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Old January 2, 2002, 07:49 PM   #1
Eric1022
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SKS fires when loading round!

I have a SKS and a couple times it has fired unexpectedly. It happens after loading the magizine and letting the bolt close to load the first round...it then will fire the first round without pulling the trigger. It happens only occasionally so it's hard to reproduce and figure out what the problem is. Has anyone else had this problem? Any ideas on what might be causing this problem?

Thanks
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Old January 2, 2002, 08:00 PM   #2
leej
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Everyone who owns an SKS has this problem if they are honest about it. Many military rifles like the AK and SKS have floating firing pins that fly forward when the bolt slams shut. Using non mil-spec ammo often aggravates the problem of slam fires.

Poly Tech at one time installed springs in the bolts of their AK's that retarded the forward motion of the firing pin but the springs soon wore out after only a couple of hundred rounds of use.

I have had many, many types of these rifles slam fire and double fire on me like the SKs, AK 47, Chezch She Rifle etc. etc. It is normal , just make damn sure you have the rifle pointed in a safe direction when it starts blasting out rounds full auto.
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Old January 2, 2002, 08:01 PM   #3
Wildwilley
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Firing Pin

I had the same problem with a 1911 .45.
The fireing pin would hang up just enough to hit the primer and set off a round when the slide went forward.
My problem was solved when I turned the spring in the assembly around. I think your problem may be a litte harder to remedy.
After shooting and cleaning, run your finger back over the slide face and if you feel a bump your pin is exposed. Of thats not the problem, the pin may move forward with the action when you release the slide.
It may be a common problem with that series of auto, but I hope this helps.
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Old January 2, 2002, 08:44 PM   #4
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This is NOT normal or safe. You and your rifle have a problem that NEEDS TO BE FIXED! It is normal for the firing pin to make a light contact on the primer, most semi auto rifles will. This includes the M1a, Garands, Carbines, SKS, AK and many others. Most slam fires (the problems name) is caused by loading a round into the chamber and letting the bolt fly home without being slowed by picking up a cartridge from the magazine. Ammo could be another cause. To soft of a primer or the primer not being set to its full depth could cause this. Most factory ammo uses a mil-spec primer. Don't use handloads.

From your description it doesn't sound like the cause of your problem. It sounds like the first thing you need to do is a complete stripping and cleaning of the bolt. Inspect everything for excessive wear and clean everything well, very well. Replace anything that even appears suspect.

If changing ammo and your cleaning and inspection doesn't fix the problem get it to a gunsmith.
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Old January 2, 2002, 09:51 PM   #5
David Wile
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Hey Eric,

I agree with 3Gun. Your SKS is not working properly. I own three SKS rifles and a whole bunch of other semi autos, and I am being honest when I say that I have never - ever - had that problem with any of them. I would disagree with 3Gun when he says to not use handloads. I reload ammunition for all my semi autos, and they do not fire when the bolt goes forward. My AR15 in .223 will mark the primer on all ammunition very slightly if the ammunition is worked through the action with the charging handle. My AR15 in 7.62X39 does not mark the primers when worked through the action. For both rifles, however, it must be restated that neither ever fired a round until the trigger was pulled.

Semi autos are not designed to fire when the bolt is closed. If it fires, it is not working properly, and you should get it fixed.

Best wishes,
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Old January 2, 2002, 10:10 PM   #6
El Rojo
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No problems here either.

I have an SKS and it has never slam fired. I don't recall any of my semi-auto's ever slam firing with the exception of my Winchester .22 once, but I don't really know what happened there. I would get the gun checked out.
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Old January 2, 2002, 10:32 PM   #7
Eric1022
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Thanks for all the suggestions. The first thing I did when I happened the first time was to strip the gun and clean it really well. The slam fire happened only after about 30 rounds since the last cleaning and I didn't notice any excessive build up or excessive where anywhere in the action. After your suggestions, I stripped it again and took a much closer look. It appears the firing pin hole has a small divit that may have caused the firing pin to stick, thus slamming into the primer when the bolt closed again. I'm going to file the divit out and see if this corrects the problem.
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Old January 2, 2002, 11:54 PM   #8
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I remember reading on a web site that has a lot of info on sks rifles haveing a large section devoted to this problem. They said that one problem could be that the firing pin if removed and inserted backwards would cause this problem.
I did this once with mine and sure enough it would discharge on the feeding of the first round and it would also give multiple shot bursts at times. However I realized that however much fun it was it was dangerous and also could bring unwanted attention to me and my rifle.
Go to www.tapco.com and get yourself a new pin. They are pretty cheap, under 10 bucks!
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Old January 3, 2002, 01:04 AM   #9
Mike Irwin
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"Everyone who owns an SKS has this problem if they are honest about it..."

Well, I'm being 100 percent honest with you when I say that I have NEVER had this problem.

