SGM Tactical Magazines for Saiga: Bigger is Better
Oleg Volk 04.21.16
This is a .308 Saiga rifle. It’s a typical AK variant, moderately accurate but tough and powerful. The ribbed object under it is the magazine–at least they claim it’s a magazine.
Standard .308 magazines the world over hold 20 rounds, but this little runt holds just 8. Sure, part of that is the legal restriction on the imports of high-capacity magazines from Russia, but even that would have capped it at 10. This little magazine holds only 8. The rifle came with two, so you can get the maximum of 8+8+1 ready for use in what’s, in theory, a defensive rifle. You can buy more 8-round mags, but they cost $50 to $60 each.
The alternative is US-made aftermarket magazines (which also count for sporting purpose parts compliance). SGM Tactical makes mags that work reliably, and they cost $40-45 each for 20 or 25 round capacity. Seems like a better deal since it saves money as well as time spent reloading.
The 20-rounder would be preferred for shooting prone or from a bench. It protrudes down about a far as the pistol grip does. 25-rounder would work better for shooting on the move. It protrudes a bit far for shooting prone, unless you use it as a monopod (which I wouldn’t recommend, as it’s placed in the center of the rifle, not at the end).
The other benefit of these magazines is their physical size: they are long enough for a good grip during loading. They also provide greater leverage during the rock-and-lock loading use in Saiga. Try it on any rock-and-lock rifle (M1A, mini-14, AK) with a short and a long magazine, and the difference in efficiency will become very obvious. Being an SGM product, they work. Being polymer, they are light. And you can replace the capacity of three stock magazines with one of them. These are also available, even cheaper, for Vepr rifles.