I love my Saiga 12. I’ve used it for years, and shot many a 3gun match with it. What other shotgun enables you to load 10 rounds in 2 seconds? (okay, USAS guys, I know yours is slick, but mine is more available)
I first got this Saiga 12 several years ago, and ran it for about a year of 3gun, then I wrote up a review in SWAT Magazine. (my very first magazine article, by the way). Since then, I just kept on shooting the heck out of it. My Saiga has always been in the plain, boring, bone-stock setup. Complete with lousy sights, mediocre trigger, and Mother Russia’s finsest black spray paint finish.
My best guestimate of total rounds through that gun is about 6,600 rounds, and it always ran like a champ. Until last year’s Ironman, when something went wrong, and I cracked a trigger part on the 2nd to last stage. I had been thinking about converting my Saiga to an AK configuration for a long time (mostly so I could have a better trigger), so I sat it aside, and planned on doing a conversion myself.
I would have sent it to Tromix, but they were backlogged like a year at the time. Now that’s like 18 months. Tony Rumore is the original master of the fancy Saiga conversion, and for a long time FBMG stocked his guns. But as he got more popular, the lead times got longer and longer. Good for Tony, sucked for us. We still have guns there being worked on.
A couple of months ago, we started talking about doing our own Saiga conversions, but the old shop lacked the room, and the only one of our current staff that had the knowledge, lacked the time to take on such an epic project.
When we moved into our new building, with it’s big shop, it suddenly opened up all sorts of new possibilites. (not even counting the range, which the planning is coming along nicely, and we’re still on track to start construction in a few months, and have the whole thing running before the end of the year). We now had the work space to do our own professional Saiga conversions.
Then a good friend of ours, Dave, that had worked at Vector Arms for many years, OCing high quality AKs, decided he wanted to do his own thing. I donated my broken Saiga to Dave to see what he was capable of…
Hire the man!
I didn’t recognize my gun when I saw it again. It is beautiful. Dave’s not done with it yet, as I’m doing a couple of extra little custom touches, and paying customers come first, but when it’s finished, I’ll put up some pictures. I’m blown away. It takes my sporter Saiga, and turns it into a bad ass AK shotgun from hell.
Dave has started taking in customer’s Saigas now. So he’s rolling. If you want one of these done, I would contact us sooner rather than later, because I’ve got a feeling that he’s going to be getting a lot of orders.
Then we’ve got Joe, our full line smith. He’s doing these custom Dura-coat camo jobs that look amazing, so now I’m thinking about having Dave do another Saiga for me, and then having Joe do up a trick sagebrush camo job on it.
Next we’ve got to build an Abomination. (for those of you that haven’t read MHI, you won’t get it, so go buy the book already). The hard part is going to be custom fabricating the handguard with the integrated bayonet. I might have to substitue an M203 for the Russian 40mm, but other than that, that’s going to be the next custom project I spend a bunch of money on.