Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

SKS Slamfires

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by rugerman07, Feb 14, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. rugerman07

    rugerman07 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Messages:
    531
    Location:
    Southern Illinois
    How prone are SKS carbines to slamfiring (full auto)? I got this info from Wikipedia:

    "While early Russian models had spring-loaded firing pins, most variants of the SKS have a free floating firing pin within the bolt. Because of this design, care must be taken during cleaning (especially after long storage) to ensure that the firing pin does not stick in the forward position within the bolt. SKS firing pins that are stuck in the forward position have been known to cause accidental "slamfires" (uncontrolled automatic fire that empties the magazine, starting when the bolt is released). This behavior is less likely with the hard primer military-spec ammo for which the SKS was designed, but as with any rifle the user should properly maintain their firearm. For collectors, slamfires are more likely when the bolt still has remnants of cosmoline embedded in it. The firing pin is triangular in cross section, and slamfires can also result if the firing pin is inserted upside down."

    Is this a common problem with the SKS? Should you only shoot Military Surplus ammo in it? Wolf & Silver Bear ammo have hard primers, could using them cause an accidental slamfire?
     
  2. my762buzz

    my762buzz Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Messages:
    220
    Wolf, Bear,Golden tiger, and many other foreign 7.62x39 ammo
    brands are made with hard primers for this reason. Hard primers prevent accidental slamfires. I'm not totally sure
    Federal , Winchester, Remington, or other domestic ammo has
    hard primers. Other than the ammo having softer primers,
    a cosmo lined firing pin channel that wasn't cleaned out properly
    can potentially cause the firing pin to remain stuck in the
    forward position. Another way to cause a slamfire is reinserting
    a firing pin upside down after the bolt was disassembled and cleaned.


    If your really worried, you can always do an easy solution.
    http://www.murraysguns.com/sksown.htm
    “Original” Russian style, newly manufactured, CNC machined and heat-treated 420 SS firing pin and “Wolff” spring are now available. Drop in fit with no alterations required. Fits early Russian, (with special shorter spring) later Russian, Chinese, Yugoslavian, Albanian, and Romanians. $37.00 includes “First Class” anywhere in the U.S. and Canada.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. rugerman07

    rugerman07 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Messages:
    531
    Location:
    Southern Illinois
    Thanks for your reply. I just bought a Norinco SKS (haven't fired it yet). I also bought 120 rounds of Military Surplus ammo. However, I plan to use Wolf or Silver Bear ammo and just wanted to make sure I wouldn't freak out anyone at the shooting range with an accidental slamfire.
     
  4. rugerman07

    rugerman07 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Messages:
    531
    Location:
    Southern Illinois
    Will this fit a Norinco SKS?
     
  5. QuietEarp

    QuietEarp Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    220
    Location:
    Nevada
    I would definitely disassemble the gun and give it a good cleaning especially the bolt and firing pin. The firing pin should freely "rattle" within the bolt. I believe that a gummy pin/bolt is responsible for the slam fire. There are several awesome videos on youtube that bring you through the SKS disassembly step by step. If you inspect the bolt and firing pin and it moves freely then I wouldn't be too concerned with a slam fire. It is a pretty solid design, I think most slamfires are a result of the cosmoline many SKSs come with. Good luck and be safe.
     
  6. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Messages:
    4,755
    Location:
    Utah
    Slamfires won't be a problem-IF you COMPLETELY disassemble the bolt and clean the firing pin channel with gun scrubber/brake cleaner and a small brush or pipe cleaner before you fire it the fist time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2009
  7. csspecs

    csspecs Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    129
    I just check that the firing pin still wiggles freely and don't worry about it... Keep a good grip :p
     
  8. rugerman07

    rugerman07 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Messages:
    531
    Location:
    Southern Illinois
    Thank you for your reply. There was no visable cosmoline or any other lubricant on the Norinco SKS I bought today. However, just to be safe, I will remove the bolt and inspect it before I shoot it.

