Thread: sks?
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Old December 21, 2012, 09:08 AM   #28
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Join Date: February 6, 2009
Location: Central Indiana
Posts: 313
Over the years I've owned at least one example/varient of the SKS from virtually every country from which we got a sizable number of surplused carbines. At one time I owned 17 of them.

These included Russian, Albanian, Romanian, Yugoslavian and Chinese. Most were used milsurps. Some had been refurbed/FTR ed before storage by their countries of origin, many had just been dipped in cosmoline and stacked in some warehouse. FWIW, I only bought examples with all numbers matching and in the best overall condition I could obtain.

All of them were dead-nuts reliable functionally. Accuracy varied widely with most showing a distinct preference for a particular type of ammo. While my aging eyes and military open irons have to be taken into account, 5-shot groups at 100 yds from a solid rest or prone position would generally average from 4-6" with milsurp ball ammo. The better examples could do around 3" and a bit with their favorite fodder when I did things just right.

I ended up sending all but two of them onwards when folks who wanted them more than I did shoved a considerably bigger wad of green paper under my nose than I'd given for them originally. Only two remain, both are Chinese and one of those is the most consistently accurate example that I've personally encountered.

It is one of the brand new, military-issue-in-a-commercial-package Norincos from Keng's I purchased in 1988. With all of the standard-issue accessories and 200 rds. of surplus ball ammo I paid $125 OTD for it. It's the one SKS that I will never willingly part with.

With a properly-fitted receiver cover mount and a cheap "Red Star" 4X scope (also from Keng's) and an old lot of Norinco steel-core "Match" ammo it will consistently deliver 5-shots into 2 1/2" or a bit less at 100 yds. for me. Even with run-of-the-mill surplus or Wolf/Tula commercial ball groups will most often stay within 3" to 4". The very worst it's ever done is 6" with some really crumby Egyptian surplus I had. Functioning has always been absolutely stellar regardless of the brand or type of ammo.

Personally I don't believe that, from strictly practical utilitarian standpoint, the Chinese carbines give up anything to the various other makes. Potential for increasing "collector value" escalation aside, IMHO a good Chinese SKS represents potentially the best all-around value per buck you're likely to find in today's marketplace.
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