View Full Version : The 7.62x39 Rifle & Ammunition Marketplace?

April 11, 2005, 12:00 PM
I would have never thought of it, but talking with you guys (and gals ;) ) on here has made me consider the rifles chambered in 7.62x39 vs. the more "conventional" .30/30 or .38/.357 models...

1. What's the SKS marketplace like? All surplus? What should I look for?
2. Any better choices in a "farm/ranch/truck/self-defense" rifle?
3. Will the 7.62x39 round stick around at low cost or go the way of the Dodo bird?
4. Why is this round inexpensive (relatively speaking)?

April 11, 2005, 01:03 PM
I don't know a thing about the SKS. Never even held one in my hands. But I do know a thing or two about the 7.62X39 round.

You might checkout some of the AK-47 variants if you like that round, some can be had for under $300 with total reliability.

The 7.62 round is inexpensive because it is the caliber of the battle rifles used in Bulgaria, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Hungry, India, Israel, North Korea, Poland, Romania, Russia and Yugoslavia. I don't imagine that they'll stop making ammunition for it. The only thing that may make this rifle, or the ammunition go 'the way of the dodo' is politicians.

April 11, 2005, 01:18 PM
1. What's the SKS marketplace like? All surplus? What should I look for? The SKS was made for military use, and there was never any specific commercial sales of them when new. The Yugo's on the market are generally in good shape but are heavy for SKS's due to their thicker barrel and grenade launcher. A decent Norinco (Chinese) is probably your best bet in terms of price-vs-shootability. Russian versions are prized because they're the rarest, but for a shooter the Norinco is probably the best choice.
2. Any better choices in a "farm/ranch/truck/self-defense" rifle?I don't think so - others may disagree. Stick a $45 TechSight on it and you have a great 150-yard all-purpose knockaround rifle.
3. Will the 7.62x39 round stick around at low cost or go the way of the Dodo bird?It's been the standard round of the ComBlock for decades, and it's not going away any time soon. There are far too many rifles in the world that are chambered for this round for it to lose popularity within our lifetime.
4. Why is this round inexpensive (relatively speaking)?See above. It's just like the old McDonalds signs - BILLIONS SERVED.

April 11, 2005, 01:25 PM
Bought a Mini 30 for just the reason you talked about. Was tired of picking up brass for my other calibers to reload and just wanted some cheap plinking ammo. The Ruger costs a bit more than an AK or SKS but I think it is worth it. Has reasonable accuracy, not a MOA shooter, but put an Aimpoint 7000sc2x on it (or really any kind of scope) and you can be blasting bowling pins at 100 yds. all day for a few bucks. The Russian ammo seems to be getting better all the time; clean powder, steel cases now treated with a polymer or zink (no more lacquer) and with a S.D. of about 25 fps. not bad for ammo that runs under 2 bucks a box. Can't see where the supply is going to dry up, the 7.62x39mm is probably the most popular caliber in the world.
Good shootin" to ya, dgang

April 11, 2005, 02:04 PM
About the only SKSs made for commercial purposes were the Chinese and they are no longer importable. I really don't think they're any better, either.

An SKS would be a great knock-about rifle. If you're looking for something a little more accurate and hunter-like, the CZ bolt guns are quite nice.

7.62x39 can be commonly purchased for less than $100 for 1,000 rounds. Only 22lr is less expensive.

April 11, 2005, 03:01 PM
Nothing beats a Chi/Com(Norinco) SKS for general use.. Mine is very accurate, and with iron sites I can shoot pennies out to 50-75 yards or so(well.. when I can see them..). Nice thing with the stripper clips is you can toss a few in your jacket pockets and not feel them.. not like the double stack box mags of the AK or Mini-14/30.

April 11, 2005, 03:25 PM
Are these any good?


Shooter 973
April 11, 2005, 03:37 PM
I guess I'm one of the lucky ones!!! I have one of the few Chinese commercial SKS's that were imported. It All blued including the bolt and, came with a blade style bayonet. Finished nicer than any other SKS I've ever seen. The quality of workmanship is also a couple of steps up from a "regular" SKS. It is a good shooter also, but no better than a regular SKS. A touch of florescent orange paint on the front sight really helps me see that front sight to! :D

April 11, 2005, 04:51 PM
I bought a yugo sks a couple months ago and I love it. I like the extra weight. It was 150 dollars and in very good condition (I can't find a single thing wrong with the finish or workings of the gun) accuraccy was well beyond what I was expecting. You just cant go wrong with an sks, thet're one of the best gun bargains out there.

