SKS Bolt Disassembly - aka "dang, that pin's in there tight!"


May 9, 2006, 04:23 AM
Well, I have an SKS. I boiled all the parts in water to get rid of the cosmoline (the first owner apparently hadn't removed it all), but the firing pin was still a little sticky, so I decided to take it apart and clean it. That firing pin retaining pin was a mother to get out.

Anyways, I can't manage to get the pin back in, because the pin has to be lined up correctly with the bolt and it's hard to eyeball that. In addition, when I put the extractor back in, it tends to 'pop' out (i.e. both ends stay in but the middle of the spring juts out).

Well, I tried pounding it back in without the extractor, figuring I could put the extractor back in after I got the pin in. Nope! Anyways, now I can't get the darn pin out.

Now, on this page: he has some sort of wooden thing with holes in it, which would be really handy for punching that friggin firing pin retaining pin out. What's that called and where can I find one?

Finally, are the pins supposed to be that hard to get out? Most SKS disassembly sites tell me to 'gently tap it out with a punch and hammer'. Gently, my ars! Anyway, hope someone has a solution.

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May 9, 2006, 04:38 AM
Wooden reloading tray i believe. I just used a 2 by4 with a couple of holes drilled in it.


May 9, 2006, 05:57 AM
The pin on my Yugo bolt was a pain to get out. I got tired of pounding on it and just left it alone. Soak it for a day or so in mineral spirits, the firing pin should move freely after that.

May 9, 2006, 09:24 AM
I'm having the same exact problem with mine. I got a SKS at AIM Surplus last week and I haven't been able to get that darn pin out yet. I bent one punch trying to get it out. I soaked it overnight last night and am going to give it another try today.

May 9, 2006, 09:57 AM
I left my soak over night and after a few bangs it came out pretty easily.

english kanigit
May 9, 2006, 09:59 AM
I could pull my chink SKS' bolt apart bare handed. With my Russian, I think I need a mallet and punch. I haven't tried it yet...

May 9, 2006, 10:06 AM
Both Yugos was a MOTHER to get out. Once was enough, thorough cleaning, and reassemble.
Make you want to send your bolt to get that recoil spring kit in, and not worry about it.

May 9, 2006, 10:18 AM
The pin on my first Yugo was HARD to get out. At first I was not going to take it out. I soaked it about 4 days in turpentine, and it seemed to rattle just fine and move freely. After all the dire warnings over on the SKS board, I decided to punch it out. What a pain!

I ended up opening my vice an inch or so, laying some rubber innertube over the top of it, placing the bolt on top of that, and pounding the heck out of it. It came out, and guess what? It was totally clean after all the soaking I gave it. I put it all back together.

For my second Yugo, I did NOT punch it out, just soaked it for several days, used the air compressor on it, and that's it.

May 9, 2006, 10:31 AM
I put my bolt on a vise with the pin in the open space between the jaws. To keep the thing from moving around, I clamped a couple pieces of wood in the jaws to hold it stable.

Then I got a punch and my 20 oz. anti-vibration hammer and went to town. It came out after some serious wailing.

May 9, 2006, 10:37 AM
Where can I get Mineral Spirits, and how much does it cost?

May 9, 2006, 11:13 AM
You can get mineral spirits at most any hardware or paint store. Walmart has it with the paint.

I used the thickest steel punch I could find that still fit in the hole for the pin. It took a good amount of whacking to get one or two of my bolts apart.


May 9, 2006, 11:34 AM
Back when I had an SKS, I sent my entire bolt assembly to this guy:

He installed a spring on the firing pin and cleaned it up really nice. I highly recommend the service, it was worth every penny.

May 9, 2006, 12:29 PM
I've found that the proper sized punch diameter makes a difference. Use a punch that is as close to the pin diameter as possible. We tried a smaller diameter punch and couldn't get the pin to move. I tried a larger diameter punch with the assembly bridged over the jaws of my vise, and the pin came out with a couple of firm taps. My punch was tapered, so I could only get the pin started with it. To get it out the rest of the way, I used a nail that had the same diameter of the pin. I first ground off the point of the nail on my bench grinder to make it flat.

