Delta Arms Saiga DAC-12 Entry 12 Gauge Shotgun


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

November 28th, 2010


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Delta Arms Saiga DAC-12 Entry 12-gauge semi-auto shotgun.





Safety lever: up for safe (top), down for fire (bottom).





Sights are rugged and reliable.



Side rail for scope mount.





















Delta Arms Company specializes in converting the AK-style IZHMASH-produced Saiga shotguns to run smoother, handle better, and perform as an AK shotgun should. As imported from Russia, the Saiga is a very good shotgun, but Delta takes that basic firearm and makes it better-suited as a fighting weapon. While the Saiga shotgun could certainly be used as a sporting gun, and it is disguised that way for import reasons, I have never seen one on a trap or skeet range, and would be willing to bet that few if any are carried by wool-clad gentlemen while hunting quail in the uplands over a pair of well-bred bird dogs. The AK shotgun was built for fighting, and Delta Arms Company puts the cojones back into the castrated version of the Saiga that is imported into the US.

Delta can do just about anything to the Saiga that the customer desires, but on their basic Entry shotgun, they do everything that is needed to make the Saiga into a rugged, reliable, and easy to use fighting weapon. Within its range, nothing beats a well-tuned shotgun for social work. I donít know if it is still in their training manual, but the FBI once trained their agents to, if facing multiple opponents armed with handguns, sub-machine guns, and shotguns, always take out the shotgun first, as the shotgunner is the one most likely to ruin your day, and your life. A short, handy shotgun throwing a load of buckshot or even heavy birdshot is devastating at close range. Across the length of a typical room, a shotload will make a fist-sized hole through flesh and bone, destroying everything in its path. It is a widespread myth that you can just point a shotgun in the general direction of the target and take out everything in the vicinity. That is not true. The shotgun still must be aimed correctly. However, what it does contact, it destroys, within its range. A two-ounce load of shot is a heavy payload, and much more than most any packable handgun can carry. That is a full 875 grains of lead, compared to a typical 115 to 230 grain load of a conventional fighting handgun. The Delta shotgun, with its ten-round magazine and another in the chamber, packs 9675 grains of lead firing two-ounce loads. That is a full one and three-eighths pounds of lead that can be unleashed upon the target in about six seconds! That amount of firepower should discourage even the most seasoned home invader.

Delta Arms Company fits the Saiga shotgun with a correct AK-style pistol grip and buttstock. They contour and polish the hammer for smoother function, while providing a very smooth and easy-to-use trigger. The trigger pull on the test weapon measured a butter-smooth pull of just under three pounds. Perfect. The metal parts are Duracoated in a matte black for durability and corrosion protection. Delta changes the gas plug to an adjustable regulator type, to allow the use of a wide variety of shotgun shells. I tried some very light target loads in the test weapon, and they would not function reliably. However, this is a fighting shotgun, and is not built for powder-puff loads. Field loads, heavy waterfowl loads, steel shot, slugs, and buckshot all performed flawlessly. The Saiga will handle two and three-quarter or three-inch shotgun shells, and the test weapon cycled reliably with shot loads weighing from one and one-eighth to two ounces. The nineteen inch barrel and thirty-eight inch overall length handled very well. The DAC-12 weighs in at just over eight pounds with an empty magazine in place, and feels pretty much like an AK-47 rifle in use, until you pull the trigger. Then, you know that it packs a much bigger punch than your typical AK. The recoil, however, is straight back, and the buttstock does not slap the cheek at all. The sights are robust and easy to use. The only thing that I do not like about the DAC-12 is the safety, which is typical AK-47. The lever is large and easily manipulated, but I never did warm up to the AK safety lever, which is just a personal thing. However, the safety does work as intended, and securely blocks the trigger from movement.

As stated above, with good ammunition, the DAC-12 Entry shotgun works flawlessly. It is a formidable weapon, offing lots of firepower and much faster reloading than with a tube-magazine shotgun. A spare loaded magazine can be inserted almost as quickly as can a magazine in a semi-auto pistol, getting the weapon back into the fight as quickly as possible.

Delta Arms Company will sell you a new customized Saiga shotgun, or will perform this custom work on your own Saiga, if desired. The price for the upgrades or the complete weapon is quite reasonable, and prices and specifications can be found online at

Jeff Quinn


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Ten-shot magazine.



Magazine catch.



Sling attachment loops.



Delta modifications include a Tapco buttstock.





Hammer is re-contoured for reliability.



Robust gas piston rod.