the best sks rifle


June 1, 2008, 05:07 PM
I have a friend that wants to get an sks rifle.....I myself have a norinco that I bought in the early 90's for about $80.00 at a gun show in Fort Worth.
I've advised against getting one like mine since it is not very accurate but it is fun and easy to shoot. He, however, wants one with more quality and accuracy. Can anyone help me to advise him on a brand or country of origin for a quality sks and also where to find one?

Thanks as always

If you enjoyed reading about "the best sks rifle" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Joshua M. Smith
June 1, 2008, 05:22 PM
None will be target guns.

My pre-Norinco Chinese is pretty danged accurate, moreso than I.

The trick is in using good ammo (I use Wolf HP and get mediocre accuracy, but good enough for home defense and coyote.)

Check out the foreign ammo with .311 bullets instead of the domestic .308. They should fit better.

The Chicoms are chrome lined and overall are nice guns, I think.

Josh <><

June 1, 2008, 05:29 PM
The Russian ones were made the best by far, but are hard to come by now.

No SKS is really accurate though.

And com-block ammo is not accurate either.

The best you can do is to handload for them with high quality American bullets.


June 1, 2008, 06:01 PM
sounds like he is looking for a Russian made one..or a Yugoslavian made sks.

June 1, 2008, 06:06 PM
I second that. The Russian ones were available first and they were made real well and were typically pretty accurate. Then the Norinco's or Chinese ones hit the market and they weren't near as good. Now the best ones are the Yugo ones.

June 1, 2008, 06:08 PM
get a yugo

June 1, 2008, 08:47 PM
im also looking at a yugo SKS. i keep seeing them in J&G for approx $200. but i hear conflicting things about the magazines, i only want one if it can accept a 30 rd mag... can anyone clear that up for me?

i really want the Mini-14 Ranch NRA edition but im too impatient to wait and save, and my home/financial situation is a little unstable so im considering getting both an SKS and a Hi Point 9mm carbine now while i can still afford it. seeing as there is a big political shift on the horizon i'd like to stock up now before its too late... wut yall think?

Cmdr. Gravez0r
June 1, 2008, 08:50 PM

sorry for all caps

June 1, 2008, 09:42 PM
My Chinese made with Russian parts (Sino-Soviet) SKS does about 1.5 MOA with decent AMERICAN .310 rounds. One day it reared back and passed a miracle sub MOA at 170 yards (group of 5 shots less than 2 inches). I never expect it to happen again and yes I did keep the target. Look for a threaded barrel instead of a pinned one, get the Kivarii trigger job, upgrade to Wolff springs, Murray's firing pin and spring, and place it in a stock with decent length of pull like the Choate and it will probably be a sub 2 MOA gun out to 400 yards. Expect around 4 MOA with Wolf. Tapco makes the only mags that I have ever had work consistently. The original mag is probably the only other mag that will feed reliably.

mustang 22
June 1, 2008, 11:25 PM
I have both, a Norinco that I got in 89 for $73.00 and a 1952 Tula. The fit and finish on the Tula is much better than the Norinco and the stock is also much better than the chinese. The Norinco stock looks like the same kind of wood that pallets are made from. With that said, the Norinco actually shoots better groups than the Russian. I heard it aint supposed to be like that but it is.

June 1, 2008, 11:35 PM
Have you ever heard the expression "you can't turn a pig's ear into a silk purse"? You can't buy a $100.00 rifle and a $2.00 box of ammo, ( that's what I paid for mine), and expect to have a sub minute of angle 1000 yard gun.

That said I love the SKS. I have several. But I don't expect more from it than it can give. Mine are more than accurate enough to hunt with, (within their range). In fact I've taken several deer with mine. They are extremely fun to shoot, not that expensive to feed, and mine, have been extremely reliable.

I'm partial to the Chi-Com carbine versions. They are real handy in the woods.

June 1, 2008, 11:42 PM
it matters on gun condition more then anything. i got a un fired norinco with 80 rounds and full matching numbers for $200.

i did the tapco complete t-6 settup w/4 tapco mags and love it. i just put a aimpoint on it and was able to get 3inch groups at 50yards with a 1x red dot. now that is good enough for me for a military grade rifle. if he wants something accurate, tell him to buy a stevens 200 in .223 and put some nice glass on it. he will be happy with that.

