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Old 05-27-2012, 06:25 AM
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Default VZ58,Saiga or Tantal



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I have a VZ58 (7.62), a century arms tantal (5.45) and a Saiga (5.45) available and since I have always had AR's I wanted to get some feedback about these rifles. I have never worked with the Russian weapons so I am looking for an opinion about which would be my best choice?
Old 05-27-2012, 07:18 AM
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The VZ58 is probably the best gun (simple, light, accurate), but it is much less common than the other two. If parts and magazines and magazines are an issue...
Old 05-27-2012, 11:31 AM
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I would go with the Tantal. You will not be disappointed. Post pics when you get it.
The VZ58 is not very common, and magazines are hard to find. The Saiga just requires a little work to make it right. A lot of people are scared of that. That is why I picked the Tantal.
I still wish I would have picked one up.
Old 05-27-2012, 12:00 PM
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I got to use the VZ when I was training Slovak troops. Very nice rifle, but not controllable in full auto at all because it is so light.

The non-standard magazine issue makes it a hard sell for anything other than a toy.

Saigas are cool, you can buy them pre converted pretty cheap from JG sales. The tantals are an option considering mag and ammo price and availability, but being a century product you have to be careful when buying them.


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Old 05-27-2012, 12:19 PM
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Some Older Tantals from Century had some issues with feeding, I would rather have a Century SAR3 or a Arsenal. but Saigas are really nice and probably hold a better value.
Old 05-27-2012, 12:26 PM
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I'm assuming the OP can visually inspect them. With the Tantal, give it a once over to make sure everything is straight. Then take the muzzle brake of and check the bore with a 5.45 bullet. If the barrel does not swallow the bullet, you are go to go on that rifle.
If you are comfortable with doing a conversion, then the Saiga is a great rifle to have.
Old 05-27-2012, 01:06 PM
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I live in CT., sucks here, the only 7.62 available for legal sale in the state is the VZ58, the tantal had to be made legal (weld folding stock open, make grenade launcher inoperable, cut off bayonet lug . . etc) the saiga is new in box. I just don't know which way to go.
Old 05-27-2012, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AK_guy View Post
I'm assuming the OP can visually inspect them. With the Tantal, give it a once over to make sure everything is straight. Then take the muzzle brake of and check the bore with a 5.45 bullet. If the barrel does not swallow the bullet, you are go to go on that rifle.
If you are comfortable with doing a conversion, then the Saiga is a great rifle to have.
Conversion doesn't look like its too hard to do, how good is performance compared to the others?
Old 05-27-2012, 01:11 PM
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Arsenal converted Saiga. I never would have believed an AK could be worth $800, but my Arsenal SGL-31 (AK74) is now one of my favorites. I have put some serious rounds through it since I bought it and it has NEVER failed to function. And the damn thing is just about as accurate as my M4. I LOVE IT!!! Sometimes it's ok to cry once and feel 100% confident in the weapon you carry.
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Old 05-27-2012, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brudd View Post
Conversion doesn't look like its too hard to do, how good is performance compared to the others?
I've put countless rounds through my 7.62x39 Saiga, and I did the conversion on it. You will be very happy if you go with the Saiga. I think standard 74 mags will work in the Saiga.
Ammo is still pretty cheap for 5.45x39. AIM surplus always has some.
Old 05-27-2012, 02:24 PM
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I have three VZ58's. One is chambered for 5.56/.223, the other two are 7.62x39's. I have a ton of mags for each and parts are no issue. There are literally dozens of muzzle breaks on the market for these rifles which tame out the recoil as they are indeed very light rifles. Since none of us will be shooting them full auto, it is kind of a moot point. The breaks do help, admittedly in quick shooting. They are utterly reliable, the bolts stay open after the last round and have grooves milled into them so that you can also load via stripper clips. They are typically much more accurate than an AK, in fact two of the three of my VZ58's can really, really shoot. The third is still an easy 3 MOA or so gun with a SPARC red dot. Of course I am in Canada, so the VZ is really my only choice ... Just my $.02 worth on the other points.
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Old 05-27-2012, 04:01 PM
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VZ-58, hands down. Don't listen to those who tell you parts aren't as common; Czechpoint has every single part you could possibly need (as in, if you were so inclined, you could buy each individual part for the whole gun, INCLUDING receivers and barrels), plus you can actually USE those extra parts (God help you if you're sacking and pillaging with your Bulgie AK, the trunnion/barrel/gas tube/name random part here breaks and your friends or your opponents have only Norinco's or Polish rifles). Milled receiver, and better trigger system. + it's lighter and more accurate.

