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Review of the Tokyo Marui Saiga 12k Airsoft Shotgun

Since the Saiga 12 gameplay landed, many of you have been asking for a detailed look at this insane airsoft toy. Deep dives into airsoft replicas aren’t something I regularly do, but for this, I’m making an exception because I absolutely love this thing! Whether you’re looking for a new CQB smasher or interested in dominating dense summer vegetation in the forest, let’s take a look at my fully upgraded Saiga 12, made by Tokyo Marui.

Overview and Design

As most of you have noticed, the Saiga 12 is based on an AK platform, but its huge magazine suggests it’s chambered in something a bit different. The real steel version takes 12-gauge shells, but this is airsoft. What makes this platform special is that it’s a trishot shotgun, meaning it has three separate barrels that send three balls out simultaneously every time it fires. This feature alone isn’t unique, but combined with the fact that it’s a gas blowback platform, it becomes very unique, very nasty, and with full auto capabilities, incredibly effective at getting a huge number of BBs slamming into your opponents in quick succession.


Out of the box, the Saiga takes green gas mags, which are exact replicas of the real thing. Unfortunately, this also means they’re limited to around 15 shots on the smaller mags or 30 shots on the larger mags. Considering each shot fires three BBs, this isn’t bad, but given the size of the mags, they are huge and difficult to carry many of them, and the huge amount of gas they use, it will leave you a little underwhelmed and out of ammo quickly.

To address this, I fitted mine with an Airtac HPA adapter, allowing it to take M4 AEG mags, which are much more practical. I’m using EMP1 mags that hold over 200 BBs each, meaning you’ll get at least three times the capacity of the standard gas mags. However, this does mean you’ll have to carry a gas tank and line. But, the HPA conversion transforms this gun, making it more consistent, allowing me to tune the power exactly, and on full auto, it chugs along like a steam train. It’s literally turns it into a hose pipe that accurately reaches out past 50m.


Out of the box, it comes with a simple handguard, but I soon swapped that out for a gorgeous rail section and top rail, which allows me to attach everything I need to improve accuracy and, more importantly, to add cameras for recording.

The standard buttstock has been swapped for a lightweight folding para stock, allowing for easy storage and a more comfortable shooting position.

Internal Features

Inside, the Saiga 12 initially appears to be just an AK that’s a shotgun, but a closer look reveals there’s more to it than meets the eye. The bolt assembly is incredibly realistic. Unlike normal AKs, it has a little bit of a dust cover on it. This consists of two separate springs with a piece in the middle for the dust cover, which actually moves when firing.

This separate dust cover section would be needed on the real version to give extra clearance for the ejected 12-gauge rounds. It even features a cutout on the gas piston, which would be needed to clear the ejection of the rounds this thing is fed.

Taking it down is just like the real thing. Inside, there are three inner barrels with fixed hops. Most users find that heavy .32 BBs work best, and I’ve found it sends these balls out past 55 meters at 1.2 joules. To feed these three barrels is one of the largest nozzles I’ve ever seen. This nozzle doesn’t seem to be the tightest fit, and I have an upgrade part ready to install here to see if there are any efficiency gains to be made.

Huge Nozzle — after market parts to install.

The fire control group is very AK. When this thing comes out of the box, it’s semi-only. I’ve installed a Laylax full auto switch, which essentially holds the selector in the middle, so the trigger group doesn’t catch the bolt back every shot and causes it to chug away.

Laylax Full-Auto Attachment


A lot of people in the comments section have said, “Oh, it looks just like an AK.” Well, essentially, it kind of is just an AK, which was modified by the Russians to shoot shotgun shells. In my opinion, it’s not just very cool but also very effective.

There’s not much more I can say about this stunning airsoft GBB other than to show it in action. Check out me using it in game here:

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time!

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