June 1, 2008, 11:47 PM
Whatever you get, accuracy's at least half due to ammo quality.

That said, the Russians are probably the nicest and best.

June 2, 2008, 12:44 AM
The Ruskies are the premium units, and can still be had for $350-$400. I have a '53 Tula laminated stock. Sold my '54 Tula solid stock to a good friend.

June 2, 2008, 01:02 AM
im also looking at a yugo SKS. i keep seeing them in J&G for approx $200. but i hear conflicting things about the magazines, i only want one if it can accept a 30 rd mag... can anyone clear that up for me?

The aftermarket large-capacity magazines for the Yugo SKS have a reputation for very poor reliability. I tried one despite that, and I couldn't make it work right to save my life, I gave it to a friend and he had the same problem. If you absolutely have to have a 30 round magazine you I believe you should look for the SKS-D which is a chinese version that was made to accept AK47 magazines. It will cost substantially more though.

My Yugo shoots pretty well given I only feed it cheap russian ammo. Reloading the fixed magazine is surprisingly quick using 10 round stripper clips, much faster than I could reload a 30 rounder. If you want one, you should get one soon as the supply is drying up and prices are rising. I paid $159 for mine a couple years ago and I'd buy another one in a new york minute if I found the same deal. It's a fun rifle to plink around with.

June 2, 2008, 02:56 AM
I have a it all cosmo'ed up and once cleaned up it was 'not a bad' rifle...I used Wolf rounds...not exceptionally accurate.Managed to buy a Russian by far more accurate than my Yugo but alas I wouldnt give up either one.Looking for a Norinco to buy (someday soon).

June 2, 2008, 04:10 AM
The SKS can be made alot more accurate but it requires quite a bit of work. You certainly have to bed the action to remove that slight movement. Stick on a better rear sight such as the Techsight TS-200, clean up the trigger group, you can get replacement gas tubes that seperate nicely from the barrel, and for the love of all that is good and makes a loud bang noise, use some good ammo. Some people had really good success with accurising the SKS, but you really spending quite a bit of money to do so.

June 2, 2008, 04:19 AM
Some of the best I've ever handled were Norincos.

Matt Dillon
June 2, 2008, 07:27 AM
Forget the 30 round mags - Just keep the original 10 round mag and use stripper clips - they reload VERY quickly, take up less space, and are far more reliable then most 30 round after market mags in the SKS

June 2, 2008, 07:39 AM
Here's the order for quality and reliability:

Russian: The first ones and by far the nicest.

Chinese: Mine has never misfired, jammed, etc. Quality is apparent throughout the rifle.

Romanian: Often overlooked, these nice rifles dried up a long time ago.

Yugoslavian: The 2 I have had were constant "single shot" rifles due to the damned leaky gas tube around the selector switch. They ate Brass ammo just fine, but tended to choke on the Wolf stuff.

Albanian: These look like they were finished with a combination of tang and shellac. Very rough, but the rarest of all.

June 2, 2008, 08:19 AM
In my esperience, the Russian are the best, followed closely by the Romanian, the Military (not sporter) Chinese Type 56 with the screwed in (rather than pinned barrel -- generally found with a serial # that begins 01- to 17-), then Yugo and finally Albanian.

There are North Korean, Vietnamese and E. German mfg out there, too. But they are quite rare. Supposedly the E.Germans are excellent, while the Korean and Vietnamese are so-so. I have never seen an E.German, but a Korean one was on GB recently and Vietnamese ones pop up from time to time.

When choosing a Russian I look for one that hasn't been through the arsenal rebuild program (just a preference). This will have solid wood stocks, no electro-pencil parts, no X'd out and renumbered parts and no rebuild stamps.

