SKS-what to look for?


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Storz
January 2, 2012, 07:26 PM
Thinking about picking up an SKS for a range toy. The local shops all have several ranging in price from 250-350. What should I look for in an SKS?

Thanks!

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esque
January 2, 2012, 08:15 PM
For a range toy in that price range i would
suggest a Chinese,numbers matching parts
and low round count.

Hacker15E
January 2, 2012, 08:32 PM
If you just want a range toy, then why bother with numbers matching, etc?

For all SKSs, check that you have a decent bore -- many of the surplus guns have dark, pitted, or otherwise ugly barrels.

If you're looking at a Zastava 59/66 (a "Yugo"), check that the gas valve is not corroded.

Other than that, it's pretty tough to screw up an SKS. They're tough as nails. Nearly anything you get is going to work just fine for your purposes.

tnxdshooter
January 2, 2012, 08:37 PM
Most of the chinamen ones wont have pitted bores cuz they have chrome lined barrels which is more than I can say for alot of the others. I bought a chinaman whose barrel was filled with gunk. I brought it home and cleaned it and no pits in the barrel anywhere. Hard chrome hardly rusts.

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Vaarok
January 2, 2012, 08:58 PM
Make sure it doesn't have any Tapco crap on it, check the gasvalve on a Yugo, and pop out the triggerpack and make sure nobody dinked the innards.

Those things aside, it's a SKS, about the most bomb-proof module-of-firepower out there.

Mamertine
January 2, 2012, 09:09 PM
I had a Chinese that gave me all kinds of problems. It was heavily modded which was likely the cause of my problems. I now have a stock Yugo and I like that much better.

As Hacker15E said It's pretty tough to screw up an SKS.

Storz
January 2, 2012, 09:18 PM
Thanks for all the info. I am going to head to the shop tomorrow and give them another look.

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Black Butte
January 2, 2012, 09:18 PM
If given a choice between Izhevsk and Tula, grab the Izhevsk.

tnxdshooter
January 2, 2012, 11:51 PM
Make sure it doesn't have any Tapco crap on it, check the gasvalve on a Yugo, and pop out the triggerpack and make sure nobody dinked the innards.

Those things aside, it's a SKS, about the most bomb-proof module-of-firepower out there.

Know lots of people that have the tapco stuff especially alot of those on the sksboards forum of which I am a member. None of us seem to have problems with the tapco products. I also run usa brand 30 round steel duck billed mags along with the tapco 20 and no issues just like alot of my other fellow sksboards member. Usa brand are the only 30 rounders I would use the rest are junk. Tapco 20 rounders are good. I also know tons of people who have modded their bolt to allow for the mags to be inserted without the bolt open myself included. No issues to speak of. Of course we had the bolts head spaced after the mods and function is flawless. I also know people that have a duck bill less adapter installed and can use modified mags which have the duck bills cut off and they work fine as well. I was initially going to go this route until the 30 round steel mags came along and since they cannot be made duck bill less I will just roll with the duckbills for now.


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Hacker15E
January 3, 2012, 12:00 AM
I think the best strategy when buying a used SKS is to find the most tacti-cool'd, bubba'd-out one that you can find.

Chances are it's owner bought it wishing it was an AR or AK, spent a bunch of money trying to make it look or shoot like an AR or AK, and will end up selling it at a loss when he can't.

I have seen some great deals on people who just couldn't make the SKS be what they wanted it to be, and sold it just to get rid of it.

Putting it back in stock configuration is a snap: find the next new guy on the forum who has a new SKS and wants to tacti-cool it out, then offer to trade him whatever stock/sights/mags/etc that you have for whatever his mil-spec stuff is.

The SKS is a wonderful little carbine as-is. IMHO unless there's a compelling reason to do so, there's really no reason to modify it. Mine has tech sights (the best SKS mod, hands down), a Kivari trigger job, and a Murray firing pin, and it's just perfect. Tapco stocks, rails, lights, optics, and all of the other junk is just that and does nothing to really enhance the SKS.

crazy-mp
January 3, 2012, 12:04 AM
If you come across a Russian with the black bolt you might take a close look at those, they were made for guard troops and didn't see much action, but they will most likely be at the upper end of your mentioned price range. Otherwise find a nice Norinco, one with the bayonet lug if possible. +1 Chrome barrel.

greenlion
January 3, 2012, 12:38 AM
Get the one with the most cosmoline in it. It will probably be in better condition under the surface.

nathan
January 3, 2012, 12:52 AM
Chicom SKS
Yugo M 59
If you can find a nice Russian , grab it. Expect them not to be cheap nowadays.

mljdeckard
January 3, 2012, 03:13 AM
The only thing I have used from Tapco that didn't turn out to be great was their replacement bolt, which allows for tactical reloads. I called Tapco, and they said that they discontinued it because they couldn't make the extractor run well. They said if I bothered to have a smith fit it, they would give me credit for it, but I think the reason mine didn't run well was because I had a Kivaari trigger done. I want the trigger more than the closed-bolt reload capability.

But I think I'll try some of the new Pro-mags, if they cleaned the design up a little bit it might be worth the extra ten rounds. Recent great reviews on Midway.

MuleRyder
January 3, 2012, 07:25 AM
If you come across a Russian with the black bolt you might take a close look at those, they were made for guard troops and didn't see much action, but they will most likely be at the upper end of your mentioned price range. Otherwise find a nice Norinco, one with the bayonet lug if possible. +1 Chrome barrel.
Black bolt Ruskies are refurbs, all original ones have bolts in the white.

tnxdshooter
January 3, 2012, 11:55 AM
I think the best strategy when buying a used SKS is to find the most tacti-cool'd, bubba'd-out one that you can find.

