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Educate me on my first SKS(s)

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by Joe Link, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I've always been a fan of military surplus rifles, but I was late getting on the SKS bandwagon. By the time I decided I wanted one they were selling for $250 when an AK47 could be had for $450, so I've always owned AK's. For the past two years I've had an eye out for an SKS around the $250 mark, but with people asking $350-$450 those for sale around $250 never seemed to stick around long. Because it's 'just' an SKS I never really felt the need to go out of my way to find one.

    Fast forward to Saturday. After arriving at 8:30AM and paying to park two of our vehicles for the Expo gun show, we took one look at the line and said forget it. We decided instead we'd make the east side gun shop loop. We had a great time checking out all the craziness. When we finally arrived at Keith's I found three SKS's in rough shape, coated in cosmoline to the point that there is no way any of them would be able to function without complete disassembly. They were priced at $259 each, which is what I was looking for. I knew it'd be quite a task getting them into workable condition, refinishing the stocks, etc. but it was a small investment for a gun that will likely be on the ban list if that happens. I bought all three of them.

    Though I didn't know anything about them, where they came from, etc. I could tell they hadn't been fired since they were packaged for storage. After getting them home and doing a bit of research I found they're all Chinese made, in factory 26, in 1958 (3,xxx,xxx serial numbers), and all the numbers match on all three guns. What I'm curious about is whether or not this information should factor into what I do with these guns. My plan was to strip them all down, clean the cosmoline, strip and refinish the stocks, and get them into working order. Because they're fairly early production Chinese guns and all the numbers match, I wasn't sure if I should do something different or if they're worth more.

    I look forward to learning more about my new toys :thumbup:
     
  2. novamind

    novamind Hillsboro Active Member

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    The Chinese SKS's where known to stick the firing pin and thus shoot more than one round at times. There is an aftermarket firing pin usually advertised in Shotgun News for the remedy of this and a deburr of the bolt that houses the firing pin. Wolff Gun springs makes a "performance" spring kit for the SKS trigger assembly that is cheap. The Chinese SKS that I owned(20 years ago) were fun to shoot but not that accurate, mine was a "B" grade SKS. I paid around $100.00 in the early 1990"s and back then bulk chinese ammo was 1 1/2 cents a round.
     
  3. Slowpoke

    Slowpoke Beaverton Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    You bought all three? You hoarder you. :)

    Seriously, I have two of them, and enjoy shooting them both. Just got a metal duckbill mag for one of them, and now can have even more fun. Not much upkeep either. If you're familiar with AKs, you'll have no problem with these.

    Congrats on your find.
     
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  4. Toxic6

    Toxic6 Higher then a PDX hipster (~10,000 ft higher) Active Member

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    Out of the 8ish Simonov carbines i have owned (I may be forgetting one or two idk), I have NEVER had a firing pin stick and slam fire. I have had other issues, including pieces of primer/metal getting into the firing pin groove on a couple- but never to the point of it causing burst/uncontrolled firing. I think keeping them clean is key to avoiding all the horror stories you will hear repeated by people. Most of the x39 ammo is very dirty and will foul up the action fairly quickly (especially if you oil it heavily), and carbon will build up in the gas tube/port hole also.

    Personally, I would clean the living crud out of them and go over them carefully. Then pick the best looking one to put up unmolested, leave one to shoot as is, and if you feel the urge to bubba/sporterize one pick the crummiest looking one for that (and I would keep the original stock/bayonet/mag/etc. if you turn it into a tapco bubba......) That's my 2 cents lol
     
  5. jordanka16

    jordanka16 Albany, OR Active Member

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    That's something that can happen to any gun with a free floating firing pin, as long as the firing pin channel is clean and not oiled or greased in any way they'll be fine. Using surplus ammo also helps because it has harder primers.

    I would keep 1 in original condition at least, maybe even leave it in cosmoline and store it away.
     
  6. ogre

    ogre Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Well spoken!
     
  7. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    Hey joe,

    SKS's are fun, but there are a few things you may want to kinow, when you start changing stocks and adding magazines, be careful. Once you put them into a "non importable" configuration they are subject to 922r. Although batf hasn't seen fit to actively enforce that provision, be careful, that could change at any time and it's always a safe bet to conform with the regulations.

    check what tapco has up to keep their customers covered: http://www.tapco.com/section922r.php

    chinese sks's are unique in the fact that many made for export to the U.S. after the late 60's had press fit barrels. This is of little concern unless you plan on putting many many rounds through them. I have only seen one that had a loose barrel from overuse, after approximately 10k rounds of rapid (stupid) fire. if the barrel,at the reciever has a shoulder with two flats it is screwed in, if it just goes straight in it is press fit.

    Any accidental auto fire I have seen has been the result of grease in the bolt, a good cleaning and possibly some light deburring with a wire wheel where needed has always cured it.

