i think people just like the idea that its russian and that makes it more authentic.
I'm not all that sold on Saigas, the last X39 I had buldged case bases so bad I sent it back and got my money back before it blewup in my face. If you want a AK type platform gun cheap ,they work. I've got the 308 and it's OK but like 1biggun says you can go out and get a new Savage, or many other good guns for the price of a Saiga, and it will shoot circles around it. Not as fast, but whats better 30rounds cutting air or 5 rounds cutting hair????? What really sucks about Saigas is the expense of the mags 30-40 bucks for a 8rnd plastic mag!!!! Give me a break. And not all of us want to go into a major re-build on a new gun just to smooth out the rough edges and make it function better and to have a trigger that doesn't feel like a mall ninja plastic crossbow. I'll take my 500-700 bucks to buy a Savage 110 or some thing like that, that will hold a 3/4moa group. + helps support the workers in THIS COUNTRY. Hell you can go out and get a new CZ or Weatherby for the price of a done up Saiga, and you got a REAL GUN when your done.
i think people just like the idea that its russian and that makes it more authentic.
With all of their flaws, Saigas are still the best starting point for an AK build today; unless you are going to go crazy and have a custom barrel machined down from a match grade blank or something, then use whatever barrel-less kit you want. Short of that, a Saiga still has the best barrel on the market (hammer forged, chrome lined, new), and for best accuracy the barrel and the ammo are everything in an AK.
Realistically speaking, for somebody who just wants a good AK, kit builds are DEAD. Other than to a few die-hards like the members of this forum, it no longer makes a whole lot of sense to build from a parts kit, when an original barreled kit, plus a receiver and build parts, will cost as much as or more than a new Saiga, which can be fired out of the box without doing anything extra to it. Sure, you've got to put some more money and time into it to make it right, but in return you'll have a rifle that is built with all new parts, with what is realistically the best barrel currently available.
No offense intended to those of you still building from kits. You've got my utmost respect for what you have to go through these days compared to when the kits were intact and cheap. But, it's a hobby, and the fact is, anybody still doing it that way isn't doing it because it is the best, easiest, or cheapest way to get an AK. You're doing it because it's something you enjoy doing. Even if you bought all your kits when they were cheap, it's a good idea to take the current market value into account. I did, and I sold the last of my kits, because building it just didn't make a lot of sense to me anymore. I've never been into building rifles that replicated any particular style/nation of AK, and if I build another AK for myself, a Saiga will be my kit.
As far as the crappy Saiga trigger and crappy finish go, who really gives a rip? Almost nobody is advocating keeping it stock anyway. I put an RSA adjustable in my S-308 and it is the bee's knees. When I'm done tinkering with it, I'll have it gunkoted and that'll be that. And yeah, there will be some artifact holes left in the receiver after conversion. If they bother you, it's no big deal to weld them up, or put rivets in them. On the models with the extra trigger pins, you can convert to the modular style stock, and get a receiver block with allen head screws in those locations. I have my S-12 set up that way, and it's much more solid than the regular internal receiver blocks IMO. I wish my .308 receiver had those holes, and I'm seriously thinking about adding them.
People bitch about the difficulty of installing standard AK hand guards too, but I actually like the Saiga fore-end. It's comfortable to hold, and I think it shifts the point of impact less as the barrel heats and cools. Sure, the sling swivel sucks and it will break if you try to carry your rifle with it, but it's pretty easy to swap that out for a 10-32 threaded Uncle Mike's.
So on the whole, the Saiga offers a good value to people who just want a utilitarian AK that will give them the best chance at having better than usual AK accuracy, and a starting point with all new parts. For now, anyway. Maybe something better will come along that will change things (like maybe some premium grade US made barrels). I hope that it does, because there is certainly still a lot of room for improvement over the Saiga.
