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  #1  
Old 10-16-2012, 9:01 PM
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Default Saiga .223 adapter for AR15 mags (pics)

For my SHTF carbine I chose an AK for its reliability and appetite for all flavors of ammunition. Figuring the most commonly available carbine ammunition in the USA would likely be .223/5.56, I selected a Saiga .223. But further betting any discarded magazines I may find are most likely to be for some kind of AR15, I wanted my Saiga to be able to accept AR15 mags.

Surfing the Internet I found two adapters that allow Saigas to take AR15 magazines. The most well-known is the MSA adapter (formerly Magnolia State Armory); this adapter has a sleeve that goes into the Saiga receiver, and requires a fair bit of modification to the Saiga receiver and trunnion. I opted for the RenegadeBuck adapter (named after RenegadeBuck of Saiga-12.com); it is cheaper, well reviewed, and requires less modification.

I ordered an AR15 magazine adapter for my Saiga from Mike Thomas (renegadebuck@gmail.com; $77 shipped). Mike e-mailed me some comments about fitting and using his adapter, modifying the Saiga so AR15 mags seat properly, and potential issues others have had.

Being something of a klutz when it comes to tools and the like, I took Mike's comments along with the adapter, my Saiga, and some 922(r) compliance parts to North County Firearms in San Marcos (also known here on Calguns as bulltetbutton.com). Darin (Prince50 here on Calguns) looked everything over and quoted a fair price for the proposed work. Even as I stood there he was on the phone reserving some time at the machine shop; I liked that he intended to use a proper mill rather than go at it with a Dremel tool.

I got a call the next day from Darin saying the trunnion on my Saiga was harder than expected and he was waiting on a harder part; then the day after that he called and said the job was done. This all happened much faster than I expected; yes, I knew the job would only take a few minutes, but you know how it goes these days--jobs stack up for weeks. Just another reason to like North County Firearms.

Darin used a metal magazine for fitting the adapter to my rifle. He tested it by hand-cycling what I presume were dummy rounds through the rifle. I purchased a PMAG 10/30--would it work as well? Today I was finally able to get to the range. I wanted to test the adapter with my PMAG, and also test my OEM Saiga mag without the adapter now that my rifle has been modified.

I was happy to find that everything worked beautifully. Without the adapter fitted, my original Saiga magazine works just as flawlessly as it did before. With the adapter, the PMAG worked every bit as well. I have me a Saiga .223 in sporter configuration (no "evil" features) that can take AR15 magazines. The PMAG did not drop free from the rifle by gravity alone, but I had absolutely no trouble inserting it or removing it. Both magazines naturally seated themselves at the correct position.

The Renegadebuck adapter is easy to attach and detach. To fit it, simply hook the front lip of the adapter inside the rifle's receiver, then snap the rear down over the magazine release; you may need to assist the release lever with your finger or some other object. To remove, press the Saiga magazine release and remove the adapter, swinging the rear out first then sliding the front lip from inside the receiver. The adapter basically sits outside the receiver, with the exception of the small lip on front.

The modification required to use AR magazines has more to do with proper seating of the magazine itself than anything to do with the adapter. On most AKs, the front trunnion will prevent an AR mag from penetrating deep enough for the ammunition to be stripped out of the mag and into firing position. AKs vary enough in fit that some trunnions will need to be milled more than others. No modification to the receiver is required with the Renegadebuck adapter.

The mag release on this adapter is pretty simple; there is a button on the right side of the adapter attached to an arm that wraps around to the catch on the other side; pressing the spring-loaded button moves the entire assembly to the left, pulling the catch clear of the magazine. This is not as simple or as sturdy as the normal magazine release on either an AR or an AK, though, so I wouldn't recommend counting on this adapter for heavy tactical use. For recreational purposes, it's just fine; one can save a lot of money buying AR magazines rather than Saiga mags.

I'm also happy using it for my purposes--to provide the backup capability of using "found" AR magazines in addition to my Saiga magazines in a SHTF scenario. Having gotten the work done and testing everything, I feel I can recommend the Renegadebuck adapter (and North County Firearms' smithing).

My rifle before modification with the Saiga magazine (top), and after modification with the Renegadebuck adapter and 10/30 PMAG (below).



The Renegadebuck adapter and 4 922(r) parts: forearm, fire control group (2 parts), and gas piston. If all three magazine parts are made in the USA, only one 922(r) part needs to be replaced. But if you don't want to depend on the magazine for 922(r) compliance, you need to replace 4 parts on a factory-configured Saiga.


The lip on the adapter (on the left side in the picture) fits under the receiver at the front of the magazine cutout.


The magazine release button is firmly connected with the latch on the other side of the adapter.


A close-up photograph of an AR PMAG 10/30 in my Saiga .223.


The trunnion before (left) and after (right) modification. The shiny surfaces were machined.



Last edited by Paltik; 10-17-2012 at 11:34 AM.. Reason: Updated MSA adapter URL
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:13 AM
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Um I think you just gave me a reason to go get a 223 saiga. Does it work with the metal AR mags without issue do you know?
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:16 AM
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Why the 922r compliance? Because it can now accept standard cap mags?
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Old 10-17-2012, 9:23 AM
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Of course, IANAL, but when I spoke with people about modifying the rifle for the adapter, the most common response regarding 922(r) was "could then accept high-capacity mags" (I like Powerkraut's phrase better BTW, nice), followed by "any modification to factory configuration, to be sure."
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:15 AM
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Does the Renegade Buck adapter allow you to use an AR type bullet button?

Phrased otherwise: could I run this adapter with my 922(r) compliant pistol-gripped Saiga .223?

Thanks!

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Old 10-17-2012, 11:39 AM
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I am not aware of any bullet button for either of the MSA or Renegadebuck adapters. I suppose one could DIY.
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Old 10-17-2012, 4:28 PM
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Seems likely that Saiga + AR mag adapter = featureless setup only..


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