SKS Why? - Page 2

SKS Why?

This is a discussion on SKS Why? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm not sure I have ever run across an SKS, in its original configuration, that had a reliability issue. Now, when some garage gunsmith tries ...

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  1. #16
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    Array buckeye .45's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I have ever run across an SKS, in its original configuration, that had a reliability issue.

    Now, when some garage gunsmith tries to turn his SKS into an AK, that is when the problems start.

    There is probably somewhere to find stock magazines for it, and you said you already have a bunch of stripper clips, so then you will be good to go.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor


  2. #17
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    As the others have said, get rid of the after market mags. This rifle was meant to be loaded using clips. The magazine is not supposed to be removed during normal use.

    Michael

  3. #18
    Distinguished Member Array pirate's Avatar
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    Numrich has SKS magazine assemblies in stock for $40. Not cheap but you have to pay a price to fix the work of "bubba" unfortunately.
    Numrich Gun Parts Corp. - The World's Largest Supplier of Firearms Parts and Accessories

    Out of curiosity what markings are on the guns. Do you have a photo of the stamped markings on the rifle receivers?

    Does it look like this?



    When I leave the home port:
    S&W 642 Airweight, Ruger SP 101, Colt Detective Spec., CZ RAMI, Kahr PM9, Kahr CW40, S&W Model 10-7, Glock 30, 19, and 26, Browning Hi Power, CZ82, Colt Commander, Dan Wesson PM7, Ruger LCP

  4. #19
    Member Array Sarisataka's Avatar
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    Picked up up 20 clips for my SKS for $10 some years back. Works just fine. I prefer the SKS to AK-whatevers, equally reliable a way more accurate
    Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor liberty to purchase power.
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  5. #20
    Member Array Eaglebeak's Avatar
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    Of all the rifles I own (way too many), my converted Russian SKS's are not only my favorite, but the ones I use regularly (feral hog buster), trust to always work in any conditions, and shoot by far the most. I'm sure that pirate could (and has) give a lot more and better thoughts on the SKS than I can, but my humble thoughts are two-fold regarding ownership of an SKS:

    1. Keep it in it's original (legal) C&R condition or restore it to original C&R condition by removing and replacing any crappy "Bubba tactical gizmos" (generally illegal and compromise reliability) - then keep it as a collector's item, plinking rifle, or SHTF backup -or-
    2. Invest some money and go all the way to fully converting it to a legal "domestic" (non-import) rifle that is highly versatile, extremely reliable, a pleasure to shoot, and surprisingly accurate up to 200 meters.

    Even though it comes with a folding bayonet (and regardless of how the feds consider it), the first practical thing to understand is that an SKS is a "military carbine" and NOT an "assault" or "tactical" rifle. If you want an assault/tactical rifle loaded up with lights, bells and sirens, then spend your money on an AK or AR platform that was designed for such instead of wasting money in a futile and counter-productive attempt to convert an SKS into something it was never designed to be.

    Since there is a myriad of confusing (and often contradictory) federal laws which apply to an SKS as an "imported rifle", there's very little anyone can add or do to one that doesn't instantly make it illegal; so if one isn't willing to spend the money to convert it to a legal "domestic" rifle, then leave it (or convert it back) to its fully original condition and enjoy, shoot, or collect it as-is.

    There are 14 specific parts of an SKS which the feds use to determine its "import status". Therefore, if you want to spend what it takes to replace at least four (4) of those parts with American-made parts (so it has only 10 or less of those original 14 "import" parts), then you will have a "domestic" rifle that gets you out from under the virtual hundreds of "Title 18 U.S.C. & 922(r)" mumbo-jumbo restrictions - which pretty much allows you to add or do anything you wish to the rifle that is legal under federal statutes (and/or particular state laws) for any other "domestic" semi-auto rifle.

    Since I'm too old to "collect" anything but dust and too many ex-wives, I converted both of my Russian SKS's into something I can enjoy using and shooting now (while I can) and kept all the original parts from both in case my son ever wants to restore and "collect" them after I'm outta here. Forgetting about tactical/assault fantasies and wanting to make a fine shooting piece, the first problem I had with the SKS was its relatively short stock that made me feel like I was a kid again and shooting my Daisy "Red Ryder". So I pursued the following conversion options that made me happy:
    1. Replaced wood stock and hand-guard with good quality, American made, Monte Carlo-style composites - (2 "evil components" off the list).
    2. Replaced the hammer, trigger, & sear with smoother and better quality, American made parts, from Murrey's Gunsmith - (3 "evil components" off the list).

    After using bedding compound to perfectly marry the rifle and new stock, the shooting comfort and accuracy took an amazing improvement in both areas. And, since I had replaced (5) "evil components" from the list of 14 (putting me under the 10 limit), I then had a "domestic" rifle that let me do whatever I wished regarding the magazine and added optics of any type. Now I can choose to use the original 10-round fixed magazine (which can be blocked to hold fewer rounds for any state laws regarding hunting with a semi-auto rifle), or easily remove it for use with a 20-round detachable magazine for quick reloading during hog-poppin' events.