From Left to Right: 1957 Tula (unissued-unrebuilt), 1971 Factory 26 (transition with stamped trigger guard and pinned barrel), 1958 Romanian

Zouave Rifle
June 2, 2008, 09:51 AM
I've got a unaltered Russian SKS. I've shot it at 300 yards, and it's a good 4 MOA shooter with Wolf hollow point ammo. I shot a 275 out of 500 with it in a NRA high-power competition. Sight in was 25 yards prior to the competition; the 200m setting on the sight leaf was on target, but the 300m setting was a bit low. I had to adjust my front sight 1/2 turn down to hit at 300m, and I had to adjust during competition. :uhoh:

I like the fact that the bolt stays open on the last shot and it's much easier to load with one round during the slow fire phase of the match. I forgot my stripper clip and had to load them one at a time during the rapid fire phase. :cuss:

June 2, 2008, 09:58 AM
I ask a similar question a while back about my Chinese SKS. I got some really good replies about the Chinese SKS. I like my Paratrooper so much that i just bought a new Chinese SKS from Gunbroker. I have to mail off the money for it today.

Here is a link to my earlier post.

Read post #5. Like any gun ammo is the key to accuracy. For what i use mine for i'm happy with 2-3" groups at 50 yards. I can still bust canalope sized rocks at a hundred yards with the "used to be cheap" ammo and don't have to worry about finding the brass to reload.

June 2, 2008, 10:14 AM
Chicom SKS, chrome lined and less heavy to slung around. If the Congs in Nam can go underground with it for months with no cleaning and still carry out hit and run attacks, that is something proven.

June 2, 2008, 10:45 AM
Once I shot a Norinco, I sold my Yugo and never looked back. The Norincos look a little cheap but they're lighter, have the chrome-lined barrels and they're far more accurate than most people think. I have two now, a normal one and a 16" barrelled version w/no bayonet lugs. The 16" one is a dream to carry and to shoot. It's a great woods rifle, very light and handy.

June 2, 2008, 12:16 PM
I've owned or shot 3 Norinco SKS's, and all were excellent guns.

June 2, 2008, 04:40 PM
my norinco will hit beer bottles at 100yds all day long. good enough for me.

June 2, 2008, 06:31 PM
He, however, wants one with more quality and accuracy.

If he wants to improve the practical accuracy from one, I'd advise him to get a TechSights upgrade. I had a 16" barreled Norinco SKS with that upgrade that would group just as well as my Russian SKS without standard sights. I'd feel kind of bad if I had to modify the receiver cover takedown lever on a Russian, though, so I'd advise him to get a Yugo M59/66. I don't think the Yugos are the best style of SKS or most finely made, but we aren't talking leaps and bounds of difference in accuracy between the different manufacturers anyway. Getting the Yugo would probably allow him to get into the game cheaper than any of the other alternatives.


June 2, 2008, 11:35 PM
i hate to beat a dead horse here but what about the Tapco 20 rd mags? ive heard they work well on the yugos if u sand away some wood... im looking a yugo sks basically as a SHTF gun, seeing as with the current political situation we might only have less than a year to buy a nice rifle...

i realize this is only cosmetic and only my taste/opinion but i want a rifle with a nice bannana clip, not that ugly triangular thing the sks has... so that said, does anyone have any good experience/recommendations with aftermarket mags on a yugo? i would rather buy chinese but my funds are unstable so im aiming low... am i wrong for wanting a hi-cap yugo SKS for approx $200? or should i just bite the financial bullet and buy an ak?

June 3, 2008, 12:08 AM
If you have the money, I'd say get an AK, especially if you want the higher mag capacity. Surplus magazines are also cheap so you can save some money by stocking up on those instead of Tapco SKS mags which cost about twice as much.

An SKS is a nice rifle, though. Just buy both. :p

June 3, 2008, 06:28 PM
I have a couple of Yugo's. I find them to be fairly accurate and reliable in unmodified condition. My Dad has a Chinese and a Russian. The Chinese by far outshoots the Russian and the Yugo. :what:

The Russian looks the best and I have heard great tales about what an excellent gun it is but the one my Dad has must be a bad one. On its best day with good, brass cased ammo, it has never shot better than a 6" group at 100 yards. I don't care whose shooting it or how good the ammo is. It's a very inaccurate gun. :scrutiny:

I've seen people trick the SKS out with all kinds of fancy stocks, bipods, scopes, trigger jobs, etc ad nauseum and I've never seen one shoot any better for it. I like the old, natural look on old C&R military guns. :rolleyes:

