Saiga self-loading rifle / carbine (Russia)
|Saiga||Saiga MK||Saiga 308||Saiga M100|
|Type/ action||gas operated,semi-automatic rifle|
|Caliber(s)||5,56x45/ .223 Rem, 5,6x39, 7,62x39||5,56x45/ .223 Rem, 7,62x39||7,62x51/ .308 Win||7,62x51/ .308 Win and 7,62x63 / .30-06|
|Weightunloaded||3,8kg / 8,4 lbs||3,4kg / 7,5 lbs||3,86kg / 8,5 lbs||3,77kg / 8,3 lbs|
|Length||1066 mm / 42"||
943 mm / 37,1" (butt opened)
710 mm / 28" (butt folded)
|1100 mm / 43,3"||1100 mm / 43,3"|
|Barrellength||520mm / 20,5"||336mm / 13,2"||554mm / 21,8"||554mm / 21,8"|
|Magazinecapacity||5or 10 rounds||5,10 or 30 rounds||8rounds||3 rounds|
Saiga(sort of antelope)is a name of a whole line of shotguns and rifles / carbines, based on proven and tried Kalashnikov AK assault rifle design. these were developed and are produced by IZHMASH factory in Izhevsk, Russia, which also makes current Kalashnikov assault rifles.Story of this rifle began during late 1970s, when IZHMASH factory designed a semi-automatic carbine in 5,6x39 Russian caliber for controlling the population of the saiga in Kazakhstan. About 300 carbines were produced and project was all but forgotten until early 1990s, when IZHMASH brought back the idea of AK-based semi-automatic hunting carbine in .223 Rem and 7,62x39. During late 1990s IZHMASH also introduced a strengthened version of the same rifle, initially chambered for more powerful .308 Win ammunition, and later on for 9x53R. Saiga rifles are very popular in Russia and elsewhere, mostly because they follow one of the most popular assault rifles in the world, and also because of competitive price and good reliability. Produced in a number of calibers and versions, Saiga rifles can be used for hunting small or medium game(depending on caliber), as well as for training, practical sport shooting and self-defense.
A special note must be made on short-barreled Saiga MK carbines. Legality of such short-barreled rifles in various countries may vary. In Russia, for example, such carbines have additional firing block, which is actuated automatically once butt is folded, so gun can be fired only with butt extended. With this limitation, Saiga MK carbines are quite popular fir home defense duties, private security and practical shooting sport. In other countries same guns can be either legal, legal with certain limitations or illegal completely. Same applies to magazine capacity - as issued, Saiga rifles will accept only proprietary magazines with capacity of 10 rounds or less. However in some countries where there are no limits on magazine capacity for civilian guns, same rifles can be had with modified magazine housings which will accept 30-round AKM (7,62x39) or AK-101 (5,56x45 / .223) magazines.
Saiga self-loading rifles are gas operated, and use extremely reliable long-stroke gas system and two-lug rotary bolt system borrowed from Kalashnikov AK assault rifle. Receivers are made from stamped steel,furniture can be made either from wood or polymer. Charging handle is integral to boltcarrier,manual safety is also copy of Kalashnikov AK one, but it has only two positions - safe (top) and fire (bottom)instead ofthree. Short-barreled Saiga MK carbines feature modified gas system and flashhider borrowed from AK-102short assault rifle.On hunting models, stock has a semi-pistol grip integral to the shoulder stock;defensive / practical shooting models feature separate pistol grip and fixed or side-folding stock. Side-folding stocks can be of solid plastic or skeletonized steel design, but all fold to the left side. Feed is using detachable boxmagazines, either 10-round single stack or 30-round double stack (in.223 or7,62x39 only, using AK-101 or AKM magazines). Standard sights include front post, installed on protected base on the barrel or gas block, and tangent-type open U-notch type rear,adjustable between 100 and 300 meters. Telescope or red-dot sights cam be installed using special mounts which are attached to the proprietary side rail on the left side of receiver.