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SKS for hunting

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by sureshot, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. sureshot

    sureshot Well-Known Member

    Is an SKS 7.62x39 mm good for hunting moose, elk, deer, black bear, coyotes? What is the biggest bullet grain size that you can get for an SKS and how common is the ammo? Is paying 199$ for a non laminate SKS a good price?
  2. dacavasi

    dacavasi Well-Known Member

    Lots of people use the SKS for whitetail deer. With the right load it will surely get the job done. As for going after moose or black bear, I personally would choose something a lot bigger. YMMV.
  3. sureshot

    sureshot Well-Known Member

    im talking mostly mule deer and island black-tail, black bears, and yotes. Do you know what the larged bullet that is available for the sks is? 150 grain or is it limited to sizes like 130?
  4. nathan

    nathan Well-Known Member

  5. Roughneck08

    Roughneck08 Well-Known Member

    Wolf 154 grain soft point. Heavy as they come, cheap and put a wallop on. I do believe hearing MCgunner has plenty of experience with those. All my experience was with 123 grain fmj. Did fine on a few hogs, but I am sure the 154 would do a number. With an accurate shot you should do just fine! 10 shots on tap isn't bad.
  6. Smokey Joe

    Smokey Joe Well-Known Member

    SKS for hunting...

    Sureshot--Firstly, while the 7.62x39 CAN be used for moose, deer, bear, and coyotes, there are better cartridges to be had for each one.

    For moose and bear, especially, I'd want a cartridge with a little more oomph. There are lots to choose from: 6.5x55 Swede, 8mmJS Mauser, .30-'06, .308 Win, or 7.62x54R quickly come to mind, and there are lots more, on up through the various magnum cartridges. Of the above, the Swede would work the best for coyotes, and the Swedes themselves routinely use it on moose.

    Secondly, as to your purchasing the rifle: $200 is a good price in my neck of the woods, currently, for an SKS in good condition. (Years ago they were about 85 bucks, but those days are gone forever!) A Russian SKS or an Albanian, will set you back twice that; what you are buying is probably Chinese or Yugoslavian. The SKS is built like the proverbial brick pizzeria--It will work forever, and go bang every single time you pull the trigger. The Yugo SKS's barrel is NOT chrome-lined while all the others are, but this is only a consideration if you shoot cheap crappy surplus corrosive ammunition. (After shooting this you must clean your rifle right now, but if you do there is no problem.) And I NEVER recommend shooting cheap crappy surplus corrosive ammunition anyhow--there is a good reason it is so cheap!

    Now the bad news: The accuracy of SKS rifles varies greatly with the individual rifle. Some are fine for "hunting accuracy," that is, about a 2" group or less at 100 yds. This is also dandy "battle rifle accuracy," which is for what the SKS was designed. However, you will find some SKS's that can't keep all their shots in an 8" circle at 100 yd, and obviously you wouldn't want to take such a weapon hunting and shoot it at a live creature. You can't guarantee a humane kill.

    The only way to find out which level of accuracy is possessed by a given SKS is to take it to the range and try it out with several different brands of ammunition. If the seller will let you do that, and you find that THIS SKS is one of the "good ones," then well and good, buy it and use it for hunting. Otherwise I can't recommend it.

    Thirdly you ask about bullet size. The SKS standardly eats 123 grain bullets, but it will take 150's OK. The 150's are probably a handloading proposition. If you handload already, no big deal there. Since the SKS is an autoloader, and one that is unusually hard on cases, you'll need to full-length resize every case every time, but you CAN re-use the cases (Given that they are brass, and Boxer-primed. Most of the cheap ammo is steel cases and/or Berdan primed--NOT a good reloading proposition!) If you don't handload you are stuck with what you can buy. 150 grain bullets MAY be available. You have to use softpoint bullets for hunting--The humane kill thing again, plus in most areas it's the law anyhow.

    Frankly, if you are shopping for a primarily hunting rifle I'd keep looking. If you want a durable, inexpensive rifle you can plink with, and also use for hunting, and mebbe loan to your brother-in-law, then after shooting this one and finding that it is acceptably accurate, well, go for it.

