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Question: Bubba-ing an SKS.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by arthurcw, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. arthurcw

    arthurcw Well-Known Member

    newbie to rifles and especially this category of rifles so please excuse the possible duurr-ness of this question.

    I saw this in another thread and decided not to hijack it.

    My Situation be: I've been thinking about an SKS for a truck (trunk in my case) gun. But here's the kicker; I have pretty short arms and would need to cut the stock down to shoulder it properly. Soooo... that would lead me into the Wonderful world of Rules and Regs I barely can comprehend we even have let alone understand. I see in the quote above that you can do some mods to the gun and the poster mentions keeping it 922(r) legal.

    So my questions be: What would I have to remove from / add to an SKS to keep it legal if I cut the stock down? CAN I EVEN do this? Is it even worth it? I've read some posts here and the lawyer speak made my head spin.

    If I have to add/remove (read spend) too much, then my whole reason for wanting it as a trunk gun goes out the window and I'll look elsewhere. I also don't want to run afoul of the ATFers.

    Thanks for any help you can give. I'm sure this has been asked an answered before, but I didn't see too much in regard to actually chopping the stock.

    Oh... and collectors, don't worry. I'll find one that's furniture is already beat up pretty bad and looks well loved already. I won't "bubba" a nice one.
  2. DnPRK

    DnPRK Well-Known Member

    Choate Machine & Tool makes a folding SKS stock that would be ideal for a trunk gun. I don't know if the length of pull would be too long though.
  3. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Well-Known Member

    Which puts you in direct violation of 922(r) without making other changes to bring the gun back into legality.

    Nothing, as long as you keep overall length greater than 26 inches. Simply shortening the stock does not put you in violation of 922(r).
  4. grimjaw

    grimjaw Well-Known Member

    You might find this information helpful. There's other useful threads on that forum as well (SKSBoards.com)



    ps. Personally, the only SKS I would 'bubba' is a previously factory modified version. There was at least one version sold with a synthetic stock (K-Sports), and replacing it with another synthetic stock doesn't put me in violation. Folding stocks I don't know about, but I have no interest in putting an SKS in one.
  5. sctman800

    sctman800 Well-Known Member

    Some of the stuff I removed was of course just to keep it 922(r) legal.

    I have to question this. My stock 59/66 Yugo has the bayonet, gernade launcher with g/l sights and night sights and is legal as a Curio & Relic. If it was to be altered it would no longer be C&R eligible, then it would have to conform to 922(r). That is where it must have no more than 10 imported parts. I would also suggest the SKS boards web site for more information about the specific parts needed to be changed. If you do go that route check out Tapco, they make pretty much everything you need to change it over and stay legal. Jim.
  6. railroader

    railroader Well-Known Member

    From my understanding if you take a curio and relic rifle and remove parts you don't necessarily have to go the 10 parts route. The rifle has to have the "evil features" like grenade launcher and bayonet removed but if it is importable as a sporting arm it should be ok. I have seen letters from the BATF on the sks forum that ok'd taking a yugo 59/66, remove the launcher, bayo and grenade sights then replacing them with a silver soldered muzzle break, dragunov stock and scope without going the 10 parts route. I think that is how saiga rifles come in without changing parts out. They have no evil features such as pistol grips, they are a "sporting rifle" even though they are basicly politicaly correct ak. Mark
  7. dfaugh

    dfaugh Well-Known Member

    Like sctman800 said, in order to legally modify a Yugo, and (other) SKSs you have to play the "# of imported parts game". This is ESPECIALLY true of the Yugo because of it C&R status. ANY modifications may void that status.

    Thes laws regarding what can and can't be done to various models can be confusing, and you'll sometimes hear contradictory info.

    I want to do one up, similar to what you want (but on a beater gun, I already have an un-issued Yugo and an SKS-M). and the FIRST thing I'll do is get it into compliance for the "10 parts" game. Then I (or you) can do pretty much whatever you want. (check state laws too, though, folding stock may be a non-no.)

    Chopping the stock is not a problem, in itself. But, since most SKSs were made to guys of all statures (like alot of military weapons). they're already pretty short to start with. I'm an average sized guy, but with extra long arms. However, I've always preferred stocks that "should be" about 1" too short for me. And the stock on my Yugo feels short even then. I'd try it before I got to cutting.
  8. Technosavant

    Technosavant Well-Known Member

    There are two different sets of laws you must conform to: the C&R regs and the 922r regs.

