SKS questions


December 28, 2009, 02:02 PM
I am hoping to procure a SKS for a low price, I am on a budget. Hoping to use a SKS for self-protection, target shooting, and maybe some closer range varmints. I learned that usually the Yugo's are better quality. I also learned that gun-shows are usually in good supply of SKS's. I am hoping to learn the reliability, accruacy (not long range), and general price range of an SKS. Please answer if you own an SKS, (any country of origin) and tell me your personal expirence, and some pros and cons.

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December 28, 2009, 02:56 PM
My early 60s chicom SKS is a 2MOA rifle and has been 100% reliable. I got mine for $250 with some accessories.

The problem with SKSs is that they aren't all that customizable. Forget the extended mags and scopes, keep it stock for best function. BSW

December 28, 2009, 03:01 PM
Yugo's best quality whoever told you that was misinformed. I'd say Russian, Chinese, Romanian, Albanian and Yugo last for quality. I've owned a Russian and Yugo before and the Russian wins hands down overall.

December 28, 2009, 03:53 PM
I bought a Chinese out of the crate yrs. ago for 90.00, I put a folding stock on it, an a 30 rd. mag. It worked 100% of the time, I later sold it an bought a Norinco Mak90. My son picked up a Russian, I've heard to be the best, at a garage sale for 200.00, it works 100%, but he has never been able to get 30 rd. mags to work in it. It must be made good though because he has bump fired it many times.

December 28, 2009, 04:27 PM
I bought a unissued Yugo for about $160 a half dozen years ago- seemed like a lot of money at the time, now I wish I would have bought a dozen more at that price.:banghead:
I don't know about how quality compares to other makes, but mine is pretty nicely made, never fails, and is more accurate than I would have expected- easily puts 10 shots into a fist sized group at 100 yards with wolf ammo.

The only downside is the weight- I've shot chinese SKSs before, and the Yugo is a pig in comparison.

December 28, 2009, 04:29 PM
Any of the SKS made are good. Just choose one with new bore and all matching. First get the Russian for authenticity as the orig maker , then a Chicom for its chrome bored . Easy to clean and all solid shooter s.

December 28, 2009, 05:17 PM
yugo's have a grenade launcher on the front end. it adds weight and bulk. I'd look for something else personally. sks's don't scope well. for 100 bucks or less they were a steal of a deal. for 250 or so these days I'd rather have a marlin 30/30. more accurate, powerful, and scopeable. less fun though. lots of people have they sitting around, you would be better off trying to get some guy to sell you his for 200 than trying to find one at a gun show I'd think.

December 28, 2009, 06:27 PM
Frankly, don't worry about "unissued" or "all matching numbers". The SKS is a relatively cheap rifle and not a collectable.
It is a very reliable rifle when left stock. Reasonably accurate too...

If you do get an SKS, follow this:
Clean all cosmoline from the rifle...especially ensuring the firing pin moves freely.
Don't load in your home the first time. Take it someplace (a range, for example) where it can be shot.
Load ONE round initially. Let the bolt slam home. if it fires, you've just experienced a "slamfire". Your firing pin is sticking. If it doesn't fire, go ahead and fire that round.
Load TWO rounds and fire the first round. If the second round fires (without you pulling the trigger), you've just experienced "doubling". It's probaby a cleanliness problem...
If you can fire both rounds with no slamfire or doubling, go ahead and load 10 rounds...the start enjoying your rifle.

I do not use an SKS for home defense. I use an AR-15. However, I would not leave that SKS loaded at all times. I do suggest you keep a loaded stripper clip close at hand and learn to load the rifle quickly, if you want it as a home defense rifle.
(BTW, I don't keep the AR loaded either, but I do have a charged magazine in very close proximaty to the rifle...)

December 28, 2009, 06:51 PM
Frankly, don't worry about "unissued" or "all matching numbers".

For a Yugo the unissued part is important. They don't have chrome bores and corrosive ammo is still coming out of former Yugoslovia.

The all matching numbers is mostly a crock.


December 28, 2009, 06:54 PM
I would most certainly obtain a Russian one. I did the first time around, and would again in a heartbeat. Of all the ones I have seen, they always look amazing. My father and grandfather have Chinese models. They function exactly the same with no issue. They don't look as good in my opinion, but my grandfather redid the stock on his and it looks like mine now.

My friend has a Yugo model. It does exactly what it should do, it just doesn't look as good. He did have an issue where he had to replace the gas valve at the end, it wouldn't allow enough blow back to charge the bolt.

