Seeking advise on my SKS/Mini14 quandary


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19-3Ben
July 6, 2014, 12:09 PM
So it's not often I post these. I have already done research out the wazoo, but sometimes simply the act of committing it to writing helps me think more clearly.

I currently own an SKS-M. For those unfamiliar with it, it's one of the models designed from the start to accept standard AK magazines. I'm here in CT, and under our crazy new AWB, this was actually one of the few rifles of its type that did NOT need to be registered. I purchased at a gun shop, so it's still "on the books," but not part of any registry.

My LGS is running a great deal on the Mini 14. ($699 NIB with 30 rounds of ammo, and two mags). I'm considering selling the SKS and buying the Mini. At this point, with the demand for a rifle like this in CT, I think i could get $650 for it. Reasons listed below:

-Mini would offer better sights. (I HATE the sights on my SKS.)

-Mini would offer better ability to mount optics.

-Mini is offered by a company with CS so I have backup should anything fail or break.

-Mini is a more refined, nicely made gun.

-By selling the old Chinese made SKS, I am getting a piece of really nice American craftsmanship for essentially an even trade. I also bought the SKS for $450 a few years ago, which means I'd have even less money tied up in the Mini than it's cost.

-Mini is likely more accurate (these are new ones where the accuracy issues are fixed).

-And the big reason- My wife is going to be getting a 5.56 rifle and this way she and I have compatible ammo.



Reasons not to make the trade:
-I already have thousands of rounds of 7.62x39 and it means selling that ammo to buy 5.56. It's a PITA.

-I do like the SKS.

-It has proven reliable.

-It's a rifle that is likely to appreciate in value more than the Mini will, as it's a gun that was "overlooked." and will perhaps be more valuable as a transferrable gun in years to come.

Things that are not a worry to me:
-Capacity of magazines.
-Caliber wars between 5.56 and x39. I'm happy with either and accept he tradeoffs of each caliber.


Ultimately, as a new father, my interests have shifted to being deadly serious about having effective defensive tools. While I have no doubt that the SKS would offer tremendous potential in that regard, I just wonder if the lighter recoil, optics, etc... might be something worthy of consideration and make it worth an upgrade/lateral move. I would just get an AR15, but can't here in CT.

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back40
July 6, 2014, 12:13 PM
if it were me i'd keep the sks, and perhaps put tech sights on it.

if you find yourself really wanting a mini down the road, just save the coin and buy it outright. but if i already had that sks, i'd likely not let it go.

cat_IT_guy
July 6, 2014, 12:21 PM
SKSs have never done much for me, so it would be an easy choice for me (of course, given that, I likely wouldnt have the SKS in the first place....). Id part ways with the SKS and buy the Mini 14 - I like the action and classic cool factor on the mini.

Jackal
July 6, 2014, 12:43 PM
Sell the SKS and buy the Mini or a Kel Tec SU16 if Ruger's $40 mags are not your cup of tea. Customer service isnt really a problem with the SKS, they dont seem to break, practically ever. An SKS in these parts sells for about $350-$450, no matter how many farkles have been added to it. As for ammo, 7.62x39 is available for about .22 cents per round, whereas the cheapest steel cased .223 is still about .27 cents per shot and many .223 rifles dont like steel cases. Brass cased ammo is available for around .33 cents each.

Onward Allusion
July 6, 2014, 12:48 PM
Keep the SKS. More durable; simpler design; lots of aftermarket parts (including sights).

19-3Ben
July 6, 2014, 01:08 PM
Good stuff to think about.

If it matters (and it always does) the purpose of the rifle is a general, all purpose defensive and range shooting rifle and one that could be used in one of those types of scenarios we don't discuss here on THR (and which doesn't need further elaboration). As a defensive weapon, there's a lot of value i can see in the ability to actually mount optics and use the darned thing at night. A rifle with no night sights and no optics is not going to accurately put rounds on target when the shooter can't see the sights.

One of the reasons the lighter recoil of the Mini appeals to me is that I can use it to introduce more people to shooting.

