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Old May 6, 2012, 03:54 PM   #1
mgr52
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looking to get my first semi-auto rifle and looking at the SKS

Hey there,

I am used to shooting .22's but want to get a semi-auto rifle and also a manageable caliber larger than .22

Considering the price, reliability, and price of ammo the SKS seems like a decent choice. Any insight?

The only issue I see is the legality. Suppose I bought one and wanted to switch to a tactical stock, add a vertical fore grip, and use a detachable 10 rnd magazine. Would this be legal?
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Old May 6, 2012, 04:50 PM   #2
Young.Gun.612
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As long as it has a certain number of US made parts you're fine. My grandpa used to have an SKS with a bipod, pistol grip, folding stock, and hi cap mags.
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Old May 6, 2012, 05:23 PM   #3
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Feature-based restrictions are different from one location to the other.

If you're worried about "assault" features, contact local police or a lawyer. We have no idea where you are.

The way i read this thread was more about feature restrictions than the parts thing.
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Old May 6, 2012, 05:29 PM   #4
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you can get a ruger mini-14 or mini-30 for the same price of a really good SKS... umm, and ammos just as cheap, since the mini-30 fires the same... just an idea if youre interested in something new, and US made
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Old May 6, 2012, 05:56 PM   #5
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cool thanks for the tips guys. BTW I live in IL
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Old May 6, 2012, 08:08 PM   #6
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If you change your SKS from it's original configuration you will be subject to 922r, this site http://home.comcast.net/~navy87guy/home/922r.html gives a pretty good understanding of 922r. I'm leaving my Yugoslav bone stock mostly because I like it that way but also to try and preserve any collector value in it. The Yugo SKS seems to be the most prevalent now, but I think the Russians are worth a bit more. You may be able to find an unfired Yugo if you look around for one. If you decide to buy an SKS, I wouldn't wait much longer, prices just keep going up. Was looking today at a gun show and almost every SKS was priced over $400.

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Old May 6, 2012, 08:57 PM   #7
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Thanks Stu for the heads up. I think what prompted me to finally go ahead and try and get one is the rising prices.

I found one but it has an aftermarket stock and all, does this mean I would have to buy a wood stock that would have been on it and replace it with that?
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Old May 6, 2012, 10:31 PM   #8
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Most of the aftermarket magazines are simply awful due to misfeed and rattle.
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Old May 7, 2012, 01:21 AM   #9
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I'd grab a Keltec SU-16 (.223) or RFB (7.62) instead...

RFB is pretty bad@$$
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Old May 7, 2012, 01:50 AM   #10
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you know.. kel-tec does get my respect for the fact they seem to be one of the few companies building something new, and not living on 50 year old designs
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Old May 7, 2012, 12:10 PM   #11
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Where are you at in Illinois? If you're in Crook County, then you pretty much have to have a bone-stock SKS, especially if you're in the city. In the rest of IL, you just have to meet 922r.

Whatever you choose, you did the right thing starting out with a .22LR. Make sure you hang onto that. You'll still get good practice out of the .22LR.

On the aftermarket magazines: Tapco SKS magazines work. Period. Metal aftermarket mags can be a crapshoot, especially if you're new to SKS rifles, I'd avoid them until you get to know what the reliable brands are (I believe USA brand were well regarded, though I don't have experience with them).
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Old May 7, 2012, 03:37 PM   #12
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I have no idea the current prices on SKS's.

The lowest prices on Chinese SKS's got to $79.00, but Daddy Bush dried up the supply with an Executive Order.

If you can get an SKS for a bargin price, like $150.00, it is well worth the money.
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Old May 7, 2012, 04:19 PM   #13
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Theres a couple locales outside of Cook County that have restrictions. Aurora for one.

Just a heads up, youre not 100% in the clear just because youre outside of Chicago
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
I found one but it has an aftermarket stock and all, does this mean I would have to buy a wood stock that would have been on it and replace it with that?
There does seem to be a bit of ambiguity on this. Some say since you didn't build it that you can leave it in whatever configuration you purchased it in. I haven't investigated this aspect of it at all so I'm probably the wrong guy to ask, you could however send an e-mail to the BATFE and ask them. I would also suspect that any rifle built before 922R went into effect would be grandfathered in although this would be speculation on my part. Personally if I were buying a rifle that someone else had built I would find out if it was compliant before I laid out the cash just to be safe.

