*The SKS Rifle: Tales from beyond the gun show !!!*
The SKS rifle is a simple gas operated auto loader with some very strong attributes in itís favor. For all itís glory and simplicity few rifles have been surrounded by more confusion than the humble SKS. I have fired both Russian and Chinese versions and am very well versed in itís use and maintenance. Let me say that I am a gun nut, I love guns, shooting, working on them, and anything related to shooting or working with or on guns. Having stated that it should be obvious that I am not a ďthe sks is the best rifle bar noneĒ kind of guy but I will say that: A) For the money spent and knowledge required to own and become competent with one it is the best overall value. B) It is battle tested (the wise reader will never overlook this quality when choosing any firearm for survival purposes). C) Parts and amo are everywhere and cheap compared to many of itís competitors. D) It is a tough son of a bitch in field E) you can go buy an SKS, some simple cleaning supplys, a bag of stripper clips, and a thousand rounds of quality FMJ amo for the same amount or less than the cheapest AK/Mack-90 type rifle on the market (that takes hi-cap. Mags). Remember that an SKS in the hand (or trunk or closet for that matter) is better than a Fal/L1A1, G3 or full auto H&K MP5 in fantasy land.(and yes- I have fired all of the above so I CAN say that and mean it)
That brings us to the most important thing you can learn about the SKSÖ.Leave it alone! There are dozens of accessories available for an SKS but most do nothing to improve the performance of the weapon and some can really screw you up if you are not careful. I have seen so many go out and get a good SKS and then spend money left and right: a scope mount here (now itís a sniper rifle), a folding stock there (hey what do you mean itís not legal) and of course the biggest scam the hi-cap. magazines. In a word, save your money-that is the main reason to own a SKS over an AK or FAL ect. ect. None of the Hellfire type gadgets are worth a damn or they would be illegal, some hi capacity mags are better than others but none are as reliable as the stock fixed 10 round magazine. Donít even think about a full auto conversion (unless you really like concrete walls and steel bars) the SKS is best left in semi auto and you donít need full auto anyway. If you think you need full auto then you need more time at the range or maybe trade in on a shotgun if your just that bad. The SKS is reasonably accurate but will never be a sniper grade rifle and is not designed for use with a scope. Donít waste your time and money (by the time you get a scope zeroed in TEOTWAWKI will already have come and gone and then it will just shift anyway). Even if you do get it stable enough you will have traded in quick target acquisition for a crappy scope that will get you killed when you canít get that stripper clip out of the way fast enough anymore. Yes,the thirty round detachable mags do make it look ten times better and I have several (mostly for fun...there is just no better setup to shoot stacks of #10 cans and keep them rolling down range) The twenty round fixed will be your next stop on the ďhow much money can I wasteĒ express. With some minor filing mine now works and no you canít reliably get two stripper clips loaded in a timely manner (one stripper clip will load fine). On the up side it is made out of crappy pot metal! (it now resides in the bottom of my closet-somewhere!!) The 75 round drum (I donít even want to talk about it), DO NOT even think about wasting that much money. Do we see a trend developing yet???
Repeat this ten times out loud before you go to the next gun show and buy some stuff you really need instead (ammo anyone?):My SKS is a solid semi-auto battle rifle with a ten round fixed magazine, it uses stripper clips, when I pull the trigger it goes ďBANGĒ- that is the purpose for which it was designed. It is NOT a poor manís AK-47 anymore than it is a sniper rifle. I will not waste my next two paychecks making it look like either. I will leave it the way it was designed to function and move on with my life. Now that we have settled that issue, let me close with the following argument. You may own several firearms, many of which will seem better than the SKS in various aspects of their performance BUT everyone can afford a decent SKS and learn how to shoot it. The ammo is as cheap as it gets and when the sh*t hits the fan- it is comforting to know that everyone on your team has parts and amo that will work in your gun. Personally, I REALLY like the FN/FAL. Iím a big guy and the larger powerful rifle is just tailor made to my hands. I love the Fal so much that the odds Iím going to abuse the hell out of one training and screwing around in the field are not very big. The SKS is a junk yard dog. Drop it, scratch it, see how much crud it can digest and still fire, it likes it (wellÖsort of) the expirience you can get because you are not afraid to hurt it are worth far more than the rifle it self. Smaller framed team mates usually find it comfortable and with the addition of the $5-$10 rubber but pad/spacer so do I (at 6í4Ē and over 250lbs. with a large frame Iíd say thatís versatile). Go get one, buy a thousand rounds for it, shoot the hell out of it, clean it up really good and stick it in the closet you may be very glad you did one day -even if you can afford something better (hey, there is nothing wrong with the AK/Mack90). You can never have too many good cheap rifles that eat up good cheap amo. Hey one day you may want to cache something somewhere for undisclosed reasons (vague enough??). So just keep this in mind ďfriends donít let friends waste moneyĒ leave the plastic crap at the table and and move down to the next table and buy some more amo, the life you save may be your own !! P.S. I still take my SKS hunting with me once in a while if it's one of those cold rainy "I'm nuts for going out in this" kind of weekends...it serves as a fine little brush carbine in the deer woods and is one of the few semi-auto rifles that doesn't fear Alabama mud!!!-(if you've ever delt with that un-godly muck you know how impressive a feat that is!!!-
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