I went with my cousins and helped them each pick one out. They both bought Yugo's. There is certainly nothing wrong with them. They are more affordable and feel solid. It comes down to personal preference and cost.

I went with a friend last summer and helped him pick out one. I showed him everything in the entire show, and he wanted a Russian one. There were only two in the whole show. But it is a beauty.

The stripper clips look pretty cool too when all loaded up. Be sure to keep your thumb back close to the strip when loading or you may bind up the rounds. A little practice and you'll have them in quick. Definitely get a sight tool to help you hone it in. If you do your part, you can have tight groups easily at 100 yards.

The stock can hold a cleaning kit, which is also a neat conversation piece when you show it off.

All in all it is a rugged, reliable and accurate rifle. I would make sure all the numbers match, because you don't know who swapped what for which, and what may or may not work in it. Matching numbers ensures that your rifle is assembled the way it was intended. I don't invest in guns to return high yields. I get what I want and I like them to look authentic and good.

They are really fun to shoot, and have a historical feel about them. I don't know about the home defense part, but they fulfill everything else.

Prices vary by region, and change with time.

Where I'm at, I paid $275 for mine 3 years ago. Now they are over $500. I see yugo's for $300 now. When I bought my Russian, Yugo's were $115.

Here is a shot of mine in action.

December 28, 2009, 07:01 PM
For a Yugo the unissued part is important. They don't have chrome bores and corrosive ammo is still coming out of former Yugoslovia.

+1 on that.

A lot of the Yugos sold were junk with sewer pipe bores- they would go bang, but wouldn't go bang a second time due to corroded leaky gas valves (YUgos have a gas shut off valve for their Grenade launching apparatus, other SKSs don't have this problem). For what sold for $75 back then, + another $10-20 or so for a new gas valve, you would get a rifle that would at least go bang every time.

Unissued rifles on the other hand had perfect bores, and good gas valves. The arsenal book that came with mine showed that it had been test fired with about 5-6 shots and then never used again.

If you buy a Yugo, get it unissued if possible.
FWIW, the Chinese rifles were factory new- they were commercial rifles made for export by Norinco.

Here's a pic of my Yugo:

December 28, 2009, 07:03 PM
I went with a friend last summer and helped him pick out one. I showed him everything in the entire show, and he wanted a Russian one. There were only two in the whole show. But it is a beauty.

All of the Russian ones I've seen have that reddish looking wood on them- really nice looking for a SKS. The local Cabela's had a slew of them in last year for around $250-300 ea.

December 28, 2009, 07:14 PM
I own Russian, Romanian, and Chinese SKS' currently.

I bought an Albanian back when they first came in the country and it was actually lower build quality IMO. When the price shot up on them I sold it and turned a nice profit. It was solid and functional - just a bit of an odd looking duck in the SKS world.

I also have owned a few Yugo 59/66's and NONE of them have stayed in my collection. To me they feel like a broom stick with a 10lb weight attached to the nose... Add in the Non-Crome lined barrel and the (resulting) fact that 90% of the ones availiable on the current market have absolute sewer pipes for a bore.... Then theres the fault prone, problem of a gas shut off valve.... Contrary to what you may be thinking at this moment I don't hate the Yugo. A good one is infact a good solid rifle. It's just by the time you find a good one these days, that energy and $$$ could have been spent on finding a like new Chicom or serviceable Romanian and not have to worry about the above.

There really are no wrong choices with an SKS (Country of Orgin Wise) provided you buy a nice one and don't get hosed on the price. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. Head over to the "Survivors SKS Board" and read around about all the specific differences.

My advice would be for you to pick the country that has the features you like best. Look around and see what's available local to you - Then bounce that against what it would cost you to buy a nice one online and pay a local FFL to do the transfer. Then do whats cheapest for the best rifle.

December 28, 2009, 07:22 PM
I'm going to give a slightly different opinion here.

I own and shoot a Yugo 59/66, and a Chinese. I have handled and shot Russian. So i have experience with the three most common.

Each has qualities that I like. I would say that no particular one is "better" without knowing the answer to the question of, "better at what?"

The Chinese is the lightest feeling. So if its something you are going to have to carry around, the Chinese might be a good idea. I also like that the barrel is chrome lined to protect it. Of course, corrosive ammo is not exactly common in 7.62X39 anyway. Just buy modern ammo. It doesn't cost any more than the surplus stuff anyway.

