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Discussion Starter #1
Looking to get my first AK. So far I have decided I want the following: wood foregrip, us palm pistol grip, side folding stock, and sticking with iron sights, no rails, red dots or other bs. Oh.. and 7.62x39 of course.

I'm hung up on brand. I like the idea of getting a Saiga and converting it (gun projects are always fun) but am not sure of the entire process. Can I get a wood foregrip on the converted? hell if I know.

In terms of other brands from what I've read it is all over the place... WASR sucks.. WASR is great.. F*** Century arms, I love century...etc.

Anyone got any advice to point me in the right direction? From what I can tell Saiga seems to be the way to go for better build quality, but I may be wrong.
 

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How much do you want to spend? How quickly do you want it? Newer CAI WASRs don't seem to have the problems they used to. You can pick up a regular WASR for under $400 and then swap out the stock and you're good to go. You can also purchase an Arsenal for a lot more and you're good to go. I own a WASR and so do a few other people here do too. No complaints from me. It does what it's supposed to do. Good luck and I'm sure you'll be happy with whatever route you take.
 

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I converted a Saiga and I really like it. You can put pretty much any style of furniture on them, and they're all new-manufacture parts, including a chrome-lined barrel. If you're mechanically inclined and have some basic tools you can do the conversion fairly easily. Feel free to post any questions here, at the forum down in my sig box (Soviet Steel), or over at this board:

Saiga 7.62 X 39 - forum.Saiga-12.com

There's a wealth of knowledge at any of the three and I got a few questions answered when I was working on mine.

I decided to do an AK-100 series clone (I still need to do the muzzle brake), but you can do wood furniture just as easily. Just be prepared to buy a regular gas tube and fore end retainer when swapping out the original Saiga parts.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys for the advice and the forum link. Your 100 series looks very nice btw. I did read into the conversion a little bit, it doesn't look too complicated and I saw how replacing the gas tube is needed to put standard ak furniture on it.

I'd say time is not an issue, not planning on doing it right away. I'd like to go around $500 but would go higher depending on what I'm getting, my budget at that specific time, etc... I'll have to look into arsenals as well. Would it be fair to say that is an equal in quality to a saiga? Better or worse?
 

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Thanks guys for the advice and the forum link. Your 100 series looks very nice btw. I did read into the conversion a little bit, it doesn't look too complicated and I saw how replacing the gas tube is needed to put standard ak furniture on it.

I'd say time is not an issue, not planning on doing it right away. I'd like to go around $500 but would go higher depending on what I'm getting, my budget at that specific time, etc... I'll have to look into arsenals as well. Would it be fair to say that is an equal in quality to a saiga? Better or worse?
Arsenal's a good make, but if it gives you a bit of context as to what you're buying, many of the Arsenals for sale here in the States over the past year or two are actually built on Saiga receivers. They're basically doing the same thing you're doing in a DIY conversion, but putting their name and warranty on the gun.

As for money, I figure I put about $650 into mine including the original purchase and transfer of the base rifle, but it can be done cheaper depending on what parts you end up using. I figure I saved $100-200 over an Arsenal, got basically the same quality, and set up the gun to my personal specs instead of a generic "factory" build.
 

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I bought a WASR for $225 and built it up with new stock, receiver, safety, trigger, etc.
 

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I too was having a hard time deciding what to get as my first AK a few months ago. I orginally wanted a traditional wood furniture AK but after doing research and asking question on this site I decided to go with a Saiga as well. Got mine for $499 from Classic Arms and I couldnt be happier. From what I've read they do a great job converting them and this thing is awesome. Good luck on whatever you choose, I'm sure it will make you happy.
 

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I've several Saigas, two of'em I converted myself.
The conversion is VERY easy for anyone who has moderate DIY skillz, a Dremel and other hand tools.
My most recent was a 7.62x39.


I keep choosing Saiga because it is the original Russian AK and its quality is usually great. I keep doing my own conversions because I can get the enjoyment of it and know the quality of my own work.

You too can do it, so many do it and then come back and say, "That was easier than I thought!"
You can put the furniture you described above on it very easily.
You need these item(s) for the wood fore grip.
GAS TUBE FOR AK47'S AND SAIGA RIFLES
HANDGUARD RETAINING LOWER BRACKET
These will take care of your folding stock.
INTERNAL RECEIVER BLOCK- STOCK ADAPTER
FOLDING MECHANISM<b> "STANDARD-MANUAL"</b> FOR SAIGA -AK47 STOCKS
OR
FOLDING MECHANISM<b> "PUSH BUTTON"</b> FOR SAIGA -AK47 STOCKS



And since I'm a gun porn addict, here is my Saiga family.
 

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I bought a Polish 1960 Milled AK-47 around $500 and a Romanian/Cugir Draco for $350. Have not shot the Draco yet but really like the Polish 1960. I'm keeping it stock and plan to do some mods on the Draco.





 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the info and pics guys. Got some time to let it brew but it will be either: 1. convert a saiga. 2. bow down and just guy an arsenal. 3. Check out some CAI WASRs
 
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