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I've had a hankerin' for awhile to get an SKS. In like the way they look, and they look like a good e enjoyable way to enjoy shooting 7.62x39 ammo.

One thing that has me cautious is that I don't know much about them. There have been numerous manufacturers from several different countries. Plus, I will see one in a store that looks nice, but the one right next to its that's all beat to hell is priced $75 higher than the pretty one.

What should I be looking for when shopping for an SKS?
 

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Righteous Dude
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Classicfirearms.com has some nice Yugo SKSs available. The Chinese versions are often easy to obtain. The standard is the Russian SKS. Yugo rifles are not chromed lined (just rinse after shooting corrosive ammo). You want to check for corrosion in the bore, gas tube, piston, etc. Stocks often look beat, but some have a really nice look. Unfortunately, SKS prices keep climbing. They ain't cheap anymore!
 

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You are better to look for a privately owned SKS. Many of the SKS rifles you see today are mix and match parts. Find an individual that has an Norinco type 56 SKS in good condition. Chances are he won't want a lot for the rifle. Before Bush banned the Norinco Type 56 you could buy them in good condition with matching serial numbers for $75. Many people do not know they can get $400 or more for the rifle.
 

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Righteous Dude
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You are better to look for a privately owned SKS. Many of the SKS rifles you see today are mix and match parts. Find an individual that has an Norinco type 56 SKS in good condition. Chances are he won't want a lot for the rifle. Before Bush banned the Norinco Type 56 you could buy them in good condition with matching serial numbers for $75. Many people do not know they can get $400 or more for the rifle.
Most on the market are matched except for those that sporterize. Most selling on sites FTF are asking $350+. Last year Norincos were being sold for $299 in grade B. Deals can be had, but most are commanding at least $300 (generally the Chinese- Russian, Serbian, and Albanian command more).
 

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Righteous Dude
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I wouldn't mind a nice Russian model. Maybe a Chinese that takes AK mags. I have a Yugo. I am very happy with it.
 

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The SKS rifles were a weakness for me and I've owned a shameful number of them. Most are gone, now except for a couple of special ones.

I won first and a second place awards in NRA 200 yard High Power Rifle competition with my Yugo SKS (with the grenade launcher). The matches were position shooting (standing, sitting rapid fire, prone rapid fire and prone slow fire). Rapid fire stages had mandatory reloading which I used stripper clips to facilitate. I have a LOT of respect for these rifles!

I had a few of the Russian models but, frankly, preferred the Yugo rifles.

The rifle was stock except that I used a Velcro band to secure an M1 Garand sling from the bottom of the barrel instead of the usual side attachment. It worked great but the Velcro caught fire during rapid fire! Ammo used was run of the mill steel cased 7.62x39.

I LIKE the AK-47 rifles but the SKS is a much better rifle and is much more accurate even though it isn't as "Kool". The rifles are as reliable as a rock!

What to look for? Find a good trigger! That's what I did with my match rifle. I lined them up and picked the rifle with the best trigger. That's the rifle I took to the matches. I understand that some "Smiths" have found a way to improve the triggers on these rifles without reducing spring forces. I actually bought a spare trigger group just to experiment with the trigger pull (without much luck). It's a mistake to lighten up the springs as some of the steel case ammo have hard primers. My preference is towards reliability!

Flash
 

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It is said that the Yugo's had rear window defrosters to keep your hands warm when you were pushing the car!

Flash
 
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