Adding some Saigas... .223 or 7.62 or both?

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by cliff, Feb 18, 2008.


  1. cliff

    cliff Monkey++

    I'm looking to purchase a pair of Saiga rifles for SHTF type scenarios sometime soon and am wondering how to get them chambered. The options I am considering are 2 in 7.62x39 or one in 7.62x39 and one in .223. Any opinions? FWIW, I have an SKS already. As far as I can see:

    Pros for 2 in 7.62x39
    One ammo to stockpile
    Spare parts in case one breaks
    Two guns with better penetration

    Pros for 1 in each
    Alternate ammo in case I can't get 7.62x39
    Lighter recoil for wife
    One gun with better long range accuracy?
    A variety of "tools"

    Feel free to add or correct me. Thanks.
     
  2. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Given these are the only options, I'm going with 1 in each caliber. Here's why

    Pros for 2 in 7.62x39
    One ammo to stockpile - good point
    Spare parts in case one breaks - good point, but you've still got the sks
    Two guns with better penetration - Not so important for 2 (3w/sks) imo.

    Pros for 1 in each
    Alternate ammo in case I can't get 7.62x39 - Very Important
    Lighter recoil for wife - Very Important
    One gun with better long range accuracy? - Important
    A variety of "tools" - eh.

    I think both calibers is a hands down winner.
     
  3. KHAN

    KHAN Monkey+++

    Be sure to factor in the cost of mags for each one also and the cost of ammo. 7.62x39 is still a lot less expensive than .223 and AK mags can still be had for relatively cheap prices. Mags for the Saiga in .223 are a lot more and not as easily found.
    I'd get two of the 7.62x39 variety, but I guess you could have already guessed that I'd go that way.
     
  4. S&P

    S&P E&E w/AR

    .223 is lighter, so you can carry more. In a SHTF scenario where US govt agencies may be potential foes they will be carrying .223/5.56 ( I assume the Saiga is chambered in 5.56?)
     
  5. WestPointMAG

    WestPointMAG Monkey++

    Get one of each.
    The twist on a .223 Saiga is about 1 in 12 so they are suppose to need a lighter bullet but I have found to the shoot well with 55grn.
    30 round mags for the Saigas .223 are not the hard to find the last two that I bought a year and a half ago cost me $5.00 each {I got a deal right now the are around $16.00} when you include modifying them to fit. A little JB weld and a Bulgarian 5.56 waffle mag = a Saiga .223 30 round mag. You will need to trim the back over the catch for clearance, build up the front lip and sides to match the Saiga mag. I have shot hundreds of round in my test mag and it still works.

    It takes me to weld up AK mags to fit the 7.62x39 Saiga so they work with out a feed ramp.

    You have to decide if you are going to parts count the Saigas or not. The cheapest way to go would be to not parts count the Saiga and stor your +10 SHTF mags some where else the other then with the rifles and use the stock mags at the range. One other note the 10 round Saiga 7.62x39 mags with two rings have 15 round bodies ans a flower that blocks them 5 rounds cutting the flower and changing to a shorter spring will make it hold 15 rounds.
     
  6. SJDigriz

    SJDigriz Monkey+++

    Agree 100%, same reasons.
     
  7. BigO01

    BigO01 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Honestly I think the decision should be up to your wife .

    THe 7.62x39 is a pretty mild round but , depending on what stock the gun has she may or may not have a recoil issue with it .

    The wood is heavier that the plastics and you get less recoil , then again you may be able to change out the recoil pad on a plastic stock and soften the blow if she is in need of it or even just use a cheap slip on over the existing pad then you have two pads on and boy that really makes a difference in recoil .

    As far as magazines go yes the ones for the NEWest imports of the Saigas are expensive however I have a link that might help you in that area .

    http://www.cross-conn.com/Saiga_Conversion/index.htm

    That shows you how to convert a Saiga to a pistol grip configuration and step 10 is for converting other existing magazines to work in a Saiga both in .223 and 7.62x39 chamberings .

    Good luck hope it helps you .
     
  8. magnus392

    magnus392 Field Marshall Mags Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Get both.
     
