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Posted: 4/5/2001 7:25:23 PM EDT
I think I'd like to buy an SKS as a practice rifle for me and my kids. Not going to put a scope or anything else on it. I want something inexpensive but reliable and fairly accurate, at least, more accurate than an ak. I figure a can get one and shoot cheap ass wolf ammo all day long. Are these things accurate enough to serve that purpose? How much should I pay, and what should I look for? Anyone know a good source? Should I look for something else? I've never so much as held one, but I hear a lot of people like em.

Thanks in advance.    
Link Posted: 4/5/2001 7:29:58 PM EDT
They sell them wholesale out of Shotgun News for $139. I think Navy Arms or SOG.
I loved my SKS's, they are a great starter gun. Easy to maintain.
One problem you may find is some dealers have some SKS's they paid to much for, so I am still seeing some outrageous retail prices. You might have to find an FFL and do a transfer.
For the price, they are a best buy. Cheaper than some .22 rifles.
Buy a Romanian one.
Link Posted: 4/5/2001 7:32:03 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/5/2001 7:51:45 PM EDT
If you want something more accurate, you might try a Indian .308 Enfield. They are around $100 and .308 ammo is almost as cheap as 7.62x39mm.
I keep mine on paper out to 300 yards.
Link Posted: 4/5/2001 7:53:54 PM EDT
dingleberry -

I believe that you would be satisfied with the purchase of an SKS.  They are still relatively inexpensive and as you have noted ammo can be had cheaply as well.

The 2 types that I am aware of that exist (there may be others - chime in here if you are informed) are of the screwed in barrel type and the pinned barrel type.  This refers to the method by which the barrel is mounted to the receiver.  I will let other learned AR15.COMers share their preferences.

By the way - my cover is off to you for sharing such a fine skill with your family.  Learning the proper handling, use, and respect for the tools of our passion is a dying art - Pass it on!

The Sniper
Link Posted: 4/5/2001 8:53:38 PM EDT
All the info you will ever need right here at:
Link Posted: 4/5/2001 9:01:48 PM EDT
Our family bought 15 SKSs about 10 years ago for $87 each. These were new-in-box and packed with grease. The guides that came with them were written in some foreign lanuage. We gave them away as gifts to friends and other relatives. I have 2 left, one is still boxed/greased and one sees minimal service. I haven't shot it for about 4 years now.

I recall groups of around 3". Not super accurate, but acceptable for what it was designed for, reliability. It seemed like it would eject brass about 50ft without any malfunctions/jams. They do seem very heavy for their size.

Mine have the folding spike style bayonet. It loses a little weight with this removed. They came with cylinder shaped cleaning kits that fit into the steel butt-plate trapdoor.

***WARNING-I got my finger stuck inside that spring loaded door somehow. It acted like a wedge and I couldn't get unstuck because the tool kit has a heavy spring pushing it from the other end inside the stock.  I finally got a screwdriver inserted next to my finger and pushed the door in. With practice it became easy to access the cleaning kit.  

I havn't checked prices for a while now. It seems ammo is still pretty inexpensive though. I really don't believe there generally more accurate that an AK. The AK has a rotating bolt to lock the lugs. My SKSs are back home, but I remember them having a non-locking bolt that blows back and is assisted by the gas rod system. I will bring mine down this weekend to make sure. I havn't broken one down in years.
Link Posted: 4/5/2001 9:09:52 PM EDT
Would you want to sell the one still in the box?
Link Posted: 4/5/2001 9:31:21 PM EDT
SKS's are an awesome value. I've got a totally stock pinned-barrel Chinese one that I often shoot in our local 100 yard DCM matches with respectable results. With Chinese ammo my groups typically run about 2 1/2 inches wide by 6 inches vertical due to a strange tendency to shoot almost separate high and low groups. I almost seem to do better offhand, so last fall I took it to a local turkey shoot and won a frozen turkey shooting at milk jugs at 100 yards. Out of dozens of guys shooting bolt and lever guns, only 3 others got turkeys. And they said I was the only guy to even attempt it with iron sights. Got my picture in the paper even! The practical accuracy isn't bad.

Pinned barrels are not highly esteemed, and when you see the little pin you'll wonder how the barrel stays in at all. But mine works great, and I've fired several more, and never heard of anyone having any trouble with one. I wouldn't shy away from them at all.

The rifle is very pleasant to shoot, as far as recoil and muzzle blast. The "brass" does go into low orbit, but who cares? Russian ammo in my gun barely stays on a paper plate at 100 yards, but others report it's better than the Chinese in their guns. My rifle never jams, but it sounds like when they do it's usually caused by cheapo extended magazines.

I've heard that Romanian guns have more tolerance problems than Chinese, but I don't have any first-hand experience with Romanian or Russian ones.