The Yugo is the heaviest. It feels like it is tougher than the other two. It's like the Ruger of the SKS world. if you needed to club your foe to death when you run out of ammo, the Yugo is the one to do it with! :evil: I also like the historical aspect of the Yugo. It's a rifle where every one of them was built with a grenade launcher so that if the Russians invaded Yugoslavia to start a fight, the Yugo civilians could fight back and really pack a punch. The grenade launcher also is NATO spec. What does that tell you about who the Yugo leaders envisioned fighting with/against? Very cool history. I love my Yugo.
But that grenade launcher also adds weight, and length. It's the longest of the SKS's, and that may not be good for you for HD. Of course, it also has flip up night sights. Super cool for HD. Mine are dim though.:(

Russian- in my experience, they are the most nicely made. Best trigger, fit, finish etc...

In the end, you have to look at what you want. If you're a beginner looking to get into it you don't need to pay the premiums for the Russian or Abanian or some other fancy kind of SKS. No need. The differences won't matter.

The thing you are going to have to decide is Chinese vs. Yugo. You can't go wrong with either choice. they are both awesome for their own reasons.

Oh, and when people talk about how one is more accurate than the other, realize that they are talking about at most 3 inches at 100 yards. That's a LOT to a practiced target shooter. But in practice, since you don't care about long range accuracy, don't let it bother you one way or another.

December 28, 2009, 07:23 PM

There's a reason I don't shoot my Yugo too often- it is too big and heavy for what its supposed to be. On the other hand, it resides in the trunk of my car with a few loaded strippers for SHTF purposes. I could put one of the ARs or the M1 in the trunk, but where I work, cars get stolen alot- I'd lose less sleep over the Yugo getting stolen.:D

December 28, 2009, 07:56 PM
I've seen them all in all conditions. Inspect what you buy, and I've seen the Chi's going for 500. Man I wish I would have known.

Dr.Mall Ninja
December 28, 2009, 08:07 PM
I had a chineese sks, if your not worried about long range then this is your gun, DO NOT BUY AFTERMARKET 30rd mags for your sks(unless you buy an sks-m but thats not cheap ) , the one thing it has going for it,relialbilty will be lost.

oh and if your trying to turn into a "tactical" rifle beware of 922r laws/

December 28, 2009, 08:07 PM

I have just under $400 in this rifle, and it's worth every cent. It made me forget all about wanting an AK.

I still plan on doing Duracoat in a ACU pattern and getting the Tapco bolt that allows you to remove the magazine when the bolt is forward.

December 28, 2009, 08:13 PM
All SKSs are great fun.

My Yugo is a joy to use on the bags and bench, very accurate.

The Russian’s a bit lighter – both are equally accurate and reliable.

Ohio Gun Guy
December 28, 2009, 08:19 PM
I have had a Chinese SKS for years..... its been a great gun. I would like a Russian also. I was suprised to see a nearly identical one above.....

Agree with the previous. These are a Very good gun in stock configuration.....not so much with anything done to it.

Pros = Mine has been more accurate than most.....that has been my experience. It's been a while but I would say 2" @ 100 seems correct. I used to hunt ground hogs with it. I have shot hundreds of rounds through it, no failures to fire or slam firing. I do / did clean it very well after shooting it.

Cons = I had to refinish the stock, due to the original finish flaking off. I tried to mimic the original. I think it looks very close, as it looks like the one at the begining of this thread. It has the same sight picture as an AK an is not the greatest (As do all sks rifles)

December 28, 2009, 08:22 PM
I just cleaned this Yugo SKS , lots of elbow grease and paper towels. SIghts are straight. Trigger is awesome sweet. Yugos did a good job of putting these SKSs together.

Now the firing pin was baked in cosmolene. I had to soaked it in gasolene and made sure all is melted out. I shook it several times to ensure its free floating

December 28, 2009, 08:28 PM
^^ Absolutely. The firing pin should rattle freely when that channel is clean.

December 28, 2009, 08:30 PM
Ok, not trying to be blunt- just want to be honest with you. Here we go:

I am hoping to procure a SKS for a low price, I am on a budget.

Good luck. As you read from the posts- SKS rifles used to be cheap.

I learned that usually the Yugo's are better quality.

Negative. Not that they are "horrible" but Russian are usually considered the flag ship of the SKS.

I also learned that gun-shows are usually in good supply of SKS's.

Maybe some heavily over-priced Yugos, but that is about it.

I am hoping to learn the reliability, accruacy (not long range), and general price range of an SKS.

Not exactly a super accurate rifle. Then again, "accurate" is relative. I'm sure some guy is going to claim he hit a deer at 500 yards with his in a rain storm. I'm just saying, accuracy is "ok" but nothing to brag about. ;)

Please answer if you own an SKS, (any country of origin) and tell me your personal expirence, and some pros and cons.

