The SKS: Those who own/owned one: Pros/cons

The SKS: Those who own/owned one: Pros/cons

This is a discussion on The SKS: Those who own/owned one: Pros/cons within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; My location: California I've been thinking about buying a SKS since they would cost less than an AK variant or an AR type rifle (M&P ...

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Thread: The SKS: Those who own/owned one: Pros/cons

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array ComplexKaos's Avatar
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    The SKS: Those who own/owned one: Pros/cons

    My location: California

    I've been thinking about buying a SKS since they would cost less than an AK variant or an AR type rifle (M&P sport). There are kits out there that give you the ability to turn an SKS into a modern rifle complete with rails and all.

    I also like the 7.62mm round over the .223/5.56.

    So for those who have personal experience with the SKS can you answer these questions.

    1. Accuracy- How accurate is the rifle?

    2. Reliability- How many rounds did you put through it in one session?

    * When exposed to the elements (dust, sand, dirt, mud, etc) did you experience any problems?

    * Any failure to feed with any kind of ammo?

    3. Accessories: Did you customize your SKS?

    *Cost?


  2. #2
    Member Array revldm's Avatar
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    I have a SKS that I bought a few years ago.I bought it because I thought I just might need a good rifle someday but I did not want to tie up a lot of money in one since I do not hunt.It seems to shoot well but to be honest I have only fired it once. I put twenty rounds thru it just to see how well it would shoot then I cleaned it and put it away. I believe it is a good gun for a low price. Mine cost less than 100.00 but I have noticed that they have gone way up in price lately. If you are planing on customizeing it you might be better off just buying a AR since all you would have with the SKS is a dressed up cheap gun. I think they work well for what they are and I am happy with mine.
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    Member Array l1a1's Avatar
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    I've had good luck with them, especially the Russian ones. I've seen some stellar Chinese ones but saw one that was so-so in the reliability department. Accuracy was combat acceptable, not a tack driver and not nearly as accurate as an AR. Never subjected mine to adverse environments but they are generally well made, well engineered and reliable.

    Reloads with the stripper clips are preferable to the 30 rd mags that I have used. Apparently they made a trapdoor 20 rd but I have never seen one in the wild.
    It's kind of like how some people have a sudden and insatiable desire to talk about vampires after the Twilight series became popular, except zombies are much less gay and more likely to exist one day

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    Why do you want an SKS of rifle?

    If it is for Home defense I would suggest a shotgun before a rifle.
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

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    Ex Member Array ComplexKaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by revldm View Post
    I have a SKS that I bought a few years ago.I bought it because I thought I just might need a good rifle someday but I did not want to tie up a lot of money in one since I do not hunt.It seems to shoot well but to be honest I have only fired it once. I put twenty rounds thru it just to see how well it would shoot then I cleaned it and put it away. I believe it is a good gun for a low price. Mine cost less than 100.00 but I have noticed that they have gone way up in price lately. If you are planing on customizeing it you might be better off just buying a AR since all you would have with the SKS is a dressed up cheap gun. I think they work well for what they are and I am happy with mine.
    Yes they are running between $250-300, I have also looked at AK variants and the AR, but I like the 7.62mm due to better stopping power over the .223/5.56.

    The SKS would serve as a good battle rifle in a worst case scenario.

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    SKS has a free floating firing pin in the bolt. If dirty, gummed or fouled it can cause uncontrolled slam-fire which is uncontrolled full auto until the mag is empty. Have had it happen, luckily only had three rounds in the mag. There are spring loaded replacements to help prevent this. But a good cleaning and shaking the bolt and hearing the pin moving in the bolt means you should be safe. It is a military rifle, designed to throw bullets in a fight. Use caution when chambering a round. Have the muzzle down range, don't do it in your house or you'll need that stuff you see on the infomercial at night.

    I have a Norinco Chines SKS, 1956 or so and it is a fun shooter. Mine is scope equipped but I won't win any marksman prizes with it.

  7. #7
    Ex Member Array ComplexKaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgrass101 View Post
    Why do you want an SKS of rifle?

    If it is for Home defense I would suggest a shotgun before a rifle.
    I have an 870 and 500.

