Bennett sent in these photos of his custom Saiga 12 shotgun.

It still needs a bolt polished or the ports drilled so It will run light loads But I’m pretty happy with how it came out.

A Saiga-12 in this type of configuration has been on my wish list for a long time. Sadly, with the embargo on Kalashnikov manufactured firearms, we are going to see less and less of them.

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  • DW

    Why isn’t there a 100% US made Saiga12?

    • Bob

      because saigas are made in russia

      • DaveP.

        …and FAL’s are (or were) made in Belgium- and America, by DSArms. And H&K’s are (or were) made in Germany- and America, by PTR. There’s nothing magical about the Saiga that requires machinists to have borscht stains on their shirts to make it work right.
        And now that they’ve been banned from import, there’s even more incentive for some bright fellas in a machine shop somewhere to come up with a version that doesn’t have to worry about import points or end-user certificates.

        • Bob

          I was saying that Izhmash can only make saigas because it’s their brand. Not all AK pattern shotguns are saiga-12s.

    • dan citizen

      Lot’s of custom receivers, trunnions, etc have been made in very small batches, often for NFA weapon builds.

      The startup that produces Saiga 12’s here will probably have to get a whole extra warehouse to house their profits.

    • John

      1. When Americans think of semi-auto shotguns, they still think Remington and Mossberg.
      2. There was a review of somebody making an AR-15 pattern shotgun. Expensive, and used some proprietary ammo, but it is coming along more and more.
      3. Russia may not care about patent law, but the U.S. does. And nobody wants to pay the royalties right now.

    • Tim U

      I seriously tried to find any documentation on the materials of the parts to look into this concept. So far, no luck.

      The issue is someone needs the tooling to produce them. If I had plenty of money to invest in a new business, I would be making saiga clones in the US. But I don’t.

  • USMC03Vet


    Would empty magazine then smoke a cigarette.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      An excellent sentiment.

  • Michael R. Zupcak

    I’m a huge fan of the uninterrupted top rail. Meanwhile, Mikhail says “Get that shit off my AK!”

    • dan citizen

      not anymore he doesn’t. Too soon?

      • Steve Truffer

        Still sharp. Viktor would say it needs more rails and oddities.

  • Black_Viper

    Chaos quad rail, love mine! Kinda pricey but well worth it in the end.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      Agreed — I have a Chaos railed handguard on my VEPR-12, and it is simply outstanding in terms of sheer quality, fit, finish and functionality.

    • Dilby

      How much heavier is the rail compared to the stock setup?

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    Very nice build and excellent effort. The attention to detail is quite obvious. Of course, one could reasonably argue that one could simply buy a Molot VEPR-12 and have all these features without the additional work and expense ( with the exception of having to add a few accessories, if preferred, such as the Chaos railed handguard ). However, I will say that a good part of the desirability in such a build is the wonderful “learning and doing” process that is an integral part of it all. There is nothing quite like it, and ending up with a gun that works so well. And I am stating this as the proud owner of a VEPR-12. To slightly paraphrase things, “It’s about the journey, not ( just ) the destination”.

    • Bennett Elrad

      Your right that the learning and doing is a big part of it. I had this for a while before I started the conversion. I never expected to buy it, but a booth at a local gun show had it new in box for $636 after tax back in January 2012 I think and I couldn’t walk away from such a good deal. I wouldn’t say I’m quite finished though as I’d like to get it cycling target loads properly but It loves the heavy stuff.

      • DiverEngrSL17K

        Thanks for the reply, Bennett. It would be really great if you saw fit to share the end product with the rest of us here on TFB as you make progress with your build. I can think of few things more enjoyable than seeing one’s vision and hard work come to fruition like this. And, if mistakes and revisions are made along the way, that’s fine too, because that is how we all learn by doing and not just theorizing. I hope this project works out exactly the way you want it to!

        • Bennett Elrad

          This is probably 90% I’ve got an eotech to install at some point but the polish might be a while. I still need to figure out the best way to do it. I have thought about an auto plug and muzzle brake but I have not plans for them at the moment.

    • biff

      The vepr 12 technically does require a few things out of the box to technically be compliant .

  • jordan Hyers

    Not a huge fans of the saigas I’ve seen but this one definetly catches my eye

  • dan citizen

    I really like the stock. I have a folder and a fixed for mine, but I’m not so happy with the folder. Yours looks a lot better.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      Hi, Dan :

      I seem to remember your Saiga shotgun build from a side discussion in a post here on TFB quite awhile back. What folding-stock set-up are you using, if you don’t mind my asking? Is it similar to this one ( an Ace skeleton stock ), or did you try something different?

      • dan citizen

        Mine looks similar, not as nice. It is a skeleton side folder, one piece composite.

        I Thought it was an older tapco, but just now I looked all over it and can’t find markings, nor can I find a picture that exactly matches it.

        I got it used and it has a nice paracord wrap that I am positive I could never rewrap if I took it off. (my attempts with paracord look like earthworms fighting)

  • iksnilol

    What is the barrel length? It seems like it would make a good SBS.

    • Bennett Elrad

      It’s an 18″ barrel if I remember correctly

  • J S

    My Saiga is nearly the same as this one, right down to the heavy trigger guard.
    I did go wit the Krebs sights and BHO lever, as my LRBHO as screwing with the feeding of shells. I do have my FCG polished and it makes this shotgun a winner.