If you HAVE to go with one of the AK's, get the Saiga 5.45 and convert it instead of the Tantal.
Old 05-27-2012, 04:31 PM
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I'm in CT too, Brud and have a Saiga 5.45 and another in 308. I converted both and they are rock solid accurate dependable AK's...
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Old 05-27-2012, 04:40 PM
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Century had a problem with Tantals having a 5.56 barrel which caused the 5.45 rounds to keyhole. Assuming you can get a Tantal that doesn't have that or some other Century defect I would go with it over the Saiga. Converting the Saiga with a descent wire or Beryl folder is going to add another $120 plus the cost of a trigger group and pistol grip assuming you don't change the front end. You'll have about the same money or more in the Saiga as the Tantal if you set the Saiga up similarly and don't Tapco-lov on it.

Just watch out though, good AK74 mags are hard to find and the surplus 5.45 isn't as common as it was. New production 5.45 is about the same price as 5.56 green tip at about $9 for 20 vs. steel case 5.56 which is about $5 for 20. That's why I chose a Saiga in .223 over the 5.45 or the Tantal.
Old 05-28-2012, 01:33 PM
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VZ58 magazines are not that hard to find. The VZ58 is a great weapon. That's what I'd get. But I'm an AR guy. YMMV.
Old 05-28-2012, 03:31 PM
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Tantal parts kits aren't coming in the country anymore. They stopped coming in years ago. The problems with the Century Tantals was never resolved. They have such bad reputations for quality that Century is still trying to unload rifles they've had for years.

Putting a bullet down the bore won't tell you if the rifle has a 1:9 barrel in it, many of them built before 2010 do. It's one of the reasons why they keyhole. Century ordered new barrels for future builds that have a 1:8 barrel. These were less likely to keyhole however the bore diameters are all over the place. If it doesn't keyhole on you today, it probably will 3000 rounds later. The barrels on them are absolute junk and that's coming for their former head of repairs/returns that left the company.

If you want a rifle you can trust for years, don't buy anything from Centunty. They build novelties and toys using the lowest quality parts they can find for people that don't want to spend the money for a properly built rifle.

Get the Saiga. It will have a cold hammer forged chrome lined barrel worth it's weight in gold. That barrel will last you a lifetime because it's properly made from quality materials. Buying a survival rifle isn't the time to skimp and buy stuff from the lowest bidder. Get something quality, for your own sake.
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:54 PM
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I have to chime in on the vz58 "non standard" magazines comments. Keep hearing that is frustratingly DUMB. Here let me list some rifles. AR, AK, M1A, BAR, AR10, UZI, Thompson, FAL. Is it a deal breaker none of those magazines are interchangeable?

I have 2 century vz58 and like them a lot. I also have a converted saiga. The VZs just handle better and have better features.
Old 05-30-2012, 06:00 PM
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All three are a good choice.

Keep in mind, there is no practical way to reload 5.45x39 ammo. No-one makes brass cased and berdan primed cases. Hornady does sell 5.45 ammo. However, they purchase their steel cases from wolf over in Russia.

If going 5.45x39, make a solid investment in ammo. Like you'll never be able to get it again.

7.62x39 has plenty of domestically produced ammo and reloading supplies. If someone over in the US made brass cases and bullet heads, I'd own a 5.45 rifle.
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:03 AM
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happy with my VZs
223

x39 with my ebr
Old 06-01-2012, 05:15 PM
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Tantal for the mere fact that surplus 5.45 is really cheap.
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