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Old May 27, 2009, 10:05 AM   #1
farmall
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Practical SKS Modifications

Just bought a Norinco SKS, with Butler Creek folding stock. Plan on using it for a truck gun and plinker. Can anyone suggest any worthwile modifications to it? No "tacticool" stuff. I'm thinking scope and mounts, or maybe a peep sight.
What have you done to yours?

Andy
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Old May 27, 2009, 10:17 AM   #2
Technosavant
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I kept my SKS box stock, but I've read about a variety of mods.

If you feel the need for high cap mags, I hear the Tapco ones are the ones to have. Steer clear of Promag. For scope mounts, I also do not read good things of the receiver cover mounts- they just don't hold zero nor do they return to zero. You'll need a scout type mount or maybe a drill and tap receiver side mount. For just plinking, some kind of red dot sight might be better than a real magnifying scope mount- the SKS isn't exactly a minute of angle type gun.
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Old May 27, 2009, 10:36 AM   #3
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The only thing I have done to mine is install a tech-sights peep. I had to dremel the original rear sight down so the peep would work. It's a hunting gun, so I'm not worried about collector value. I would't mess with the stock or try to use detachable mags. I may add a recoil pad for extra length.
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Old May 27, 2009, 10:38 AM   #4
farmall
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In a truck, hi-cap mags are just something to snag on, so I'll stay stock there. My eyes are awful, and I think a 4x scout scope might work well. Never liked red-dot sights much. Past experience indicates to me that the reciever cover mounts are, in a large part, much of the source of SKS innaccuracy stories, so, if need be, I'll drill and tap.

Andy
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Old May 27, 2009, 10:55 AM   #5
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This is mine... it was accurized to where it now shoots 1 MOA groups out to 200 yards with tin can ammo ( so long as it doesn't get too hot )... no need for a flash hider, ( a target crown was added ), a bayonette or lug... I had a foldinf stock ( Ramline ) & hated it, so I sold it off & added this STI Monte Carlo stock ( required a little light fitting during the accurizing process )... I also had a nice Burris 4X compact & took it off reciently, & added a set of Tech Sites adjustable iron peep sights

I was having some issues with the 20 round fixed magazine, & went back to the 10 round fixed, & use stripper clips... I used to have the removable high cap magazines, but found them impractical, & tough to change... I can actually shoot longer & faster with the 10 round fixed box, &loaded stripper clips

with the addition of standard sling swivels, & some grinding of some extra parts, alongwith the addition of an M-1 web sling this gun is nearly perfect right now IMO...

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Last edited by Magnum Wheel Man; May 27, 2009 at 11:23 AM.
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Old May 27, 2009, 11:18 AM   #6
johnwilliamson062
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Quote:
The only thing I have done to mine is install a tech-sights peep. I had to dremel the original rear sight down so the peep would work.
BINGO!!! Great upgrade. Scope probably won't do you much better than the peeps since the rifle is no tack driver to begin with. I also dremeled off the sight as I found it was a pain to remove as instructed.

If you find a fixed 20 that works I would to add on to mine.
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Old May 27, 2009, 11:59 AM   #7
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I picked up the Williams sight set for mine, but I'm still waiting for my punches to arrive to install them. It's a fiber optic front and aperture rear. I've toyed with the idea of adding a red-dot but I really just want mine (Norinco "paratrooper") to be my knockaround gun. I was thinking about doing the whole 422c or whatever law import-conversion so I could switch to a folding stock to make it a nice trunk gun, but everyone says the folders tend to feel sloppy, so I guess for me it's really not worth it.
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Old May 27, 2009, 12:13 PM   #8
johnwilliamson062
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but everyone says the folders tend to feel sloppy, so I guess for me it's really not worth it.
I do not have an SKS folder, but my two BC folding stocks lock open and closed very securely with no appreciable wiggle when locked. I believe they produce one for the SKS.
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Old May 27, 2009, 02:34 PM   #9
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Can any of ya'll recommend a recoil pad that fits the Norinco?
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Old May 27, 2009, 03:04 PM   #10
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SKS Mods

First thing I would get is a trigger job by someone that knows what they are doing if it hasn't already had one, some sks triggers are terrible. My Norinco D model was one of the worst breaking at somewhere arond ten pounds. I had a gunsmith lower it to around 3 pounds and nice and smooth pull.
Bedding was the next thing on my list and I also fitted a muzzle brake not so much for recoil reduction but more to reduce muzzle jump.
Groups shrunk from what I would call minute of dinner plate to five shots into one and a half inches at 100 meters (110 yards)
I use it for controlling feral goats and so far longest shot on a goat has been just over 200yards but at that distance the limitations of the 7.62 x 39 cartridge are starting to be felt as the cartridge is starting to run out of go for humane kills.

Last edited by kiwi56; May 27, 2009 at 03:16 PM.
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Old May 27, 2009, 03:23 PM   #11
Que
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Quote:
but everyone says the folders tend to feel sloppy, so I guess for me it's really not worth it.
I picked up a Romanian in an ATI Ultralite folder. I only picked it up to return the gun to as close as original as possible, so the stock really didn't matter. In the short time that I had the gun in the ATI I found the stock to be so wobbly that I could not iamgine anyone shooting with it. I ended cutting the stock off for just the few days before I could get it into a new stock.

