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How Difficult is it to Customize the S12 and S20?

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Hey all,


Seeing these really great looking S12 and S20 shotguns that have been tricked out to be as awesome as possible, it makes me want one that much more.


I know there would be things that I simply could not do myself.  I either wouldn't have the know-how or the gear to do things.  When that time came I would send it to someone to complete.


I am wondering how difficult it would be for me to get a S12 and start customizing it?  For those that do these things themselves, what kind of information can you tell me about such an endeavor?  Is it something you would caution against and just say that you should send it to someone and have it done and wait till you save up the money to get it done right by a pro?


Here is the S12 that I would LOVE to have someday.  I am wondering how much of this I could do myself and save a lot of money that would go toward the completion of the shotgun by a pro.









This belongs to another member here and I apologize for using his rifle as an example, but this is the one that I REALLY like and would love to have one like.


Naturally I wouldn't copy it to the letter, just the overall look and function is what I would be going for.


From what you see, how much of this S12 could be done without that much difficulty by someone that eagerly went about learning the details?

At some point it would have to go to a pro to get the stuff done that I wouldn't be able to do and the legal stuff taken care of too.


What do you all think?  Would a project like this be something that could be done, mostly, by someone in his garage or would it be totally WAY over his head and best not attempted?


I'd like to hear what you think about a build like this one and how hard it would be to do.  If the owner wants to come and tell about this Baby, that would certainly be welcomed.  I'd like to know how much he done on his own and how trying it was to do.


Any info or comments you want to add about a project like this, or me wanting to do some of the work, would be appreciated.




Thank you for your time and any help you care to give me.






P.S.  I apologize if this is a totally ridiculous question for a NEWBIE like me to be asking.  If that is the case, please forgive the mistake.

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Yea you're going to need to search and read a lot like everyone does. You can do a lot of that yourself but are going to need a tax stamp to shorten the barrel like that. Idk for sure, the handguard looks short so more than likely, but the gas system looks like it's been shortened as well. If you are compete noob like you are suggesting, and afraid to get into it unlike some members here you will obviously want to farm it out. I'm confident that you could at minimum convert it yourself but if money is not a problem then just pay the additional cost for a builder supplied shotgun.


You can legally do it all yourself, but you will need to invest in some tools to convert it, then some more to finish and refinish it. Like I said if money isn'ta problem you could accomplish this build either way. But you must read up padiwan.

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Thanks Beefcake,


I was mainly wanting to know if something like that could be done at home and without the use of a PRO.  Not saying I would, just gathering info right now.  I would let someone else handle all the Tax Stamp stuff.  I wouldn't want to make a mistake in that area that would cause me LOTS of headaches.


I looked the other day on one of the gun sales sites and saw several "custom" S12's that were priced over $2,000!  Many were WAY OVER.  After you take away the $700 for the S12 that means that they are charging up to $1,500 for the parts and work they done to it.  That's a lot of money for me.  I am just trying to get an idea of how much of that S12 that I posted above could I realistically finish on my own.  The more I can do, the more I save and can put it towards other "toys" or work on the project.


LOTS of stuff to learn before I would even attempt something like this.  I am pretty sure I could do the basic conversion.  I've watched a few videos on it, but I still wouldn't go out and attempt it without more knowledge though.


Is there a resource on these S12's that you would recommend me checking out to learn more like manuals, customizing web pages, video takedowns and modifications and stuff like that?


Thanks for the advice and any other help you all can give.



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It's all here! You are at the best place to learn. And that sounds about right on pricing to get your ultimate saiga 12. And ultimately you could do every bit of that at home if you take your time and have all the tools necessary.

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That definitely has the gas system moved back. It isn't rocket science, even though some might like us to think that, but it requires a lathe and some well calculated machining. Aside from the gas block relocation, welded and blended holes, and the barrel chop, everything on it appears to be bolt on stuff and would be very easy to do.

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I've had no previous hands on gun smithing experience til I became a saiga 12 owner and was edumacated by fellow saiga nerds.

My saiga has been modded and started "running" from the work/different set ups I have read and learned about along with other advise.

Just read. Just as anybody else would say. Seems to be a forum favorite everywhere.

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except for moving the trigger group forward, and there are plenty of tutorials on how to go about doing that, everything else you want to put on a S12  can be done as add ons, from the muzzle brake to the stock, which there is plenty of them.

Edited by Matthew Hopkins
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