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View Full Version : CALLING ALL SAIGA OWNERS!!!


bballwizard05
09-29-2009, 10:01 PM
Ok this has been discussed some, but here it is. I have a .223 and am looking at getting some AK mags because of price blah blah blah. I know that they do not fit without any work. My question is to you all who have done the mag mod (either bullet guide or work on the mag itself) what do you think is easier? I know dinzag has the conversion kits for 33 bucks, so I have looked into the options some. What I want is some bottom line advice on what is easier to do. Thanks for any and all help guys.

69Mach1
09-29-2009, 10:03 PM
The world of .223 AK's is a strange and magical place. You must pick a type of magazine and stick to it. Which AK .223 magazine are you referring to? Are you running a det. mag or locked mag set up? Are you converting your Saiga?

bballwizard05
09-29-2009, 10:06 PM
No I won't be converting my saiga. So i will not be needing a bullet button. I only have 10 rnd stock right now. I'm looking at some Ak-74 SAR-3 mags. THey look very very close to the stock one, minus what looks like a raised lip guide. I have decided to go with skeleton stock instead of full conversion.

69Mach1
09-29-2009, 10:09 PM
No I won't be converting my saiga. So i will not be needing a bullet button. I only have 10 rnd stock right now. I'm looking at some Ak-74 SAR-3 mags. THey look very very close to the stock one, minus what looks like a raised lip guide. I have decided to go with skeleton stock instead of full conversion.

I think you're a bit confused. If you go with the Saiga thumhole stock, you will need a bullet button or mag lock and 10 round magazine.

bballwizard05
09-29-2009, 10:12 PM
Not confused, just dancing with the rules. I have talked to a few guys on here that have the skeleton stock that claim that since it is a "skeleton" stock instead of a technical thumbhole stock it is different. But in any case I will be avoiding bullet buttons, so if in the end I can't get the skeleton stock without the bullet button I wont be getting it. (i know i'm darn confusing sometimes)

69Mach1
09-29-2009, 10:17 PM
Please tell those guys, when you talk to them, that they are gambling with their freedom.
http://www.robarm.com/DOJ%20Answers%208Jan04.pdf

I'm not sure where the name skeleton stock came from to describe those stocks, but it doesn't matter what it's called. Catagory 3 of the CA assault weapons ban lists it as a description. Please don't take "thumbhole" to be literal.

bballwizard05
09-29-2009, 10:20 PM
got it, but back to the mag conversion either bullet guide or mag modification? which is easier/cost effective

69Mach1
09-29-2009, 10:22 PM
Actually, lets start from the beginning. You want a det. mag set up, and you say you would like to use the Romanina SAR3/German Weiger .223 AK mags. Do you have preban high cap's? If so, you need to convert the rifle to use the mags. If you mod the preban high cap so that it no longer works in the intended rifle it was designed for, you have created a new high cap mag.

tonelar
09-29-2009, 10:22 PM
If you're going to alter or modify any imported rifle, aren't you supposed to do the parts count dance (922R compliance)?

bballwizard05
09-29-2009, 10:24 PM
Adding a bullet guide to the gun wouldn't make it an assault rifle though, it would allow it to accept standard AK mags, which I believe would also be legal since it is an AK gun.

djleisure
09-29-2009, 10:24 PM
Not confused, just dancing with the rules.

You got at least ten thousand dollars (give or take a few thousand) to take that dance? Read the language on the PC a little closer - skeleton stock is out because of position of the grip. :rolleyes:

Bullet guide is easier.

69Mach1
09-29-2009, 10:24 PM
If you're going to alter or modify any imported rifle, aren't you supposed to do the parts count dance (922R compliance)?

Yes. Let's find out exactly what he wants to do though.

bballwizard05
09-29-2009, 10:27 PM
Im am strictly talking about adding the bullet guide or modifying the magazines themselves (e.g. filing or welding a piece on). No other modification, (and for this discussion lets scrap the skeleton stock thing)

69Mach1
09-29-2009, 10:30 PM
Modify your preban high caps, or 10/30 mags? There is a little debate about this, but once you stick a high cap into the Saiga, and the rifle contains more than 10 of the listed foreign parts, you are in violation of Federal law.

bballwizard05
09-29-2009, 10:32 PM
Original SAR-3 10 round mags. not 10/30's.

