How easy is it to adapt an SKS to accept 30rd mags?

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May 15, 2011
Lake Wylie, South Carolina
Im not talking about AK mags, but those detatchable ones that are made for an SKS. Do they require an adapter or anything of that sort? or do you just remove the factory 10rd mag and put the 30rd in place?
You know that they don't work right???
there are maybe a few, LUCKY people who have the one or two that are reliable

OH, and once you modify the gun from import configuration, you are now in possession of an illegal weapon 922(r), and that you need to get the Non-US parts count below 10, for it to be legal.

Learn to use the stripper clips, and you have a fast, reliable gun. Or blow your money and have an illegal gun
The SKSs were imported in certain configurations. ATF has made noise about people modifying their rifles after the fact into non-importable configurations being a 'bad thing'.

I've never heard of anyone being persecuted for this, but why take chances?

Besides, if you want a AK, just buy a AK. Those were designed to use detachable mags and work fine with them, unlike the SKS.

The SKS is considered a sporting rifle. Once you add features like detachable magazines then it becomes a "military style rifle". At that point you have to worry about compliance parts which means that most of your gun must be american made. companies like Tapco make compliance kits thought. And i've seen police checking AKs and SKSs at shows if they look modified.

The SKS stripper clip feed system is flawless, I recommend sticking with that. Its not as cool as detachable magazines,but its super reliable.
Dorkfish88 said:
since when is that illegal? i've never heard that in my life that it was illegal to a us made mag adapter to an SKS...
Since the 1990s, modifying an imported semi-auto centerfire rifle to accept a 11+ round magazine requires Fed 922r parts compliance. Failure to comply is a Federal felony.
An SKS has 14 countable parts. The magazine counts for 3. Best thing I can recommend is replace the gas piston, with a Tapco one. That's a drop-in part that requires no more than field stripping to install. Then you'll be legal.
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The Tapco 20 round mags are very well done and do work reliably. However if used in a wood stock you must remove some wood from the magwell to insure that the mag does not get squeezed at all. Any pressure on the sides of the mag will almost always result in a failure to feed. It's a simple operation.

If you use the Tapco T6 stock, no modifications to the magwell are necessary because the magwell is already wide enough to accommodate the mags.

The adapter you're talking about is designed to use the same Tapco mags, but there is no such thing as a duckbill-less Tapco 20. You have to remove the duckbill yourself.

There is only one good reason to use this adapter, and that's to make it easier to carry Tapco mags in pouches. The duckbill makes pouch use practically impossible. Without the duckbill it's possible to use a standard AK mag pouch.

If using pouches for your SKS mags is not important to you - then the adapter is meaningless and you better off just using the Tapco 20s as is.

However, a basic dump pouch will carry at least three Tapco 20 mags, with the duckbill, easily and works just fine.

I use a pouch that's something like this, except mine is a bit smaller. It holds three mags comfortably. I'd guess that this one will hold at least one additional mag.

As far as 922r, there's confusion regarding parts counts and that's partly due to BATF and partly due to Tapco.

Tapco says the Op Rod is a compliance part and BATF says the SKS doesn't even have an Op Rod.

Tapco says that the T6 stock is three parts, but a compliance part is a part that *replaces* an existing part, since there is no original pistol grip on the SKS, the T6 pistol grip is just *adding* a part and not *replacing* a part. So the T6 is really just two compliance parts rather than the three parts Tapco wants us to believe. There are other examples.

So do your research carefully before deciding to play the 922r game. For me it's worth it. I like the SKS a great deal better than the AK.
This is interesting. I have a Norinco SKS, I believe it's a commercial model. It came already set up for the detachable duckbill magazines. I haven't had a chance to shoot it yet, so I don't know if they work, but I bought it from a dealer so I assume it was imported this way, not modified.
This is interesting. I have a Norinco SKS, I believe it's a commercial model. It came already set up for the detachable duckbill magazines. I haven't had a chance to shoot it yet, so I don't know if they work, but I bought it from a dealer so I assume it was imported this way, not modified.

As far as I know the only SKSs that were manufactured to take a high capacity, detachable mag are the Norinco SKS-D and M models, and those use AK mags which do not have a duckbill at all.

There's no mistaking a D or M from a normal SKS, the magwell is metal lined and the mag release is entirely different and is attached to the trigger group, and there is no bolt hold open at all.

Modifying a standard SKS to take a detachable is as easy as removing the trigger group and dropping out the fixed mag. At that point there are a number of duckbill mag options that are designed to lock in to the existing magwell.

There is no other reason why a mag needs to have a duckbill, so my feeling is your SKS is not a D or M model, but one that has been "neutered" so to speak.

This is not a bad thing necessarily, the metal duckbill mags are hit or miss, and over the years reports indicate that they "miss" a lot more often than "hit".

On the bright side, the Tapco 20 will lock right in just like the mag you have and have an exceptional track record.

You may have to shave down the sides of the magwell to get good operation out of a Tapco, and you MUST play the 922r game unless you decide to find an original fixed 10 round mag for it and put it back to it's original C&R status.
I tried to put a Chinie 20 rd mag on my Chinie SKS in the 90's. It Even had a stamped star on the side. I could never get it to work.
I too can vouch for the combination of a Norinco with USA brand mags working well. When I bought my SKS at about age 14, I just HAD to have a '30 rounder" for it. I was lucky, and bought the USA mag first. Its still functioning today without any issues whatsoever. That being said, it now sports its orignal 10 rounder. I have an AK and and AR to satisfy my "hi-cap" needs, and find the SKS to be more practical with the 10 round mag in place.

It was easy to adapt the Sino-Soviet SKS I got in a trade using Tapco parts. Shoots great every time I pull the trigger with all 4 Tapco 20 round magazines I have for it. I had a AK and hated it so when a chance at a SKS came up in a trade I decided to dump the folding stock it came in, with a cheese grater forearm and Tapco'ed it into 922r compliance and then some. Bought a extended magazine release over at Survivors SKS board and added a red dot from Marsh over on and this weapon is slick . All the purist who want to keep there guns stock, do so, Your gun, Your right, but Your full of it with the " Only the wood stock and ten round magazine work period " remarks ! Millions of these were made by dozens of countries, there not really that collectable. Yeah a $99 Russian could be bought in 1997, which today is worth $400, but everything that cost $99 in 1997 costs $400 today LOL LOL LOL......WVleo


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