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Help for a New Guy with a Saiga .223

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Hi Guys


My names Dan and I'm from England. I own a Saiga .223 M3. I have only recently bought it but I have noticed a few little things that I'm not sure if they are faulty or just traits of a Saiga.


1. I have installed a UTG Quad Rail, looking down the rifle it appears that the whole barrel and rail is slightly cantered to the right from where it meets the receiver?


2. The Fore-sight looks crooked slightly to the right of vertical.


3. The whole rear sight unit seems crooked or off centre, it even looks like the block that the rear sight sits on is slightly off centre.


I should mention the rifle shoots straight though and apart from it annoying me to look down there are no faults to speak of.


Are these normal issues and just stem from the fact this is a budget weapon?


Thanks in advance



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A canted front-site-block (FSB) is not common but, not unusual.


A canted rear site is not unheard of either but, it is is rare (my 7.62x39 had this).


If both really bother you, you can have it fixed by a gunsmith.


The FSB can be rotated, redrilled, and repinned.


The rear sight can be shifted by filing and sanding the pivot lugs on the rear sight leaf.


If it shoots point-of-aim, you might want to leave it alone, if you can learn to ignore it.


Good luck!

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Hi guys


Thanks for the fast replies! Yes it's not just the front sight that's not straight it seems to be the whole barrel.


So after fitting the quad rail I can look down the rail and it's noticeably off centre from where the barrel meets the receiver!


The front sight is cantered slightly too which doesn't help! And the rear sight is definitely crooked too!


I've been to the range today at its accurate at 100m with iron sights though - that's despite it looking bent!


Best photos I can do, looks more bent in reality!





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It's some what common for the sight leaf to be tweaked like that. I bet the rear sight block is straight and that it's the gas block and FSB that are slightly chanted. The gas block being chanted can throw the hand guard off center.

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The newer Russian production process is to press the components onto the barrel and chock them into some sort of laser alignment rig. They are then press dimpled into place on predrilled locator holes on the barrel - though some are still drilled and pinned, seemingly at random.


Unfortunately the problem you've run into is that the barrel can still be installed into the front trunnion in an off axis position, and this puts all of the barrel components out of alignment with the receiver and trunnion. This is most noticeable with the lower handguard retainer being crooked.


If the entire populated barrel assembly is installed off axis, the only way to truly correct it is to pop the barrel pin out, rotate the barrel in the trunnion until properly aligned with the receiver, then replace the barrel pin with an oversize pin.


Since the rifle shoots straight as is, it was likely zeroed at the factory, and it's just a cosmetic issue.


I would bet finding a competent AK gunsmith in the UK is not a trivial task.. It does require experience and proper tooling to do right.

Edited by mancat

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