    From what I know all chinese and russian parts are interchangable, not so with some of the east european models, yugo and possibly albanian but I have no first hand knowledge of this. I do know that during a period of sino soviet cooperation the russians set up the first production facility, therefore the reason the parts are so readily interchangable.


    In my honest opinion most of the aftermarket stuff out there is crap, clean them up and shoot them like they are. In original configuration they function very well.
     
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  8. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Thanks for all the feedback so far guys. In general, I appreciate milsurps for what they are. I have multiple modern rifles, so I don't need to try to turn these into an AK or AR15. I've seen people sink so much into SKS's that they could have easily bought an AK with the money! Definitely not true in this climate, though.

    Is there any special value or collectability in these things due to what I mentioned, besides what I paid for them? Any reason to keep them in the original condition? If not, I'll get to refinishing them.
     
  9. Toxic6

    Toxic6 Higher then a PDX hipster (~10,000 ft higher) Active Member

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    I think there is some collectability to any sks that is all original/matching. There will never be another SKS produced and imported from China (or anywhere really, I don't think any country or arsenal still produces Simonov type carbines). With serial numbers in the 3 million mark (if i read that correctly) I doubt there is anything super special i.e. not sino-soviets or oddities, but without actually seeing them I am just guessing. I'd still keep one unmolested personally, since you have 3....you never know, 20 years from now it could be a rare collectible lol.
     
  10. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    Were these rifles still in their Century boxes? If so, these probably the recent Century C&R imports, most likely via Albania, and neither NOS 80s imports nor made for the US commercial market. I had an opportunity to look at one a few weeks ago and it looked well used and very Sino-Soviet. Please tell us if your's have early features like long barrel lugs, milled trigger guards, Cyrillic on the rear sight leaf, blade bayonets etc.

    If yours are what I think they are, do not refinish the stocks. Buy plastic stocks, or other Chinese stocks, refinish these to your contentment and keep the originals safely put away for later resale.

    Keith
     
  11. WasrNwarpaint

    WasrNwarpaint Portland Well-Known Member

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    The one MAIN thing you should know about the SKS...

    The safety is for the trigger ONLY....not the hammer or sear, a good jolt can cause the sear to move...disengaging the hammer and if there is a round in the chamber ....KABOOM
    you need to check your trigger assembly for positive or negative engagement...remove the dust cover, bolt & carrier......slowly pull the trigger and watch to see if the hammer is beginning to fall forwards towards the bolt, or does it it try to fall back momentarily before falling forward towards the bolt, which is the safest sear engagement
    & what you want to see

    I can take some picks of both positive and negative sears, how to remedy if necessary

    edit: forgot to mention the obvious, NEVER EVER keep a round in the chamber
     
  12. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    They weren't in their Century boxes, but they are Century imported guns. I'll have to look them up to see about the long barrel lugs, milled trigger guards, and Cyrillic on the rear sight (I do believe there was one single character, don't remember what it was). They do have the blade bayonets.
     
  13. KalamaMark

    KalamaMark Kalama Wa Well-Known Member

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    +1 on doing the firing pin spring modification as a serious consideration for any that you will use OR LOAD!

    A friend had one that would fire THE FIRST ROUND OUT OF THE MAG WHEN THE BOLT WAS RELEASED! It never cycled more than one while firing, but for some reason the firing pin would stick upon magazine empty/bolt holdback. I watched him nearly shoot his truck tire after loading it the first time. Scary.

    Disassembly revealed no corrosion or sticky grease, but the taper of the firing pin and the taper of the firing pin hole in the bolt were matched or mismatched enough to make it stick. A field disassembly, cleaning, and polishing with some emory paper stopped the slam fire for that visit, but neither he or I trusted the rifle after that.
     
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  14. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Keep it coming guys, this info is great!
     
  15. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    Here's the best website anywhere for you to figure out exactly what you have.

    Yooper John

    Is the Century import stamp on the barrel or the receiver?

    Keith
     
  16. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    matching serials are pretty common, if you want to do a first rate restoration on the stock use shellac, not the home depot crap, the real stuff. I think shellac.net will educate you enough. remember, before folks start bashing shellac, the finish on most shellac finished guns is decades old and has not been treated very well.

    http://www.shellac.net/

    personally I would use mangenese phosphate on the metal (parkerizing, black) same as used on the steel parts in an AR.
     
  17. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Thanks, I'll check it out. The import stamps are on the barrels.

    I'll look into the shellac too.
     
  18. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    Does it say "Century St. Albans" or "Century St. Alb." or "CAI St. A.", something like that? If so, these aren't recent imports then.

    Keith
     
  19. da3bous

    da3bous Portland, OR Member

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    I'd dig a hole in your back yard and through them in there......FOR THE REVOLUTION!!!! don't forget to pop smoke beforehand bro
     
  20. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I know it says CAI, but I'm not sure what else. Is being a recent import a good or bad thing?

    :paranoid: