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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went to a gun show yesterday. One dealer had what looked like an unissued Yugo M59/66. I looked it over and it appeared to be unfired. I know very little about these.
The only marks were the stamped serial number on the bolt, receiver, magazine, trigger guard and stock. There was also a faint import stamp on the barrel. There was no
other marking of any kind. The blue and stock were almost perfect.

The dealer two tables away had a Norinco SKS in excellent condition. He said that he saw me looking at the Yugo and proceeded to tell me how much better his Chinese
SKS was. He also told me that ALL Yugos are refurbished. Is that true?

While I realize that everything you read on the internet and are told at a gun show has to be the truth, I thought that I would ask about it here.;)
 

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These are just my opinions, but I have owned all of them.

I have a very nice Yugo bought in what appeared to be unissued condition years back. I have two early Chinese SKSs with threaded barrels and milled receivers and an excellent non-refurb Tula SKS. I once had a Norinco but sold it because it didn't seem as well finished or nearly as accurate as my Russian or Yugo, but it was one of the $99 cheapo packages from the 80s and may not represent the best of Norincos.

I do have a Norinco SVD that I paid $5000 for, so I am not prejudiced against Chinese arms, but I would rather have either a Yugo or a Russian SKS than some Norincos.

My early '50s Chinese SKSs are superb, milled receivers and chrome-lined screw-on barrels and as accurate as any SKS made. Later Norincos, I believe, have stamped receivers and pinned barrels, a bit less intrinsically accurate.

Some are truly military-grade, but some really seemed like rush jobs for export with lower quality stocks and reports of non-heat treated parts. True or not, my $99 Norinco was no prize. It shot fine, but the stock was poor quality soft wood and the black painted finish was none too great by Russian bluing standards or those of my early Chinese ones.

Yugos are a bit heavier built, with heavier stock and apparently stouter receiver metal they don't have a chrome lined barrel. They were built by Zastava, a top level arms maker who has done contracts for US gun companies and is very respected.

I can't imagine anyone thinking a Yugo is inferior to a Norinco, but they are fairly different. A good Norinco is both lighter and has a chrome lined barrel, perhaps a plus. Just look well before buying for a really nice one.

Personally I would take a nice 50s Tula or a good example of the early milled Chinese SKSs to either a Norinco or Yugo, but that is just my view from getting a poorly finished Norinco long ago. My best early Chinese one and my Yugo are my most accurate by a slight margin, but no SKSs are really sniper-accurate anyhow.


I went to a gun show yesterday. One dealer had what looked like an unissued Yugo M59/66. I looked it over and it appeared to be unfired. I know very little about these.
The only marks were the stamped serial number on the bolt, receiver, magazine, trigger guard and stock. There was also a faint import stamp on the barrel. There was no
other marking of any kind. The blue and stock were almost perfect.

The dealer two tables away had a Norinco SKS in excellent condition. He said that he saw me looking at the Yugo and proceeded to tell me how much better his Chinese
SKS was. He also told me that ALL Yugos are refurbished. Is that true?

While I realize that everything you read on the internet and are told at a gun show has to be the truth, I thought that I would ask about it here.;)
 

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Being able to inspect the Yugo in person, it is a toss-up and depends much on the quality of the Chinese variant as previously stated vs. the potential future issues with the more complicated gas system of the Yugo.
Buying sight unseen and just knowing the arsenal and approximate year of the Chinese, the Chinese wins hands down.
I have yet to buy a Chinese SKS with a crappy bore, but you can see my one Yugo purchase in the negative feedback forum here.
 

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If truly in like unfired condition I'd get the Yugo just because they are sort of rare in that condition and the unique features it has for a SKS. If it was in normal used condition I'd say go with the Chinese just to be safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I looked at a pretty nice Norinco SKS today. The importer is Poly USA. The asking price is $350. I think I'll take another look tomorrow.

My main concern is that it was fired with corrosive ammo and the gas tube wasn't cleaned properly. Has that been a problem?
 

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I looked at a pretty nice Norinco SKS today. The importer is Poly USA. The asking price is $350. I think I'll take another look tomorrow.

My main concern is that it was fired with corrosive ammo and the gas tube wasn't cleaned properly. Has that been a problem?
It can be, corrosion in the gas tube is bad for a SKS if it's at at a point where it starts interfering with reliability.
 

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Yugo, better sights!!!

Unfired??? I seriously doubt it. Was it caked in cosmoline???

Had a guy on another forum recently post an SKS Model M for sale as "unfired". Pretty SKS and looked really great and he had it set up as a sniper. Sniper config??? You mean he added a scope and bipod but never sighted in the scope, really???

So, I asked for a photo of the bolt face AND, lo and behold, it looked "fired" to me, so I pressed him for details (after informing him that bolt showed evidence of being fired).

