sks or Nagant?
Looking for a cheap but reliable rifle for hunting season, but one that would also be somewhat useable for a SHTF senario as the price of a slug barrel for my shotgun is as much as an entirely new rifle.
Due to cost I have it down to the SKS in 7.62x39 or the the Nagant in the 7.62X54.
However I know very little about these guns except that they are Russian and like most Russian guns will outlast a world war or three.
So, does anybody have either of these or both?
How are their acccuracy? Compareable to an AK? or superior?
Is it easy to mount a scope or do I have to get creative?
What is a good price for either, last gun show looked like I could get the SKS for about $85 for a beat up outside but pristine inside one. Is that a good price?
Also I am left handed so does the SKS eject far enough away for me to not be pegged by hot brass?
Would you consider the 7.62X39 to be effective against med/large game? or is it a bit on the smallish side?
Looking to make shots around the 200-300 yard range with a scope if that helps, and I am planning on at least attempting to take 2 deer and possibly a bear (if i feel frisky)
Thank you for any assistance.
As long as it's legal in your state, I think the SKS would make a good brush rifle. I think it's good enough for deer-sized game....bigger than that....I don't know.
The Nagant should work too...and better on maybe elk-sized game(?) Anyone?
As far as bolting a scope...I believe there are aftermarket mounting solutions....someone here might now, or doing a "Google" search might help.
ATI makes stocks and scope mounts for both, don't know about the quality. Although I have a shotgun stock from them and like it.
Not quite up on my calibers for game out west. But the 7.62x39 should certainly be able to take a deer, the minimum cartidge in some states for deer is .223.
I read somewhere that the 7.62x54R (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong) is in between a .308 and .30-06 in terms of power, so it should be able to take fairly large game with proper shots. Definately deer though.
Prices in my area are about 130 for a Yugo SKS in good shape, or 70-100 for Nagants, depending on the model and stock finish.
A full size Nagant Would be a bit unwiedly in the woods though. Maybe a carbinelike the M44. Accuracy is about what you would expect from a Russian Battle rifle.
I have both rifles. However, I do not hunt so I will let the better informed speak on those terms. However, I consider my SKS to be my Go-To gun. It has accompanied me on backpacking trips and has endured quite a beating from me. It still shoots like the day I bought it. The SKS goes to the pits for shooting every single time. Without fail. The Mosin... well... doesn't.
The Nagant is fairly accurate from how I've shot it - supported to 100 yards. Using my Yugoslavian SKS, I've shot man-targets pinned to scrub out to about 250 yards from different elevations and angles. Using iron sights and Wolf ammo, I will hit the target almost every time, but at about 12-16" groupings with 1-2 seconds between shots. This has been done in variable weather conditions - from windy to slight drizzle. Even having my new Bushmaster AR... I'm not comfortable with the AR-15 enough to consider it a SHTF rifle. So I practice with the SKS under just about any conditions. Unfortunately I've never actually had it out to a range for some bench shooting.
My SKS has a scope but its more for novelty, though. The bolt-carrier slaps the spring housing fairly hard on each shot and keeping a zero is like trying to shoot from a scope while someone slaps your head repeatedly. (It should be noted, that MOST SKS scope mounts sit on this housing. There are a few that can me mounted from the stock.) I've heard the recoil problem can be corrected (or at least helped quite a bit) by a recoil spring buffer that some websites sell. I haven't used it and don't intend to get it. - The Mosin-Nagant has quite a few options for optics. Most involve installing the mount on the stock itself. I've heard the gun is quite good with optics and holds a zero well-enough.
I picked-up my 1939 Tula Mosin-Nagant for ~$100 and it came with the bayonet, "dog collars" and sling, and all the goop. My SKS has matching serials all around and was "like new" when I got it, where I paid $140 I think.
Hope this helps at all.
The sks will put out ballistics similar to a .30-30. I have known a couple of woman who outfitted sks rifles for deer hunting because it was more than adequate for taking down deer and was much easier on the shoulder. If you are planning on taking on bear though, I would go with the nagant. For game like that, you want at the bare minimum (no pun intended) something that is similar to the .308 or better in my opinion. Nothing worse than a angry wounded bear coming after you. I turned down a shot at a big black bear this last fall because he froze in the brush and I didn't have a clear enough shot to know which end I was going to hit.
Honestly, I would pick up a good, reliable American made .308 or 30-06 bolt action rifle. The few extra dollars you pay will be worthwile in the end, especially for accuracy.
