Considering buying an SKS, but...

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echo83
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Re: Considering buying an SKS, but...

Post by echo83 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:31 pm

JeeperCreeper wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:51 am
Sorry if I missed something earlier in the thread as I just skimmed...

...My thoughts on the SKS and other compliant guns:

-If you go SKS, chrome bore is nice because you don't know who owned it before you and if they cleaned it after popular-in-the-80's corrosive ammo. If you get an un-chrome Yugo with a good bore, it won't matter as most cheap ammo is non-corrosive now-a-days. However, if you are trying to send 20,000 rounds downrange, you may burnout your barrel faster without chrome as most x39 ammo have bimetal jacketed bullets which are tougher on rifling. Or at least I'm told.

-My rankings on SKS from best to worst are Norinco, Russian, Yugo, anything else weird. All are good, but I'm biased towards the Norincos.

-I'd pay $400 for a Yugo SKS in today's market in my unrestricted state if I were looking for one. Maybe $450-500 if it were perfect. Sadly they ain't cheap no more... but if you want one, they aren't making them anymore. A hundred bucks is worth you happiness if you really want one and can't find another anywhere.

-You can always buy a bubba version that someone ruined for cheap and bring it back

-The SKS is much less heavy and bulky than the Garand. I love Garands, but the ergos are weird and they are pigs.

-Competitors: KelTec SU16, Ruger Mini, those Fightlites that were mentioned above, Saiga sporters, or a basatardized compliant AR47. If you wanted 7.62x39, then your only real option is an SKS for the price. If you want 5.56, then the options are better. If you want a bigger caliber, I'd look for a Saiga and get your pocketbook (my shop has a .308 Saiga for $800 for comparison and that's a great price)
Ruger Mini gets a pass, SU16, Fightlites Saiga and bastardized compliant AR47s are out...the reasoning is that they're substantially similar to the AR platform. Here's a clip of the legislation to "clarify" what I mean...

"A weapon is a Copy or Duplicate and is therefore a prohibited Assault weapon if it meets one or both of the following tests and is 1) a semiautomatic rifle or handgun that was manufactured or subsequently configured with an ability to accept a detachable magazine, or 2) a semiautomatic shotgun.

Similarity Test: A weapon is a Copy or Duplicate if its internal functional components are substantially similar in construction and configuration to those of an Enumerated Weapon. Under this test, a weapon is a Copy or Duplicate, for example, if the operating system and firing mechanism of the weapon are based on or otherwise substantially similar to one of the Enumerated Weapons.
Interchangeability Test: A weapon is a Copy or Duplicate if it has a receiver that is the same as or interchangeable with the receiver of an Enumerated Weapon. A receiver will be treated as the same as or interchangeable with the receiver on an Enumerated Weapon if it includes or accepts two or more operating components that are the same as or interchangeable with those of an Enumerated Weapon. Such operating components may include, but are not limited to: 1) the trigger assembly; 2) the bolt carrier or bolt carrier group; 3) the charging handle; 4) the extractor or extractor assembly; or 5) the magazine port.
If a weapon meets one of the above tests, it is a Copy or Duplicate (and therefore a prohibited Assault weapon), even if it is marketed as “state compliant” or “Massachusetts compliant.”

Brutal, right?

I appreciate your take on the SKS. If I had one, I'd never plan on firing anything corrosive out of it, especially when non-corrosive ammo is so prevalent. (I do keep my firearms as clean as possible, though.) A chrome bore would be great to have, as it would reduce maintenance somewhat...but the lack of one is not a deal breaker for me. Nothing else I own is chrome-bored, so no need to obsess, right?

Has anyone with a Yugo had issues with the gas cutoff switch? Or is that a non-issue as long as everything is kept clean?

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Re: Considering buying an SKS, but...

Post by yossarian » Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:44 pm

echo83 wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:31 pm

Has anyone with a Yugo had issues with the gas cutoff switch? Or is that a non-issue as long as everything is kept clean?
In '05ish when they were coming in by the crate for $89 wholesale I worked in a gun shop. We sold them hand over fist. Out of all the one we sold there were maybe 3 or 4 that wouldn't function because the gas valve was eaten up. Century took back every single one and somebody was making replacement parts at the time. So, it isn't a non-issue, but it wasn't a real common issue. All these years later I would expect that most of the defective ones were parted out or taken out of circulation. Still, look for a Norinco or Russian
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Re: Considering buying an SKS, but...

Post by woodsghost » Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:58 pm

I would give FightLight a call about the SCR. I think the wording of the law is intended to ban them, but I don't know that the wording is quite right to accomplish this.

But yes, the SKS seems the simplest solution, and a Norinco would be high on my list of favorite SKSs. Or Russian, but I think you said they are upwards of $1000?
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Re: Considering buying an SKS, but...

