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''Saigalil'' rifle issues.


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#1 ozinSC

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 03:20 PM

I recently bought this used off GB,looks great,like how it handles,however it is having light primer strikes and I believe has headspace issues.

The bolt and I believe carrier are Galil,although not 100% on the carrier. I think the bolt is the issue,it has a ton of play in it and appears to have been worked on.

 

So,if anyone could provide any advice it would be appreciated.

I was hoping to get into a Galil-ish type rifle without having any issues,but that doesn't seem to be the case.

 

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#2 GunFun

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 03:35 PM

I am pretty sure that the carrier is saiga, with a weld on- handle. Get some go/nogo gauges before shooting it if there is any doubt about headspace. A new hammer spring would be an easy fix unless the firing pin doesn't match the bolt. i.e. it is too short. I also wouldn't be surprised if they bought one of the JTE tunable hammer springs and failed to tune it. That is a common dumb thing people do, and then blame the product for not following the instructions.



#3 ozinSC

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 09:45 PM

I am pretty sure that the carrier is saiga, with a weld on- handle. Get some go/nogo gauges before shooting it if there is any doubt about headspace. A new hammer spring would be an easy fix unless the firing pin doesn't match the bolt. i.e. it is too short. I also wouldn't be surprised if they bought one of the JTE tunable hammer springs and failed to tune it. That is a common dumb thing people do, and then blame the product for not following the instructions.

I have a ton of play in the bolt when the carrier is forward,like 1/8"!!!

So I need a different bolt,of course this isn't the easiest thing in the world to find either.

I appreciate your help.


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#4 GunFun

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 09:47 PM

I am pretty sure people have made 5.45 AKM bolts work for .223 with a little work. I know I have seen threads here about that stuff a while back.



#5 G O B

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Posted 28 July 2015 - 10:32 AM

 

I am pretty sure that the carrier is saiga, with a weld on- handle. Get some go/nogo gauges before shooting it if there is any doubt about headspace. A new hammer spring would be an easy fix unless the firing pin doesn't match the bolt. i.e. it is too short. I also wouldn't be surprised if they bought one of the JTE tunable hammer springs and failed to tune it. That is a common dumb thing people do, and then blame the product for not following the instructions.

I have a ton of play in the bolt when the carrier is forward,like 1/8"!!!

So I need a different bolt,of course this isn't the easiest thing in the world to find either.

I appreciate your help.

 

Is the play in the bolt with or without a round chambered? If the headspacing is correct the play will be no more than the difference between a go and a no go gauge WITH a round chambered. WITHOUT a round chambered the bolt can have a LOT of play. There is a bunch of clearance on the back side of the locking lugs on purpose. Sand needs someplace to go!


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#6 csspecs

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Posted 28 July 2015 - 11:30 AM

Understand that there is NO reason a shop would have swapped your bolt to a Galil.. It makes no sense.

 

I would suggest checking the headspace as the others have said. AK bolts do fit somewhat loose as the forward face of the trunnion is left to run wild, the face that contacts the rearward face of the bolt is the only one that matters.

 

I think you have a trigger group issue or possibly a bad hammer spring or firing pin... But please check head space with a gauge.


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#7 mancat

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 11:50 AM

First of all the photos are way too small to really make any determination. If you have better photos please post them.

 

Looks to me like you have a partial Galil parts kit rebuilt on a Saiga receiver. Why do I say this?

 

- Camming pin has been removed from the receiver, and camming pin hole appears to be welded up. This pin would normally be installed just behind the rear-most of the two top rivets on the left hand side. Looks like they may have installed a normal AKM bullet guide that included the bolt camming ramp, requiring the camming pin to be eliminated. Either way, the pin is gone and looks welded up.

