View Full Version : new to rifles, new to this forum (An SKS question)

October 12, 2004, 01:26 PM
I purchased a Yugoslavian SKS for 130 out the door a couple of months ago. I can't wait to shoot this gun once my school work starts to wind down. But before I do any shooting, I need to thoroughly clean this gun. Why? Because it has about a quarter of an inch of cosmoline all over it. It seems to have been fired very little and the wood on the rifle is excellent. Does anyone have any suggestions for cleaning it? What to use to do so? I am open to all suggestions.

Also, does anyone have ideas for worthy mods to the SKS? Is it worth it to add on a scope of this rifle fine the way it is? Thanks!

45 Fu
October 12, 2004, 01:38 PM
For cleaning you need plenty of elbow grease, rags, pipe cleaners, a toothbrush, and a good solvent. Something like Gun Scrubber might work well but be extra careful about gettting it on any wood or plastic parts. Also, if you use Gun Scrubber, be sure to properly lube everything as it may cause rust - especially in the gas tube.

As for optics, don't invest in anything big. The SKS is an accurate rifle, but it isn't a bench rifle. Two to three inches at 100 yards is about average which is good enough for most applications within the capability of the rifle. A small, fixed power scope is a good bet and they can be found (with the top reciever mount, many times) cheaply. You can also find good dot sights for cheap if that fills your needs better. A good place to look is:


There are others, as well, but I have always had good luck with them.

I would stay away from the detatchable magazines. I have never had any luck with them working well nor have I known any to work well enough to justify the cost. They aren't that much so that ought to tell you something. The SKS is a grest rifle. You'll enjoy it.

October 12, 2004, 02:12 PM
Well, when I had to clean both a Russian and Chinese, I went out back, away from fire, spark, any thing that might have caused me to become a ball of flame.

I then took gasoline. It cut the grease off in no time. Then lubed with 30 weight motor oil.

I find that motor oil for my guns leaves a better protective coating than anything else I have ever tried.

Again, I caution you, if you cut the grease with gas, DON'T HAVE ANY FLAME, SPARKS, OR STUPID PEOPLE AROUND YOU!

October 12, 2004, 02:58 PM
Best cleaner I have found for cosmoline on metal is brake parts cleaner. It is cheaper than any of the gunstore alternatives and works better. I did my Yugo's this way, and used a disposable turkey-pan for the smaller bits, spraying then soaking them.

Be sure to clean the bolt well and ensure that the firing pin travels freely in its chanel. Best to disassemble the bolt if possible.

Be sure to oil everything well afterwards, as the brake parts cleaner leaves the metal VERY dry and prone to rust.

October 12, 2004, 03:40 PM
Brake cleaner and carb cleaner both work well for taking off cosmo. Make sure you get the bolt cleaned good. If not, it is possible that it will slam fire, something you definitely don't want if your'e not ready for it.

As for accessories, there is not much you can do on a Yugo legally. They are imported as a C&R gun, and modifying them takes them out of the legal to import status. And thanks to the feds, anything that can't be imported can;t be assembled, unless you get it down to under 10 foreign parts. Here is a good link explaining this: http://www.victorinc.com/SKS-FAQ.html

October 14, 2004, 04:08 PM
So if I were to buy a Romanian or Chinese SKS I could mod them to use 30 rounders? Or is this, too, not worth it?

October 14, 2004, 04:09 PM
Also, if I were to use carb or break cleaner on the SKS, what would I use to "protect" the metal after I had cleaned it? RemOil, Hoppes #9, or the likes?

October 14, 2004, 05:46 PM
I have yet to hear of anyone who was ultimately pleased with the 20 or 30 rd SKS mags.

I would use a very light coad of BreakFree CLP or Rem Oil or similar, and a little grease around the bolt and carrier.

October 14, 2004, 11:08 PM
I used mineral spirits on my Mosin-Nagant M44 to get the cosmoline off, probably not the best stuff but it worked on the metal bits. The wood I just wiped down and used furniture cleaner on it. After it had dried, I put a coat of Break Free on the metal parts.

October 15, 2004, 10:38 PM
Try engine degreaser from the auto parts store.

Stick with the factory 10-round magazine - it is plenty fast if you practice a little with the stripper clips.

October 16, 2004, 12:57 AM
A good way to get the cosmo out of the stock is to 1st wipe it down with mineral spirits then bake it for aboujt an hour or so at about 200 degrees. Make sure you line the bottom of the oven with foil because the cosmo wil come oozing out. Also about every 15 minutes take the stock out of the oven and wipe off the liquified goo. When you get the cosmo out the give it a couple of coats of tung oil. Here's one of my yugo's done that way. Mark