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Hey everybody, I’m new to the milsurp game and am just getting started even looking into old pieces to pick up. My interests lie with old combloc firearms, so naturally I thought I would pick up an SKS. It’s real painful seeing prices like $75 and $100 not that many years ago when it seems like the going rate is $300 and up nowadays. My question is, can I ever expect prices to get lower over time or should I just go ahead and start collecting now?
 

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I'm not any kind of authority on these but I believe a lot of the Chinese SKS's coming in sat in Albania or something for a long time and that's what made them legal to import. So when those dry up, and I have no idea how many are left, prices always rise when stuff stops getting imported. That being said, there are millions out there someone would probably export to us but it's just not legal right now. So, if some laws/sanctions change and they import millions of them the price will generally go down at least a little vs market value except for more rare versions. So my thinking is, if you're not willing to gamble on laws changing then yes I would collect now but be aware they could drop some day, even though unlikely. I think the chances of any of that red tap changing are very unlikely in the near future given the geopolitical situation in places that have a lot of SKS's like China, Russia, Ukraine etc. Also, the left isn't looking to ease gun importation anytime soon. I don't think the prices are going to shoot up dramatically soon but I also don't see them getting any cheaper other than a quick sale on an online retailer. Just my thoughts, and I'm basing this on knowing very little about the SKS and more of what I see as a general trend in military surplus. So yes, might as well start now.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

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Yeah your reasoning makes sense to me. Shame that there’s so much good stuff out there that’s inaccessible to us. Guess I’ll start shopping around for a nice piece.
 

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Truth be told - you are late for the party. Like a decade late at least. You missed the boat. Buy now. The prices will never come down appreciably.
 

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Since China and Russia have been prohibited from exporting the US...
And most European and African countries get paid to destroy them...
 

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Woodchucker:

Welcome to the forum! :thumbsup:

You ask good and interesting questions and the quick and short answer that there is no time better than right now to start buying the guns you want. Other than generational turnover there is little reason to think that any sizable number of guns are going to be introduced to the collector’s marketplace. Sadly all signs, from restrictive legislation, fewer and fewer remaining supplies of surplus (importable) firearms, inflation, and a host of other negatives, indicate that there is no good or realistic reason to believe that we will experience another golden age of C&R guns.

If you hesitate now because you missed out on the good old days I can almost guarantee that in time you will look back at the wonderful deals you didn’t grab in 2020 and kick yourself.

There’s much to be said about allowing predictions of the future to control your life today but it’s unproductive and masochistic to let the past dictate your present and future.

Good luck and once again, welcome to Gun Boards! :)
 

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Woodchucker:

Welcome to the forum! :thumbsup:

You ask good and interesting questions and the quick and short answer that there is no time better than right now to start buying the guns you want. Other than generational turnover there is little reason to think that any sizable number of guns are going to be introduced to the collector’s marketplace. Sadly all signs, from restrictive legislation, fewer and fewer remaining supplies of surplus (importable) firearms, inflation, and a host of other negatives, indicate that there is no good or realistic reason to believe that we will experience another golden age of C&R guns.

If you hesitate now because you missed out on the good old days I can almost guarantee that in time you will look back at the wonderful deals you didn’t grab in 2020 and kick yourself.

There’s much to be said about allowing predictions of the future to control your life today but it’s unproductive and masochistic to let the past dictate your present and future.

Good luck and once again, welcome to Gun Boards! :)
Richard is 100% correct. With surplus now is always better than later. At this point in time, there is about a 0% chance that any military surplus rifles will be imported in numbers that will drive down prices. In fact, the most recent large batch of stuff coming out of Ethiopia arguably drove prices up for a lot of common milsurps. Sellers saw what customers were willing to pay and several types of rifles jumped in value by 10-20%. SKS rifles in particular have jumped a ton in the last 2 years. New in Box Yugo M59/66s were $429 all day back then and everyone thought that was high. Look at Gunbroker and the same rifles are selling for +$600. It's gotten to the point that the premium most folks used to pay for a Russian one has shrank a bit with most of them leveling out between $700-$800 when back in the day the price difference between a Yugo and Russian could easily be $200-$300. I think things will level out a bit for now, but things will definitely not get cheaper.
 

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75 or 100 bucks? you're talking what those were back 20+ years ago, when the market was flooded with them, as in dealers had boxes and boxes stack up on several of their tables, and there was fierce competition to entice buyers to buy from them, in other words it was a "buyers market"

now, it's "seller's market" if you want one you are going to have to pay the sellers price, that simple
 

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As stated deals can still be found but the long game shows that prices will continue to go up over time. Imports of mil surp pistols and police trade in pistols have been really good in the past couple of years and there are still many primary sellers getting them in so that might be a good place to start as well. From Romanian Tok's to star BM's to the recent Berreta series of pistols. Grab some of those now and you will be thankful in a few years. Sounds like you have a group of milsurps you are interested in ... Combloc countries have produced some really great rifles and pistols. Have fun... enjoy and learn about history as well as getting to shoot these great old guns.
 

