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Old November 3, 2009, 05:15 PM   #1
Departed402
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Recieved SKS - need info

Among some guns received from a relative was an SKS rifle. I don't know a lot about SKSes other than:

1. About a decade ago these guns could be bought dirt-cheap.
2. It's semi-auto
3. and it was made in China

It looks like it's totally stock, other than the bayonet is missing, no aftermarket stuff. I've done some reading on Wikipedia, and it left me craving more as Wikipedia often does. So if anyone can give me any more information I'd appreciate it. Just about any you can tell me will help.


The attachment is a picture of one that looks similar (not mine).
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File Type: jpg SKS_Flickr.jpg (50.9 KB, 81 views)
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Old November 3, 2009, 05:47 PM   #2
45reloader
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http://www.surplusrifle.com/sks/index.asp

Look at the right side maintenance links to.

nice gun
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Old November 3, 2009, 06:01 PM   #3
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well its a gas operated semi automatic rifle. meaning when a round is fired some of those gasses are diverted to the gas piston which is driven back cycling the action. ammo is 7.62x39 and is comparable to the venerable 30-30
they are extremley reliable rifles and typically see 2-3 moa. there is a slew of aftermarket accessories from adjustable stocks to hi cap mags and tactical rails. A note on the mags the only reliable mags i have found are the tapco 20rd mags. some people try to mount a scope to these rifles by replacing the reciever cover with one with a rail on it. the problem with this is there is a lot of vibration there and scopes mounted this way dont tend to hold zero very well. you can also mount a scope by putting a tri rail over the existing front handguard/gas tube. the problem with this is you will have to remove every time you want to clean the gas tube. Another option is to install a peep sight for better accuracy. All in all they are great rifles that shoot cheap ammo. If medium game is your quarry take a look at federals power shock or the cor bon hunter. I have used both on deer with excellent results. If you can think of a more specific area you have a question on just ask as i am not exactly sure want you want to know about it.
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Old November 3, 2009, 06:09 PM   #4
kiwi56
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SKS

www.sksboards.com is a good place to get info on the SKS
My advice is to clean it thoroughly and keep it that way, one thing to be aware of is there is no firing pin spring on the sks and if this sticks you can get doubling or even a fullauto burst. This problem is especially prevelant if you are shooting commercial ammo as the primers in that are generally a lot softer than the military surplus ones.There is a guy called Ben Murray on sks boards sight who makes after market spring loaded firing pins and they are not expensive, a good investment to avoid an embarrassing situation . So far I have fitted both of my SKS's with his firing pins and no problems.
The SKS is a very easy rifle to take down for cleaning and if your using military surplus you will need to clean it frequently.
Most of the military ammo for the sks is berdan primed and marked uncorrosive but best to treat every pack of commy ammo as corrosive until proven otherwise.
I am sure there is a town in china called Non Corrosive just so they can stamp it on the ammo boxes.
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Old November 3, 2009, 06:19 PM   #5
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The steel cased Russian ammo they sell in commercial boxes now is non corrosive and safe to use with the standard firing pin configuration unless it is defective or stuck. It should rattle back and forth pretty freely in the bolt. Fun guns for blasting but do not expect super accuracy from them. Sometimes they suprise you with accuracy but do not expect a miracle. No one is importing them now that I know of, so nice ones are no longer dirt cheap if you intend to sell it. In relative terms the ammo is cheap and you can stock up on it, and it makes a good backup reserve gun also, if you want to keep it for "emergencies". As long as it is test fired and proven reliable with your ammo. If it is not your idea of a great gun, you can sell them now for 200$ and up, depending on condition and local market.
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Old November 3, 2009, 07:43 PM   #6
DnPRK
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Chinese SKSs could be of military or commercial grade. The military ones had 20" barrels that screwed into the receiver. The commercial ones had barrels that were pinned into the receiver, or shortened barrels, or had detachable AK magazines.
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Old November 3, 2009, 07:58 PM   #7
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SKS's...

are rugged and reliable, Jon E. Eman. They were designed to WORK, with little or no maintenance, in the hands of an illiterate Russian Army conscript. They're built like a brick pizzeria, mostly machined, not stamped like an AK. Russia sold the designs and the tooling to China, and the Chinese ones work just like the Russian ones. Several other countries made them, as well, with some minor variations.

There are 2 warnings with the SKS: (1) Don't try extra-capacity after-market magazines with 'em; most of such mags give problems. If you can't hit what you're after with the 10 rounds in the SKS's magazine (20 rounds in one Chinese model) there are stripper clips available which work almost as fast as a magazine change, and those do work just fine. (2) As noted above, you can get slam-fires with the SKS, actually with any semi-auto rifle that doesn't have a firing pin return spring, even the vaunted M1 Garand. The fix for this is either to have a firing pin return spring installed--there is an outfit that does this; check www.surplusrifles.com for who it is and contact info. Or, you can just keep the firing pin channel in the bolt, clean-clean-clean, so that when you open the bolt and tip the rifle vertical up and then vertical down, you can see the firing pin slide back and forth of its own weight. Slam-fires on the range aren't really a problem unless the slam-firee drops the rifle in surprise while it is still shooting--Now, THAT would be dangerous! But if you are aware that it COULD happen, and just hold the rifle pointed downrange until it stops its nonsense, then it's no big deal.

