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Old January 6, 2013, 05:05 PM   #1
tahunua001
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SKS: The Poor Man's EBR

hello all,
as many of you may know I gave into the pandemonium and bought a Chinese SKS for the simple reason that my LGS was selling them for their actual value rather than profiteering prices. after sneaking it into the house and hiding it under the bed I started doing a little research on them and found out mine is a 1959 manufacture from factory 26...wherever that is. now I've owned combloc rifles before and never cared for them. I own a pair of mosin nagants and even sporterized one to try and make it a little more user friendly but alas, that failed miserably. I used to own an AK clone and hated it so much that after 3 years of trying to adjust/adapt to it I finally sold it. now there I was, sneaking around with a gun that I never wanted and more than likely would not like.

once I got an opportunity to clean the grease out(there was more than an old Ford tractor) I found out that the stock had shrunk and is now so poorly fitted that it wobbles in place. the handguard looks like it's rotting in place and obviously does not match the stock. added was the fact that it had the same iron sights as my much hated AK47 so needless to say I was not very happy with myself for giving into panic buying and getting the scariest looking thing on the rack just because it was there. so then I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to try another one of my projects:
build a serviceable, affordable evil black rifle. the criteria I placed on myself were;
1. final budget must not exceed $400
2. must be able to be used for both home defense and hunting(my definition of hunting is able to kill a deer out to 150 yards).
3. must be able to to this with only commonly available tools so no lathes, drill presses, or other expensive equipment.

first order of business was the sights. iron sights are my Achilles Heal and combloc leaf sights are no exception so given some TFL member's suggestions I decided to go with a Tech-Sights TS200 aperture system(cost $59 dollars) as I tend to do better with peeps. next came stock, a poorly fitted stock is not only irritating but can be downright detrimental in more than one way so I decided to go with a tapco T6 stock with the ever so tacticool pistol grip and 6 position M4 stock.(price at Midway:$76). last was ammo capacity. though stripper clips are easy enough to use and work very well with this particular rifle I decided to upgrade to a higher yet still reasonable for hunting 20 round magazine also from tapco(price at midway $18).

the tapco parts are backordered into next week so hopefully I'll have them by the end of the month but the sights shipped right away. they aren't as simple as many people make them sound. removing the leaf sights is necessary as they will impede your sight picture as well as the existing take down pin and this is no easy task on a rifle filled with dirt and grime and a lot of parts brazed in place. it took me a couple hours to change between actually working and trying to find the proper tools. today I decided that rather than wait on the stock and mag I would take it out and at least get it hitting close.

my first shot was a shameful flinch as I was expecting a shoulder crushing kick like my AK but about slapped myself for the action as this thing barely kicks at all, comparable to an AR15. adjusting the TS200 is also a huge PITA but I accomplished this using an unspent bullet to offer adjustments and a bent staple to depress a retention detent. I only brought 2 stripper clips with me and spent 13 of my 20 rounds of russian surplus just getting to the bullseye at 25 yards. figuring that this was about as good as I was going to get on a cold day like this I decided to just waste my last 7 rounds seeing if it was possible to hit a standing oxygen tank at 200 yards.

First shot: Bang...looking for dust cloud... PING! a hit, ok lets try that again
second shot: Bang...looking for dust cloud... PING! a hit, shot after shot gave that satisfying ping telling you that it is doing what you want it to. only the last shot missed and quit narrowly to the left and just about inline from where I was aiming. for me with irons this is AMAZING accuracy for lack of a better word to to think it came from a cheap, beat up, Chinese piece of junk chambered in 7.62x39mm.

overall I am starting to eat my own words about this rifle and can't wait for the stock and mag to arrive so I can give a complete report but for now I am willing to say that for $239+59+18+76=$393 this gun may actually turn into a regularly used range toy, hunting gun and maybe even home defense if nothing else is within reach.
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Last edited by tahunua001; January 6, 2013 at 05:17 PM.
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Old January 6, 2013, 05:20 PM   #2
chris in va
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I'm impressed you got a Chinese SKS for that price.

