SKS - Ever had a slamfire


September 3, 2003, 01:52 PM
I hear a lot about slamfires with the SKS rifle in 7.62x39mm. People will generally advise you that it is a near certainty with commercial ammunition, especially UMC.

Anyone had experience of this, and if so, what did you identify as the cause.

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September 3, 2003, 01:57 PM
yup... first rifle I ever owned... I knew NOTHING of guns at the time. A buddy with slightly more knowledge than me was showing me how to use it.. he dropped the bolt as the weapon was pointed into the sky..... BOOM!


(Thank God East Tennessee right there was pretty empty, and he only loaded one round to start with. )

cause -- stuck firing pin, I'm presuming due to some cosmoline stuck in there. No ammo sensitivities I ever experienced, and after the dealer cleaned the bolt out for us, it never had a fail to fire or slamfire.

misfeed now... that happened constantly, even on the factory mag.


Ohen Cepel
September 3, 2003, 02:04 PM
I have fired several of them hundreds of times. Never had any issues with them.

I could see the stuck pin being a problem. However, I have also been told it often happens if the bolt is put back together wrong. The firing pin will go in backwards and can cause slam-fires.

Have not heard of any ammo problems.

September 3, 2003, 02:09 PM
No slam fires at all.

I use Wolf ammo, cheap and easy to get.

And I make sure the firing pin and channel are completely clean.

September 3, 2003, 02:15 PM
only had one out of 1000's of rounds. it happened with UMC ammo and was probably due to the bolt being filthy. the one time i shoot anything besides milsurp and i get a slamfire.

Joe Demko
September 3, 2003, 02:17 PM
No. Have had a Norinco since approximately 1989 with nary a problem. Paid $80 for it, I think.

Dave Markowitz
September 3, 2003, 02:51 PM
I have had a Noricon SKS since 1988 and never had any problems with slamfires. I think such incidents are due to two main causes:

1. Gunked up firing pin channel which restricts free movement of the pin.
2. Use of commercial ammo with soft primers.

I make sure to flood the firing pin channel with solvent each time I clean the rifle. Also, the only ammo I've ever run through it has been Chinese and East German ball, and Wolf JHP.

Mike Irwin
September 3, 2003, 02:55 PM
I've already addressed this in a couple other posts recently, all based on numerous reports we got when I was with American Rifleman magazine.

The only time a slam fire becomes truly likely (barring the bolt being incorrectly assembled or a really filthy rifle) is when the bolt and particularly the firing pin have been lubricated with one of the new super type lubes.

I'm trying to find out whether any of these lubes have caused slamfires with military surplus ammo or not. Normally it's with current production ammo, though.

I've put approximately 7,500 rounds, both surplus and commercial, through my SKS since I got it in 1992, and have yet to have a slam fire.

But, I shoot with the firing pin dry, and only use natural oil on the bolt, nothing with teflon, moly, or anything like that.

September 3, 2003, 05:02 PM
None with my Yugo.

September 3, 2003, 05:59 PM
I had a Russian SKS several years ago, and it slam-fired enough to turn me off of SKS's until recently.

It would occassionally go full-auto on me for a few rounds, even after a thorough cleaning, with only CLP used for a lubricant.

The worst slam-fire was when I took my then BIL shooting, and it went off as he released the bolt, with the safety on. The bullet impacted just inches from our feet, as the weapon was pointed at the ground in front of us. Scared the living poop out of us.

I finally sold it about 5 or 6 months after that, and wouldn't even think of owning another one until ya'll got me thinking I should give 'em another try. So, now I'm the proud owner of a Norinco SKS. We'll have to see how well it holds up.


September 3, 2003, 06:37 PM
I don't think that all surprise ignitions with SKSs are slamfires. The sear has a tendancy to stick as well, causing doubling or tripling.

September 3, 2003, 07:27 PM
I have 10 SKS's. About half are shooters grades, two were U-fixems. I have examples of every country's except Russia. I shoot them often with all kinds of ammo and have never had any slamfires or doubles. All of them work absolutely reliably.

When I get a new gun, I always completely field strip it and detail clean it. You would not believe the crud these old milsurps accumulate. With all my semi-autos, I pay special attention to the firing pin and the channel to make sure they are clean and work smoothly. I did replace one FP because it was rusty.

Also never let oil accumulate in the firing pin channel. Oil attracts dust/dirt. Dust/dirt jams up things.

September 3, 2003, 07:47 PM
I've never had a slamfire in my Russian. I always shoulder the rifle and point it in a safe direction before I let the bolt go. Just in case it deciides to go full auto.
The first time i fired it, I loaded one round, fired, and then loaded 2 rounds fired and then 3 rounds fired. Haven't had a prob yet.

September 3, 2003, 11:53 PM
Norinco with about 2500 rds of only wolf and zero malfunctions, ever.

September 4, 2003, 12:27 AM
No slam fires or any problems whatsoever with my father's unissued Yugo SKS so far. About 500 rounds of silver bear and it's been flawless. The gun was completely dissasembled when he got it and we cleaned every part with gun scrubber including the firing pin assembly. Gun scrubber just melts that cosmo. It's not so nice on the stock finish though, but a light coat of linseed oil and the stock looked like new.

September 4, 2003, 01:21 AM
None with my Romanian.

Covey Rise
September 4, 2003, 01:27 AM
Sometime back I decided I would not clean my SKS until it jammed, just too see how long it could go. On round 870 or so it did the slamfire thingy. Then it started too jam on the feed and on the eject every once in a while. I took the gun to range the next time and it really did the slamfire thing quite often.

I cleaned the gun really good and took to the range and all problems where fixed.

There ya go.

September 4, 2003, 09:40 AM
500 rounds Wolf through my Yugo so far.

No malfunctions

David Wile
September 4, 2003, 11:00 AM
Hey Folks,

I still have two Russian and one Norinco, and I have had many more over the years. I have never had any slamfire with any rifle - with any ammunition. Most of the ammunition was my own with Winchester primers.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

September 4, 2003, 10:22 PM
Speaking of SKS rifles., I just bought another one today, a NIB Norinco. Still has the cosmoline on it. Gotta make sure I clean out the firing pin channel.

September 5, 2003, 01:24 AM
2 Norinco SKS's here. Have only used Russian ammo (Wolf, surplus whatever) - I keep all my guns clean. Have never had a single problem with the SKS's. I actually like them better than AK's. If you can't have a full-auto AK, I vote for SKS. They are cheap, milled steel not made out of sheetmetal and relatively accurate. I thought about selling one the other day, then thought better of it...Now I read on here one guy has 10! Now I don't feel so guilty about keeping the 2nd SKS..

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