SKS opinions


December 1, 2008, 10:57 PM
I know this is an opinionated bunch here, so I'm trying to learn more about the SKS 7.62x39. Is it worth buying, worth modifying? What are they going for theses days? I know nothing about this gun so any opinions are welcome here.

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December 1, 2008, 11:06 PM
i see them at gun shows, specifically offered by "ak-47man" for 300 or so each, for a brand new, smothered in cosmoline, right out of the crate yugo sks. if you look around at some shows, you could probably find one for $200'ish. when they were $90 for a good condition one back in '06, i wish i would have jumped on a crate of these things... to bad the price has risen so much to to inflation and everyone fearing an "obama-ban". they are cheaper to shoot than say something in .223 right now, and they have a wider sight radius than (most) ak's, allowing for (slightly) better accuracy. they dont have all of the "evil" features that the ak does (pistol grip, folding stocks, "hi cap mags" without modification).

December 1, 2008, 11:18 PM
Ok stupid question, what is 7.62x39? Is that equivelent to a .30 cal.? Freakin metric system!

December 1, 2008, 11:23 PM
By '.30 cal' do you mean .30 carbine, .303 British, 30-06 Springfield, .300 Winchester Mag, 30-30, or .308? Freakin English system! Seriously 7.62x39 is just that. It is not a '.30 cal'.

If you really dislike the metric system I suggest you stay away for the SKS. If you can get over the metric system then definitely buy an SKS, they are great guns. While you're at it get an AK, which is also 7.62x39.

December 1, 2008, 11:29 PM
That's why I'm asking masterdei, the metric crack was just a joke. I do want to lean more about the SKS.

December 1, 2008, 11:41 PM
The SKS was the precursor to the AK. It is a semi-automatic 7.62x39mm design. It was never designed to be an automatic so when the AK came out it quickly replaced the SKS in most arsenals.

I have both an SKS and and AK and if given the choice between them I'd definitely keep the SKS. The SKS is more comfortable for me to shoot (the AK stock is very short), it is more accurate than the AK, and it was cheaper!

The 7.62x39 round is inexpensive and will always be available. It has a light recoil (very similar to the 5.56, err, the .223, IMO) but is generally considered not as accurate as the .223.

December 1, 2008, 11:44 PM
The 7.62x39 is the same round that the AK-47 shoots. It's shorter than the 7.62x51 NATO, 7.62x54 (Russian rifles like the Nagant) and the 30-06, although all of them shoot .30 caliber bullets. I consider it to be effective to 2-300 yards.

The advantage of the SKS USED to be, it's dirt cheap, and you can beat it up. Now it's somewhat cheap and you can beat it up. (I got mine for $100.) You can strip off the cosmoline with brake cleaner, (which I would never use on an AR-15,) and drag it through the firt, leave it in the back of the truck, give it a cursory cleaning every once in a while, and not feel guilty. It shoots a potent .30 caliber round, id accurate enough for combat, and it's so reliable it's boring. The ammo, like the rifle, is cheap, but not as ridiculously cheap as it used to be.

There are accessories, but be careful. First of all, there are regulations about what you can and can't do to it, and in what order and quantity. We abbreviate this to "922r". The SKS has a special import status, and if you modify it, there are guidelines you have to follow. Higher capacity, magazines are available, but their reliability ranges from mostly ok to don't even try it. (Mostly don't even try it.) There are aftermarket stocks, which are mostly a good idea. You can't get worse than the original stock. (They were designed for muppet pygmies.) There are muzzle brakes which replace the grenade attachment on the Yugos, I haven't tried one, but I might one day just for poops and giggles. There are scope mounts, but most of them replace the rear action cover, which isn't held on very securely, and you must remove it every time you clean. (If you decide it's necessary.) Which means they won't hold a zero. You can get scope mounts that require minor surgery to install, but they are more expensive, and you have to pay a gun doctor for the surgery. The best add-on I've seen is tech-sights, which cost about $65, and mount on the rear of the receiver, (giving you a much better sight radius) and changing it to an M-16 type sight picture.

I would use it for white-tails, but not mule deer. Might be perfect for javelina and other small-medium sized game. I think it's the perfect truck rifle, it's tough and effective for emergency combat, and if you bump into a cop who doesn't know the law and decides to confiscate it, it's easy to replace.