69Mach1
09-29-2009, 10:34 PM
Original SAR-3 10 round mags. not 10/30's.

Please forgive me if I don't understand, but why would you substitute the 10 round proprietary Saiga magazine for a 10 round SAR magazine that you will have to modify? If it's cost, they're about the same and you still would have to modify them.

Fantasma
09-29-2009, 10:35 PM
You should go with the Ar-15 magazine adapter for cost effectiveness after you buy several different AR-15 magazines.

bballwizard05
09-29-2009, 10:36 PM
price, I can get 5 SAR mags for 50 bucks, as opposed to 27 dollars per saiga or surefire mag. And the conversion at most is 30.

NeoWeird
09-29-2009, 10:37 PM
Let's just start at the top.

First, if you put ANY magazine 10+ rounds in the gun, you need to play 922.r. Saigas come into the country as a sporting weapon, and altering the configuration of the weapon or the weapon itself, and the ATF says the magazine is part of the weapon, to something that is not a sporting weapon violates that portion of federal law. So put a bullet guide into the gun so it can use standard AK mags and you need to play the parts game. Buy an aftermarket magazine that holds 11+ rounds and you need to play the game. You could PROBABLY skirt this portion of law by going with a fixed magazine gun. Since, legally, you could only place a 10 round magazine in the gun, even if you modified it to take high caps, your current configuration restricts it's ability to take a higher capacity magazine and you SHOULD be ok. Still, if you left the state and took the mag lock off, or went to a detchable magazine build, you'd still have to play the 922.r game.

So let that sink in and figure out if you want to continue down the path. If you're just looking for a cool looking magazine, understand that it may cost you $100 and labor to use it legally.

Now if you have high cap mags, it turns into something else. As pointed out the 'skeleton' stock won't fly. Period. That aside, from what I have heard, generally speaking the BEST results come from installing a bullet guide and the BEST magazines to use in a .223 Saiga are the Orilite Galil magazines. Second after that are the .223 Wieger magazines. After that it's AK-74 magazines. The AK-74 magazines have to be modified quite a bit. Some can get away with a modified follower or replacement follower, but some require tweaking of the feed lips.

Be aware that SOME Saigas (I heard ALL, but mine doesn't) need some metal removed from the front trunion and receiver for proper installation of standard magazines. The other option is to modify the magazines to clear these areas, but this means these magazines are ONLY suited for this gun now and may not function in their original guns. If you have the original gun, or if it's a high cap, then you run into seperate problems as it may be unuseable or you may have broken California law.

Does that answer your question sufficiently?

bballwizard05
09-29-2009, 10:40 PM
Now if you have high cap mags, it turns into something else. As pointed out the 'skeleton' stock won't fly. Period. That aside, from what I have heard, generally speaking the BEST results come from installing a bullet guide and the BEST magazines to use in a .223 Saiga are the Orilite Galil magazines. Second after that are the .223 Wieger magazines. After that it's AK-74 magazines. The AK-74 magazines have to be modified quite a bit. Some can get away with a modified follower or replacement follower, but some require tweaking of the feed lips.



That was quite useful yes, none of the mags are high cap or anything like that so I'm not worried bout that other crap but this was useful. So galil and wieger mags are the ones I should be looking for after I do a bullet guide option.

69Mach1
09-29-2009, 10:41 PM
price, I can get 5 SAR mags for 50 bucks, as opposed to 27 dollars per saiga or surefire mag. And the conversion at most is 30.

Pro-mag Saiga .223 mags are around $14 each. They are high caps, but you can cut them down or block them to 10 rounds. Yes they work.

bballwizard05
09-29-2009, 10:43 PM
That is true, but I have heard that pro-mags do not hold up well, and have a rattle issue. And how would I acquire them?

NeoWeird
09-29-2009, 10:46 PM
That is true, but I have heard that pro-mags do not hold up well, and have a rattle issue. And how would I acquire them?