Oh, Kevin N, the SKS does fire from a locked breech, with a tilting bolt system similar to the FN-49, FAL, MAS-49, or several other rifles. It has the separate bolt and bolt carrier just like an AR-15, performing analogous functions.
Link Posted: 4/5/2001 10:57:40 PM EDT
The SKS Paratrooper milled/threaded was my first rifle.  I traded it off and have always regretted that move.  I have to quit talking about it or I'll get upset...
Link Posted: 4/6/2001 2:07:55 AM EDT
dinglebery,I would buy a 10-22 real cheap to shoot, quiet.If 22lr isn't your thing get a 22mag.unless you just wanting a para-military type weapon.
Link Posted: 4/6/2001 3:37:12 AM EDT
I have a chinese threaded barrel. got it when sks's where $160. it came with the blade bayonet. I must have fired 1000s of rounds thru it with both the factory 10rd mag and a 20rd USAMag. never had a jam. i put the non folding stock on it to lengthen the pull and put the twist on type muzzle brake. love it, even my wife likes to shoot it. go for it. get a SKS
Link Posted: 4/6/2001 5:38:46 AM EDT
Here are my Soviet SKSs.  Top Tula '53 Laminate.  Bottom Tula '50 Hardwood!

Link Posted: 4/6/2001 6:29:46 AM EDT
If you find a deal on SKSs, buy 3. One to shoot, one for your kids and one to bury with 1000 rounds of ammo.
Link Posted: 4/6/2001 6:46:18 AM EDT
Ditto what Fatman said.  One each for each kid.
Link Posted: 4/6/2001 8:28:06 AM EDT
i dont know if they still have em, but centerfire had the romanian SKS's for $115 they still have wolf for $69.99. i have a ruskie and a chicom gun and they are both very fun and 1/2 ass accurate(blast rocks outta to 400-500 yards with em) dont try and scope em or use the 30 round mags. the usa mags work ok, but not 100% reliable. get some stripper clips and u should be good to go. rumor has it that the russians made the SKS's for the romanain's anyway, they looked used but still shoot good, or so i hear, we have a few at work and for under $200 a guy cant go wrong.
Link Posted: 4/6/2001 8:54:35 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/6/2001 9:39:01 AM EDT
Yea, what Kevin N said!

nothing like looking like a fool at the range with your finger stuck in your butt hole![:o]
Link Posted: 4/6/2001 10:01:03 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Kevin N:
***WARNING-I got my finger stuck inside that spring loaded door somehow. It acted like a wedge and I couldn't get unstuck because the tool kit has a heavy spring pushing
View Quote

Heh heh...me too, and I think probably everybody else who has ever owned one of these!
Link Posted: 4/6/2001 10:13:38 AM EDT
 The SKS is a great plinker, plunker, and cat
 The SKS is a great plinker, plunker, and cat&rat blaster, but I wouldn't use it for serious social purposes.  You'll get killed trying to reload with stripper clips, and the only relible mag that I've found is th 10 rounder that came with it. It's a second line weapon.
Link Posted: 4/6/2001 10:36:22 AM EDT
I have an old Chinese SKS with one of the redish brown stocks that they put on the rifles they gave to the North Vietnamese. It has Norinco markings so I know it was not issued, but it is still a great conversation piece at the range if a Vietnam Vet is there. I paid about $140 for it at some pawn shop in Burien, Wa. With Russian ammo (I won't use the Chinese stuff because of their lack of quality control) it groups about three inches at 100 yards.

Link Posted: 4/6/2001 1:23:08 PM EDT
I've got a Chinese SKS with a pinned barrel, however, I think the pin is just a safety latch, because the barrels are actually pressed in - I was told it could never be removed.  Anyway, I've shot about 1000 rds. through it and accuracy has actually gotten better with every cleaning.  My favorite ammo is some Chzech stuff I believe - 123gr. hollow point.  I bought an integrated scope mount receiver and this has helped some.  I'm getting <2" at 100yds - consistently.  However, when that barrel heats up you're going to throw rounds everywhere.  My best accuracy is always achieved when loading one round at a time, but that baby will zing through a 30rd. mag a fast as you can pull the trigger.  I would say it's a little loud for youngsters and that trigger shaped safety many not be in the best interest of learning shooters.  I've also killed a deer with it - one double lung shot at 60 yds.  My favorite victims however are armadillos - they tend to explode like watermelons when you pop 'em with a hollow point.  Ammo is still cheap and it's fun to shoot - just not very accurate.  Expect to pay ~$125 and get a long barrel model.  Butler Creek makes a cheap plastic stock for them too, you'll need one to keep the back of that hump backed receiver from busting your nose.
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