    Whatever you decide, please keep us posted, and we'll want pictures! Good luck in your search! :)
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2010
  7. oldbanjo

    oldbanjo Well-Known Member

    I've hunted Deer with my SKS. I had no problem in SC.
  8. sureshot

    sureshot Well-Known Member

    It's a russian SKS
  9. Roadkill

    Roadkill Well-Known Member

    I load 7.62x39 basically with the same data as a 30-30. I use .308 bullets in a couple of AKs with decent accuracy. I shoot several deer yearly with a 30-30, would use the 7.62x39 without hesitation if I needed to.
  10. Smokey Joe

    Smokey Joe Well-Known Member

    A russian sks???

    For $200??? Are you quite certain? Snap it up before the seller comes to his senses! If it's too inaccurate for your using, you can sell it for twice that!

    When the Soviets sold the SKS tooling and spare parts to China, the Chinese made up some "Russian" SKS's with some Chinese markings on them--if it's one of those, a collector would surely be interested, too.

    If it has nothing but Cyrillic-alphabet stampings--except for the serial number and part numbers--field-strip it to check--then it's a full Russian. Well, except that it'll have the importer's stamp, and that will be inconspicuous, and in English. The importer's stamp will state the cartridge, 7.62x39, and say something like "Imported by ABC Imports, Abilene, Kansas."

    For more information, try www.sksboards.com or www.surplusrifle.com

    ETA--I forgot, you're in Canada. No idea what importer's marks are required there, if any.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2010
  11. sureshot

    sureshot Well-Known Member

  12. Smokey Joe

    Smokey Joe Well-Known Member


    Sureshot--I see where they say "Russian SKS, and give the $199 figure. ALL SKS's are built to the Russian design, and I betcha that's what they mean. Nobody in their right mind would offer a real RUSSIAN SKS for sale on a dealer price list. Anyhow, in the US, $199 is a not unreasonable price for the Chinese SKS as I said, so you could get it with impunity, and so much the better if it does turn out to be a Russian.

    But you want the return privelige, after test shooting, in case the one they send you turns out to be (a) non-Russian, and (b) only capable of shooting minute-of-pie-plate at 100 yds--oops, metres, for you! If it really is a Russian for that kind of money, keep it regardless!

    Don't know the current rate of exchange between $Can and $US, and that would affect my recommendation somewhat. When I said $200 was a good price for an SKS currently, I meant $200US.
  13. sureshot

    sureshot Well-Known Member

    The canadian dollar us worth .96$ US :) and I use the imperial system for distances when shooting my height, weight, and most other things the only thing that I use the metric system for is driving.
    I don't really know anyone that totaly uses the metric system other than euro immigrants
  14. sureshot

    sureshot Well-Known Member

  15. sureshot

    sureshot Well-Known Member

    I phoned the owners and they ARE refurbrished RUSSIAN sks's. Still a good deal?
  16. Rolando

    Rolando Well-Known Member

    $200 is a good deal for an SKS.
  17. sureshot

    sureshot Well-Known Member

    So is a refurbished Russian SKS worth 199.99. And is it a good caliber for deer, and coyotes. Also is it possible to mount a peep sight to the rifle I've heard that the eye relief with the fixed sighs is somewhat inaccurate
  18. Clint C

    Clint C Well-Known Member

    Yes, yes, and yes. Buy it, you will be happy with it, if not sell it.
  19. scythefwd

    scythefwd Well-Known Member

    It will do for white tail deer, small black bear (keep em under 300 lbs and you're going to need to be closer than I care to be), and yotes out to 200y if you can shoot that well with the rifle. The moose, while possible I would discourage. The elk, same thing (and there is a guy on the forum who takes elk with a .22lr ethically (and at touching distances while they are swimming, he's allowed by law and it isn't sport hunting but substinance hunting).

    Krochus has taken deer at just shy of 300y with a 7.62x39 AR15. Same round.. different barrels.
  20. LeverGunJunkie

    LeverGunJunkie Well-Known Member


    Yes, you can put peep sights on an SKS. I just put a set of these on my Norinco, and I am getting 3" 5 shot groups at 100 yrds. A great sight set up. I think that is adequate for deer hunting. $199.99 is a good price regardless of origin, but my experience is limited.

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