    It's also cheaper than the AK and AR models out there, ill eventually get an AK or AR.

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    I got a Yugo SKS about 7-8 years ago for $100. Ran a couple of dozen rounds through it, then put it aside. I really didn't like the short buttstock - it felt like a kid's gun (a heavy kid's gun). But I got a synthetic aftermarket stock for cheap on fleaBay, and the gun is really enjoyable now. It's an easy shooter, recoil-wise, and the trigger is manageable for a milsurp-commie gun. Accuracy with whatever steel-cased ammo I had was about 4-5 inches at 100 yards, if I recall correctly. Knocking over soda cans from offhand at about 35 years was pretty easy, even with those minimal open sights and my AARP-qualified eyes. With better sights, an improved trigger and attention to ammo (handloads) those groups could probably be cut in half.

    It's a rugged, robust gun, chromed bore, and appears to be fairly dirt-tolerant, with very few close-tolerance pieces. Except for the length and weight, I'd say it's as good a battle rifle as you can get for the price. Think of it as the Eastern bloc answer to the Garand - about the same length and weight, both fed from an internal magazine charged with clips, both gas-operated and .30 cal. (The Garand being a far superior weapon in many ways, effective range of its cartridge being foremost in my mind.)
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    Ex Member Array ComplexKaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    I got a Yugo SKS about 7-8 years ago for $100. Ran a couple of dozen rounds through it, then put it aside. I really didn't like the short buttstock - it felt **** a kid's gun (a heavy kid's gun). But I got a synthetic aftermarket stock for cheap on fleaBay, and the gun is really enjoyable now. It's an easy shooter, recoil-wise, and the trigger is manageable for a milsurp-commie gun. Accuracy with whatever steel-cased ammo I had was about 4-5 inches at 100 yards, if I recall correctly. Knocking over soda cans from offhand at about 35 years was pretty easy, even with those minimal open sights and my AARP-qualified eyes. With better sights, an improved trigger and attention to ammo (handloads) those groups could probably be cut in half.

    It's a rugged, robust gun, chromed bore, and appears to be fairly dirt-tolerant, with very few close-tolerance pieces. Except for the length and weight, I'd say it's as good a battle rifle as you can get for the price. Think of it as the Eastern bloc answer to the Garand - about the same length and weight, both fed from an internal magazine charged with clips, both gas-operated and .30 cal. (The Garand being a far superior weapon in many ways, effective range of its cartridge being foremost in my mind.)
    Thanks ill go looking for one tomorrow.

    If anything it will serve as a good rifle until I get an AK or AR type rifle, I was also looking at the Mini-30 but for the price of a mini I would be better off getting an AR.

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    Member Array mpbond's Avatar
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    I have 3, 2 standard and 1 paratrooper model as the seller called it. It has a slightly shorter barrel.

    I'm 6' and the stock is a little short for me but they are fun guns. If you get one, make sure the bore is chrome lined. Some of the Chinese ones aren't and are done after 1 or 2 thousand rounds. Mine are all Chinese BTW w/ chrome bore. Never had a malfunction with any of them and are decently accurate.

  11. #11
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    I've been thinking about buying a SKS since they would cost less than an AK variant or an AR type rifle (M&P sport). There are kits out there that give you the ability to turn an SKS into a modern rifle complete with rails and all.
    Only one opinion on the kits but I want a rifle to be a rifle rather than a receptacle on which to hang excessive baggage of all sorts.

    I also like the 7.62mm round over the .223/5.56.
    I too, like the 7.62X39 round over the .223, preferring the larger diameter and bullet weight over speed.

    So for those who have personal experience with the SKS can you answer these questions.

    1. Accuracy- How accurate is the rifle?
    Disappointing. Mine's Russian and can only manage 4 1/2-inch groups at 100 yards from the bench rest with the different styles of ammunition fed it. This translates to much diminished practical accuracy at longer distances. My son has a Yugo with the cumbersome grenade-launching attachment that shoots 2 1/2-inch groups at 100 yards when using the same ammunition as mine. His Yugo doesn't have a chrome-lined bore. The chromo-lined bore doesn't much matter if proper cleaining is done.