Jackal- Unfortunately, I can't get the Kel Tec in CT. Also, prices on the SKS-M and SKS-D are inflated here in CT due to the fact that it's as close as we can get to an "assault weapon" in this state and still be transferrable. It's not a matter of farkles being added, as this is actually a stripped, basic model with NOTHING added. There's a major premium because of the ability to take standard AK detachable mags. I think if I posted it for $600 I could have it sold in the next day or two with no problem, and if i was willing to hold out for the right buyer, $650 would be totally doable.

chicharrones
July 6, 2014, 01:21 PM
As often as I've seriously considered selling my Norinco SKS 20" to help fund another gun, I just can't quite part with it. It is in too good of shape, it is as reliable as a gun gets, and I have a lot of ammo for it.

I have always managed a way to keep the SKS and come up with the money for another gun. If I had the detachable mag SKS-M with the 16" barrel like you do, I probably would have never even thought of selling it.

While the SKS has its faults due to being an old design, I think in the long run you will appreciate having it. I go through cycles of liking certain guns and then disliking them enough to get rid of them. I don't have a problem getting rid of common guns, but an SKS-M isn't common enough to get rid of, IMO.

For the short term recoil issue for new shooters, I'd just put a nice cushy recoil pad on that SKS-M. It's not like it is a .308 bolt gun, so a recoil pad will take any possible sting out of it easily.

Oh, I think getting the Mini-14 would be a great choice, too. I'd just figure out a way to pay for it without selling the SKS. If it were me, of course. :)

chicharrones
July 6, 2014, 01:26 PM
-And the big reason- My wife is going to be getting a 5.56 rifle and this way she and I have compatible ammo.

I missed that part. What kind of 5.56 rifle is she getting? Can you press her rifle into home defense and low recoil duty until you can save up for your own 5.56 rifle?

bannockburn
July 6, 2014, 01:41 PM
19-3Ben

I would sell the SKS (while not a big fan of the rifle itself they are built like the proverbial tank), and get the most money out of it. See if can package the ammo and any accessories you might have to whoever you sell it to so you don't have to mess around with selling it separately. Get the Mini 14 and get yourself and your wife to the range.

ZGunner
July 6, 2014, 02:03 PM
If it were me, I wouldn't even be considering letting go of the SKS. Especially considering it's not your average SKS with 10 rnd box mag. The fact alone that it was made to take AK mags makes it sort of rare and pretty handy. I've never seen one, and I've been looking for a good couple years. Just remember, once it's gone you may never find another like it.

The mini would be a great rifle I'm sure, but they still make them, so there's really no rush.

Dean1818
July 6, 2014, 02:22 PM
I sold my SKS a few years ago...... I don't miss it

I used some of that money to get a M&P shield


I would recommend NOT doing the Mini14

Just step to an AR15

After seeing the accuracy from my Bison Armory 6.8, I lost interest in inaccurate guns........

frankiestoys
July 6, 2014, 02:24 PM
I'm on my third Mini,I sold my first one because it really was not accurate after the barrel heated up at the time there were no accu-struts or any type of barrel stabilizers so I went onto other things. Then about 8 years ago I visited my LGS and came across the new 580 series and decided to give another one a try . While it is not built as a target rifle ( they do make one ) mine is a ranch model. After having some trigger work done and installing a decent scope it has proven to be a very reliable (2000+) rounds with out a single issue. With decent ammo and me doing my part it consistently shoots 1 1/2 group at 100yrds all day long it really is a nice carbine and shoots as good as my AR and better then the AK I had in less then 150 yrds results may vary with some but the newer series are far better rifles then my older series. I recently purchased a 582 tactical that also has been very reliable but it is however set up as a SHTF gun and only sighted in for 50 yrds waring a Vortex Strikefire on top I've tried aftermarket mags and it seems more picky but that being said I believe it to be only a magazine issue. So if you decide to buy one my best piece of advice is to use factory mags only. I can't speak for the SKS Ive never owned one but after owning an AK I rather liked the nestolgic action that the Mini shares with the Garand/ M1 . For me its just a comfortable rifle to shoot .

nathan
July 6, 2014, 02:34 PM
Selling the SKS M for a mini is a good choice since you can sell it for more dollar than when you bought it. Both are reliable weapons . SKS has proven itself in Vietnam War as they were widely used by the Vietcongs together with the obiquitous AK 47.