Below is a photo of how an SKS should never be, at least for me:



Below is the rifle above as it is now after I returned it to a proper condition. The only additions that I would ever consider would be a trigger job by Kivaari, a peep sight and/or a Chinese star 20 round fixed mag:

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Old May 27, 2009, 03:58 PM   #12
johnwilliamson062
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I have been less than impressed with the ATI folders, the BC ones with metal are much better IMO.
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Old May 27, 2009, 05:33 PM   #13
Jofaba
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You may want to take a gander at 18 USC 922R before you decide to "just do a few" modifications.
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Old May 27, 2009, 06:44 PM   #14
Technosavant
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Quote:
You may want to take a gander at 18 USC 922R before you decide to "just do a few" modifications.
Correct, but most Norincos were imported as sporting rifles- no grenade launcher, no night sights, no bayonet (not even a lug). Semiauto by itself does not a nonsporting rifle make, and if the OP sticks with the fixed mag, I think he'll be ok in that respect. The main reason 922r comes up so fast with the SKS is because of the Yugos which were imported as nonsporting, but as curio/relics, so they were allowable.

It can give a decent, hardworking, intelligent person a headache in nothing flat.
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Old May 27, 2009, 06:51 PM   #15
Tatsumi67
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I'm in a similar place. I have a stock matching # Yugo M59 and I really dont like it.

Its not that comfortable and its not that accurate. I'm thinkng about modifying it to make it more "shootable" but alot of aftermarket stuff is so tacticool and stupid.

What should I do?
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Old May 27, 2009, 06:56 PM   #16
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Kivaari, Tom, (first site below) is a pro with the SKS triggers. I learned about the trigger engagement danger from the second site given below. It's a site dedicated to the SKS and those guys know their stuff, just like the folks here on TFL. There is also a firing pin replacement with a return spring that prevents going full auto in the event that crude has built up in the firing pin channel. A great guy named Murray has developed that fp for the sks. It's a good idea to read up on those points.


http://www.sksboards.com/smf/index.php?topic=56002.0
http://www.sksboards.com/smf/index.php
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Old May 27, 2009, 08:05 PM   #17
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I'm a purist when it comes to mil surplus rifles...but I had to add a ramline stock to my norinco plus a tech-sight. I'm 6'4 with LONG arms and I just could not shoot the wood stock that came on my SKS. I recently added a tech sight and LOVE it! It is rock solid and very usable. A huge improvement over the stock sights. The only other thing I plan to do is to send my trigger to Kivaari to get cleaned up.
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Old May 28, 2009, 03:31 AM   #18
kiwi56
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sks

Ben Murray's spring loaded firing pin is a good addition especially if you plan to shoot commercial ammo, most sporting ammo in 7.62 x 39 has softer primers than that found in the Military surplus ammo, the spring loaded firing pin should dramatically reduce or eliminate the risk of a slam fire.
Another thing most of the receiver cover scope mounts are pos, if you want a solid mount and don't mind drilling the receiver the choate mount is one of the best mounting systems, bolted on but you can still strip the bolt assembly without touching the scope or the mount. From what I understand the Norinco has no collector value so that makes the decision to drill a lot easier.
1.5 MOA is usually achievable with these rifles if the barrel is in good condition but to close groups up less than 1.5MOA you are looking at expensive work. You always here stories of guys who say that their SKS shots sub MOA, hell some even say they do it with military surplus ammo.
Mine shoots 1.5 with reloads and just over 2 MOA with military ammo.
Watch out with most eastern bloc ammo, I am sure these countries have a town called Non Corrosive just so they can stamp it on the box. Don't believe everything that you read.
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Old May 28, 2009, 09:10 AM   #19
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That is a good point about the firing pin and slamfires. A Murray firng pin will remove all doubt, but at the very least it is critical that the firing pin and firing pin channel be thoroughly cleaned with all cosmoline removed. It is recommended to take the bolt apart, but I found it adequate to boil the bolt in a combination of Simple Green and water for 45 minutes. That firign pin should be rattling free in the firing pin channel with just a little bit of shaking. Keeping that bolt clean should be a regular part of maintenance with special attention to the firing pin.
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Old May 28, 2009, 12:08 PM   #20
farmall
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Thanks for all the insight, guys. I got the rifle for free, if I bought the guys pickup too. The banker gave a smile and nod to the truck, so I guess I own the worlds most expensive SKS.
My wife said I'm the only person on earth who would have negotiated a deal like this!!

Andy

Last edited by farmall; May 28, 2009 at 12:12 PM. Reason: made no sense whatsoever!!
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Old May 28, 2009, 12:30 PM   #21
Que
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BTW, even if your gun has a previous owner do not assume that they properly cleaned the bolt of cosmoline. I just acquired an SKS that had been shot what appeared to be a fair amount and the bolt/firing pin channel was still full of cosmoline. The firing pin would hardly budge. Selling that gun might have been the smartest thing that he did.
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Old May 28, 2009, 04:09 PM   #22
kiwi56
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SKS Firing Pin

If you remove the bolt assembly you should be able to shake it and hear and feel the original firing pin rattle.
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Old May 28, 2009, 08:43 PM   #23
TEDDY
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scope

I got a weaver scope base for a buck and mounted it on rear cover.bought a norinco 4 power scope from grafs for $13 now about $20.the cover can be tightened.I dont know what kind of groups it will do but it hits anything I aim it at.
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Old May 28, 2009, 09:02 PM   #24
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in my research the only safe bet for a scope mount is either then ultimak rail or a mount from scoutscopes.com the scoutscopes mount is kinda short though and might put your scope over the ejection port so a shell deflector might be a good idea. in either case a long eye relief scope in necessary.
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Old May 28, 2009, 09:22 PM   #25
farmall
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Thanks for the firing pin tips. I turned wrenches for too many years to trust ANYONE'S maintenance but my own. Need to get it out and see how it shoots. Might end up working on the new truck first, or getting my old one sale-ready. I now have an $8800 SKS, and/or a $200 pickup.
HMMMMM!
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