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I was at one of my local Mosin Nagant hunting hotspots, and ran across an sks with the Tula star and arrow from 1953. All numbers appeared to match except the magazine. It looked "newer" and was force matched with another serial on it lined out. All of the other serials I saw had the cryllic prefixes and stamp style of the reciever. What should I be looking out for if I decide to bite on this. I have no idea if it was import marked or not. Is it a nice collector piece? Its been sitting in the store for over a year at $415. Is this fair market value, a steal, or too high? Thanks for your help. mat!_SW
 

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It sounds like the typical Russian refurbed SKS that were imported in large numbers. Look for a square mark with a diagonal line through it...that is the refurbishment mark.

IMO, $415 is a bit high for a Rooskie SKS, especially since I bought mine for $89 at a gunshow in years past. But, it appears that prices for guns and surplus ammo are starting to head downward in the past few weeks, so keep your eye on prices and you might be able to get one for a lot less.

The Expert
 

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Well, around the Twin Cities, the Russian's that I see start at about 300-350, and go up from there. So your mismatched Russian should be at the low end of that scale. 415 is too much for a mismatch. I picked up a matching Russian refurb last year at a local shop for 225 OTD, that was a bargain, but you should be able to do better. Patience.
 
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