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Old January 11, 2001, 02:29 AM   #1
8200 rpm
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I need a plinker! Ruger Mini-30 or Romanian SKS. Here are my guidelines...

1) Preferably chrome-lined barrel for ease of maintenance.

2) Decent iron sights out to 150 yards.

3) Serious cartridge, no .22 LR.

4) Decent workmanship. I hate el cheapo guns. Sold a MAADI AKM without even shooting it. Why did I buy it?: I wanted a serious rifle to hold me over until I could afford an AR. Once I had my Bushmaster Dissipator, I got rid of that AKM. (I live in PRK and now regret it.)
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Old January 11, 2001, 07:19 AM   #2
kgs
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8200,

You didn't say if cost was an issue, and Obviously, an SKS can be had for less money. I am very familiar with the SKS; I own a Chinese version. Many people may have a negative opinion about the Chinese variation, however, mine has functioned flawlessly ever since I bought it for $100 back in 1992. I have put many, many rounds through it and never once has it failed. Moreover, 7.62x39 ammo can still be had for minimal cost. (I bought a 1000 rds for 100 bucks.)
My SKS is my favorite plinker. It's reliable, reasonably accurate, lightweight, has minimal recoil and it's easy to strip down and clean. And most importantly, it's hard to beat the cost effectiveness of this weapon IMHO!

kgs.
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Old January 11, 2001, 08:04 AM   #3
cheapshot
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I bought Norinco SKS from a friend of mine, who "upgraded" to a real fancy schmancy, custom built AR-15 with heavy barrel, with all the latest whiz-bangs.

His AR constantly jams with milsurp ammo, so he has to buy the expensive stuff and/or roll his own. Whereas my SKS will shoot anything you cram into it. Like KGS's SKS, mine has never jammed, not once after a couple thouand rounds.

On the oher hand, I've tried every way there is to put a scope on my SKS, and have come to the conclusion that it just wasn't meant to be. But that's OK, I can hit a target out to 300 yds with the iron sights.

Don't get me wrong, the AR is a mighty fine instrument, but as far as cheap and reliable at the same time, the SKS wins hands down...excellent plinker.

As far as ease of maintenance, the SKS wins that one too. You really don't have to clean it very much, but if you must, it takes down real easy. I usually just swab the bore and throw it in the trunk.
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Old January 11, 2001, 08:14 AM   #4
kgs
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Cheapshot,

Excellent point about scoping an SKS. I haven't had much luck either. However, being that the iron sights work good, I guess a scope is not the way to go on an SKS. Oh well.
Also, I don't clean mine very often either and it still functions perfectly. But like you said, if you want to clean it, disassembly is cake.

kgs.
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Old January 11, 2001, 09:07 AM   #5
ohen cepel
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I would go with the SKS.
I have never really like the mini 30. I think the mini 14 is great, I just never liked the .30. It also seems the hi-cap mags for the .30 are rare which is a drawback compared to the 14.

There are also tons of other military surplus stuff out there now that would be good if you want a bolt gun. M-44, Ishapore .308, or the Yugo Mausers.
Good guns and much less $$$.

Just my .02
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Old January 11, 2001, 09:39 AM   #6
KilgorII
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Millett makes a scope base that replaces the rear site and requires no machining to fit. I just got mine a couple of days ago and it seems to be very solid. No movement. It mounts a long eye relief scope ala "scout" style. A red-dot would also be a good idea.

Pros:

-very solid
-scout scope matches the sks' capabilities well
-no need for a shell deflector
-stripper clips can still be used

Cons:

-the mount must be removed to clean the gas tube

I decided that that wasn't a huge deal. Plus the mount is easy to remove with the two allen wrenches that came with it.

BTW, on topic. I would choose the SKS over the Mini-30. Better yet buy 3 SKS' and still have enough money for a case (1,000 rounds) of ammo for the price of a Mini-30 alone.

[Edited by KilgorII on 01-12-2001 at 03:09 PM]
 
Old January 11, 2001, 11:27 AM   #7
Jaeger
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Romanian SKS

I just bought a Romanian SKS at a gun show for $130. The stock looks like it has been dragged behind a truck for 100 miles but it is solid and has no cracks. Except for some finish wear around the front sight the metal appears new. (or at least arsenal refinished) There is no wear on anything and all of the numbers match. The exterior is nicely polished and blued. The internal working surfaces are all blued and have LOTS of machining marks. The bore is chrome lined and the integral bayonette has a matte chrome finish. I put about 100 rounds through it yesterday and it worked flawlessly. While it was still relatively clean and cool it was producing about 1"-1.5" groups at 50 yds., 2"-3" at 100 yds.. I am sure that a good peep sight would greatly improve things and I am going to look into modifying something to fit. A scope really isn't needed on this rifle. I would like to find a stock that fit me better but the standard stock is serviceable.

