A Complete Conversion Article for a Saiga 7.62

By Alina Pena

The Saiga is a popular firearm because it's cheap, well made and straightforward to convert to suit a variety of uses. Changing the 7.62 Saiga is reasonably straightforward, even though it needs gathering the right parts for the simplest installation.

The following items are required from Tapco, or another manufacturer: a saw-style pistol grip, AK keeping plate, a 30-round mag, a G2 single hook trigger group and a grip screw and bushing, although the screw isn't used. You'll also need a NATO length US-made stock for the conversion.

The first step to convert the Saiga 7.62 requires breaking down the rifle to get rid of the fire control group, bottom cover and trigger guard. Re-install the trigger guard with hardened button-head screws and use another screw to fill the hole on the base of the receiver forward of the trigger.

Install the new fire control group and install the G2 single hook trigger group kit's bushing for the trigger. The bushing has a lip and must be installed so that the rim is on the right of the trigger. This offsets the countersinking on the left hand side. Use the AK retaining plate to lock the trigger and axles into place. Now, install the pistol grip bushing, which will need some Dremel work to help it seat properly.

To install the bullet guide, keep a couple of things in mind. There's a small ledge on the back face of the chamber and the bullet guide can't extend past this ledge or the bolt will not be able to rotate and seat. The guide can't extend higher than the bottom rivet on the left-hand side of the chamber and it should extend far enough away from the face of the chamber so it overhangs the mag well. This may require some cutting and drilling until it fits into place. The final step is to grind the base of the magazine catch lever as the new magazine is thicker.

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