So wait, SKS's suck? Even Norinco's? That's news to me, I love mine.
They're reliable, I'll give them that. I'd call them a poor man's Garand, but assembled with Combloc attention to detail that makes them much less accurate and consistent than the Garand.
I've had an experienced High Power shooter come out to an Appleseed and run an SKS. He never broke a Rifleman score with it. Came close... but couldn't quite do it. He still used the rifle as a learning tool and I have no doubt that he improved from the course and will be able to apply the skills to his M1 and see marked improvement. It's just what he had ammo for.
There ARE folks who have shot Rifleman with an SKS, but just barely. Those guys, when shifting to an AR, M1 Garand, M14, or reasonably tuned .22 (10/22 or 795 that has a sling and quality sights), will add another 20 points to the total AQT score.
I even remember one of the instructors in Appleseed, back east, decided to push an SKS to its limits and did some 700 yard shooting with it. The bullets were tumbling at that point and hitting the paper sideways. But, he was able to hit to that point.
I don't follow SKS variants since I've personally chosen American rifles to fill my safe (aside from a Mosin 91/30), so I don't know how Norks compare to Yugos or other models.
Bottom line is, run what ya brung and have ammo for. You'll still learn the skills, if you show up with an SKS that's been dragged behind a gulag tractor, or a matched-out AR.