SKS or Nagant?


November 7, 2007, 03:06 PM
I am thinking of getting either an SKS or a Mosin Nagant this winter. Haven't had any experience with either weapon. Any suggestions, experiences would be greatly appreciated. Also, what are some good aftermarket parts for either weapon?

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November 7, 2007, 03:10 PM
Well, they're in two different categories of firearms. The SKS is a semi-auto and the Mosin is a bolt-action. The SKS costs about twice as much, but still they're only about $200 for a Yugoslavian 59/66. They also shoot different rounds. The SKS shoots 7.62x39 and the Mosin shoots 7.62x54R.

I went with the SKS but I'll probably get a Mosin sometime just because they're so cheap.

November 7, 2007, 03:13 PM
Aftermarket parts on a Nagant? Sinner and heathen from the bowels of hell, get thee gone!!!

Okay, no seriously. Both these rifles are great fun in their stock configuration. There are plenty of parts to trick out an SKS with... but really no point to doing it unless you want an AK knock off that costs more than an AK.

Both rifles are pretty cheap to shoot still since their respective ammo is cheaper than .223/.308/.30-06. They are both fun in their own ways. The Nagant in a sadistic OMG my shoulder type of way... Decent plinkers, also decent cheap hunting rifles. I killed my first boar with a 1916 vintage Nagant.

My recomendation... get one of each. They're pretty cheap.

November 7, 2007, 04:28 PM
the SKS is semi auto and the cartridge is similar in performance to a 30-30. The Mosin Nagant is bolt action and the cartridge is similar in performance to a 3006. Both guns are inexpensive and fun to shoot. The Mosin Nagant will most likely be the more accurate of the two. Ammo prices for the SKS is getting a little pricy.......chris3

November 7, 2007, 04:33 PM
I'm going to agree with ClickClickD'Oh and say get one of each. Both rifles and a case of ammo for each is going to run you somewhere on the order of $500-600 (depending on how much ammo you buy).

I just so happen to have a Yugo 59/66 and two MNs (a 91/30 and a M38, soon to get a M44). I love both types and they are all great shooters. The SKS is better to shoot for long periods as the recoil is much less severe, although a SKS will heat up pretty good after 100 rounds or so. Accuracy on a SKS will run anywhere from 2 to 4 MOA while the accuracy of a MN depends a whole lot on the bore condition, my 91/30 will do 5-6 MOA (it needs a little work). But Mosins are capable of very good accuracy.

So definitely get both. It's worth it.

chris in va
November 7, 2007, 05:07 PM
I have owned both.

The Mosin M38/44 is a beast with recoil. They're shorter and lighter than the 91/30 and can beat you up pretty good. I limit my range time to 20 rounds with it. The rifle is one step up from a 2x4 in complexity and looks. Keep in mind putting any sort of 'modern' doodads on it takes a lot of work, ie scope, sights etc. I think most people buy these because 1) They're cheap and 2) It's just so darn brutal.

Had a good Yugo SKS. It was alright, pretty heavy for a carbine. Sold it and got a Saiga, haven't looked back.

November 7, 2007, 05:16 PM
I have a Russian M44 carbine and a Russian SKS carbine. I like both of them alot. What are you buying the gun for? The only after market item I ever bought for either was a Montecarlo stock for my M44. I think I might eventually try a sporter stock for the SKS. but I would never add anything else to them. If you get a SKS avoid the hi cap mags. They will never be trustworthy.

November 7, 2007, 05:22 PM
- do you want a semi-auto or a bolt action?
- IIRC, there are *slightly* more commercial loadings offered in the US for 7.62x39. surplus 7.62x54r today is about the same price as import commercial 7.62x39.
- sight picture is about the same, but obviously longer radius on m91/30.
- how far and flat do you want to shoot? I have options to shoot at 450 yds regularly, and up to 1000. for ranges that only offer 100-200, might just stick with sks.

none of that considers aftermarket options, of course.


November 7, 2007, 05:41 PM
Get both while they're are still relatively cheap. Both are only going to get more expensive as time goes by;)

Honestly they are two completely different rifles so it just a matter of which type you want more. Both are fun to shoot and can be had for under $200, the SKS may be a bit more fun because its semi-auto and you can fire it faster. The Nagant is fun because it makes big boom and kicks like a mule:D

November 7, 2007, 05:47 PM
If you like them both get and SKS before they go up in price, again. However if you want to use 30rd mags get an AK.
Mosin Nagants are cheap but don't have a manual safety. Which is only more of a concern while walking in brush on a loaded chamber. They do make good after market Mosin triggers but that's like putting chrome on a Ford Taurus.

November 7, 2007, 06:48 PM
What do you mean a Mosin has no manual safety?

It may have the most laughable manual safety ever designed, because you may need pliers to use it, but it's there. You pull out on the knob on the end of the bolt and turn.

