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What to expect when I'm expecting...

Discussion in 'The Kalashnikov Klub' started by Ironbar, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. LOL! Hope that was a catchy title.

    I'm expecting my very first AK this week- a converted Saiga from Classic Arms.

    I've never owned an AK before, never fired an AK before, but I've known I wanted one for a very long time. What can I expect with this rifle? I'd eventually like to change the poly furniture to a nice wood stock set.
  2. CGP


    Mar 30, 2011
    First day inspection.

    Make sure the bolt is not greased up and that the firing pin freely moves back and forth. Check the action by racking the bolt carrier back and releasing it (don't ride the charging handle). Check the front sight and rear sight block. It should be straight. Since it's a converted Saiga, you probably want to load a mag with a few snap caps and make sure it feeds and ejects 100%.

    Sighting In

    Get to the range and sight in at 25 yards, progressively moving further and further distances. You want to check for sight alignment. Get an AK front sight tool. It's likely that you're going to make adjustments the first time you shoot it. Set the rear sight to 1 and adjust the front sight accordingly for windage and elevation. Shooting at 25 should be dead-on and you should expect cloverleaf groups. If your shots are clustered off-center to where you aimed at, it's going to get compounded as you go further distances.

    The AK does not need a lot of lube. I normally put grease inside the bolt lug channels and along the inside rails. Thin film of lube everywhere (for rust protection). Run a few lubed patches down the barrel followed by a few clean ones.

    Note that if you're planning to shoot corrosive ammo, the cleaning routine is slightly different - a small price to pay for cheap ammo.

  3. toshbar

    toshbar Timber Baron

    Oct 20, 2009
    Eastern NC
    Play with it(safely).

    Take it apart, put it back together, see how everything works. You can't hurt it with your bare hands.
  4. cciman


    Jan 19, 2009
    SW Ohio
    Enjoy the beauty in the simplicity...and it works reliably too.
    One poss problem is mag seating with the mag release. You may have to file the contact point(s) on the mag lever for all of your mags to go in and out smoothly.

    Why wood?

    Poly stock is compliant (probably Tapco). You can replace with a adjustable AR style stock for better functionality. Traditional wood ones are too short for me.
  5. zeme05


    Mar 30, 2008
    West Texas
    About 12 yrs ago I got the AK bug and was just lucky enought to end up with a Saiga conversion. My son and his friends and I have put 10k rds thru it without a hickup. I did put another fcg (fire control group) in it and converted it to look more military style, but you cannot go wrong with it. Only thing is you will want another and another.............

    Saiga is 3rd from left
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  6. I just love the look of the old-school military style AK. I'd undoubtedly put a more modern wood stock set on it with a longer butt stock.

    I think it harkens back to my childhood in the 80's when all we had to worry about was nuclear war with the "evil empire" of the USSR. Ahhh, the good old days. :supergrin:
  7. Zeme, how hard was it to replace that sleeve on the Saiga with the AK 74 style muzzle brake? Did you do it yourself or have a smith do it?
  8. zeme05


    Mar 30, 2008
    West Texas
    It actualy came that way 14.5" barrel with welded muzzle brake. The one below started out as a Saiga "sporting rifle" I put the brake on myself. First bought a Bulgy front sight block. Took a grinder cut a groove down the length of the front sight. Took a chisle and finished breaking it (relief cut). Used fine emeroy to polish the barrel. Used a plastic dead blow hammer to drive on the new fsb and re drilled the holes for the pins. Not hard at all, look for youtube tutitoral.

    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  9. Decguns


    Dec 29, 2003
    A wood butt stock will fit on the converted Saiga no problem. You'll need a standard AK gas tube and retainer to mount AK handguards. Of course, magazine fit will depend on how good the guy was who converted it. I seem to remember the ATF ruled the Saiga FCG is considered only 2 foreign parts, not 3 like standard AKs. So, you may have to take that into consideration with 922r parts count when replacing the furniture. The converted Saiga will come with US made butt stock & pistol grip.

    The TAPCO M4 butt stock is most definitely the most comfortable AK stock I've ever used. The Com-Bloc ones are too short for most guys. So many buy so called "NATO" length stocks which are a bit longer. Here I've got the TAPCO stock... and a converted Saiga... but it's a 308-1, not a X39.