This is intended for people interested in the subject of military guns and their ammunition, with emphasis on automatic weapons.
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Saigas have kinda always been a bit dodgy, made moreso by legislation that required them to be progressively more and more reworked and nonstandard in order to be exported to various countries.
I don't recall ever having any major problems with them though unlike guns from Royal tigers in-house brand century and etc.
I miss those days when you could buy 3 of them and all the parts to un neuter them for under a grand and have an unending stream of build projects that didn't blow the budget
I had wondered why the Saiga's of the early 2000's were so inexpensive. I had expected a piece of junk, but it was generally well made. I have read that the stepped neck was used in civilian models only, in order to delineate between true civilian and stolen military weapons. I don't know if that is really true, though.
They were about $350-$400 retail in CA circa 2009.
Of course, this time last year (pre-panic) entry level AR's were available for $400-$450.
It didn't hurt that the European AK makers had currency problems, either. I heard a big reason for the price increase on the ROMAKs was joining the Eurozone. A $350 rulebeater would make a great truck/tractor gun.
End of the day Saiga is what you can get as a civilian from the same production line with minimal construction changes.So is more relevant than your random Ar parts you could find around various vendors. Even if they were selling at the loss AK did not come to 100mio copies by being expensive to make. As far as i follow the Russian MIC and how they finance the losses is generally by state-owned banks writing off loans.
If you follow the sales MIC makes. MOD purchases keep the lines running but are not that profitable. foreign sales are the moneymakers and everything costs way more than MOD is paying.
Saiga M3 EXP01 costs cca 330$ , sporter model like on the pic above cca 260$ , TR3 = AK12 clone cca 760$ on Russian market i guess it's all just to keep employees working while losing money.The private 49% stakeholder must be thrilled.
I am not aware of the contract value for 150.000 AK12/15 they are delivering but have doubts they are paying 1000$ a piece for them and selling for 760$ MSRP(Kalashnikov Web shop) to Civilians .
AK prices going UP in eastern Europe, besides Russian guns taken of the market, has a lot to do with the arms buying spree to arm the 'moderate beheaders' in Syria and various factions in other ME wars
to the best of my knowledge Russian MoD pays close to US $1000 for an AK-12 with spare mags, sling and cleaning kit
also my estimate is that gov't purchasing prices for mass-produced small arms which are also available as civilian rifles (AK/Saiga, Vityaz/Saiga-9 etc) are about 20-30% below MSRP.
Yeah, it was essentially just to keep factory workers fed and keep the plant from closing and being scavenged.
I don't know about the stepped chamber thing being specifically for any real purpose though. The real problem with that era of gun history is that there was, by volume, 95% BS to 5% real information out there.
I've been surprised unpleasantly so many times to find out that things we thought we knew just aren't anywhere close to reality.
It can be better now if you're extremely selective about your information sources, but even now we're starting to see a disturbing rise in pure FUD.
It sucks, but it is what it is.
Right. There were multiple reasons why AK's were first cheap for awhile and precisely zero of them had anything to do with AK's being cheap to produce.
I miss those days...
Hunting down $169 parts kits and etc to build your latest mutant!