I would agree with SonofASniper on his evaluation of good alternatives. I have a 91/30 M-N (that's the full-length rifle) Izhevsk-made rifle that was a training rifle and was refurbed in Czechoslovakia at some point, as some of the markings are confusing and a knowledgeable friend said it was a 1929 refurbed in '43. It came with the bayonet, tool kit, sling, and goop can for $150 and in superb shape. I have never gotten it to shoot better than a 10" ctc group at 100 yards with some 185 gr. Brown Bear ammo, I've tried a lot of mil-surp types that usually group at 12-15" at 100. I think it's just a factor of how the rifles were made and unless you get to try it out beforehand, you're kinda entering a crap shoot. My friend inherited a cherry 1903a3 that I shot back-to-back with the Mosin and got a 0.75" ctc group with two of the holes touching, so I don't think my skills had much to do with my performance. I'm sure with some time and effort, maybe a new stock and a little trigger work (man they're heavy) I could maybe improve the rifle's performance at the cost of destroying its historical value. It's still a fun rifle to shoot even if it isn't a tackdriver, it definitely gets attention at the range, especially when everyone else is shooting .22s. Upon reflection, I kinda wished I'd gone with an M44 because the 91/30 is so unwieldy.
Also, 7.62x54R ammo is becoming harder to find and more expensive. A 20-pack of mil-surp at the LGS went from $4.99 to $7.99 within a month. I can't find it at "the usual places" on a regular basis, and forget about trying to find it at the redneck shops near places where people go hunting. If you forget or misplace your ammo going on a hunt, they'll definitely have .30-'06 or .308.
Another gun to consider is the Yugo Mauser in 8mm. The bolt design is often copied and is still used in modern bolt rifles. 8mm, at the moment, is still extremely cheap, so practice ammo will be plentiful. They are very accurate and affordable. Since it's not a "collectible" like a K98 Mauser, you can take it into the bush without worrying about scratching it up. Food for thought, anyway.
Most of it has been covered. I only have a couple of things to add.
Nagants have striaght bolts, to mount a scope other than a scout scope you must get a bent bolt.
Accuracy with Nagants is usually not that good 6-12" groups at 100yds is the norm. That said there are some really accurate (for nagants) ones. I have a Tula aresnal (1929) 91/30 that shoots 3" groups at 100 yds. I have a fake sniper Nagant that shoots about the same. the price diffence was around $200 between the two.
My M-44 shoots best with the baynoet out. A M-38 doesn't have a attached bayonet and might be more accurate.
You could always try one of these, scope mounts are avaible.
Random, unsubstantiated thoughts:
Meh. I was thinking "okay" until I read the words "bear" and "200 - 300 yards".
I'm sure half the members in this forum will claim to be able to split vanilla wafers with either weapon at those ranges but... I can't. You probably won't, either.
You might be able to coax that kind of accuracy out of a Mosin. Scoping either one would be expensive to do it properly. A receiver-cover scope on an SKS is worthless.
Against a bear? I wouldn't go up against a bear with either one. John Hirsch might, but not me. Nope.
An SKS is good for deer out to say 100 yards with good bullet placement. No way for bear at any distance, except in an emergency. The trigger can be cleaned up, and if you mount a scope in the "scout" position (there are stable commerical mounts for this), they are pretty accurate. Unfortunately, you have now sunk as much into the gun as what it cost you in the first place.
May I suggest a Savage bolt action rifle in at least .308?
If I was going deer hunting I would use my mosin over my sks.It has
more power hand and accuracy that a bolt gives over a semi.Both are
fun to shoot!
Originally Posted by Spectre
Originally Posted by Spectre
However, the ammo isn't cheap like it was. Most of what is left is steel cased, although you can occasionally find some brass cased. Either way, it has about doubled in price.
I know the mention was SKS or Mosin .......... and I'd certainly give the SKS good marks, my fave being a Norinco.
But let me be off track and mention one other inexpensive milsurp, that eats 8mm .. the Turk Mauser. I fitted on the ATI furniture, which is sorta ''Steyr" pattern and fugly but - forget looks - it feels great. The bolt needs modified for scope - and instead of doing a heating method to reform the handle - used an add-on approach, where old handle cut off and stub drilled and tapped to take a new angled piece.
I shot mine again this last weekend and while it is not that tight of a grouper, is very adequate and I'd even consider it worthy of hunting use at a push. Mine is better than minute of pie plate and with some aim-off can connect with a 600 yard steel plate (man size) almost every time.
I've been looking at one of these to scope my M44 might be something to look into if you need / want a scope and don't want to drill the rifle. Also available for the SKS