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Today was a milestone for me, and I'd like to share some of my excitement. I got my Saiga 12 around 5 years ago. In all that time, it NEVER ran worth a crap. That was a particularly tumultuous period in my life...new job, child with special needs, divorce, etc. I tried a couple things, maybe putting 300 rounds through the gun since new.


100 rounds of 00 Buck to break it in...didn't help


Recoil buffer...didn't help


Re-profiled bolt...didn't help


CSS Reliability kit...didn't help


MD Arms V-plug...didn't help


I knew of Jeff D's FTE thread, but could never seem to find the time to really tear into the Saiga because there was always something with a higher priority. I finally made the time last week, removing the gas block and enlarging my 3 gas ports. Today was the first time I took her to the range. Before I did, I re-installed the factory recoil spring, removed the buffer, and re-installed the factory gas plug.


My wife and I hit the range with 50 rounds of 00 Buck and 50 rounds of #7 Federal birdshot. I set the plug at 1 and we tore into the buckshot. HOLY CRAP!!! The Saiga was a BEAST!!! I frickin' LOVED it. My wife is kind of petite. She normally shoots 20 gauge shotguns, but she was able to handle the S-12 as well.


When we switched to the birdshot, I intentionally left the plug set at 1, just to see what would happen. I even told my wife to expect a lot of malfunctions, fully expecting to need to switch the plug to 2. I left it on 1 the whole time. For the most part, it cycled like a champ. I had 3 malfunctions, but they were all ammo related. We shot the Saiga so fast, it got hot. Hot enough in fact to deform 3 shells. I've attached a photo at the bottom. If I was shooting normally, instead of really pushing the gun to test its limits, I'm sure it would have been perfect.


I'd just like to express my thanks to you all over the years. Even though it was a long time coming, I can finally say my Saiga is running the way I'd always hoped. What a machine!





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V plug couldn't have helped. It just gives you more steps of restriction, not more flow.


Glad you got it running. That munched shell looks like what happens if your bolt doesn't open far enough. Setting #2 would have done the job, or better yet, a 1.5 setting on your VPlug would probably be just right.

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Not to hi-jack your thread but my Saiga comes in tomorrow (used) and am sure it'll need a cleaning. I read Jeffs thread, how difficult would you say doing this is? I'm fairly mechanically inclined, but don't want to start something that I can't finish and end up with a bucket of bolts and whatever else. Once received I'm going to check the ports and make sure they're not clogged, if not there is no reason, but if they are I need to clean them before next weekend.

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If you have the correct tools, it's not very difficult. My first problem was using too small of a hammer. I bought a 4lb hand sledge that worked beautifully. I also bought a large brass door hinge, and used the pin as a brass drift punch. Oh yeah...I'm not sure if it was able to penetrate, but I hosed down the gas block with PB Blaster before whacking.


Based upon my gun, just having unclogged ports doesn't mean squat. My 3 ports were only 1/16"...not nearly big enough.


A couple other things I think may help...I used aerosol brake cleaner to clean off the PB Blaster. Then rubbed down with a towel. Before re-installing the gas block, I used some Emory cloth to "clean up" the unfinished part of the barrel that gets covered by the gas block. I also liberally applied gun oil to the inside diameter of the gas block to help get it back into position. For reassembly, I used a non-marring, nylon hammer to whack the gas block back into position. Worked GREAT.


SB07, I'd recommend shooting your gun first. They haven't been imported in quite awhile now. It's entirely possible the gas ports have already been addressed. But if not, this really isn't a difficult job. Once I had all the tools assembled, it took me maybe an hour and a half, and that's with me cleaning parts, using a Birchwood Casey Finish pen on the sides of the gas block from the ill-fated shelf bracket attempt, and mostly smoking a big, fat stogie while I worked. (I'm not counting the good half hour whacking away at the shelf bracket, before I got the bigger hammer and brass punch.)

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There are lots of threads here full of handy tips. Mainly don't beat up your gas block by hammering on it directly. Or on the gas plug. People have ruined them that way. use a stubby starter punch, scribe the location and orientation of the block before moving it so you can preserve alignment. Pins driven from right to left.

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