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Semi-automatic Saiga-12. Modification
Semi-automatic Saiga-12. Modification
Manufacturer country Russia
Modes of fire Single
Cartridge 12/70, 12/76 Magnum
Barrel length (mm) saiga-12 and 12C - 580, saiga-12K - 430
In the above table shows the base models of guns, saiga 12, saiga-12S and saiga-12K.

Smooth-bore semi-automatic shotgun saiga-12.
In 1974, concern IZHMASH (Izhevsk machine-building plant) has issued a new product for the civilian market - hunting carbine saiga, created on the basis of the Kalashnikov assault rifle. The first models of the Saiga was with rifled barrels, were executed in the caliber 5,6х39, and a new weapon called "saiga-5,6". Time passed, came the infamous 90-ies, and after the launch of a series of the first batches of saiga rifles chambered in 7. 62x39 started the rise to fame of this type of weapon. This patron, or rather its metric equivalent, used machines AK74, AKM, RPK, SKS carbine military and other types of military small arms in different countries.
Since then, the popularity of the Saiga began to grow exponentially. An important role in the causes of this popularity can be described by the phrase "Kalash". Marketers Izhmash made the right conclusion - it is necessary to expand the model range. In the end, there were various modifications of the saiga, which differ from each other by the length of the barrel, types of butts, versions as a whole, caliber, used cartridges, etc. in Addition to rifled models, in 1993 the Izhevsk put the production and shotguns of the family "saiga". First Saiga with smooth barrels steel calibre rifle .410 (10.4 mm). Then, models have been developed under a more powerful and more popular in Russia, ammunition for shotguns 20-caliber - and 20/70 20/76 Magnum. The popularity of the Saiga grew, accordingly, increased the amount of manufactured products. It is easy to understand why - because the production of Kalashnikov rifles had been long established, and in all variations of the Saiga most of the parts and mechanisms were similar to AK. For Izhmash at the time it was the straw that allowed the group not to fail completely. Of course, did the Saiga and under the most popular cartridge for shotguns - Saiga 12-caliber, known as the saiga-12. Without a doubt, currently the saiga 12-caliber in different versions is the most popular semi-automatic shotgun of domestic production.

The first models of the Saiga-12 came in the second half of 90-ies of XX century. The base model was run both with wood stock and forend and a plastic stock. Butts were made for the classic hunting rifles of the form, with poliestireno shape of the neck, forearm was solid, closed bottom of the barrel and partially gas outlet tube.
12 caliber is the most versatile of the entire line of gauges for shotguns, so the saiga-12 was very successful. The workmanship of this weapon cannot be called high, but low in price, and given the wide model range of this weapon became the most popular civilian weapons Izhmash.

In the evolution of the Saiga-12 Smashem was offered for the civilian market rifle with quick release polymer stock and pistol grip included. It has a plastic butt with a classic shape poliestireno neck could be removed and replaced in just a few seconds on a plastic pistol grip, which could easily be replaced back to a fixed stock.

The design work of parts and mechanisms.
This smoothbore automatic carbine works similarly to the control unit of the AK, the design and layout is also similar to the Kalashnikov. That is, when fired, the powder gases following the charge in the barrel, is partially discharged into the gas outlet tube through the hole in the top of the bore. Reserved gases affect the gas piston, which is rigidly connected to the slide frame, being a part of it. When the piston moves back under pressure of the powder gases moves back and the bolt carrier. At the time of firing the shutter closed, and rolled the bolt back, this is the frame causes the shutter to turn through a groove, which moves the corresponding lug bolt. When you rotate the shutter out of the clutch with the barrel (combat protrusions of the shutter, rotating about its axis, out of the lugs of the receiver in front of the chamber. Then there is a complete rollback of the bolt, the bolt extracts the spent cartridge case the extractor and through the reflector throws it out the window on the right side of the receiver. Next, slide hammer cocks and stops, striking the rear part of the receiver, then the recoil spring pushes the bolt to its original position. On the way to the breech bolt carrier and remove toilet to chamber a new round from the magazine. At the endpoint, when the slide approaches the breech, the bolt rotates, the protrusions extend beyond the lugs, and thus the chamber with a fresh cartridge is locked. In General, all as in Kalashnikov, with the exception of the ability to fire bursts (no-timer). For the next shot requires just let go and again press the trigger.

But the venting mechanism is a fundamental difference from the AK - Saiga-12 has a gas regulator. This is because weapons can use both cartridges 12/70 and 12/76 more powerful. The controller is designed to change the intensity of the impact of powder gases on the bolt carrier group, because the pressure developed by the gunfire rounds 12/70 and 12/76, very different. Therefore, the gas regulator is necessary in order to vary the pressure of the exhaust gases to the gas piston, depending on the type of weapon (normal cartridges with standard hinge powder - 12/70, and cartridges "Magnum" with a sleeve length of 76 mm - 12/76). For example, at the maximum flow of the powder gases on the piston rod if you are using a powerful cartridge 12/76 Magnum, the unlocking of the barrel can occur too quickly, the battery will not receive the calculated amount of energy, as part of this energy will get into the receiver when the premature opening of the breech. In addition, some shotgun owners who don't like to care for it, use the gas regulator in order "to work, and not to clean".

