What do you think about the SKS


December 26, 2008, 08:28 AM
I'm looking at getting an SKS, what do you think about it?

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December 26, 2008, 08:45 AM

December 26, 2008, 08:46 AM
The cheapest option for a semi auto centerfire to date. Its all around medium range caliber rifle. For self defense and shortrange hunting ,cant beat it. If on a budget, get a Norinco or Yugo sks. YOu will have a reliable weapon to last a lifetime.

SKS boards forum has lots of info.

December 26, 2008, 08:52 AM
Good truck gun but don't expect much out of it, its not top quality and it ain't the tightest ship in the navy otherwise fun for plinking or brush gun but thats it.

December 26, 2008, 09:05 AM
Quality will vary. The best is probably the Russian issue ones.
At best you are looking at a 3-4 MOA rifle. For hunting, the 7.62x39 round is roughly equivalent to a 30-30 which makes it at most a 200 yard rifle. In my early years, I scoped a Russian SKS and got a deer at 225 yards. I would never do that again.
For short range plinking, they are a fun rifle. The 3 that I have are all very reliable. I don't shoot them much because the more accurate milsurps and longer range shooting interest me more.
They are very easy to field strip and seem to be pretty hardy. The ammo has had a history of varying prices, but generally at any given time, it is among the cheapest to shoot. In 1993 I paid 9 cents per round, in 1997 I paid 20 cents, 2003 I paid 8 cents, and now we are looking at roughly 20 cents per round. I wish I would have stocked up more at the last low cycle.
For a cheap semiautomatic, you can't beat an SKS.

December 26, 2008, 09:11 AM
they are fun to own and shoot. they aren't gonna win no accuracy awards but they will hit a man sized target at 200yds, well the ones that i have shot will. Quality and accuracy will be different form specimen to specimen.

December 26, 2008, 09:13 AM
A Russian SKS in collectable condition runs about 400-500. If you just want a quality shooter I'd get a Yugo.

December 26, 2008, 09:20 AM
To me it's one of the best all around rifles for the money. I have several and love them. I guess it really just depends on what your going to use it for. If you get one keep these two things in mind. 1. Clean your gas tube and piston.( eventually it will cause it to not cycle). 2. Though Tapco makes good high caps for the sks. I would keep the factory 10 round fixed mag for ultimate reliability. Good luck.

December 26, 2008, 10:10 AM
The Russians are the best and do offer battle issue quality and rugged construction. I have two and they are more accurate than my AK's. With stripper clips it reloads quickly. Try to find a Russian SKS. You may still be able to get one for around $300 - $350 which is still a good deal.

December 26, 2008, 10:24 AM
Its the closest thing to an Assault Rifle you will be able to touch under $650 for a LONG long time.

December 26, 2008, 10:27 AM
Decent for their purpose. I sold 2 Russians off and kept a short barrel Norinco. The Norinco was simply more accurate than the other two.

December 26, 2008, 10:29 AM
I like my Chinese SKS. It's seen some use but is fun to take out every once in a while. I'm happy with its accuracy as I've gotten 2MOA groups with it using Yugo M67 ball ammo.

The thing about SKSs is that they are what the are: There no good way to mount optics on them, They work best with the integral 10 round mag, Most of the folding stocks are just a complete wast of $.

If you want a cheap rifle you can modify, I'd look at a Saiga. They use the same cartridge, already have a mount for optics, and are basically an AK in a sporter stock.

Saigas can also be converted to EBRs by relatively simple modifications. BSW

December 26, 2008, 10:34 AM
I have owned several SKSs over the last 20 years Russian,Chinese and Norinco. I have never seen any that I would call "poor quality". They ALL went bang every time and nothing ever broke. In a shooter, it doesn't matter if parts are milled or stamped so long as they work. As with any firearm an SKS will get more accurate the more YOU shoot it. Keep it clean and it should outlast you.

December 26, 2008, 10:38 AM
One alternative you may wish to look in to is the "Saiga" rifle. I'm considering the SKS and the Saiga, currently.

December 26, 2008, 10:44 AM
I think they fit right in with all my other old wood.;)


December 26, 2008, 10:52 AM
I had a Yugo and a Russian. The Russian had a nicked up crown and it was a real PITA to recrown because of the chrome lining in the bore but I got it done. It was a decent shooter.