As far as magazines, everyone I've seen that tried the removable magazines and all that other "shadetree gunsmithery" to make it hold more rounds has had nothing but problems. I've yet to see one that had a 30 round magazine that would cycle all 30 rounds. I guess it could be poor gunsmithing but I'm thinking it's more likely poor aftermarket parts. :banghead:

Anyway, if I could get a Chinese for a decent price (< $300 ) I'd buy one. If not, the Yugos at J&G are a good deal. The Chinese my Dad has shoots 2" groups at 100 yards. The Yugos I have shoot 3" to 4" groups at 100 yards. I am no sniper so part of the wide grouping could be me. However, I am using the original iron sights and the cheap, steel case Wolf ammo. I tried a scope once and found that I could not keep it zeroed. That bolt cover it mounts to moves around too much. :cuss:

Have fun with whatever you buy. If you run across a Russian, I'd buy it just to have one whether it shot good or not. It's a great collector's piece and rare these days. :D

Molon Labe,

June 3, 2008, 10:51 PM
If anyone needs a Norinco, I have one in a monte carlo synthetic stock for $299 + shipping to your ffl. If you want pics, pm me your email addy!

Harve Curry
June 3, 2008, 11:38 PM
The Russian SKS do not have chrome lined bores. In general, does that make the more or less accurate?

June 4, 2008, 09:37 PM
My Norinco is sold

Harve Curry
June 4, 2008, 09:56 PM
I've owned and shot 4 sks's The first was wore out and I sold it. Then I got 3 when the price was down below $80. We shot them from a table and got 1 1/4 inch groups with all 3 at 100 yards, Chinese ammo. Two Chinese, one was pinned, one milled, and the Russian one. The one I kept is Russian unchromed bore and I put it in a Choate adj stock and haven't touched it since. I also put a fixed 20 round magazine on it and it always feeds, so far.

June 5, 2008, 12:10 AM
The Russian SKS do not have chrome lined bores.


This is not the case. The majority of Russian SKSs DO have chrome-lined bores. It's the Yugos that do not.


June 5, 2008, 12:22 AM
Owned 3 Russians and 1 Norinco. Sold the Russians and kept the Norinco. Simply more accurate.

June 5, 2008, 12:24 AM
The Russian SKS do not have chrome lined bores.

This is not the case. The majority of Russian SKSs DO have chrome-lined bores. It's the Yugos that do not.


+1, all SKS manufacturers but the Yugos have a thin chrome lined barrel. Of course for most people it didn't really matter, but at the time the Balkans didn't have much in the line of chromium deposits and weren't on the best of terms with the Soviet Union who wouldn't allow shipment of the stuff or many other ore supplies. That is why Yugo SKS' are bulkier in general. It was believed that this would make them last longer and take more abuse.

Harve Curry
June 5, 2008, 12:27 AM
Then I got one in the minority that's unchromed. Thanks for clearing that up.
In general, can chrome make a rifle bore more or less accurate?

June 5, 2008, 01:05 AM
In general, can chrome make a rifle bore more or less accurate?

Theoretically, it reduces accuracy. But my chrome-lined Armalite M-15 shoots just as well as any other AR carbine I've played with.

June 5, 2008, 03:00 AM
Then I got one in the minority that's unchromed.

Harve, I think there were early Russians that didn't have chrome-lined bores, and you might have one of those. Possibly got some kind of Sino-Soviet frankengun that didn't have it, too.


June 6, 2008, 12:04 AM
I'm no expert but if I recall correctly Russians before 1953 were not chrome lined.

June 6, 2008, 01:30 AM
Own both a Norinco and a Russian. About equal in accuracy (3 to 4" )
Scoped the Norinco and as someone said the looseness of the dust
cover may be the reason for only an improvement to around three inches.
Not really designed as a target with a mid range caliber, I suppose it does
what it does.:banghead: Operation like my Mini 14, none have jammed.
The Ruger in the .223 is also not noted as accurate rifle will average
2.5" groups with occasional better ones. Close up battle rifle would most
likely lean toward the SKSs:confused: Both SKS are chromed barrels.
Probably pick an all around rifle in a higher performance caliber:scrutiny:

If you enjoyed reading about "the best sks rifle" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!