By far, the Ruger 10/22 is the predominate rifle at Appleseed shoots. BUT, when you start shooting LOTS of rounds through them, things start happening....like stovepipes, etc. What I ended up doing on mine was a Volquartsen extractor, extended mag release, and started dinking with the trigger group to improve it. After going through all that, what I would do NOW is buy the Hornet (or similar) assembly and replace the whole shebang: http://www.hornetproducts.com/ViewPr...delNumber=SRTR
(I don't own stock in Hornet, etc....just spent a lot of time dinking with this, and the whole unit is much easier!) So get a Volq. extractor and the trigger group, and you're done. EXCEPT if you have stock Ruger sights, which suck....as mentioned above, go with Tech Sights...they're great.
OR go with the Marlin....I've seen good things with them. Not a lot of problems...don't know if there's an aftermarket extractor for it or not...this seems to solve most of the stovepiping issues on all .22 rifles.
OR go with my personal favorite, the Remington 597...only thing it needs is the Volquartsen extractor. Already has a decent trigger pull, good mag release.
On any .22 rifles, you'll need AT LEAST 2 mags, preferably 4....in case you're in an area that does RFAQTs (rapid-fire AQT). We've just started doing them occasionally in Kansas....more predominate up north.
Oh...on the SKS. My son shoots mine with Tech Sights and loves it. Not a bad round, just doesn't have the "umph" that a .30-06 does at extended range.