    One more question. My Norinco SKS doesn't have a bayonet and I'd like to get one for cosmetic purposes (because it looks cool). Will any SKS bayonet, be it Norinco, Russian, Yugo, etc. fit it or do I have to get a Norinco spike bayonet?
     
  9. esq_stu

    esq_stu Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    966
    Location:
    Michigan
    My Norinco slamfires. It did when new and it still does when dirty. Keep the firing pin channel pristine.
     
  10. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Messages:
    5,884
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    New Norinco SKS's have a sprung spring, as pictured above, to prevent this from happening. They issued a recall on the earlier SKS's and will refit them.
     
  11. Anyname

    Anyname Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    Messages:
    45
    "However, I plan to use Wolf or Silver Bear ammo and just wanted to make sure I wouldn't freak out anyone at the shooting range with an accidental slamfire."

    I have only seen one slam fire in an SKS and the net result was that it went full auto for four or five rounds. If you have a full mag, it may be exciting all around.
     
  12. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Messages:
    4,060
    I've had 1 slamfire. Situation was 1 round of Federal ammo dropped into the chamber and the bolt was let go on it. It fired when the bolt closed. I inspected bolt and the firing pin moved freely.

    Since I was following the rule about not covering the muzzle (and was at a range) there were no consequences.

    BSW
     
  13. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Messages:
    4,755
    Location:
    Utah
    Guys, I've put dozens of SKS rifles back in service. WITHOUT EXCEPTION, every sks I've personally seen slam fire did not have the bolt dissasembled. Also WITHOUT EXCEPTION every rifle that has had the bolt dissasembled has not slamfired....FWIW.

    Boiling won't do it. Sonic cleaning won't do it. Tear the bolt COMPLETELY apart and physically scrub the pin channel out before you put the rifle back in service.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2009
  14. Sunray

    Sunray Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2003
    Messages:
    10,490
    Location:
    London, Ont.
    Slamfires are caused by improperly loaded ammo. Not the rifle.
     
  15. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Messages:
    3,892
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    Wrong, Slamfires in the SKS happen because they are shipped with cosmoline in the bolt. The cosmoline gets tacky when it heats up and the free floating firing pin gets stuck in the "BANG" position! This happened to me after I had cleaned the bolt Thank goodness I had only two rounds in the mag when it went FA. It was stuck because even more cosmoline found it's way in there.

    Slamfires in the M1 Garand on the other hand (or M1a) can be caused by high primers or even soft primer cups.

    Stay safe.
     
  16. mdThanatos

    mdThanatos Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    621
    Location:
    NA
    +1 on cleaning the firing pin channel and disassembling the bolt. Did it the first day I got my sks, over 5 years ago, and not a single slamfire. The pin should move freely, if you take the bolt out and hit the bottom of it, where the back of the pin is and it gets stuck in the forward position, it needs cleaning.
     
  17. Sunray

    Sunray Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2003
    Messages:
    10,490
    Location:
    London, Ont.
    "...shipped with cosmoline in the bolt..." That's not the rifle. That's the operator.
    Can't imagine not thoroughly cleaning any new firearm. Milsurp or not. Mind you, I did it for a living, long ago. The shop I worked in got some literally mint(as in never fired, found in a warehouse somewhere.) early war-time, Portugese contract K98's(with a matching bayonet) that were jam packed full of cosmoline. Two days per rifle to clean it out. Things of beauty, so they were. Sold for $215Cdn in the early 80's. Lotta money then. Some guys bought two.
     
  18. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    5,988
    False statement.

    I watched a fellow die near Sacramento, CA due to a stuck firing pin.

    It had nothing at all to do with improperly loaded ammo.

    He didn't clean his new SKS, in particular that vexing firing pin channel, and paid the price when it went full-auto and rotated upwards, sending a round into his face and out the top of his head.

