SKS or a Mosin


March 25, 2010, 03:18 PM
I've got a chance to buy either a Mosin or SKS. The SKS is around $200, most likely Chinese, no bayonet, looks to be in good shape. There are plenty of Mosins to choose from for $100 (I know they're less expensive online, but FFL transfer and shipping negates it).

What to do? I enjoy shooting anything, recoil is not a consideration, and either would be used for plinking / target shooting. I believe I would happy firing either.

Of course I'd buy both of them, but money dictates otherwise. Opinions are appreciated!

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March 25, 2010, 03:28 PM
While the ammo is cheaper for the SKS you will end up spending more on ammo if you buy the SKS because you'll shoot more rounds. It's inevitable with an auto-loading rifle.

Both very fun, but very different. Hard to compare.

March 25, 2010, 03:38 PM
Go for the SKS. They are drying up quicker than a Mosin. This coming from a guy with a 91/30 and an M44, but no SKS. I want one... I want one bad, haha.

Pony Express
March 25, 2010, 03:39 PM
I'd opt for the Mosin. both guns are fun to shoot and reliable and tough, but its hard not to respect the raw power that the 7.62x54r round has to offer. Initial cost is lower, plus you can pick up 440 round spam cans for around $80 + shipping.

March 25, 2010, 03:46 PM
I have both. My SKS's gets shot more often but the MN puts a bigger smile on my face when I pull the trigger:) You will end up getting both down the road, but if I had just one rifle it would be the SKS. It is tough as nails, puts a nice .30 caliber hole in stuff out to 200 yards and is VERY accurate with the addition of a tech-sight. I can pick off scavenged clay pigeons (from my clubs trap range) all day long at 120 yards.

March 25, 2010, 03:52 PM
SKS, duh.

Red Tornado
March 25, 2010, 04:10 PM
I'd go with the Mosin, primarily because the SKS is Chinese. I'd prefer a Yugo or pretty much any other country's SKS, due to my bad experience with a Chinese SKS. It always worked, but was the least accurate rifle I've ever far. It was possibly an exception, but I got rid of it and haven't replace it yet. Mosins I got, and they're great fun!

Ignition Override
March 25, 2010, 05:14 PM
MN 44 accuracy can be very hard to predict, and varies with Czech, Polish, Bulgarian ammo etc. The 91/30 should be better.

For a fairly handy rifle which is considered to be much more consistently accurate than many 44s (with bayos extended), and can easily equal the MN 91/30, the surplus 8mm Mauser is an all-time favorite and has a much smoother action.

But if the semi-auto 'bug' has bitten you and the fever can't be cured, the SKS might be the best value of any 30 caliber semi-.

March 25, 2010, 05:19 PM
I dunno. I like them all, but my use is very limited. Maybe go to the range and blast at tin cans or something. I prefer the Mosin Nagant, but the SKS is a neat little package from a technological point of view.

March 25, 2010, 05:36 PM
After having several of both, I'd take a M91/30 or a Finn rebuild over an SKS most days. I had much more fun tagging gongs at 450+ yards with a Mosin than I ever did blowing through a magazine of 7.62x39.

Karl Hungus
March 25, 2010, 06:19 PM
I'd prefer a Yugo or pretty much any other country's SKS, due to my bad experience with a Chinese SKS. It always worked, but was the least accurate rifle I've ever far.

A friend of mine had a Chinese SKS - same thing. Absolutely horrible.

I've shot a couple Mosins - they look like crap , but shoot surprisingly well.

I'd take a nice Finnish Mosin over 3 SKS's.

March 25, 2010, 08:04 PM
SKS for $200 is a steal in today's market, esp for a Chinese one. Buy it. It's at least a $300 rifle provided it's in decent shape and works. And then buy my $30 Monte Carlo stock to put on it! :)

Tenacious B
March 25, 2010, 08:15 PM
I had much more fun tagging gongs at 450+ yards with a Mosin than I ever did blowing through a magazine of 7.62x39.
I've never blown through a mag of x39, but I agree with this. I just love working an old bolt action (or a new one too :))

March 25, 2010, 08:53 PM
SKS no Mosins for me. I never had any accuracy problems with my Chinese.

March 25, 2010, 08:55 PM
I'm having the same problem, exept for it includes the k31. I guess it comes down to your taste. For me, a semi gets boring suprisingly quick.

March 25, 2010, 09:15 PM
another vote for the Mosin.... I just got one and am thrilled with the performance of a 78 yr old piece of history.

