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View Full Version : Saiga 12 Conversion Thread (UPDATE!)


GettoPhilosopher
06-17-2011, 6:54 PM
Alright guys, I'm gonna be doing a pic review of my Saiga 12 and the conversion process over the next couple days. Hopefully it's fun and informative, not some kind of gun version of a 12 year old's video blog.

I'll keep updating my original post as the process continues. I have the S12, and have had a couple weeks to play with it, but have not yet fired it. CSS conversion parts should arrive tomorrow, Chaos Trirail sometime next week. For now, my first pics and review.

I ordered from AtlanticFirearms using their Calguns discount. I know S12s have gone up in price significantly lately, but AF's price was very competitive. $769 + shipping + FFL. Package arrived in great condition, as did the gun. I seem to have a 3 port gun, *mostly* centered. One port is a little close to the edge, we'll have to see if it all cycles properly or not.

Everything looked clean, and all function tests were successful. The finish is a little odd...I can't quite point at anything specifically, but I get the feeling it'll rub away with heavy use. That's alright, I'm probably going to Duracoat it FDE anyways. I'm a sucker for color.

All in all, I'm satisfied. I never liked normal shotguns (even my tacticool'ed 870 I used to own). I'm a black rifle guy (even if they're FDE), and ergonomically that's what I like. Surprisingly, the S12 feels really comfortable to me, even in stock form. I've got to get used to the AK-style controls (this is my first), but I'm learning. I think I'll pick up an extended safety at some point, as well as a LRBHO kit...those AK "issues" are just a little too odd for me. Strangely enough though, I love the sights. For now, here's my gun.

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o206/gettophilosopher/IMAG0010.jpg
With my M16A4gery

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o206/gettophilosopher/2011-06-17180748.jpg



http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o206/gettophilosopher/2011-06-17180737.jpg



http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o206/gettophilosopher/2011-06-17180725.jpg
Pardon my idiot thumb on the left, I'm using my wife's Galaxy Tab. Not used to it.



For the conversion, I picked up all but the rail from Carolina Shooters Supply. Great site, great selection, 5% off for Saiga12 Forum members, and he shipped the next morning. I ordered it Wednesday, it arrived Saturday. After my experiences with other tactical stores, this was very satisfying and refreshing...no week and a half to ship and it takes another week and a half to arrive. Ordered Wednesday from South Carolina, arrived Saturday by 10am.

*CSS DIY Trigger Guard (Sorry purists, I don't have a welding setup)
*Tromix-modified Tapco Single Hook Trigger/FCG with hole plugs
*Tapco SAW grip (Black)
*CSS Internal Receiver Block
*Ace 7.5 Stock w/1.5" recoil pad
*JTE Performance Mainspring
*SGM 10rd Mag
*Phoenix Flame Muzzle Brake
*Chaos Tri-Rail (from ChaosUs.com)

Total conversion parts cost: $400 ($311 at CSS, ~$90 at Chaos)

ke6guj
06-17-2011, 6:59 PM
wouldn't it be better to break it in before you convert it? That way, if you dont like the way it cycles you can send it in to Cadiz to have it fixed. But once you mod it, you lose the warranty on it.

GettoPhilosopher
06-17-2011, 7:13 PM
wouldn't it be better to break it in before you convert it? That way, if you dont like the way it cycles you can send it in to Cadiz to have it fixed. But once you mod it, you lose the warranty on it.

I don't have that many range opportunities, and frankly I'm a DIY kind of guy. If I had the time/patience, you're right...I probably should do it the other way around. But I don't, so I'm going for it.

Feel free to point and laugh if something goes horribly wrong. ;)

AndrewMendez
06-18-2011, 11:17 AM
No 16" Dildo?!!? :confused:

SJgunguy24
06-18-2011, 11:29 AM
It would be wise of you to get a new mag lock. That lock is horribly weak and takes next to no pressure to bend into an illegal configuration. Atlantic has been notified. We have received a couple of Saiga 12's with ineffective mag locks and I notify each vendor personally.

Now what I would do is get the gas block off the barrel and open up the hole in the block. Doing so after you refinish can ruin all the prep work and make you have to do it all over. Also, do any action work (polishing) while you have everything in pieces.

