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As far as everything I have ever heard or seen, it is an AK47 with a 12 gauge hole at the business end, it will work with whatever you put in it to my knowledge, 15 rounds of 00 Buck out of an AK was the reason people bought this freakin thing, or so I have been lead to believe.
 

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I want to buy a Saiga 12 gauge but want to know how it operates before buying it...........someone said it didnt work well with buck shot but i dont belive him. Any thought?
The only thing are not so reliable with is the club loads. They are not built for that but all you need is a softer spring. The take some time to brake in but once they do they do not stop chugging like any good AK. There is some basic maintenance like any firearm. Once in a while you need to clear the piston as lots of the remains of the wads gets trapped in there but otherwise you could shoot it for the rest of our life with minimum care like any AK. I am not suggesting you do that, I am saying these are battle grade shotguns used by many law enforcement agencies in the East.
Did I say East? well not anymore they are all over. lol
 

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They are very reliable. As Meketrefe said, they are not made for light loads like shot 8 or 9 but with good solid shells, you will not have any problems. If you do want to shoot lighter loads, you would need a softer spring so it can cycle the action. If you do use it as home defense, however, do not load the magazine to its full capacity when sitting under the bed or in the corner. Load one less than full magazine as the shells tend to bend a little if constant pressure is applied. One less would fix that problem. Good luck and enjoy it safely.
 

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I've fired birdshot, buckshot, slugs, and solid balls out of mine, and lots of them, and I can say that I did have a few malfunctions with some of the buckshot. That's not because it's buckshot, but rather because I was shooting Fiocchi nickel plated buckshot, which has a soft enough hull that it deforms while feeding, but that only happened with the first couple rounds from the AGP 10-round magazines. Other than that, it's run just about 100% with everything from 3" magnums to Remington 7.5 sport loads.
 

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They were built to run Buck and Slugs, so you should never have an issue with those rounds.

Changing the springs to allow for the use of weaker loads is not recommended, it can and will cause damage to the receiver when you switch back to stronger loads. Especially if you forget to turn the gas back down.

The best thing you can do for an out of the box gun is shoot it, esp before you convert it. If it runs all loads ok you are GTG. If not I recommend sending the BCG off to a guy like Pauly from Pauly's steeln'. He re-profiles and polishes parts of the BCG the guns run both different and way better when you put it back together.

If you are in a store to buy one I recommend taking a flash light with you and pulling the gas adjustment knob out. shine the flashlight in and see how many gas ports are visible. If the ports are off center or partially covered the gun will most likely be problematic.
 

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You probably want to bring a 90 degree pick because the gas ports are very very hard to see. Also you will be able to tell if they are blocked. I would look for a 3 gas ports, I believe theese to be best.

Also one of the best things that worked for mine was to install a carolina shooters supply gas puck and a tak 47 adjustable gas plug. When properly tuned it should allow you to run any thing from cheap walmart loads to slugs without fussing around and changing your gas settings.
 

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Dont change your spring as your asking for issues. Either go with the V-plug adjustable gas plug or this automatic gas plug. This auto plug works really well...you just set it and forget it. You can shoot both high and low brass loads with it reliably and it just bleeds off the excess gas.
Saiga 12 A.K.A. Auto Gas Plug - Black [TAC-47 autoplug] - $45.95 : Mississippi Auto Arms, Inc ::, Your Source for Saiga, AK47, AR15, Tromix, Glock, and SKS firearms and accessories

It wouldn't hurt to also put in a low brass gas puck either.
 

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Dont change your spring as your asking for issues. Either go with the V-plug adjustable gas plug or this automatic gas plug. This auto plug works really well...you just set it and forget it. You can shoot both high and low brass loads with it reliably and it just bleeds off the excess gas.
Saiga 12 A.K.A. Auto Gas Plug - Black [TAC-47 autoplug] - $45.95 : Mississippi Auto Arms, Inc ::, Your Source for Saiga, AK47, AR15, Tromix, Glock, and SKS firearms and accessories

It wouldn't hurt to also put in a low brass gas puck either.
Wildman,
Some of the saigas come with 2 springs from factory and instructions to use the softer spring if you want to use some bird loads vs. the hot stuff and high brass.
Do you have that regulator form mississippi? I am asking because I do and it doesn't work. After ordering, testing (unsuccessfully) and doing some close up analysis I realized it cannot work based on the design. There is almost no travel of the spring between fully closed and fully open so design wise is terrible.

Or maybe the design has been changed so please any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
 

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Wildman,
Some of the saigas come with 2 springs from factory and instructions to use the softer spring if you want to use some bird loads vs. the hot stuff and high brass.
Do you have that regulator form mississippi? I am asking because I do and it doesn't work. After ordering, testing (unsuccessfully) and doing some close up analysis I realized it cannot work based on the design. There is almost no travel of the spring between fully closed and fully open so design wise is terrible.

Or maybe the design has been changed so please any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
When I bought my Saiga it didn't come with 2 springs only 1. My gun from the factory on setting 2 would usually cycle 4 out of 5 low brass shells successfully. I was running that auto plug and it took a little tuning but once dialed in it would run everything you could feed it. I was also running it in conjuction with a booster puck though. Some guns come from the factory better then others. if you look on the saiga forum some people have a different amount of holes in the gas system then others etc and some feed low brass right from the start and others wont cycle it at all. I dont think there is gonna be 1 correct answer to this thread and its gonna be a matter of trial and error
 

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Saiga 12's are fun, for sure. Buckshot and slugs are fun to shoot with the S12, if you can afford the high volume of shooting. Low brass is the only tricky thing about them, but I didnt buy it for that purpose.
 

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Buckshot and slugs are good to go. Low brass target loads sometimes fail to eject unless you swap in the softer spring and improved puck until the rifle breaks in. After 6 boxes with the soft spring I was able to swap back to the original spring and my S12 eats everything. Very reliable - its an AK action after all!

If anyone has a spare, I'd like to pick up a second one!
 

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Are you kidding? My S12 handles anything on the proper gas setting. Ive put 500 rd through it 00 buck,slugs and probably 250 bird shot just for fun.
Not all of them do, in fact many don't.
 

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Saiga,
I think that what everyone is experiencing is that saigas vary form year to year or batch to batch.
People are finding different characteristics in what otherwise is denominated as simply a S12. Not sure is this happens with the other gauges but it also happens with the carbines. Izmash are a huge conglomerate with state of the art CNC equipment but they have old machines, new machines and everything in the middle.
One thing is sure. If folks have a bug normally is easy to debug and once done you have a firearm that will outlast you and all your offspring.
 
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