Beginner's advice on an SKS?

Witsendidk

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I've decided I want an SKS. So far all I know from a bit of research is that the main 3 makes are Russian, Chinese & Yugoslavian, and that if you get a Chinese version you want a military model not an export model. When i search around to get an idea of prices I google "type 56 norinco", and it seems like they're usually around $400. I saw one that's in the classifieds right now for $395 and it is apparently Chinese. I think I need to restrain myself for now and educate myself a bit more before I impulse buy :rolleyes:.

Is it worth asking about round count for milsurps like these? It seems like that might be a silly question seeing as they're old guns and who knows how many owners they've seen. Advice before I buy? Things I should I look for? How do i avoid buying a junky one? Also this would be my first milsurp for what it's worth.
 
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Andy54Hawken

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I like the Russian models best of all ...just 'cause of how they look and the history behind them....that said I'd love an East German marked or made one.

Any of them are good ...some have chrome lined bores and of course some are better made than others.
Also don't run from a arsenal re-finished one that may be mis-matched...Military rifles were sent in to be fixed or inspected , not as future collector's pieces....
Just check 'em out like you would a "Sporting Rifle" ...and you should be fine.
Andy
 

v0lcom13sn0w

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Why is this?
theyre a PITA to finagle into place because of the “duck bill” style mag they are and because the bolt doesnt lock back unless you put your finger in the action and push up on the bolt hold.

i bought mine that had the factory 10 round removed to be able to run 20 round detachable mags. just a pain to deal with. thats why the ones that take AK mags are awesome. WAY easier and less messin around swappin out mags.
 
OP
Witsendidk

Witsendidk

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theyre a PITA to finagle into place because of the “duck bill” style mag they are and because the bolt doesnt lock back unless you put your finger in the action and push up on the bolt hold.

i bought mine that had the factory 10 round removed to be able to run 20 round detachable mags. just a pain to deal with. thats why the ones that take AK mags are awesome. WAY easier and less messin around swappin out mags.
Ah, ok that makes sense. Thanks for the heads up!
 

Camelfilter

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theyre a PITA to finagle into place because of the “duck bill” style mag they are and because the bolt doesnt lock back unless you put your finger in the action and push up on the bolt hold.

i bought mine that had the factory 10 round removed to be able to run 20 round detachable mags. just a pain to deal with. thats why the ones that take AK mags are awesome. WAY easier and less messin around swappin out mags.
Yah, if you want removeable mags, go the para route. They are a hoot to shoot! All mag sizes seem to work well in ours (20’s, 30’s, 40’s etc). Haven’t tried drums, but imagine they’d run fine as well. Preference is 20’s in them though.

If you don’t care about removeable mags, then go with regular. Just don’t muck it up later on with those duckbill type deals.
 

USMC1911

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Russian examples are generally most desirable and carry a premium. If you go down the duckbill mag road use only steel mags. Pain to load into the gun but seem to function well. Plastic duckbill mags are flat out junk! Take a bore light and make sure the barrel is not pitted.
 
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I own a Russian, a Yugo, and two Chinese SKS rifles. If I could only pick one to keep it would probably surprise you to hear that I would choose one of the Chinese rifles. I have a few reasons for that choice - Firstly, the Chinese make excellent SKS rifles, and all the Norincos I've seen and used have held up just as well as the venerated Russian rifles. The second, and biggest, reason to go Chinese (in my opinion) is because they are plentiful and I have no guilty feelings making them "mine" by altering or customizing the rifle. For instance - my eyes arent what they used to be, and I've been finding it hard to pick up the iron sights on SKS rifles, so I got myself a Russian made side mounting plate, drilled and tapped the Norinco's receiver, and slapped a PSO scope on it. I don't know about other people, but the thought of drilling into a Russian SKS makes me cringe a little, so this is something I'd only do to a Chinese rifle, or perhaps a Yugo but I would think harder about that.

My opinions aside, all three of the makes you mentioned are great rifles, and if you dont have the same reservations about altering guns as I do I'd say you cant go wrong with any of them. Good luck with your search, and I'm sure you'll be happy with an SKS, no matter what make you choose!
 

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