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School me on the SKS

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Tim the student, Dec 28, 2012.

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  1. Maj Dad

    Maj Dad Member

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    Leave 'em Slick...

    Actually it was designed during WW2 with an eye on the semi-auto rifles used by the Germans (G41 & G43, and the M1 Garand). As such it is a pretty old design, but like the M1, still works after mud & abuse. I have 2 & plan on passing them on in my will (Diane Feinstein and other Obaminations notwithstanding). I restored mine, too - had to dig to find the cleaning rod, but took the Tapco folding stock off & put it back the way it was. Lot cleaner & though never a sow's ear, it looks a lot better not trying to be a silk purse... ;)
     
  2. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    The only advantage modern battle carbines have over the SKS is full auto mode. Take that away from the AK's (which is what we get here in the US) and the SKS is a superior rifle in every way. More accurate, more durable and more reliable - that's what the SKS has over the semi-auto AK's. And I'm not so sure that being full auto is all that much of an advantage. You can heat up a barrel in a hurry going full auto. You won't even be able to touch it. I've seen smoke roll from forward grip stocks. A single 30 round mag fired quickly can bring this about. I heat up the SKS using semi-auto sometimes.
     
  3. bainter1212

    bainter1212 Member

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    Another great thing about the SKS: it is designed to operate down to -40F. You'll notice that the SKS flings brass WAY off to the right. It does this because much more gas pressure is captured in the gas sytem than is actually needed to cycle the action. This is meant to overcome the effects of extreme cold on a semi auto rifle.
     
  4. cpy911

    cpy911 Member

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  5. Surculus

    Surculus Member

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    The skS [semi-avtomat Shpaginova iirc] is a dandy little carbine. Fires the .30 cal Soviet short which is about the cheapest centerfire round out there & about the equivalent of a 30-30, so don't let anyone's complaints about how underpowered it is get to you.

    Soviet infantry doctrine of the time figured heavily upon human wave assaults so the sights weren't expected to be accurate, just "close enough." Most aftermarket sights use the action cover retaining pin as an anchor, and therefore have non-repeatable zeros: you've got to sight in again after every cleaning. Replace the issue peep with a Mojo and get the front sight adjusting tool [works on AKs as well] and don't look back.

    The standard wood stocks are normally poorly inlet and composed of random species of firewood: unfortunately, due to insanely unconstitutional federal meddling, you have to change out way more parts to US made components if you change out just one (the stock), as doing so takes the rifle off C&R status. Go figure. Unfortunately #2, the issue stocks are almost of too short a pull for normal-sized 'murricans. If you go down this route, do not waste time with anything other than the Dragunov style stock: it is a massive improvement on the skS ergonomics & handling. Downside there is that the manf. cheaped out on the mold design, & you have to go in & modify the stock by cutting a notch in it before putting the gun in so that you'll be able to remove the action cover for cleaning. Otherwise, you'll be stuck having to remove the receiver from the stock every time you want to clean the gun [which is a pain since it latches in nice & tight.]

    The trigger is not as atrocious as living w/ a Glock, altho' it's gritty and there's tons of trigger slap. No, I mean more than that: your finger will be pretty dang sore by the end of the day if you shoot a couple of hundred rounds thru it. Is it worth spending the money on a trigger job? Depends on how much you us the rifle: if it's truly a truck gun & the most you fire off in any one day is a few rounds at coyotes or something, then probably not.

    It's a good, rugged little unit, and when they were readily available for <$150 back in the '90s [which is what, equivalent to $300 today, what with inflation from Clinton, Bush II & massive inflation from the Obamanation regime] they were a smokin' deal. Yes, the stripper clip loading of the fixed magazine is less than ideal, but if you live in free america you may be able to get the "paratrooper" model that takes swappable mags. Not here in the PRK, they're on the banned list.