I ve handled the recent Mini model and they are good to go.

19-3Ben
July 6, 2014, 03:00 PM
I missed that part. What kind of 5.56 rifle is she getting? Can you press her rifle into home defense and low recoil duty until you can save up for your own 5.56 rifle?

She wants to get a target rifle. We don't have a long range setup, but my local range goes out to 100yards. She wants to get a bolt rifle to shoot at that distance. She's narrowed it down to a Savage Hog Hunter, or Mossberg MVP patrol. We'll see which feels best to her.

Thanks again for working through this with me guys. It's not an easy choice, so I appreciate being able to bounce ideas off the board with you.

bannockburn
July 6, 2014, 03:06 PM
Dean1818

The OP can't get an AR15 as he lives in Connecticut. The Mini 14 however can be purchased there.

19-3Ben
July 6, 2014, 03:07 PM
Ha!!! I just had a funny thought.

Just as the Ruger is a Mini 14 because it's a scaled down M14, the SKS should be called a Mini SVT40.

brunowbe
July 6, 2014, 03:30 PM
As an owner of both types of rifles my advise is to keep the SKS. While I love my Mini 14, I love my SKSs more.

As was stated above; save up and buy a Mini as they will always be available (look for a used one for a lot cheaper and put an accu-strut on it if it's an older model with the skinny barrel).

$699 for a Mini 14 is NOT a great deal even with the extras. Those "deals" will pop up all the time if you look for them; the price of your SKS will only continue to rise as they are not being imported in large quantities any more (only a small batch here and there; those that are coming in are not made to take AK mags).

The best advice for the problem with the SKS sights; practice more.

Ks5shooter
July 6, 2014, 04:07 PM
Get a Mini-30,and use your 7.62 ammo,buy the wife a Mini-14 and you both share.

tubeshooter
July 6, 2014, 04:08 PM
I would just save up for the Mini, especially if I had thousands of rounds of 7.62 x 39 already.

The SKS models that take AK mags are not particularly common. A regular fixed mag 10-rounder could be much more easily replaced.


In my opinion scoping an SKS is of questionable value, due to the traditional expected accuracy of both the gun and the (steel-cased) ammo. Not to mention that the round does not shoot particularly far or flat. I have grown used to the stock sights, but a lot of people seem to like Tech Sights for the SKS. You might give those a try.

bigfatdave
July 6, 2014, 07:48 PM
Keep SKS
Add Tech-Sight to SKS

Save for another rifle if you really feel the need.
Taking new shooters to the range is a good thing. The SKS recoil isn't that bad, and the LOP on most SKS rifles is pretty short. Slap a recoil pad on it and use it for that purpose.

mokin
July 6, 2014, 08:05 PM
I was once in the position to trade one of my Norincos for a Mini 14. I like both and someday would like to have a Mini 14. Anyway, I took the SKS to the range and shot a hundred or so rounds through it. I've still got the SKS and still want a Mini 14.

Ignition Override
July 6, 2014, 08:17 PM
"back40", "mokin", "bigfatdave" and others have my vote. SKS + Tech Sight (the TS 200 version: fully adjustable).

You might appreciate the difference in sight distance on a Youtube video, and the Tech will give your SKS an element of the M-1/M-14 look.
The Minis' looks might be an underrated aspect of their appeal (an M-1 Garand from the CMP cures this).

Problems with a large fraction of Mini 14/30 aftermarket mags led to the mag forum at Perfectunion. I have two nice Yugo M59 SKS.

19-3Ben
July 6, 2014, 08:54 PM
OK. I'm ordering the Tech Sights.

Brunowbe mentioned that it's not that great of a deal, and in looking around a little more, I realize he's right. It's a very good deal, but not the kind of screaming deal that I would kick myself over if I don't get the Mini right this very minute.

