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Old March 7, 2013, 06:39 PM   #1
The_Armed_Therapist
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SKS Accuracy... Dang...

I've had an SKS for a while. I've rarely shot past 50 yards, and rarely on paper. I typically do that with other rifles. Well, I went to the range yesterday, set up at 100 yards, and got about 12" groups. I was terribly disappointed... not that I expected 2" or anything, but I had been hoping to sink a little money into this thing.

It's been a while since it's been really cleaned, so I'm going to be doing that soon. What other "obvious" things could be the problem that I should take a look at? I'm not fan of the open sights, but I'm thinking that couldn't possibly be the main factor here. I don't think it's me, as I had much success with everything else yesterday. I also recognize that maybe there isn't much that can be done; however, I'd like to try. It was a gift!

So, besides cleaning, what things can I try to tinker with to possibly improve accuracy?


Oh, and it's a Norinco.
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Old March 7, 2013, 06:44 PM   #2
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Does it have a wood or synthetic stock?

Depending on where you are and what sort of climate you live in, a wood stock can either swell or shrink.

In my case, I check the screws every once in a while and find on occasion that I need to tighten them up. The rifle wobbling around definitely doesn't help accuracy.

It might be worth taking a gander at that possibility.
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Old March 7, 2013, 06:47 PM   #3
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Wood stock. Thanks!
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Old March 7, 2013, 06:53 PM   #4
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how much has been done to it?
a lot of guys rip the bayonets off and that little weight off the barrel can open up groups a bit... not much but a little.

then there is the sights... they really aren't that great. tech sights apertures can increase sight radius and give a better sight picture.

the triggers are awful, or at least my norinco's isn't very nice... there are a few mods to make it better but they get pretty technical and are high risk mods... one slip and you might need a new trigger group.


those are the main ones that come to mind.
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Old March 7, 2013, 08:39 PM   #5
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The usual stuff. Good cleaning. Proper oil/grease. Check for worn parts. Check crown. Check the bedding for high/low sections. Re-bed the barrel. Try different ammo. Check if bayonet is loose, or remove. Have throat/bore gauged for wear. Stone rough parts on trigger group. New springs. Etc.

You should be able to get that group much smaller without a ton of work or money. It will never be a tack driver, but it should hit center of food/bad guy.
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Old March 7, 2013, 09:10 PM   #6
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There is definitely something going on here. 4.5in groups at 100 yards are pretty common for the SKS without any major work done. With a moderate amount of work done, you should be able to bring that down to around 3in.
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Old March 7, 2013, 10:03 PM   #7
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Brass cases ammo should shoot way better than nasty old surplus ammo
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Old March 7, 2013, 10:13 PM   #8
joeschmoe
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Oh, and how strong is the rifling? Is it sharp or worn down? Shinny or dull and pitted?
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Old March 8, 2013, 08:47 AM   #9
The_Armed_Therapist
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Thanks for the suggestions! I'll come back and summarize my findings once I get a good chance to work on it. I was planning on adding the Tech Sights and the Tapco Intrafuse stock, but I won't be doing that if I can't get those groups to tighten up. At this point, if I can get them down to 6", that will be good enough. The plan was to essentially turn this into a battle carbine for my wife until we can afford an AR. She's only ever shot at around 50-100 yards max before, so 6" at 100 would be acceptable. 12+? No. LOL
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Old March 8, 2013, 08:51 AM   #10
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Like any other gun, experiment with different ammo. Some guns are picky.
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Old March 8, 2013, 08:55 AM   #11
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Some of the chromed lined barrels of the day were not all that great. It could be something as simble as a chip in the crown of the barrel. Or it could be the barrel is shot out.
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Old March 8, 2013, 01:02 PM   #12
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What is the process for installing a new barrel? Can it be done at home by me (mechanically retarded)? Is it worth it?
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Old March 8, 2013, 01:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Armed_Therapist View Post
I've had an SKS for a while. I've rarely shot past 50 yards, and rarely on paper. I typically do that with other rifles. Well, I went to the range yesterday, set up at 100 yards, and got about 12" groups. I was terribly disappointed... not that I expected 2" or anything, but I had been hoping to sink a little money into this thing.