    As for which are better, the Russian, Albanian & Yugoslavian models w/ screwed in receivers generally are considered superior to the Chinese models w/ pinned on barrels, altho' I've no complaints about my Chin Alpha branded cheapy. Obviously, the ones with more machining involved in their manufacture like I just mentioned cost more. (Go figure.)

    The Yugoslavs don't have chromed barrels, so are more maintenance intensive when used with corrosively-primed surplus ammo. Again, no problem for me since the PRK bans them anyway because of their grenade-launcher muzzle weight. No chrome lining means the Yugoslavs are potentially more accurate, so if you're loading your own w/ non-corrosive primers then peachy, but every skS I've seen beats the heck out of steel cases, so I'd hate to see what one does to actual brass ones.

    There, that's the 5 minute run down on pretty much everything I've learned about the skS in the last 15 years. Good luck!
     
  6. Sky

    Sky Member

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    Russian and Norincos here with good results; I like them but always have...guess it's a personal thing. Would I want to go up against and armed individual with a good scoped AR at 400 yards?....no!....but they are good smooth shooting weapons and with the proper ammo they are (in my experience) much more accurate than many post on the interweb.... but none of mine are junk or shot out..So go figure?
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  7. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    For trigger work, look up the address for Eric, who has a nice Youtube Channel under "iraqiveteran8888".

    He offered to smooth the SKS trigger for $35 plus shipping of the trigger assembly.
     
  8. kBob

    kBob Member

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    I think the sights are not that bad compared to say a mauser 98 or swede or Spanish bolt gun.

    You may really need the sight adjustment tool though , or may not.

    Back in the 1980's the Norincos had a repretation for inaccuracy and when I had one back then it was worse than my shot out 98 7.92 that would take a..323 bullet an inch deep into the near rifling free muzzle. I was disapointed. This was of course with the urine smelling Chinese steel core ammo that was what was commonly available. Then on a whim I picked up some then very cheap Lapua ammo. Groups shrank down to 3 inches at 100 yards. The Lupua brass was also reloadable boxer primed and non corrosive.

    I think the SKS inaccuracy concerns were fueled by early experiences with the Chinese ammo more than recent experiences.

    I am told that the Wolf brand steel case ammo is accurate in most SKS rifles but have no direct experience.

    I thought the most interesting ammo was the East German Full metal jacket plastic bullets. I saw a couple of SKS that ate them just fine and some AKs that wouold not. This was just training ammo meant for shorter range training to allow East German troops to train closer to their barracks without going to big range facilities.

    I used to get tickled by the folks that just had to stick a finger in the cleaning kit port in the butt plate and then freak over it capturing them.

    I used the bayonet to keep the rifle off wet ground with by exteneding the bayonet and just shoving the bayonet into the ground enough to hold the rifle uprigth and upside down.

    My experience was that removing the bayonet and its screw, the cleaning rod and the cleaning kit all contributed to better accuracy with the SKS. Your milage may vary.

    I agree with the assesment that they would make a more than passable "truck gun" Among other things if someone broke into my truck and stole an AR I would be out enough to by two or three SKS.

    WOuld I rather have as my only centerfire semi auto an AR, FAL, or HK 91? You betcha! But we can't all afford every toy we would like and an SKS twill serve better than a hoot and holler.

    -kBob
     
  9. trueg50

    trueg50 Member

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    Look up the SKS boards and check out Kivaari, he does the best, he does it right, and he has many testimonials of very happy customers. Unlike "iraqiveteran8888", he does more than polish up the sear, he gives correct sear-hammer work that gives you a safe positive trigger, rather than a potentially unsafe negative engagement that Iraqiveteran8888 does (as seen in his SKS video).
     
  10. Reloadron
    • Contributing Member

    Reloadron Member

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    I still have some of that E. German stuff in 10 round plastic packages. They are labeled 10 stuck. It was like a novelty back in the day. :) Yeah, as I recall it would cycle in most SKS rifles but didn't work well in the AK variants.

