“The Saiga 12 C EXP 01 is the latest military/law enforcement version of the Saiga shotgun from Izhmash,” thefirearmsblog.com reports. “It features a short (14″?) barrel with muzzle brake, folding skeleton stock, receiver rail and AK-style forend with under rail.” OK, yes, the folding stock makes the shotgun slightly more useful. But please . . .

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21 Responses to From the Deepest Depths of Uselessness: Saiga 12 C EXP 01 Shotgun

  1. I’m sure it will be popular with contractors and SWAT units. It should make a pretty excellent entry gun, especially in select-fire.

    The NFA rules are stupid. This firearm is no more lethal than one with a longer barrel. It just looks scary. Yet if I want one because it looks cool, I have to pay more and get the government’s permission? Gosh, if I wanted to commit nefarious acts with a short barrelled shotgun, couldn’t I just saw off the barrel myself, ala “Red Dawn”? Someone who is intent on committing murder isn’t going to let fear of a firearms law violation stop him.

  2. Well, I guess shooting this with the stock folded would really loosen up the post-workout stiffness I get in my arms in the morning. By using the stock, it might even readjust my back if I use magnum loads . So much for visiting the chiropractor.

  3. large and expensive for a paper weight. boat anchor comes to mind. probably sturdy enough,it’s russian after all, to drive fence posts with.

  4. If it’s a ‘Law Enforcement’ version, that means it’s actually supposed to work, right? Unfortunately it’s still a Saiga-12, with a Mean Time Between Failures of approximately 3.7 rounds. I’d rather trust my life to a 12-ga coach gun, with a Mean Time Between Reloads of exactly 2.0 rounds.

    • I’ve seen three of them at the range, and none of them (even the heavily customized race gun at M3GI) could fire a single magazine without a critical malfunction of some sort.

      I wish your example was the norm instead of the exception.

  5. What exactly makes it “but please…..”?

    It is set up as an entry gun, it is not set up for shooting birds. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but much more effective in CQB then a full stocked 870.

  6. I’m confused here, is it useless because it’s a shotgun, primarily a sporting arm, being configured for military purposes? Or because it’s not set up in a configuration good for sporting use?

  7. Just for those uninformed, a saiga 12 or vepr12 is a military firearm, meaning it is meant to fire full power buckshot or slugs. If used in that fashion, they work extremely well, even with non existent quality control. They can be made to function 100% with birdshot if youre willing to put in the work.

    First issue is the gas ports. From Russia there are several iterations. What works is either 4 ports at .075″ or 3 ports at “.093. I’ve seen them come with just 1 or 2 ports and some that weren’t properly drill all the way through or covered/partially covered by the gas block. Even if you have the correct number of ports, odds are they are not the correct size. If they’re not centered in the gas block, the opening can be enlarged to allow free flow so long as to not enter the threads portion of the gas block.

    Other issue is friction which mostly affects converted guns. When you convert an S12, most replace the hammer with one from a Tapco G2 kit. The issue is those are designed for rifles, not the shotguns, and have a different profile which sit higher in the gun. The bolt carrier has to overcome this added resistance which considerably slows bolt carrier speed and will affect reliability. When converting, you must reshape the hammer by taking off material on the hammer face. You must make sure you only take off so much material that it clears the disconnector by approx 3/16″, but no less than 1/16”.you must also make sure the hammer face strikes the tail of the bolt squarely.

    If you do these two things, you will have a gun that will run circles around other semi-autos. I am not a professional gunsmith nor do I claim to be but have owned and converted around 8 saigas since around 2008, and I have enough experience with them to make the run reliably. Stay away from the gimmick products such as low power springs, etc. They are only a crutch. Fix the problem , don’t add bandaids.

  8. Also, not sure how the weapon being discussed can be considered useless. Great for entry teams or anyone that wants a shorter weapon for more maneuverability but don’t want to sacrifice ammo capacity. No matter how short of a barrel, magazine capacity stays the same. The folding stock helps portability and helps get it in and out of vehicles. And recently, CSSpecs released a metal 8 rnd magazine that functions perfectly, looks good, and built like a tank. And aftermarket support is growing and already has tons of options.

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