Help Me Upgrade My Saiga AK in 7.62

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Help Me Upgrade My Saiga AK in 7.62

Post by Florida_Tony » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:24 am

Howdy folks. It's time for me to upgrade my Saiga in 7.62x39. So far, all the furniture is basic Tapco, and it has a cheapo $10 sling. Here's a pic:

Image

I read Dave's "Fighting Carbine" article, and I'd like to go that basic route, but I'm not sure that I have the cash for all that. Given a budget of $400, what upgrades would you folks recommend?

This is my only real fighting rifle, and with the way prices are right now, it seems like it might stay that way. Rather than spend money on other rifles, I figure it would be better to make one GOOD rifle. I want it to be a good all-purpose fighting rifle for Zombies (natural disasters, economic collapse, aliens vs. predator, etc.).

Other weapons: I've got his and her Glock 19s with plenty of mags and ammo; S&W Shield for me for CCW; Ruger LCP for the wife for CCW; KelTec Sub2k with 30-round mags; Benellis Supernova 28" Shotgun (for skeet); and a Marlin 60. Oh, and I already have a surefire white light that I could move from my Glock to the AK.

Other preps: I'm okay on food (6 months) and water (1 month stored, sources nearby, filters a-plenty), and other basic preps (FAK, knives, tools, camping gear, etc.).

So what say ye, AK gurus? What upgrades would you recommend that I get for $400? Let's assume that this is all I'll EVER be able to spend on the rifle since other funds are slotted for ammo, training, etc.
Last edited by Florida_Tony on Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Help Me Upgrade my Saiga 7.62

Post by Dabster » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:28 am

An Aimpoint would be nice.

Nice looking rifle,
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Re: Help Me Upgrade my Saiga 7.62

Post by Florida_Tony » Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:56 pm

Thanks. But aren't Aimpoints like $400+? Don't you think there are more critical upgrades to get, like a better sling or a mount for the white light? I don't even have anything to mount an optic on. :)

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Re: Help Me Upgrade My Saiga AK in 7.62

Post by Dabster » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:55 pm

Certainly but being able to accurately and quickly hit stuff is the most important thing and a RDS helps. I'm not familiar with that configuration but I'd bet there are accessories that would make it easy.

Also, used Aimpoints are a bit more than $400 but money really well-spent.
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Re: Help Me Upgrade My Saiga AK in 7.62

Post by Browning 35 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:10 pm

The three upgrades I'd make would be an Ultimak rail, a mount for a light/tac light and if concealability isn't an issue and it's going to be shot quite a bit I'd go with a full stock.

In my opinion folding stocks are great if you're transferring in and out of vehicles, but they aren't all that comfortable to shoot quite a bit (at least not to me). The light is what I'd make the first priority, everything else will work as is for now.

http://ultimak.com/

http://www.botachtactical.com/kzofm.html

I just have leather Com-bloc slings on mine and they work great, but this sling seems to be the rage on here and it has good reviews. I haven't ever used it personally, on AK's I'm kind of a cheap bastard. So I'm just going off the strength of the recommendations that I've seen on here.

http://aresarmor.com/store/Item/aahuskey2pt
Last edited by Browning 35 on Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help Me Upgrade My Saiga AK in 7.62

Post by Florida_Tony » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:31 pm

Thanks, Browning 35. I actually have a full, adjustable Tapco stock for it somewhere. I guess I settled on the folding stock just in case I had to throw it in a duffel bag.

Did you mean the Ulitmak Forend System? I'm sure it's an awesome product, but with a $400 budget, is it necessary to spend half of it on a forend? Would a cheaper one be sufficent?

That sling looks pretty sweet though.

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Re: Help Me Upgrade My Saiga AK in 7.62

Post by Florida_Tony » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:36 pm

Dabster wrote:Certainly but being able to accurately and quickly hit stuff is the most important thing and a RDS helps. I'm not familiar with that configuration but I'd bet there are accessories that would make it easy.