The Yugo had a HORRIBLE trigger. Must of broke at about twenty pounds... I had no love for that rifle.

Then I found a cherry Norinco SKS-M that takes regular AK mags and has a somewhat decent trigger and is pretty accurate. I sold the other two off.

Redneck with a 40
December 26, 2008, 10:54 AM
I have a Yugo SKS and I love it, very fun rifle to shoot, mine will do 4 MOA at 100 yards. Its dead nuts reliable and shoots a cartridge with pretty good short range power. For the $150 I paid for mine, best money I have spent.:)

December 26, 2008, 10:57 AM
I'll parrot what the others have said. Great value rifle. Tons of fun to shoot. I wish I had bought these when they were sub $100. I got a very nice one from a fellow THRer for a very fair price and really, really, enjoy shooting it.

Get one.

December 26, 2008, 11:14 AM
when they were a 100 or 150 dollar gun, maybe, if it were my last choice. other wise, I hate everything about them. they are too long, too heavy, very loud and clanky, and the absolute worst big, 3 point star stupid magazine design, ever foisted on mankind. Just terrible.

December 26, 2008, 11:16 AM
if you can get a paratrooper model, that is chrome lined, and takes standard ak mags, then I would do that. but that is going to be chinese or russian, and I would guess that either one will cost you about 700 bucks.

Al Thompson
December 26, 2008, 11:29 AM
Love'em. Everybody should have a couple, one of the best deals going, though as others have pointed out, 100 bucks was significantly better than current prices. :)

December 26, 2008, 11:32 AM
You won’t find a better more reliable semi-auto for under $350. The magazine makes for easy bench/bag range use and they’re as accurate as I can shoot with iron sights. Reliable and as robust as an AK there’s no reason not to own one.


Friendly, Don't Fire!
December 26, 2008, 11:42 AM
about 15 years ago (I believe it was a Norinco). I remember the bayonette was triangular-shaped as opposed to flat knife-shaped.

I tried deer hunting with it by placing a carefully-carved wedged-shape wooden piece underneath the riser in the bottom of the magazine well that made the magazine hold a maximum of 5 rounds (+1 in the chamber) to be legal in the state in which I reside.

Even after removing the bayonette, I remember the gun being extremely noisy when trying to deer hunt.

The length of pull was good for maybe a five year-old.
I ended up trading it for something else over 10 years ago, and I haven't miss it a bit.

Like others state, if you can get a better quality one than the $89 one I had (back then prices), it might be worth it.

Now, with prices the way they are, I DEFINATELY would NOT buy one! If people stop buying, then the prices are bound to come down (Supply & Demand Economics).

December 26, 2008, 11:48 AM
How's the quality of the iron sights on these things? Are they coyote accurate?

December 26, 2008, 12:10 PM
Well, if you consider that at 100 yards you should be happy with a sub 3MOA group, yes.

If you mean can you be sure to hit the vitals on a songdog 400 yards away, like it's a 22-250 boltgun, no.

I look at the SKS as "a big boy's 10/22." Mine are handy, reliable, tough, and as far as accuracy is concerned, just about what you'd expect out of a lever action with irons. It's a GREAT truck gun. It's NOT a precision sniper rifle or an assault weapon. It does do everything it was designed to do in an exemplary fashion. I love mine (Yugo and ChiCom) but I don't ask them to do something they weren't designed to do. And at what I paid for 'em, (under $200), I'm happy with the value.

December 26, 2008, 12:32 PM
"a big boy's 10/22":) Well put. I'm gonna use that expression.

December 26, 2008, 10:36 PM
Post some pics

December 26, 2008, 10:58 PM
Fun to shoot and cheap! Mine has gotten lots of use.

December 26, 2008, 11:12 PM
I love the SKS. One of my favorite rifles of all time. They are accurate and reliable. Use them as-is. No need for Crapco or detacheable mags. :)

December 27, 2008, 12:00 AM
"Post some pics"


1952 Russian Tula (armory)

1954 Russian Tula

1955 Russian Tula (rearmored) '55 Tula's are kinda rare

"Sporterized" Chinese (20" barrel)

"Sporterized" Chinese Paratrooper (16.5" barrel) with ATI stock

"Sporterized" Chinese Cowboy Companion/Paratrooper (16.5" barrel)

Hope that helps

December 27, 2008, 12:12 AM
I got a Yugo SKS a while back, and it is awesome. Very accurate for a mil-surp. Also have a Saiga, bought when they went for $200 or less.