So I'm ordering the Tech Sights (TS200 models), and will see how they do. If I find it to be a significant improvement, I'll keep the SKS. If not, I'll sell it and hold out for the next great deal on Mini 14's to come around again. Until then, I'll hold the Mini fondly in my heart, and bide my time...

VA27
July 6, 2014, 08:57 PM
I don't think I'd trade an SKS for a Mini. I'd wait for the Ares SCR if I wanted a 5.56.

back40
July 6, 2014, 09:27 PM
19-3ben, you might consider adding a light after the tech sights. there seem to be no shortage of mounting options, and you'd be surprised what a white light and irons can do in low light/no light shooting.

besides, if you are taking HD seriously and considering this rifle for the role, target I.D. is numero uno.

MIL-DOT
July 6, 2014, 09:51 PM
I have both a 580-series stainless mini, and a very clean, all-matching# Norinco SKS. The mini is a solid gun, but they're just too damned expensive for what they are.
I ignored SKS's for decades until a freind turned me onto his stash of them, and I became a fan.
I personally would not sell the SKS to get a mini. One big reason is that the market is way down on them (SKS's) right now, I've seen several operations recently selling them for under $300, so you'll have to practically give the thing away.
As it stands, you basically have an assault rifle in CT that you don't have to register, why screw with that?
As to the $40 Ruger mags, I've gotten new, 20-round factory mags as cheap as $20-25 earlier this year (and traded a guy on Armslist an old box of .40 for a factory 5 rounder). Check CDNN for Ruger factory mags.

Welding Rod
July 6, 2014, 10:30 PM
Which could you shoot quicker with the higher degree of accuracy? That would be the decider for me.

Personally I would favor the Mini as the ergonomics are very good for me. I am a regular M1A and M1 Garand shooter so operation of the controls is well seared into my heard.

I am an AR fan myself for the 556 platform and would pick it first, but my experience owning 3 Minis over 25 years or so is that they are a reliable solid platform.

chicharrones
July 7, 2014, 05:14 PM
It seems like the SKS would be a good candidate for a low red dot sight. I mean, if you have to remove a Tech Sight to clean an SKS, why not try a Scout Scope Mount (http://scoutscopes.com/sks-scope-mounts/sks-scope-mount-black-anodized-7895/)?

115grfmj
July 7, 2014, 06:16 PM
I had a unique SKS that I owned for a few years, a Polytech SKS Hunter, which I sold in a moment of weakness. Let me tell you I miss it terribly, and wish I could get it back. Unfortunately they only imported 1000 of them, which makes them rare, difficult to find and PRICEY!:eek::cuss::banghead::(.

My advice is don't do it!! I've only sold two guns in my life, and I regret both.

benEzra
July 7, 2014, 07:16 PM
I would just get an AR15, but can't here in CT.
You should be able to get one of these once they hit the market in numbers, if the concept interests you:

Ares SCR (http://www.aresdefense.com/?page_id=729)

http://www.aresdefense.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/WesiteHeaderProduct_Ares-SCR.jpg

As I understand it, it uses standard AR-15 uppers and has a standard AR magwell, so it should give you the same accuracy as an AR and be able to use the plethora of AR uppers and triggers out there, unlike a mini-14.

The downside is that it is liable to be more expensive than a mini-14, since it was just introduced.

chicharrones
July 7, 2014, 07:25 PM
You should be able to get one of these once they hit the market in numbers, if the concept interests you:

Ares SCR (http://www.aresdefense.com/?page_id=729)



Available in 7.62x39, too. It could be the 21st century SKS with that stock configuration. Okay not really, but still cool. :cool:

Mayvik
July 7, 2014, 10:54 PM
The SKS will continue to increase in value...a Mini14 not so much. Ammo is cheap enough for both calibers commonality is not that big of an issue. You are not going to be loading mags from a "buddy clip" in the middle of a firefight with terrorist zombie crackheads... AK mags are plentiful and cheap...not so for Ruger.

Add Tech Sights and call it a day.

gubowner
July 8, 2014, 12:40 AM
Keep the SKS and save and buy a Mini 14. Simple as that. Avoid sellers remorse at all cost!