Also, used Aimpoints are a bit more than $400 but money really well-spent.
Thanks, but my budget is $400 firm (even that is high for me right now). I don't think I want to spend it all on a red dot. Believe it or not, I can hit stuff with iron sights! :wink:

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Re: Help Me Upgrade My Saiga AK in 7.62

Post by Kutter_0311 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:38 pm

Ultimak gas tube, ACE Stock, light mount to Ultimak, VCAS sling...
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Re: Help Me Upgrade My Saiga AK in 7.62

Post by Browning 35 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:25 pm

Florida_Tony wrote:Thanks, Browning 35. I actually have a full, adjustable Tapco stock for it somewhere. I guess I settled on the folding stock just in case I had to throw it in a duffel bag.

Did you mean the Ulitmak Forend System? I'm sure it's an awesome product, but with a $400 budget, is it necessary to spend half of it on a forend? Would a cheaper one be sufficent?
Yes.

There are other options sure. Problem is that I haven't used a whole bunch of them. There's the Midwest Industries handguard that's supposed to be pretty good.

Image

http://www.midwestindustriesinc.com/ind ... ory_ID=241

That one gets good reviews as well, but other than a no-name crappy barrel mounted light mount I've only ever used the Ultimak and that KZ mount.
That sling looks pretty sweet though.
Everybody that's posted has been real happy with theirs.
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Re: Help Me Upgrade My Saiga AK in 7.62

Post by We'reWolf » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:55 pm

id go with the essentials first, so optic. if you want a optic then you need a mount or rail.
either mount or rail will run 120 or so bucks.
if you want a fore end that you will mount your optic to that will save money for fore end.
personally i cant afford buying top self optics.
i got a BSA red dot i think it was like 50 bucks( was given to me) but it gets the job done. at 100 yards i chased a coke can around hitting every shot in the can.
if it was my 400 bucks i would buy a hogue pistol grip 20, mid west side rail mount or texas weapon dust cover 120, and a optic either something like this http://www.amazon.com/Bushnell-Trophy-T ... 9NP06CIME5" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; or http://www.amazon.com/Bushnell-Trophy-G ... _sbs_sg_28" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. My BSA is like this one http://www.amazon.com/BSA-42mm-Red-Dot- ... sa+red+dot" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and it works ...
or you can get something like this http://aa-ok.com/russian-pk-a-red-dot-t ... r-svd.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and it will include mounting ( but make sure you have the right side rail for it )

so that leaves you around 160 + or - for furniture which easily doable. an ace stock is like 80, but than you need a rear trunion or adapter which is like 40 or less . so the rest will be in your fore end/ light/ weapon light mount.

i would leave the weapon light for the last thing because realistically are you fighting at night/clearing rooms or need a weapon light? i'm not saying they don't have a purpose, they do
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Re: Help Me Upgrade My Saiga AK in 7.62

Post by Florida_Tony » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:29 pm

Thanks for all the replies!

After rereading Dave's thread, I see why the Ultimak is important -- it's reliable, hold's zero, can hold both a light and an RDS, and has 100% co-witness with the Aimpoint Micro. But I'm not clear WHICH Ultimak to get for the Saiga. Is it:

Forward Optic Mount for Yugo M70 Series AKs

or

UltiMAK Multi Rail Forend System

Any help?

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Re: Help Me Upgrade My Saiga AK in 7.62

Post by AKFTW » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:35 pm

Florida_Tony wrote:Thanks for all the replies!

After rereading Dave's thread, I see why the Ultimak is important -- it's reliable, hold's zero, can hold both a light and an RDS, and has 100% co-witness with the Aimpoint Micro. But I'm not clear WHICH Ultimak to get for the Saiga. Is it:

Forward Optic Mount for Yugo M70 Series AKs

or

UltiMAK Multi Rail Forend System

Any help?
Neither. You want this:
http://ultimak.com/M1-b.htm
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Re: Help Me Upgrade My Saiga AK in 7.62

Post by Florida_Tony » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:44 pm

Sweet. Thanks AKFTW. And that's only $99, which is better than $220!