    You might not even need to change anything- the SKS typically has a fairly short length of pull as-is.

    If you do saw off some stock, you need to deal with the C&R rules- remove the grenade launcher (and put on a muzzle brake or similar), bayonet, and night sights.

    If you keep the stock 10 round fixed magazine, you can stop there. You only need to worry about 922r if you go the removable magazine route.

    Specific SKS related information can be found here:
  9. Newton

    Newton Well-Known Member

  10. railroader

    railroader Well-Known Member

    From the sks forum about legally altering sks's including c&r. http://www.victorinc.com/SKS-FAQ.html#_Toc138675122

    What modifications can I do to my imported fixed-magazine SKS Carbine without violating Title 18 USC § 922(r)?

    As long as your SKS Carbine contains more than ten imported parts, the answer is: “Not very much”. Some guidance can be gleaned from a letter to the NRA from ATF Technology Branch, printed in the NRA magazine, American Rifleman May, 1994. It specifically mentions the following the following modifications of an standard SKS Carbine would not be violations of Title 18 USC § 922(r):

    1. Replace the existing stock and handguard with a non-folding wooden or synthetic stock having either a Monte Carlo or thumbhole design. [See the discussion of pistol grips and thumbhole stocks.]

    2. Attach a muzzle mounted recoil compensator, provided that the device is not also designed as a flash suppressor.

    3. Replace the existing 10 round magazine with a fixed 5 round magazine or install a block in the well of the 10 round fixed magazine to limit its capacity to 5 rounds.

    4. Replace the existing receiver cover with a cover having a telescopic sight based and/or rings.

    5. Replace the front and/or rear sight or install an ambidextrous safety.

    The full text of this letter can be found in an older SKS FAQ, which can be found on William Bardwell’s web site. The letter is dated, so it does not address Yugoslavian Type 59/66 that are imported with bayonets, night sites, and grenade launchers. It is reasonable to assume that all three of these features must be removed if these rifles are modified out of their C&R status. The letter also mentions detachable magazines (see the LCMM discussion) and fixed large capacity magazines (see the 20-round magazine discussion), but these modifications are no longer allowed.
  11. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Well-Known Member

    Not true as railroader's post details.

    A good rule of thumb...if you want to make changes to your SKS, do the parts count thing first. It is simple and cheap. Then you can do anything you want to your SKS without worrying about C&R or 922(r).
  12. arthurcw

    arthurcw Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the info. Sounds like I may be better off just hitting the pawn shops and looking for a beat up old level gun or shotty. I think I'd pretty much have to start playing the parts game, maybe, just to be safe.

    And now that I think about it even if the stock does fit me I have to remove the bayo to stay complaint with Texas Law. I don't think they would be happy with the "blade longer than 5.5 inches on or about their person".

    Sounds like it was a nice idea that isn't worth the effort for a trunk gun. Maybe when I have some more disposable income I may do it for the sheer principle of the thing.

    Maybe it's just my misunderstanding of English but I guess there is just some nuance about, "shall not be infringed," that I don't understand.
  13. ball3006

    ball3006 Well-Known Member

    If your arms are too short....

    to shoot an SKS, then you must be under 5 foot tall. If anyone can't carry an SKS because it is too heavy for them, then they should seriously consider joining a gym. Just about every pawn shop I go to has an SKS just like the one you want to hack up. Don't mean to rag, but I am a C&R guy........chris3
  14. arthurcw

    arthurcw Well-Known Member

    just over 5ft (5'4") with pretty short arms. Sucks.

    No rag taken. I'm not much into destroying old guns myself. I'm not a C&R person, but I have a hard time working over an old gun that has seen more history than me.

    Case in point. My Father in Law left us an old 870 turkey gun. My wife wants a HD shot gun and we could easily and cheaply convert it with a new barrel. But I can't do it. I like the gun in that configuration cause it Screams "FRED'S GUN" and I just can't do it.

    You are correct in the condition of an SKS I'd be looking for. If I was gonna get all Bubba on it, it would pretty much have to be of no C&R use. I would just have been putting a gun back into service at that point.

    Oh... and I have made a few people cry when I tell them I have Win Mod. 94 that I had to have the stock cut down on to fit me. When the tears well up I tell them, "It's OK! really. It's a second stock. The original is safely tucked away and can be reattached." I hope to have normal sized kids one day and I could not permanently alter the gun.