MachIVshooter
July 8, 2014, 01:09 AM
My LGS is running a great deal on the Mini 14. ($699 NIB with 30 rounds of ammo, and two mags).

:scrutiny:

Since when is $700 for a $400 rifle a good deal?

I'm sorry, but as soon as minis hiked over $500, they ceased to be a good value-especially with ARs having come down to as little as $600.

I had a mini, it was fun for awhile, but once I got into the AR scene, it just sat collecting dust until I traded it off. I understand the Connecticut conundrum, but there are still better choices for a 5.56mm autoloader. I'd take an SU-16C over a mini without hesitation; better price, better accuracy, lighter weight, uses cheaper AR mags, second to none CS. Unless you're just sold on a 5.56mm carbine that resembles an M1A, I'd look at your other options.

mac66
July 8, 2014, 09:09 AM
I have a bunch of SKSs and a Mini 30 and a Mini 14, and a bunch AKs and AR15s. I had a SKS-M and don't regret selling it. SKSs are cool guns and fun to shoot but are rather crude, made by peasants for peasants. The Mini 14 is much more refined, of higher quality, is US made.

On the other hand if the SKS with AK mags is what you have and serves the purpose stick with it. l

tahunua001
July 8, 2014, 03:23 PM
I would keep the SKS. but that's just me, I'm an SKS guy.

BSA1
July 8, 2014, 04:28 PM
I spent too many years shooting and qualifying with the Mini-14 and it's lackluster accuracy to bother trading a SKS for one.

For the cost of a Mini-14 the S&W Sport would be a far more accurate rifle with great customer support and parts selection.

BSA1
July 8, 2014, 04:40 PM
Ares SCR. I like it. How many $$$.$$? (The S&W Sport is a tough act to follow for only $600.00).

MyRoad
July 8, 2014, 11:48 PM
I have a half dozen SKS's, one is an M. It's my understanding that the M's that were imported (mostly with the thumbhole stock) were made around 1993 to get in before the 94 ban, and were thrown together with leftover and low quality parts, strictly for a civilian market. They are not the same quality as a lightly used arsenal marked Chinese, or of course anything like a Russian.

Mine had the front and rear sights canted, and the hole drilled for the receiver cover pin was at an angle, so when I put a Tech Site on it, it sat crooked. I hope you have better luck with yours. That said, mine runs reliably, and taking AK mags is a plus. I can't seem to leave any gun alone, and as I get older I pretty much require some magnification, so currently I have mine drilled and tapped for a scope mount, in a forward position for a scout scope (it also acts as a shell deflector). I re-carved the stock while I was messing with it, just too blocky for me.

http://i1121.photobucket.com/albums/l511/Earthling5/m-scout.jpg

I recently (about six months ago) bought a 582 series brand new Mini-14. It needed a break in period. It came with a horrible trigger and had some rough feeding issues, but after a couple of hundred rounds, everything smoothed out, and I consider it to be reliable and acceptably accurate. I'm not sure what that says about the rifle and its manufacturing, it is the only modern rifle I've bought that needed to fire a few hundred rounds before it would work reliably (and yes, I thoroughly cleaned and lubed it before my first trip to the range). Couldn't leave that one alone either, and threw on an adjustable gas block/barrel stabilizer, and a Hogue overmolded stock.

http://i1121.photobucket.com/albums/l511/Earthling5/mini14harbar1.jpg

As far as which one I'd keep if I could only have one... very hard choice... but I think I'd keep the Mini-14. In your situation, I think I'd do as others have said and keep the SKS-M, and sell your child and buy the Mini-14. That is what they said, isn't it? Sometimes I don't read carefully enough.

Cee Zee
July 9, 2014, 03:33 PM
The correct answer to "which gun" is always "both" of course. I would hang onto that SKS forever if I were you. Well I have one that I will hang onto forever as a matter of fact. Like you I stocked up on ammo while the getting was good. I have enough to last me the rest of my life. I really don't shoot it all that much anymore but I keep it around for those rare times when it's the right choice. I don't even expect to see one of those times but I'd rather be ready for one if it does come along.