I personally like my yugo over my uncle's norinco. But it just depends on how you think they look and how much you like your guns to weigh.

The yugo is neat because you can shut off the gas tube and use it as a straight pull bolt action.

happy shooting,

April 11, 2005, 05:07 PM
try these guys:

be warned. if you buy a brand new one, they are going to come in what's called cosmoline. it's basically a jelly that has to be cleaned off of it. do a search. you'll learn all about it.

April 11, 2005, 05:21 PM
Rugerdude - Thanks for the tip on the Yugo SKS!

Jailbait - Thanks for the link!

April 11, 2005, 05:34 PM
Are these any good?


Mine was about what those two cost, I paid 250 from a friend(he wantd $300 since it was still packed in grease but gave me a deal). Well worth it, and in perfect shape. I'm getting one more that is still NIB for collection purposes(this one doesn't even have importer markings!).

If you want a looker, go for those, if not, get a yugo.

April 11, 2005, 05:35 PM
1. What's the SKS marketplace like? All surplus? What should I look for?

All surplus, but not all beat up. Mine was a Yugo 'unissued' grade, and it was beautiful. Even came with the logbook describing its military history, seems that the Yugos put about 140 rounds through it total before it got to me. Looked brand-spanking new. It cost $180 OTD, not bad for a practically new rifle (yes, I know I could have ordered one for $140 on the internet, and paid my dealer his $30, but would it really have been worth it?)

2. Any better choices in a "farm/ranch/truck/self-defense" rifle?

Probably not, especially if on a budget.

3. Will the 7.62x39 round stick around at low cost or go the way of the Dodo bird?

Probably the most common cartridge in the world, it will be around for decades. We still have stuff like 8x56R lying around from WWII, the market for 7.62x39 won't dry up for a LONG time (barring any import bans on ammo, but there is still relatively cheap American made ammo).

4. Why is this round inexpensive (relatively speaking)?

See #3. Think of how many AK's are floating around, as well as SKS's. Remember that for 40 years, America and Russia were at each other's throats, and ammo was necessary to fight a war. Basically, there is so much floating around, its not worth anything.

April 11, 2005, 05:48 PM
I have a Chinese "paratrooper" I bought in 1995 and have lost count as to how many thoousands of rounds I have run through it. I also have a Romanian SKS that will shoot bowling pins every time at 150 yards and is capable of even better accuracy if someone better than me shoots it. My eyes aint what they used to be and at 150 yards smaller things get a bit fuzzy in front of those sights... you know. :cool:
I also had a Ruger bolt action in 7.62X39 that just Scary accurate.

April 11, 2005, 05:52 PM
I have two Yugo SKs's and I love 'em. Great answers here. The only thing I might add is that the 7.62x39 will be around longer than any of us. They're still churning out those rounds by the truckload. There are so many AK's, SKS's, and others chambered for it in the world that ammo production will continue for decades.

April 11, 2005, 07:27 PM
Yugo sks's are one of the best surpluse rifles out there. They are very reliable and they are considerably cheap. The ammo is so cheap because there are so many guns like AK's and SKS's. The round is also very effective and powerful for being so enexpensive. You can get a SKS for about 99 bucks and 1000 rds. of ammo for about 100-120 dollars.

April 12, 2005, 12:57 AM
My chinese Para SKS is a great shooter and I bought it unused .Inside barrel perfect a couple minor scratchs on stock . I also got a Mini-30 so I could add the 20 rd mags and the folding stock and a scope.Only downside to the mini-30 is the 10-20-30 rd mags are hit and miss .

April 12, 2005, 03:52 AM
anyone else remember when you could get a new in the cosmoline Norinco SKS for less than $100, and that PS ball was less than $100/1000 rounds? Shoulda bought a truck load of each. Now I'm getting all nostalgic.