March 25, 2010, 09:29 PM
I can't find any x39 around here, and what there is has shot up three times what it was a few years ago. 54R is still easy to find.

March 25, 2010, 09:37 PM
SKS. You can scrounge up another C-note for a Mosin in another 6 months. They'll still be around.

March 25, 2010, 10:13 PM
it deepends a lot on what you intend to do with it. an SKS is loads and loads of fun to shot. The mosin is comfterable to shoot (the 91/30) and spirited in the carbines. but the plus side of the mosin is you can hunt just about anything in the lower 48 with it if you choose to. 7.62x54r is cheaper to shoot right now. take some time and really look at the SKS before you buy. I have both, and love both, but since i am not a hunter, assuming the sks is in good condition i would go with the SKS.

March 25, 2010, 10:21 PM
I have a norinco sks that will shoot a bullseye at a hundred yards and I shot a friends mosin that would go all over the place at a hundred yards. But with either its hit or miss due to them being surplus. Sks is a lot more fun to shoot though.

March 26, 2010, 12:34 AM
Personally, I recommend getting both!

Ignition Override
March 26, 2010, 01:06 AM

My SKS mostly zaps targets against a river bank, about 40 yards max., as with most of my guns (Mini 30, LE #4, #5, Yugo Mauser).

Have read about the new Tech Sight rear peep, which can be attached to an SKS or AK clone, but does the plastic Tapco stock help accuracy at 100 yards etc? Am well aware of problems with aftermarket mags, if that is 'the angle'.

March 26, 2010, 02:08 AM
If you can get an SKS for $200, you might wanna grab it now. Mosin prices have been pretty stable as of late.

March 26, 2010, 02:17 AM

March 26, 2010, 02:46 AM
I have both a Norinco (chinese) SKS and a Mosin-Nagant M44. My SKS shoots as straight as one could expect a semi-auto 7.62x39 to shoot; I can hit a 6" gong at 300 yards a third of the time, but my eyes are the biggest limiting factor in that. My M44 shoots REAL straight, and gets me funny looks at the range from people with .22's...on account of it goes BOOM! But if I could have only one, I'd say the SKS. It's more versatile.

If you're buying from a private seller, see if you can shoot it first. If not, you're probably SOL as far as finding out if it shoots straight or not.

For reference on noises, an AR goes CRACK, an M1A goes POP!, the M44's BOOM! is a deep, visceral sound that you feel in your chest even if you're not the one shooting. :D

March 26, 2010, 03:22 AM
I've got a Russian SKS and a Mosin 91/30 and i love them both but i prefer the SKS. it's just, in my opinion, more fun. but whatever you choose you will be happy.

March 26, 2010, 05:22 AM
IMO, SKSs are overpriced at this point. I would pass on it, get an AK instead, and then buy a couple mosins down the road.

Or, if $ is tight, buy the mosin(s) now, then save for the AK.

March 26, 2010, 04:11 PM
I have become a big fan of bolt rifles over the last few years. I find them much more enjoyable than most semi-autos. That said I wish I wouldn't have bought my mosin. It has a terrible trigger. It has terrible sights. It isn't accurate, though I have only fed it surplus ammo. Still it wasn't up to most surplus results in other rifles. Had I bought a Finn made rifle it may be a different story. As is though it is about the worst money I have spent on firearms to date, though it wasn't much. The SKS on the other hand is a blast. Trigger is a bit better, though still not good. Accuracy is good enough. It goes band over and over. To me it is much more enjoyable. I like it better than my AK as well. I can't put my finger on why it feels better, just that it certainly does.

For $200 that SKS is a decent deal. You can't get much today for $200. People can say they are overpriced, but not for $200. Not much else in centerfire that is semi-auto in the $200 market.

If you go with a mosin pay top dollar and get a good one. If it doesn't shoot at least decent it won't be fun. With the SKS, even if it isn't accurate, you can blast away.

March 26, 2010, 04:19 PM
Had I bought a Finn made rifle it may be a different story.

There you go. Oftentimes you can squeeze accuracy out of Soviet with some tweaking, or get lucky. But there's no denying some are real barking dogs. Overall though I'd agree that now is the time to pick up an M39 or a late model M91 from the Finnish arsenals. Just don't bubba it. They didn't make many of them to start with and I'm tired of seeing rare Finns hacked up.

If you want a real workout, do your shooting routine with an M39 for awhile. After that your usual hunting rifle will feel light as a feather.

March 26, 2010, 06:50 PM
Sigh... Picked up a Mosin today. 1934 date with an octagonal receiver, Tula Arsenal.