After shooting them a while, I decided the best way to cheaply equip a guerrilla unit was to buy tons of Yugos. Ammo and the rifles were so cheap then.

Prices are up now, but SKS is still a neat rifle to have in the collection. I am very happy to have a good one, and the Saiga.

December 27, 2008, 12:20 AM

Those three Ruskies are beautiful!


December 27, 2008, 12:32 AM
"Those three Ruskies are beautiful!"

thanks, they shoot better'n they look:)

December 27, 2008, 01:28 AM
They're great range toys and plinkers. They're affordable, historically significant and collectible as well. They also tend to be well built and extremely reliable.

They're just mediocre for everything else. They're adequate for hunting, but they're not particularly accurate, powerful or flat shooting and mounting optics is practically hopeless. They're adequate for self defense, but just about every other EBR out there is better. They're accurate enough so that you don't get totally bored at the range, but they're no target rifle.

Accept them for what they are and you'll be happy with them.

Big Bill
December 27, 2008, 02:12 AM
I got my SKSs to put firepower downrange in a close up SHTF scenario and they were cheap and so was the ammo. I don't hunt with them and I won't be carrying one if it comes to a real fight. No SIR, instead I'll be carrying my RUGER M77 25-06, Ruger M77 30-06, or my Savage .300 WSM. And, It'll probably be the Savage. I want at least 500 yards between me and all those AK 47 carrying freaks from the city when the time comes.

Is this what's coming?

Armed Black And Proud !


December 27, 2008, 02:21 AM
It was designed as a stop-gap, semi-auto carbine, with the poor sights typical of Soviet firearms, to be issued to illiterate conscripts that could be trained to use it in the shortest possible time(so was the AK). Not made for great accuracy, even with the best ammo.
The 7.62 x 39 cartridge uses a .311" 125 grain bullet at roughly 2400fps. American made ammo usually uses a .308" bullet that will not be accurate out of any SKS.
The felt recoil is nothing and they're fun to shoot. They're ok for close range deer hunting, if you can use the poor sights. Don't even think about putting a scope on one. It won't improve the accuracy and it'll bugger the balance.

December 27, 2008, 08:44 AM
Does the paratrooper carbine, suffer in accuracy?

December 27, 2008, 09:40 AM
"Does the paratrooper carbine, suffer in accuracy?"

I've only shot them at 100yds or less, and the gun could still shoot more accurately than I could.

I think, like an AK, they're effective for laying down a reasonable volume of semi-big bang fire in a SD scenario, and accurate enough out to 100yds to shoot hogs.

With good ammo, a Kivarri trigger, and practice the Paratrooper can hold its own.

cracked butt
December 27, 2008, 10:16 AM
Cheap, fun, tough, reliable.

I bought an unissued Yugo a few years ago for ~$170, now I kind of wished I had bought a whole crate of them.:o

December 27, 2008, 03:30 PM
American made ammo usually uses a .308" bullet that will not be accurate out of any SKS.

This is a MYTH that just keeps going and going

American made 7.62x39 does NOT use .308 diameter bullets, why would you believe otherwize is beyond me. American made x39 ammo is loaded with the properly sized .310 diameter bullets, the reason the stuff typically shoots like crap is due to the fact that it's laughably underloaded compared to steel cased fodder.

On the SKS there's one item that every SKS owner should buy first. http://www.tech-sights.com/sks.htm

These turn a good carbine into a truly great one

December 27, 2008, 03:51 PM
Owned one about 4 years ago. 5-8 moa on a good day.
trigger sucked. much better milsurps around

Charles S
December 27, 2008, 04:14 PM
Then I found a cherry Norinco SKS-M that takes regular AK mags and has a somewhat decent trigger and is pretty accurate.

I love mine.

December 28, 2008, 11:22 AM
Then I found a cherry Norinco SKS-M that takes regular AK mags and has a somewhat decent trigger and is pretty accurate.

I love mine.

I love mine too. If its the only SKS I ever own, that'll be OK.


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