I don't have a Mini30 but I don't see how it could be that much better than the SKS. The only advantage I could see would be ease of scope mounting. I have a Mini14 and it is a decent little rifle with good mags. The lack of good Mini30 mags is a definite problem.

If it were me, I'd look around for a good Romanian SKS. You can order them but condition seems to vary widely from rifle to rifle. I was able to sort through a pile of them and pick the one that looked the best to me. I recommend that you do the same if at all possible.

I've owned an old RVN bringback Chinese SKS and one of the Russian SKSs. They all functioned flawlessly. The Russian looked the nicest but other than that didn't have anything over this Romanian rifle.

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Old January 11, 2001, 12:30 PM   #8
Nightcrawler
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If you want a new stock...

You can try http://www.cheaperthandirt.com or http://www.sksman.com

They have a lot of various synthetic models. Of course, most of them are going to require you to remove your bayonet, but they give you a longer length of trigger pull. I'm unsure if you can still use the high-cap 15, 20, and 30 round mags with these stocks. I'm planning on picking up a romanian SKS myself. I might leave the basic stock on. I like the bayonet and the short stock makes it ia little more compact and handy.

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Old January 11, 2001, 12:58 PM   #9
J. Parker
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I've had a couple of SKS's over the years. They function like there's no tomorrow. I don't remember a malfunction of any kind. I put aftermarket stock's on mine and it improves their looks substancially. You might want to consider the Paratrooper model also. Barrel's a little shorter, a little handier. As far as workmanship is concerned some can be pretty rough around the edges. It's just not a rifle you hang on the wall but it works everytime. Although I'm a big Mini-14 fan I really can't recommend the Mini-30. You'd be stuck with five round mags and a $450 plinker. Go with the SKS. Good Luck, J. Parker
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Old January 11, 2001, 01:09 PM   #10
Tony Rumore
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I bought a Mini-30 when they first came out. The accuracy with mine was downright pathetic. To this day, it was by far the worst shooting rifle that I have ever owned.

It was incapable of shooting a group, and I usually just got a "pattern" at 100 yards that was around 12" or so. It was normally very hard to measure these patterns at a 100 yards since there always seemed to be some rounds completely off the paper. Conversly, my AR-15 upper in 7.62x39 shoots sub-MOA.

I would pass on the Mini-30.


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Old January 11, 2001, 01:39 PM   #11
PDshooter
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Thats easy!!! BUY A SKS MUCH! MUCH! LESS For about $300.00 bucks you"ll get a rifle AND a case of AMMO! (1000rds) Just don't care for Mini-14 WAY over priced!:Barf
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Old January 11, 2001, 01:54 PM   #12
Nightcrawler
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SKS Carbines...

I'd prefer to get one of the "shorty" carbines, but they're hard to find, whereas a standard Romanian SKS can be had from Federal Arms for 134 bucks.

By the way, which stocks can be used with the 30 round detachable magazine?
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Old January 11, 2001, 02:09 PM   #13
9mmepiphany
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sks

8200rpm - can we still get sks's out here, maybe i need to look into that, i got distracted gathering ar's and fal's.

i have a russian (made by german pow's) one that i wouldn't part with, my next choice would be the romo. all else being equal, and it isn't, the ability to use stripper clips should not be underestimated.

kilgore II - can you post a picture of your scope mount, it sounds very interesting. i've been looking at putting a optima 2000 red-dot on a sks.
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Old January 11, 2001, 02:22 PM   #14
KilgorII
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This is the picture from thier website. I don't have a digital camera so I can't post a pic of mine.

I got mine from http://www.gunaccessories.com/Millet...ifle/index.asp for $34.95 + $7.95 shipping = $42.90 delivered. I don't know if that is the best price to be had though, but it's what I did.

*Edited to correct my math. I was off by $5.00.*

[Edited by KilgorII on 01-12-2001 at 03:04 PM]
 
Old January 11, 2001, 02:57 PM   #15
RazorsEdge
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My two cents. SKS are great!

But I do have a couple of picky points.

1) It is possible to get a slam fire with the SKS. This is where the wedge-shaped firing pin gets jammed in the forward position and the round goes off as you chamber it.
This has happenned to me, and is a fluke accident resulting from dry crud or rust causing pin to stick. Have seen it reported on other posts.

Solution: Keep bolt and pin clean and lubed, and test bolt face with your finger before loading. I would avoid loading chamber in the house, unless real threat.

2) I don't particularly like trigger pull or safety on SKS, wish some smart guy would invent $50 drop - in kit.

In spite of the above, the SKS is the best firearms deal ever!

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Old January 11, 2001, 03:00 PM   #16
Rmf33
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I wish that I still had my '54 Russian SKS(it was a beaut looks wise). The problem was the firing pin (un-sprung).It would slam-fire (?) the entire magazine("auto")occasionally. Anyway, I could never find a proper spring to fix the problem. I'd bet, knowing what I know now, it'd been an easy fix.
Bob
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Old January 11, 2001, 03:39 PM   #17
cheapshot
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I haven't had a slam fire yet (knock on wood), sure do appreciate that little bit of info though.