March 26, 2010, 07:14 PM
Yes I strongly believe that a quality Finn 93 or 91 as well as at least using some of the better shooting surplus ammo would completely change my opinion on the mosin. I'm not sold on the average sample available, but the better made versions seem to have a great fan base for a reason. Even for the $70 I spent though it is probably worth the money to have just for the newer shooter to try something loud.

March 26, 2010, 09:31 PM
I have about 15 or so Mosins ( 5 Finns), I have 1 Yugo SKS.
The SKS is an ok rifle at the range, but doesn't really jingle my bells. I don't plan to sell it, but I find myself attracted to the MN's. The history just drips off of them (especially the Finns, great reading). The Russian MN's are fun and cheap to collect, but Finns are in another class.

It's been said:
The Russians made the Mosins. The Finns made them right. I've never seen
an SKS that showed any level of craftmanship. All the Finns will show it. I have 1 M39 Sako that shoots as well as my K31's.

March 27, 2010, 07:13 AM
2 Thumbs up for the mosin. I love mine and have found it to be quite accurate. Just started reloading for her and am anxious to see how accurate I can get her.

I also have to agree with others here..... There's something about the sound and function of a solid bolt action. Except for my 9mm Ruger I've gotten rid of all my semi guns.

Now I have my eyes open for a Swedish mauser.:D

Va Shooter
March 27, 2010, 07:38 AM
SKS's, got my Chi-com back when they were cheap and unissued and full of cosmoline, great shooter and it's never let me down. Yugo 59/66, mismatched parts but only cost $100 has some issues (stovepipe) and it's got the new gas valve, still fun to shoot.

Had 2 M-44's, fun to shoot but sold them

March 27, 2010, 09:41 AM
TenDriver, best of luck with it. If you're lucky, you got a good shooter. If not and you decide to sell it, you surely won't lose much.

March 27, 2010, 09:41 AM
Got to admit I picked up the SKS too.:D Two of the guys I shoot with decided I needed both and started throwing money at me. The SKS is a run of the mill Chinese version in decent shape. Got it and it's brother SKS for less than $400. Unlikely I will keep both the SKS's. I just don't find them as interesting as I once did, but happy with the purchase nonetheless.

Two questions about these rifles. The most important, how do I get all the cosmoline out of the Mosin!?!?!? The second, is it legal to add a bayonet to the SKS? I've read that it is not legal to add one to a post-ban Chinese rifle.

Here's the stamp on the Mosin.

March 27, 2010, 06:46 PM

Several ways to clean the cosmo out. some use very hot water, some use other solvents. I myself use a large pan with a brush and mineral spirits. remove the barreled action from the stock, brush/scrub away all external cosmo. then use MS soaked patches to run down the barrel until they come out clean. this may take quite a few patches. wipe/brush out the reciever with MSuntil clean. disasemble the bolt compltely (not hard) clean all cosmo from parts. now for the trickey part, take a worn 12ga brass brush and soak in MS put on 1 cleaning rod section and placed in a varible speed drill. from the reciever end, run the MS soaked brush into the chamber and run the drill at a lower speed , while still turning withdraw the spinning brush from the chamber/reciever and clean brush with additional MS. repeat this procedure 10-12 times or more if needed to ensure yiou have COMPLETELY removed ALL the cosmo from the chamber. you really would not beleive how the tiniest bit of dried cosmo will give you a severe case of the dreaded Mosin "sticky bolt".
After you are positive you have gotten ALL of the cosmo out of the rifle, wipe all parts down with a light coat of gun oil. reassemble. enjoy.

If you should take the rifle to the range and experience the "sticky bolt" that will not eject the spent case after firing this almost certanly means you still have a spec of dried cosmo in the camber or bolt body. Return to the brush/cleaning rod in a drill chuck method.

THe Dove
March 27, 2010, 06:53 PM
SKS and MN....... Get them both amigo!!! I have them both and really enjoy shootin' em.

The Dove

March 27, 2010, 10:06 PM
Got all the cosmoline out of the action and barrel, left a little on the stock (lack of time) and went out to the range. As plinking rifles, all three are very good. I didn't expect much out of any of them but was pleasantly surprised. The Mosin is the least accurate, but still plenty fine for my uses. Both SKS's were good.

The only problem is the action on the Mosin is extremely tight. It almost takes both hands to open the bolt after the second shot. Any ideas?

Also, still looking for an answer to the bayonet question for the SKS's. They both have bayonet lugs which makes me think adding them would be legal, but I don't want to take chances.