I had one slam-fire with an SKS--instead of going "Blam!" as normal, it went "Blalam!" and the 3rd round jammed. No big deal. But not something that you want as a regular thing. Took the rifle home and cleaned the firing pin channel more thoroughly, and no problems since.

BTW, with the SKS's specifically, there is a problem if you want to modify it in any way, by either subtraction OR addition. The BATFE rules say that you can have only 10 or fewer of a list of parts if you modify the rifle at all--Thank you very much, President Clinton!--Check www.surplusrifles.com or www.sksboards.com for particulars if you want to do that.

Other than the above, shoot & enjoy. The SKS will never be a tack-driver, but it also will never fail to go bang when you pull the trigger.
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Last edited by Smokey Joe; November 3, 2009 at 08:06 PM. Reason: The usual--had another thought.
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Old November 3, 2009, 08:11 PM   #8
kiwi56
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SKS

Some of the commercial Norinco had a few differences like no stripper clip guides and both M & D models used AK mags, M's usually had 16.5 inch barrels and the D's usually had a 20.5 inch barrel. We struck some 94 Norinco FMJ that was still corrosive inspite of the box being marked noncorrosive.
Military ammo is cheap to shoot but hardly likely to give outstanding accuracy. With mine, I mostly shoot reloads through both of them and that tightened groups up quite noticably. In most cases with a good barrel groups can be tightened up to around 2" and with my Norinco I was lucky enough to get 1.5 MOA with reloads but that opens up to over two inches with Military spec. I have heard some guys say that their SKS shoots well under sub MOA groups but I have heard the talk but never actually seen one do anything like that.
The 7.62 X 39 is an adequate cartridge for most species of deer out to about 150 yards and then the limitations of the cartridge itself become evident.
Generally thought of as the equivalent of the 30-30 but probably a bit over rated at that as from light through to heavy bullets the 30-30 does hold a slight advantage.
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Old November 3, 2009, 08:19 PM   #9
jdc1244
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Some other resources.

http://www.sff.net/people/sanders/sks.html

http://yooperj.com/SKS-11.htm

http://www.murraysguns.com/sksown.htm

http://www.alpharubicon.com/leo/thesksshooter.htm
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Old November 3, 2009, 11:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
They were designed to WORK, with little or no maintenance, in the hands of an illiterate Russian Army conscript.
A misconception/myth. The Soviets actually had higher literacy rates than we did here in he USA; Russia and most ex-Soviet states still do.
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Old November 4, 2009, 01:44 AM   #11
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If the OP has an original Chinese series, it should be the better quality among the Chinese exports.

His looks like a Russian, and if so they are reportedly the best.

That is excellent condensed info from you folks, and very much more can be found at "SKSboards".

Tragically, according to an online article from "The Sacramento Bee", a guy either was not familiar with or forgot the risks of slam-fires and he was killed a few years ago at a gun range. Can't remember whether his ammo was US-made or not.
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Old November 4, 2009, 09:16 AM   #12
Departed402
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Thanks for the info and the links everyone. I think I'm going to leave the stripper clip alone, but I'll probably do something about the firing pin.


By the way, I found this comment hilarious!
Quote:
I am sure there is a town in china called Non Corrosive just so they can stamp it on the ammo boxes.
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Old November 4, 2009, 02:43 PM   #13
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You should go to Survivor's SKS forum. You need to read up on how to check for negative sear engagement. Many SKS's have it and the rifle can discharged if dropped even with the safety engaged. The firing pin is a good thing to consider replacing too.

Kivaari is a guy that can fix your sear engagement if it's bad and really improve your trigger, all for $65. My Yugo had this problem but I would have sent it to him anyway just for the improvement.

Murray's for the pin and Kivaari for the trigger. They both have their own section on Survivor's SKS forum.

Congrats on your SKS addiction
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Old November 4, 2009, 04:23 PM   #14
kiwi56
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SKS Triggers

Talking about triggers, my sks was probably one of the worst it was as creaky as a dungeon door and trying to figure out where and when it was going to release was just about impossible. You seemed to keep pulling and pulling and when it did finally release it scared the crap out of you.
My weights on my trigger scale went up to eight pounds and the trigger actually released somewhere above that, guesstimating somewhere in the vicinity of ten pounds. I got a very experienced gunsmith to drop the weight down and now it has a nice smooth pull releasing at about 3.4 pounds.
While my trigger was heavy even by SKS standards about six to seven pounds would probably be the average.
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Old November 5, 2009, 01:30 AM   #15
kiwi56
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SKS

As an after thought I should explan that the SKS is a very easy weapon to field strip for cleaning and relatively few tools are required to accomplish it.
Sksboards and some om the other military surplus rifle forums have a lot more detailed info on disassembly.
Biggest problem with them is mounting a scope, receiver cover mounts quality varies from reasonable to pos. The trouble with the receiver cover mount is that every time you remove the cover you have to rezero your scope.
My SKS had already had one hole drilled in it before I got it which made the decision to drill the three other holes so much easier, luckily we were able to use that hole when we bolted on the Choate mount which is probably one of the most solid ways of mounting a scope on an SKS.
The beauty of the Choate mount is that you can still remove the receiver cover and bolt assembly without disturbing the scope or its mount. I zeroed my Sks about five years ago and haven't had to touch it.
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Old November 5, 2009, 04:42 AM   #16
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One relatively obscure fact about the SKS is that it was issued in very limited numbers to some advance bodies of Russian soldiers at the end of WWII, and there are photographs of Russian troops fighting in Berlin armed with SKS rifles.
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