My brother in Ohio asks: "Should I buy an SKS?"


Average Guy
March 24, 2003, 04:32 PM
I reply unreservedly: "Yes. I could have had one for $100, but my roommate talked me out of it. Now I can't get one at all."

My reasoning being, of course, that someday Ohio might pass a ban. And even if they don't, it's an inflation-fighting measure. :)

Your thoughts?

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Marko Kloos
March 24, 2003, 04:43 PM
They work, and they're under $200 in most places. The worst I can say about the SKS is that its sights are as crappy as AK sights, it's not all that easy to scope, and it offers only mediocre accuracy.

For a plinker, truck, or 'round-the-house gun, however, it's hard to beat for the money.

March 24, 2003, 04:46 PM
The answer to that question will always be yes! It sould be bought just before your AK!

March 24, 2003, 04:48 PM
My two SKS rifles are second only to my .22s for being fun and cheap to shoot. Yea, they're great rifles. Built like tanks too.

March 24, 2003, 07:29 PM
I love my SKS. It's been thru :evil: and still feeds like crazy.

Greg L
March 24, 2003, 07:34 PM
Yes, of course is the answer to any question of that type (unless of course doing so would make you lose the house or starve the kids).

Now I can't get one at all

Sure you can. I've seen plenty of the Yugo SKS' with the grenade launcher removed so they are now Ca. legal.

An AK no, but the SKS' are out there.


March 24, 2003, 09:51 PM
A SKS,and a Mosin Nagant should be in every house hold !

March 24, 2003, 09:53 PM
Like GregL said, you can certainly buy a SKS in CA. It will be a little more than $100.

I bought a Yugo version in early January from Turner's. No problem and it even shoots well.

March 25, 2003, 08:55 AM
A Yugoslavian SKS is cheap, reliable, "combat acurate" out to 100 yards or so, and economical to operate (feed). You might call it the "Yugo" of Homeland Defense Rifles. (pun intended) :)

Bottom line - no home should be without (at least) one. Preferably several. And a case or two of cheap Russian ammo. Oh, and a pile of stripper clips. All for under, say $200. They're so cheap there's really no excuse not to.

March 25, 2003, 12:14 PM
Another benefit is that the Yugo SKS is on the C&R list - definitely puts a new spin on internet shopping. There's nothing like having the BBT drop off a new rifle. :)

March 25, 2003, 04:42 PM
what is a C&R list?

March 25, 2003, 05:28 PM
"what is a C&R list?"

The list of firearms that the BATF classifies as Curios and Relics. Go to for more info, but basically it means this: for $30 you can get what's called a C&R FFL (Federal Firearms License) which allows you to purchase C&R firearms directly from dealers and/or individuals and have them delivered directly to your door - no need to transfer them through a licensed dealer, because you're a licensed collector.

Most any gun manufactured more than 50 years ago is classed as a C&R. I'm a newly licensed C&R holder myself, and just picked up my first purchase made with the license - a Springfield M1 Garand built in March 1944... three months before D-Day. If only this steel and walnut could talk... I can't help but wonder where she's been.

Check it out - 30 bucks gets you a license good for 3 years, and your first purchase will probably pay for it in saved transfer fees.

Average Guy
March 25, 2003, 07:06 PM
Whoa! Thanks; you've opened up a whole new avenue for me! I wasn't aware of the CA SKS thing (maybe that pump-action AK threw me off). Sounds groovy, and I'm always happy for Turner's to get my $$.

And a C&R...sounds too good to pass up. Again, thanks for the info!

March 25, 2003, 07:24 PM
Pardon my dissenting vote.

No. Nada. Naught.

March 25, 2003, 08:55 PM
Would that be because of the risk of 'slam fires', the awful trigger on most SKS', the dodgy pinned barrels, the clumsy safety, the difficult sights, or some other reason;) ?

