After looking at sites offer saiga conversions I was surprised at how much they charge for their services. The pieces installed are relatively inexpensive, and the work does not seem so complex as to require 300-400 dollars worth of labor. That being said I was thinking of starting my own saiga conversion business. This is 100% speculation at this point, but I have a few questions.
Would I need anything more than a standard FFL lisence to legally do this?
What would you look for in a quality saiga conversion?
If you have used one of the more expensive services, what did they offer that made the price worth it?
Thanks for your imput. Any and all advice is appreciated.
It's not the price of the parts. It's what you sometimes have to do to them to make them work. I started a .308 conversion today and the Tapco single hook trigger group spring hole was not big enough and had to be drilled. Doesn't sound like a big deal, I let my grunt do it. Three hours later, after welding the sear back where he allowed the drill press to get off and drill through the side, re-tempering and polishing, I had a usable trigger group. Tomorrow I'll TIG up the unused holes and put a finish on the rifle. After it bakes on for 8 hours or so, I'll start assembly and hopefully, everything else will work correctly.
Tapco had a recall on the FCGs with incorrectly drilled disconnecter spring holes and replaced them all N/C. Beyond that, why would you spend 3 hours trying to save a $28 part?
The hardest part of the conversion is getting that little bolt hold open spring in place but if you have a piece of dental floss and pull it down through the bolt hold open hole while getting it in place it works like a charm
Fishing line works great too.but if you have a piece of dental floss and pull it down through the bolt hold open hole
"Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem" Ronald Reagan
I agree I have seen conversions for $1200 or more starting out with a $350 dollar rifle they due look nice but I think take your time might be able to get similar results that's my opinion
It is no longer relevant in many ways, and can confuse people.
• The rifles it demos are not imported any more (many changes have been made to the Saiga since then)
• Some of the laws it references no longer exist
• Magazine availability has skyrocketed for .223 Saigas (no need to sacrifice an East German AK74 magazine any more)
• The guy is showing off his machine shop - no machine shop is necessary for a conversion (and folks get antsy thinking they need $50,000 worth of machinery)
There are many fine modern videos on youtube and vimeo that show how easy a conversion is.
My last conversion took somewhere in the 8-12 hr range to complete. Standard conversion will take you a couple hrs.
Taken from the Red Jacket site with prices from MAA in Itallics:
(Converting your Saiga shotguns/rifles from "sporterized" configurations to pistol grip, assault type configurations)
Front end left original,
old fire control grou holes welded,
accepts hi-cap mags,
922 compliant with G-2 fire control group. (27.22 for trigger)
Price includes all parts and full refinish with Gunkote (20 for a can)
S-12 or Rifle :
Basic Pistol grip/Hi-cap conversion (Pistol grip 10$, Butstock 30$
So you have about 100$ in shipping so you are paying $250 for the labor.
To disassemble and remove the old parts, weld necessary holes, sand blast and paint as well as bake the finish then assemble the gun. Do not forget about inventory the gun in and out plus packing and unpacking.
I also know that Will polishes the trigger group components.
When the smoke clears it is a lot of effort for the 250$. Not saying there is no $ in it. just that it is not as much as most think.
If you decide to go for it then good luck , always good to see new folks jumping in and getting their feet wet.