Red Tornado
May 9, 2006, 01:21 PM
Mineral spirits is $4-5 per gallon, if I remember correctly. Anyway, it's not much, and it a wonder at eating off cosmoline. I'm another one who uses it exclusively.

BTW, it does have some vapors, so make sure you have good ventilation or just leave it outside while it's soaking.


May 9, 2006, 03:11 PM
cosmoline off a rifle. Oh, don't remove the extractor. They are a MF to get back together. To knock the firing pin retainer out of the bolt, lay the bolt across one of those C shaped front sight tools. Some pins are hard, some are easy. Make sure your firing pin is installed correctly, or you will have a full auto experience when you try to shoot it.....chris3

May 9, 2006, 04:29 PM
The extractor is hard to remove :scrutiny: ?

It seemed pretty easy to remove when the pin was out. It's a bitch to put back in with the pin in, though. I should've followed instructions and put it back in BEFORE the pin, though!

May 9, 2006, 05:04 PM
I've cleaned two SKS bolts. One, the firing pin retaining pin came out easy. One, it didn't. Dad and I ended up using a very solid metal surface, a good brass punch, and a big hammer. I held the bolt against dad's big ol' vice, with the jaws set apart so there was a gap for the firing pin retaining pin to move into, while dad got good 'n serious with the hammer and punch.

It was the solid base of the vice that did the trick. Everything else we used was absorbing too much of the energy from the hammer blows.

May 10, 2006, 10:51 AM
Well, I picked up some mineral spirits at Home Depot. I'm gonna soak it later today, see if that does the trick. Now if only I could get the can open with my girly hands >_<. Have to wait until my dad gets home!

May 10, 2006, 10:57 AM
I've still been unable to get mine apart. :cuss: :cuss: :cuss:

May 10, 2006, 01:28 PM
make sure the firing pin "rattles" in the bolt. If it doesn't, you have it in wrong. Hold the bolt, face up, and if the firing pin does not go all the way back in the hole. It is in wrong. If the firing pin rattles and goes in the hole, you got it right. A pair of pliers works great opening a jug of mineral spirits. chris3

May 10, 2006, 05:37 PM
That's exactly why I took the thing apart in the first place...the firing pin wasn't rattling. Turns out it was just some leftover Cosmoline in there, which I boiled out. Firing pin rattles now, so no slam-firing full-auto SKS =). Now, if I could only get the damn pin out so I can reassemble it right.

Bolt is sitting in a coffee can full of Mineral Spirits as we speak.

May 10, 2006, 06:50 PM
I have used a wooden block, a wooden reloading tray, and a plastic divider from a box of Fiocchi .45ACP ammo to assist me in disassembling them.

Average Joe
May 10, 2006, 07:53 PM
Your best bet is to put it in a vise, and tap out with a punch that is as large as the pin itself.

May 10, 2006, 08:38 PM
Back when I had an SKS, I sent my entire bolt assembly to this guy:

He installed a spring on the firing pin and cleaned it up really nice. I highly recommend the service, it was worth every penny.

I did the same....he does excellent work.

Smokey Joe
May 10, 2006, 10:42 PM
To free up my SKS's firing pin, rather than disassemble the bolt, I sprayed brake cleaner liberally into the firing pin channel. The brake cleaner came out dripping brown with cosmoline, at first.

After the bolt dripped clear brake cleaner, I let it dry, then lubed with very light oil (I used Kroil).

The firing pin moves back and forth of its own weight when I tip my SKS muzzle-up and muzzle-down. I check this periodically.

May 10, 2006, 11:52 PM
I was able to take my bolt apart without much drama, the pin was tight, but I won, the firing pin area was blocked solid with cosmoline but it was easy to remove with the bolt disassembled.

May 11, 2006, 02:16 AM
The SKS was never designed to have lubricant in the firing pin channel. It just attracts dirt to cling into the bolt and jam it up.

english kanigit
May 11, 2006, 07:55 PM
Y'know, this might not be a popular position... but why change what works?

It just takes a little bit of care and common sense as far as cleaning goes. I think any of Simonov's children in my stable will stay in virgin form.
My two bits.

October 15, 2010, 10:54 PM
Ragged Claws aready mentioned it, but it bears repeating. one slam fire is all it takes to ruin your day.

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