Vendors here sell parts kit. So long as you don't assemble them into new high caps you will be legal.

And just so you know, it's along the same vein only easier to solve rattle issues than it is to modify a magazine not meant for the gun to function in the gun.

ETA: Also remember that a LOT of the magazine issues with Saigas is they were not intended to use high cap mags, which is why many do not have the magazine well dimples to support lateral sway in the magazine. When using a stubby 10 round magazine, like the factory magazine, external forces from inertia and gravity affect the magazine less. A chopped down Pro-mag would probably have the same issues that the factory 10 round magazines have.

Sunshine
09-29-2009, 10:47 PM
only after the 922.r dance.

If I'm understanding what Neo said, it doesn't matter if you do or don't have the high cap mags, if you modify your rifle with the bullet guide you need to do the 922.r dance.

69Mach1
09-29-2009, 10:48 PM
Installing a bullet guide is going to force you to reduce the number of foreign parts in the rifle to a limit of 10. Along with modifying the mag catch. That's because once you do that, you give the rifle the "capactiy to accept high capacity military magazines".

Galil mags are running about $40 a piece.

bballwizard05
09-29-2009, 10:51 PM
Ok cool, mine has the dimples, so I should be looking for pro-mag as my cheapest option and no bullet guide, so I dont have to 922 dance. (i dont like dancing)

69Mach1
09-29-2009, 10:56 PM
Ok cool, mine has the dimples, so I should be looking for pro-mag as my cheapest option and no bullet guide, so I dont have to 922 dance. (i dont like dancing)

I'm not sure. Since it's a 10 round magazine (modified), does it require compliance?? However, always be on the cautious side. That promag gives you 3 US made parts right there. Just need one more. Tapco forearm?

bballwizard05
09-29-2009, 10:59 PM
ugh this is a headache, :) if only I were rich I could just buy a hail storm of stock saiga mags.

69Mach1
09-29-2009, 11:02 PM
The price of the Saiga factory magazines is not an issue with me, because the rifle is so damn inexpensive to begin with. Join the Saiga forum and wait for an oportunity to come up. Most people are doing those conversions and will be getting rid of their useless 10 round mags for cheaper then what the vendors have them for.

bballwizard05
09-29-2009, 11:11 PM
Good idea, thanks for all the help!

SJgunguy24
09-29-2009, 11:34 PM
The bullet guide has no bering on 922r. It's only when a 10+ round mag is locked in does that weapon need to comply.
10+ rounds makes that gun "unsporting", and then must comply to 922r.

Now if you wanna dance thats fine, but don't mess around with that "skeleton/thumbhole/whatever you wanna call it" stock. No mag lock with that is an AW period.
The only way to comply with the law is to fill the "thumbhole" portion or AK stock and MMG/ finned P.G.

bballwizard05
09-29-2009, 11:41 PM
oh boy... thought we had it settled. so SJgunguy you say bullet guide has no bearing? ay ay ay. no wonder all my research never led to a deffinitive answer. Stupid laws leave no room for deffinate answers...

NeoWeird
09-30-2009, 12:32 AM
The bullet guide has no bering on 922r. It's only when a 10+ round mag is locked in does that weapon need to comply.
10+ rounds makes that gun "unsporting", and then must comply to 922r.

Now if you wanna dance thats fine, but don't mess around with that "skeleton/thumbhole/whatever you wanna call it" stock. No mag lock with that is an AW period.
The only way to comply with the law is to fill the "thumbhole" portion or AK stock and MMG/ finned P.G.

That's not true. There is a reason why the WASRs come into the country using a single column magazine. When it has the ability to accept a high capacity magazine it falls outside the realm of a sporting weapon. WASRs got around it by making a single column magazine, and had their importers convert them to accept a double stack magazine and added enough US made (or rather removed enough foreign made) parts to make them legal. Saigas get around it by using a double stack magazine, but they don't install a bullet guide so you HAVE to use their proprietary magazine which is limited in size.

