View Full Version : Saiga 5.45 conversion

06-23-2011, 4:01 PM
Hi all,

I know this horse must have been beaten ten times till Sunday, but I see all sorts of conflicting opinions on the "proper" way to convert a saiga back into something less homely. I've heard talk of welding required in some opinions and drop in parts and some elbow grease in others. Is there just a plain, picture book style of FAQ to get through this process? I'm only interested in converting the back half right now, meaning changing out the stock, moving up the trigger group, adding a bullet button, pistol grip, and hopefully a bullet hold open. But again, I've heard that bullet hold opens can be finicky and I've heard remarks about doing something to the safety or something to make it less finicky. I'm more of an AR guy so a lot of this stuff is still just Greek to me.

I have a lot patience for this project, and I appreciate any help or criticism or opinions you can give. If possible, I'd like to make a guide out of this to help other people as well.

06-24-2011, 10:34 AM
This should help:
Video Tutorial (http://vimeo.com/2787027) & Step-By-Step Guide (http://www.cross-conn.com/Saiga_Conversion/index.htm)
Kits (http://store.carolinashooterssupply.com/servlet/-strse-678/Saiga-Rifle-Conversion-Kit/Detail?sfs=2850209c)

No welding needed. You will need a dremel tool and some bits, but the kit I linked you to has the cobalt bits you'll need to drill out the rivets in the trigger guard. Carolina Shooters' Supply has a ton of kits with different stock options, too.

All the Best,


06-24-2011, 11:19 AM
I did mine wthout welding. I used a dremel, drill press, hand held power drill, rat rail file, simple hand tools and protective goggles.

06-24-2011, 12:09 PM
A Saiga's come from the factory with manual "bolt" hold open devices. Is that what you are referring to as a "bullet" hold open.....

If you really want good info on converting your Saiga join the saiga12 forum at www.forum.saiga-12.com

06-24-2011, 2:21 PM
I was more referring to the spring I've seen some people install that holds the bolt open when the magazine runs dry... I think?

06-24-2011, 2:21 PM
Also thanks for the help.

06-24-2011, 3:08 PM
No problem!!

There is no "spring" which you can simply install which will act as a bolt hold open device. As I said above the saigas come from the factory with a manual bolt hold open device which allows you to engage it and hold the bolt and carrier to the rear.

The spring on the Saiga rifle bolt hold open device actually holds it down so it is not inadvertently lifted and cause a malfunction during firing.

Some magazines come with followers which act as, or can be modified to hold the bolt to the rear (open) when empty, however as soon as you remove the mag the bolt and carrier will slam closed.

You can also modify the safety by grinding a notch in the top of it which will allow you to place the handle of the bolt carrier into it , thus holding the bolt and carrier open.

06-24-2011, 3:30 PM
OH! Did not know that. Very cool. What all is involved with the grinding a notch in the top of the safety?

Is there a reason people prefer that over a manual hold open?

07-01-2011, 1:09 AM
Okay, so I'm looking at parts kits and I've been told of Carolina's Shooters Supply and Ak builder. Carolina's Shooters Supply has the kits laid nicely on their site. AK builder references the Saiga 12 a lot in its parts area, but some just say "saiga." Are some of those parts interchangeable across saiga models? I just want to move the trigger group forward, put on a bullet button, add a pistol grip and stock for now.

07-01-2011, 12:17 PM
Which parts exactly? What kind of conversion are you doing exactly?

The maker of a lot of Saiga conversion parts is Dinzag Arms, you can see their website here (dinzagarms.com).

If your just doing the stock and pistol grip conversion then all you need is a Tapco G2, bolt on trigger guard, retainer plate for the FCG (you can use the old linkage if you'd like), pistol grip screw and nut, butt stock, and pistol grip.

You might also want to pick up some nylon hole plugs from Dinzag to fill in the holes you'll make in the receiver.

07-01-2011, 3:22 PM
For parts I was thinking of an ergo grip and KVAR nato length stock or a conversion to add a CTR. For the trigger, I was thinking of a Tapco, unless people have a better suggestion.

07-02-2011, 1:50 AM
Does anyone have experience with either of these saiga tri rails?
This one is a polymer tri rail
This one is an aluminum tri rail from dph arms:

08-07-2011, 11:04 PM
Alright. Almost done. Just need to install the bullet guide and the front handguard retainer. The Midwest Industry rails are only held on by slight tension. Having some issues with the drilling for the bullet guide. Gonna try a new drill bit. Also gonna hack into the barrel to see if its threaded.

08-08-2011, 7:02 AM
lookin good.

for bolt hold open modifications....

08-08-2011, 10:07 AM
Your rifle is looking good! :thumbsup: