New (to me) SKS. What do I have to do before shooting it?


February 5, 2007, 02:06 PM
Hey. I'm not a newbie here - I have 3 AKs and an AR. But I just bought this used Yugo SKS and I want to know what I have to do before safely shooting the thing. I'm not the type who loves tearing them down and tinkering with them. I love shooting them and caressing them and whispering sweet nothings into their receivers.

But I do want to be safe. This copy's virtually cosmoline-free. What do I have to do before I can feel safe shooting the thing. After I see that it works, I'm probably gonna keep it in the truck for the next North Hollywood shootout.


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February 5, 2007, 02:16 PM
Make sure that the gas tube (both parts of it) are clean and clear of grease. Check over the gas valve (assuming it's a 59/66) and be sure that it is in good condition. A corroded one is an annoyance, but not a safety hazard (turns it from a semiauto to a clunky and heavy bolt-action).

The BIG thing is to take the bolt apart and ensure that the firing pin channel is clean and clear of grease. That's the most important thing- if it gets junked up, the pin will stick and the thing will slamfire on you.

You'll love the SKS too.

February 5, 2007, 02:16 PM
I always field strip, inspect and clean and lube all new to me guns weather they are new or just new to me. I know that it is no always required, but I figure better safe that sorry.

February 5, 2007, 02:20 PM
Shake it back and forth and look/listen for the firing pin, it should move back and forth freely. A quick field strip/clean couldn't hurt... when I bought mine I took it apart and I cleaned it even though it didn't need it... Stuck firing pin would be my only worry.

Mr White
February 5, 2007, 03:06 PM
When you shake the rile, the gas piston will rattle too. Best bet is to remove the bolt and shake it by itsself. The firing pin should rattle freely.

Also, there's a little button up at the front of the gas tube. It should be facing about 2:00 as you hold the rifle in firing position. This is the gas cutoff valve for the grenade launcher. 12:00 position will prevent semiauto fire and will allow the grenade sight to be raised. 2:00 position will allow gas to port into the cylinder and allow semiauto fire and prevent the grenade sight from being raised. FTF in semiauto is probably the most common complaint with new Yugo owners and 99% of it is because of that valve.

February 5, 2007, 03:21 PM
The first thing I would actually do with an SKS ( I don't have one ) would be to look into one of those firing pin spring conversions which make the gun MUCH safer without hindering ( actually improving ) function.

Heres a link to explain (

February 5, 2007, 05:09 PM
I don't wanna sound like an imbicil, but does that involve disassembling it or just inspecting it at a glance?

Mr. White,
I know what you're saying.

Thanks all.

February 5, 2007, 05:44 PM
Disassembly instructions can be found in various place on the internet. Basically, you begin with field stripping, then you go ahead and pull the gas tube with piston, then the operating rod.

To pull the bolt apart, you will need a hammer, punch, anvil, and something to hold it steady (because you need to hammer like the dickens). It is worth the effort though- you really want to know for 100% sure that it will function properly.

All the SKS info you ever need can be found at Survivor's SKS board ( or SurplusRifle Forums (

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