hmmmmm IM NOT SUURE HOW GREAT A DEAL IS IF THE GUN DOSENT SHOOT OUT OF THE BOX. TWO OF MY FOUR HAD TO BE FIXED TO MAKE GO BANG AND CYCLE. THE BARREL MAY BE CHROME LINED BUT THER ENOT VERY ACCURATE IMOO SO WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL IF ITS CHROMED LINED OR NOT IF IT DONT SHOOT GOOD. i HAVE FIXED AT LEAST THREE OTHERES THAT WERE REALLY F@#KED UP AND UNSAFE . ONE THE LUG ENGAGEMENT WAS COMPLEATLY OUT OF WACK CAUSING A FALSE HEAD SPACE CHECK BECAUSE THE BOLT TWISTED SIDEWAYS WHEN FIRED. ANOTHER THE HEAD SPACE WAS OFF BY OVER .012" AND WASS PLITTING BRASS CASES( X39) AND SHOOTING 6" GROUPS AND THEN THERE WAS THE ONE WERE THE TOP OF THE CARRIER HIT THE RSB WERE THE DUST COVER FITS IN. THEY MAY BE RUSSIAN BUT THERE NOT MIL SPEC AN INSPECTED VERY WELL AT ALL. MAYBE I HAVE HAD BAD LUCK BUT I LOOK OVER ANY USED SAGAI VERY CLOSELY KNOW WHEN I BUY THEM AND THE NEW ONES SHOULD NOT NEED TO BE FIXED TO START WITH.will cost as much as or more than a new Saiga, which can be fired out of the box without doing anything extra to it. Sure, you've got to put some more money and time into it to make it right, but in return you'll have a rifle that is built with all new parts, with what is realistically the best barrel currently available
THERE ARE A EXCELENT STARTING POINT BUT IF YOU REALLY WANT TO USE THE GUN FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN SHOOTING MILK JUGS YOU NEED TO FIX IT FIRST.. THE TRIGGER IS A JOKE AND NOT EVERY ONE FEELS THEY SHOULD OR CAN REPLACE IT. A 1/4" OF TRAVEL ON MY 308 IS A TOTAL JOKE MIGHT AS WELL SHOOT A MUSKET. I LOOK AT THEM AS A ASSEMBLED KIT WITH A RECIVER INCLUDED. AS FAR AS BEING MORE AUTHENTIC. THERE AS AUTHENTIC AS ANY NUTHERED AND THEN MADE TO WORK CORRECTLY AK CAN BE i SUSPOSE AND ONCE THERE CONVERTED THERE JUST A MODIFED IN THE USA WEAPON AND THE THERE QUALITY IS UP TO THE MODIFER. I DONT THINK THE RECIVER IS ANY THING SPECIAL AT ALL.
I CANT BUILD A 223 AS CHEAP AS I CAN BUY A SAGIA BUT THEN I HAVE TO MODIFY THE SAGIA SO ITS A CATCH 22 REALLY. TO ME A 223 THATS NOT 1MOA OR BETTER IS WORTHLESS IMOO EXCEPT FOR PLAYING NINJA. I DONT SEE THE SAGIA BING ANY MORE ACCURATE IN X39 THAN A STANDARD FACTORY BARREL AK INFACT THEY MIGHT BE WORSE.
THERE WORTH THE MONEY (NOT THE 308 IT NOT WORTH THE $250 EXTRA) AS THEY COST ABOUT WHAT A KIT COSTS WITH A BARREL BUTS THATS ABOUT IT.
YEA I LIKE THE FORE END AS WELL I HAVE USED MANY ON MY HUNTING PISTOLS (SEE MY ADVATAR) BUT I LIKE THE WOOD ONES BETTER IF I CAN FIND THEM CHEAP AND THAT NOT EASY.
A GOOD BUILDER WITH ALL THE TOOLS AND A LATHE CAN STILL BUILD A MUCH BETTER MORE ACCURATE GUN CHEAPER THAN WHAT IT COSTS TO BUY AND MODIFY A SAGIA IN X39 BUT HE WILL HAVE TO BUY PARTS CAREFULY AND DO A LOT OF EXTRA WORK. I HAVE RECENTLY BUILT S SEVERAL 1" MOA 308X39'S FOR AROUND $250 BUT I HAD TO MAKE PROFILE AND CHAMBER THE BARREL AND MAKE THE RECIVER FROM SCRATCH. BUT I ALSO HAVE A CUSTOM SCOPE MOUNT AS WELL AS A GOOD TRIGGER. WOULD I SELL THEM FOR UNDER $700 EVEN IF I COULD? NO
A $110 BARREL LESS KIT AND A LOT OF WORK AND BASIC OTHER COSTS CAN BUILD A REALLY GOOD $250-$350 AK YOU CANT DO THAT WITH A STOCK SAIGA. BUT YOUR RIGHT YOU GOT TO BE A HARD CORE EBUILDER WITH ALL THE MACHINE SHOP STUFF TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.
