SKS Accuracy

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by WoodchuckAssassin, Feb 5, 2014.

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  1. WoodchuckAssassin

    WoodchuckAssassin Member

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    My Grandpa swears up and down that semi-automatic rifles aren't worth anything in the accuracy department, but he's a die-hard bolt action guy, so his opinion might be a little one sided. What have your experiences been out to 75-100 yards?
     
  2. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    The answer to his contentition is "depends".

    Plenty of high priced national match semis will outshoot run of the mill bolt guns, but there are also plenty of bolt guns that will outshoot semis.

    It is an empty argument to make claims about ultimate performace/accuracy unless you're focused on that area of shooting.

    The important question is what type of shooting do you want to do and what sort of firearm is best suited for it.
     
  3. LRShooting

    LRShooting Member

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    I have a mil-surp sks. Im assuming Japanese or Chinese based off the writing engraved in the gun. With iron sights, I can shoot about 2 inches at 100 yards pretty easily. That's not great, but its good enough for hunting. That being said, I have bolt guns that shoot worse than that, and way better than that. A lot of that may be solved with simply matching ammo with the guns though.
     
  4. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    In general your Grandpa might be right especially if he has shot some war time manufactured semi-autos. Like mentioned above, try and tell me a National Match M1 Garand isn't accurate because they are at the top IMO.

    As for the SKS, I own one and it's fairly accurate, more so than my AK-47 for the most part. It's a well made semi-auto that has some weight to it and it's a longer rifle so it's easier to shoot well. How about the FAL? Those are very accurate rifles as are other "well made" battle rifles. (I focused on battle rifles because you mentioned the SKS)
     
  5. Ar180shooter

    Ar180shooter Member

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    It would be Chinese, the Japanese never made SKS's.

    And 2" with an SKS and open sights is pretty good.
     
  6. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    My Norinco SKS is pretty accurate out to 100 yards. Shooting off hand I can do 3" groups probably. Off a rest is better of course. But the ammo doesn't seem to fly straight past 125 yards or so. I can hit a 12" group at 250 yards or so if I'm having a good day. The trigger can make a big difference. Most of their triggers weren't put together right. If you have them fixed by someone that really knows them you can get much better accuracy.
     
  7. PlayTheAces

    PlayTheAces Member

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    I had a Russian SKS that was far from accurate. However, that was just one rifle. Most semi rifles I've owned have been more than satisfactory, shooting above my abiliity. Depends on the gun.

    On the other hand, I'd give the edge to bolt actions overall. Just my opinion.
     
  8. theshephard

    theshephard Member

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    Your bar is set too low

    I used to shoot a Russian SKS back in the 90s out to 200 with irons, reliably hitting a 4" gong. They're not tack drivers - they weren't ever made to fill that expectation - but those suckers are far more accurate than most give them credit for, and enough to 'get the job done' at a decent range. 75-100? Easy!

    As for the general action comparison, I think it's hard to do that without understanding more about the requirements of the task at hand. I shoot a semi-auto at 200, 300 and 600 yards and know that if I do my job, it does its job really well. However, semi-autos usually need sloppier tolerances to accommodate a violent and imprecise action, along with an expectation of dirt, oil, and other rough operating conditions. The best bolt-action, made for the pristine bench environment with classical music playing in the background, is going to outperform a semi-auto in a pure tack-driving exercise all day long.

    So, I think your grandpa's right, in a vacuum. The rifle itself may be more accurate, but perhaps not as "effective" in different conditions as a semi-auto or lever action.
     
  9. tahunua001

    tahunua001 Member

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    there are many generalizations that cause a lot of rumors to be interpreted as fact.

    yes there are a lot more moving parts on semi autos which can affect how the ammunition reacts and some semis are just not made to the same standards as others. now a lot of AR15s made today are more than capable of 1 inch groups and there are bolt actions that can't do better than 3 inches at 100 yards.

    now since you specifically referenced the SKS in the title I will tell you my personal experience. MY sks is a lot more accurate than most people think. my older brother and brother in law grew up in a time where SKS cost about $90, the ammo was cheaper than 22LR is now and everyone and anyone that owned one slapped on some plastic dragunov stock, bolted on a scope to a non-stable part of the rifle, threw in a modified AK47 magazine, and expected good accuracy, and decent reliability from them. most were disappointed when they were making 3-4 inch groups and jammed every other shot. this lead them and all their friends with the cheap commie guns to assume that all SKS were inaccurate and unreliable.