- Bolt looks to be either Yugoslavian or Israeli. Unfortunately this means that someone modified either the bolt locking lugs, or the trunnion locking lugs to get this bolt to lock up in the original trunnion, as this is an AKM-spec bolt and is NOT compatible with the Saiga trunnion without modification of either locking surface

- Not enough photos of the carrier to determine its origin, but the "10" on the left side is NOT typical of Izhmash, so I suspect you have a genuine Galil carrier. The original Saiga carrier would not have even allowed the AKM spec bolt to be inserted into the carrier, nor would it have the proper camming geometry machined into the carrier to assist the bolt's rotation into lockup position. I suppose someone with enough skill could modify the original carrier, but I doubt that's what happened.

 

Sorry but I think you have a real mutt on your hands. It may be salvageable. Given that the bolt is not original, the headspace  may indeed be too loose. The good news is that you can always get another bolt and start again, and you should be able to work with surplus 5.56 bolts for Yugo/Zastava, Galil, or late-model Bulgarian 5.56 rifles. 

 

You probably won't be able to get a Saiga or AK-74 bolt to work in the rifle again. If the locking lugs were modified to lock on an AKM bolt, they are now way too small to headspace with any AK-74 spec, bolt such as the original Saiga bolt. You're most likely now stuck with AKM-spec 5.56 bolts.

 

If you could, please get some more photos of the bolt carrier, and of the front trunnion and locking lugs.

 

What's your location? Maybe someone here is near and could help out.


Edited by mancat, 29 July 2015 - 11:53 AM.


#8 mancat

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 12:12 PM

Understand that there is NO reason a shop would have swapped your bolt to a Galil.. It makes no sense.

 

I would suggest checking the headspace as the others have said. AK bolts do fit somewhat loose as the forward face of the trunnion is left to run wild, the face that contacts the rearward face of the bolt is the only one that matters.

 

I think you have a trigger group issue or possibly a bad hammer spring or firing pin... But please check head space with a gauge.

 

It doesn't make any sense but it appears to have been done.  Bolt in the photos is definitely not the original bolt. 



#9 GunFun

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 10:22 PM

I knew ^^ that guy would show up with actual knowledge. If I ever decide to do a scratch build AK, I think I am going to have to drive to a seattle.



#10 mancat

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 12:55 PM

I double checked and the carrier is definitely an AKM type carrier, as it does not have the AK-74/100 series lightening cuts on the side that is shown in the photos. A stock Saiga carrier would. Carrier tail is also too short. Galil carrier it is.

 

OP hasn't responded though? Weird.



#11 GunFun

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 02:37 PM

I doubt he set up email notices and is unaware of your response.



#12 Pyzik

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 08:26 AM

Bummer on the issues.  Looks great.


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#13 ozinSC

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 11:22 PM

Sorry for not getting back,I did indeed just set up my account and didn't receive email notifications.

I will get some better pics tomorrow,and try and get some close ups of the various parts.

 

I have contacted the FFL that sold the rifle,after a few emails,they are willing to take it back,with me paying the shipping.

Or they will reimburse me to have the rifle repaired,but I imagine that they wouldn't be too keen if it costs too much.


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#14 ozinSC

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 02:53 PM

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The two marker lines are how much the bolt moves back and forth in the carrier when locked forward.

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#15 mancat

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 04:08 PM

Original Galil bolt and carrier for sure. Carrier looks painted, bolt still in the white. I would guess it still has the "star" piston on the Galil carrier? It looks like it also has a Galil round gas tube.

 

Trunnion has AKM bullet guide/cammimg ramp as I suspected it did.

 

Looks like the bolt head had a lot of grinding done on it to get it to lock up.

 

Weird build. I wonder if they started with a .223 that someone destroyed somehow.

 

One really obvious thing I didn't notice before is that the side rail is gone and welded up.. Looks like sporter axis pin holes welded up too. So there has been some extensive welding done on the receiver.

 

Personally I think it's a cool rifle, I would buy/borrow a set of headspace gauges and determine if it's OK. If not, buy a replacement bolt and have it headspaced to the rifle. Once correct I imagine it will work just fine with no issues, and you will probably have good luck with either surplus Galil or Tapco Galil mags.