I think bad luck probably has a lot to do with your experience. I only have one Saiga rifle (.308) and it has been fine. I think I only put one box of ammo through it before I converted it just to make sure it worked, so I don't really have much to say about the stock trigger. Threw it in the trash and never looked back. Also, almost nobody will say that an Arsenal is garbage and they are almost all converted Saigas these days.
BTW, would you please turn off the caps lock when you post? It makes it hard to read and it also makes you look like an idiot.
SO YOUR MAKING YOUR ASSMENT OF THE SAIGA LINE OF RIFLES BASSED ON OWNING ONE RIFLE THAT GOT SHOT 20 TIMES BEFORE YOU FELT IT NEEDED OR WANTED IT TO BE MODIFED?? IM NOT SURE THAT IS A REALLY VALID ASSMENT.
I DONT OWN ANY ARSENAL MODIFED SAGAS BUT AYTHING WOULD BE BETTER THAN A SAIGA IN STOCK FORM PERTICUALRY THE TRIGGER. WHAT IS THE GOING RATE OF A ARSENAL??? I DOUBT THERE CHEAP AND IT BUTS THE OPTION OF BUILDING FROM SCRATCH BACK ON THE TABLE.
I HAVE OWNED 4 NEW ONES OF THOSE TWO DIDNT WORK WITH OUT REPAIRS THE OTER TWO WERE CRAP AS FAR AS FIT AND FINISH BUT THEY WENT BANG . I HAVE OWNED NUMERIOUS OTHER USED SAIGAS AND ALL OF THEM I GOT CHEAP BECAUSE THEY HAD KNOWN ISSUES THAT NEEDED ATTENTION.
I HAVE ALSO FIXED FOR SEVERAL OTHERS THAT WERE ALL F$#KED UP FROM THE FACTORY. SEVERAL WERE IN VERY DANGERIOUS CONDITION.
I CANTT THINK OF ANY OTHER FIRE ARM I HAVE OWNED THAT HAS AS MANY FIT AND FUNCTIONS ISSUES OUT OF THE BOX AS THE SAIGA.
TO ME THERE A ASSEMBELD PARTS KIT AND THAT ASSEMENT WILL NOT EVER CHANGE.
Absolutely one rifle is a limited sample size to judge the whole breed. On the other hand, it sounds like known defective Saigas tend to find their way to you because you have the skills to make them work, so the ones that you come into contact with can't be considered a representative sample either...
And yeah, I never said that Izhmash doesn't put out a troubling percentage of lemons, just that by and large, the Saiga represents the best deal going for the basis to build an AK at this time. On another forum, the question was asked what would you do to build an AK given a budget of something like $1500 (IIRC). My response was that I'd buy a side mount and basic scope, and however many Saigas I could get with what was left over. Then I'd range test them all off a dead rest using PREMIUM ammo (cor-bon, etc). I'd keep whatever one showed the best accuracy, then sell the rest to get my capital back and put the proceeds into building the Saiga up into something really nice, with a TWS rail and a high quality scope.
Again, if you expect one to be ideal right out of the box, you're going to be disappointed. But as the basis to build a rifle on when the alternative is a kit of surplus parts that costs just as much to start with when you factor in the receiver, I'll take the Saiga any day.
What other choices are there if you want an AK in .308? VEPR? Valmet? Galil? Norinco/NH-86? Mitchel Yugo M90? priced those out lately? face it, the market just isn't what it used to be (or is that the dollar?)
most of them are as much or more than an AR-10, and in the same range as an M1A.
The Saiga shotgun pricing got crazy for a while, but now it's down a bit, still high for what it costs to make them...
Well its been 3 years since this thread was posted on an my assessment has not changed. There a an assembled parts kit .
I have to ask about the above post ?? What are you talking about? Austetemper for what ??? The gun needs to be assembled properly to start with an now there banned for import an to expensive to mess with