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Increasing SKS durability

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Agoetz, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Agoetz

    Agoetz New Member

    I have a Norinco sks that I really enjoy, but I want to increase its durability. The stock is scratched and dented, but other than that, it's in fantastic shape. Can I degrease the stock and simply apply some spray on poly? Are their any other parts I can swap to make it more rugged? Thanks -Adam
  2. Maj Dad

    Maj Dad Well-Known Member

    You can tumble a rock in abrasive media & shine it up, but it's still a rock. You can gussie up an SKS with shiny stocks, folding stocks, spiffy accouterments, and it's still a rock: hard to improve on... :scrutiny:
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam


    The SKS was designed from the get-go to be Chinese peasant proof while standing waste deep in a snow drift or rice paddy.
    And they are.

    The only thing more durable then a Chinese SKS is a Chinese Harbor Freight 100 pound anvil.

    BTW: Please Do Not spray it with polyurethane clear coat!!!
    It will be scratched before you get done washing your hands after spraying it.

    Rub it out with boiled linseed oil or tung-oil.

    Spray finish is not at all as durable as an SKS with no finish.

  4. Agoetz

    Agoetz New Member

    But I thought I couldn't apply BLO over the original finish. The finish has many small imperfections, I don't care about dents, but I don't like the scratches and chips in the finish.
  5. bainter1212

    bainter1212 Well-Known Member

    RCmodel is, of course, correct. The SKS is about the most durable semi auto you could hope for. They were built to continue cycling when the temps get down to 40 below and even colder. That's why it throws the casings 10 yds to the right.
    The only add-on that I know that is supposed to increase the life, are those little buffers you can buy that go behind the recoil spring. Supposed to decrease wear from the bolt cover getting slammed repeatedly. Even so, that would take many thousands of rounds to wear the thing out.
    My Norinco has a varnished stock. If yours is beat up, just slather it with another couple of coats of varnish. That will keep out the rain.
  6. il.bill

    il.bill Well-Known Member

    That is one for my 'Cogent Quotes' collection.

    Wonderfully stated, rc.
  7. Drail

    Drail Well-Known Member

    Indeed. Language is a beautiful thing.
  8. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Well-Known Member

    If you like firearms and the written language read some of Jeff Cooper or Peter Capsticks work. It is well written.
  9. jcwit

    jcwit Well-Known Member

    Many wood finishes are more durable that BLO, LinSpeed, Tru-Oil, and MinWax Antique come to mind first.
  10. Mac's

    Mac's Well-Known Member

    rcmodel said it best. For reliabilty and ease of field stripping, it's hard to beat an SKS rifle. No little parts to get lost, no tricks, etc. They start developing problems with functioning and reliability with modifications. The more mods, the more issues they have. Plastic mags, improperly fitted stocks, receiver mounted scopes, etc. all lead to claims of "this thing is junk".

    I have several and they're all slightly modified to suit me. They have our finish on them of course, twenty round fixed box mags and longer stocks. Be carefull with aftermarket stocks. If they're to long between the rear lock up and the front lock up area, the rifle can pop out of the stock during firing. If they're to thick in the trigger guard area, the trigger unit won't lock in properly and can pop out. That's why the original stock has the spring in it. They make them thin enough to make sure they ALL fit but have the spring to take up the slack.

    Yes, mine all have shock buffers in them. All of my assorted non-politically correct rifles do. However, that will be something that gets removed in the even of (insert favorite bad scenario here). Yes, they absorb the shock of the bolt hitting the end of the travel. Yes, they quiet down the metallic rap. But they do eventually come apart and I don't want rubber/plastic parts floating around inside the action.

    You can paint an SKS stock but will have a major job of getting all of the oil out of the wood first. I've heard of soaking them with oven cleaner, heating them, pressure washing them, etc. All of those can affect the size of the stock and cause fitting problems later on. It's easier to just buy a new stock. Choates usually fit pretty good but they're kind of heavy. If all you want to do is increases it's reliabilty, do a full take down and make sure all of the parts are clean and free of Cosmolene. Keep yer powder dry, Mac.
    Tuff-Gun Finishes. The Name Says It All.
    Mac's Shootin' Irons
  11. blaisenguns

    blaisenguns Well-Known Member

    As far as durability of a firearm finish I am really happy with DuraCoat. I have used it on a bunch of guns, and they still look good. I believe Cerokoat is allegedly more durable, but I have yet to try it. I don't know how this gun behaves yet, because I haven't shot it since before I undertook this project.

    Attached Files:

  12. blaisenguns

    blaisenguns Well-Known Member

    Yeah, but if you paint the rock camo, then it is a "tactical" rock :D
  13. Joe the Redneck

    Joe the Redneck Well-Known Member

    Currently using Lin-Speed oil on mine with good results. A nice satin finish.
  14. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Well-Known Member

    Durability Issues?

    Replace the stock with a Synthetic (I like the Choate or Butler Creek for the SKS) and the SKS will last literally forever if you use non corrosive ammo.

    Just my .02,
  15. Ifishsum

    Ifishsum Well-Known Member

    I degreased and lightly sanded my Yugo 59/66 stock, then rubbed a few coats of Tru-Oil over it. I purposely did not want to make it look new; I didn't try to sand all the dents and dings out - just wanted a better finish over what I had. It turned out quite nicely, and it has proven to be a pretty tough finish.
  16. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Well-Known Member

    I stripped my Norinco stock and refinished it with MinWax walnut polyurethane stain. After several coats, taking it down with fine steel wool after each coat, it had a nice, flat, durable, walnut looking finish.

    Collectors may be horrified, but there were 50 bazillion made, and this one is mine. I couldn't stand the shiny orange looking original color, I'm happy with it now.
  17. funnelcake

    funnelcake Well-Known Member

    Use Minwax Antique Furniture Refinisher to strip the stock. Works great & is actually good for the wood. If it's a dense grain hardwood, use one of the alcohol-based stains from Brownells. Finish as noted above with multiple coats of BLO and/ or pure Tung Oil.

  18. dubya450

    dubya450 Well-Known Member

    $150 gun....just shoot it!
  19. plateshooter

    plateshooter Well-Known Member

    If you really want to paint the stock, I suggest checking out Krylon truck bed liner. That stuff is pretty rugged. I have used it on some wood, and lots of synthetic stocks for different purposes. If you do scratch it, it is easy to touch up. I have been happy with the results.
  20. Ken70

    Ken70 Well-Known Member

    Where did you guys buy a Norinco with a decent wood stock? I bought two, both of them had wood like you would find in a pallet. Only the pallet wood was of higher quality. Wood was soft, no visible grain, 12" pull, it was like a bad Daisy. Put plastic, 14" pull stocks on both of them.

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