The old design of the Saiga-12

The Saiga-12 (Russian: Сайга-12), named after Saiga Antelope, is a Shotgun that uses the 12 gauge Ammunition that fires 5 quick rounds, making it commonly thought of as the most powerful Shotgun in, along with the USAS-12, and the Super 90. It is one of the rarest guns in the game, coming in eighth to the M249, AWM-S, M4A1-S, CZ-3A1, M1 Garand (All Golden Airdrop exclusive weapons) and the USAS-12, it is possible to find more than one of them in a per match.


The Saiga-12 is a 12 gauge Shotgun available in a wide range of configurations, patterned after the Kalashnikov series of rifles. Like the Kalashnikov rifle variants, it is a rotating bolt, gas-operated gun that feeds from a box magazine. All Saiga-12 configurations are recognizable as Kalashnikov-pattern guns by the large lever-safety on the right side of the receiver, the optic mounting rail on the left side of the receiver and the large top-mounted dust cover held in place by the rear of the recoil spring assembly.


The Saiga's high rate of fire combined with the overall stats of a Shotgun makes it one of the strongest weapons in the game. The gun offers extreme DPS at both close and mid-range. It is preferable to other shotguns such as the MP220 and the M870 as it has both a high rate of fire and a magazine size of 5, yet it has the same damage and range of the buckshot shotguns.




Swapping To


A fellow survivr holding the Saiga-12 and firing it.


  • To use this weapon efficiently, it is recommended that the player equips high-level gear as they will likely be dealing with fully-automatic Assault Rifles or LMGs at close-to-mid range.
    • With a shotgun-only playstyle, it's recommended to pick this gun up along with an MP220 or an M870 depending on your skill level. If this gun is not available, two MP220s will do the trick just fine.
    • Saiga-12s are Shotguns, so they have really high damage, and with the high fire rate it is easy to win most mid-range and close-range battles.
    • It usually can kill average-geared players in a matter of seconds, so it is a very useful item for rushing into buildings.

A fellow survivr holding the Saiga-12 re-skin

    • Due to its high DPS, use the Saiga-12 for tearing through high-armored enemies.
    • You can also use the Saiga-12 to break enemy cover quickly and kill the enemy without reloading due to it's clip size of 5


  • As is the case with all shotguns, the Saiga-12 lacks any adequate range to deal with even assault rifles at mid-range. If you see the characteristic barrage of the Saiga, back up and engage from a distance if possible.
  • At close range, you can rush Saiga-12 users with an MP220. The MP220 has a faster fire rate than the Saiga-12 and is able to deal lethal damage in 0.2 seconds, while the Saiga-12 takes 0.4 seconds.
    Screenshot (97)
  • With sufficient cover, you can constantly peak and retreat to waste your opponent's clip. While they are reloading, you can use an assault rifle to whittle down their health, and then repeat when they've finished reloading.

Damage for Armors

Body Shots

112.5 No Helmet Level 1 Helmet Level 2 Helmet Level 3 Helmet/
Leader Helmet (Desert)
Leader Helmet (50v50)
No Vest 112.5 104.0625 99 93.9375 88.875
Level 1 Vest 84.375 78.046875 74.25 70.453125 66.65625
Level 2 Vest 69.75 64.51875 61.38 58.24125 55.1025
Level 3 Vest 61.875 57.234375 54.45 51.665625 48.88125


168.75 No Helmet Level 1 Helmet Level 2 Helmet Level 3 Helmet/
Leader Helmet (Desert)
Leader Helmet (50v50)
No Vest 168.75 126.5625 101.25 75.9375 50.625
Level 1 Vest 168.75 126.5625 101.25 75.9375 50.625
Level 2 Vest 168.75 126.5625 101.25 75.9375 50.625
Level 3 Vest 168.75 126.5625 101.25 75.9375 50.625


  • In real-life, many Saiga-12's are semi-auto only. However, many full-auto conversion kits for the Saiga exist (although a real-life converted Saiga-12 would probably have a higher fire rate than its in-game counterpart). This is likely to balance the gun in-game.
  • Saiga shotguns are based off of the Kalashnikov series of rifles.
  • The United States sometimes uses the Saiga-12 in special SWAT teams.
  • The magazine for the old Saiga-12 seems to be much larger than an actual 5-round Saiga magazine, possibly being able to hold 8 or 10 rounds at most. It could just be an extended magazine pinned to only accept 5 rounds. This is likely to balance the gun in-game.
  • As of v0.7.1 "Danger close". The icon and overworld sprite for Saiga-12 was changed.
  • When fighting a Saiga-12 player, don't go in range as it will kill you in seconds before you can deal enough damage to kill them. Rushing Saiga players will work, but if they have max armor, they can still survive both the shots without dying (no headshots), the best counter is to keep your range, or hide behind an obstacle then peek out and shoot, but this is risky, since the Saiga can tear through obstacles in 2 hits and still have 3 more bullets enough to kill you.


Extremely rare, can be found in airdrops and sometimes crates, but chances of Saiga-12 spawning in a crate is extremely rare.

Pros and Cons


  • Fully automatic
  • High DPS
  • Has a large mag compared to the other Shotguns
  • High fire rate


  • Limited range
  • Closer to long reload time