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Saiga 7.62 Conversion Tutorial *** Pic Heavy***

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First of all I want to thank Smith. He helped me a ton between PMs and then finally me calling him with questions as I got stuck in some parts.

His Saiga conversion links were also a tremendous help. I read several threads over at forum.Saiga-12.com also.

As I looked at some tutorials I decided to document my work so I could use them to show what I had done if I screwed something up. It ended up being a much simpler process than I anticipated but I think its just the unknown that was the problem. After I started I decided that instead of sending people to the saiga-12 forum we should be able to have our own tutorial and so I will show the first part of my conversion. I took photos of my parts being added but thats more of a personal choice and more apt to be different depending on which stock/furniture you go with. I will post them anyway just not right this minute as it's getting late already.


I had been thinking of getting a Kalashnikov style rifle for the last few months. I have seen other people’s conversions so I decided to go with a Saiga. I picked up a rifle thinking I would do the rest over a period of time but instead I haven’t been able to wait. While on vacation I spent my free time looking up different stocks and parts I can install on my rifle. I knew I wanted to go with a pistol grip and be able to use surplus magazines. This requires modifying the rifle. This first post will be removing the OEM rifle parts to get down to the receiver to prepare for adding your own items.

Here is the stock rifle:








The first step I took (I am no expert by any means) was to lay the rifle down and remove the hand guard.



I had to tap gently on the hand guard to get it loose at this point. I just put the tip of the screw driver on the plastic and tapped it a couple of times.


I then removed the top cover by pushing the button in and lifting up.



Next, push the recoil spring assembly forward, then up and back.



If the hammer is not lowered at this point, push it back to lock it in place.


Now remove the bolt and bolt carrier assembly by pulling it all the way to the rear and lifting up and back.



The next step is not necessary but I did it during mine so I am listing it. Just forward of the rear sight leaf on the right side is a small latch (I do not know the proper name) that releases the gas tube. It should be rotated up. You can then lift out the gas tube.





To remove the stock you need to remove three screws. Once they are all removed you then just pull the stock to the rear to remove. Again I had to tap with my screw driver and a hammer lightly.





***continued in next post***

Edited by Daniel
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You should now be ready to start the permanent changes.

Just above the trigger on the right side are two pins that need to be drilled just a little to remove the bent out edges. I used a hand drill with a 3/16 bit going pretty slowly since I didn’t have a vice to hold it steady.





You then use a punch and a hammer to remove the pins.




The trigger and this Y shaped piece should come free at this point.


There is a fairly long spring called the retention spring. It is located approximately in the same location as the trigger. Pull it out from the rear.



You can then tap out the axis pins. Keep these along with all of the springs. I just kept all of the parts in a box until I was complete just to be sure.




***I missed a couple of pieces falling out here and didnt take a pic at the time.***

The next thing to be removed will be the safety lever.Just rotate it up and to the side to slide it out.



You should have the mainspring and the hammer left. Just left them up and out.


Here is what we have removed so far.


I thought that was it until I tipped the receiver over and the bolt hold open (BHO) + spring dropped out.


Here is an inside view of two of the rivets we will have to remove next. They are the round pieces in the center. There is one more at the left side.


I moved into my garage and got my dremel. I am pretty terrible with the thing and don’t have much practice so I probably used the wrong wheels to do the job but I did get it done.


The first rivet is just behind the trigger guard. The next is under the trigger guard and the last is just behind the mag catch.




Once I had ground the rivets down I gently pried up on the plate to remove it. That still left the three rivets in the holes. I tried grinding on them some more and ended up just drilling them a little and then knocking them out with some punches.


At this point you should be ready to install your own parts.

Edited by Daniel
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  • 1 year later...

Actually, from what I've seen, and from what my son did with his Saiga 12, the point where Daniel

left off is where you would be, depending on the parts being used to modify. It would be nice to see

how his progress continued, but not necessary. I remember watching my son throughout the whole

thing. The heavy lifting part is well documented now. Good job, Daniel.

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I showed this to my son and he agreed for the most part. I think he and Daniel were working

towards the same goal. My son did a very nice conversion to a Saiga 12. Ass Kicking fine

shotgun. All the same stuff apply to it. I wish we had made some pics of the conversion process.

i know what you mean Magic, and I didn't mean to sound snobbish or whatever, but after looking at

all of what Daniel did take pics of, in my mind it was like a refresher course and looked easy.

It's kind of odd the first time you do something, like the first beavertail on a 1911 was to me, but

it really isn't so bad.

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  • 4 months later...

probably true, didnt think of it that way...just wish this thing was complete but i guess thats what google and youtube are for.

The rest would be specific to the parts you bought to put on. I didn't post the rest of my build because it would be specific to my build only.

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