    I fully agree that there is NO detachable, aftermarket, metal magazine (regardless of price) that's worth anything except for use as a target, wheel-chock, or trash can fodder. However, I also agree with pirate that the Tapco, detachable, 20-round, composite SKS magazine is worth serious consideration if you are ready to spend a little time to fine tune it if necessary. I don't know if my '54 and '53 Tula's had some minor anomaly from others, but both of them weren't always happy with the 1st round (strongest magazine spring tension) and last round (least magazine spring tension) with the Tapco composite magazine. With a little experimentation using a slow, controlled forward bolt movement to feed and eject each round (instead of letting the bolt snap forward), I could "feel" some drag and/or no feed at all on the first and last round. Since the magazine latched in nice and snug, I found that releasing the latch and letting it drop to the rear only about 1-degree suddenly made every round feed, load, and eject as smooth as hot butter. So filing down just enough from the bottom side of the magazine's latching lip (to let the rear drop by about 1-degree and provide a little "play") was all the magic needed to make it feed every round even smoother (on both rifles) than the original fixed magazine does - whoopee!!

    With regard to any type of optics mount for an SKS, I also fully agree with pirate's wisdom and experience that there is absolutely NO aftermarket "bolt-cover type" mount or clip-on side receiver mount (regardless of hype or price) that isn't a total waste of money because, other than welding it in place, there is no degree of tightness or other modifications that will prevent the bolt cover and/or clip-on from moving around during recoil or allow either to be removed and replaced (without a bearing press) to maintain anywhere near consistent optics alignment. One of my rifles has a custom-made "horseshoe" mount that fits over the bolt cover and solidly mounted to the receiver with screws in drilled & tapped holes; the other rifle has the only aftermarket mount that I've found (from scoutscopes.com) that also solidly attaches to the receiver ahead of the bolt opening to provide a solid and consistent optics platform. One "domestic" SKS is equipped with a night-vision scope, the other is outfitted with an illuminated, red-dot 1X scope for daytime use, and both have "squirrel-head" accuracy at 50 meters and "human head" accuracy at 200 meters (which is good enough for me).

    Being a combat veteran who has managed to somehow survive many "hamburger engagements" only by the grace of God, I will not entertain any arguments from anyone as to overall superiority and reliability of either the SKS or AK platform over the AR/M-16 in extremely dirty/wet/muddy conditions because I've managed to finish many of those encounters (albiet crawling and scared to death with some underwear baggage) by managing to retrieve a whacked (expletive deleted's) AK after my 16 had jammed - and picking up a close friend's dropped 16 was futile because he'd taken a trip to heaven from it jamming at a critical moment as well. After personally examining the carnage on both sides (before gathering up our dead and bugging out), I can also personally attest to the superiority of nasty wound damage created by the .30 caliber (7.62 x 39) AK/SKS ball ammo over our measley .22 caliber (5.56 x 45) of the same type. Comparing apples to apples, I would expect the same major disparity between both rounds using soft or hollow-point ammo as well on a non-armored human at a range of less than 200 meters.

    I apologize for this lengthy rant; but with regard to the thread's SKS subject, there is no "middle ground" - either keep it exactly in OEM condition, or spend the money to convert it to a highly efficient and reliable "domestic" rifle that few will be able to walk away from after they've ran a few rounds through it.

  6. #21
    Distinguished Member Array pirate's Avatar
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    This post got me thinking about my old Norinco SKS sitting in the deep dark recesses of the back of my safe. So when I went to the outdoor range today with a coworker and stayed for 4 hours and went through a lot of ammo. We shot 8 different rifles including my Norinco SKS with screwed in barrel (as opposed to pinned). I had 4 Tapco 20 round mags. My rifle is 922r compliant of course. I feed it 200 rounds of mixed Russian, Wolf, Silver Bear, Brown Bear. All functioned and fired 100 percent reliably in this rifle. Extremely pleased with the function of the Tapco detachable mags. All feed reliably, no issues at all. These are the only detachable mags that work well in the SKS. I know from 20 plus years of shooting SKS rifles. I put this rifle together because it was a inexpensive build project on a rifle I purchased over 20 years ago that cost me less than $60. I have about $300 in the setup total including stock, optic base, red dot optic and mags. I have not had it out in a while since I have so many other rifle options, but this thing really runs great and would make a solid SHTF rifle. Its not to be underestimated. I was hitting 8" metal spinners at 100 yards and out to 150 yards consistently with a no magnification red dot. Great fun from a cheap to own, feed and operate weapon.



    When I leave the home port:
    S&W 642 Airweight, Ruger SP 101, Colt Detective Spec., CZ RAMI, Kahr PM9, Kahr CW40, S&W Model 10-7, Glock 30, 19, and 26, Browning Hi Power, CZ82, Colt Commander, Dan Wesson PM7, Ruger LCP

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