April 12, 2005, 07:12 AM
check cheaperthandirt.com

do a search for 7.62x39 ammo. you'll be surprised what you find. I found a ammo box of 500 rounds for like $60. If your worried about the ammo eventually going away.... stock up and keep it in a dry place.

the possum
April 13, 2005, 11:15 AM
I have to agree with the general concensus here that an SKS makes a perfect "truck gun". I got one and beat it all to hell by carrying it every day on the floor of a tractor. It the stock is deeply gouged in several places, the blueing is worn off, and it's speckled with rust from enduring days of pouring rain. Many days we were both covered in dust so thick it literally piles up on the surfaces, and I didn't clean the thing for about two years straight. It still works the same as when I got it.

I was able to do this because it's so cheap, I didn't care about abusing it. Even more importantly, the ammo is so cheap, that I learned how to shoot it.

I have yet to hear of a Ruger mini-30 that can outperform it, even though they cost 2-3x more. Perhaps the Rugers are a bit lighter, but that's about it. Several posters here have mentioned getting 2" groups at 100 yards from their SKS's, by simply switching to better ammo. With cheap surplus ammo, mine will keep most of its shots in a 4" circle at 100 yds.

I see no point in getting all kinds of expensive add-ons for these rifles, sights included. I have no trouble shooting the rifle to its maximum accuracy out to 600 yards with the standard sights.

If I had the cash, I'd buy 3 or 4 of these guns now, so I'd have them someday for my family. They're that good of a deal.

April 16, 2005, 05:59 PM
I bought a couple Norincos back in the late 80s for 89.oo a pop including cleaning kit, sling, and bayonet.
They were and remain a fantastic rifle for the money.
They are durable, easy to maintain, and decently accurate.

I bought a batch of brass when I bought the rifles, but have never bothered to load any ammo. The Arsenal of Democracy (the combloc!) keeps us supplied with good quality milspec ammo for a few pennies a round.
I doubt that we will see any problems getting 7.62x39 in the next hundred years so long as we can keep the braying-ass bradies at bay.

I saw that someone mentioned Cosmoline.
Great stuff. Without it, most military surplus weapons would have corroded to solid blocks of rust decades ago.
Yes, it is a gooey mess, but is not that difficult to clean.
It really pays to do a thorough job.
Pay particular attention to the bolt to make sure the firing pin and extractor are clean and free.

When you first fire any self-loading weapon, put only one round in the magazine for the first test shot, then two, then three. You want to be sure there is no tendency to slam-fire.

One of my friends bought an SKS at the same time I bought mine. The first day out, he chambered a round and then had the muzzle climb straight up in the air as it slamfired the entire magazine in one second. He was white as a new sheet.
He had neglected to truly clean the rifle before shooting it and the firing pin was extended.

gn luver
April 17, 2005, 03:56 PM
I just purchased a cz527 7.62x39 @ $450.00 plus $30.00 S&H. I wanted a small intermediate caliber rifle and it fills the bill exactly, if you are interested in this type of rifle i highly recommend it. I also have a sks so was already a fan of this round.I ordered an sks from cdnn some years back @ $109.00 when i received it the stock was badly marred they replaced it with a commercial model that is a beautiful gun,the wood and the metal looks as if it is an expensive name brand firearm and it shoots the same way.To echo what the other posters have said about ammo i think this ammo will be around & cheap as long as we are. Good luck Max W.(gn luver)

Moe Mentum
April 17, 2005, 09:52 PM
I have a Russian, Chinese, and a Yugo, love these guns, can't beat the price of the ammo. These rifles will be around long after we are gone.

April 17, 2005, 10:10 PM
just to throw this one out there...

one of my buddies just bought a yugo sks still in the cosmoline. As to cleaning, we used goop hand cleaner and wd40. worked like a charm. took us less than two hours to get the entire gun clean.

April 18, 2005, 06:24 PM
dgang.......I have the Mini 30 in stainless. I've tried all different loads with mine and find that it likes the Wolf 154 grain Soft Point the best. Perhaps the heaiver round is more stable? With a 3x9x32 $60.00 Bushnell Scope, at 100 yards I can keep consistant groups the size of a tennis ball. Not bad for a rifle that's not supposed to shoot good! Now! if I take the lense caps off the scope!............ ;)