Help on fitting my SKS with the best scope?


December 22, 2007, 02:05 AM
I am new at this whole scope thing and don't know what brands, ranges, etc. are the best to go with. So, I need some help and advice on fitting my new 59/66 with a nice scope. My price range is no more than $50-$60 if possible. I want a quality long range scope.

I already know that I want to get a mount that will allow me to see my iron sights. Whether I get the scope and mount together just depends on the advice of some of the products out there and the prices.

Here is the combo at Cheaper Than Dirt ( that someone recommended for about $53.97, but I have been reading up on NcStar brand scopes and most people don't like them because they ARE cheap. However, I understand that my price range might not allow for anything else, but this is where I am hoping some of you can guide me to a better deal.
I can get that mount by itself for around $15 on EBAY (
Which means that NcStar scope on Cheaper Than Dirt priced alone is around $40.
However, I found this combo at Cabela's ( for $44.99, but I can't figure out what brand the scope is.

Is there a better brand than NcStar? What are some quality scopes? What would you do if you were me? Would you buy the two separate or together?

Also, side note... I am looking for CHEAP 7.62x39 ammo.

Thanks in advance!

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December 22, 2007, 02:32 AM
My price range is no more than $50-$60 if possible. I want a quality long range scope.Uhm....not to burst your bubble, but in that price range, for that platform and calibre, I would say "long range" will be 300 yards and under.

Is there a better brand than NcStar?You betcha. Lots of 'em.

Honestly, a BSA or Bushnell would do you just fine, a Simmons if you could find it used for that price. Though, I find my 59/66 to be a hoot to shoot with the irons it came with, anyhow; and most scope adaptations will make it difficult to load with the stripper clips.

As for looking for cheap, and everyone else (no offense). x39 and 5.56 are both skyrocketing faster than the rest of ammo, IMO. If you can find it, WOLF runs just fine through mine.

Good luck with your project, and give us pictures.

December 22, 2007, 02:47 AM
Well, like I said, I am totally new at this. Obviously, I guess I need a scope that is affective at whatever range an SKS is still accurate. Since I don't know the details of the range of an SKS or the magnification of scopes, I am in need of some advice from those of you who do. I just need a scope for an SKS at a good price. I really don't want to go over $60, but I just came up with number after looking on eBay and in magazines as a base line price for what I need. If anyone can come up with a better deal, I may seriously reconsider my range. If I am missing out by paying $60 for crap when I could just spend $25 more and get MUCH better quality - then I might do it. I am pretty much open to ANY and ALL possibilities and suggestions. I am a pistol person and have no clue about fitting rifles with scopes - particularly an SKS.

As for ammo, I am finding that 7.62x39 1,000 rounds is averaging about $200. Has anyone found it for cheaper? I am guessing it's a better investment to just go ahead and get it in bulk like that...

December 22, 2007, 11:34 AM
If your thinking about putting one of those sks scopes that fit onto receiver cover, then you should read some reviews of it on surplus rifle, as most people end up throwing them in the trash. They do not keep zero and just dont really work, although some people claim that they do.

Another option is a peep sight for the sks, a lot of people like them and although you are looking for a scope, the peep sight works well

December 22, 2007, 11:42 AM
Decent scopes start around 200 bucks, but I have some Chicom thing on my SKS that works great! I don't even know the brand, if there is one. It's a lighted reticule 3x9x40 and I picked it up at a tool sale bacause it was cheap, a little over 40 bucks, and I figured I could use it on a .22, but it works fine on the SKS.

For cheap scopes, though, think Bushnell. Optics might be a little poor, but they're solid scopes. I wouldn't TOUCH a POS Simmons, been there, done that. Tasco? Blah, prefer Bushnell for cheap stuff. And, a fixed power will be more reliable in the cheap stuff generally than a variable.

I would NOT attach the word "quality" to any scope under 150 bucks, personally. :D But, I reckon, there is a place for cheap scopes if you ain't rich and I'm not. My .22s get bushnell and such. The SKS is a low recoil gun that won't punish a scope too bad.

December 22, 2007, 01:18 PM
Get Tech Sights or just shoot it as-is. Almost all "accessories" for a SKS are like putting lipstick on a pig.

December 22, 2007, 01:20 PM
I have had really good luck with Bushnell Banners. If you look around you can probably get a 3 x 9 x 40 for around $60. I think they are one of the better inexpensive scopes out there. I have 4 or 5 of them and have never had a problem.

Roswell 1847
December 22, 2007, 01:28 PM
Seems to me that a long eye relief scout scope mounting would be perfect for the SKS, yet I've never seen one.
A scout scope would have a more solid place to attach I'd think.

For a receiver mounting I'd suggest the BSA Airgun scopes made for spring piston guns. They withstand recoil pretty good from what I hear, especialy the jolt from the return stroke of heavy bolt carriers of military Gas operated guns or bolts of blowback guns.

December 22, 2007, 01:40 PM
Scout mounts are nice for reflex, red-dot and long-eye relief scopes, but won't work with a regular rifle scope as they put the scope too far forward. However, for the SKS a half-decent red-dot is a good match.

