SKS scope recommendation


June 9, 2009, 06:09 PM
I am still fairly ignorant about scopes. I need to buy one for my SKS and after hours of googling I am even more weary about buying the wrong one than when I started.

Could I get some recommendations on 'what kind' to look for, and maybe even which brands/models are desirable and which I should stay away from?

Expected uses:

- Coyotes at 300m. Mostly early winter mornings, but might need it occasionally at night. Most likely supported/stabilized by the handrail of my back porch.

- Normal wild hog hunting conditions. Probably at night.

- Range shooting, to become reliably accurate on those 300m shots.

- Once experienced at hog hunting I might try deer (but by then I might have a better rifle).


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June 9, 2009, 08:28 PM
I think the way you mount it is going to be just as important as the scope itself. Don't use the reciever cover or handguard scope mounts as most of them will not hold their zero. Get a Choate reciever mount or a scout mount for better stability. Once decided, you can get a scope.

I honestly don't think you are going to see a huge improvement in accuracy with most scopes on SKS but I would suggest a short scope to avoid bieng banged up by the ejected case. I would try the Barska SKS scope with a 30-30 recticle...

Not too expensive, short, and the ballistics of the 30-30 and the 7.62X39 are pretty similar.

June 9, 2009, 08:38 PM
I had a scope on my SKS rifle for quite a while. I can shoot about as well to 100 yards with irons and the scope just sorta isn't really needed IMHO. I did shoot a deer with it, but I have better hunting rifles and figured I wanted the SKS to be a handy beater truck gun, is great for that, but without the scope. My mount is drilled and tapped into either side of the receiver for mounting. Works great, solid enough to hold zero. I had to get a case deflector that mounts to the hand guard and protects the scope from ejecting rounds. That, alone, set me back about 20 bills. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't scope the gun, just use it as is for what it does best, which ain't really hunting or anything I'd need a scope for. It's about a 3 MOA gun, 2.5 MOA at best, and doesn't have much umph past 200 yards, a short range proposition anyway.

But, yeah, if you wanna scope it, look for the mount that drills and taps to the receiver and get a case deflector for the gun. I'd put a Bushnell trophy on it or something of low, fixed power. I wouldn't go crazy on optics with an SKS, Zeiss or Schmidt and Bender or something. LOL

Ohio Gun Guy
June 9, 2009, 08:51 PM
I tried multiple scope set ups on sks's over the years......

long story short, its back to irons. I did not try the scout mount or the drill and tap mounted system. If your serious about it, I would consider doing it right. NONE of the rear cover mount systems work, including the ones with set screws.

June 9, 2009, 09:19 PM
Well, you can see my set up. It's in the closet, now, collecting dust. The scope on the gun in this shot was a cheap lighted reticule scope I bought at a tool sale, made in China. Amazingly, though, it's a pretty decent scope with decent optics. I've owned a LOT worse for a lot more money with "Simmons" written on it. :banghead: I had a 1.5x4.5 Bushnell sportview on it once, still have that scope, on a .22. It's a decent little scope, but not very bright in low light with its 22mm objective. It's a compact scope. The Chinese scope gathers light rather well. I've been rather impressed with it. For what I gave for it, about 50 bucks, I figured on it crapping out in a few range sessions. I've had the thing 10 years and it's still going strong. Right now it's in the closet not being used. But, I'll find a use for it sometime for hog hunting, what I thought that lighted reticule would be good for. Hate to put a cheap scope on a real rifle, though. ROFL!

June 10, 2009, 11:30 PM
Thanks guys, your input helped a lot.

I was initially thinking of using a front or rear rail-mount system from (and a scout scope) but after reading your comments I noticed either will interfere with cleaning and loose the zero. I also saw (somewhere) a gas tube and receiver covers with built-in rails, but those would likely also not hold zero since they are removable parts.

The choate mount looks like it is the best since it would not interfere with cleaning, is very stable and gives me the best choice of scopes, but my SKS is in almost mint condition and I don't want to damage it with the install procedures.

So it seems that I am down using a scout mount. I found one that has no effect on the gun, cleaning, and allows returning the gun to original condition at I suspect this is my best option.

Then comes the scope. Because of my light collection needs and the 300m shots (just coyotes... so loosing some punch due to distance might be OK - I hope, please correct me if I'm wrong) I suspect that most low-priced scout scopes will probably not cut it - and I don't want to buy it twice.

For now I am considering the Leupold FX-II 2.5-28mm Scout Scope ( Since I got a very nice grouping (2-3") on iron sights at 100m on my first time at the range, I am hoping that the 2.5 magnification will be enough at 300m... with lots of practice. The price is steep, but I plan to move it to a much better gun maybe in a year or two (after saving the money) so it would not be wasted on the SKS.

And since this scope is long, I might need a deflector to keep it from being hit by the cartridges.