    Ron
     
  11. jeeptim

    jeeptim Member

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    WHAT THEY SAID best bang for the buck hands down.
     
  12. nathan

    nathan Member

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    I hope you can find one , they are sold out as most people are looking for semi autos for less money.
     
  13. DesertFox

    DesertFox Member

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    Rewind to 1989 - I was going to school where a local sporting goods store had as many SKS as you could possibly ever want for $79/ea. Being both broke and stupid, I didn't even pick up one. S&W 29 were on the shelf for $229/ea. I digress.

    Picked up one of the Chinese SKS on my C&R last month. 1st 7.62x39 caliber for this guy. Took several hours to pick all the cosmoline out. I gotta say - I like it.

    Sights aren't the greatest but I've used worse. The stock on this one looks like it has bashed in the heads of many enemy combatants. Looks like it will live on far longer than myself.
     
  14. nathan

    nathan Member

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  15. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    Last I checked the Chinese SKS was not C&R elgible. Has that changed?
     
  16. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    I think it depends on the variation of the Chicom model jimmy. The true milsurps may fit the C&R requirements while the later models made for the US market may not. I'm guessing here though. Check the SKS board or Yooper John's site for actual information.

    Update:

    I was just reading through some of the posts in the thread on another board linked here. I have a hard time stomaching the attitude some snobbish types have about the SKS. There are things I could say here that would certainly rub some of those people the wrong way but unlike them I try to be civilized. SKS accuracy is far better than some give them credit for and reliability is rarely matched by any rifle. When you have a semi-auto that you have fired thousands of rounds through over the course of 20 years and you could come close to counting the malfunctions on your fingers and toes then you know you have a VERY reliable weapon and that is job one with any SD firearm IMO. If it won't go bang when you pull the trigger you have serious problems. And my old SKS is very, very reliable. I suspect the new one is too but I haven't shot that many rounds through it to say for sure.

    If there are anti-SKS people reading this I will just say that the limiting factor on the accuracy is the ammo and that with really good ammo you will get really good accuracy. But even with Wolf it does ok and with the old Czech ammo I get very good results. Shooting off hand at 200 yards I can hit a paper plate about half the time. Shooting the same ammo at 50 yards I could hit a 50 cent piece almost every time. So clearly the ammo is losing accuracy over the effective distance of the round. Still it is a close combat weapon. I have other firearms for long range shooting and those will make your average AR look like a sling shot just to be blunt about it.

    I love AR's but I bought into the SKS platform when it was very cheap to do so and very expensive to get an AR and I didn't have the cash to do it. Now I do have that cash but I see no great reason to run out and replace the platform I have now. After all shooting humans past 50 yards is going to take some powerful explaining when I get to court. They tend to call that murder actually. And I'm not into murder. I can hold off a small gang of looters / rapists / killers with my SKS at least for a few minutes and most likely long enough to make any non-crazed gunman think twice about approaching my location and that is after all the name of the game.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  17. okiewita40

    okiewita40 Member

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    My Norinco has a screw in barrel. It was neutered by a bubba before I got it. I paid $250 for it a couple of years ago. I use it for HD and my deer and hog hunting.

    When I use Silver bear 125gr. soft point ammo I can usually keep it between 2-3" at 100 yards. That's not bad for open sights and me needing reading glasses. I think I will invest in a set of tech sight's for it. Maybe that can shrink my groups a tad more.

    The SKS doesn't have the best trigger by far. But remember they came out before the AK-47. And it is a battle carbine.

    All in all they are very effective if you use it within it's limits. No you won't win a shooting match with one. But they are a solid gun for the money.
     
  18. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

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    I have always had a special place in my heart for the SKS, although I wish they could still be had brand new for under $200. Still, they are effective, shoot some of the cheaper rifle ammo out there, and are pretty affordable.
     