I had a Yugo with all that junk on the barrel. I'd entertain getting another if it was a Russian or paratrooper and had those TechSights. Mine had the silly Mojo ghost rings.

On a side note, I find it ironic that my Garand is almost identical in every regard to an SKS, just more powerful. It even feels the same when firing.

Last edited by chris in va; January 6, 2013 at 05:46 PM.
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Old January 6, 2013, 05:45 PM   #3
spacecoast
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Quote:
my first shot was a shameful flinch as I was expecting a shoulder crushing kick like my AK
My AK was painful to shoot until I replaced the original shorty stock/rock hard butt plate with that same adjustable Tapco stock and a recoil pad. Now it's downright pleasant to shoot, not wimpy but not painful at all.
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Old January 6, 2013, 06:09 PM   #4
tahunua001
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my AK had a tapco side folder and though it was one of the more pleasant that I've tried, still was far from comfortable. I could usually only make it through a magazine or so without a heavy jacket to cushion it.
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Old January 6, 2013, 06:46 PM   #5
doofus47
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My SKS is a also a joy to shoot. I bought a cheapo bubba-ized Russian back when bubba-ized Russians were cheap. Someone had swapped the original bolt cover for one with a mount and crappy 4x scope. I gave the scope away, but I use the see through scope mount as a poor-man's peep and the rifle is more accurate than I am.

I have a 7.62x39 upper for my AR and although I have 30 rnd mags for the AR/AK, I honestly don't know which one I would grab in an alien invasion scenario.
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Old January 6, 2013, 07:36 PM   #6
Hairbag
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Sks's are great guns BUT they can be very dangerous guns too. There are many easy fixes to make them safe. I STRONGLY suggest checking out www.yooperj.com and go to the safety section on sks's. Also check out his trigger job. Every Sks owner should visit this website and learn about the sks. Also check out utube and search for popped primers on sks's there is a guy on there that explains the issue and a easy fix. Took my yugo to the range last week and there were popped primers all around me I could not figure out what was wrong until i visited the sks survivors board. Many of these fixes are inexpensive and make a nice winter project. A new murrays spring loaded firing pin is a good place to start.
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Old January 7, 2013, 02:45 AM   #7
Ignition Override
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Glad that you discovered the serious improvements with the fully-adjustable version of the SKS Tech Sight.

Many of those who dumped heaps of money into an AR hate to see an effective rifle with decent sights for hundreds less than what they paid....a year ago.