In over 4,000 rounds through my SKS I've never had a loading discharge. Not a single one.
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Old January 3, 2002, 01:06 AM   #10
Mike Irwin
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Mars,

Actually, I don't think you can install an SKS firing pin "backwards."

You can, however, install the pin UPSIDE DOWN. The nose will still point forward, but it has been rotated 180 deg.

There's a small shoulder cut on the pin that will lodge in the firing pin channel in the bolt with the nose sticking out, effectively turning it into a slam fire gun.
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Old January 3, 2002, 01:28 AM   #11
Jamie Young
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I just did a little search on this topic because it has come up before. I've heard from some reliable sources that when the SKS rifles first started coming over here in Mass Numbers some people were seriously injured in Slam Fire fiasco's. Here's the thread on this subject. http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...=SKS+Slam+Fire

Its the firing pin and I would take it to a Gunsmith right away.
It may need a good cleaning too. Your not using WD40 on your gun are you?
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Old January 3, 2002, 09:29 AM   #12
WilderBill
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I have heard of this happening and have experienced it.
The first year or two of producton used a firing pin spring until some Russian bean counter decided that by using hard primers they could do without it.
I wish there was a titanium firing pin with a spring, but there isn't as far as I know.
Also, check out www.simonov.net
There should be more on this there.
In any event the advice to always keep it pointed downrange goes double for the SKS.
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Old January 3, 2002, 09:34 AM   #13
Eric1022
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Nope, not using WD40. I have used Rem Oil and Remington Dry Lube. Both of these have never caused a large amount of filth in any of my rifles.
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Old January 3, 2002, 11:01 AM   #14
Jamie Young
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Ok just making sure.
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Old January 3, 2002, 11:58 AM   #15
Mike Irwin
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I have used Rem Oil and Remington Dry Lube. Both of these have never caused a large amount of filth in any of my rifles.

Oh CRAP!

Eric, that's very likely the largest part of your problem!

Do NOT lubricate the firing pin on your SKS!

To prevent slam fires, the firing pin and its channel should be kept dry.

When I was with NRA we received a number of reports of slam fires, and most revolved around one of the teflon-containing lubricants and commercial ammo. Apparently these lubricants do such a good job at reducing friction that the firing pin is able to gain enough speed to cause a slam fire.

This has also been reported with the German G43 rifle, and several other semi-auto rifles that have relatively heavy firing pins and no firing pin return spring.

Disassemble your bolt, and very thoroughly flush the firing pin and its channel with a degreaser.

Running these parts dry isn't going to hurt them.

BUT, if you really feel the need for lubricant on these parts, DO NOT USE A "SUPER" LUBRICANT!

Use a heavy bodied grease, like axel grease. That will lubricate the parts, but it will also act as a movement inhibitor to keep the firing pin from gaining enough speed during chambering to cause a slam fire.
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Old January 3, 2002, 12:37 PM   #16
Eric1022
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Mike,

Well if "super" lube is causing the problem, I have probably made it worse trying to correct it. Originally I put extra lube on the firing pin thinking that maybe it becoming stuck while out, in turn causing the slam fire. But what you said also makes a lot of sense, I can see how the firing pin could retain enough force to fire a round if it doesn't have any friction to slow it down when the bolt slams closed. I guess the only think I can do is try it and see what happens...and of couse only load 1 or 2 rounds for a while until I'm convinced I have found a solution.
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Old January 3, 2002, 01:17 PM   #17
Jamie Young
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Its a good thing you picked up on that Mike, I missed that. I think your actually the one that warned me about the WD40

Watch out what you use to lube your guns and where you put it. A few months ago I picked up some Gun Grease for my Guns and noticed that after I got done shooting the guns, all of them were dirtier than when I didn't use grease. Notable my FAL and Mini 14. I greased too much on the Mini 14 and when the gas would blow back the action, the crud would stick to the grease and not get blown out.
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Old January 3, 2002, 02:01 PM   #18
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I would strongly suggest that you not use grease of any kind on your firing pin or the channel in which it sits. If there is one thing that grease is good at, its trapping and holding crud. This crud can very possilby cause your firing pin to stick and cause a slam fire. Strip your bolt and clean the firing pin channel as well as possible. Spray some gun scubber in there and use a pipe cleaner to scrub your little heart out. Clean the firing pin well. Use a standard, non silicon gun oil and coat the pin. Wipe off all excess. This will be enough to protect from the elements. If you would like a detailed description on disassembly and reassembly, let me know and I will email you a text file that should help. Good luck.
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Old January 3, 2002, 05:43 PM   #19
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My understanding is that

this is a very common problem for all SKS of certain dates of manufacture - the old original ones (they have the free floating pin, and sometimes simply slam-fire). But I understand that SKSs after certain manufacture date (not sure what date) have a mechanism that keep the pin from flying forward on closure of the action....anyone know for sure?
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Old January 3, 2002, 05:48 PM   #20
Mike Irwin
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Never heard that, Futo.

