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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to add an SKS to my collection, but know little about the rifle and have a few questions, hopefully none of these will start any wars:

1. If you were only going to have one SKS in your collection would it be Chinese, Russian, Yugo, or other? I'm looking for a shooter, so unless there is a significant difference in accuracy, I'm looking for the least expensive SKS that will hit a target consistently.
2. Is an original wood stock preferable to a replacement stock? I see a lot of rifles with replacement stocks.
3. Any preferable serial number ranges to look for or avoid?
4. How hard is it to mount a scope on these rifles? My eyes are not the greatest with iron sights.
5. Is there any critical things to look for or avoid on these rifles?

Thanks!
 

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Well, I personally think a Russian SKS, preferably a non-refurb Tula, should be first, from a collector's view. A nice clean refurb Tula from the 1950s would also be very good, both as a shooter and as a collector piece. These are perhaps $450 or so, but getting rarer.

Second, perhaps a good Yugo in original format, complete with grenade launcher and bayonet. My Yugo is the most accurate of my SKSs, which still isn't saying much by my sniper rifle standards. Yugos are a bit heavier and have a stock that fits longer reach shooters, with Zastava high quality machine work. They used to be cheap, but people have caught on!)

I then bought several of the Royal Tiger early Chinese SKSs, the so-called "ghost rifles" representing early Sino-Soviet co-operation, with blade bayonets. That's a good start on SKSs. These early Chinese rifles are very interesting, with milled receivers and threaded barrels, making a good example fairly accurate by SKS standards. (I like these early rifles from China quite a bit -they later were sold and did service in Albania.)

Another interesting variant, should you find one at a reasonable price, are the late Norinco SKSs capable of taking AK magazines. These are usually selling for more than a good Kalashnikov, which makes no sense to me, but at the right price would be nice to have.

As a collector, I think putting an original SKS in a replacement stock should not be done except as a temporary measure, maybe for a broken stock one like those recently sold by Royal Tiger and others. A Bubba SKS in a plastic stock is a very common find, but not of much value to collectors, particularly if the bayonet and lug are removed.

That said, I replaced the stock on one of my broken-stock SKSs with a Chinese phenolic red one, keeping the damaged original.

Mounting a scope on an SKS is fairly useless as they are not particularly accurate and temporary scope mounts are useless. The only way to mount a scope is with a permanent sidemount such as was used on some authentic Yugo "urban snipers" such as Allan's Armory now has. These were just a fairly short range urban combat weapon, not a real sniper rifle. I have one, with a 4X POS-style scope, and it is not anything that a real sniper would use as neither the accuracy or cartridge of an SKS is worth much at any distance beyond even 250-300 yards or so.
 

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echoing much of what stalin is saying.

1. Russian is the most desirable main stream SKS.

2. Choices Refurb $450-550 (+$100 - (-$100) depending on location etc) A true Non refurb $600+ (usually can be found $800-900.. getting harder to find by the day)

3. Shooter i would recommend a Refurb. Occasional shooter perhaps non-refurb. I own both types.. i usually take my good ol 1950 out to shoot since its a refurb.

4. These were never designed for optics.. Irons is really the way to go.

5. Serial number on Russians - no all are quality.

6. Things to avoid - Bubba, bubba bubba. Other than that these can usually be fixed with a hammer. Quality and over built.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses!

You have helped me narrow the choices considerably. Now I'm in the market for a Russian SKS. How do you tell a refurb from non-refurb? I'm guessing all numbers matching with no strike outs as one thing. What else to look for besides the gas system for rust?
 

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A refurb has a little box with a slash or an X in it, on the receiver metal and perhaps on the buttstock. Also, it looks really nice with "new" red shellac, usually, unless it has been re-issued. If it looks like new, it almost certainly is a refurb, just fine for you and a good shooter, as they didn't usually refurb worn out SKSs in the 1950s.

The gas tube on an SKS is usually OK if the bore has been cleaned and looks good, so take a little flexible borelight (you have one, right? and shine it up the bore to get a quick look from the muzzle end. It would be nice to check it before buying, but I never got the chance on any of mine. When you take an SKS apart, the gas piston has to slide freely or else you have a good cleaning job and polishing of both the piston and the tube it runs in.

I wouldn't stress out over the gas system in a look unless the bore looks bad as a sticky gas piston is easy to repair in most cases -check the bore, cycle the action, look it over and buy or not. If you know SKSs you can take one apart, but most sellers won't go for that and you'll look silly if you can't put it together.

