Saiga is a family of hunting carbines, created on the basis of a Kalashnikov assault rifle. They are produced at Izhevsk engineering plant. To date, created a huge number of different samples:
- the smooth-bore design for hunting is a weapon of the 12th, 410th and 20th calibers;
- Threaded constructions for caliber: 5.56 × 45, 5.45x39, 9x19 “Parabellum”, 7.62 × 51, 7.62 x39, .22 Long Rifle;
- small exclusive batches of 9 × 53R and 5.6 × 39 mm Soviet cartridges were also produced. The first in the series was the Saiga-5.6 under the caliber 5.6 x39, which was produced in 1974.
Saiga is a rich variety and a clone model range, which also has its own "tuning" and "dopilochnye" atelier-production. The weapon demonstrates a wide range of calibers from riders to 12 caliber smooth-bore carbines, as well as from almost exact copies of AKM to completely different in the barrel part and butt of carbines. "Saiga" emit excellent technical characteristics.
Hunting carbine "Saiga" began its history over thirty years ago, when numerous herds of saigas trampled the fields of Kazakhstan, causing significant damage to agriculture. The leadership of the union republic sent a request to the Politburo to solve the problem. Saigas spoiled crops, but then smooth-bore hunting rifles, which were widespread, could not cope with this task.
It was decided to create a special weapon for hunting, which would allow the fishermen to more effectively control the number of small antelopes while replenishing the currency budget, since saiga meat was sold for export.
The first self-loading saiga carbine for hunting appeared in the 1970s. Designers and testers of "Izhmash", together with representatives of local game managers and Glavokhoty, tested carbines for hunting for four years, bringing them to perfection. As a result, about three hundred Saiga hunting rifles were manufactured to the caliber 5.6 × 39 mm. Nevertheless, even despite the creation of the first industrial batch, for many years the new smooth-bore hunting carbine remained a rarity.
The appearance of the family "Saygi"
The turning point in the fate of the Saiga family carbines was the "dashing nineties". New laws regulating the circulation of civilian weapons, as well as the exacerbation of the criminal situation have created a huge demand for powerful army self-loading rifles. The Izhevsk gunsmiths, who had remained without a state order by that time, remembered the hunting Saiga.
Since 1993, the production of the Saiga family of self-loading rifles was launched in Izhevsk. A group of gunsmiths composed of V. Afonin, G. Nikonov, V. Simonenko, A. Turkina, V. Tsypko and others ensured the adaptation of the combat automaton under the gun. An exotic cartridge for Russia, the .410 Magnum, was chosen as a weapon under the gun. Initially, it was assumed that the hunting carbine would work with foreign cartridges, and subsequently production of this type of ammunition was established at the Barnaul, Krasnozavodsk and Tula factories.
The next step in the development of "smooth-bore carbines" was the creation of similar weapons chambered for 20 gauge. This gun was intended for hunting medium and small animals, as well as the performance of security functions.
By the end of the 1990s, the Saiga 12 carbine, which became one of the most successful types of weapons, was developed on the basis of a Kalashnikov machine gun: the carbine demonstrated excellent technical characteristics. Interestingly, the "Saiga 12" in a special version of the "030" is not only used by civilian shooters, but is of particular interest to professionals as a powerful assault weapon (the carbine "18.5 KS-K" - in combat version).
In order to radically improve the technical characteristics, it was decided to deeply refine the "Saiga" for hunting. A modernized version of the "Saiga-M", which became the ancestor of the family of rifled weapons. At the beginning of the two thousandth, Saiga Mk models were released, which outwardly practically copied Kalashnikovs.
The self-loading smooth-bore carbine under the name "Saiga-12" has been produced since 1997. Its purpose is amateur and commercial hunting, it can be used as a service weapon and for self-defense. "Saiga-12" for hunting is equipped with an automatic reloading mechanism, borrowed from the Kalashnikov assault rifle and modified under the cartridge of the 12th caliber.
Automatic rifle works by using the energy of powder gases discharged through a side opening on the wall of the barrel. Meals are supplied from detachable box magazines with a capacity of 2, 5 or 8 cartridges. The trigger mechanism can fire only single shots. As ammunition, cartridges of the 12th caliber of bullet and shotgun equipment are used, with a metal, plastic and nanank case.
According to the Russian legislation, all Saiga-12 models are classified as civilian weapons, as a result, their scope of application has been significantly expanded - from security measures and hunting to use as special-purpose weapons. Models "Saiga-12" demonstrate excellent technical characteristics.
The Saiga-12 carbine is produced in the following modifications:
- "Saiga-12" - self-loading smooth-bore carbine for hunting with a permanent plastic butt from AK, barrel length - 580 or 680 mm;
- "Saiga-12 S" - self-loading smooth-bore carbine for hunting with a control handle and a folding plastic butt, barrel length - 580 or 680 mm;
- "Saiga-12 K" - self-loading smooth-bore carbine for hunting with a control handle and a folding plastic butt from the AK. The barrel is shortened to 430 mm.
- Weight without magazine - 3.8 kg
- Overall length with a butt of 1145 mm
- Barrel length - 580 mm
- Magazine capacity 5 and 7 rounds
- The optimal range of fire fraction - 35 - 70 m
- The optimal range of fire bullet - 50 - 100 m.
Accuracy of shooting
The Saiga-12 carabiner when firing at a target of 750 mm in size, which is at a distance of 35 m, shows the following accuracy of fire.
- With a barrel with a choke of 1.0 "Saiga-12" and "Saiga-12C" show accuracy of 60%.
- "Saiga-12K", "Saiga-12C EXP-01" with a choke of 1.0 shows a accuracy of 40%.
- With a barrel without a choke, it shows accuracy of 40%.
Saiga-12. Tactics SVD 3-4
Izhevsk firm "Legion" on an industrial scale is engaged in tuning carbines "Saiga". The smooth-bore version "Saiga-12. SVD tactics 3 - 4" is among the most advanced tuning options. The design of the Saiga-12 carbine is made in the style of the Tiger carbine, created on the basis of the SVD rifle.
The SVD 3-4 tactic from Saygi-12 has the following borrowings:
- automation mechanisms;
- trigger and impact mechanisms;
- fuse and store.
The carbine "Tiger" borrowed a trunk length of 580 mm and a slotted flame arrester. The SVD rifle borrowed the shape of an orthopedic butt, which is made from laminated plywood. At the butt end there is a rubber shock absorber, which reduces the recoil force. Handguard is also made from plywood. Shooting is carried out by cartridges 12/70 mm.
"Tactics SVD 3-4" uses detachable box magazine for 5 rounds. "The tactics of the SVDS 3-1" is produced on the model of another rifle - the SVDS, which has a folding butt. Unlike the Tactics of the SVD 3-4, the carbine is equipped with a folding frame butt and a wooden handle. Both models look catchy, "military", it appeals to many employees of security companies and hunters who are familiar with the combat "Kalashnikov." According to the ballistic characteristics, the tactics of the SVD do not differ from the usual "Saiga-12".
Execution options for the main units of weapons
Carbines of various modifications differ in the performance of the main components: the base of the front sight, forend, butt, etc.
The main options for the performance of the butt:
- permanent hunting butt;
- quick-detachable hunting butt, which is locked with a spring-loaded lock;
- orthopedic wooden butt;
- plastic butt with a cheek like a SVD rifle;
- permanent stock type AK;
- folding plastic or metal frame butt type AK machine.
Execution options handguards:
- gas tube overlay and handguard as AK type;
- hunting forend.
Variants of execution base flies:
- with a short conical flame arrester;
- with a long cylindrical flame arrester;
- with a short conical flame arrester;
- without flame arrester;
- the base of the front sight, which is combined with the gas chamber.
Design features of individual modifications:
- "Saiga-M" - a modernized version:
- shutter with three lugs;
- elongated barrel 555 mm;
- firing mechanism with a weakened triggering force;
- ergonomic wooden butt with rubber butt pad;
- "Saiga-M" isp. M1 - with detachable butt for hunting;
- "Saiga-M" isp. M2 - with orthopedic butt;
- "Saiga-M3" - a variant of "Saigi-M" with a control handle and a folding stock type AK;
- "Saiga-MK" - version with a shortened stem (415 or 336 mm);
- "Saiga-5.6S" - version of "Saiga-5.6" with a control stick of the type AK, folding butt, as well as a lock.