View Full Version : Cheap SKS and Ammo

April 19, 2010, 10:18 PM
I've been doing a bit of gun shopping lately and one thing my inventory doesn't have yet is a centerfire semi. Being as garands are impossible to find, and the browning bar I've been lusting after is way out of my price range, I've been considering one of the SKSs that cabelas has, there are two grades.

1945 Russian, original stocked SKS: Produced in Russia at the Tula Factory these SKS rifles with matching serial numbers on all parts feature original factory bluing, original hardwood stock, 5-shot top feed magazine with hinged floor plate and 20” barrel with folding bayonet. Includes cleaning kit, oil bottle, sling, and ammo pouch. NRA rating: very-good condition

1945 Russian SKS: Produced in Russia at the Tula Factory these SKS rifles with matching serial numbers feature original factory bluing, hardwood stock, 5-shot top feed magazine with hinged floor plate and 20” barrel with folding bayonet. Includes cleaning kit, oil bottle, sling, and ammo pouch. NRA rating: good condition $259.99

And another large dealer has about twenty 1951-1954 Refurbished Simonov SKSs as follows:20-1/2" barrel, bayonet, attached hinged magazine , sling, oil bottle, cleaning rod. $199 - $229 All rated Very Good

And of course ammo is being sold by the crate of 1120 for $200 : Surplus ammunition (Czech manufacturer Sellier & Bellot) Copper washed 127 grain steel-jacketed projectiles with mil-spec laquered steel cases, packaged in a latching zinc-lined wood case of 56 boxes, each box features 2 stripper clips of 10 rounds each.

I don't really have any experience with these type of firearms, and I'm not sure they are for me...other than aimlessly blasting away, what could one really accomplish? Lets just say for 100 yards, what kind of accuracy could one of these turn out, and what kind of reliability (and cleaning interval) would I get out of ammo like that? Any chance they have been tapped or grooved to accept small scopes or red dot sights?

April 20, 2010, 10:30 AM
This link will give you more than you can read in one sitting.


The 1945 reference is just the model number of the gun. Up until production began in 1949, there were only prototypes.

Most Russians available on the market are going to be 1950 to 1955, and the ones that you have referenced are likely refurbs at a very fair price. Not many sell for less than $350 these days.

Expect to get 2-4" groups with the primitive sights at 100 yards. Expect flawless performance of the firearm. And do clean out the entire chamber, receiver area, barrel and gas system every time you fire corrosive ammo.

Windex, followed by your favorite Hoppes, CLP or equivalent.

April 20, 2010, 11:16 AM
If it is blued and not painted, I'd be all over that $299 very-good condition.

Any chance they have been tapped or grooved to accept small scopes or red dot sights? No. On an SKS, that's a fool's errand and you'll only accomplish screwing up a potentially nice Russian SKS.

If you want something you can put an optic on, buy a Saiga AK and convert it (or don't convert it).

April 20, 2010, 11:28 AM
Being as garands are impossible to find...

Au Contraire!! For a few hundred more, you can get a Garand from the CMP. Every interested American should support the NRA and own a CMP M1.

The SKS is fun, too, though. Great shooter, cheap gun, cheap ammo. Reliable, chrome-lined bore. Awkward balance, overly large and heavy for the round it shoots. There's a reason it was replaced fairly quickly by the AK...

You know they can "slam-fire", right?

You can order a no-gunsmithing scope mount that replaces the regular bolt cover, or drill/tap your own.

I wouldn't modify one of the early Russians, just on principle.

April 20, 2010, 01:51 PM
I know all about the CMP (or at least I think I do)....AND I'M JEALOUS!!!! Being Canadian though, I can't get my hands on any of those beautiful garands. :( ... unless you want to mail me one piece by piece and label it "oversized blender parts" lol

I am very tempted to take one of these SKS home..especially if I really can get a cheap attachment mechanism for something like a red dot scope that doesn't require buggering the gun.
The only real thing holding me back currently is that I do most of my shooting at private gravel pits, which local law prohibits the use of larger calibers (7.62x39mm counting as "larger") Its perfectly fine at the sanctioned range, but due to distance I don't go there much...hmmm, decisions, decisions.

April 20, 2010, 05:09 PM
I have two SKS rifles right now. A paratrooper and the regular rifle. Both are from Norinco. Both shoot perfectly. These are the 3rd and 4th SKSs I have owned. I have never had a single malfuction out of any SKS. My buddy had a few slam fires with his until I took the bolt apart and cleaned out the cosmoline. IIRC his was a true russian sks and was packed with grease.

I don't think you are going to be hurt on any of those deals. I paid $225 for my rifle 4 years ago. The paratrooper I got free when my dad died 7 years ago. It was unfired and came with 600 rounds of ammo. The steel core Norinco that sells for so much.

Where are you finding that ammo for $200? Thats a good deal also.

April 20, 2010, 05:30 PM
My first rifle was a Russian SKS that I think was either a 1951 or a 1955. I no longer remember. I bought it in 1996 for $99 and sold it in 1999 for $300.

It was far from being the perfect rifle, but I thought it was great for the most part. I still consider it one of the most under-rated utility rifles on the civilian market. Considering my poor skills at the time and my use of cheap Norinco ammo, mine was getting 3-4 inch groups at 100 yards. Being a newbie, I thought that was horrible, and I was unaware that you can get dramatically different results with different ammo and different shooting techniques.

I have learned much since I sold it. Still, the one reason why I never bought another one is due to the one thing I would not be able to change: I found the controls awkward to use. I changed the stock and tried everything I could think of, but it never felt comfortable. But an SKS in nice shape still draws my attention.

If possible, try to find a locally owned SKS and see how it fits you. If you are comfortable with it, I suspect you'll be well-pleased with your purchase. I have always regretted that mine didn't work out for me.

April 20, 2010, 09:27 PM
In case you guys were looking to awesomeify your SKS's, check out this site:

Ignition Override
April 20, 2010, 11:06 PM
A regular recoil pad adds just enough length to help my Norinco's stock feel comfortable.

I've not yet ordered the Tech Sight, but for about $45 you can add the peep sight and it reportedly really helps the sight distance and accuracy.

For my brick/jugs at less than a hundred feet, it won't need it, but I missed a swimming adult cottonmouth snake at about forty feet. He was attracted by impacts on or by a floating grapefruit, and swam towards it!

April 20, 2010, 11:24 PM
First of all, 5 round magazines are not original. As far as I know, all Russian-made SKS rifles came with 10 round magazines (I'm not familiar with Canadian law, but I suspect that you may be limited in magazine capacity). Scoping an SKS can be achieved in one of two ways. The best method is attaching a side-mount to the reciever, but that requires drilling and tapping which would reduce the collector value of the rifle (Russian guns are among the most desirable SKS variants here in the U.S.). You can also get a mount which replaces the reciever cover, but these are not as solid as a reciever mount and often have trouble maintaining zero.