December 2, 2008, 12:03 AM
Forget buying an SKS, for what is being asked for them today you can thrown in a couple hundred more and get an AR.
Went to a gun show in Birch Run, Michigan last Sunday(yesterday) noticed a nice looking SKS on a dealers table with a price of $500.00+, did have a bayonet and flash suppressor. I picked it up to look at it, mainly to see if it was a Russian Mfg'd SKS and the dealer walked over saying it was a "Poly mfg," better than anything else made, I asked where it was made and he said "Probably Russia" because they made the best ones and had a blade bayonet. Meanwhile I'm looking at Chinese symbols on the left side of the receiver.
I choked laughing to myself and asked him how long he had owned it to which he replied over 10 years at which point I made a comment to him and my missus that 10 yrs ago they cost $69.00 and the Chinese Mfg ones were POS and you could still pick them up for about $200.00.

December 2, 2008, 01:05 AM
SKS's are what they are. They're a battle carbine that has been obsolete for about 40 years now. They're extremely reliable, reasonably accurate and although people modify them heavily, most of us agree that these "improvements" usually aren't.

They make a tolerable hunting rifle, a tolerable defensive rifle and a pretty darn good plinker. If you like to shoot and you appreciate the history of surplus rifles, then you should definitely get one. If you're looking for the cheapest fighting rifle you can get and you don't feel a need for anything better, then it's also an excellent choice. If you're looking for a cheap hunting rifle, then it's certainly adequate, but I think you could do much better.

BTW, the 7.62x39 is about the same as the 30-30. It's got a little less power at the muzzle, but loses velocity less quickly and past 100 yards has a slight advantage. It shoots a .311" bullet at around 2300-2400 fps. One of the really nice things about this cartridge is that it's one of the cheapest you can get. Before the election you could buy 1000 rd cases of it for under $200 shipped to your door.

December 2, 2008, 01:21 AM
I really like the AK,but can't have it in my state,so I got the SKS.It compares well to the AK.The receiver is milled steel,not folded sheet metal,and the barrel is longer,unless you get the ''paratrooper'' carbine[actually used mostly by mechanized troops] so you have more sight radius,and I find the little carbine to handle and balance well.

Dr. Peter Venkman
December 2, 2008, 03:29 AM
I really like the AK,but can't have it in my state,so I got the SKS.It compares well to the AK.The receiver is milled steel,not folded sheet metal,and the barrel is longer,unless you get the ''paratrooper'' carbine[actually used mostly by mechanized troops] so you have more sight radius,and I find the little carbine to handle and balance well.

You can indeed own an AK in California. PM me for details or check out CALGUNS.NET (

December 2, 2008, 04:20 AM
The Yugo, in "unissued" condition, is a great bargain. if you buy "shooter" grade, the gas valve might be burnt, Numrich carries replacements. Good solid rifles, don't try making it into an AK like so many do.
elmerfudd, OVER 40 years, the first SKS -45's went into combat at the tail end of WWII.

December 2, 2008, 05:17 AM
Learn more at sks boards forum
by SKSman. One site that is full of info on sks and many help if you need them.

Ive cleaned up my Yugo M 59 lately and my son shoots it nicely. Only thing was the front sight post was very loose. After putting some red loctite on it , its fixed.

December 2, 2008, 08:33 AM
I'm interested in one, not because of the price, hell I have high dollar rifles. It's something different to me. Plus I like the history of em. I'm not even interested in hunting with one(except maybe varmint) I just wasn't aware of the shooting qualities of the gun. Might start trolling the gun shops around here. I like the cheap ammo part though.

December 2, 2008, 08:51 AM
I like the SKS, good reliable gun. I've put more rounds than I can count through mine and I don't recall it ever malfunctioning. they are no tack-drivers but you can hit bowling pins all day long out to about 200 yards.

December 2, 2008, 11:39 AM
elmerfudd, OVER 40 years, the first SKS -45's went into combat at the tail end of WWII.

True, but I don't think it was really obsolete until the early sixties. When you consider that it was being used against Mausers and alongside Mosin Nagants it really looks very modern in comparison. By the sixties however it definitely was outclassed.

December 2, 2008, 11:44 AM
Worth buying? Yes.

Modify it? NO.

December 2, 2008, 11:47 AM
Is it worth buying,
worth modifying?
Absolutely not.

SKS is a reliable rifle, sturdy, simple to maintain and still deadly in the right hands. They're a bit more accurate than the average AK, but not tack drivers. Leaving them be in their original configuration is best. There's virtually nothing you can do to an SKS to make it a more effective rifle.