Oh, and it's a Norinco.
I can't say my Norinco does 12" but it sure doesn't come close to 2" either. Maybe 6" if I'm lucky. I attribute it to crappy trigger, hard to see sights (for some eyes), surplus ammo, and barrel heating up. If I shot only 3 rounds per mag and let it cool, it might shoot better. It's an SKS though, so everything I do with it is with 10 round mags. It doesn't take but a few shots to start spraying around a bit.
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Old March 8, 2013, 01:15 PM   #14
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Not until you try different ammo.

No mention of what you are using, but if it's old mil-sup or even new Rusky commercial stuff?

Not gonna shoot as well as it could with good ammo.

Rebarreling an SKS yourself is probably not a good idea unless you have a barrel vice, action wrench, and a lathe.

rc
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Old March 8, 2013, 01:42 PM   #15
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These rifles were built to be minute of man in accuracy. 12 inch groups falls into that catagory. All of my SKS will shoot better than 12 inches if I do my part. My old eyes have their good days and bad days. My Chinese rifles are the best shooters. The trigger is different on all my milsurps. You just have to use proper trigger manipulaton and you will be fine. If you want a target trigger, buy another kind of rifle. Don't waste your money on aftermarket stuff for a SKS. Just use the rifle for what it is.....chris3
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Old March 8, 2013, 01:49 PM   #16
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BEFORE YOU GO CHANGING OUT BARRELS....


At the very least get the tech site front site post..."Item #TS152 - Target Post for the SKS/AK Rifles." and the proper tool to take your old one off and put this one on.


A skinnier post means you can make finer adjustments.

It costs 5$ and is totally worth it. Get the full tech sight aperture sights if you have the money too, but i just swapped out the front and it is now minute of deer at 100 yards with crappy russian ammo.

When the prices for stuff goes down, ill start rolling my own and im sure they will get even better.


This was hands down the best 5$ mod on a gun ive ever done. (it actually cost about 20ish with the sight tool and everything but still)
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Old March 8, 2013, 01:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
a lot of guys rip the bayonets off and that little weight off the barrel can open up groups a bit... not much but a little.
Didn't bother mine at all. Even with .308" bullet handloads it shoots 3.5" and with wolf 154 (seems to like that stuff), it shoots 2.5". 3" is typical for ball in both my SKSs. They're Norincos. My main gripe is the trigger, but my rifle has a decent trigger. My carbine, however, is more double action, like squeezing mud. THAT is not conducive to good groups, but I can manage it off the bench and off hand after I get used to the crappiness.
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Old March 8, 2013, 02:46 PM   #18
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I mostly use Wolf ammo. I know it's not the best stuff for accuracy, but my assumption was that jumping to 12" groups is way too large to just be an ammo problem. I'm basically going to try all of the smaller things mentioned here. Cleaning, checking screws, making sure nothing is broken, perhaps new front post, using better ammo, etc... Only then would I think about purchasing Tech Sights or replacing the barrel, etc. I'm not expecting 2MOA. 4-6 seems normal. That is A-OK with me.
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Old March 8, 2013, 07:16 PM   #19
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Did you slug the bore to find out the size? Seems that SKS bores can run anywhere from .309 to .312.

Ammo makes a big difference also - it is kind of hard to find decently accurate ammo for bores that are on the large side, but some good eastern milsurp stuff loaded with .311 bullets can shoot decent groups.
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Old March 8, 2013, 08:05 PM   #20
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I dont think anyone has suggested this:

Any SKS Ive owned or had the pleasure to shoot has had stock wobble to one degree or another. If the action and barrel can move in the stock, accuracy suffers greatly.

Try "nicer" ammo. Something in brass, just to say you tried.

Ill be the first to suggest Tech Sights. They lengthen your sight radius, and the peep makes sighting faster, and target acquisition easier. This may also tighten your groups.