So then how do I get the white light mounted? Which one of these?

http://www.vltor.com/scount-mount-ocg.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Help Me Upgrade My Saiga AK in 7.62

Post by AKFTW » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:50 pm

This is what I would recommend as it has the most flexibility of mounting options, keeps the light closer to the gun, and comes with an excellent light. I'm getting this for my own AK now that I have an ultimak.

http://www.impactweaponscomponents.com/ ... -surefire/

Image

I would really put in your time on the irons before you get the red dot though, it will make you a better shooter to learn the "old way" first. And if your optic fails then you know what to do. :wink:
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Re: Help Me Upgrade My Saiga AK in 7.62

Post by Florida_Tony » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:04 pm

AKFTW wrote:This is what I would recommend as it has the most flexibility of mounting options, keeps the light closer to the gun, and comes with an excellent light. I'm getting this for my own AK now that I have an ultimak.
Thanks. So the light is offset by like 45 degrees? It's hard to tell from the pics.
I would really put in your time on the irons before you get the red dot though, it will make you a better shooter to learn the "old way" first. And if your optic fails then you know what to do. :wink:
I can't afford a RDS now anyway, so I guess I have no choice. :) Honestly, I've never shot with a red dot, so I don't know what I'm missing. But if I can easily attach it later, then that's a plus.

So we've got the Ultimak for $99 and the Thorntail for $70 (I've got a light already). So with shipping, we've got roughly $200 left. What's next? The sling?

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Re: Help Me Upgrade My Saiga AK in 7.62

Post by Dave_M » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:23 pm

AK specific fighting carbine thread:
http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... &p=2118515" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Lots of simple upgrades for you. Priority should be the following in your situation:
-Irons
-White Light
-Sling
-RDS

Light Mounting options for Ultimak/other top rail setups:
http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 9&t=103793" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

So, improving irons = zero dollars (or close to, depending on if you have a triangle file and a paint pen)

Buy an Ultimak. ~$100.

Find a white light solution. See thread for details.

Ares Armor Sling (eh, call it $45)

When you get more money, AP Micro will drop right onto that Ultimak.

Done.
Last edited by Dave_M on Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help Me Upgrade My Saiga AK in 7.62

Post by AKFTW » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:30 pm

Florida_Tony wrote:
AKFTW wrote:This is what I would recommend as it has the most flexibility of mounting options, keeps the light closer to the gun, and comes with an excellent light. I'm getting this for my own AK now that I have an ultimak.
Thanks. So the light is offset by like 45 degrees? It's hard to tell from the pics.
I would really put in your time on the irons before you get the red dot though, it will make you a better shooter to learn the "old way" first. And if your optic fails then you know what to do. :wink:
I can't afford a RDS now anyway, so I guess I have no choice. :) Honestly, I've never shot with a red dot, so I don't know what I'm missing. But if I can easily attach it later, then that's a plus.

So we've got the Ultimak for $99 and the Thorntail for $70 (I've got a light already). So with shipping, we've got roughly $200 left. What's next? The sling?
Sling comes before all that other stuff, but yes, sling is very important. I use VTAC slings, others like ARES Armor and VCAS. It's personal preference in that area, all are good in their own ways.
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Re: Help Me Upgrade My Saiga AK in 7.62

Post by Kutter_0311 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:18 am

AKFTW wrote:Sling comes before all that other stuff, but yes, sling is very important. I use VTAC slings, others like ARES Armor and VCAS. It's personal preference in that area, all are good in their own ways.
I'll just mention that the only thing my 2 Arsenal-converted Saigas have is a working modern sling.
ImageImage
(OK, one has a rattle-can camo paint job, too. ^This one is still black.)

A sling is a holster for your rifle. None of us CCW our pistol stuck in out waistband, do we? First thing: SLING.

Dave pretty much lives with a rifle slung to him, he says the Ares is all-day comfy, and he hasn't broken one yet(we'd hear about it if he did :wink: ). I tried it, and can't really knock it, but it wasn't my bag, I like my VCAS better. Both are simple, effective, and don't have funky straps hanging out. The VTAC is the one I don't grok, with its loose end flopping in the breeze.