December 2, 2008, 11:57 AM
I got my Chinee for $200 locally. I honestly wouldn't pay more than that for one. I like the rifle and mine has performed well, but it is just a plinker and not all that useful for anything other than a combat situation. You can still find ammo on the cheap side, or at least cheaper than what I can reload .223 for. Also, I haven't personally seen the receiver sights, but from the online pic they look like a really good fix to the open sights.

By all means, get one, but don't spend more than $250. A few years ago, the only ones for sale for more than $200 were Russian and had a red star stamped on the receiver. Anyone trying to sell an SKS for more than, say $300 i trying to turn a buck on you. Not that I would never do something like that ;).

Edit: also, on modifying, the only thing I would consider is the rear sight and only if the company that sells it guarantees it will hold zero. The problem with modifying any surplus rifle is weather or not the rifle will retain value. It may be more valuable to you with the fancy stock and rails on it, but it is still worth $200 to me.

December 2, 2008, 02:30 PM
I couldn't find any locally here today. I did find one, but he wanted $599. I told him he was smoking crack!

December 2, 2008, 02:37 PM
go to J&G Sales,more info go to, (collecting and shooting the sks)just looked up J&G, seems there out off sks's,

December 2, 2008, 04:54 PM
"they are no tack-drivers but you can hit bowling pins all day long out to about 200 yards."

I am also considering my first purchase of a milsurp (or Ruger mini) in 7.62x39 and an SKS is high on my list of considerations. Is that level of accuracy really common to an unmodified milsurp SKSw/ standard ammo?

I'd be perefctly happy with that level of accuracy!

December 2, 2008, 05:19 PM
If you're really good with iron sights, I'd say you can probably expect 3" groups at 100 yards.

December 2, 2008, 05:35 PM
I love the SKS and own many. They are cheap, pretty accurate, fire cheap ammo, the 7.62x39 is probably the best combination hunting and anti-personnel round widely available, and the SKS is durable and easy to use, train on, and clean.

As others said, it was the Rusky precursor to the AK47. The main advantages of the AK47 are lost in the civilian world - mainly the select fire. Detachable mags are handy too, but stripper clips are lighter and if you are trained on them can be pretty quick to reload.

I've paid as little as $150 (2006) and as much as $325 (last week) for the SKS. They've been a good investment for gun owners and were a mere $50 a decade or so ago.

I would buy as many as you can because my normal suppliers are drying up - Samco global has a few left, but Aimsurplus appears to be sold out (a first that I've EVER seen!).

December 2, 2008, 05:39 PM
Just picked up a Norinco (Chinese made) sks in Excellent condition (but missing cleaning rod and bayonet) 2 weeks ago for $100 cash. Week later my dad got a Yugo at a gun show for $150 caked in cosmoline like it was never taken out of the box. Other than that one, the cheapest we saw at the show were $300 for fair condition all the way up to $600 for excellent.

SO, they are absolutely worth buying!! I like the sight radius better than the AK, i like the action better than the AK.

Other than that:

ammo is cheap (relative to other calibers)
stripper clips are cheaper than AK mags
lots of available accessories.

As per modification:

I do plan to modify mine to a Tapco T6/Fusion stock with a pistol grip and collapsible stock just because i prefer shooting with the pistol grip. May get some Tapco 20 rnd mags, hear they are very reliable. And have considered purchasing an extra receiver cover to mount a red-dot sight on.

December 2, 2008, 05:45 PM
The only mod I've done to both my Russians was a rubber butt plate. It easily comes off so I can return the rifle to completely original. It adds about an 1 1/2 inches to LOP so it makes the rifle more comfortable to shoot.

December 2, 2008, 05:53 PM
Original '52 Tula

Modded ChinoBubba

I've always liked my women a little on the trashy side.;)

December 2, 2008, 05:53 PM
I was hitting about a 12" or so (guessing) gong with my Chinese SKS with open sights consistently at 172 yards this past weekend, and I don't consider myself any more than average with open sights. When you factor in that it was foggy and at dusk, I was proud to be hitting the gong at all. I have been pleasantly surprised with my SKS's accuracy. With me behind it, it's not going to be a tack driver b/c I'm not putting a scope on it, but it's certainly minute-of-deer at 100 yards. And apparently out to 175, for me.

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