GettoPhilosopher
06-18-2011, 11:55 AM
I started the conversion Friday night at about midnight (couldn't sleep). I removed the stock, gutted the internals, and cut off the rear tang. Started grinding the tang stub flat at about 9:30am, by the time I was done my parts had arrived. It was a bit tricky getting everything to line up, but still very doable. My only real frustrating moment was the 20 minutes it took me to install the *($#@&$ shepherd's crook. About 18 of those minutes was spent screwing around before I realized my hammer was in backwards. *FAIL* Wasn't terribly hard to get installed after I put my hammer in the right way.

Everything else was pretty easy. I'm a tinkerer, and am good with machines, but I am by no means a gunsmith. If I can do this conversion, I'll bet 90% of you guys can too. Scariest part was cutting off the tang....I'm not great with a Dremel.

I *love* this setup. It's light as hell, the trigger makes my M16A4gery feel like crap, and the Ace 7.5 is just the right length for me. I managed to use my OC Armory maglock, despite everyone's warnings. I'm planning on putting some material between the maglock and the CSS trigger guard to brace it. It feels fairly sturdy to me (I tried bending it), but I'll brace it just in case. I'll have to figure out a way to mount a safety stop, as the maglock took up the room under the trigger guard. I don't have a lot of $$$, so we'll see which one wins...my stubborn desire to save $45, or the technical issues of bracing the maglock and making a safety stop.

I only had one real problem with the whole conversion process. I think (I'm new to this, so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) that I got a defective SGM mag. I know you can modify them for the magwells, but this one came missing the front lip. There's nothing to hold it in the front (no rock-n-lock), so the mag just falls out of the gun. I emailed Greg at CSS about it, and--considering my SUPERB experiences with CSS so far--expect it'll be resolved shortly.

Pics!

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o206/gettophilosopher/2011-06-18100847.jpg
My receiver vised up for work


http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o206/gettophilosopher/2011-06-18100934.jpg
My original guts


http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o206/gettophilosopher/2011-06-18100908.jpg
The pen is mightier than the sword, but a dremel is pretty cool too


http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o206/gettophilosopher/2011-06-18100900.jpg
Empty receiver


http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o206/gettophilosopher/2011-06-18101702.jpg
Conversion parts


http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o206/gettophilosopher/2011-06-18103042.jpg
Conversion parts and barreled receiver


(Cont. next post due to our random "can't have more than 6 images" forum rule)

GettoPhilosopher
06-18-2011, 11:55 AM
http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o206/gettophilosopher/2011-06-18113608.jpg
FCG/BHO/etc installed (in the right direction)


http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o206/gettophilosopher/2011-06-18122341.jpg
Finished!


http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o206/gettophilosopher/2011-06-18122316.jpg


http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o206/gettophilosopher/2011-06-18122307.jpg


Parts arrived Saturday by 10am. The Chaos rail isn't here yet, but I believe it shipped Friday.

To Do:

*Order 350 Lumen Surefire clone weapon light from Watchmaker ($175)
*Use the 60 slugs and 90 rounds of 00 buck I've hoarded to break it in ($110 at Walmart)
*LRBHO to be ordered and installed eventually ($99)
*Find someone to shorten and perm. attach muzzle brake (18" length) ($??)
*Duracoat FDE ($30 DIY, or pay someone)
*Pauly's Glass Bolt service, if necessary/desired (http://forum.saiga-12.com/index.php?/topic/61900-paulys-glass-bolt-special/) ($99)

GettoPhilosopher
06-18-2011, 12:14 PM
Edit: Got a reply from CSS (on a Saturday no less) within 40 minutes of contacting him. Seriously, I can't praise their service highly enough. (and the videos he made showing the conversion process are amazing too).

He's contacting SGM to send me a new mag. Looks like they shipped him a bunch of magwell mags labelled as normal mags. I'll let you guys know when I hear from SGM.

SuaSponte
06-23-2011, 9:00 AM
Sweet! I can't wait to convert mine. will I need the CSS Low spring brass kit or should I just shoot walmart ammo stock.

