Siaga semi-automatics

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Bps1691, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. Bps1691

    Bps1691 Monkey++

    I am interested in picking up a decent semi-automatic weapon for home defense. I have a limited budget and was wondering if any of you have experience with the Saiga.

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    <!--eof Product Name--><!--bof Product Price block -->Russian American Armory Saiga 223 Caliber (5.56mm) Rifle with Black Synthetic Stock and 16.3” Barrel

    Which would be your preference?

    Of course, with the run on guns over the last couple of weeks I might not be able to purchase either.

    If I couldn’t find either one, what would you suggest I look at?
  2. RouteClearance

    RouteClearance Monkey+++

    First, since this is your first posting, welcome to the monkey. Now for your initial question.

    This is not the first time that this 223/308 question has been asked, and the answer has basically been the same. It's what serves you the best.

    First thing is what is your terrain like. if you have a lot of space around you, then the 308 would give you the advantage. If you live in a congested area, then the 223 would be a better choice.

    Second thing is what is your personal level of marksmanship? If you cannot hit the proverbial broad side of a barn at 200 yards then you would be better served by just using 22lr rifles and shotguns.

    What you decide is what will fit you the best. Firearms are no different that clothing in that their is no such thing as one size fits all. Hope this leads you in the right dirrection.
  3. toemag

    toemag Monkey++


    Sorry, I don't and never will own a Saiga, have seen the disappointment on the faces of those that bought them.

    If it's your first long get a pump action shotgun.... and save for something that has potential accuracy.

  4. Bps1691

    Bps1691 Monkey++

    Thanks for the replies.
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    I have 40 years shooting experience with shotguns, 22’s and bolt action hunting rifles (hunting and for just plunking). I tend to hit what I am aiming at the vast majority of the time with all of my weapons. I have found out over time that I not worth a darn with a pistol at anything much over 20 feet.

    With times like they are, I thought I had better add a “just in case semi-automatic”. As much as I would like to be able to purchase an AR type weapon, the ones I have seen are way outside of my finances.

    I really prefer the 308 because if SHTF, I want something that is truly a stopper. I have had good luck in the past with it on deer, but really wanted something that could pump out a little more firepower a little quicker than this old man can throw a bolt.

    I was interested in the Siaga’s manly because of the price point and the fact they didn’t look like an AK. I originally was thinking of a Remington 308 Semi-Automatic CARBINE but just couldn’t afford it.

    Any other comments about the Saiga’s?

    Any suggestions for something in the $350-$500 delivered range that would be better?

    Thanks for the comments so far, they are appreciated.
  5. poacher

    poacher Monkey+++ Founding Member


    Like Route said everyone has their own reasons for wanting/owning a certain weapon. I've never really played with Saiga and I've heard things from both sides of the fence on it. Now that I've got that out of the way,, I just got back from the big arms show in Tulsa Ok and after seeing what was going on there I would suggest you look at picking somthing up and the sooner the better.
    For the price range you are looking in yes Saiga is better than throwing rocks and if you are going to do it well then I would say 308. But, (ya knew that was coming didn't ya?) Find your mags FIRST then get the gun. If you see someone that has lots of 223 mags (20-30) and only 10 of the 308 I'd say go for the 223 and pick up all the mags.
    Ar's were selling like it was the last weekend before the klinton bill went into effect. Same with ammo and mags. So if Saiga is what you can afford then get it. get extra parts for it or talk with a dealer and ask them. They may just have somthing thats as good and they may do a deal with ya.

    Take care Be safe Poacher.
  6. WestPointMAG

    WestPointMAG Monkey++

    The question you asked was should I buy a Saiga in .308 or .223. The answer is no.
    In my option neither one is the best option. I feel that you would be better served by a Saiga in 7.62x39.

    Now I need to support my theory.

    The mags for the 7.62x39 cost less then the mags for the .223 or the .308. For the 7.62x39 you can use any double stack 7.62x39 AK steel mag can be modified it to fit the Saiga 7.62x39. Where as with the .308 you can use the factory mag. after market mags and there are a few mags that can be modified to fit the Saiga .308. By doing a web search for Saiga .308 mags you will find some that have been modified to fit but they are costly. The .233 Saiga you can pick from factory, after market, Ak 74, Bulgarian 5.56 mags or Chinese steel .223 mags may work but I do not know sence I have as of yet to try them. I have had issues with factory Saiga mags, have not tried and aftermarket mags, could not get the AK 74 mags to work dependably so that leaves the Bulgarian 5.56 mags. The get the Bulgarian mag to work in a saiga it takes a lot of J-B weld and a fair amount of time but if don will work flawlessly. The problem is availability since I have found them hard to come by where as 7.62x39 steel mags are rather common and inexpensive. 308 and .223 are getting very inexpensive compared to the cost of other ammo.

    Shotguns are good close quarters combat firearms and .308 work well for ranges out to 500+ yards.

    This leaves a gap in the middle that is best filled by an intermediate caliber firearm and 7.62x39 fills this role very well. I feel that you would be better served by buying a Saiga 7.62x39 since it will work very well at ranges from 0-300 yards. Mags of +10 capacity are readily available at a reasonable price from a large number of suppliers.
    I have found my EAA Saigas To be dependable and accurate enough to fill the role that they were intended for. Other then a problem with the disconnecter on one of the 7.62x39s and factory mag problems with the .223 they have been very dependable. The 7.62x39 that I shoot on a regular basis and was the one with the disconnecter problem resulting in one failure to fire I have not had a failure to feed, failure to fire or a failure to eject in over 9,000 rounds. In that 9,000 rounds it was cleaned at 100 rounds, disconnecter cleaned and polished at 3000 rounds and disassembled and cleaned at 5000 rounds. At 5000 rounds it was still working flawlessly and I feel it could have gone another 3000+ rounds without a problem. I have gotten the barrel hot enough twice that the fore arm has melted to the barrel and after the rifle cooled the point of aim did not change. Understand the Saiga is not a 1 MOA firearm and was never intended to be one but it is a very good 1MOBHF firearm for use out to 300 yards.

    For ranges over 300 yards I would recommend a bolt action hunting type rifle in a common nonmilitary caliber. Using a common nonmilitary caliber will reduce the cost of the ammo increase the arability.

    Owner of a Hess 20Ga, EEA .223 and two EAA 7.62x39 Saigas.
  7. Bps1691

    Bps1691 Monkey++

    Thanks for the input WestPointMag.

    It kind of looks like the decision has been made for me. All the online sites that I had found that had the Saiga's are sold out.

    I guess I will just buy a little more .308 for my bolt action rifle and shotguns and hope I don't need semi-auto. Guess I just waited to late for now.
  8. WestPointMAG

    WestPointMAG Monkey++

    What state are you in? We have them here in IN. the home of the Saigas.
  9. Bps1691

    Bps1691 Monkey++

    I am in Illinois not to far from the IN line close to 74. My local guy doesn't have anything, that's why I was looking at Online sources.

    Where abouts in IN are you talking about?
  10. WestPointMAG

    WestPointMAG Monkey++

    North of Indy 10 miles west of I 69 and a mile south Sr 18.
    We have them here had my eyes on 3 of them last week a .308, 12ga and 7.62x39.
    The importer is south of me a ways.
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