Chances are it's owner bought it wishing it was an AR or AK, spent a bunch of money trying to make it look or shoot like an AR or AK, and will end up selling it at a loss when he can't.

I have seen some great deals on people who just couldn't make the SKS be what they wanted it to be, and sold it just to get rid of it.

Putting it back in stock configuration is a snap: find the next new guy on the forum who has a new SKS and wants to tacti-cool it out, then offer to trade him whatever stock/sights/mags/etc that you have for whatever his mil-spec stuff is.

The SKS is a wonderful little carbine as-is. IMHO unless there's a compelling reason to do so, there's really no reason to modify it. Mine has tech sights (the best SKS mod, hands down), a Kivari trigger job, and a Murray firing pin, and it's just perfect. Tapco stocks, rails, lights, optics, and all of the other junk is just that and does nothing to really enhance the SKS.

That is certainly your opinion that tapco stuff is junk but you have absolutley no basis nor scientific proof of such. I wonder why there are far more people on sksboards.com that have tapco furniture on their sks than ones that don't? That should tell you something. Also I have found my sks to be more accurate than an ak.

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tnxdshooter
January 3, 2012, 11:58 AM
Find a Norinco that was actually made as a military rifle (a Type 56 usually distinguishable by the triangle with the "26" inside of it) and not one made as a consumer rifle for the US market (like a Paratrooper or a Cowboy Companion or one with almost no markings at all). Find one that hasn't been altered with aftermarket parts (some work fine - others don't work at all). Find one that hasn't been shot a whole lot of times and is filthy inside like it was never cleaned or it was stored in a barrel of soot for 15 years. Look for one that is still packed in the original milsurp storage condition (still coated with cosmoline inside and out - it means more work getting it ready to shoot but it also means it will be a rifle in very good shape). If you can't find a Norinco get a Yugo without a grenade launcher (who needs all that weight?). There are still some around that haven't been sold in the US market and shot out. It does make a big difference. I looked at one about a year ago and I wanted to buy it but when I tried to pull the trigger the action wouldn't even operate because of all the gunk inside from where it had been shot 100,000 rounds (or some really high number). I didn't buy it. :) If they didn't take care of the action I can guarantee they didn't take care of the gas tube. It's much harder to get to.

Sks gas tube not hard to get to. Push up take down lever to first detent and pull gas tube off. It takes me less than ten seconds to get off. I had a harder time getting out the magazine than I did the gas tube.

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Pilot
January 3, 2012, 11:58 AM
Black bolt Ruskies are refurbs, all original ones have bolts in the white.


Just to clarify, if a Russian SKS has an in the white bolt also does not mean it hasn't been refurbed. I have two refurbs, one with a black bolt, and one in the white. Both have the xxxxxx's on the serial numbers on the stock, so both are refurbs.

tnxdshooter
January 3, 2012, 12:00 PM
The only thing I have used from Tapco that didn't turn out to be great was their replacement bolt, which allows for tactical reloads. I called Tapco, and they said that they discontinued it because they couldn't make the extractor run well. They said if I bothered to have a smith fit it, they would give me credit for it, but I think the reason mine didn't run well was because I had a Kivaari trigger done. I want the trigger more than the closed-bolt reload capability.

But I think I'll try some of the new Pro-mags, if they cleaned the design up a little bit it might be worth the extra ten rounds. Recent great reviews on Midway.

Nope,

The kivaari trigger has nothing to do with it as I have one done and have a modded bolt with murray firing pin. Unless you had one of the old kivaari trigger jobs where he changed out your hammer spring for a reduced powered one. He doesnt do that any longer because people were having problems with it and he was having to correct em for free.

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Earlsbud
January 3, 2012, 01:20 PM
I started with ChiCom and later bought a 54 Russian. Big difference in accuracy and overall fit. I no longer own the ChiCom.

towboat_er
January 3, 2012, 01:39 PM
I like the Russian best also.

Storz
January 3, 2012, 01:55 PM
Thanks again for all the great info, one of things that draws me to the SKS is the basic simplicity of it. A friend a few years ago had with him at the range an SKS, AK and an AR15 and I enjoyed shooting the SKS the most :)

okiewita40
January 3, 2012, 02:00 PM
I like my Norinco sks. I can shoot a 2" groups at 100yds with just iron sights. I use it as my deer and hog gun.

MuleRyder
January 3, 2012, 02:03 PM
I just checked out my Russian as per SKSboards Russian page. I guess I have a 51 Tula original. No Refurb marks anywhere, no refurb paint, original stock with arsenal stamp, 1951r, and serial no.3661 on left side, one cross bolt with inspectors cartouches around it, all numbers matching on all parts, shiny gold bayonet, hand stenciled serial no. on gas tube, gas piston and under rear sight. Am I missing anything else that might indicate a refurb?

woad_yurt
January 4, 2012, 10:30 AM
I have a Norinco Paratrooper. It's my favorite rifle. It's all stock except for a $30 Williams peep sight.

I had a Yugo, then bought a standard Norinco which made the Yugo feel like a telephone pole in comparison, and then bought the Paratrooper, which in turn made the first Norinco feel bulky. I now own only the Paratrooper.

The Paratrooper is on top, pre-peep sight:

http://i232.photobucket.com/albums/ee150/woad_yurt/SKScomparison01.jpg

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