GettoPhilosopher
06-23-2011, 9:05 AM
Sweet! I can't wait to convert mine. will I need the CSS Low spring brass kit or should I just shoot walmart ammo stock.

I left the guts stock for now. I have three seemingly-good gas ports. I figure I'll break it in, then see how it runs walmart bulk pack. If it aint broke, don't completely overhaul the gas system. ;)

My and my S12 have a date. July 4th, just us and a giant box of 00 buck and slugs. :D

chaseface
06-23-2011, 11:28 AM
Looks good. I agree that the shepards crook is the biggest pain ever to re-instill. If you ever have to take it apart to do some more work I suggest you get the axis pin retaining plate from CSS it makes a world of difference.

GettoPhilosopher
06-23-2011, 11:32 AM
Update: SGM responded first thing Monday morning, gave me the address to ship my defective mag. They said they'd ship the new one and reimburse me the shipping costs once they receive it. They should get it today, I'll let you know as soon as I get the new mag.

I still haven't received the Chaos Tri Rail, which means it didn't ship Friday as promised. I don't mind terribly, from what I've heard they're an excellent product, but rather busy. I'll update when I actually get the rail.

chaseface
06-23-2011, 11:45 AM
Nice, are you going to keep the tri-rail or eventually go with the chaos extended, or titan quad-rail?

pyro3k2
06-23-2011, 12:33 PM
Guess it's to late to ask you to break it in before converting it. But nicely done and she looks great :thumbsup:

ElvisShotFirst
06-23-2011, 1:10 PM
Just ordered my first s12 yesterday. 10 days until I get to start the process:)

GettoPhilosopher
06-23-2011, 1:19 PM
I'm happy with the weight and sights right now, so probably just the trirail. Might spring for a top rail with HK sights eventually.

I already addressed the "break in before converting" thing. I know the risk I'm taking, but I feel it's the right choice for my situation. Thanks for the advice though! And, of course, if I'm back here in two weeks crying about how it won't cycle right, go right ahead and say I told you so. :D

Sent from my HERO200 using Tapatalk

ElvisShotFirst
06-23-2011, 2:31 PM
Just curious... Any reason you didn't go with this trigger guard?
http://store.carolinashooterssupply.com/servlet/-strse-375/Saiga-12-AR-Trigger/Detail

GettoPhilosopher
06-23-2011, 2:39 PM
Just curious... Any reason you didn't go with this trigger guard?
http://store.carolinashooterssupply.com/servlet/-strse-375/Saiga-12-AR-Trigger/Detail

Honest answer? I wanted a SAW grip. :) I've got an AR, I didn't want this to be another AR. *shrugs*

chaseface
06-23-2011, 3:15 PM
I like the trigger guard you went with better. Looks great! But do you not have a safety stop anymore? Or am I just seeing the picture wrong?

GettoPhilosopher
06-23-2011, 3:23 PM
I like the trigger guard you went with better. Looks great! But do you not have a safety stop anymore? Or am I just seeing the picture wrong?

You are correct. I reused the OC Armory maglock to save $$$ (what can I say, I'm broke :P), which didn't leave room for the safety stop. I'm in the process of cutting mine down, and then finding a way (JB Weld? Solder?) to attach it to the side of the BB.

skyscraper
06-23-2011, 3:54 PM
Nicely done. I just did mine a few weeks back in a similar configuration to yours. But doesnt the forward grip make it illegal in cali?

ke6guj
06-23-2011, 3:59 PM
But doesnt the forward grip make it illegal in cali?why would it?

chaseface
06-23-2011, 4:02 PM
Nicely done. I just did mine a few weeks back in a similar configuration to yours. But doesnt the forward grip make it illegal in cali?

No
California Penal Code section 12276.1 states what makes a shotgun an assault weapon.
# 6) A semiautomatic shotgun that has both of the following:

* (A) A folding or telescoping stock.
* (B) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon, thumbhole stock, or vertical handgrip.

# (7) A semiautomatic shotgun that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine.

# (8) Any shotgun with a revolving cylinder.

I emphasized the part your talking about in bold. A semi-auto shotgun is an assault weapon if it has BOTH the folding or telescoping stock, and the forward pistol grip.

skyscraper
06-23-2011, 4:25 PM
why would it?

