Is my SKS falling apart?


December 3, 2006, 01:43 AM
I was out shooting today in the below freezing temps we've had this week. I tell myself it's a character builder. At least we have cast iron stove at the range, where I can huddle and load mags. :rolleyes:

Anyway, I had put about 50 rounds through one of my SKSs. I had one misfire. After waiting a minute, I ejected the cartridge to check it out. There was a normal strike, so I assumed it was a dud. It went in the dud can, and I went back to shooting. After another 15 rounds, I had what I thought was another dud and began to get concerned. I'd just picked up this ammo (Wolf "military classic" FMJ) and this was the first time I'd had it out. I waited again, ejected the cartridge but this one only had a very light strike. I aimed to fire again, but the trigger wouldn't break. Safety was off, bolt was all the way forward, but it was like the trigger was stuck or blocked. I ejected the iffy round and placed it in the dud can. Then, with gun unloaded, I worked the bolt and safety a few times to see if I could get any trigger action. Nothing would allow me to get it to release. I didn't want to pull too hard and risk breaking anything, and I couldn't easily remove the trigger group because I have a Techsight on that rifle. I packed it up and shot other things for awhile.

After getting the rifle home, I stripped it and found this small piece of metal in the action, sitting very near the mechanism for releasing the bolt.

It resembles a pierced and blown out primer to me. It doesn't look like much of anything I'd expect to find in the trigger group or SKS bolt. Once I removed it, reassembled the rifle, and cycled the bolt a few times, everything worked as expected.

Anybody else want to hazard a guess what this little bugger is? I'm at a loss if it's not a primer.


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December 3, 2006, 02:03 AM
I second the blown primer vote. It looks like it still has red sealer on it around the edge. Doesn't look like anything, or part of anything inside an sks.

How often do you do a full disassembly and cleaning? I know an sks can go a million rounds without cleaning (please don't do that) and so many, myself included will put off cleaning their rifle.

December 3, 2006, 02:07 AM
I cleaned it about two weeks ago and then stuck it in the safe. I put 20 rounds through it last weekend, and then started in this weekend. It has been a little while since I smacked the bolt apart and cleaned the firing pin channel, so perhaps that's in order.


December 3, 2006, 02:36 AM
1. I agree that looks like blown primer.

2. Clean out the firing pin channel. Make sure there's no old cosmo in there gumming up the works.

December 3, 2006, 03:34 AM
My firing pin retaining pin is really tight, any suggestions as to how to get it out?

December 3, 2006, 06:32 AM
You really, really, really have to whack the crap out of them.

Beat it with the biggest hammer you got.......just hard enough that you think its going to shatter......then double that amount.

Should come apart.

December 3, 2006, 06:50 AM
What I did was found a small piece of wood and placed it on a table under the F pin retaining pin. Then I whacked the poop out of it! Poped right out!

December 3, 2006, 07:11 AM
Been there, done that. It's very simple but takes quite a whack. Use a good steel pin punch of appropriate size (you can probably get one at your local auto parts store). Clean the channel and firing pin with pipe cleaners + gun scrubber and follow up with powder solvent. Don't over-oil. BTW, if your SKS is Russian, it may have a firing pin return spring, but Chinese and Yugos (as well as later Russian) don't.

Video here:

Rest of page here:

As far as your problem, it looks like blown primer or weak cartridge case. Also, 7.62x39's are famous for broken shells (google 7.62x39 broken shell extractor). I doubt your SKS is any worse for wear though... They are D*mn tough rifles!!

December 3, 2006, 07:59 AM
It is piece of a blown primer. This is not a problem with your rifle, nor caused by your rifle. I have had lots of similar problems with Wolf Military classic, and my rifle will fire any other ammo, including older Wolf without any problems at all. This ammo is classic crap. I contacted Wolf some months ago. At first they told me to get back to them with pictures, which I did. Then they clammed up. I had many pierced primers, others barely dimpled, others that did not fire, and some normal. Quality control on this stuff is, in my opinion, horrendous. My bet is this was made for the Iraqi or Afghan armies.

All the best,
Glenn b

December 3, 2006, 09:09 AM
+1 on the primer blowback. Happened to me with Wolf ammo as well. They know about it and simply apologize when you contact them. They will take back your unused ammo, if you wish. I believe the problem to be a combination of proper brass dimensioning and sealant, likely the dimensioning.

I have about 700 rounds of Wolf for range practice. But for hunting or other use, I keep Sellier & Bellot or Winchester on hand. Who needs a locked up trigger group in the field.

December 3, 2006, 09:45 AM
It probably won't help with the ammo but it can help with slam fires.

December 3, 2006, 11:38 AM
If you decide to go to war, don't use that ammo....;)

December 3, 2006, 11:56 AM
I have read about pierced/blown primers on other boards regarding Military Classic as well. Glad the last Wolf I bought was the Poly stuff.


December 3, 2006, 07:57 PM
Thanks for the advice guys, I just wasn't whacking hard enough. It came out. :)

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