The iron sights.
Depending on the model and the execution of this shotgun, sights are different. Open sights can be plain rib, without fly (though too short, aim for it and hit the target, to put it mildly, uneasy), the simplest unregulated pillar with a slot and fly without namushnike, the same rear sight and front sight with namushnike, pie adjustable rear sight and front sight with namushnike (the rear sight is similar to the AK rear sight, the front sight is also similar to the gun of Kalashnikov). In addition to the open sights, on the left side of the receiver located strap type dovetail for attaching any additional sights and other accessories. Over time, there are versions with a Picatinny rail that is installed from the top of the receiver cover, on top of the vapor tube and the sides of the receiver and bottom front of the store, on the shank. This approach significantly expanded the capabilities of the weapon, as it allows to install on shotgun anything from under-barrel lights and laser sights to red-dot and night sights.

The ammunition supply and used cartridges.
Shopping for the Saiga-12 can be a capacity 2 cartridges (the shop is not protruded from the bottom, so as not to interfere), capacity of 5 rounds (standard factory equipment shotguns - are only the stores at 5 rounds). There are shops for 8 rounds, but they are not always available. There are also more capacious stores, more than 10 rounds, up to large disk stores, but it is the prerogative of foreign manufacturers, as in the West, the saiga 12 caliber is also in demand.

Shops of domestic production for the Saiga-12 only a single row, are charged with cartridges about the same as a Kalashnikov. The magazine the shotgun is either a window on the bottom of the receiver, or released from the receiver the receiver is similar to the magazine of the American M-16 rifles. For rifles with protruding magazine does not fit the standard stores that are designed for the Saiga-12 without such a receiver. We have to modify the Saiga-12 with the receiver store and without it equipped with non-fungible shops. The magazine release has the same structure as that of the AK, and located in front of the trigger guard. When you install store the gun without a separate receiver is first inserted its front upper corner, and then movement of the store, the entire upper part of the store is included in the receiver and when you hear the clicks store is installed. In guns with a separate receiver stores are simple movement from the bottom up. After that you only need to juggle a rifle with the fuse removed, Doyla round from the magazine into the cartridge chamber and the weapon ready to fire.
All models of the Saiga-12 can use cartridges 12/70 and 12/76 reinforced cartridges "Magnum" with any charges. For stable operation of the automatic shotgun is better to use the same type of sleeves, preferably made of plastic, cardboard (papkova) shells can cause delays in shooting. For firing ammunition with brass cartridge cases, this weapon is not suitable.

Modifications to the shotguns of the family "saiga-12".
The basic model for all rifles and carbines of the family "saiga is a saiga-12 hunting fixed butt. Sights this shotgun can be different: short strap, fly with the whole (regulated or unregulated). Flies can be both open and namushnike, sit flies can vapor tube (which reduces the line of sight and does not contribute to the accuracy of fire), on the barrel just behind the vapor tube or on the barrel near the muzzle. The main constant parts of the Saiga-12 is a fixed buttstock with poliestireno neck and relatively long barrel. That is why the saiga-12 is more preferable for hunting than the other versions of this weapon.
Semi-automatic Saiga-12
Modifications to the guns of the family
Saiga-12K in the performance 030. 030). This short shotgun similar to the model saiga-12S Spanish 031 and is also considered a service shotgun. The only difference is the length of the barrel. In this model it is more short. Saiga-12K Spanish. 030 (KS-18.5) comes as a duty weapon for private security firms, but, nevertheless, blocker butt was removed, with folded butt shoot will not work.
Besides domestic market, the saiga-12 is quite popular abroad.

The pros and cons.
The advantages of the Saiga-12 is that it has a sufficiently high degree of reliability (after slight modifications with a file), and semi-automatic 12 gauge with a capacious store, especially with cartridges 12/76 Magnum is huge firepower. Shop shot with this weapon will be much more effective in melee than any automatic rifle or automatic carbine. For self-defense charge need buckshot or buckshot. For example, every major cartechini at close range carries energy just above the bullet out of the barrel of the Makarov pistol and buckshot in one shell 12 gauge a lot, their number depends on the diameter of the canister and on the type of cartridge (in the cartridge Magnum standard charge more than the normal cartridge 12/70). It is desirable to have one store with buckshot, one buckshot, one bullet. That is 3 store. For bullets to be standard five-charging shop, but for shot and buckshot is better to use had shops.
The main advantage of the Saiga-12 is the most firepower. You can create a hail of lead, where every single striking element can cause serious damage. Because of the Saiga-12 can be sent to goal in just a few seconds dozens of large lead balls. That is, if a person can shoot quickly, quickly take aim while moving, with the Saiga-12 loaded 8 rounds with buckshot, you can put multiple armed opponents.
Of course, removable magazine also improves combat performance, in terms of its quick replacement.

Hunting Shotgun Saiga 12 (Full auto) video review:

(See also on the bottom of the page: Saiga-12 hunting rifle. Test, reviews)
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Saiga-12 hunting rifle. Test, reviews