What is a Saiga?

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

Answer…

1) AK pattern rifles and shotguns made at Izhevsk

2) The ugliest antelope alive


The Russians are not know for producing beautiful firearms, but you would have thought they would have chosen a nicer looking animal than the Saiga for which to brand sporting firearms!

From Wikipedia

The Saiga (Saiga tatarica) is an antelope which originally inhabited a vast area of the Eurasian steppe zone from the foothils of the Carpathians and Caucasus into Dzungaria and Mongolia. Today they are found only in a few areas in Kalmykia (Russia), Kazakhstan, and western Mongolia.

The Saiga typically stands 0.6-0.8 meters at the shoulder and weighs between 36 and 63 kg. Their lifespan ranges from 6 to 10 years. Males are bigger than females and are the only sex to carry horns. The horns have some value as Chinese traditional medicine and for that reason Saiga are now endangered by poaching. The Saiga is recognizable by an extremely unusual, over-sized, and flexible, nose structure. The nose is supposed to warm up the air in winter and filters out the dust in summer.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Jaqueline Jepko Jaqueline Jepko on Dec 18, 2012

    I’ve recently started a site, the info you offer on this site has helped me tremendously. Thanks for all of your time & work.

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