Get an SKS. They're running out of them.

I think they made enough Mosins to last forever.

Apart from their historic significance, Mosins' only real virtues are that they're durable and cheap. These two factors were accomplished by building them crudely. I know people love them. I have a couple myself. But the truth is the truth, however someone feels about it.

It's fun to shoot a crude semiauto. It's not as fun to shoot a crude bolt gun. It is fun to hand an M38 to someone you don't like much, and tell them the kick isn't too bad, though.

November 7, 2007, 07:38 PM
No problem, get both!

November 7, 2007, 08:02 PM
I got an SKS because I liked them more, but both are fun to shoot. I am not a fan of after market parts on mil surps so I can't tell you what has more since I don't look for them. If you have the money easy has the right idea, buy both. If you don't I would look for an SKS, because they are getting much more expensive, and mosins are found for $60-$90 at gun shows near me.

November 7, 2007, 08:05 PM
$200 for a Yugoslavian 59/66

I bought one this weekend for 160. Its going to depend on your location.

Buy both, but sks first.

November 8, 2007, 07:21 AM
thanks all. i think i might go with the sks first and then get the mosin a little later.

any particular country that i should avoid when choosing an sks? i tend to avoid china by gut instinct.

November 8, 2007, 07:48 AM
There both so cheap why not buy both?

November 8, 2007, 08:30 AM
Consensus is to buy at least both If not several of each. FYI -- it is not commonly referred to as a "Nagant" unless you are looking at a pistol. It is commonly a Mosin, M31, M91-30 or better yet a Mosin Nagant. Don't buy the MN M44 as your first Mosin or you will never really know how the rifle is designed to function and you will not enjoy shooting because of M44 blast and recoil. 7.62X39 ammo is the cheapest of the military services to shoot at this point so IMO get the SKS first and buy 54R ammo while you are waiting to get the rifle as it is becoming harder to find.

November 8, 2007, 09:19 AM
Actually the chinese sks's can be quite good. The wood on the stocks tend to be softer but I'd take a chinese version over a yugo 59/66 just because it balances alot better and is lighter. The chinese can be found quite a bit cheaper than russians. Mark

November 8, 2007, 09:40 AM
i tend to avoid china by gut instinct.

Lucky for you, in this case they aren't the only game in town.

As long as you get an example in very good condition, you can't go wrong really The Albanian and Romanian versions are a little overpriced IMHO, mostly because of collector value. The Russian versions have some of the prettiest stocks (subjective), but are also some of the oldest examples. If you want one that's close to the original Russian design without actually being a Russian, try finding a Romanian, or a Yugo M59 (not the M59/66).


November 8, 2007, 10:53 AM
I was given a yugo sks as a present not long ago.I picked up some brown bear 7.62X39 ammo and headed out to the range.I set up a target at 50 meters to sight it in.I was pretty impressed with the yugo as it cut the center out of the shot better than any ak I have ever owned:).
the yugo was unissued and full of cosmo:):).

November 8, 2007, 11:13 AM
I own both, though I bought the SKS in 2005 for 100 bucks. I love them both, but they are totally different guns. Get both, and you won't be disappointed.

November 8, 2007, 03:36 PM
For plinking and general field use at 200-300 yards an SKS is hard to beat with its higher capacity and lower recoil also if it matters its easier to find aftermarket parts for and beiing a semi auto it allows you to concentrate on your sights and your target and not worry about working the action in between shots breaking your cheek weld and firing grip.

If you were to use it primarily for medium to large game hunting I would go with the Mosin as the 7.62x54R is allot better than the 7.62x39 on bigger critters.

Some people actually enjoy the increased recoil and muzzle blast of a Mosin Nagant 1938 & 1944 carbine others tire of it after a while, Personally I do not mind it as it adds character to shooting the rifles which to me are pieces of history.:D

If you go with an SKS first choice would be a Russian (THE best) followed by either a Bulgarian or Yugoslavian and last of all a Chinese one as they are probably the most prolific of the bunch they tend to be the ones that hold their value the least as quality can vary from one to another.

In buying a surplus Mosin be careful to check the rifling and the bore and chamber along with the crown of the muzzle and see if it is counter bored as some 1938s have been, also inspect the stock and handguards for cracks and repairs.

In closing in true THR fashion get BOTH!:D

November 8, 2007, 03:57 PM
any particular country that i should avoid when choosing an sks? i tend to avoid china by gut instinct.

I don't like the look of the chinese stocks they usually look like toys, and I just don't like most chinese goods. I have a yugo and it shoots pretty good, around 4 MOA with cheap wolf ammo. I assume you aren't hunting with it so, the extra weight that is hardly noticable won't bother you on the yugo.

All countries made a pretty good SKS so just look for a good deal.

