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Saiga .223 AK Conversion

I had done my homework on-line and knew that the Tapco G2 FCG (specifically the hammer) would require a little work if I was going to use it in conjunction with the bolt hold open (BHO) device.  If you do not feel like modifying the hammer, you have a couple of options.  You can purchase a FCG from Dinzag Arms that is already modified or you can omit the BHO during reassembly.  I opted to modify the Tapco hammer and keep the BHO feature of the Saiga.


The hammer widths are shown above.  The right side of the Tapco hammer (as viewed with it installed in the receiver) is marked with an "X".  This is the end that needs to have about .059" removed, the difference as measured between the Tapco and factory triggers.  The BHO plate is located by the same pin that holds the hammer in place.  In order to fit between the hammer and the side of the receiver, the hammer must be reduced by approximately the thickness of the BHO plate.

I used my rotary cutting tool to remove the excess from the Tapco trigger.  Since I reload, I had a dial micrometer that made short work of checking my progress to help ensure I didn't remove too much.  Be sure to keep the end of the hammer square (or the best you can).  Also, you may want to measure your parts as I've no guarantee that your factory or replacement trigger is going to measure the same as mine.

And since we are talking about triggers, now is the time to transfer the hammer spring from the factory hammer to the new hammer. 


After you transferred the hammer spring to the new hammer, loop the legs of the spring over the end of the hammer and secure them in place with the twist tie or a scrap piece of wire.  Keeping the legs of the spring folded back onto the hammer makes installation much easier.

Insert the safety level into the receiver.  Remember to align the safety with the notch in the receiver and then rotate the safety to the off position.

Take a 2' long piece of dental floss and double it up a couple of times.  Loop the floss through the BHO spring and feed the ends of the floss (with the spring inside the receiver) down and out through the BHO slot in the bottom of the receiver. 

Grab one of the pins you initially drilled out (cut the shoulders away) as you will be using it as a slave pin.  Insert the pin into the receiver's trigger hole, from the right side of the receiver.  Place the coil section of the BHO spring over the pin.  The long leg of the spring is oriented toward the front of the receiver. 


Place the BHO plate against the right side of the receiver.  Place the hammer between the BHO plate and the left side of the receiver.  Insert the hammer pin from left to right, aligning the hammer and BHO as necessary to ensure the hammer pin is fully inserted into the receiver.  It will fit flush on the left side when inserted properly.

If all is working according to plan, the BHO spring is trapped between the BHO plate and the right side of the receiver with the slave pin going through the coils of the spring.  If it isn't, well, now you know why so many complain about the trying to get the spring into position. 

The BHO spring's short leg, when in the proper position, will ride up on the rear most portion of the BHO plate.  This is what actually keeps the tension on the BHO plate and keeps it from engaging except when you push on it with a finger.  Let me see if I can find a better pic of it.


I used a tip I read in one of the Saiga forums which was to bend a little bit of the end of the BHO spring's short leg so that it would better catch the end of the BHO plate.  You can see the end of the short leg in the pic above. 

Assemble the FCG parts into a trigger assembly.  The sleeve simply holds the disconnect (don't forget its spring) in position with the trigger. 

Place the trigger assembly into the receiver while VERY carefully working the slave pin into the sleeve in the trigger assembly.  At the same time, keep an eye on the BHO spring and make sure its short leg stays in position.


Take the trigger pin and insert it into the left side of the receiver.  Align the trigger assembly such that the trigger pin goes into the sleeve.  Slowly work the trigger pin further into the trigger assembly while pushing the slave pin out.

The difficult part comes where the slave pin has almost been pushed out and the trigger pin is about going through the coils on the BHO spring.  This is why the dental floss was put on the BHO spring coils.  By pulling down hard on the dental floss, it will keep the bottom edge of the spring coils down against the floor of the receiver.  This allows the trigger pin to push through and into the hole on the receiver's right side.  Is this about as clear as mud?  Yes?  Well work with it a bit and I think you will get the idea what needs to be done.  Maybe you will come up with a better idea. 

Remember that while all of this is going on, don't let the hammer pin slip out of position.  You can cheat a bit, if you wish, and apply a piece of tape over the hammer pin to help keep it in place while installing the trigger. 


I knew I had a pic of the receiver with the dental floss coming out of the BHO slot.  This was taken after the trigger pin was successfully in position.  You can see that it fits flush on the right side of the receiver. 

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