View Full Version : how well do detachable mags work with the SKS

King Ghidora
October 11, 2008, 11:35 PM
I'd like to get a feel for people's experience with the detachable mags for SKS's. I'd like to hear comments about which mags have been used and which versions of the SKS they were used with.

October 12, 2008, 12:19 AM
I use a stock magazine on my sks, mostly because of poor reports concerning reliability of the detachables, but also because it is generally illegal to use a detachable magazine. Under federal law, you must purchase so many American parts to add a detachable magazine to an SKS that it would easily be cheaper to buy another rifle that already has the features (ak, mini30 whatever).

October 12, 2008, 12:39 AM
Interesting topic.

When someone tells me about an SKS that's jamming, I ask them what kind of aftermarket mags they have on it. They're usually surprised that I was able to "guess" they're using aftermarket mags.

Sometimes they work, I guess, or the companies making them would go out of business. They don't seem to be nearly as reliable as the original fixed mag.

October 12, 2008, 03:41 AM
I didn't vote but I own an SKS I have only tried one sks mag (5 rounder), it wouldn't feed.:mad: I only messed with it a couple of minutes then took it out. I will probably try again later when I have more time to adjust the feed lips. For the most part I have heard bad things about the mags not feeding.For now it is in the original form and I use the stripper clips and can load almost as fast as putting a mag in and that is with out practice!:eek:

October 12, 2008, 04:03 AM
I Use Both Tapco And John Masen Mags In My Romanian Sks. They Function Flawlessly And Didn't Require Any "parts" To Install? Only The Tapco Mags Lock The Bolt Open On The Last Shot Though. Otherwise It Loads Faster And Easier Now.

October 12, 2008, 04:18 AM
I've heard good things about tapco mags and I'd like to get a couple. but I've heard bad things about almost everything else.

King Ghidora
October 12, 2008, 12:17 PM
Just for the record I own 5 USA brand mags and they all work flawlessly. I've never had a single mis-feed with any of them in 15 years. It's hard to beat 100% reliable.

I don't know if they still make those mags though. They were sold by the ton before the ban. I haven't seen one for sale in quite a while. The Tickbite mags look an awful lot like them though.

I think a lot of what drives the notion that they don't work is that only the Norincos consistently work with detachables. At least that's what I hear. I've never even seen a detachable fail to work properly in all the years I've been around SKS's.

October 12, 2008, 09:38 PM
I just went out today and test fired a 1955 Russian Tula SKS that I picked up last week. It came with a metal 30 rnd mag. The gun shot like a dream with no miss fires.

When it comes to the mags I think it has a lot to do with what kind of gun you own. Some seem to like them and others do not.

The only thing I noticed with the mag was that it did not hold the rounds real tight. If you bump the mag before inserting it a round or two would fall out. But after I figured that out there were no more problems.

Pinky Carruthers
October 13, 2008, 12:06 AM
I don't own an SKS but go shooting with my neighbor who owns one. His is perfectly craptastic with detachable mags (Tapco I believe).
I'll stick to my Ar15 jammomatic.

October 13, 2008, 12:41 AM
All my Tapco 20 rounders have worked perfectly in every SKS I tried them in.
Their cheap enough, just try one.

October 13, 2008, 12:08 PM
I haven't tried detachable mags in mine because my neighbor tried it in his and his jams all the time.
(My SKS is a Norinco - $150 new)

Then you have to load the detachable clips.

The 1240 rd's I just bought came in stripper clips so I have left mine stock as it is easy to use.


October 13, 2008, 12:38 PM
i have owned many sks's over the years....still remember when you could buy them for less than $100....most generally they always worked well for me...once in a while I would come across one that needed to have the hole in the stock filed out a little bigger for a quicker/easier attachment.....but never had any major problems

October 13, 2008, 12:43 PM
tents on trucks makes a valid point above too - these guns arent designed to have tight fitting parts - they are meant to be sloppy.....i always went for the sloppy metal clips, not plastic, and the looser the gun the fewer issues i've had with them

October 13, 2008, 01:45 PM
You can load the Tapco magazine's in the gun with stripper clips.

October 13, 2008, 04:01 PM
Never seen a stock, fixed mag SKS that was down and inoperable on the firing line.

Every one I've ever seen that was having issues had a detachable magazine on it.

Were I to own one, I'd leave the fixed magazine in place. Stripper clips are not a bad way to go at all, and the SKS strikes me as the commie answer to the Garand. Both are quicker to reload than detachable magazine rifles, and both must be fired to complete empty to reload in the most efficient manner.