No
California Penal Code section 12276.1 states what makes a shotgun an assault weapon.
# 6) A semiautomatic shotgun that has both of the following:

* (A) A folding or telescoping stock.
* (B) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon, thumbhole stock, or vertical handgrip.

# (7) A semiautomatic shotgun that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine.

# (8) Any shotgun with a revolving cylinder.

I emphasized the part your talking about in bold. A semi-auto shotgun is an assault weapon if it has BOTH the folding or telescoping stock, and the forward pistol grip.

Thanks guys. I heard it somewhere (you know how that goes) so I always thought it was. But that is great news because I always wanted a foregrip on my saiga when I finally get my titan chaos rail.

THanks!

SuaSponte
06-24-2011, 11:24 PM
Did you shoot it today?

I finally picked mine up today. May shoot it tomorrow. I'll be shooting the low brass Federal birdshot from Wal-Mart tomorrow. LOL hopefully it cycles it!

GettoPhilosopher
06-24-2011, 11:45 PM
Did you shoot it today?

I finally picked mine up today. May shoot it tomorrow. I'll be shooting the low brass Federal birdshot from Wal-Mart tomorrow. LOL hopefully it cycles it!

Shooting mine on the 4th. I picked up 150rds of Federal 00Buck, Winchester 00Buck, and Winchester slugs.

SuaSponte
06-26-2011, 4:09 PM
Dang! And you havent fired it yet! Must be really itchy for you and you have a lot of patience. I fired mine today with the Federal WalMart value pack. Cycled fine all 99 rounds. Stove piped 1 round since I hip fired that one. Do those rounds count for the break in process even though it's low brass?

Sorry if I am thread jacking

chaseface
06-26-2011, 8:57 PM
Dang! And you havent fired it yet! Must be really itchy for you and you have a lot of patience. I fired mine today with the Federal WalMart value pack. Cycled fine all 99 rounds. Stove piped 1 round since I hip fired that one. Do those rounds count for the break in process even though it's low brass?

Sorry if I am thread jacking

All rounds count for break it, although most people recommend breaking it in with hotter loads just to wear down some of the friction-producing edges on the internal parts. But if your gun is already shooting at 99%, like mine did, doesn't look like you need much of a break in. Your one of the lucky ones.

GettoPhilosopher
06-27-2011, 6:07 PM
Update!

I got both the Chaos rail and the replaced SGM mag (with check to reimburse my shipping). Woot! I can't wait to break it in this weekend. Pics below!

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o206/gettophilosopher/2011-06-27175837.jpg

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o206/gettophilosopher/2011-06-27175848.jpg

SuaSponte
06-27-2011, 8:01 PM
Is that paddle on the pg of your ar so you don't need a bullet button on it?

GettoPhilosopher
06-27-2011, 11:01 PM
Is that paddle on the pg of your ar so you don't need a bullet button on it?

Keep the rifles in the rifle section. ;)

I was merely offering my AR for size comparison.

GettoPhilosopher
07-04-2011, 5:54 PM
Short form range report: AMAZING. Runs everything, including wallyworld bulk birdshot flawlessly. One failure to feed with my first full 10rd mag, no other gun issues all day. I had a bunch of squished federal buckshot that fed crappy, but that was the ammo's fault.

Recoil was surprisingly low. This might be my new favorite. :D

Sent from my HERO200 using Tapatalk

GettoPhilosopher
07-05-2011, 9:40 AM
Seriously, I'm 100% happy with this firearm. It's comfortable, handy, points well, has the lowest recoil I've felt on a shotgun, feeds everything I put in it reliably (even when hipfiring)....it was just great.

I shot over 100 rds of buckshot and slugs on #1 setting and my back hurts more from sleeping on my cousin's couch than my shoulder from shooting the Saiga. I've got a bony shoulder, too...I'm used to 30rds of 00buck destroying my shoulder for the next few days. :D

http://s121.photobucket.com/albums/o206/gettophilosopher/?action=view&current=video-2011-07-04-17-03-53.mp4

Note: I really need to find a sling option for my S12, and pardon me grinning like a $*(@$ing idiot. :D