SKS Scout Mount (this replaces the rear sight mounting and is pretty easy to fit).

Tapco make a gas tube with a scout rail on it, which when properly fitted is 100x better than those useless receiver cover mounts. This is almost a drop in replacement on the 59/66 as you only have to file the back corner of the tube "lug" at an angle to accommodate your gas system latch. Took about 10 mins to fit mine and it works on both my 59/66's now.

However, $50-60 isn't going to cover the cost of a scope and mount unless it's one of the aforementioned receiver cover jobs. $60 will get you a functional Chinese scope however. I've got a couple of Leapers scopes and for the money they're not bad and unless you're expecting match accuracy and lifetime longevity you won't be disappointed.

Leapers website:
Where I buy mine from (fast service, good people to deal with):
Scope I just put on my SKS but didn't shoot yet:

My lone scoped SKS has a Choate Manufacturing mount that is attached directly to the receiver, which requires you to drill and tap the receiver wall and inlet the stock to allow for the extra metal. Outside of the mounts mentioned above, it's one of the better options if you feel confident doing the work.

An SKS is never going to compete with a proper distance rifle, but if you're like me and have horrible eyesight and an incompatibility with "both-eyes-open" sighting systems, then a low-power scope on your rifle will make it a lot more fun to shoot.

If you decide to forgo a scope and go with aperture (peep) sights, I can't recommend this one enough. Worth every penny of the asking price and very easy to fit. I have the TS200 on my shortened 59/66 and it's a pleasure to shoot, even with me being blind as a bat.

December 22, 2007, 01:45 PM
Take it from someone who once thought the reciever mount would be fine. Don't waste your money. Like already mentioned, the Tech Sights rear sight along with a Williams firesight front insert will do everything that rifle is capable of. If the eyes are not what the used to be and you must have a scope, spend the money on a Choate mount and pay a gunsmith to do it right. You can still use the iron sights and the scope does not have to be removed to clean the rifle.

December 22, 2007, 07:01 PM
Remember, the SKS is fed vertically with stripper clips and it also ejects vertically...that's why the military scopes are short and mounted just to the rear and clear of the action opening.

If you want to use a long scope you will need to get both an aftermarket removable box magazine...recommend either the ten round or 20 round...long magazines are simply in the way when firing from a rest or bench...and a case deflector. Cheaper Than Dirt used to sell them for $5.

December 22, 2007, 07:34 PM
NClivingBrit hit the nail on the head. Most SKS scopes fail to be accurate since the mounts are terrible because they wobble and are insecure. The Choate mount that screws to the side of the receiver is the exception. It is rock solid.

Lewis Wetzel
December 22, 2007, 07:54 PM
Scope your SKS?

Don't. Please don't.

In th words of the esteemed Jeff Cooper, "Why put Pirrellis on a Yugo?"

Nuff said.

December 22, 2007, 09:32 PM
The best thing I found to use is the Tech-sight TS200. It gives you a decent adjustable peep sight that can keep it's zero and add about a foot to the sight length. It really improves the sight and allows better accuracy. Maybe bed the rifle properly and smooth up the trigger group and you got a much improved carbine.

December 23, 2007, 12:56 AM
Cool. I am glad I have so much feedback. My SKS has a Tapco T6 Tactical stock. Since I am in a hurry, I can't make much of a reply, but as soon as I get a chance, I will take some pictures of it and stick them on here so you all can see what I am working with and then I will try to read in more detail! Thanks again, and I will be back ...

Ben Shepherd
December 23, 2007, 08:05 AM
Those of you that have those tech sights: How are they as far as retaining a set zero when you have to dismount and remount them for cleaningthe rifle?

I have one more unissued yugo in cosmoline, now you guys have me thinking.........

December 23, 2007, 08:11 AM
An NcStar scope is perfectly adequate for an SKS and what it is intended for
A compact 4x scope is really all an SKS needs,

but look into a side mount scope mount for it
I believe the original was a Belaris made in a Soviet Blok country
They are about $60 though and the receiver needs to be drilled and tapped

Kalinka is a good site for scopes for these and other mil-surp type guns

December 23, 2007, 11:04 AM
The cheapest scope I ever looked through and liked was a BSA. But I think the sks would do just fine with open sights. They just werent made to put scopes on in my opinion.

December 23, 2007, 11:15 AM
Those of you that have those tech sights: How are they as far as retaining a set zero when you have to dismount and remount them for cleaningthe rifle?

Mine hasn't needed any adjustment and it's been on and off many times.

I have one more unissued yugo in cosmoline, now you guys have me thinking.........

Bear in mind that to fit the Tech Sights you'll need to remove the receiver latch (probably by grinding the lug off if you're Yugo is like mine have been) and you'll need to recess the stock at the rear to accommodate the lower part of the sight body. Oh and obviously you'll need to remove the rear sight.

If you do that to an unissued Yugo, you'll make a cruffler cry (said the guy with a 16.5" Yugo, a 20" Yugo and only 33% of his SKS's in the original fit and fitment). I Bubba'ed guns of less than ideal cosmetic virtue, but even my black barrel-chopping heart couldn't mess with the almost flawless Type 26 I got (with the original intention of making it a Bubba).