Post by echo83 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:25 pm

woodsghost wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:58 pm
But yes, the SKS seems the simplest solution, and a Norinco would be high on my list of favorite SKSs. Or Russian, but I think you said they are upwards of $1000?
I'm looking at listings on gunbroker for comparison, and there's one Russian for $800, and another for $900 with 24 hours left to bid. The prices for 1950s era Tulas are the highest of any SKS that I've seen. Yugo prices are all over the place, as are Norincos, but in general they are a few hundred dollars cheaper.

...and those 2 Yugos at my local store that were there 12 days ago? They were $600 apiece...and now they're both gone!!

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Re: Considering buying an SKS, but...

Post by yossarian » Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:37 pm

Shipping is kind of high but here's one with a buy it now of $425

https://www.gunauction.com/buy/15412477
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Re: Considering buying an SKS, but...

Post by echo83 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:01 am

I appreciate all of the feedback so far. As a follow up, I decided to roll the dice when I saw that Classic Firearms got in a shipment of Chinese SKSs.

There was a pretty wide variation in conditions, and mine is heavily used, but appears to be in decent shape. It was slathered in Cosmoline, and I have dissassembled and cleaned out everything except the barrel. (I have a cleaning kit and bore snake on the way.)

The stock is heavily used, with lots of dings but no cracks. It was made for a blade type bayonet, but the rifle has a spike bayonet, so I may need to ream out a little more space so the bayonet will actually fit. Not 100 percent sure it's Chinese: I can't find any actual arsenal markings and the serial numbers don't fit into any of the websites I've been visiting.

Looking forward to doing a little more research and restoration before I take it out to the range. All the serial numbers match, but I have yet to find a reliable way to determine the age.

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Re: Considering buying an SKS, but...

Post by JeeperCreeper » Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:37 am

I'll have to look my Norinco over and see if there are any off markings that may help.

Would it be a bad time to say I just bought another very nice Norinco from a pawn shop for under $300.... Deals are still out there if you get lucky
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Re: Considering buying an SKS, but...

Post by echo83 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:55 pm

JeeperCreeper wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:37 am
I'll have to look my Norinco over and see if there are any off markings that may help.

Would it be a bad time to say I just bought another very nice Norinco from a pawn shop for under $300.... Deals are still out there if you get lucky
Yeah, now would be a terrible time, but I can take it. After all, when i went to my FFL to pick mine up, sure enough there was a Yugo on the rack for $525 cash...which was $75 less than the original Yugo that set this whole thread in motion. Another customer looked over my shoulder and helpfully reminded me of the time when an SKS and 1,000 rounds set him back "like 200 bucks, I think." There's always going to be a better deal.

Any off markings would help. The only thing I have to go off are the (luckily all matching) serial numbers. No arsenal/triangle/even remotely Asian-looking characters on this thing.

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Re: Considering buying an SKS, but...

Post by woodsghost » Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:43 pm

Albania made SKS's. East Germany made SKS's. Just some things to look for if you can't get other info.
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Re: Considering buying an SKS, but...

Post by Stercutus » Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:50 pm

Before Sandy Hook I put a couple of Norincos on layaway for the kids for Christmas. They were $350 each and I thought they were a touch high. After Sandy Hook I went in to pick them up and the owner was really trying hard to get me to cancel the sale. I scanned the shelf and the ones he had on the shelf were marked $695. He had doubled the price in two weeks.

The cheapest one I ever bought was around $200. Didn't get free ammo with it but it had nice ring sight installed on it. But back in Fayettnam' in the early 90s (pre ban) the LGS's had them for $95 each or a crate of ten for $899. I could not imagine what I would do with a crate of them.
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Re: Considering buying an SKS, but...

Post by MPMalloy » Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:21 pm

Stercutus wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:50 pm
The cheapest one I ever bought was around $200. Didn't get free ammo with it but it had nice ring sight installed on it. But back in Fayettnam' in the early 90s (pre ban) the LGS's had them for $95 each or a crate of ten for $899. I could not imagine what I would do with a crate of them.
Were those PRC or Soviet?

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Re: Considering buying an SKS, but...

Post by Stercutus » Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:46 am

MPMalloy wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:21 pm
Stercutus wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:50 pm
The cheapest one I ever bought was around $200. Didn't get free ammo with it but it had nice ring sight installed on it. But back in Fayettnam' in the early 90s (pre ban) the LGS's had them for $95 each or a crate of ten for $899. I could not imagine what I would do with a crate of them.
Were those PRC or Soviet?
PRC. The Soviet ones I think were $125.
These days of dust
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Will blow away with this new Son

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And I'll kneel down
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Re: Considering buying an SKS, but...

Post by echo83 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:33 am

So all this means that I should cash out my 401 K, invest it all in SKSs, and retire...right?

I think MA is recently leading the charge in terms of firearm prohibition, which in turn is driving pricing. I always could have purchased earlier, but I'm glad that I purchased when I did.

Time to buy some stripper clips before they ban those, too.

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