Is a Saiga 5.45x39 ak-74 any good?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Gunner3456, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,033
    Likes Received:
    711
    Location:
    Salem
    Feedback:
    22   0   0
    They can be had on Gunbroker for $390 including shipping and local FFL fees.

    What's wrong with them, if anything? Here's one

    What's a better "budget" choice in AK-74? I'm looking for some and then a bunch of ammo for relatives if the shtf.

    Thanks. :thumbup:
  2. jordanvraptor

    jordanvraptor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,645
    Likes Received:
    285
    Location:
    Oregon City, Oregon
    Feedback:
    37   0   0
    I don't think there is anything wrong with them but I think they take a proprietary magazine. To get it to take surplus ak-74 magazines you have to change out the bullet guide. The advantage of these guns is that you get a Russian made receiver and barrel. I don't think the 5.45 is all that, other than the price of surplus ammo. Its less powerful than the 5.56 and I don't know if you can get the military ammo that has the air space in the nose of the bullet which causes the bullet to yaw and give it the legendary stopping power we have read about. Also, with no US or other foreign based producer of 5.45 you risk being at the mercy of a Presidential Executive Order barring the importation of ammunition from Russia. Where is all that cheap Norinco ammunition these days? If you are thinking of stocking up and occasionally shooting some then you are probably good to go. I'm more of a collector so I tend to discriminate more about guns but if you just want a cheap AK plinker then this would be a good example.
  3. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,026
    Likes Received:
    1,197
    Location:
    In Utero (Portland)
    Feedback:
    32   0   0
    I see real AK74's for $450 all the time and they will retain their value longer.
  4. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,033
    Likes Received:
    711
    Location:
    Salem
    Feedback:
    22   0   0
    How do you identify and choose a "real" one?
  5. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,026
    Likes Received:
    1,197
    Location:
    In Utero (Portland)
    Feedback:
    32   0   0

    If it's not a Saiga, shoots 5.45x39 and looks like an AK it's about 99% sure it's an AK74.
  6. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,033
    Likes Received:
    711
    Location:
    Salem
    Feedback:
    22   0   0
    OK, please wait until I get a pencil and paper to write that down. :D
  7. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,026
    Likes Received:
    1,197
    Location:
    In Utero (Portland)
    Feedback:
    32   0   0
    Brevity good!:D
  8. Ravenous

    Ravenous Member

    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    West Linn, OR
    Feedback:
    0   0   0
    Centerfire Systems has a cheap Bulgarian ak-74 for $369.99 shipped. I've heard the barrel isn't chrome lined though.
  9. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,033
    Likes Received:
    711
    Location:
    Salem
    Feedback:
    22   0   0
    I'm not a fan of chrome lined barrels anyway unless it's going to see a lot of rounds or get hot from a lot of sustained rapid fire including select fire.

    The chrome lining affects accuracy and is a trade-off. I have an AR-15 which just went past 4,000 rounds of XM193 and the chrome moly 1:9 barrel still looks and shoots great.
  10. raftman

    raftman Active Member

    Messages:
    903
    Likes Received:
    78
    Location:
    Oregon
    Feedback:
    68   0   0
    There's nothing actually wrong with the Saigas. I have one in 7.62x39 and it's a great rifle, especially for the price. What probably makes them cheap is they're imported as sporter rifles, so they lack a pistol grip, muzzle brake, and come with only a proprietary 10-rd magazine. If you wish to use a full capacity magazine, have a pistol grip, or a muzzle brake (among other "evil" features) you have to worry about 922R compliance and parts counts and all that. So you can have a Saiga with a pistol grip, and 30-rd mag and all that, it just takes a bit of work, and a bit more money. "Converted" Saigas tend to cost a good deal more, because someone took the time and money to make the Saiga accept standard AK mags, and also adding a pistol grip, all the while replacing enough parts to assure 922R compliance.
  11. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,033
    Likes Received:
    711
    Location:
    Salem
    Feedback:
    22   0   0
    Thanks. Sounds better to start with a "real" AK-74.

    The ammo is so cheap, and it's ballistically close to XM193. It's hotter than .223. For a few guns to pass out to relatives, and to have thousands of rounds, it looks like a decent deal. If I buy several all at once in the same make and model, there should be some parts if they break.
  12. NorthernBornRebel

    NorthernBornRebel Member

    Messages:
    399
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Keizer
    Feedback:
    37   1   0
    Here's the interesting thing about the Saiga 5.45s: They take standard AK-74 magazines without any modification. In addition, they will GENERALLY function fine without the addition of a bullet guide, however, the bullet guide will increase reliability when shooting while moving. $390 seems a bit high for the Saiga 5.45s but they are wonderful rifles. With a few simple modifications, you can have as close as you can get to a true Russian AK-74.
  13. Ravenous

    Ravenous Member

    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    West Linn, OR
    Feedback:
    0   0   0
    In that case, here is the link if your interested. I ordered one yesterday.
    http://www.centerfiresystems.com/akagun74.aspx
  14. chris61182

    chris61182 Active Member

    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    29
    Location:
    A little west of Portland
    Feedback:
    8   0   0
    In reference to holding their value longer, are you comparing a real AK to an unconverted Saiga? If not what are you basing that on? Looking at the prices converted Saigas go for they seem to hold value quite nicely.


    I seem to have one of the oddities in that mine clearly has reliability issues without a bullet guide. I have about 50% chance of making it through a mag with out ftf using stock surplus mags. Now I just need to get around to installing the bullet guide.
  15. Contract_Pilot

    Contract_Pilot Active Member

    Messages:
    732
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Vancouver, Washington
    Feedback:
    23   0   0
  16. deen_ad

    deen_ad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,870
    Likes Received:
    1,118
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Feedback:
    12   0   0
    Actually Hornaday will be releasing 5.45X39 in the near future according to the "Big Book of AK's" that I have. On eof the editors got some prerelease and fired it.
  17. deen_ad

    deen_ad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,870
    Likes Received:
    1,118
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Feedback:
    12   0   0
    NDS-2 last week, has a Tapco G2 trigger and Nodak Spud US made receiver. Can't find ammo though, at least not at the 8 or so shops I've tried.
  18. deen_ad

    deen_ad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,870
    Likes Received:
    1,118
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Feedback:
    12   0   0
    I found a Saiga in .308 Win today for $469, they did have them in 7.62X39, .223 and 12 GA, but they're gone for now. Didn't really like the trigger though but I suppose a Tapco could be installed. Price seemed kind of high to me
  19. chris61182

    chris61182 Active Member

    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    29
    Location:
    A little west of Portland
    Feedback:
    8   0   0
    The stock triggers are absolutely terrible, to really enjoy them you need to do the pistol grip conversion :cool:.
  20. NorthernBornRebel

    NorthernBornRebel Member

    Messages:
    399
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Keizer
    Feedback:
    37   1   0
    I am doing an order on some Saiga 12s soon, check the group buy forum. If you want any of the other ones (except the 5.45, I still can't get that one for some reason) I can tag them on too, but it's primarily a Saiga 12 group buy.