So... does this set of choices make sense for what I'm trying to do? More specifically... is the light collection and magnification enough? Or am I going to spend a bunch of money and still not get the desired results?

June 11, 2009, 07:33 AM
Two words

Tech Sights.

Forget scoping an SKS, the range of quality and durability of sks scope mounts currently available range from mere garbage to completely worthless.

Then comes the scope. Because of my light collection needs and the 300m shots (just coyotes... so loosing some punch due to distance might be OK - I hope, please correct me if I'm wrong) I suspect that most low-priced scout scopes will probably not cut it - and I don't want to buy it twice.

Some SKS'es can be surprisingly accurate but not nearly accurate enough to deliver anything but lucky hits on a critter the size of a coyote at 300m. Doubly so with a crappy SKS scope mount. Putting a Leupold scope on an SKS is an exercise in futility, and not because of the rifle itself but rather the mounting system letting the scope and the gun down

June 11, 2009, 02:09 PM
Don't want to beat a dead horse, but I posted the wrong link for the scout mount I was considering. The one that I meant to attach is

Looking at the pictures in the review ( it looks like it should produce a stable mount... am I wrong?

I hope this one would be good enough... otherwise my SKS will only be good as a toy.

Shadow 7D
June 11, 2009, 05:42 PM
If you can do a decent job drilling and tapping, midway has a side mount that allows the bolt to be removed, it's cast

June 11, 2009, 06:59 PM
If you can do a decent job drilling and tapping, midway has a side mount that allows the bolt to be removed, it's cast

then what do you about brass getting banged off your scope with every shot

Shadow 7D
June 11, 2009, 11:29 PM
Pick up a 4 dollar deflector, or better yet, pick up small force field and mount it to the bottom of the scope, works better on steel cases.

June 25, 2009, 07:11 AM
Thank you guys, you got me thinking in the right direction. I'll 'designate' my SKS for under-100m hunting and range practice. I've been convinced that 300m coyote shots are the job for a better rifle.

So I ordered a 6" SKS scout mount from that fits over the rear sight and goes forward from there.

Now I am trying to pick the scope. Hopefully one that is cheap , short (to skip the deflector), 9-12" eye relief, and 'some' fixed magnification to see where I hit at 100m (laugh at me, I'm old!).

I'll post when I find one. Maybe it will help the next guy in my situation.

June 25, 2009, 07:30 AM
Burris has a scout scope

June 25, 2009, 08:51 AM
If you are shooting out to 100 yards, check out I put them on my SKS and would never go back to a scope.

June 25, 2009, 09:02 AM
I just did the Tech Sights. I also installed the Tapco compliance kit which includes a rail over the handguard. Now, I don't expect that piece to hold zero if I take it on and off, but if I bumped into a cheap long eye relief sight to mount there I might consider it. (The sights look through the rail.) You will face the same dilemma as the rest of us, in that when you start accessorizing a rifle that only costed you (in my case) $100 to begin with, you start to feel really silly buying accessories for it that cost a lot more.

June 25, 2009, 10:31 AM
My grouping is pretty good at 100m. My need for a scope is so that I can see what I am shooting at :) Like the lines on the target and the bullet-holes.

For that I need 'some' magnification even if it is a cheap Chinese scope.



June 25, 2009, 02:32 PM
They say you should put as much money into the scope as the rifles worth on accurate bolties. I only payed $125 each for my two Yugos 2 years ago but the going rate is $250 easily now and i could justify a Leupold FXII Scout or Burris Scout scope for about $250-270 on ebay.The 2.5X wouldn't cut it for 300y but Leupold also offers one in 4x and 6x. Leupold and Burris also offer nice compensated drop in hairs. $250 was a great price now for an unissued one after seeing bubbas at the pawn shop for $399:barf: I could see putting $250ish in a scope MAX if it groups well like 2" and assuming your using a solid mounted rear sight scout mount or a drilled/tapped receiver side mount. If you go with a cheap scope you will not only loose image quality but they are not as durable either. The long 20sum inch barrel on the Yugo 55/66 gives the x39 enough for 200yards even on deer. If you could keep all shots on a paper plate at 300y i don't see why you couldn't go fore yotes. Unless your just working a field from you back porch you could call them em as close as you want.

June 25, 2009, 06:37 PM
lol, you got it quite right. I have 5' mesh cross-fencing before my back field and my land dips and rises again. If they cross the fence the goats are coyote-meat, so I have to get them on that side.

From the back porch I am high enough to shoot over the fence, but 300m. If I approach them, I am too low to shoot. By the time I get into shooting range... they run. So far my defensive animals kept them away, but sooner or later they'll be hungry enough to try.

Anyway... to be safe I settled on a two-tier plan. Keep the SKS for 100m range, and save money to buy a Remington 700 SPS during the fall sales for long range (I am hoping for a bundle with a scope for $600-700 and that should be enough for the 300m range).

