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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

Well, I've been mumbling about this for a few weeks. It arrived just last night.

What we have here a Saiga 12 conversion done by Red Jacket. This is my first Saiga firearm, and I was surprised by a few things. First, casual inspection shows that the imported Saigas, even in unconverted form, are, if not true military weapons, at least built to the same military specifications as the military-issue Izhmash AKs are. There are plenty of stamps and acceptance marks, some identical to a few Mosins I have and quite a delight for a collector to see (Y'all see that arrow-in-triangle?:thumbsup:). The rivits, flat black finish, and military scope rail all point to a weapon designed with utility and function as its primary goals. Of course, in true Russian form, even the factory magazine is numbered to the rifle, although the markings are just in pencil. I am going to have to go over them with pen if I want them to not rub off. Second, the shotgun is light, lighter than I had expected, and about the physical size of an RPK. The instruction manual and acceptance certificate also provided a bit of additional humor, as foreign script translationed into English typically does..."Annihilate the inhibitor paper after unwrapping", and so forth.

The shotgun comes equipped with a manual bolt hold-open latch, a single-hook Tapco trigger group, AK-style front and rear sight blocks, AK laminated furniture, and a very robust AK74 style muzzle brake (cropped in the photo-oops). The rear sight is graduated to 300 meters and the front sight adjust for windage and elevation in the standard manner. The bolt carrier isn't much different than that found in any other AK, but the bolt itself is huge. Tools include a standard AK buttstock tool kit, cleaning rod and brush, and an oil bottle. Shown is a 5-round factory magazine and 10-round ProMag.

Next will be a range report.

Keith
 

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Gold Bullet member
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the comments everyone.

OK, a quick range report.

Recoil: Well, this isn't a normal AK...recoil is substantially stronger, especially with the hotter loads. During my initial zeroing phase, I typically load only one round in the magazine, especially because of such unforseen events as follows; shooting from the kneeling postiton, the very first rifled slug sent my butt backwards off my heel and onto the deck. Oh yeah, that was great for the ego :thumbsup:.

Ammunition: I've read that many people claim Winchester 'Universal' 12 ga. ammunition will not cycle the action of the Saiga rifles, regardless of gas valve setting. Well guess what? They're right. Its just too tame. I bought 200 rounds of this stuff before I did any research, and the place where I bought it has a no-return policy on ammunition, so I'm stuck with it. I'll see if I can trade it off next weekend at the pawnshop for some 7.62 NATO rounds, or some AK magazines. Or I might keep some and randomly load it in magazines with other ammo to practice FTE drills. We'll see. Regardless, on to the stuff that did work. Rifled slugs, 00 buckshot, and about half of the #7.5 and #8 shot of varying brands all cycle the action just fine on gas valve setting '1', with the rest of the less aggressive #7.5 and #8 required a setting of '2' to achieve zero FTEs (this is normal). Other than for that Winchester Universal, the shotgun seems quite capable of digesting anything I can put in it.

Accuracy: With the rifles slugs, once I got the sights zeroed, I shot a final, slightly squished, 4.5" 5-shot group at 50 yards. The horizontally-oblong group shape I believe was caused by the rear sight leaf not being quite tight in the sight block...there is a tiny amount of left-right wiggle. I'll have to tighten that up a bit.

Shot patterns: I didn't get a chance to check to see how far the patterns spread out at 50 yards. People were starting to arrive for clay shooting, and being a long-range accuracy shooter, I decided to pack it in as I have absolutely no experience with shooting flying objects. I can only handle so much embarrassment in one day :) .I'll get there earlier next weekend and see how it goes.

Wow factor: When the folks started arriving to shoot clays, one older gentleman came over, presumably to boot me off the shotgun range for shooting a regular rifle. Once I mentioned that this was a shotgun, he showed extreme interest, and spent the next few minutes inspecting and asking questions about it. Its definitely not something most folks see every day.

Anyways, that's about it for now.

Keith
 

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You may want to hang onto the winchester ammo until you have broken the gun in. I have shot about 100 rounds through my saiga and it is just starting to cycle the 2-3/4 ammo. Until now only the 3" would cycle fine but the 2-3/4 would only shoot one round at a time. The last 10 round mag of 2-3/4 I shot cycled without error. Here's hoping!
 
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