will your Saiga 12 be as you always wanted it to be, Yes.

So what is next for my Saiga 12? Not sure. I am trying to decide what sights to use. Do I want to add rails to the forend? I traded a Chaos piece for a forend that he had and I really liked so have to see what I can get to further complement this build.


Respect to all my fellow veterans and have a great 4th of July!



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Was great seeing you again Robert and I enjoyed helping you finally get your Saiga 12 running like champ the way it's supposed to work. Thank you for the kind words sir I'm always here anytime ya need me. Again thank you for your service and have a great 4th!

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