November 8, 2007, 04:00 PM
Go with the SKS

November 8, 2007, 04:03 PM
Both are good, but they're very different. The SKS is many pounds lighter and is shorter OAL. It's a semi and shoots a smaller cartridge. The Mosin is a legendary old-skool war rifle powerful enough to bring down a brown bear.

I'd advise against doing much aftermarket for either one. It's possible to turn the SKS into a quasi-AK but it invites troubles. You should appreciate the SKS for its own virtues and get an AK clone if you want an AK clone.

If you're looking to buy now the ones to get would be the pre-ban Norincos and the original SKS-45's. Both are going up in value fast. The older Norinco SKS's are actually very well made and are not just cheap Chicom junk. The Yugos are still pretty easy to get.

Among Mosins the Finns are the ones to get. They will run $200-$400 now but are going north all the time. Inherent value on some of them may be over a thousand considering their war use and rarity, so they're a good investment. The Soviet 91/30's are not usually as accurate but are cheaper. If you get one I'd suggest a pre-war one from before 1939. These were made in smaller number and tend to be better put together. Wartime Mosins are quite crude and while functional aren't terribly accurate.

November 8, 2007, 04:41 PM
The problem with the Finns is that, if the value continues to rise as it has, they're worth buying as a collectible and stashing away, well-oiled. You don't want to diminish their value by using them as plinkers; however, they're the best Mosins, so they're the ones best suited to target shooting.

That's the Catch-22 of a number of old military rifles -- and one reason you can't buy just one, once you get started...:)

November 8, 2007, 09:14 PM
any particular country that i should avoid when choosing an sks? i tend to avoid china by gut instinct.

Chinese sks' function fine but they look like, and sometimes include, plastic parts. Check for missing parts in all rifles. In yugos check the gas valve as they can be corroded. A good price today for a decent yugo is around 150. Chinese i believe are valued more than this and russian ones are very expensive. 250 and upwards. A lot of russian sks' will be in not so good condition with a mixture of painted, dented and chipped stocks.

November 8, 2007, 10:02 PM
Get both a Yugo SKS and an M44! Probably really good advise. They are both quite different animals and both are very fun.

November 8, 2007, 10:48 PM
Why would you debate over a nagant pistol, and a sks. Get the sks... :D

November 8, 2007, 11:21 PM
I highly recommend getting stripper clip for the ammo. :)

November 9, 2007, 09:40 AM
I have one of each, and both are 'fun blasters' unto themselves. My M-44 Mosin-Nagant is for clearing other folks away from where I am shooting...Once made a guy shooting a .300WinMag pack it up..."Your gun is toooo **** LOUD" he grumbled...

The SKS (Yugo 59/66) is a fun semi-auto "Commie Gun". Now, If I could get the blanks and some dummy grenades...Anybody wanna play 300 Yard "Lawn Darts" ? ? ?

cracked butt
November 9, 2007, 11:56 AM
Unless you are choosing between a Finn Mosin or a SKS, get the SKS.

Mosin Nagants are neat oddities and can be fun to shoot, but the SKS is more likely to shoot to its point of aim (and its front sight is elevation adjustable if it doesn't) , is going to be just as accurate, and is in a much more fun semi-automatic platform.

November 9, 2007, 03:39 PM
Do what I did: Get both !!!! A generic Mosin will cost less than a case of SKS ammo
( both refinished by me )

November 9, 2007, 04:36 PM
NOOK.. What kind of magazine is that on your SKS??

November 9, 2007, 04:36 PM
NOOK.. What kind of magazine is that on your SKS??

November 9, 2007, 04:41 PM
chinese 20 round fixed mag

November 9, 2007, 04:49 PM
Nice .. Where could I get one and how much?! Are they reliable?

November 9, 2007, 04:50 PM
Ohh... I'm hurt.

I guess I'm the oddball here, and I'd vote the Mosin Nagant over the SKS. I've just never felt the draw to the SKS that other folks have. I also like cartridges that have the ability (when coupled with a good triggerman) to connect at 500+ yards.

A couple weeks ago I was out in the hills around Prescott, AZ, shooting at 12" pumpkins from 250 yards with my Mosin Nagant 91/30 and surplus ammo. Once you get your sight picture down, reconnecting repeatedly is easy. I had a great-big-********-eating grin on my face all day.

I'd like to try my Mosin in a modern synthetic stock, with a Mojo sight instead of the stock ladder sight, and some decent handloads.

November 9, 2007, 04:54 PM
Nice .. Where could I get one and how much?! Are they reliable? Mine came with the rifle but they turn up on ebay from time to time, The last one I saw on there went for almost $90. I have had several SKSs and many mags, and this is by far the most reliable SKS feeder I have ever fired.

I'd vote the Mosin Nagant over the SKS
Me too. I take my mosin out all the time, SKS has been gathering dust. You get a lot more range time and a much higher feeling of accomplishment reaching out and tagging targets at 300M than just burning dollars with a spray and pray rifle.

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