    Would you like the newspaper article to verify, Sunray?

    Google "William Ferrante" and "SKS" as your search terms.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...79yWBg&usg=AFQjCNFjzDOn6X3QtAVGba1PotkcGpY6Vw
     
  19. Matrix187

    Matrix187 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Messages:
    529
    I heard about that incident awhile back. Very tragic... I try to tell people nowadays to clean their firing pin channel for their own sake.
     
  20. 2RCO

    2RCO Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,479
    Location:
    Missouri
    I think the moral of this story is proper care and maintenance can save your life!
     
  21. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Messages:
    4,755
    Location:
    Utah
    A couple things to note-

    1. The complete bolt disassembly should only have to be done before the initial firing to remove all traces of cosmoline and check for burrs. After that normal maintenance doesn't require bolt disassembly.

    2. The fist time you fire the rifle, only load 2-3 rounds. And worry more about controling the weapon than shooting accurately. That way if it does slamfire you'll have a no harm no foul situation instead of an out of control full mag dump. It's interesting to see and decidedly not cool when you release the bolt and the whole magazine dumps downrange as soon as the bolt goes forward before you even touch the trigger. The shooter better sure as heck have control of that rifle.

    G98- Thanks for the link. Tragic situation there. As many as I have seen slamfires in caused by not tearing the bolt apart, I figured somewhere something like that had happened.:( So every time someone asks how to clean their new SKS and folks start telling them that bolt disassembly isn't really needed I feel like screaming.

    One other rare cause of slamfires in an SKS-
    If the firing pin pierces a soft/high primer, it can stick a piece of the primer cup between the pin and the bolt, sticking the pin forward. I've seen that one half a dozen times. Once again-With a new type of ammo/new SKS, only load 2-3 rounds. Inspect the primers for piercing. If they are-DO NOT continue using that ammo in that gun. You WILL have a slamfire, you're playing Russian Roulette.
     
  22. 280shooter

    280shooter Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Messages:
    699
    I use Mineral spirts to clean off all the cosmoline, U can see it melt away, using a brush,I use a 5 gal bucket. put some in a small plastic tub and run it down the barrel.over and over, it cleans all that junk right off. I also recyle it.pour all the spirts back in the container, let it sit over night, all the grease goes to the bottom,slowely pour the spirts back into a clean container,and soak all the small parts.You'll be surprized how well this takes all that cosmoline and grease off..
     
  23. carbine85

    carbine85 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Messages:
    2,093
    Location:
    Southwest, Ohio
    My Russian has slam fired twice when charging the first round:what:. Very scary to say the least. It has the spring type firing pin. I found the bolt assembly was gummed up so I cleaned it. It hasn't slam fired since but I also don't let the bolt slam home when charging the first round anymore.
     
  24. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Messages:
    4,755
    Location:
    Utah
    Carbine85-

    Think about it, you letting the bolt go home rapidly is a whole lot less violent than the rifle does to itself when operating normally. Did you tear the bolt apart ALL the way before you put the rifle into service?

    If not, I'll give you 10:1 odds that you have cosmoline left up right behind the bolt face in the pin channel. And if you are storing the rifle hammer forward(as you should) it's sticking the pin forward in the cosmoline(that's more than likely slightly warm and soft from firing) then the rifle cools off, the pin sticks forward in the cooled and hardened cosmoline, and the next time you take the rifle out, the first time you drop the bolt you get a mysterious(and it's ALWAYS the FIRST round) slamfire that knocks the pin loose, and the rest of the day you have no slamfires.

    How'd I do?:D;)
     
  25. Funderb

    Funderb Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Messages:
    2,104
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Bold new city of the south.
    I have never had this happen to me, but can attest to firing pin slight imprints on some primed cases I made to see if I could set one off.

    Hard primers are the way to go.
    Wolf ammo and the russian manufacturers will do fine, I don't expect that you'll be shooting matches with this.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page