In the meantime I ordered a cheap $50 2-7x scout scope for the SKS. No matter how bad, it will be an improvement over iron sights for 100m.

And who knows... maybe the SKS + cheap scope 'horse' will sing at 300m.

If so, I'll wait another year and get a really nice scope when I buy the Remington - maybe not enough to join the 1000m club, but at least make some headway in that direction.

MANY THANKS to all who helped. I've learned more about rifles in this last month than I did in all the past years. And of course, I'll post the final results once I get the parts, install them, and try them at the range.


October 19, 2009, 10:55 AM
Now I am the one beating the dead horse... but I already have a Burriss 3-9x30 scope and my goal is to be able to see better at 100-150yrds. I know the receiver mounts get a bad wrap, but any loss in zero from the receiver mount, should not be as bad as my right eye... If I were a left eye dominant, I'd just go with irons, but I shoot right handed, thus my crappy right eye is my downfall, even at 75-100yds.

Already having a decent scope, I can't justify a scout mount and new scope...
Is there any real difference in quality between teh Leapers 3rd gen (rail on top of cover) and 5th gen (arm and rings from left side only)? They are the same price on

3rd Gen

5th Gen

The Avatar of Time
November 9, 2009, 02:03 AM
Well it seems more appropriate to post here than to start a new thread, since I have a very similar question.

I bought this tri-rail receiver scope mount and scope combo the other day (which took a good deal of filing to make fit):

For a look at just the receiver cover without the scope:

As I'm sure everyone is aware, it doesn't hold a zero very well, especially if I take it off to clean the rifle.

My thought (and I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere, but apologies if I missed it) was to drill the receiver itself, about halfway through, to make little holes for the screws to go into, as opposed to just trying to tighten them against the receiver. I also want to install a recoil buffer (any advice on the best one of those to get?).

If the holes are close to the size of the screws, wouldn't this add a good deal of stability when shooting, as well as making it easier to get the receiver mount back in the same position after cleaning?

I suppose tapping the holes as well would be even better, but I don't have the tools for that at the moment.

I realize that drilling the receiver will permanently alter the rifle, but I'm not concerned about that. However, if it isn't going to help at all, then there's no point in doing it.

However, after buying the receiver mount, I came across this:

Now this seems better. But on the other hand I already have the receiver mount and hate to waste it. Plus I don't see why there would be a lot of difference between the Choate mount being screwed into the receiver and the tri-rail receiver style mount being screwed into the receiver (especially when coupled with the buffer). In fact, the receiver mount method would be screwed into both sides of the receiver vs. just the one. Am I way off in my thinking here?

So my questions are:

Will it help any to drill the receiver for the tri-rail receiver mount?

How much difference would there be between just drilling and drilling and tapping?

Is the other style of mount (the Choate) still going to be so superior that I can justify buying it when I already have this one?

What's the best recoil buffer to buy?

I'd also thought of using JB Weld or something similar to permanently affix the tri-rail to the receiver mount (only two screws, on top, hold it on as it is), since I can't see any reason it will ever need to come off, and this would sturdy it up a bit I should think?

Also, how would 'Gorilla Glue' compare to lock-tight for use with the two screws that hold on the tri-rail (which I never plan to remove again from the receiver)?

Assuming I can get the mount stable, I would like to get a more powerful scope, and would thus need a shell deflector. Do those work nicely, or is sticking with the shorter scope (the shells do not hit this scope as is) the better choice? Can anyone recommend one brand over another?

Lastly, I realize that the SKS is never going to out shoot a top of the line (or perhaps bottom of the barrel) high power rifle, such as a good .270. I don't expect to shoot through the same hole every time at 500 yards. I just want to get a reasonably stable mount for a scope, that will hold a zero decent, after removing and cleaning as well as out shooting.

I'll worry about the accuracy of the rifle itself and the quality of the scope later. I should think that with a recoil buffer, where there is no metal on metal banging, and the receiver mount held in place with screws and holes, that the scope really shouldn't knock off zero too easily should it?

Thank you for any advice on this matter. I appreciate it.

*I had a memory lapse. The reason I wanted to ask about this, as opposed to just trying it out, is that it looks like the Choate mount would need a couple of the holes drilled in the same place, or close to, that I would have to drill for the receiver mount I have now. So I hate to get in a hurry with this one, find out it didn't help enough, and then have the holes conflicting to the point that I couldn't ever put the Choate mount on.

November 9, 2009, 07:07 PM
Anyway... to be safe I settled on a two-tier plan. Keep the SKS for 100m range, and save money to buy a Remington 700 SPS during the fall sales for long range (I am hoping for a bundle with a scope for $600-700 and that should be enough for the 300m range).
you can get a stevens 200 for much cheaper(<$300). Since you are not hunting brown bears in alaska, there are plenty of $50 3-9xscopes that would suit your purposes. So you'd be in business for $350, and you could get rid of the sks to boot, just dial your scope down to 3x for the closer stuff.

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