Edited by mancat, 07 August 2015 - 04:11 PM.


#16 mancat

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 04:18 PM

OK last one, have you inserted a 5.56 case into the bolt and verified that this is indeed a 5.56 bolt



#17 ozinSC

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 06:21 PM

When I first saw pics of the rifle,I really liked what they did,it looked well done and not just a Saiga made to resemble a Galil.

 

What sort of bolt could I use?

From reading,it seems a 5.45 bolt will work in a regular .223 Saiga,is that still the case with this rifle?

 

The bolt will strip off and eject a 5.56 round,when I first got it I tried shooting but only had light primer strikes.

 

Appreciate the help.



#18 mancat

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 08:04 PM

Normally a 5.45 AK-74 bolt is a drop-in swap for the Saiga .223. You can certainly try it, but I don't think it will work with the bullet guide that was installed in the rifle by the previous owner, as the bullet guide includes a built-in camming ramp that assists the bolt into battery, and whoever did the mods used an AKM type bullet guide/ramp. Typically the AKM camming ramp is the wrong profile to cam in an AK-74 bolt. The AK-74 and AKM bolts have two different locking lug lengths, and start to rotate into battery at different positions.

 

It MIGHT work, I can't guarantee it. The AK actually has two bolt camming surfaces - one on the carrier, and the other in the bullet guide. Technically it would probably still work with only one being correct, but it could cause the bolt to bind up.

 

You'll also need the AK-74 bolt carrier. The AK-74 bolt won't work in the Galil carrier due to the bolt tail size differences and camming surface differences.

 

If you want another bolt to work with the current parts you have, you'll need an AKM type bolt for 5.56. I believe that narrows down to Yugoslavian, Israeli, Bulgarian, and maybe Chinese, but you'll never find one of those. Romanian will NOT work.

 

I would have the current bolt headspaced before thinking about replacing it, as it might be fine. Light primer strikes may be because of hammer not hitting the firing pin squarely, which is often a problem with the Tapco G2 trigger. 


Edited by mancat, 07 August 2015 - 08:05 PM.


#19 ozinSC

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 08:17 PM

So a Bulgarian 5.56 bolt such as in a SLR106 would work?



#20 mancat

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 09:58 PM

Yes the 106 series are made to AKM spec, the 106 itself is an odd hybrid rifle.
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#21 GunFun

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 02:30 AM

Take that deal. Pay the shipping and think of it as a learning fee, and a lucky escape!

 

Those marker lines are alarming. 

 

 

Or if you are adventurous and don't mind risking writing the whole project off, take the risks and try ManCat's guesses. 



#22 mikebaker1129

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Posted 16 August 2015 - 05:28 PM

Take that deal. Pay the shipping and think of it as a learning fee, and a lucky escape!

Those marker lines are alarming.
This^^^^^^^^^^^+10

Or if you are adventurous and don't mind risking writing the whole project off, take the risks and try ManCat's guesses.

Return it and cut your losses !

Edited by mikebaker1129, 16 August 2015 - 05:29 PM.


#23 ozinSC

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 07:47 PM

Rifle is headed back to seller,pity it didn't work out but such is life.


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#24 ShadowFire

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 10:49 AM

If you want a Galil, buy a Galil or build one.  Century made a bunch of Galils they named the Golani (After the Golani unit in connection to the famed Golani Heights battles in Israeli history.).  They're decently priced and as long as you look it over, should be a good purchase.

If you want an AK in 5.56/.223 already with the pistol grip, A 106 is a nice choice.

Or both...

Personally, I have both.  :)  They are great shooters.

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#25 ozinSC

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 01:06 PM

I have had both the Arsenal and Golani rifles,as well as a Saiga in 5.56,really thought this rifle would fit what I was looking for as it was shorter and lighter than a milled Galil but also has the features of the Galil 






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