Sunday, November 14, 2010


Hello Fernando
I am one of the first readers of your book and a daily reader of your blog, and I think you are doing a really great job.
Myself (and I hope  many of your readers ), would be very  interested on your opinion about AK type  IZHMASH SAIGA 12 shotgun , since you have a lot of experience about firearms.
Do you think that in a post SHTF scenario it would be more reliable  for home defense  than usual shotguns  as the manufacturer claims ?. I have tried it and I am really impressed.

Thank you and wish you all the best.


Hi Leo, thanks for being there and reading both my book and my blog.
I shot one in 20ga. a few weeks ago, took a photo with my phone. (sorry, they stole the light bulb at the range and I had to use my flashlight for illumination):

 It handles nicely and I’d prefer it over a conventional shotgun, pump or semi auto. It doesn’t get more reliable than AK when it comes to semi auto long arms.
On the good side, its an AK type shotgun which is good. It fires 12 ga so the ammo is plentiful and lots to choose from. On the other hand you don’t have the effective range and accuracy of an AK rifle. You also have less capacity. Magazines aren’t as cheap and readily available as ordinary AK mags.
Basically, the way I see it, yes, it’s a fine defensive gun. Specially if you have concerns regarding over penetration in you location, I see the point.
As a SHTF guns, involving more serious confrontations, involving situations where the added penetration wouldn’t be a problem but a bonus, where I want more ammo, better accuracy at longer ranges, in that case I’d go for a traditional AK rifle in 7.62x39mm.
Unless you plan to use it in close quarters where you are concerned about over penetration, go with the AK rifle. If not, then get a Saiga in this configuration, folding stock and pistol grip for better close quarter maneuverability. 

Hope that answered the question, take care!



Anonymous said...

here in the USA...you need a very, very good lawyer if you use the Saiga
in a self-defense situation. if you
use grandpa's double-barrel=ok. if
you use your bird-hunting pump=ok.
however, a MAGAZINE-fed shotgun?
for 22 states, that's bad. in 8 more,
you will spend $20k for not guilty.
the rest are sensible about self-defense.

FerFAL said...

Massad Ayoob wrote about this a lot, and I agree with him completely.
There's no good or bad gun. Shoot in self defense with the law on your side and you're ok even if you use a cannon. Shoot someone that didn't need shooting, even with a single shot 22LR, and you'll go away for a looong time.


Anonymous said...

I heard that the Saiga shotguns have a weakness: when left loaded, the shotgun shells become deformed in the magazine due to the fact that the shells are made of thin plastic and there is a constant pressure being put on them from below. This could lead to failure-to-feed issues.

Kurt said...

Actually, that's not quite true anymore in some parts of the US. In Washington state for example, if 6, all of the 7 ft tall and muscle bound attack you on the street with nothing but knives, and you use anything more than a knife to defend yourself, you get thrown in prison. It is against the law to "use more force" to defend yourself than they attack you with. I hear it is a similar situation in a few other places as well, like if you are a black belt and they get hurt in any way, you go away in some places. Absolute brilliant thinking by our finest minds, as interpreted by our so fine politicians. At least in Washington state, if they break into your home you are still permitted to use whatever means needed. But it is becoming more and more illegal to defend one's self in some parts. But, better to be judged by 12 tomorrow, than carried by 6 today.

Anonymous said...

Other than what has already been said, I'd like to chime in on the SAIGA. I have the 12ga model in hunting configuration(no pistol grip). Its a fantastic gun, and has a lot of options, but also has limitations.

One of its most overlooked pros is the gas piston. It has two settings - one for very light(24gram) to medium loads(34gram) and a heavier setting that will handle anything up to 54grams, and maybe more. It will even fire light loads off shoulder.

This is a clear advantage over most auto shotguns, especially for those casual clay shooters, and people who train a regularly.

Its only other problems can be remedied by technique.
The magazine is very hard to rock in place when you have a round in the chamber. Amlost impossible to accomplish whithout fumbling in fact. But it gets better with training.

Another inconvenience is the bolt doesn't hold open after the last round, like all good auto shotguns do.

Overall it is very much worth considering, but don't get too caught up in the whole Kalashnikov romance.
Tube-fed scatterguns are far from obsolete, and there is a much wider selection.

FerFAL said...

Kurt, a knife is a lethal weapon, at close range its more likely to prove lethal than a handgun. When attacked with a knife, use your firearm. Both are lethal weapons and you'll be using a reasonable force to defend yourself.


DaShui said...

Last year I thought about buying one, I checked around and discovered that the Izhmash factory has a new owner. He plans to upgrade the tooling and so forth. So it might be better to wait and get a late model gun

DaShui said...

Come on down to the deep south if you want the legal right to defend yourself. The prosecutor told me he looks into the dead guy's background, if he was a troublemaker he won't prosecute.

Angie said...

Has anyone heard of The Judge by Taurus? It is a revolver that shoots .410 shotgun shells. Seems like it would be an ultimate home defense weapon where penetration is a concern.

Anonymous said...

You have 10 rounds and the magazine is very difficult to change. Try it under pressure.