  19. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    trueg50:
    Thanks for the suggestion on the Kivaari trigger work. Will check into it.
    A bit more money could be worth it in the long run.

    For what it is worth, the Norinco is my only semi-auto gun, other than the Garand.

    A question about the chrome-lined bores in Norincos (and Russians): are chrome-lined bores much more resistant to bullet wear than steel?:scrutiny:
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  20. Silverado6x6

    Silverado6x6 Member

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    I remember some years ago when I picked up my SKS, I cleaned the barrel but neglected to check the cosmoline coated firing pin, needless to say I was surprised with multiple round shots.

    At first I thought I had a conversion done by somebody else and then I did some research about the free floating firing pin.

    Its amusing to see or hear about the diehard AR owners bragging about how much bling they have on their AR, the magpuls, the lasers, the mods and how stuck up and self righteous they can get. I have respect for the SKS, it would probably keep on going long after the AR has jammed, lost its magazine supply or replacement lasers, optics or other doodads.

    Sometimes simplicity is the deciding factor.
     
  21. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    They're more resistant to the chemicals in corrosive ammo and rust in general but not to bullet wear. An SKs isn't really a gun that will wear out a barrel anyway. It has much too loose tolerances and too low of a power level to be a barrel burner. I'm sure it can be done. You can certainly heat up the barrels because you can fire so many rounds in a short time. But I've never seen or heard of it happening.

    BTW Kivaari is top notch on his trigger work. It cut my group sizes in half when I got my Norinco worked on. I keep meaning to send off the trigger from my Yugo but I haven't done it yet. It's not as bad as the Norinco was anyway.

    BTW the very first time I ever heard of an SKS was in a report about a deputy being shot right between the eyes from 50 yards away. That news story went on and on about how accurate and how cheap those rifles were and how many people were buying them. So naturally I bought one too. The gun grabbers were always good for gun sales. No I don't like it that a LEO got shot. That part was horrible. But the same thing could have happened with a deer rifle or even a .22 for that matter. A Marlin 60 was less than the price of an SKS at the time (bought both within a short time) and even from 50 yards if you hit someone between the eyes there's a good chance they are going to die. It was a senseless tragedy but this stuff has been happening since Cain and Abel.

    I also knew a guy who had threatened to shoot his uncle for years and told everyone just how he would do it - at night with an SKS and lots of bullets through the trailer the guy lived in. He said it so often no one actually believed him. I guess we should have because he did exactly that one night. I guess he was ripped off by his uncle from the time he was 10 and his father died. His uncle more or less took him to raise but mainly he just took his money. I'm not excusing what happened but at least it happened to a bad person. I hate it big time but what are you going to do? At any rate he fired a few hundred rounds through that trailer killing his uncle but somehow missing the uncle's gf. The point of this, I guess, is that a person can really sling some lead with an SKS if they've a mind to. I certainly don't think anyone should be shooting up a trailer but it may be a necessary thing to shoot at a gang of thugs some day. It happens and if it does come up I want to be as prepared as possible. And the SKS puts a person very near the top IMO.

    Called, "the greatest battle implement ever devised" by General George S. Patton, the M1 was a force never seen before. Remember the machine gun had already been in use for the first world war. The Patton comment was about WWII. The SKS is not as powerful as an M1, the SKS is still plenty powerful enough and considerably more powerful than a 5.56 round. And unlike those M1's, it is possible to load far more ammo at one time. That's not as big of an advantage as some would think though. Still a 40 round mag (and some do work perfectly) is nothing to sneeze at. It does save the time of reloading although that really doesn't take long with stripper clips. At any rate the SKS can make you a serious fighting machine if you know how to use it. I have no plans to ever use mine on another human but sometimes those other humans make decisions that force you into action to defend yourself. And I do not feel like I'm out gunned by people carrying AR's. Sure they can shoot from longer distances effectively but the 5.56 round looses a lot of power past 400 yards. It is still lethal to about 550 yards according to the military but I would want something more powerful from that distance. An AR-10 can certainly be more powerful but they weigh a LOT or at least the ones I've seen do. They weigh as much as my Savage varmint rifle which is far more accurate at those ranges. It's a single shot rifle but a shot at a time is about all a person can expect at that distance anyway. Some can do better but not effective IMO.