    2. Reliability- How many rounds did you put through it in one session?
    Perhaps as many as 200 rounds in a couple of sessions. Mostly 40-100 rounds at a session.

    * When exposed to the elements (dust, sand, dirt, mud, etc) did you experience any problems?
    It's never been exposed to such. I do my best to protect from the elements.

    * Any failure to feed with any kind of ammo?
    The rifle has never failed to feed or function with any FMJ spitzer, hollow point, or soft point ammunition used.

    3. Accessories: Did you customize your SKS?
    No. I particularly want to leave the rifle stock, as-issued.

    *Cost?
    Was around $80 dollars from a vender who had a mountain of SKS rifles at the end-cap of a row at a Dallas Market Hall gun show in the mid-1990s. I ran across the sales receipt a while back in my stuff. Frankly, that's about all I'd be interested in tying up in one of the rifles. They were a "deal" back then, providing an inexpensive way to shoot a really great intermediate-range cartridge, but there's no way any of the SKS variants are worth the money asked for them these days in my view.

    The gun is too heavy for the cartridge it shoots. It is very ungainly and ill-balanced, being front-heavy and with an abominably short butt stock. I don't like carrying it for long periods in my hands as well as any of several heavier rifles and I don't like carrying it slug as well as other heavier rifles. It's less accurate than any other military rifle I own or have owned saving for an Italian Mannlicher-Carcano I once owned. My rifle has a wretched trigger which doesn't contribute to fine accuracy. My son's rifle has a tolerable trigger and the rifle itself seems to display greater inherent accuracy.

    It's best attribute is the 7.62X39 cartridge. I actually like the original sights fine for use out to a couple hundred yards. It seems a robust rifle that likely could take a lot of punishment though I've not mistreated mine in any way. The SKS always works, even after being dirty from firing a number of rounds. It is easy to field strip which makes cleaning and maintenance a snap. Recoil of the rifle is miminal.

    At the end of the day I'd have to say that I like the cartridge better than I do the rifle.

    I'm shooting the Russki SKS down a canyon at rocks from 125 yards to infinity in this photo. From a sitting position with elbows rested, using the SKS at 300 yards or greater would amount to making 'em duck for cover more than anything else.
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    Member Array dean1818's Avatar
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    I have a norinco SKS

    It groups at 3-5 inches with a red-dot or iron sights at 100

    I have a new scope that i will be trying to see if i can improve on it

    To me, its a reliable weapon that is accurate enough to hunt with.

    I would have one over a semi auto AK, every day of the week

    Everyone should have one


    When my AR is built, i will choose that, but the sks goes bang every time
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    What non-shooter are YOU planning on taking to the range?

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    Senior Member Array Bubbiesdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ComplexKaos View Post
    My location: California

    I've been thinking about buying a SKS since they would cost less than an AK variant or an AR type rifle (M&P sport). There are kits out there that give you the ability to turn an SKS into a modern rifle complete with rails and all.

    I also like the 7.62mm round over the .223/5.56.

    So for those who have personal experience with the SKS can you answer these questions.

    1. Accuracy- How accurate is the rifle?

    2. Reliability- How many rounds did you put through it in one session?

    * When exposed to the elements (dust, sand, dirt, mud, etc) did you experience any problems?

    * Any failure to feed with any kind of ammo?

    3. Accessories: Did you customize your SKS?

    *Cost?
    Be careful with customizing. You lose the C&R status. No ammo issues that I have seen. They were made to shoot cheap, smokey ammo.
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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgrass101 View Post
    Why do you want an SKS of rifle?

    If it is for Home defense I would suggest a shotgun before a rifle.
    Can't answer for the OP but the fact that I do not have one is sometimes all the reason I need to want one.

    Michael

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    I bought a Chinese SKS when Norinco was importing them. I changed it to a Butler Creek composite stock, put a milled scope mount receiver on it with 4X scope. Never had any problems with it. The gun was accurate enough for hunting and due to the loose tolerances SKS and AK's are built to, the elements didn't effect it. All told I had about $150 in it, of course the gun only cost $90 back then.
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