What is a Saiga?

A word about Saigas

Factory Saiga-12

Saigas are a line of Russian made firearms, essentially the civilian and importable version of the original Kalashinkov designed AK-47. They are manufactured side-by-side with the current military versions, with the key differences being a sporting stock, lack of a pistol grip and brake/flash hider, rearward semi-auto fire control group, low capacity magazine and one-piece front handguard. They all have their designs based on the more modern AK-74 and AK-100 series of rifles. They are currently offered in rifle calibers of .223, 5.45x39, 7.62x39, .308 and .30-06 as well as 12 gauge, 20 gauge and 410 shotguns.

Saiga Conversions

To have the ability to use high capacity magazines and pistol grips, you have to swap in U.S. made parts so that there are no more than 10 imported parts on it. The weapon then becomes a U.S. made firearm and is not subject to 922r restrictions.

Saiga PG Conversion Overview - Download this .pdf file for tips, suggestions, parts list and a brief overview of the pistol grip conversion.

Saiga-12 (12 gauge shotgun) - imported configuration:

Factory Saiga-12

Saiga-12, pistol grip converted and 922r compliant:

Converted Saiga-12

This shotgun has a U.S. made pistol grip, FCG, gas piston and muzzlebrake, accounting for 6 parts. I also added a lower hg retainer and a press-on upper assembly to hold AK handguards and a raised front sight block. This gives the shotgun double the sight radius as well as easy windage and elevation adjustments.

Saiga-5.45x39 rifle - imported configuration:

Factory 7.62x39

Saiga-5.45x39 rifle, pistol grip converted and 922r compliant:

PG Config 7.62x39

Where did they get the name Saiga?


A saiga is an antelope that's native to Russia and Asia. They are now an endangered species due to poaching and overhunting. The males are highly valued for their horns in China for medicinal purposes. For a time the firearms themselves were considered endangered as the current importer (EAA) stopped importing them. Thankfully a new importer named Russian American Armory Company has stepped up to the plate for us. Click the link and check out all the products they offer.