THE SKS, AK, AKM all countries


In this budget exercise we took a SKS of Yugoslavian parentage, though it might be Romanian, Russian, Czechoslovakian or Chinese and decided to see what we could do with it.  They sell from anywhere around  $89-$199.00 retail, some more some less and readily available at most gun shows and today backyard sales, your local gang headquarters and supermarkets. 

There are lots of them being grabbed as they work, they are inexpensive and host of goodies available, and have a track record of being feared by many.  It’s not something you wave around, since you shortly might be experiencing the “incoming syndrome”.

There are also mass quantities of surplus ammo at reasonable pricing. This drove people to buy firearms they might never have considered purchasing until they thought they might not be able to buy them any more.  But then the steel tipped ammo became a threat and was removed from the market. I still see some at gun shows, under the table.

For several years ammo costs for 7.62x39 were comparable to .223 (5.56) ammo or higher and demand for these rifles dropped. Currently, the ammo situation has changed.  Even better ammo is available from Wolf and actually depending on the level of paranoia really priced right.  Generally these are good shooters, and with good ammo, VERY good shooters.  The triggers are outrageous out of the box, but the functioning is very good.  And with a little TLC, you would be surprised what this firearm will do.

I personally dropped a running 8- point buck whose live weight was a little over 200 lbs. using my Chinese SKS Carbine with one shot to the boiler room.  He did a 2 1/2 somersault after impact and stopped cold.  Now this isn’t a 300 Win Magnum, but it does get you moving in the right direction. And you don’t need a .300 win mag on a 200 pounder.  

This is a great starter rifle.  A great camp protection rifle.  With soft points great for hogs, smaller bears and convicts escaping from the road work.

Any firearms instructor will tell you that real practice is what makes good shots.  Active participation is the only means to accomplish shooting skills.  So this is where the SKS comes in, more bang for your buck because of the abundance of ammo for training and big enough to get most bucks.

My main concern would be the rifles bore condition.  There is no economical fix for a rusted out bore.  Fortunately many brought in were still in cosmoline, which is the trade name for a generic class of rust preventatives, conforming to MIL-C-11796C Class 3, from overseas caches and never fired.  

Al calls it “ Bear grease” and doesn’t wash out, so if you got one this way and want to clean it wear your worst old clothes,  and DO NOT throw them it in the washing machine or the first person to use the SKS will be your wife and you’ll be on the wrong end.

Which is another good reason you want us to look at it. Unfired stored guns after cleaning should be test fired in a suitable location by someone who know what to look for.  We will do that for you for a small service charge and make sure nothing is blocking or clogging the bore or imbedded in the lands and grooves. Many of these later models had chrome bores in them.

The SKS is a well made rifle with the basic parts being machined, not stamped sheet metal like the AK 47.  In addition, they field strip easily for cleaning and maintenance.  Many of these firearms never had a round through them.  They were in storage.  I guess the right revolution didn't come along.  The money revolution came along as they had guns and we had money.  Guns made by literal slave labor were bringing hundreds of dollars.

Bob wanted something of a brush gun or utility gun when sitting out there in the rain waiting for the rust to collapse the steel tree stand.  Small and compact to fit in the four wheeler, and the caliber and pricing of the SKS seemed to fit in place.  A very good brush gun with a sufficient weight bullet, so he did some AP&W magic and came up with his updated version.

The trigger pull is horrid, just like every other firearm from SOVIET BLOC countries, it is common for them to  have terrible trigger pulls.  Long pull and a long trigger guard since the weather dictated gloves in the Soviet bloc. And it has no set point. But it does go off sooner or later.   The cost to tune one is $95.00 to 4+ lbs.  so it goes off when you think it will.  This price includes hard chroming the internal parts to prevent wear, establish hard points and you know where you are,  and protection in bad weather.  

The original sights on these rifles are battle sights and crude.  Williams makes a replacement rear that we install Green Fiber Optic pins in.  Your cost is $50.00 installed.  By changing the original front to an AK front and with a little more AP&W magic, you have a front Fiber Optic in red.  If you can’t pick up this sight picture, it’s time for some serious eye examinations, or you are color blind.  The front sight costs $50.00.  It’s basically hand made.

Glass Optics - If you are more into optics, several offer a scope mount that locks into the rear adjustable sight housing and doesn’t move.  The base is designed for Weaver Style rings and can be used for Dot Scopes, or the HOLOsight , or “Scout” style Long Eye Relief Scopes.  Sights on the dust cover just don't cut it.

The best combo cost-wise is probably the Dot Scope.  The base costs $37.00 and Dot Scopes can be bought for as little as $50.00 and as much as $400.00.  But they are fast and with a good trigger extend your range. 

My Suggestion
 - Personally, I prefer the Open Sights. This is a great bad weather rifle. One you could loan to a friend and not worry about that glass finish on that Weatherby. 

A rifle that could easily put fast food on the table, the kind of  utility camp rifle, left alone in the Jeep, leaning against the wall in the camp shack. And it will be happy to be there.

It wasn't made for 500 yard shots. But it will do well at shorter ranges and with the soft-tips devastating clean kills. If however you want to take it up a notch please continue, here are some additional choices.  

Can replace some really cheap trees. Several companies make after market Polymer stocks for these rifles.  Average cost is around $60.00 and they really compliment the Matte Chrome finish  

There is also a way to convert them legally to use a removable magazine.  Average cost per magazine is $35.00 with fitting, so they lock in and come out correctly.  
Do not try this yourself, it’s more complex than you think.  You can ruin the firearm.  One last thing about the SKS…


The original stock system can be cut off, fitted with a pad for younger shooters.  The low basic recoil makes this an ideal first hunting rifle for a young person, or for a woman who is of small stature and recoil sensitive.  As the kids grow, fit them into a Polymer.


  • Improved Cogan rear sight fiber optic custom  made for the SKS.
  • Forward sight modification shown with the front fiber optic insert.
  • In addition note the cogan custom compensator which literally eliminates muzzle rise.  
  • I doubt if there is a faster sight - shoot - picture around

.  These are great brush guns and the low cost of the ammunition adds great value to the usability factor. plink, train or hunt. 



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