    fast forward about 12 years and I bought my SKS for $240. I tried to keep it a secret from them since I didn't want to deal with the ridicule and sure enough they found out and I haven't lived it down since. however the sights on the SKS are not easy to shoot accurately with and the stock on mine was unserviceable due to shrinkage so $160 later I had an SKS with a different set of sights and a very nicely fitted stock. my brother in law brought out some tannerite a few weeks back. after filling a number of medication bottles with tannerite, he asked me to grab a rifle that could hit a pill bottle at 75 yards that had a velocity of at least 2000 feet per second. he was irked when I grabbed my SKS but I stuck with it and since he doesn't have the combo to my gun safe he had to just deal with it. every shot hit each pill bottle and with every pull of the trigger another explosion rang out as the tannerite ignited. he has since, not said a single word about my inaccurate, piece of junk SKS, I think he is starting to see that there is a difference between a well accessorized SKS and a well configured SKS.
     
  10. primalmu

    primalmu Member

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    Not all semi-autos are inaccurate. Check out this 5 shot group at 100 yards from my Rock River Arms Varmint A4.

    11-19-131_zps6bfc9085.jpg
     
  11. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    If your standard of semi auto accuracy is a SKS, then yes a bolt action will be more accurate. I owed a few and shoot a lot of guns, and am certified expert. 2-3 inch offhand groups with a SKS are pure bull. On the other hand a good AR makes it a whole 'nuther story. A former sniper that writes an online military magazine, "Kit Up", says that new semi auto sniper rifles are on par with bolts and offer better firepower. So pick your words carefully.
     
  12. bullseyebob47

    bullseyebob47 Member

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    i always thought i am fairly good at shooting. i spent 7 hours at the range with .22s, 12 ga, a russian sks, and a chinese sks. all iron sites and bench rest. as far as the sks, i found the chinese and wolf fmj where the best combo. at 100 yards i get 4" or 5" groups at best. my russian sks isn't as good and tula ammo isn't as good. at 150 yards i managed to get 9 hits out of 15 shots on a standard poster board. LARGE GROUPING. i quit at that point.

    im just not that good or other posters here have that internet exaggeration going on. or they used match ammo they didn't mention?

    i figured a scope on the sks would improve things but i'll get a bolt action or break open rifle with scope for long distance.
     
  13. bullseyebob47

    bullseyebob47 Member

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    and during my 7 hour stay quite a few "hunters" came through with their bolt actions and big scopes. most where shooting no better than my sks and they never try beyond 50 yards. one ar15 guy with peep sites shot worse than my sks at 50 yards. im sure its the shooter and not the gun. another ar15 guy had all bullet holes touching at 25 yards but it all went to <deleted> at 50. this guy with a h&r 45/70 break open had bullet holes touching at 25 and 50 yards. he would not try 100 yards no matter how much i suggested it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2014
  14. sansone

    sansone Member

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    grandpa is sorta correct but not really :rolleyes: in general maybe you can say bolts are more accurate, but there are many exceptions..

    I had a mini-14 and a BAR that were very disappointing @ the bench. likewise I've never seen a SKS or AK that did any better.

    I just sold a Ruger M77 because my AR10 shot MUCH tighter groups :what:
     
  15. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Every bolt gun I have will punch tighter groups than my Norinco SKS at 100 yards. That is even using open sights to keep it somewhat even with my SKS.

    Small group paper punching just isn't what my SKS was built for.
     
  16. Delmar

    Delmar Member

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    Back when you could get a brand new Norinco SKS in the packing grease for under $100, I sprung for one and took it to the range. From the bench I was getting 3-4 inch groups with the open sights and thought the rifle would do better. Bought a file to fit receiver cover with a scope rail and fitted it. Went back to the range and the same group lol. Took the scope off and used it for deer at no more than 125 yards give or take. It did the job, but nothing worth bragging about.
     