Learn to take the gas system down before you shoot it the first time, checking the gas piston before shooting, as a stuck piston can bend the piston rod. One of the Chinese ones I just bought had a truly nasty stuck piston, found before I shot it, and an hour of polishing and cleaning put it right before I took it to the range -some Albanian's sergeant should have kicked that rifle's owner up and down the parade ground as it couldn't have worked in combat..
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks again for the replies. Could you give me your opinion on the following local listings:

1. Sino Soviet 1956 from the Jianshe factory, all matching, milled receiver includes bayonet.......asking $375. This one looks nice with a nice dark stock with very few dings.
2. Original Russian SKS (not a refurb), Tula, all matching, includes bayonet.........asking $600. This one looks very nice, in almost unused condition with pristine stock and nice metal.

I know the first one is not a true Russian SKS, but as I understand the Russians helped get the Chinese started, and the seller claims that this early Chinese model is as good as the Russian versions. Price is much better at any rate. Seller for the second rifle is firm at $600.

What are your thoughts?
 

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Looking to add an SKS to my collection, but know little about the rifle and have a few questions, hopefully none of these will start any wars:

1. I'm looking for a shooter, so unless there is a significant difference in accuracy, I'm looking for the least expensive SKS that will hit a target consistently.
For a shooter you will likely find the most examples, best price for condition and consistent bore in a Chinese SKS.
Original condition firearms almost always sell for higher prices than modified rifles.
 

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Others will disagree. But, I just bought a Chinese type 56 SKS from AIM.

The bluing is practically non existent. Rough stock (no cracks), with Albanian writing, graffiti ?

Little pricey at $300.00 , but a good tight rifle for the money.

I have a Yugo, with all the bells and whistles. As new as one can expect. And prefer my Chicom over it. Character goes a long way IMHO.

Wendell
 

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The chinese sks are a toss up on condition. IF the OP is strickly looking for a shooter than for the money its hard to beat a Yugoslavian. If he wants it to be a shooter as well as a collectible a Russian SKS is the way to go as previously stated.
 

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Actually the imported Chinese prior to these sino-banians (pre 1994) are very consistent to condition and are all very good to excellent condition.
The Yugo bores, gas systems and so forth can be problematic and the non chromelined barrel is a bit of a downside.
 

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When I had them all I did a side by side accuracy comparison with a Soviet, Norinco Chinese, Romanian, and Yugo 59/66 and the Norinco was most accurate but not by much. Get what you like and check them out in good light and in person if possible. True,the Yugo gas systems can have corrosion caused function problems and the 59/66 has that grenade launcher adding weight and length (plus or minus, you decide) but otherwise they are all pretty similar. The later Norinco ones had stamped trigger guards which is a demerit for less workmanship. Mojo peep sights are a no permanent alteration alternative to scoping. (Also the typical SKS is not going to be as accurate as the typical AR15 so scoping return on investment is going to be less as well).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Looking at an original Russian Tula 1955 in pristine shape. Looks like it has never been fired. Wood and metal in perfect shape.............almost looks too good? Asking price is $600.

Is this a reasonable price? What should I offer? What should I look for to be sure this is not been refurbed, etc.?

I think this rifle would be what I'm looking for. I only plan to own 1 SKS, and this seems to be good combination of collect-ability, and shoot-ability.

Thanks!
 

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Yes, it is a good price for a non-refurb for sure and even for some refurbs. I like to haggle and if I was set on buying it I would start by offering $500 and haggle from there. If I was to have one sks it would be Russian.
 

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Looking at an original Russian Tula 1955 in pristine shape. Looks like it has never been fired. Wood and metal in perfect shape.............almost looks too good? Asking price is $600.

Is this a reasonable price? What should I offer? What should I look for to be sure this is not been refurbed, etc.?

I think this rifle would be what I'm looking for. I only plan to own 1 SKS, and this seems to be good combination of collect-ability, and shoot-ability.

Thanks!
Truly non refurbs are hard has heck to find. If it is one thats an excellent price. If its a refurb its about 100 to high.
 

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+1.
Look for the square box refurb mark with a slash or X in it on the metal and stock very carefully.
Just because it has some wear doesn't mean it hasn't been refurbed. S
ometimes the mark has been stamped weakly or polished partly away.


Truly non refurbs are hard has heck to find. If it is one thats an excellent price. If its a refurb its about 100 to high.
 

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Unless you want the Russian for a certain collector or semi-collector reason the $600 Russian vs the $375 Chinese is not really a hard choice.
For a shooter., inspect and buy the Chinese and get 1,000 rounds of ammo for almost the same total money.
 
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