And yes the trigger does suck. I managed to get rid of that creepy first stage though, with a little polishing here and there. I left the sear alone though, just polished the sliding surfaces in the first stage.

I hadn't thought of putting a scout scope on it though.
The problem I was having was, the scopes I tried on it were cheapos, and the reticles bounced around in the tube, and loose zero. And putting a $500 leoupold on a $100 rifle just didn't seem right.
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Old January 11, 2001, 04:28 PM   #18
Dave R
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You folks are making it sound like the SKS would make a decent scout rifle. A drop-in synthetic stock would reduce weight. The nifty Millet scope mount gets the scout scope. Put a bipod on it if it floats your boat. Let's see,

$130 for the rifle
$50 for the Millet
$70 for the drop-in synthtic stock
$100 for scope? (Haven't prices long-relief scopes)

$350 for a handy, mid-powered scout rifle, 10 round seim-auto, sounds better to me than a stock Mini-30.

Most threads I've seen on SKS's say 2 MOA is about the accuracy level you'll get. Good enough?

Regarding slam-fires, I read an earlier post that says the quick check is to just rock the gun. The firing pin should be loose enough that you can hear it rock from end to end in the bolt. The one i owned briefly, and the few I've tried in the store, I could hear the pin. Its not hard to disassemble the bolt and check the pin.
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Old January 11, 2001, 05:04 PM   #19
Jamie Young
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If its Mini-30 vs. SKS Go with the SKS, for all the reasons everyone is posting. If its SKS vs. Mini 14 I'd go with the Mini 14. SKS rifles are great rifles. I use to own 2 russian rifles but sold one. Never Jam, Cheap ammo, not good mounting scopes. Iron Sights are really all you need if your only going to shoot 150yds. I never had problems hitting paper under 200yds with Iron Sights.
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Old January 11, 2001, 10:01 PM   #20
KilgorII
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A "scout" SKS

Dave,

That is what I'm in the process of building. Except I bought a Choate sporter stock with sling studs for $49.45 delivered (let me know if anyone wants their 800 number). I bought a Nikon 2X handgun scope on Ebay for $77 delivered. I have a Harris bipod I could put on the front sling stud if I choose, but doubt I will as it will add weight. With the Choate stock this thing is pretty light and the stock holds the action nice and tight. I may glass bed it for ***** and giggles using a $11 Brownell's kit to see what kind of accuracy this thing can really do. I'm still waiting on the scope to arrive.

I think this is going to be a hell of a fun rifle.
 
Old January 11, 2001, 10:15 PM   #21
8200 rpm
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9mmepiphany

Yes, subjects in the People's Republic of Kalifornia can still legally purchase the SKS as long as it has a fixed magazine of no more than 10 rounds. Romanian SKS is an example.
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Old January 12, 2001, 11:35 AM   #22
Dave R
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KilgorII, please let us know when you get to shoot your SKS "scout". I think you've got an interesting project going, there. What type of SKS did you use?
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Old January 12, 2001, 11:54 AM   #23
9mmepiphany
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8200 rpm

oh noooo...another black hole for my money to flow into. i may be following you down the path toward a sks scout. i guess i'll have to give century arms a call on monday.

thanks much
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Old January 12, 2001, 11:54 AM   #24
Mike Irwin
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Scoping an SKS...

If any of you have the issue, back in 1994 in April, I believe, I wrote an article that appeared in American Rifleman on "sporterizing" the SKS.

I dropped mine into a Choate synthetic stock and, more importantly, used a scope mount from GUNS: A Division of DC Engineering out of Detroit.

It replaces the receiver cover and is held in place by two or 4 (can't remember) allen screws so that it doesn't shift around in recoil.

It uses one of the stubby 4x32 scopes that are available for the SKS.

After doing that, I turned my SKS into a 1.25 to 1.5" 5-shot grouper at 100 yards off the bench.

For an SKS, that is OUTSTANDING accuracy.

BTW, the picture of the guy shooting the SKS is not me. It's a friend of mine.
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Old January 12, 2001, 03:01 PM   #25
KilgorII
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I am using a 1950 Tula Russian SKS. However, a Romanian would be much cheaper. I've got everything I need except the scope and rings. I'm still waiting... I did put a Harris bipod I had and a sling on it last night. It looks sweet. It doesn't have that junky look that some "tricked out" SKS' do. At least IMHO. I'll let you know what kind of accuracy I see. I will probably shoot it a little before I decide if I want to acraglass bed it. The Choate stock holds the action REALLY tight as is.

Mike,

I've got a bunch of back issue American Riflemen. Thanks for the heads up, I'll see if I can find your article.

KilgorII

 
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