Mine is a Chinese gun probably made in the mid to late 1980s, and it dimples the primer when the bolt closes.
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Old January 3, 2002, 05:48 PM   #21
leej
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Ok guys I apologize. Maybe there are some of you out there that have never experienced a slam fire or double fire with your SKS or Ak47. I am not talking about the M1 series of Rifles like the M14 M1 o M1 carbine they use a differnent firing pin system

Those of you who have not experienced this may not have fired the thousands of rounds that some people fire or you may have used Mil spec ammo with extremely hard primers.

The Sks and AK series of rifles are noted for double firing because of their floating firing pin systems. It is normal for them to do this.

Most of the weapons I have fired and owned were high quality original Military guns. Also I have owned and fired a few of the lower quality commercial grade weapons.

In every case all these rifles do indeed double fire and even slam fire when the round is even feed right from the magazine.

I have examined these rifles for defective firing pins, the wrong lube, defective reloads , soft commercial primers and you name it.

In very case the rifles I examined had no mechanical defects and that included some prettty shoddy commercially made ones.

Any of these military rifles can and eventually will slam fire.

Speaking of the M1 series of rifles these guns are much better in that catagory due to the fact that the firing pin is L shaped and has a projection that rides in a grove in the reciever untill the bolt cams shut.

True the firing pin does lightly hit the primer but usually these guns do not slam fire unless A. you put a round in the chamber and then slam the bolt closed instead of feeding it from the magazine or B. use a reload that has a high primer often coupled with an overly long case that has not been properly trimed coupled with case neck that is also overly thick. Put all this together and I have personally seen M1's and M1A's and especially M1 carbines blow sky high. As a Nationl match shooter I have at one time or another seen it all.

In conclusion I will emfatically state once again that slam fires with SKS rifle and Ak rifles are normal but can be dangerous depending on what ammo is being used. If the rifle is not defective it will probably not blow up. If it is defective or if the ammo is improperly loaded handloads it will blow up just like an M1 or M1a or M1 carbine will.
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Old January 3, 2002, 06:41 PM   #22
Mike Irwin
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LeeJ,

Of my 4,000 or so rounds, about 3,200 of those rounds are former Com-block military, the rest are Remington and Winchester commercial loads and handloads made using Federal and/or Remington primers.

I've used my SKS in all conceivable conditions, range and field, cold, hot, colder than my ex-wife, hotter than my next door neighbor's wife, rain, dust, mud, snow, and ice.

The critical difference might well be that I've neverlubricated the firing pin on my SKS.

But, as I said before, I've NEVER had a slam-fire on my SKS.

If it hasn't happened after 4,000 rounds, does that mean that it won't ever happen?

Nope.

What it does mean that in 4,000 rounds I've never had a slam fire, and I'm telling the truth.
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Old January 3, 2002, 10:02 PM   #23
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first thing your problem is called a slam fire. and it is common among sks rifles that have either the firing pin put in upside down. a filthy firing pin channel or the worng pin for the bolt. this sounds like a dirty pin channel and pin. this needs to be fixed as it can be leathal to you or others around you.

first thing is pull the bolt and take the pin out and clean the channel with solvent. i use a pipe cleaner to run in the hole

second thing is clean the pin with a brush and slovent.

put it back togther the corect way note it will go in upside down and will empty what ever you have in the mag when letting the bolt fly.

and it is just fine to use a small amount of remington oil or something like that in the channel i use it all the time. your pin should maove freely in al directions when the bolt is shaken.
you can try

www.simonov.net for all sks info you could ever need
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Old January 4, 2002, 05:33 AM   #24
cwalker3
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SKS' are prone to this problem and it is usually caused by the firing pin not being free to move inside of the bolt. When you shake the bolt, you should be able to hear the fring pin moving back and forth. If you don't hear it moving, take it apart and clean it. I have two and have never had the problem, but I pay particular attention to the bolt/firing pin when cleaning.
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Old January 4, 2002, 07:25 PM   #25
David Wile
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Hey folks,

I just checked my bound book to be sure of the date, and I can tell you that I started buying and selling SKS rifles back in 1990. Since that time, I have sold quite a number of them: mostly Norinco, but also a number of Russian ones made in the middle 50s. Most of the folks who purchased an SKS from me also shot them here in my back pasture. I personally own one Norinco and two Russian SKS rifles. Of all the SKS rifles that have been shot in my back pasture, not a single one had a slam fire. Of all the SKS rifles I sold, not a single person ever called me to say they had a slam fire. I do not use military surplus ammo in mine; I use all handloaded ammunition. When I sold ammunition for the SKS, I sold Lapua ammo with Boxer primers. They certainly were not "Milspec" ammo.

I do not know why Eric's goes bang when the bolt goes home, but I would not think of telling him that is normal. Mike Irwin has given us some good information on the SKS bolts and firing pins, and I suspect Eric's problem may lie in that area. However, the fact is his rifle is not operating properly, and he should get it fixed - whatever it may be.

Best wishes,
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