Can I get some no BS assessment of the SKS?

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Post by Domino » Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:33 pm

I've had slam fires and all my semi-auto rifles that have free floating firing pins (a couple of SKS's and my M17.) I contribute it to possible over lubrication in combination with American manufactured ammunition with soft primers. I have never had a slam fire with Russian made ammo.

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Post by mr. right-wing » Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:36 pm


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Post by SkunkApe » Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:36 pm

I have a Yugo 59/66.


1) Cheap. Got mine for $170 in excellent condition.

2) Cheap ammo. (At least it used to be. See below.)

3) Reliable. Mine has never jammed and always fired. (Always fired at least once. See below.)


1) The Yugo 59/66 with the grenade launcher and flash hider is way too heavy and cumbersome for its caliber. That thing is a monster! I sawed off the flash hider and re-crowned the barrel, removed the grenade launcher sight, took of the bayonet, and ground down the bayonet mount protrusions. That helped a lot, but it was a fair amount of work.

2) Ammo has recently been hard to find/more expensive. May be a short-term thing, though. Currently, the best deals are about $150/1000, if you can find it.

3) Slam fire. SKS's are notorious for this. As originally made, there is no firing pin return spring. I bought an after-maerket one for $25 or so. Before that, I had a slam fire than fired all of the remaing four rounds in my magazine with one trigger pull. This despite a carefully disassenbled and cleaned firing ping and bolt. And with Russian (Barnaul) ammo. Scary, maybe dangerous, and a bit embarassing at the public range.

4) Stripper clips. They take some practice to get to work right, then sometimes still don't. Sometimes they're too tight for the rounds to come off easily, sometimes they're too loose and the rounds fall off under they're own weight.

5) Cost. They're a poor man's AK, I think. May be better to just save up another $125 or so and get a WASR AK. I have both.

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Post by g3shooter » Thu Dec 29, 2005 1:45 pm

It is a great weapon, you can use any type of ammo and it will function perfectly, but like all weapons you should clean and care for it.
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Post by Jeriah » Thu Dec 29, 2005 2:00 pm

I bought a Russian SKS at a California gunshow for $200; I paid a bit extra because the Russian ones counted as curio relics back then (1998 or so) so I could get it cash and carry. It has served me well, never had any problem of any kind with it. I highly recommend the SKS, I think it should be everyone's first rifle. It's cheap, reliable, and an effective weapon. Even later if you "upgrade" to an AK or an AR, you won't regret having an SKS around.

One piece of advice: some folks will disagree with this, but don't mess around with accessories. Get the SKS, ammo, and stripper clips. Don't fuck around with optics, fiberglass stocks, bipods, or any of that shit. Leave it the hell alone. If you feel the need for a better combat weapon than the SKS, don't waste a bunch of money trying to me the SKS into something it's not; start saving up for another rifle like an AK or an AR.

If you buy one that doesn't come with a sling, bayonet, cleaning rod, or buttstock cleaning kit, these should be purchased; however, they're all available very cheaply as military surplus. Other than these original accessories, though, I advise against "tricking out" a $100-200 rifle with a bunch of junk you don't need.

Although Mugwug's SKS job is very nice. :wink:

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Post by Givens » Thu Dec 29, 2005 6:27 pm

I don't know if anyone posted it yet or not... but,

This might be the definitive website for SKS information.

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Post by mzmadmike » Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:42 pm

Cheap. Ugly. Muzzle heavy. Can be abused like a left-handed, red-headed stepchild and come back for more. Running around $125 around here.

I have ARs for all family members, and SKSs for guests who didn't plan ahead but who I don't want to see die.

Cheap way to shoot the other major military caliber out there.

Russian ammo is currently having import issues. Hope it gets fixed soon.

So yes, buy one. Perfect for a poor college student.
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Post by half elf » Mon Jan 02, 2006 2:29 pm

SKS is the benchmark standard for reliability, and bang4buck. The Norinco's are becoming pricey, but will do everything requested of them. I have made the SKS my group's standard rifle, and never regreted it a bit.

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Post by thecheeto » Tue Jan 03, 2006 7:11 pm

mr.trooper wrote:whatever.

The Chineese ones are among the best. A Russian or Albanian in good condition is the only competition for a ChiCom SKS.
I love zombies. I had a chi com SKS and it was like buttah. Buttah I say! I only sold it cause I was moving to New Jersey and I'll not say anymore about NJ cause I haven't anything nice to say.

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Post by thorian » Tue Jan 03, 2006 11:35 pm

most Gunsmith books state that the chineese SKS is the rifle to perfect yer skills on since no 2 are alike. ( that is about all I can say about that)
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