    So I feel like I'm setup for about any scenario. I'm sure there are better ways to go but the one I have chosen is not a bad choice. Of course all thie supposes I'm operating from home and not needing to carry 2 rifles with me. If a person needs to do that when he needs most is not a better rifle. It's friends to operate different weapons for different purposes.
     
  22. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

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    SKS

    I bought one back in the 90s and a couple of cases of ammo for it (back when it was less expensive to buy the ammo than to reload it). The gun has proven 100% reliable (like my Makarov, it has never had a failure) and satisfactorily accurate. For a while, I bought into the "needs a bigger magazine" idea and made the conversion, bought the larger mags.
    I went back to the stripper clips. They are easy to use, lighter to carry - though I have no reason to be carrying any - and simple.
    For my purposes, owning an SKS took away all interest in owning an AK-47. I believe that the SKS is a more versatile firearm for the uses it is most apt to get in civilian hands.
    Pete
     
  23. Roadking Rider

    Roadking Rider Member

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    I bought a very nice Yugo last summer. It must have come from someones collection as it had no cosomile on it anywhere and was spotless.
    It has become one of my favorite shooters, after I changed the original sights out to Williams Fire sights.
    That little carbine is a true beast of a rifle.
    Since I've owned it I'd stay I have about 600 rounds through it and it has never failed to fire or eject a single round. I think the accuracy of them is really pretty good for a rifle that is built to be a battle rifle. I did find that changing the sights out did make a big difference though. Imo the reciever stays supprisingly clean when shooting a large number of rounds through it.I've shot a 100 rounds down the pipe at one time in a fairly rapid fashion and yes it did get hot but the action never failed to operate or seem to slow down it any way. The operating system was dirty but functioned flawlessly. When I pulled it apart I found that the firing pin was still free floating. I'd bet I could have fired at least another 100 rounds without cleaning or any problems. That might not sound like alot of rounds to some, but 200 rounds down the pipe sure isn't bad for a rifle that was made in 1969.
    The prices have been going up over the last few years but IMO there still a very good rifle for the money. If you can manage to find a SKS in good condition that has not been Bubba'd up, I'd grab it up even if it was just to flip it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  24. nathan

    nathan Member

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    Sen McCain was captured by NVA s and poked with Chicom SKS spike bayonets on his way to Hanoi Hilton. And that goes to many who were shot down over the skies of NVN. That sure wasnt nice to go through. Im sure they were grateful today not being shot in cold blood once they hit ground but only poked. Dont underestimate the SKS, it proved itself in combat more than any weapons in history. It is perfect for the small statured asians the reason why it was widely used .
    Its just a dandy little carbine. With a 20 rd mag , that makes the firepower doubled.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  25. jim243

    jim243 Member

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    Ahhh, the good old SKS. I purchased a Yugo about 4 years ago as a winter project gun. Stock need to be refinished but that was about all. What impressed me was that the serial numbers matched on all the parts including the stock.

    To make a long story short, off to the range and to my supprise with open sights (I haven't shot open sights in 40 years) it was getting 6 inch groups at 50 yards with Wolf ammo (not great accuracy) then I switched over to my reloads and now it was 2 inch groups.

    It seems that the SKS was made in 3 different configurations some in .310, .311 and .312 (all 7.62X39) you need to find the right ammo to use in any SKS you buy to get it accurate

    Keep mine just the way it was made (C&R). Yes I did brake down and added a scope. Great shooting gun, low recoil and you have to love any rifle that comes with a grenade launcher and bayonet.

    Jim

    IMG_1848.jpg
     
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