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$300-350 feels expensive compared to $79.99, but even 15 years ago an SKS was generally at least $250-300. Back in the 90s they were cheaper, but that’s getting close to 30 years ago. Buy one now and enjoy it. You’ll always be able to sell it for what you paid, because the odds that they’ll suddenly be stupid cheap again are pretty much zero.
 

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Best place to find deals on all milsurp guns are at small town local gun dealers. You never know what the son of there father or grandfather is selling or tradering for something new.
 

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Cheap surplus died away about 3-4 years ago. Now it's hugely popular and collectible with the prices seemingly growing every day.

The owners of this stuff overseas see that and use that to raise their price on the importer.
The importer see you spending $400 for a beater Chinese SKS and says "why sell for $100 when we can sell to the dealers for $300!"

In short, no.. Those days are never coming back. Growing up, I remember all the older collectors saying "back in my day you could get an enfield for $30, I could get a k98k for $25. Century did this sale that when you bought 3 carcanos for $10 a piece, you got the 4th free." And was always in awe of this without thinking about the $300 RC k98K rifles, $450 P38 pistols, $125 Yugo SKS rifles, $2000 Tiger Dragunovs, $69 91/30s, M44s and M38s... $150 ex sniper 91/30s. $125 M91s.. French Lebels for $500.

Not sure if it applies, but I couldn't see the forest for the trees. So now as I approach middle age and younger people get into collecting, I can take my place as an older collector with stories of the amazing pricing.


How stupid were we.. $500 for PU sniper rifles. I remember being at a local distributor, sorting through hundreds of them to find the "rare" ones.. How many hundreds of 43 and 44 izhevsk and tula PUs did I just put to the side as "eh these are common".

The last post sums it up. The prices will never come down. Really the only time prices permanently come down is when the ammo is not available. That's why Arisakas and Carcanos are so inexpensive.
 

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Even if the ban on importing military style rifles from China was rescinded and the flood gates were opened, SKSs still wouldn't drop down to the prices they sold for in the late 80s/early 90s.
 

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I agree with you. The prices will never come down.
they'll only go up and up.

Woodchucker, if you are hankering for a SKS my advice get one now, while the prices aren't too crazy

wasn't too long ago, 15 or so years, that you could pick up a Romanian SAR AK for under 200 bucks...………….now, dig in deep for one
 

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Like Merle Haggard said, the good times really are over for good.

A couple of years ago I would occasionally find a clean Norinco SKS with pinned barrel for $240 or so, usually at some small gun shop owned by gun snobs - the kind of gun snobs that turn their nose up at anything combloc, and don't know how to use the internet.

Not anymore.

AIM Surplus and Classic (and for a time Palmetto State Armory) has (or had) Arsenal /26\ Chinese SKS in cosmoline, for $350-ish. I don't know if we'll ever see unissued Yugos again.
 

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I picked up two from Palmetto, ROUGH. They function and fire and repeat, took me a about four hours each to clean em up. They got shipped just loose in the box and the cosmoline was literately oozing out of them. Gallon of simple green in the ultra sonic and then trip into the mineral spirit wash. I got the pair for $787.20 shipped. I mean get em while you can and I would rather give my money to Palmetto then that crook of a company Classic.
 

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Like Merle Haggard said, the good times really are over for good.

A couple of years ago I would occasionally find a clean Norinco SKS with pinned barrel for $240 or so, usually at some small gun shop owned by gun snobs - the kind of gun snobs that turn their nose up at anything combloc, and don't know how to use the internet.

Not anymore.

AIM Surplus and Classic (and for a time Palmetto State Armory) has (or had) Arsenal /26\ Chinese SKS in cosmoline, for $350-ish. I don't know if we'll ever see unissued Yugos again.
Palmetto still have those for $350 from their newsletter. $75-$100 SKS was long long time ago. At least 15 years ago while I was still in CA, my friend got a Chinese SKS for $150.
 

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I've heard this conversation several times over the short time of maybe 10 years i've been into surplus rifles. The thing is with inflation adjusted over the years as pointed out, it's only getting slightly higher, not proportionate to the current availability IMO.
I promise if you dig you will find a thread from 10 years ago almost identical to this one, asking the same question as the OP.
PS: I also guarantee you will find people in that older thread replying that yes, it's over, not nearly as good as it was so and so years ago, etc.
PPS: Also think there will be a time when we all here say, 'Man I should have bought every one of those chinese SKS's from classic for 329$ even though they were beat'
Just my .02

-STR
 
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