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Old May 7, 2012, 08:09 PM   #15
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I remember in the early to mid 90s you could buy SKSs all day for $75.00, in fact I killed my first deer with one.......those were the good ole days.
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Old May 7, 2012, 11:03 PM   #16
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with the price as they are the sks is a very reliable weapon it is sloppy but reliable. as far as aftermarket parts there is a plethora of them every where you look.as far as tapco goes the 20 round detachable clips feed without a hitch i can run clip after clip with out any problems threw mine as for said the metal clips are problematic but stick with 100%tapco and you will be fine.
tapco is 100% 922r compliant and they can help you with understanding that as well as far as a good place to buy the goodies for your sks is www.cheaperthandirt.com i get all my ammo and accessories from them. good luck with your choice and with that state law i wouldn't wish having to deal with your state on anyone....but we all cant live in Texas

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Old May 8, 2012, 02:44 AM   #17
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Quote:
you can get a ruger mini-14 or mini-30 for the same price of a really good SKS... umm, and ammos just as cheap, since the mini-30 fires the same... just an idea if youre interested in something new, and US made
Don't know where you're getting your information but a Mini-14 or -30 will cost 2 or even 3 times as much as most SKS's. What's more, the Mini-30 is widely reported to be unreliable with steel-cased ammunition (steel-cased 7.62x39 is by far what is the most available and most affordable), leaving you with primarily with commercial brass-cased 7.62x39 that generally sells at 3 times the price and is far less widely available. In reality, the Mini-30 is both far more expensive to buy and far more expensive to shoot.
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Old May 8, 2012, 04:34 AM   #18
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Darn you anyway, Raftman! I WAS looking at buying a Mini-30, until you put that tiny bit of doubt in my mind. Oh, well...guess I'll look at getting another .45 instead.
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Old May 8, 2012, 04:47 AM   #19
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P.S.: Or, since this is the rifle forum, perhaps an M1A......
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Old May 8, 2012, 05:36 PM   #20
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I bought my first SKS, a Yugo from Samco around this past Christmas and I it was about $260 or so then, it has skyrocketed since. If you are interested in the SKS, yes, GET IT NOW. The stock seems to be drying up as prices are climbing all the time on these great rifles. I can't say I agree with another poster that says they are sloppy or at least my surplus rifle is extremely tight, is extremely acccurate and incredibly overbuilt. There are other rifles out there if you want to customize as I believe that any SKS should be left stock unless some Bubba has already gotten to it. I live in Chicago and don't have much room for customizing anyway, but I never bought it with the intention of doing so. All of my older firearms, especially anything GI issue, will be left in the original configuration. Someone mentioned those KelTecs (I am interested in one of those myself) and that might be a good place to look. If you want the history and can trust yourself to love the rifle in its original wood, then get the SKS. It's a darn fine rifle.
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Old May 8, 2012, 05:38 PM   #21
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Oh, and if I can interject, I really hate the way the magazine slaps into the Mini 14. It might just be me, but that could use a lot of work. I would take the SKS over the Mini 14 or 30 any day, as I believe it to be more reliable. Plus, you can always grill hot dogs on the bayonet when you're hungry!
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Old May 8, 2012, 05:51 PM   #22
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Bah! You can put a bayonet on a Mini and roast hotdogs quite a while til the duct tape gets hot and burns or falls off.
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Old May 8, 2012, 07:38 PM   #23
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Quote:
I bought my first SKS, a Yugo from Samco around this past Christmas and I it was about $260 or so then, it has skyrocketed since.
This may also be caused by panic buying due to the upcoming election. Seems everything has gone up a bit in the last couple of months. Even Mosin Nagant 91/30 have gone up ($169 for hex and $129 for round receivers this past weekend).
Quote:
I would take the SKS over the Mini 14 or 30 any day, as I believe it to be more reliable. Plus, you can always grill hot dogs on the bayonet when you're hungry!
Not sure I'd call the SKS design more reliable, remember the Mini is based on the Garand design. I would trust either rifle in a pinch although my Mini-14 is a bit more accurate than my SKS. If you're looking to cook hot dogs on a bayonet you need a Mini-14 GB which comes with the bayonet lug.

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