Have you ever noticed the gas regulator 1 and 2 positions on your Saiga 12 shotgun and wondered what they were for, exactly? If you look closely, you’ll see a stop button that must be pressed in with a screwdriver or other tool to turn the gas regulator.
If you’re curious about the system and want to take a closer look, you can carefully remove the gas regulator with no risk of breaking it. Upon closer examination you’ll also notice that the 2 position completely opens the gas channel, while the 1 position leaves the channel nearly closed. So, the amount of gas released by the system will be higher for position 2 than 1.
For the most part, you can leave the 223 Saiga for sale in position 1 and fire light loads with no difficulty and no need to ever switch positions, assuming the cycle doesn’t jam. Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to tell if the gun will cycle right, as it depends on the gun, and the diameter of the holes drilled by Izhmash into the barrel.
Many people prefer to leave their Saiga 223 in the 1 position because it can cycle perfectly every time. For some types of ammo, however you need to switch your shotgun’s gas regulator to the 2 position.
If you’re using magnum loads you must always set the gas regulator to position 1, however. Using the 2 position will cause a lot more recoil as a great deal of power is used. The shells will eject properly, but after twenty or so rounds of even low recoil slugs you can take the top cover off and see the damage.
Using magnum loads on the 2 position will make it difficult to remove the spring because firing the rounds will hammer the rear trunnion block. It will actually appear dented and damaged as if someone beat it with a hammer.
If you do need to fire slugs in the 2 position, make sure you use a recoil buffer to reduce damage to your firearm. Of course, there are plenty of Saiga 223 accessories for sale and the buffer is one of the most important.
It’s actually recommended that you always use a buffer no matter what you’re using to extend the life of your firearm and reduce damage over time.