  17. tahunua001

    tahunua001 Member

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    A person could also point out that these are military surplus arms. they were designed for no more than hitting a man at 100 yards. compare this to the accuracy of many military bolt actions such as the enfield number 1 and 4 rifles, the Many different renditions of the Mosin Nagant, the French MAS, the Italian carcano and the groups are really quite similar. keep in mind that Vasille Zaytzev and Simo Hayha found themselves some accurate mosin nagants and Lee Harvey Oswald showed the USA that there was at least one accurate Carcano so just remember that there are always outliers among all models. some bolts are not very accurate as a whole but have some accurate examples, and the same is true for semi autos. also there are gun models that have reputations for being very accurate that have inaccurate examples.

    as for the guy that lives in a place devoid of marksmanship skills, I feel sorry for you. many of the people where I'm from won't shoot less than 100 yards unless they are just trying to get their gun on paper. I normally shoot from sandbags while I'm at my local range since they require you to shoot from the bench and very few of my rifles are incapable of less than 5 inches at 100. now shooting freehand that is all a different story but that is not a representation of the rifle's accuracy but rather, mine.
     
  18. wally

    wally Member

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    At this short a range my experience has been anything that is safe to shoot is fine for about anything other than bragging about how small your group sizes are off a bench rest.
     
  19. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    I love it when people assume things they can't know. You weren't there the last time I shot my SKS at 100 yards. At least I didn't see you there. Were you hiding in the weeds?

    You and your "certified expert" opinion obviously don't know what an SKS is capable of doing. Unless you're shooting one with the trigger fixed to factory standards you won't shoot groups like that. But that trigger makes a huge difference. I've been shooting off hand all my life. Maybe I'm not certifiable like you but I can shoot a rifle. I have the record to back that up too since we're dragging that stuff into the discussion. Where do you live? Maybe you can stop by and I'll give you a demonstration.
     
  20. tahunua001

    tahunua001 Member

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    I will also point out that the difference between most experts and morons is that the experts will never say they are an expert...

    be careful with that slippery slope.
     
  21. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Member

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    A good shooter can shoot any rifle as well as it can be shot. We have many contributors who are good shooters.

    I think that over the past decade, maybe two, great strides forward have been made in the pursuit of extreme accuracy. Semi automatic AR15 type rifles have reached a level of potential that their M16A1 progenitors could not have imagined. They have become quite accurate.

    But then progress has not exactly passed bolt actioned rifles by either... Here in the last couple decades we have the introduction of some fantastic rifles capable of the 0's or low 1's. A BAT or Stolle Panda, or any of several other bolt actioned rifles can be an amazing experience.

    It may be talking out of school, but I have not yet seen a semi automatic rifle capable of that kind of accuracy consistently. So, while accurate rifles have become more accurate, whether bolt actioned or semi automatic, and the bar has been raised consequently, I hazard to say that OP's grandfather is probably right.
     
  22. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    I wouldn't dream of claiming an SKS is as accurate as your average bolt action rifle these days. They aren't. Not even close. Even entry level rifles will shoot MOA or better now. You could never get an SKS to do that. But an AR is another story. If you build them the right way they can shoot very accurate.
     
  23. MyRoad

    MyRoad Member

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    It seems as though there are two discussions bifurcating here, one about semi-autos vs. bolts, and another on the inherent accuracy of an SKS. Both are wide open and subject to apples and oranges comparisons.

    SKS's come in all kinds of conditions ranging from unfired to shot out, and from various countries with varied build qualities. I have a 1951 Russian that will shoot 1.5" groups @ 50 yards (with HORNADY ammo, from a bench) all day long and effortlessly, and I had a "paratrooper" Norinco that had lived a long hard life and shot 4-5" patterns at 50 yards, no matter what you fed it. So there is so much variation within SKS's, that just trying to determine "how accurate is an SKS" is an endless discussion all by itself.

    So the closest thing to a reasonable comparison would be to specify an SKS country of origin and year of manufacture, and then attempt to find a comparable (quality and use) mil-surp in a bolt action from a similar year and country of origin, and then see how their accuracy compared. Otherwise, we're just throwing stuff at the wall.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
  24. MyRoad

    MyRoad Member

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    ...but specifically to the OP, the limiting factors with most SKS's is the iron sights and crappy Russian ammo. You won't know what your SKS can do until you *properly* scope it, and use quality ammo. Ammo is the single biggest factor, in my experience.
     
  25. T.R.

    T.R. Member

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    My friend has a Russian built SKS carbine that shoots Winchester soft tip ammo into 2.5 - 3 inch groups at 100 yards. But foreign made ammo is not as accurate which shoots 4 inches or so.

    SKS carbines were designed as sturdy combat rifles. Expecting target grade accuracy is unrealistic.

    TR
     
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