I added an ACE folder to my short list above. You have the Tapco folder, and that thing will break easier than you think. I was lucky enough that Century replaced mine(on a WASR, one of my first AK's) when Dunham's sent it back. I'm not sure which will get the nod first when I have money, the Ultimak or the ACE, but I want both on my go-to rifle.
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Re: Help Me Upgrade My Saiga AK in 7.62

Post by Florida_Tony » Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:09 am

Eggsellent. Thanks Dave, AKFTW, and Kutter_0311. This thread is exactly what I hoped for. :)

So I'm set on getting the Ares sling, the Ultimak, and the Thorntail. I've got a Tapco collapsible that I can swap for the Tapco folder. Is that better, or do I need a new stock?
Last edited by Florida_Tony on Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Help Me Upgrade My Saiga AK in 7.62

Post by Florida_Tony » Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:21 am

I just found this reply from Dave in another thread, which I think answers my question about the stock:
The buttstock is about the last upgrade required on a carbine. For the most part, that standard 6-position stock is perfectly functional. On the priority list, buttstock replacement should be down someplace above custom ejection port covers and below handguards and pistol grips.

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Re: Help Me Upgrade My Saiga AK in 7.62

Post by Kutter_0311 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:27 am

Florida_Tony wrote:I've got a Tapco collapsible that I can swap for the Tapco folder. Is that better, or do I need a new stock?
I'd skip the Tapco and get something of known quality.

While they do have a couple solid products, that isn't actually their fault, someone else designed those. They have labored tirelessly, however, to bring us inexpensive products that remind us all that 'you get what you pay for,' and really earn their common-use nickname: Crapco.

Pick the features you want, then buy once, cry once.

Folder? ACE -> http://riflestocks.com/store/product2.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Fixed? KVAR -> http://www.k-var.com/shop/Stock-Sets" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

You may find a fixed stock on Ebay cheap, I think it's harder to fuck that up, and lots of people replace fixed with folders(or other, stupid stocks) and sell off the original. ACE is solid, or Dave wouldn't endorse it. That man is absolutely vindictive when something fails on him :lol:
Florida_Tony wrote:I just found this reply from Dave in another thread, which I think answers my question about the stock:
The buttstock is about the last upgrade required on a carbine. For the most part, that standard 6-position stock is perfectly functional. On the priority list, buttstock replacement should be down someplace above custom ejection port covers and below handguards and pistol grips.
Notice he said 'upgrade?' That assumes a duty-grade stock to begin with. Crapco ain't.
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minengr wrote:I've said it numerous times, a quality rig is only as good as it's weakest link. Which usually is the nut behind the butt.

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Re: Help Me Upgrade My Saiga AK in 7.62

Post by The Commander » Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:23 am

You can cut the gas block and front sight block off and get some real hardware on there. You should put an AK-103 sight + flash hider and get a good handguard set. A MUST have is a $12 Solar Tactical extended safety tab.
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Re: Help Me Upgrade My Saiga AK in 7.62

Post by Florida_Tony » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:07 pm

I really appreciate all the help. All this advice is like gold. :)
Kutter_0311 wrote:Pick the features you want, then buy once, cry once.

Folder? ACE -> http://riflestocks.com/store/product2.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Fixed? KVAR -> http://www.k-var.com/shop/Stock-Sets" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Well, I already bought once, so I guess I'll have to cry twice. Sucks. I was hoping to get away with the stocks that I have.

For those stocks that you mentioned, do I need to measure the length of pull? That's the thing I like about the adjustable stocks.

And how do you guys feel about wood? I like the look of it, but don't know if it's practical. If I need to buy new furniture, does it make any sense to go with wood?

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Re: Help Me Upgrade My Saiga AK in 7.62

Post by RickOShea » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:18 pm

I actually kinda like the longer forend on the Saigas. But if you try to use it with an UltiMak railed gas tube, it appears that you'll have to trim the top of the handguard a little bit, so that it will "clear" the UltiMak.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=320467

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