Good luck.
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Old March 8, 2013, 08:09 PM   #21
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Quote:
These rifles were built to be minute of man in accuracy. 12 inch groups falls into that catagory. All of my SKS will shoot better than 12 inches if I do my part. My old eyes have their good days and bad days. My Chinese rifles are the best shooters. The trigger is different on all my milsurps. You just have to use proper trigger manipulaton and you will be fine. If you want a target trigger, buy another kind of rifle. Don't waste your money on aftermarket stuff for a SKS. Just use the rifle for what it is.....chris3
Pretty much sums up my SKS attitude.
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Old March 8, 2013, 09:03 PM   #22
The_Armed_Therapist
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Ill be the first to suggest Tech Sights. They lengthen your sight radius, and the peep makes sighting faster, and target acquisition easier. This may also tighten your groups.
For me, the Tech Sights need no introduction. I bought them for my Ruger 10/22, and I absolutely love them. However, even the Tech Sights won't tighten 12"+ groups down to 6" or smaller. LOL... I don't want to purchase the tech sights for a 12MOA rifle. If some of these other things can give me some reasonable assurance that my SKS can get to decent form, then I'll certainly get the sights.
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Old March 8, 2013, 10:35 PM   #23
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By FAR the best thing you can do to make an SKS more accurate is to have a really qualified person fix the trigger. There is one person that is famous around the world for doing this. He goes by the screen name of Kivaari. His real name is Tom Prince. You can find him on this web page:

http://www.kivaari.com/

Send him your trigger and almost certainly your groups will shrink substantially. SKS triggers are all over the place as they come from the factory because it takes some real expertise to get them right. And they wanted to build them fast instead of getting them right. So now some of the triggers are ok but most aren't.

I sent my Norinco trigger to him. It cut my group size in half at 100 yards. I was getting 6" groups and now I get 3" groups but those are off hand groups. IMO that's the only good way to shoot an SKS so I have never really practiced shooting from any sort of a rest. I am sure I could get the groups down even smaller if I did practice shooting from a rest.

It's not real cheap to get a Kivaari trigger job but it isn't real expensive either. It is well worth the price you will pay. Other people also fix triggers but Tom has specialized in SKS triggers for decades. It was about 15 years ago that he fixed mine I think. It's been so long I'm not really sure just how long ago it was. I know I would do it again in a heart beat and I am about to do it again on the Yugo I bought.

Other considerations include exactly what type of SKS you have, how hard it's been treated, and whether it is just plain shot out. Those rounds can really heat up a barrel if you shoot enough of them real quick and heat can ruin a barrel. But most SKS's shoot better than people think IMO. I can easily shoot 1" targets at 50 to 75 yards with mine shooting off hand. I could have shot better groups at 100 yards a few years ago when my eyes were better too.
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Old March 9, 2013, 04:54 AM   #24
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My norinco will shoot 2-3 moa using 125 SilverBear SP ammo. Not saying all Norinco's are like this or even SKS' for that matter. I guess I just got a good one. Try changing ammo and see if it helps.

I know my rifle fits very tight in the wood stock so that may have something to do with it.
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Old March 9, 2013, 08:01 AM   #25
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ours is ammo accurate as well, it's a norinco. with the irons at 100 the strait surplus stuff was about six inches, wolf about 5, brown bear in the same range, silver bear about 4. didn't like the golden tiger at all. Winchester fmj was by far the best, with elbows on the bench i was consistently in the 2.5-3" range, which i was pretty darned inmpressed with. Best group i ever fired was just a smidge more than, 2" and worst was right at 3". The drawback is it's not plinking ammo at 18 bucks a box.

I tested the trigger with a fishing scale, not the most scientific method but hey, it's what i got. the initial draw was about 5.5lbs, followed by 1.5lbs in the dead spot, and picks up at 6.5lbs right before it fires. Not what you call consistent but it's pedictable.

Unfortunately pop can't see for crap anymore, hooked him up with a scout style scope. we'll see how that works out next time at the range.
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