Surefire and Pro-mag are actually causing harm by producing their magazines because it COULD get people in trouble for non 922.r compliance. To legally use those magazines in a Saiga, you would need to remove enough foreign parts to meet compliance. It's simply by the 'grace' of the ATF and their "we'll make a decision when it best suits us" stance that these magazines haven't put more people in trouble. Best to avoid them unless you plan on modifying the magazines to meet the definition of sporting or if you plan on converting your gun to non-sporting configuration.

supermario
09-30-2009, 12:47 AM
Please forgive me if I don't understand, but why would you substitute the 10 round proprietary Saiga magazine for a 10 round SAR magazine that you will have to modify? If it's cost, they're about the same and you still would have to modify them.

+1, i think it only makes sense if you happen to have preban mags. Otherwise it doesnt make sense to modify your weapon to accept another type of mag, that you would only buy 10rounders anyways.

I think the more logical thing to do is convert to accept AR type mags becus they are plentiful!

SJgunguy24
09-30-2009, 5:34 AM
I still say the bullet guide has no bering on 922r. Install the bullet guide and try to lock in a AK mag, it won't lock. That tells me it does not "have the capacity to accecpt".



That's not true. There is a reason why the WASRs come into the country using a single column magazine. When it has the ability to accept a high capacity magazine it falls outside the realm of a sporting weapon. WASRs got around it by making a single column magazine, and had their importers convert them to accept a double stack magazine and added enough US made (or rather removed enough foreign made) parts to make them legal. Saigas get around it by using a double stack magazine, but they don't install a bullet guide so you HAVE to use their proprietary magazine which is limited in size.

Surefire and Pro-mag are actually causing harm by producing their magazines because it COULD get people in trouble for non 922.r compliance. To legally use those magazines in a Saiga, you would need to remove enough foreign parts to meet compliance. It's simply by the 'grace' of the ATF and their "we'll make a decision when it best suits us" stance that these magazines haven't put more people in trouble. Best to avoid them unless you plan on modifying the magazines to meet the definition of sporting or if you plan on converting your gun to non-sporting configuration.

WokMaster1
09-30-2009, 8:20 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't 922 about replacing an existing foreign part for a US part? Bullet guides are not on the original Saiga so if you add it on, it cannot be counted.

69Mach1
09-30-2009, 8:25 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't 922 about replacing an existing foreign part for a US part? Bullet guides are not on the original Saiga so if you add it on, it cannot be counted.


The "sporting purpose" of 925D for importation of foreign made rifles started around 1989. It prohibited non-sporting features like pistol grips, use of military bipods, bayonet lugs, folding/collapsible stocks, flash suppressors, and forward grips. This Federal law is independent of all other Fed and State bans and restrictions. After that date, rifles came in with thumbhole stocks, the bayo. lug ground off, and no muzzle threads and no forward grips. They kept the capcity to accept high capacity military magazines up until Clinton banned that feature around 1998. After 98, rifles like the WASR 10 with a proprietary 10 round only mag and specific mag well were imported.

By the way, rimfires are exempt from 925D.

In order for foreign arms to have those prohibited features, they must meet 922r which makes that rifle a US made gun by limiting the foreign parts to just 10. Adding a bullet guide and slightly trimming the mag catch will trigger the "unsporting" feature. Some rifles, just adding a bullet guide may trigger it, because on some guns, the high cap mag can lock in.

bballwizard05
09-30-2009, 10:39 AM
ok sounds like i'll be using the saiga mags, but you said something else that caught me off guard. No bipods? or is there a stipulation to that. Because you said military bipods? I was planning on getting a folding bipod, do I need to scrap this plan too?

69Mach1
09-30-2009, 11:02 AM
Yeah, that's a weird one. Think military issue bipods on rifles such as the Galil ARM, the G3, Famas, and FAL.

stix213
09-30-2009, 12:39 PM
Not confused, just dancing with the rules. I have talked to a few guys on here that have the skeleton stock that claim that since it is a "skeleton" stock instead of a technical thumbhole stock it is different. But in any case I will be avoiding bullet buttons, so if in the end I can't get the skeleton stock without the bullet button I wont be getting it. (i know i'm darn confusing sometimes)

The RAA skeleton stock, like the one on my Saiga in my signature, is legally a thumbhole stock. If you are using that stock with a functional mag release you have an illegal assault weapon and risk being charged with a felony.