For those who are unaware of Gunbroker, they had four full pages of SKS yesterday, and many at prices close to what they were in March 2008.
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Old January 7, 2013, 12:34 PM   #8
tahunua001
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even though I am starting to love this gun, I still think I would rather have an AR15. the accuracy and flexibility of the SKS is really nothing to sniff at and for the price is kindof hard to beat right now but the AR15 platform is just way more versatile and can perform many of the functions that an SKS can, only better. this is just my personal opinion, of course and it's worth exactly what you paid for it but no matter what you do to an SKS, it will never be suitable replacement for an AR15, though with the right mods, for the right price, can be a cheap alternative to the AR15.
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Old January 7, 2013, 02:27 PM   #9
dalegribble
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i got my sks back when the chicoms were $89 ea. it is an excellent gun when used with the standard 10 round mag. i have never had any luck with the aftermarket 20 or 30 round mags. have they improved any? i bought a small 3x9 scope with the aftermarket cover and rings. it shoots well with no problems with gun or scope. i have less than $200 in my sks including the useless hicap mag. what is this sks/ak flinch people people are talking about? comeon guys its only a little ol 762x39 not a 7mm mag
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Old January 7, 2013, 03:32 PM   #10
tahunua001
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dale, I've shot AKs and VZ58s that gave me more bruises than a 300 weatherby magnum, I would take a 7mm rem mag over an AK with a wire stock any day
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You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
Bean counters told me I couldn't fire a man for being in a wheelchair, did it anyway. Ramps are expensive.-Cave Johnson.
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Old January 9, 2013, 10:25 PM   #11
bustersmaster
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A wire stock hurts my shoulder just to look at it. I have enough arthritus and shoulder pain to make grown men cry, but my SKS and my AK with regular stocks are both pussycats in the recoil department.
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Old January 9, 2013, 11:59 PM   #12
jason_iowa
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the sks and aks really are nice rifles. They are not feats of engineering or anything but they are good at what they do which is chucking a fair sized chuck of lead a few hundred yards.
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Old January 10, 2013, 12:30 AM   #13
Ricklin
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The SKS is a brilliant piece of engineering. It's not pretty, but it sure gets the job done. I will forever be a fan of the SKS. I have yet to put my hands on a Yugo, currently I have a Ruskie and a Chinese. The Chinese does yeoman duty on the back deck of my fish boat. The Ruskie will stay as issued. Been as SKS fan for a lot of years now. Ya'll can keep the AR's, not a fan.
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Old January 10, 2013, 02:51 AM   #14
Aaron1100us
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I had what I thought was a nice sks 20 years ago. Had a folding stock, bayonet and 30 round mag. The only thing I didn't like was the way the mag is. My friends who had AR's told me sks's were junk and wanna be AK's. I thought it was nice and it was pretty accurate. It was sure fun to shoot. Thats what got me hooked on the 7.62x39. It would punch holes in 1/4 inch steel like a hot knife through butter.

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Old January 10, 2013, 03:14 AM   #15
Xfire68
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Back when I was in the Air Force in the early 90's SKS's were finding there way to just about every gun shop in the Rapid City SD area. A few of my fellow Airmen bought them and claimed there were great for the money and back then they were $99. I had no idea that they were as good as they were being new to shooting sports I passed on the opportunity. I went and bought a new Savage 110 30.06 which I loved but, I could have bought 3 SKS's and a ton of ammo for the same price!


The good old days!
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Old January 10, 2013, 01:51 PM   #16
tahunua001
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this is just my personal feelings on the matter but if I would have picked this rifle up for $90 back when ammo was 8 cents a round I would be completely in love with it and little things like rotting and shrunken wood would do little to contain my joy. on the other hand as I did not get it for that price and the ammo is over a quarter a round on a good day, it starts to lose a bit of it's appeal. anything that I have done with the SKS can also be done with a Ruger 10/22 which is cheaper to acquire and cheaper on ammo. you can't do much hunting with a 10/22 but if all you want is a plinking rifle then the 10/22 is a better deal IMHO. other guns like hipoint carbines are just as reliable, cheaper on ammo, and can be used for HD/SD/hunting and would probably do just as well at the task as a 7.62x39. however with all that said I still like my SKS and don't think I'll be selling it any time soon.
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ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the crap people said I did-Albert Einstein
You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
Bean counters told me I couldn't fire a man for being in a wheelchair, did it anyway. Ramps are expensive.-Cave Johnson.
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Old January 11, 2013, 04:16 AM   #17
okiewita40
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I think the SKS is an underrated rifle. My Norinco shoots 2-3 moa with silverbear ammo. Not bad for open sights at 100 yards. Just remember that they are a battle rifle shooting an intermediate round.

I don't like the whole tacticool stuff on some of them. But I don't judge others that do it. Just take it out and shoot it. Some of them are good shooters. I bought mine to deer and hog hunt with. And since where I hunt 75 yards would be a long shot. The SKS works just fine.
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Old January 13, 2013, 04:27 AM   #18
Ignition Override
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Somebody posted a graphic, clear color photo of a large feral hog in Texas, which dropped in its tracks due to a single jhp bullet from an SKS.
One photo showed the nasty wound.

A friend just killed a 200-lb. hog with his 30-30 days ago, so any SKS should do well with the proper aim.
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