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Saiga(sort of antelope)is a name of a whole line of shotguns and rifles / carbines, based on proven and tried Kalashnikov AK assault rifle design. these were developed and are produced by IZHMASH factory in Izhevsk, Russia, which also makes current Kalashnikov assault rifles.Story of this rifle began during late 1970s, when IZHMASH factory designed a semi-automatic carbine in 5,6×39 Russian caliber for controlling the population of the saiga in Kazakhstan. About 300 carbines were produced and project was all but forgotten until early 1990s, when IZHMASH brought back the idea of AK-based semi-automatic hunting carbine in .223 Rem and 7,62×39. During late 1990s IZHMASH also introduced a strengthened version of the same rifle, initially chambered for more powerful .308 Win ammunition, and later on for 9x53R. Saiga rifles are very popular in Russia and elsewhere, mostly because they follow one of the most popular assault rifles in the world, and also because of competitive price and good reliability. Produced in a number of calibers and versions, Saiga rifles can be used for hunting small or medium game(depending on caliber), as well as for training, practical sport shooting and self-defense.