I know what I'm talking about. Whoever told you otherwise is a moron.

Caseless
09-30-2009, 3:21 PM
The RAA skeleton stock, like the one on my Saiga in my signature, is legally a thumbhole stock. If you are using that stock with a functional mag release you have an illegal assault weapon and risk being charged with a felony.

I know what I'm talking about. Whoever told you otherwise is a moron.

Perhaps a Solar Tactical kydex grip wrap will allow the use of both the skeleton stock and detachable mag?

welchy
10-01-2009, 5:02 PM
The "sporting purpose" of 925D for importation of foreign made rifles started around 1989. It prohibited non-sporting features like pistol grips, use of military bipods, bayonet lugs, folding/collapsible stocks, flash suppressors, and forward grips. This Federal law is independent of all other Fed and State bans and restrictions. After that date, rifles came in with thumbhole stocks, the bayo. lug ground off, and no muzzle threads and no forward grips. They kept the capcity to accept high capacity military magazines up until Clinton banned that feature around 1998. After 98, rifles like the WASR 10 with a proprietary 10 round only mag and specific mag well were imported.

By the way, rimfires are exempt from 925D.

In order for foreign arms to have those prohibited features, they must meet 922r which makes that rifle a US made gun by limiting the foreign parts to just 10. Adding a bullet guide and slightly trimming the mag catch will trigger the "unsporting" feature. Some rifles, just adding a bullet guide may trigger it, because on some guns, the high cap mag can lock in.

According to this, the Clinton ban is over so adding a bullet guide to allow it to accept AK mags does NOT trigger 922r. So as long as you stick to mags that hold 10 rounds or fewer and you do not add any of the features mention in 925d you are okay. Besides who is going to look sideways at a Saiga with a 10 round mag and no "evil" features?

bballwizard05
10-01-2009, 5:19 PM
The RAA skeleton stock, like the one on my Saiga in my signature, is legally a thumbhole stock. If you are using that stock with a functional mag release you have an illegal assault weapon and risk being charged with a felony.

I know what I'm talking about. Whoever told you otherwise is a moron.

thanks for the help, yea I don't have it I wanted to double check before I bought it. So i'm still Kali legal!

69Mach1
10-01-2009, 5:42 PM
According to this, the Clinton ban is over so adding a bullet guide to allow it to accept AK mags does NOT trigger 922r. So as long as you stick to mags that hold 10 rounds or fewer and you do not add any of the features mention in 925d you are okay. Besides who is going to look sideways at a Saiga with a 10 round mag and no "evil" features?

The import ban is still in effect and is independant of the 1994-2004 Federal assault weapons ban.

welchy
10-01-2009, 7:40 PM
They kept the capacity to accept high capacity military magazines up until Clinton banned that feature around 1998.

In order for foreign arms to have those prohibited features, they must meet 922r .

I am not debating that, but from what you stated, a bullet guide, not a prohibited feature, and 10 round mag do not violate anything.

69Mach1
10-01-2009, 8:22 PM
I am not debating that, but from what you stated, a bullet guide, not a prohibited feature, and 10 round mag do not violate anything.

A 10 round AK magazine doesn't make it a prohibited feature. The fact that the rifle now has "the capacity to accept high cap. military" magazines is the issue. By "they", I meant the rifle itself. There is only one Federal ban. It bans the import of "non-sporting" rifles. "Non-sporting" features are listed.

welchy
10-01-2009, 8:36 PM
I respectfully disagree. It is the act of inserting a "high capacity" magazine into the rifle that makes it "unsporting," not the mere fact that it is capable of accepting one. I am not going to quote anybody, but a highly respected leader in Saiga conversions and 922r compliance states just that on their website.

69Mach1
10-01-2009, 8:42 PM
I respectfully disagree. It is the act of inserting a "high capacity" magazine into the rifle that makes it "unsporting," not the mere fact that it is capable of accepting one. I am not going to quote anybody, but a highly respected leader in Saiga conversions and 922r compliance states just that on their website.

