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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 51 Tula with slight negative engagement maybe 1mm. However the trigger has very minimal grit and actually it’s quite nice. I want to avoid sending it off to be cleaned up. How bad is negative engagement? Is it over exaggerated. I have tried bumping the rifle hard to get it to drop and nothing.



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Positive engagement vs Negative engagement is somewhat of a complicated issue. The integrity of the sks safety is dependent largely on the amount of friction/girt between the bearing surfaces.

I've got many sks variants with slight to modest negative engagement, but with a heavy gritty trigger pull it's next to impossible to get the hammer to fall-- with significant attempts made to jar the trigger loose from the sear. All that grit and heaviness that SKS triggers have a well earned reputation for, is integral to the proper function of the sks safety. The sks trigger was purposely designed that way, because it has no hammer block or transfer bar. The safety on the sks is all about friction.

The negative (forward) movement of the hammer in your video clip coupled with your description of "minimal grit" is not ideal and suggests the bearing surfaces are worn-- either from use, or from modification by a previous owner, or both.
 

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I should add...

That I have at least one SKS variant with a very slick, gritless trigger and negative (forward) engagement. I have taken that rifle out to the range twice. And both times it double fired because of the worn trigger. I took it out the second time to test how often it would malfunction like that. It was a while back, but IIRC I put about 60 rounds through it on that second range visit and it malfunctioned three times-- all double fires. The range rules did not allow rapid fire, so I have no idea just how deep the problem is with that trigger. Until (if ever) I get the trigger re-worked it will sit in the safe-- it's an all matching Soviet 1958 letter rifle, and I intend to keep it.
 

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If you meant it fired twice with one pull of the trigger, I'd get that trigger group out of that rifle immediately if not sooner.

I'd also give it to someone else to store, or send it off for repair, or disassemble it into parts.

Not exactly what you meant by "double feed", but.........
 

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If you meant it fired twice with one pull of the trigger, I'd get that trigger group out of that rifle immediately if not sooner.

I'd also give it to someone else to store, or send it off for repair, or disassemble it into parts.

Not exactly what you meant by "double feed", but.........
I meant double fired. Not double feed. (Edited)

Its in the safe. Trigger locked, and unloaded. I've also tagged it for repair/non-use in case i cross over unexpectedly and my wife sells collection. No joke.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The movement in the video clip is NOT negative engagement. Forward movement of the hammer while pulling the trigger is POSITIVE engagement.

Positive engagement vs Negative engagement is somewhat of a complicated issue. The integrity of the sks safety is dependent largely on the amount of friction/girt between the bearing surfaces.

I've got many sks variants with slight to modest positive engagement, but with a heavy gritty trigger pull it's next to impossible to get the hammer to fall-- with significant attempts made to jar the trigger loose from the sear. All that grit and heaviness that SKS triggers have a well earned reputation for, is integral to the proper function of the sks safety. The sks trigger was purposely designed that way, because it has no hammer block or transfer bar. The safety on the sks is all about friction.

The POSITIVE (forward) engagement of the hammer in your video clip coupled with your description of "minimal grit" is not ideal and suggests the bearing surfaces are worn-- either from use, or from modification by a previous owner, or both.
Just to double check. Every page I have read seems to indicate I have negative engagement. Unless I’m looking at the orientation wrong? The trigger is heavy and slightly gritty. It’s as issued no filing and still with cosmoline.

Ref: https://www.yooperj.com/SKS-25.htm


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Just to double check. Every page I have read seems to indicate I have negative engagement. Unless I’m looking at the orientation wrong? The trigger is heavy and slightly gritty. It’s as issued no filing and still with cosmoline.

Ref: https://www.yooperj.com/SKS-25.htm


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You are correct. I had it backwards. The "positive->backward" and "negative->forward" always gets me turned backwards--- or is it forwards?

Editing earlier post...
 

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If you meant it fired twice with one pull of the trigger, I'd get that trigger group out of that rifle immediately if not sooner.

I'd also give it to someone else to store, or send it off for repair, or disassemble it into parts.

Not exactly what you meant by "double feed", but.........
Just a bit of over cautiousness. I too have had some rifles with questionable triggers, but I "tag" it (with an AMTRAC luggage tag) and note it on my rifle ID card. Some I've fixed, some had Murray or Kavarri work.
On all "new-to-me" SKSs I do the sear drop/bang test after a thorough cleaning and before any range trip.
I learned the hard way.
My third or fourth SKS, (& my first Paratrooper) I was at the range for the first time with the Para, another newly acquired SKS and my nephew. All was going smoothly when we switched guns. I was running the Para for the first go, both new guns freshly cleaned, free firing pin bolt rattle. My nephew babied the Para into battery and the bolt didn't close, and it didn't fire when he pulled the trigger. I said "STOP, put the safety on, point it up", cleared my gun and had him hand the Para to me. I said you gotta let the bolt fly, then went to clear the round and when I touched the carrier, the hammer flew (sear fail), a round went off, blew a hole in the roof, cycled another round, and the bolt handle ripped my palm open. The range was hot and the closest shooter was 4 stalls over, so nobody paid any attention. That was 11 years and 36 SKSs ago. PAX
 

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Positive engagement vs Negative engagement is somewhat of a complicated issue. The integrity of the sks safety is dependent largely on the amount of friction/girt between the bearing surfaces.