March 27, 2010, 10:07 PM

March 27, 2010, 10:08 PM
You definitely buy the SKS. $200 for one will be hard to find again. You can pick up a MN 91/30 for $100-$150 almost anywhere.

And the SKS will give you semi-auto firepower, and less recoil.

March 27, 2010, 10:15 PM
I was at the George R Brown Gunshow today. I only saw a few Norinco made SKS s, a Russian laminated and a few Yugo s . All are in good conditions only --- the ones i wouldnt even mind to look . NO more unissued ones , sorry folks . THe supply of cheap SKSs are long gone. But of course theres so many Century WASR 10s at cheap prices. Now the Yugo M 72 RPK is one badaz_ looking AK i would want to have.

March 27, 2010, 11:27 PM
If you want a practical rifle, get an SKS and leave it as is. They're something that can be used for hunting, defense, plinking and a truck gun. They're extremely reliable and tolerably accurate. Their biggest problem is a lack of good scope mounting options. If your eyes are good enough, just use the iron sights or get Tech Sights.

If you're like me and you've already got three or four good practical rifles, then just get whatever floats your boat. I personally prefer Mosin Nagants to SKS's. I especially like Finnish Mosins.

If you're looking for a rifle for any particular purpose other than a cheap, beater truck gun however, you would be better served with something else.

March 28, 2010, 12:06 AM
The only problem is the action on the Mosin is extremely tight. It almost takes both hands to open the bolt after the second shot. Any ideas?

You probably still have impacted cosmoline inside the chamber. Mineral alcohol works well on patches attached to a 45 cal bore brush inserted and spun from the chamber in. Also make sure you've disassembled and completely cleaned the bolt.

March 28, 2010, 12:23 AM
Thanks! I'll give that a try.

Ignition Override
March 28, 2010, 12:42 AM
Despite very good reliability, my Norinco SKS can have a stovepipe jam, but not often.
A buddy's WASR AK had a jam after watching only 80 rounds through it, if this is in context.

Would not hesitate buying the SKS again.

Two days ago, Ammoman offered 1,000 rds. of Wolf x39 for about $250 or so-shipped.
900 rds. of surplus Yugo 8mm from Ammoman, for only $200 "ist viel besser".:)

March 29, 2010, 12:11 AM
I like 'em both, and they're both cheap to feed (although the SKS used to be almost as cheap as a .22, times change). I got my Norinco SKS when they were importing them by the container load. I never thought it was much of a shooter until I put the Tech-sights on it. Spend the money on the Tech-Sight set for the SKS. Makes a world of difference.

March 29, 2010, 09:57 AM
I can appreciate the SKS, but my plain jane 91/30 is just pure joy to shoot. Kicks like a mule, barks a bit of flame, and certainly isn't as packable as the SKS, but for fun target rifle it throws a lot of lead for a cheap price.

Besides, there's the added value of a 6' spear when you attach the bayonet:neener:

March 29, 2010, 10:47 AM
If you can, inspect them both and then buy the better one.

March 29, 2010, 11:51 AM
I have both and like them both. I prefer the Norinco SKS as they take AK mags...

I vote SKS, get as mosin next. Thats a good deal. Someguys will say $200 is not a good deal, but they have not purchased one in the last 5 years either.

March 30, 2010, 12:36 AM
i have had a few sks and got my first M44 yesterday, so get both

March 30, 2010, 03:04 AM
Both,u know u want them,but the chinese ones suck compared to a russian,ive owned both and the china started to slam fire after a few thousand rounds,very dangerous! I traded it to the gunsmith who said they are cheap compared to a russian SKS.WHEN U GET THE MOSIN PICK UP THE MOVIE ENEMY AT THE GATE,ENJOY.

March 30, 2010, 01:19 PM
Both,u know u want them,but the chinese ones suck compared to a russian

That may be your experience but not everyone's... the Norinco SKS has a solid reputation (Considering what it is...) and it also takes the AK mags which is a big bonus.

As far as the movie, and mosin.. I agree...

March 30, 2010, 04:36 PM
As far as I know theres no difference between post and pre ban and you may add a bayonet but I'm not exactly sure.

Ignition Override
March 30, 2010, 11:57 PM
I might have misunderstood which types you referred to.
The Norinco series 'D' and 'M' seem to be the only types which are designed to use AK magazines.

The vast majority of Norinco SKS rifles are Not D or M series, based on everything I've found at "Sksboards" and various other websites.

March 31, 2010, 12:04 AM
100 yards SKS clear out to 500 or better mosin. Or do like I did get both

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