I had an early milled Chinese SKS, and they are fun...:uhoh:

March 25, 2003, 09:54 PM
ditto meekandmild, for the reasons fallingblock gave + it's a combloc weapon.

it was fun tho,:p

March 25, 2003, 09:55 PM
Average Guy, what, the boss doesn't have her own AR15 or Barrett 50BMG? :D

Kahr carrier
March 25, 2003, 10:16 PM
Yep buy it.:)

March 25, 2003, 10:19 PM
The absolute tops as an armadillo gun! Um.... this may not apply in Ohio.
Got 'dillers?

March 26, 2003, 03:50 AM
Have to disagree with Lendringser, I have a paratrooper model SKS that takes regular AK mags and an SAR-1 type AK. The sights on both are fine out to 300 meters and both are quite accurate. Truthfully, how many chances are you going to get at a target beyond the 300 meter limit unless one lives in the country where longer ranges need a scoped rifle anyway; I have a scoped Mosin Nagany for that!!

I'll keep my AK and SKS and gladly take either one in harms way, especially the SKS. I spent 5 years in the Infantry and 3 years as a Drill Sgt. The M-16 is an OK weapon(I also have an AR15) but I'll take the SKS/AK over the AR any day.:what:

Tommy Gunn
March 26, 2003, 05:43 AM
The SKS is a fine "beater gun" to burn up cheap milsurp ammo at the gravel pit.

March 26, 2003, 05:47 AM
The sights on both are fine out to 300 meters and both are quite accurate.

This, of course, all depends on your definitions of "fine" and "accurate". ;)

March 26, 2003, 09:05 AM
Hey MeekandMild: you have any reasons for saying no or are you just a negative kinda guy?


Slam fires? Not if you understand how an SKS works and maintain it properly. The risk is overstated and can be virtually eliminated with proper care.

Crappy trigger? Well, it's no two-stage match trigger, but it works well enough that it doesn't negate the gun's sub-100 yard combat effectiveness.

As for your other points: Well, you want a Caddy you gotta pay for a Caddy. For the cost of a Yugo you get... a Yugo. Both will get you (or in this case, lead) from point A to point B. I guess it's all a matter of taste. I, for one, refuse to turn up my nose at any tool that's reliable and effective - even if considered ugly or crude by some standards. It's results that count. Results obtained at ridiculously low cost are a bonus. To each their own.

If you don't want to own a comblock weapon - well, again, your call. My SKS is a '54 Tula (Rusky) born the same year I was. We grew up on opposite sides of the Iron Curtain. Now that the curtain's gone I'm happy to own this token of our parallel histories.

March 26, 2003, 09:22 AM
The GOOD: SKS is CA legal(that's where I live).
The BAD: As far as I know, Garand's and M-Series are much more $$$'s.
the UGLY: Hi-Point Carbine.

Flying V
March 26, 2003, 10:42 AM
Everyone should own an SKS.

March 26, 2003, 11:44 AM
I agree that everyone should own an SKS. Inexpensive cost, reliable and lot of fun to shoot. It can double as a deer hunting gun in a pinch.

When I take someone new to shooting the SKS is always one of the rifles that I take. I see it this way. When you take a kid fishing you want to put them on the biggest shellcracker/bream/bluegill bed you can possibly find so they can have the most fun. The SKS is the shellcracker of rifles.:D

Good Shooting

March 26, 2003, 12:09 PM
I have some SKS's and all function very well. Great rifles for the money.
Also get a Mosin Nagant.

Jim Hall

March 26, 2003, 03:30 PM
Hey MeekandMild: you have any reasons for saying no or are you just a negative kinda guy? None of the reasons so far mentioned.

The 7.62x39 is a marginal deer load. I have a friend who's harvested several deer with an SKS but he is a better tracker than me. I have trouble finding a deer if it runs a hundred yards in a straight line, much less a half mile. When I hunt with a carbine it is a Marlin, which is US made and of a design with the bugs worked out a hundred years ago.


March 26, 2003, 03:45 PM

Understood. I likely wouldn't buy one if it's primary use would be deer hunting either. While doable, there are much better choices for hunting arms. Not legal around here anyway - bolt or lever only - no semi-autos allowed.

I guess most of us took the question to be more general in nature - defense, plinking, all-round fun gun, inexpensive piece of history, hedge against a possible future ban... the SKS fills these roles nicely.

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