I see your quandry as "a bird in the hand" situation. What happens if you sell your unique SKS (they are hard to find believe me) and you don't like the Ruger? It could be that one rifle that comes off the line with a problem. You already know your SKS works well.

Also as for you and your wife sharing ammo I think you'll find that a bolt action 5.56 target shooting rifle will need a totally different kind of ammo than a semi-auto, shoot 'em if you got 'em type rifle. I know I buy expensive target ammo for my varmint style .223. I don't see the point of buying a rifle for accuracy then putting cheap "shoot 'em up" type ammo in it. It misses the whole point of owning an accurate rifle.

I think with your current laws in CT I would almost certainly own a rifle that isn't banned but has a lot of the characteristics of guns that were banned. Hold onto it and see what comes up in the future. It could become worth even more in the future. The Mini 14 is more likely to go down in price IMO.

I know you said you were ordering the Tech Sights for the SKS. I think that's a good decision. Personally I don't find the stock sights to be as bad as most people do. Maybe it's because I learned to shoot with a shotgun at an early age. I also don't mind the recoil maybe for the same reason.

chicharrones
July 9, 2014, 03:42 PM
I have a half dozen SKS's, one is an M.

I recently (about six months ago) bought a 582 series brand new Mini-14.

Those rifles are a real beauty and the beast pair. That Mini in that configuration is a real beauty, and while that SKS is a beast at first glance it sure is a beauty upon further inspection, too. :cool:

Sunray
July 9, 2014, 03:55 PM
Neither shoot well enough to be anything more than a big kid's toys. In the case of a Mini-14, a grossly over priced toy. Fun toys, for sure, but neither is accurate enough.
"...because it's a scaled down M14, the SKS should be called a Mini SVT40..." Neither is either. Nor even close.
"...She wants to get a target rifle..." What kind of shooting does she want to do? Serious target shooting is not done with a Mini-14. Although I have heard some good things about the Target Mini. None of which involved it winning any matches. It's over priced too.

wlewisiii
July 9, 2014, 08:40 PM
An SKS & TS200 sights. More than accurate enough for anything it's ballistically suited for. It's not a benchrest rifle but it will shoot minute of deer right out as far as 7.62x39 (or .30-30) is good for.

Cee Zee
July 9, 2014, 10:15 PM
Neither shoot well enough to be anything more than a big kid's toys.

How bad to you think they shoot? The older Mini's were pretty bad but that was fixed by Ruger several years ago and they shoot pretty decent now. And the SKS can be fairly accurate if the trigger is in good condition (as in fixed by Kivaari).

What kind of shooting does she want to do? Serious target shooting is not done with a Mini-14.

She doesn't want the Ruger. She wants a Savage Hog Hunter or a Mossberg MVP Patrol which could both shoot quite well. He wants the Ruger.

BTW I would argue that the SKS-M is overpriced too. I'd love to have one but not at double the price of a regular SKS. There are too many better rifles around for that price. I actually prefer the stripper clips to carrying extra mags if a person wants to carry a bunch of extra ammo too. They're lighter. So I like the original SKs configuration. I realize that isn't a popular position though. That's why people pay so much more for the detachable mags. I like having a good duckbill mag setup for my SKS. Having 30 rounds available is a good thing. I can still load extra rounds with stripper clips too. But the truth is the rifle gets so hot after shooting 30 rounds quickly that it's almost unusable. I've seen it have the front stock smoking. After about 50 rounds through it.

justice06rr
July 11, 2014, 03:05 AM
You should've made this into a poll.

I'm quite sure majority will advice to keep the SKS-M. Its quite rare and very versatile since it uses very cheap affordable and realible AK mags.

Save up for the Mini14.

Again, DO NOT SELL YOUR SKS!

M1GarandDeerHunter
July 11, 2014, 03:20 AM
I would never get rid of a perfectly good SKS. I like the Mini 14... alot.

Keep the SKS and get Your Mini 14. Then you will want an AR, .....:D
They are all cool.

henschman
July 11, 2014, 02:50 PM
Coming from a guy who has done a lot of buying and selling over the years, I can promise you this... if you sell that SKS-M, you will regret it... especially in the state you live in.