I own a Russian SKS, 1951 tula. I like it mainly because of the historic factor. However, I would not consider it my "go to" gun in a crisis.

Best of luck.

Al Thompson
December 28, 2009, 10:31 PM
Everybody should have an SKS. Tremendous value, even at $300 for a nice one. I've stayed with the Chinese ones and have been very satisfied. Most of the aftermarket stuff is junk - as Brian said, stick with the factory issue. Only aftermarket thing I'd consider would be sights - makes great ones.

December 28, 2009, 10:54 PM
woah, is this realistic? I found it on

Yugoslavian 59/66 SKS Carbine
$89 - $200 Depending Upon Condition

December 28, 2009, 11:04 PM
Whats the going price these days (at a gun show) for a Russian or a Chinese? I have some Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket. Did they come down a bit since last year?

December 29, 2009, 12:29 AM
I have a Yugo 59/66 I bought a few years ago - and I wish I had bought 2 or 3 after seeing what the prices are now. They are still a good deal for what they are, but when they were selling for $130 they were really a steal. Mine has a nice shiny bore and is reasonably accurate - I can hit a 14" steel target 8/10 times at 150 yards. Eats all the cheap commie ammo I can find for it. I also have an AR15 but honestly, if the SHTF I seriously think I would grab the SKS and the ammo can with 10 stripper clips and 800 extra rounds. I really feel like this gun would run through thick and thin, with minimal maintenance or cleaning.

Cons: it's definitely on the heavy side for a "carbine", and if you're not good with iron sights it's not very easy to solidly mount an optic sight.

Ignition Override
December 29, 2009, 01:26 AM
If you want the extra useless weight and forward 'cg' of a Yugo, then they are reportedly just as practical.

But they are good for launching grenades.

December 29, 2009, 09:41 AM
I found out that they make a golf ball launcher for Yugo SKS's, cause they already have a grenade launcher on the front, looks amazing really. I am good with Iron sights, dont mind weight, (I jog with dumbells in my rucksack,) I really dont wanna chinease "commercial" SKS, I like older guns in general, just my personal preference.

Al Thompson
December 29, 2009, 09:53 AM
Read up on the Yugos - some had/have gas port corrosion issues, as mentioned. :(

FWIW, nice Chinese SKSs around here are 250 - 300 (+) bucks.

December 29, 2009, 10:58 AM
IMHO, SKSs are badly over priced right now. That said, it is a great knock-about rifle and should be, along w/ a bolt .22LR, issued to every American as they leave the hospital nursery. I've had a Norinco & it worked flawlessly everytime. Easy peasy to clean, too, thanks to the chrome-lined barrel.

December 29, 2009, 12:37 PM
Yeah, the SKS is a notoriously great rifle. It's a semiautomatic fixed magazine 10 round rifle firing, in my opinion, the best all around caliber for average use (light enough to carry a bunch, capable of stopping man and beast). It is a solid and reliable weapon. To produce one new today would probably cost twice what they are currently selling for, around $300 for a Yugo version.

I first learned of the SKS back in about 1998, when I first shot one and my buddy told me that he got his for about $60 from a crate of 'em. Darn I wish I could have bought crates of 'em then, back when they were "commie junk."

Would have been a great investment.

I did buy a bunch of them back in 2005, for about $150 each. At the time it seemed steep. I gave many of them away as gifts to friends, Christmas presents, etc. Was a great gift. I kept a select few cherry ones for my collection.

At $300+ each they've become pretty rare and I can't afford to buy 'em as gifts.

Anyway, they are fantastic rifles. The only real downside is that they are very long and cumbersome. You can make some modifications to it, but it's not very modifiable friendly either.

December 29, 2009, 12:41 PM
I've seen SKSs go for about $350 at a South Florida gun show . . . what rifle compares to that in that price range?

December 29, 2009, 01:14 PM
Not much more that can be added. I own an AR and M1A but I still love to shoot my SKS. It is a good "truck, fun, plinker" gun.

December 29, 2009, 01:26 PM
I bought an SKS in 1996 I think for 69.95 new in box. Had to clean the hell out of it before shooting it. For a long time shot the stock clip and NEVER hung a shell. Found a steel 30 round clip and have put a 1000 rounds though it with the 30 rd clip and never hung a shell. It simple fires everytime. I don't thing I'd take it deer hunting. Not too accurate over 100 yds or so.

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