His reply: "I test fired it".

My reply: So, its been fired then, correct?

His: Yes!

Mine: So lets knock $125 off your price.

Never did buy it...
 

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I've seen quite a few like new yugo's . Nice rifles . I own one . I have owned quite a few Chinese too . I like the yugo for its unique features such as the grenade launcher, night sights . As far as milled receiver, screwed in barrel?? That's an old sales ploy ! Nothing less . Some Chinese have press and pinned barrels . The way the barrel is set makes zero diffrence in quality or shoot ability . And milled receivers ? A rare few stamped receiver Chinese sks were made . If you see one grab it ! Everything else is milled .
 

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I prefer an SKS with the usual features and not the mostly superfluous spigot launcher. A Norinco that's had corrosive run through it without proper cleaning is going to fare better because of the chromed bore and absence of the cutoff valve. Adding extra small, moving parts to the gas system reduces overall reliability of the design, IMO.
 

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There are some serious SKS collectors out there that will bad mouth the Yugo 59/66 All day. They claim they are very unreliable, and hate that the bore isn't chrome lined.

I have one from Wideners that is in likened condition. I've never had an issue with it, and while the extra features aren't necessary, I think they look neat and interest me as a collector of C&R.

Having said that, my Chinese SKS shoots a little better, and the machining is a little better.

I have found some Yugo firearms to have quite rough machine work, including my 59/66 and a M57 "Tokarev" that was machined so rough, the slide would stay open just by friction. A little work, and its a great shooter now...

Sent from my XT901 using Tapatalk
 

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I looked at a pretty nice Norinco SKS today. The importer is Poly USA. The asking price is $350. I think I'll take another look tomorrow.

My main concern is that it was fired with corrosive ammo and the gas tube wasn't cleaned properly. Has that been a problem?
The importer, with certain exceptions like KFS, really makes little difference. The arsenal stamp and the presence or absence of the three Chinese characters mean much more in terms of quality and value.
 

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Quality and value on Chinese sks here regardless of type marking or otherwise is still 200-300 depending on how rural you go to get them . Every gunshop seems to have a few . Further from city the cheaper they get . A lot seem to be missing bayonets wich you can buy on e bay for 20 bucks . To me chrome lining means squat as long as the rifles clean when u buy it . The last corrosive out there was the yugo stuff . Long gone .... Wolf and what's commercially available is all non corrosive . Military since the age of the rifles been using non chromed bores . It's called cleaning folks !
 

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Quality and value on Chinese sks here regardless of type marking or otherwise is still 200-300 depending on how rural you go to get them . Every gunshop seems to have a few . Further from city the cheaper they get . A lot seem to be missing bayonets wich you can buy on e bay for 20 bucks . !
STOP! You are making me want to visit your neck of the woods! {drool}
 

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One consideration is what you're wanting. If you are a milsurp collector, the Yugoslav rifle as a true mil issue would be preferable. If you just want an sks to shoot, and it galls me to say this being a devoted Yugoslav rifle fan, the Norinco would be your better choice. The quality is acceptable and with the limitations imposed by the sks system and 7.62x39 cartridge, accuracy is fine too. I had one once and it performed very well for me. I only got rid of it because I was able to make a straight swap for an Enfield No.1MKIII and I am a more dedicated military rifle collector.

Personally, I think the whole chromed barrel thing is blown way out of proportion. It does mean being a little more diligent in our bore cleaning but few of us are going to shoot one rifle enough for bore wear to become a serious issue.
That's my oh-2 anyway.

But, I currently have 3 sks, all Yugoslav. They are 2 M59's and one M59/66A1. The 59/66A1 had graffiti and a bullet scar on the stock. Was likely a battlefield pick up because when the cosmo was cleaned out, the innards were in bad shape. Always take a bore snake to a gun show! At least in all the cosmo filled milsurps I have had, that is the only one I picked up in bad shape. And the history in the stock makes fixing it up acceptable to me.
After all, how could I pass this up?!

The first two images from L are the 59/66. I only added the butt pads on the M59 stocks to extend them. Obviously "recoil" is not an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I bought the Norinco SKS yesterday. It appears to be unfired. I field stripped it and it still has a lot of grease in the gas tube and receiver. After I ran a few patches down the bore
they came out clean.

Here's what is stamped on the receiver.

3-1807041G (There is a faint triangular factory stamp, but I can't read the number.) SKS 7.62X39 NORINCO CHINA POLY USA ATL GA

That's it. No Chinese characters and no other markings. All serial numbers match.
 

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The last corrosive out there was the yugo stuff . Long gone ....
Gone? You must not have bought enough. ;)

Once in a while I ponder my purchase of so much corrosive ammo, especially now that I've stocked up on Wolf. Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
 
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