I own a militarized version of the Chinese SKS. I have read that the quality of the military versions range from good to excellent. My Type 56 has been an excellent performer, with no major issues except for the one time I tried an aftermarket extended 30 round magazine. There were some FTE's with the extended mag, so I went back to the factory 10 rounder and had no further problems. It may have been just a bad magazine.
I have also read that the quality of the Chinese SKS rifles, produced specifically for export (non military commercial versions), varies considerably. I would advise staying with the military version. My military version has a triangle, with the number 26 in it (the number designates the factory where manufactured), stamped on the left side of the receiver, followed by some Chinese letters and then the serial number. The serial number is also stamped on the left side of the butt stock on versions produced for the military, at that time. My SKS was manufactured in 1964.
I bought mine back in the early 90s because it seemed like a lot of gun for the money ($199) at the time. I don't shoot it a lot; probably put 1000 rounds through it in 20 years, but my opinion has not changed. It's a lot of gun for the money...highly reliable, decently accurate out to 200 yards (haven't tried it at any longer distance), inexpensive for plinking/target shooting, and with the right ammo good enough for coyotes/pigs or even white tailed deer in states where permitted to use for deer (not in Ohio). The SKS is a very versatile rifle for the person on a budget.
Last edited by Rifleman1952; November 27, 2012 at 07:42 AM.