October 14, 2008, 08:03 AM
Never have had a problem with the Tapco mags. You need to read and follow the instructions, of course, and widen the magwell a couple millimeters. That is only true for the original wood stock, the Tapco T6 needs no modification.

chris in va
October 14, 2008, 09:37 PM
Surprised no one mentioned this yet. The Russian and Chinese SKS are designed to use detachable mags.

King Ghidora
October 15, 2008, 06:46 AM
I didn't want to do anything to disrupt the voting or I would have mentioned that Chris. What I'm seeing is that the percentage of people who think the SKS works well with mags happens to be the same percentage of people who own Chinese SKS's. The Soviet SKS's will work but from what I hear they have to be slightly modified.

Just under half of the people of the people responding that own SKS's say that they do work with detachables. Add the Soviet and Yugos together in this poll (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=312359) and you get just over half. Coincidence? I don't think so. I was hoping more people would mention which SKS they had that works with detachables and which don't. And the type of mag also would make a difference. At any rate it seems significant that the percentage of people who own Chinese models is also the percentage that have good luck with detachables. My guess is that if more people knew about how to modify their Soviet models the percentage of people with working detachables would go up.

I've been saying all along that only the Norincos work well with detachables unless you modify the Soviet models (you have to bend something to make them work - not sure what) which makes them work well too.

October 15, 2008, 08:30 AM
Only ever tried in a Yugo with a Chinese mag and it would FTF(fail to feed) almost every round. I have experience with another Yugo and a Russian both with original 10 round fixed and both have been 100% relieable.

King Ghidora
October 15, 2008, 10:04 PM
That's probably because the Yugos were never meant to work with detachables. I think I need to do this poll again with different questions. I should ask about which models worked and which didn't in the poll. I think that would be very enlightening.

October 15, 2008, 10:09 PM
I haven't tried detachable mags in mine because my neighbor tried it in his and his jams all the time.
(My SKS is a Norinco - $150 new)

Then you have to load the detachable clips.

The 1240 rd's I just bought came in stripper clips so I have left mine stock as it is easy to use.

i have 6 of the tapco 20rnd mags, all of them function flawlessly.
i also have a metal 30rnd mag and a cobray 30rnd, they both ftf every round.

but i load all of the tapco mags by attaching them to the rifle and loading them with stripper clips. i do all 6 at once before i leave the house, and when i'm out shooting, all i need is the mags

ohen cepel
October 15, 2008, 10:19 PM
I didn't vote since I don't fall into a category.

Never had a detachable mag version (try to avoid most things that I think are a bad idea, like facial tatoos and tongue piercings). However, my experience with the after market mags to increase/decrease fixed mag capacity have been horrible.

By the time one mods an SKS and buys the odd magazines I think one would be much better served with simply buying an AK if possible in their state.

October 15, 2008, 10:25 PM
By the time one mods an SKS and buys the odd magazines I think one would be much better served with simply buying an AK if possible in their state.

reliable chinese sks ($150) + tapco mag ($15) = $165 for a 20" plinker

compared to

reliable ak = ~$600 with a shorter barrel and less accuracy

personally, i think i'd be much better served to spend that extra ~$435 elsewhere

October 15, 2008, 10:30 PM
I have a bit of experience with some aftermarket SKS mags. Some of the older 30 round mags I have used would feed fine if not quite filled full. I think one would take 27 rounds and feed fine and the other would feed fine with 24 or less. The Tapco mags have shown to be reliable on about everything I have shot or seen. There is the issue about the law and having enough compliance parts so if you do decide to get detachable mags make sure you stay legal.

King Ghidora
October 16, 2008, 10:09 AM
There's only about 4 parts that need to be replaced to remain legal if you buy mags that are US made. You can modify your SKS to be legal pretty easy. You can read up on the possible parts you can change out on this web page (http://www.victorinc.com/SKS-FAQ.html#_Toc167103936). It should also be noted that up to this point no one has been prosecuted under the laws that govern this issue or at least I've never seen any report on someone that was prosecuted on all the boards I've visited including some SKS boards. That certainly doesn't mean it won't happen to you though especially with a new sheriff in town. Modify your SKS and keep all the relevant receipts and information handy. You'll be covered if you do. It's relatively cheap and easy.

As for substituting an AK for an SKS I tried that for a while. I'll take an SKS over any AK I've ever owned or shot. They're more accurate and in my experience more reliable.

Also it's my experience that the older SKS detachable mags work perfectly. I've never had even a slight hitch with one of mine including the ones I've let go over the years. I've never even tried to buy newer mags because I bought my SKS before the ban when the USA brand mags were everywhere. I bought a bunch of them in anticipation that they would be hard to get some day. It still could happen but in any case I have very reliable mags that are quite old.