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A Real Gun Gem: The Saiga 12


This Russian AK variant shotgun has turned the shooting sports world upside down.

The Saiga 12 autoloading shotgun is a Russian import that is sure to turn heads afield or at the gun range.

Based on the AK47 action, the parts were increased in size to accommodate the rather large 12 gauge shotgun round. It will function with 2 3/4" shells and with magnum 3" shells, thanks to its adjustable gas regulation system.

In the shooters' hands, it just feels like a big AK47. All of the firing controls, such as the safety, are in familiar places, and the gun itself is just about impervious to mud, water and abuse. No, it is not a classic fine wood-stocked British double barreled field gun. But what it is the happens to be is the perfect kick-butt shotgun. No need to cry about getting a scratch or mud on this tough Russian.


Standard feeding of this gem is a five round box magazine, though higher capacity feeding options are available. There are even drum magazines with increased capacities that are perfect for home defense. Many aftermarket items for the Saiga 12 are available.

In this video, the 20 round drum magazine is used.

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There are many after-market goodies that you can add to your Saiga 12, and turn it into your own custom shotgun. Various removable choke tube constrictions are available, and so is an adjustable polychoke that you just twist to adjust your shot pattern spread.

You can even mount a scope on them for big game hunting. There are hunting capacity limited magazines that are only two rounds, which conform to migratory game regulations.

Now where might you buy a Saiga 12? Online auction sites, such as Gunbroker, are a great place to get started. If you buy one, you'll find its versatility and power appealing.

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A Real Gun Gem: The Saiga 12