SKS bolt trauma - THR

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Old August 8, 2014, 03:40 PM   #1
Join Date: June 5, 2006
Location: In a part of Utah that resembles Tattooine.
Posts: 12,561
SKS bolt trauma

I bought a Yugo SKS from a friend of mine several years ago for $100. I tinkered with it, put Tapco stuff on it, kind of made it a learning project. (Mostly learning I'm not as handy as I think I am.)

I started having problems with it, I had a lot of failures to fire and one slam fire. That's when I decided to stop messing around, I called a smith, and he told me I likely had some cosmoline in the firing pin channel. I was skeptical, because I had cleaned the hell out of it and I thought that if that was the problem, it would have shown up a lot sooner. But I boiled it and soaked it in mineral spirits for a few days, and sure enough, some more cosmo oozed out. I scrubbed, blew, and rinsed it out and now I can't get any trace of anything.

Here's the problem now. The firing pin still won't exactly 'move freely'. The get it to move fully forward, I have to push it hard with my thumb, or give it a knock on a hard surface. I think there's still some kind of obstruction or damage in the channel or on the pin.

So I try to take it apart, and maybe I'm a wuss, but using punch and a BFH, I can't get the takedown pin to budge. I did some googling, and apparently the Yugos have that pin very tight to prevent halfwits like me from meddling with the bolt, where other SKSs are made so it comes out very easily. I laid it over a crack in my driveway and pounded it, I can't make it budge. I have a small vise, I put it in it, and when I whack it it falls right out. (The whole bolt assembly, not the pin.)

I also noticed that the tip of the firing pin appears to be mis-shapen, a little bit peened over. If I did this, I have no idea how.

So, I want to take the bolt apart, but I am afraid I will damage it. I'm not too worried about the shape of the pin as long as it works, but I wonder if some metal shaved off of somewhere, and it's still in the channel blocking motion.

I have the Tapco bolt they made for a while, with the trimmed rails to allow magazine removal and the sprung firing pin, but then I found out it needs to be head-spaced, it isn't drip-in. When I called Tapco about something else, they said they discontinued it because they were unable to work the bugs out of it. So I threw it in a drawer somewhere.

So I guess I'm wondering,

Do I need a new firing pin?

Do I have to take the bolt apart to figure out what's wrong?

Should I just find someone to headspace the Tapco bolt and forget about it?
"I'm not saying we should kill all the stupid people. I'm just saying that we should remove all the warning labels and let the problem work itself out."

Last edited by mljdeckard; August 8, 2014 at 04:10 PM.
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Old August 9, 2014, 01:40 AM   #2
Join Date: June 7, 2006
Location: Texan by birth, in Colorado cause I hate humidity
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