  9. franks71vw

    franks71vw Monkey+++

    this is my first post and holy cow I cant stop reading here lol anyways, for a SHTF situation on my gun board we have discussed this and I am basically going with a XCR since you can swap out a barrel and bolt and your good to go. I will have both .223 and 762x39 ammo so i will be good to go.. Also have you thought of the S12 with a 20 rd drum thats alot of firepower at close quarters..
     
  10. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Guns are tools and as such to decide what tool or combination of tools is best you have to identify the job. I say this because the variables of YOUR plans would be the biggest factor in it. If you plan to bug in or have a BO location already stocked then unless the 7.62x39 is to much recoil for the Mrs then I would say go with 2 in that cal so swap mags and just stock 1 ammo. If you will BI you can and ABSOLUTELY should stock up all the ammo you figure you will need for the duration since if you prep even some and YOU ran out/low of ammo what do you figure the odds are your neighbor who didnt prep (or even if they did) is gonna have a bunch of 'extra' they will want to part with? The 7.62 has more power and for ranges out to a couple hundred yards IMO is the clear choice if unlimited amounts of each amo is available and you dont have to carry it.

    If you are going to BO to destinations unknown or without pre positioned supplies then you have to carry or at least transport the ammo, now .223 becomes kind of nice for the weight/space of the ammo. This also means you are more likely to run out of ammo and have to TRY to be able to scrounge some up and if this is the case then the more options you have for what you can use the better.

    There are numerous other factors like that if you live in the hilly brush country where you never see over a couple hundred yards then your needs are different from an area where you have fields of fire that extend 1000 yards in every direction. Again if you are in an area where you are likely to be faceing lots of BGs and the primarys use of the rifle will be people then the need is different from if you are in the bush in an area with lots of bear, mountain lions and moose you will be shooting at or an area in the bush where BGs are likely to be scarce and mostly hunting critters that are dog size and smaller.

    So basicly clearly identify the job you need to do and then the choice of tools becomes a LOT easier.
     
  11. magnus392

    magnus392 Field Marshall Mags Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I would go with the Magpul Masada for a multi-caliber platform. Not out yet but will be. It appears to use the same mag for both 7.62 and 5.56...but that is how it looked on TV.
     
  12. Nomad 2nd

    Nomad 2nd Monkey+++


    If you can take their ammo you can take their rifles.

    I have NO use for the .223
     
  13. MaineSurvivor

    MaineSurvivor Monkey++

    If your Saiga 223 is not modified the mags are very expensive. The lowest price for a 30 rounder for a non-modified that I have found is around $38 plus shipping. Of course they incorporate a feature that holds the bolt open after the last round is fired which the others don't to the best of my knowledge.
     
  14. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Bushmaster bought the Masada from Magpul.
     
  15. WestPointMAG

    WestPointMAG Monkey++

    One more time Bulgarian 5.56 waffle mag + JB weld = Saiga .223 30 round mag for $5.00 - $20.00.
     
  16. Nomad 2nd

    Nomad 2nd Monkey+++

    According to both Companies at the Shot Show it's a joint effort.
     
  17. RMTactical

    RMTactical Monkey++

    Whichever caliber you choose, stick with the same for both, i recommend. Share mags and have spare parts if one breaks...
     
  18. magnus392

    magnus392 Field Marshall Mags Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Not entirely true. You can get a bullet guide and do a little dremel work on the ledge of the trunnion where the front hangs and tada. The Saiga forum knows more about this than I do, but here is a great link to check out.

    http://dinzagarms.com/saiga_223/saiga_223.html
     
  19. WestPointMAG

    WestPointMAG Monkey++


    And how much will it depreciate the rifle by modifying it?
     
  20. magnus392

    magnus392 Field Marshall Mags Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Depends, if you can a professional gunsmith do the mods the rifle appreciates in value. IF one does the work themselves...it depends on if you go full out, or partially mod to full AK appearance. Seldom do I see Saiga's for for much less than standard retail in the $300 range, converted or not.

    As far as part pricing Dinzag has that on his website and is a nice fellow I have exchanged emails with him before.
     
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