I actually prefer the SKS factory sights over the Mini, or even the Tech Sights. They are quickly adjustable for different distances, whereas both the TS and Mini sights require a tool to adjust elevation... and while aperture sights are great for the target range, where you're shooting a black target on a white background in broad daylight, notch sights are better in low light or for targets that blend into the background (you know, like you have in the field), since you're not looking through a little pinhole that blocks a lot of your light in order to see the target. Also, the SKS actually has a pretty decent sight radius with those notch sights, making them better than most. They are miles better than an AK or K98.

wolf695
July 11, 2014, 02:57 PM
Keep the sks, and buy the ruger too!

wolf695
July 11, 2014, 03:00 PM
Also, the sks value is based on who made it! and if the barrel is pinned or screwed, and the reciever is milled or stamped! Hope this helps!

M1GarandDeerHunter
July 11, 2014, 07:27 PM
I bought two SKS rifles back when they were dirt cheap along with a ton of commie ammo. Shot them a BIG bunch. Then, being young and foolish did what the other guys said NOT to do. Sell. I was sorry I did to this day. Bought another one, Russian. Wont get rid of it. LOL! :o

jimmyraythomason
July 11, 2014, 07:58 PM
and the reciever is milled or stamped!I've bought and sold many SKSs from Russia and China since my first one in 1988 and I have never seen a stamped SKS receiver. I've seen other parts that were stamped but never the receiver.

M1GarandDeerHunter
July 11, 2014, 08:12 PM
Go to YooperJohns websight, he has pics of Chinese stamped SKS rifles. Very un AK looking though. I have never seen one either other than this gentleman who must be an expert of some sort on the topic.http://yooperj.com

Cee Zee
July 12, 2014, 06:02 PM
Yooper John is pretty much the go to guy for all things SKS. His site is comprehensive in it's coverage. I've never seen a stamped SKS receiver either but apparently there are some. I do know that the M models were made for the civilian market and were never military surplus. For the most part that means less quality than the milsurp models but not by much from what I understand. The paratrooper models and the Cowboy Companion models were also made for the US civilian market. That all ended with the AWB in 1994. Too bad really because we were getting tons of cheap guns and ammo from China at the time. Most of it was just fired away in plinking but some people did use them for hunting and some used them for HD. They were a great bargain at the time. They're still a good bargain but no longer a great bargain.

Ignition Override
July 12, 2014, 07:03 PM
As for the standard Mini 14 sights, maybe this is not a valid comparison, but my old ('90 vintage) Mini 14's thick front post sight presented a much worse sight picture than my SKS with their Tech Sights (TS 200).

And to broaden the comparison of carbines, don't want to hurt anyone's pride, but the short sight distance/sight picture of the M4 (AR carbine), in my opinion, is a much worse combination than the Tech on the SKS.

M1GarandDeerHunter
July 13, 2014, 12:01 AM
Your right Cee Zee, Its a pity that Chinese SKS rifles and ammo were banned. I know guys thats all they hunt with. They work good too. IIRC the cheapest I ever saw the rifles for was 39.95 just once at a gun show. The cheapest I ever saw ammo for it was AP surplus, for like 30 bucks a tin. I just didnt buy enough. But later got some good stuff, South African, and Russian. Like a dummy I sold my rifles and ammo, then realizing the error of my ways obtained them again.
I have to believe there were folks that really learned how to shoot as a result of all that cheap ammo and guns, not to mention the fun just blowing ammo off.

As far as sights go on a mini 14 , there are decent replacement sights, I have been looking at a Tech sight for my mini. MY rifle is actually accurate. It gets a little weird when it heats up, but holds up pretty well. It would be nice to adjust the rear sight with out tools or a bullet. I dont know anyone who has gone that route but the unit actually looks like decent quality, and would improve the sight deficiency a little (a lot?) maybe. There also seem to be a number of improvements for front sights as well. My mini is totally box stock from 1978 (181) series. It has a strange old school appeal. It belonged to my best friend, and when he passed I inherited it. So I am a little slow to modify anything. He really liked the rifle, as it reminded him of his M14 so much.

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