December 23, 2007, 12:06 PM
SKS's are best served with open sights, IMO. If you want a long range shooting platform, in the SKS's price range, go with a Mauser or Nagant.

December 23, 2007, 12:22 PM
Do yourself a favor and realize the limitations of the SKS. A traditional scope (magnified tube and crosshairs) just doesn't make any sense on that kind of rifle. You don't have to drill the receiver to get a stable mount, just replace the rear sight base with one of these: ScoutScopes ( Holds rock solid, removal of the rail gives you a rear sight. I keep a tool (torx driver) in the buttstock compartment to adjust or remove the mount. I used a cheap BSA red dot, and I find the combo incredibly fun and very accurate for the intended purpose.

December 23, 2007, 03:43 PM
I have an inexpensive 3 x 9 scope on my SKS...using Wolf 123-gr HP I can hit the 360-yard 10" steel target every time...

Consider...the SKS is the cheapest semi-auto .30 cal you can get...about $150?...and they're very easy to operate and a lot of fun! Ammo is inexpensive, also... I find that I shoot mine more than my Savage 10 w/Leopold scope, and my scoped CETME, both in .308 Win, together.

December 23, 2007, 08:15 PM

December 23, 2007, 08:20 PM

December 23, 2007, 08:21 PM
Alright, here are some pictures.

I got the rifle (brand new) with the new Tapco stock, the original stock, 100 rounds, stripper clips, the sling, and 3 mags for $285. I figured that wasn't bad just for a rifle to use for target fun. What do you think?

So in the pics you can see that it is fitted with the tactical stock, which supposedly allows me to mount a scope in front of the bolt, but is that doable? Can I mount a scope there and it still be usable? I guess that would solve the problem of stripper clips, if so.

Otherwise I was thinking of just replacing the receiver with a different one. Like this
I seems to be pretty sturdy...

So now that you know what I have to work with, what do you think? Also, has anyone looked at those links yet?

December 23, 2007, 09:55 PM
The receiver mount scope system seems like it would be difficult to get a rock solid mount.

December 23, 2007, 10:43 PM
I didn't know you had a front rail on the handguard, by all means use that! It will allow you to retain stripper loading and reliable functioning. However, you will need an EER (Extended eye relief or handgun) scope or a red dot. I highly recommend the red dot for an SKS, they make the most sense. Save the high magnification stuff for precision rifles.

February 25, 2008, 03:17 PM
Decent scopes start around 200 bucks


I put a $20 compact scope on my sk and it works great for what it is, nothing more needs to be on it. It's tough, holds zero alright, lets me see a little better, and kills deer.


Joe Demko
February 25, 2008, 04:08 PM
About 10 or 15 years ago, I ruined a perfectly good Chinese SKS by putting it in a dragunov stock and adding a receiver cover mounted scope. Unlike a lot of people, I had very good success with the scope maintaining zero. Here's the thing: the replacement cover with mounts was a very, very tight fit. In fact, I had to use a mallet to get it into place. I kept the gun in that configuration and shot it pretty frequently for a couple years with no wandering zero problems. I never took the receiver cover off unless I absolutely had to, though. Eventually, I sold the rifle to a guy who was jonesing for a real Dragunov but could no way afford one. I made a tidy profit and warned him to not strip the rifle unless there was some pressing need to do so.
Lo, better than a decade later, he still has it and shoots it and is happy with it. For my part, I found I'm happier with the SKS in its original configuration and with iron sights. Luckily, I bought a couple and kept one original.

Average Joe
February 25, 2008, 08:00 PM
You would be wasting your money. The receiver mount will never hold zero. I had one, and after constantly readjusting, I just removed the darn thing. Iron sights are the best for an SKS.

February 25, 2008, 11:55 PM
The ATI mount, that requires drilling and tapping the receiver is a solid mount. I have a Simmons 1.5 to 6 scope on it. I have it adjusted to still take stripper clips. The Eye relief is a little close but it works.

Over the years I've tried a lot of scopes on my SKS. Those compact 2x6 scopes are junk. The Reticle broke loose during the first 10 rounds.

I have a straight 4x that held up pretty good, I just feel that 4x is to powerful for a brush gun. (The way I use mine.)

Another solid mount is the one that takes the place of the rear sight. It makes it a "scout" type rifle.

February 26, 2008, 12:10 AM
try this


can't get cheaper than that.

February 26, 2008, 12:13 AM
Hunting ammunition from Remington and Winchester is only 123-gr soft points.

But, you can order fine Wolf 154-gr soft points from midway for $5/box...about a third of the cost of the Remington and Winchester stuff! Took a 320-lp plus pig a couple of weeks ago with one heart/lung shot...the pig moved five feet, fell over, kicked a couple of times, and expired.

I agree with several other posts...the 7.62 x 39 is about equivalent to the .30-30, so your practical max range is about 300-yds. That said, the SKS may well be the best boar hunting gun around...inexpensive, durable, short and easy to handle in brush, and a semi-automatic. But, stay away from the big cap aftermarket detachable don't need that capacity, and those long mags seriously get in the way.

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