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joe253

reputable gunsmith

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Ive seen a couple similar posts but I think mine is slightly different. Im wondering if theres a good gun smith in wa. Basically I want to drop off my unmodified turd (saiga 12) and receive back a well functioning reliable weapon. Im not interested in doing a conversion myself because 1. I'm looking for a little more and 2. I dont want it to be a hack job. I wanted to send it to tromix but theres a 15 month lead time! Ill wait if I have to though. Thoughts?

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You might also ask "Salt" about smiths he lives in the area. Mancat is somewhere near Olympia if memory serves. I bet he knows more about AKs than a lot of custom AK shops too.

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I know you said Washington but you might consider Jack Travers at JT Engineering. He offers a "reliability service" for a pretty good price and he has been two to three weeks out. I sent mine there a couple of weeks ago and Jack advises it should be done and ready to ship out next week. It was reasonable to ship, $38 via Fedex.

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I'd say personally, that you are more likely to be happy with your own work than a smith who doesn't specialize. I don't know if north sound armory is any good or not, but I'd sure rather give my gun to Jack than some guy who is good with remington 700s and is just guessing that the shotgun will be about the same as a normal AK, and watched those awful IV888 vids.

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I'd say personally, that you are more likely to be happy with your own work than a smith who doesn't specialize. I don't know if north sound armory is any good or not, but I'd sure rather give my gun to Jack than some guy who is good with remington 700s and is just guessing that the shotgun will be about the same as a normal AK, and watched those awful IV888 vids.

Agreed, I did the conversion on mine myself and started the process of improving the reliability by smoothing the rails and some of the other steps suggested on the forum. I actually only shot two boxes of shells through the gun after conversion and it was cycling ok with stout ammo but not so much with low base shells. With 00 buck and slugs at a buck a round, shooting 3 or 4 hundred rounds through the gun to smooth things out didn't add up when I saw the work Jack offered as part of his "reliability" service. It just made sense to me to send it to someone successful at the improvements rather than mess with pulling the gasblock and other steps to make sure things were as they should be. The work he does (machine the bolt and carrier, pull and size the gas block, check the gas ports in the barrel and correct as necessary, align the gas system, check the puck for operation, shoot a box of low base shell through the gun) is a great value for the amount of work.  Like I said above, waiting patiently for Jack to finish it up and send it home. Can't wait to shoot the finished product.

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Lmk how that goes. I was kinda hoping for someone to get rid of the rivets, weld a new trigger guard and that sorta stuff. And someone who knows a lot about it because im surely no expert and dont even know exactly what I want

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Well figure out what you want. Jack offers flat pricing rates for simple conversion, and flat rates for stuff like the holes. 

 

One thing I would want for anyone I'd have work on my gun is an itemized invoice for work to be done, maybe listing discretion to do a couple service tasks if needed with a definite date for final completion and a max price for the discretionary tasks. 

 

Why don't you go through the picture thread and figure out exactly what you want done, and price it out.

 

Suggested parts list for a clean and simple build

 

Tigged holes

G2 trigger group installed with BHO retained.

MD Arms or AK builder trigger group riveted

PG nut cut and installed.

JTE or similar extended mag release

MD grip

KVAR stock. WARSAW, and add a good pad later like this:

KVAR RPK forend (W/O the clunky quad rail chunk)

Cobra winchoke adapter, or Md flash hider, or comp of your choice. (A few top pics: Tromix shark or mini monster, JTE competition, Molot GK01 clone)

If you want a front sight, the dinzag one is the one to get IMO.

later you can get a krebs style safety, or do one like this

Other options that are very worthwhile: Autoplug, magwell. 

 

Here is a list of a lot of options for various parts http://forum.saiga-12.com/index.php?/topic/73667-conversion-parts-list/page__hl__%2Btromix+%2Bace+%2Btapco__fromsearch__1


 

Agreed, I did the conversion on mine myself and started the process of improving the reliability by smoothing the rails and some of the other steps suggested on the forum. I actually only shot two boxes of shells through the gun after conversion and it was cycling ok with stout ammo but not so much with low base shells. With 00 buck and slugs at a buck a round, shooting 3 or 4 hundred rounds through the gun to smooth things out didn't add up when I saw the work Jack offered as part of his "reliability" service. It just made sense to me to send it to someone successful at the improvements rather than mess with pulling the gasblock and other steps to make sure things were as they should be. The work he does (machine the bolt and carrier, pull and size the gas block, check the gas ports in the barrel and correct as necessary, align the gas system, check the puck for operation, shoot a box of low base shell through the gun) is a great value for the amount of work.  Like I said above, waiting patiently for Jack to finish it up and send it home. Can't wait to shoot the finished product.

 

 

I wish I would have had a chance to talk to you and save you all that wasted ammo.

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So weird, my gun shoots just fine, saigas are weird, I jumped a round accidentally using setting two with a 3" kent steel, otherwise mine will occasionally shoot cheap #8 remington $5.50 a box on setting one, stupid weird saigas!

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So weird, my gun shoots just fine, saigas are weird, I jumped a round accidentally using setting two with a 3" kent steel, otherwise mine will occasionally shoot cheap #8 remington $5.50 a box on setting one, stupid weird saigas!