I've got many sks variants with slight to modest negative engagement, but with a heavy gritty trigger pull it's next to impossible to get the hammer to fall-- with significant attempts made to jar the trigger loose from the sear. All that grit and heaviness that SKS triggers have a well earned reputation for, is integral to the proper function of the sks safety. The sks trigger was purposely designed that way, because it has no hammer block or transfer bar. The safety on the sks is all about friction.

The negative (forward) movement of the hammer in your video clip coupled with your description of "minimal grit" is not ideal and suggests the bearing surfaces are worn-- either from use, or from modification by a previous owner, or both.
You say: 'The sks trigger was purposely designed that way, because it has no hammer block or transfer bar. The safety on the sks is all about friction."
Few semiautomatic and full automatic services rifles have either of of those.
To honest I never quite understood the trigger group function in a SKS. If I ever get back to using them I will figure it out and install the new trigger parts that I bought some years ago that were meant to fix that. I have the AK, AR, and other rifles that are better combat rifles and only if they get outlawed will I go back to the SKS that with stripper clips and right technique can do well.
Mine also needs some bedding work. It shoots into two groups and I can see that the slab sided action is loose in the gun. Some locals have accurized them for local military rifle matches by selectively tightening them up.
The issue with the SKS is joining soft primer commercial ammo, a floating firing pin, and allowing the bolt when fully retracted to slam forward on a chambered round that was not fed from the magazine.
 

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I’d take it to the range and see how it performs. If it shoots one bullet per trigger pull consistently, it’s good to go for the range. Personally, I wouldn’t use an SKS with negative sear engagement for a truck, woods, HD gun, etc. I’d only use it as a range gun that is only loaded when pointing down a hot range. Abundance of caution is a good rule of thumb, besides the 4 rules.
 

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Soft primers is certainly an issue with the sks. But soft primers are not the main cause of slam fires in the sks. Soft primers commonly means more expensive western, boxer primed hunting ammo.But the majority of sks owners use hard primed, berdan ammo.

The primary cause of slam fires in the sks is a stuck firing pin-- either from a gunked up.dirty fp channel, or caused by corrosion from primer salts on busted primers fouling up the fp and fp channel.
 

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Soft primers is certainly an issue with the sks. But soft primers are not the main cause of slam fires in the sks. Soft primers commonly means more expensive western, boxer primed hunting ammo.But the majority of sks owners use hard primed, berdan ammo.

The primary cause of slam fires in the sks is a stuck firing pin-- either from a gunked up.dirty fp channel, or caused by corrosion from primer salts on busted primers fouling up the fp and fp channel.
You are correct about stuck firing pins. And here I would certainly not agree with Rob Ski on not cleaning a rifle afterwards. In the SKS it is said that cosmoline or similar is often the cause of stuck firing pins.
For any new rifle I always check the trigger group function to include the disconnetor when empty. At the range start off with just two rounds in magazine and be prepared for slam fires. If i am watching for it I can keep two slam fire rounds on a close range berm. Three FA rounds in many service rifles is getting you near the top of the berm. In name of the safety you want all rounds to impact on the berm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@Nuclear_Inc

Have you taken the rifle to the range yet?
I will soon if the weather permits. However I’ll just end up sending out to clean up the trigger. I look forward to coyote hunting with it so. In the name of safety I’ll prob send it out get fixed.


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Having worked on several SKS triggers, I strongly suggest fixing it before going into the field. All you need is the tiniest bit of positive engagement, and some polishing in the channels of the trigger group and frictional surfaces on the sear to get a smooth pull that is consistent. Most will still be well over a 5 pound pull, but will be much safer when a round is chambered.
 

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I agree, fix it if you are planning on using it in the field. A guy in our platoon had an AD while on guard duty, got bored walking back and forth and decided to brake a thin sheet of ice on the puddle with his SKS. Few taps with the butt and the gun went off. Fortunately nobody got hurt, but the kid had to write a report about spent cartridge, received 3 days "On the Lip" and when he got out he was sent for a few nights to the kitchen peeling potatoes after 10pm. Though looking at the most excellent video above, I'd say it will take more than just polishing to get it to the positive engagement.
 
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