    Some advice... Short Guys, marry tall.
  15. Technosavant

    Technosavant Well-Known Member

    Probably true, but I have been criticized for saying the same thing. It looks like 922r may not apply to fixed magazine rifles without the nasty features, but on the other hand, it just might. There's an awful lot of ambiguity here, and the ATF isn't remotely interested in dispelling any of it.
  16. Newton

    Newton Well-Known Member

    As the SKS has 9 parts that cannot be replaced with available US components, including 5 in the trigger group alone, playing the 10 or less game is difficult.

    A lot of the guns out there right now are Yugo 59/66A1s with the GL, threaded barrel, bayo, bayo lug, and night sights.

    Rule #1 should be that you don't want to fit a detachable magazine, this seems to be a potential problem area in its own right.

    If you then decide to make the modifications that a lot of owners opt for with this rifle, namely the removal of the GL launcher and/or threaded portion of the barrel, then you ALSO need to do the following:

    Remove night sights
    Remove bayo
    Remove bayo lug
    Silver solder a new muzzle brake on (if you didn't cut the threads off)

    This should make the gun both 925(d) and 922(r) compliant, and the link http://www.victorinc.com/SKS-FAQ.html#_Toc138675122 provides more details on this.

    BUT - ATF field officers tend to be of the opinion that making any mods to an imported rifle is illegal - I have had at least one tell me that as a known fact. Although I do not believe this opinion to be correct, it is probably best to get permission in writing from the BATF, which is a lot of trouble to go to for a $150 surplus rifle.

    To date there is no known case of any prosecution under 922(r), and if you:

    a) don't engage in an illegal activity
    b) remember to remove all the evil features
    c) don't mess with the magazine

    You should have essentially zero risk of having any problems - but that's just my opinion, and there are no absolutes in life.
  17. Technosavant

    Technosavant Well-Known Member

    I think consensus is that 922r and similar laws will only be applied if you get busted for something else, and they decide to pile up the charges against you. They won't bust down your door to check your guns, and they won't look at them at the range, but if used in a crime, expect to see a charges brought (if used in self-defense, maybe an overzealous prosecutor might do so).

    As things stand right now, there is precious little danger here. However, since government agencies are notorious for periodically having bugs rectally inserted, it is best to comply with all laws as much as humanly possible.
  18. arthurcw

    arthurcw Well-Known Member

    Ok... so it seams that for the purposes of a cheap trunk gun, this may not be a great Idea since I’m gonna have to do SOMETHING to it whether for my own use of the make it compliant with state laws. So I guess I need to go pawn shop diving soon for a beat up warrior.

    But seeing as this is hairier than a hippy chic’s armpit, I’m temped to do it just on bloody principle!

    So If I have read all this correctly (which is doubtful because I am sick as a dog), then I have 2 options to be absolutely safe in a project of this nature.

    1) Buy and SKS and enjoy it as God and Sergei Simonov intended.


    2) Make dang sure that I meet the 10 or less rule.

    One last question. Something that left me a little fuzzy was; IF I meet the "10 or less rule" then I could have all the evil features on it I want? :confused: I only ask this because of the GL and the bayonet lug. I’d like to not have to silver soldier a replacement part or remove the threads. It would also be kinda neat to leave the bayo on from time to time.

    Thanks again for all the great info.
  19. Technosavant

    Technosavant Well-Known Member

    I believe that if you go changing anything, you need to remove ALL the evil features (GL+bayonet+night sights).

    That $150 plinking carbine rapidly begins to consume time and treasure in a massive way. I didn't say it in this thread, but I have in others: count the price of the parts (and your time, remember to include 3+ hours to de-cosmo the thing), and compare against the price of a Romanian AK. I am betting that you'll find the RomAK comparable in price (have seen them for $300ish), free of the legal issues (depending on your state), will take high-cap magazines without a hitch, and even has the optics rail.

    For a pure truck gun, a shooter grade SKS in it's original config would work great- shoot to minute of BG out to 100ish yards (if you shoot somebody at that range, though, expect to do a great amount of explaining), and if it would get stolen or otherwise toasted, you would only be out $100- your cell phone is worth more than that. And use the extra cash you save for a RomAK for the home. :D
  20. smince

    smince Member.

    Just so you know, changing the barrel on the 870 wouldn't be a permanent mod. They are easily switched back and forth.

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