Atmospheric conditions, maybe?

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Agreed, I did the conversion on mine myself and started the process of improving the reliability by smoothing the rails and some of the other steps suggested on the forum. I actually only shot two boxes of shells through the gun after conversion and it was cycling ok with stout ammo but not so much with low base shells. With 00 buck and slugs at a buck a round, shooting 3 or 4 hundred rounds through the gun to smooth things out didn't add up when I saw the work Jack offered as part of his "reliability" service. It just made sense to me to send it to someone successful at the improvements rather than mess with pulling the gasblock and other steps to make sure things were as they should be. The work he does (machine the bolt and carrier, pull and size the gas block, check the gas ports in the barrel and correct as necessary, align the gas system, check the puck for operation, shoot a box of low base shell through the gun) is a great value for the amount of work.  Like I said above, waiting patiently for Jack to finish it up and send it home. Can't wait to shoot the finished product.

 

 

I wish I would have had a chance to talk to you and save you all that wasted ammo.

I only shot two boxes of inexpensive ammo through the gun before I sent it to Jack. One box was Federal 3 dram low base 7 1/2 shot 1200 FPS the other box was Estate loaded the same. When I bought the conversion parts I also bought the DPH plug and reduced power spring. No matter what setting the plug was at with the DPH plug I was gettting FTE on the first box of Federal shells. I had read your threads and sanded the rails and did some of the other easy stuff suggested. On the second box of ammo I tried the factory plug and stock recoil spring and was getting FTE every round so I put the reduced power recoil spring in with the factory plug and the gun ran better with just one or two FTE in that configuration. At that point I just decided when it came to further reprofiling the hammer more than it already was (Tapco G-2 modified by Tromix purchased through CSS) and diving into the gas system to make sure it was right I decided the money JT was charging was a bargain for the work entailed. Modifying the bolt and carrier to load on a closed bolt wasn't something I was going to undertake here but wanted done and I really didn't want to attempt to pull the front gas block off to measure out the barrel ports though I had came up with a method to determine port diameter without removing the block. I liked the quality and performance of JT's muzzle brake so I decided to ship the gun to him for the reliability work and I also opted to have JT install one of his rock n lock guides while it was there.

 

At the end of the day I think I will have a smooth running gun that is what it should be. I anticipate the action being smoother and since JT guarantees the gun to run on 3 dram low base loads when it comes home it should ultimately be the cheaper alternative to shooting the gun into submission with heavy loads...

Edited by Inspector 12

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Especially since "beating  a gun into submission" only does two things: 1 compress the spring a few times,  Slowly lap the rails and other interference points. 

 

Both of those tasks can be done faster, more completely and more cheaply by elbow grease.

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Got some great news Wednesday, Jack finished my Saiga and it starts it journey Northwest today. Next week can't get here soon enough.....

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Well the Saiga did get here and I found time last Friday to go shoot it. Gun runs flawlessly on Federal 3 dram 7 1/2 shot 1 1/8 ounce 1200 FPS loads. Action works smooth, trigger pull is awesome and the gun does everything it should. Jack did an awesome job and very glad I took the route of having him do the work VS tackling the task myself. If you have a problematic S 12 send it to JT Engineering, Jack does excellent work.

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P'raps I'll run into you some time at the LT Murray, and we can compare amateur enthusiast to pro workmanship.

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P'raps I'll run into you some time at the LT Murray, and we can compare amateur enthusiast to pro workmanship.

I don't shoot at LT much, but shoot me a note sometime when you are headed this way and we can sure connect and compare notes. After looking at the threads you have posted I am sure your guns run every bit as well as mine.

 

For me it was a choice of expediency, I was on the road earning while the gun was in Lousiana getting massaged. Jack's muzzle brake impressed me and his reasonable pricing nudged me to having him do the work. His customer service was very good and I think most will be impressed when they see how much work he does for the price.

Edited by Inspector 12

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I'm hoping to get a job and move back that way in a couple of months. Where do you shoot? Most of the legal public areas in Yakima area have been closed down in the last decade. I'm always looking for a backup, or a place closer to town.

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The best builders in the business (and IMO, in the world) advertise right here. Check out their websites, call the the builders, and talk to them personally about what you want.

 

Make sure your builder is professionally licensed, insured, and stands behind their work.

 

If you are a member of this forum, and want the finest builds, and builders available, you have arrived.

 

You have tremendous choices here. Do your homework, and choose well.

 

Mike

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I'm hoping to get a job and move back that way in a couple of months. Where do you shoot? Most of the legal public areas in Yakima area have been closed down in the last decade. I'm always looking for a backup, or a place closer to town.

I generally shoot at Sun Valley shooting park. It is out past Moxee on highway 24. Several years ago I had a not so great experience at LT and just prefer the environment at Sun Valley. The annual membership ($120 a year for a family membership) is worth if for the variety of resources available there. They have a long range area that is a little over 600 yards, as well as rifle, pistol, skeet and trap opportunities.

 

I have gone to a couple of areas that are just "gathering spots that people shoot at" but the condition of those places show it is just a matter of time until they get shut down.

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All the more reason to go there and set the tone.

 

Freedoms not exercised are lost, and the ability to keep and bear on public land in a practical way is a clear example.

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