That is an issue with rifles with non-installed bullet guide's and aftermarket high capacity magazines. Aftermarket high cap. Saiga magazine manufacturers are setting us up for a BATF ruling. The language is very specific. The capacity to accept high cap. military magazines is a prohibited imported feature on rifles. That is why the Hungarian SA2000M and the WASR10 and the Bulgarian SLR AK's that come into the country have single stack magazines. That is why a Saiga comes in with no bullet guide.

welchy
10-01-2009, 8:53 PM
I have read many arguments on both sides, as with almost all gun laws. I am not sure anybody is going to care about what mag I put into my Saiga as long as it is not a 10+ rounder. Of course I am not sure I want to be the one to tempt fate if you are right and I am wrong.

69Mach1
10-01-2009, 8:55 PM
I have read many arguments on both sides, as with almost all gun laws. I am not sure anybody is going to care about what mag I put into my Saiga as long as it is not a 10+ rounder. Of course I am not sure I want to be the one to tempt fate if you are right and I am wrong.

I agree with you 100 percent. 925D/922r is almost unenforceable and no one has ever been convicted of it that I'm aware of, but the law does have teeth. Also, it's the most rediculous one still in effect. We are still importing AK's and others on the banned list. Why would you set up a law that banned a type of rifle but allow it to be built by just changing a few parts. Stupid.

Henry Hill
10-01-2009, 9:29 PM
Also thinking about picking up a saiga rifle... They are pretty cheep, I've seen them for 320ish? Anyone selling em for cheaper?

69Mach1
10-01-2009, 9:33 PM
Also thinking about picking up a saiga rifle... They are pretty cheep, I've seen them for 320ish? Anyone selling em for cheaper?

Prices start at around $350 retail. Where did you see one for $320?

stix213
10-02-2009, 11:30 AM
Perhaps a Solar Tactical kydex grip wrap will allow the use of both the skeleton stock and detachable mag?

Interesting idea

SJgunguy24
10-02-2009, 1:44 PM
Perhaps a Solar Tactical kydex grip wrap will allow the use of both the skeleton stock and detachable mag?

Interesting idea

I think 69mach1 actually did that with one of his Saigas. It was a piece that filled the thumbhole area.

AJD
10-02-2009, 4:55 PM
If having the capacity to accept a high capacity mag automaticaly creates a Saiga rifle with a 922r violation after adding a bullet guide, then using the same logic, Saiga rifles in their factory configuration, would automatically violate 922r, as there are vendors who make high capacity mags for Saiga rifles without modification. I believe ATF states that it is a violation of 922r for a rifle WITH a high capacity mag.

strangerdude
10-02-2009, 5:12 PM
Just get a saiga 5.45x39, no mag conversion necessary.

ElvenSoul
10-03-2009, 1:12 PM
I asked the DOJ and my local sheriff about the skele stock a last year and they both said NO!

like some of the other guys have said for .223 saiga pick a mag brand - get that brand to work - then stick to that brand

packnrat
10-04-2009, 12:36 AM
Why do people want to dance with wolves after smearing there bodys with raw meat??

.

SJgunguy24
10-04-2009, 9:29 AM
If having the capacity to accept a high capacity mag automaticaly creates a Saiga rifle with a 922r violation after adding a bullet guide, then using the same logic, Saiga rifles in their factory configuration, would automatically violate 922r, as there are vendors who make high capacity mags for Saiga rifles without modification. I believe ATF states that it is a violation of 922r for a rifle WITH a high capacity mag.

In my experiance, AK mags will not lock in and some won't feed either in the factory configuration.

AJD
10-04-2009, 1:09 PM
In my experiance, AK mags will not lock in and some won't feed either in the factory configuration.

Unless I'm not understanding your post, what I was referring to are high capacity magazines that have been specifically manufactured for use only in Saiga rifles. I believe Surefire makes them, but I'm not sure of other companies. They even make 20-rounders for the .308 Saiga.