Posts Tagged ‘SKS’

SKS rifle top, AR-15 rifle bottom

The All-Around Soviet Rifle — The SKS

Not long ago, conversation around the fireplace drifted toward the subject of all-around rifles. I like these moments because my grandson is old enough to shoot, and he is interested in firearms but hasn’t heard it all before. I enjoy a number of interesting rifles including the M1A1 and the AR-15. A certain place in my heart belongs to the Winchester 1895. But if you are on a strict budget but need an all around pest, deer, hog, and defense rifle, it is difficult to beat the SKS rifle.

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Let’s Redirect That Anger

While the Nation teeters on the precipice of the fiscal cliff, certain lawmakers would rather spend their time and effort dealing with feel-good politics that will have no effect rather than dealing with the Nation’s business. If you want to be angry, let’s keep it focused where it belongs—solidly aimed at those who intend to pass legislation that will not fix any perceived problem while limiting the rights of law-abiding citizens.

AK - SKS Scabbard

SKS-AK Scabbard

The Military SKS-AK Scabbard is an item I recently took a chance on purchasing. If you are expecting a top of the line, grade A, leather-bound scabbard this is not for you. For the price though, I thought it would at least be a great pouch for my tactical Mossberg 500 shotgun that is leaning behind my bedroom door, to keep the dust off and provide easy access if needed.

Semi Automatic Firepower on the Cheap

Remember how cheap these used to be? Those of us who are fond of visiting gun shows and purchasing unique shooting irons, often more for show than plinking, have no doubt handled the Russian-made SKS 45 7.62x39mm semi-automatic carbine. A quick glance at this rifle, with its spike-bayonet folded neatly beneath its barrel, its canvas sling taut and its rear sight raised, calibrated to 1,000 meters, makes this little baby rather menacing.

Imagine its look from the receiving end, with the bayonet extended! We have Russian designer Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov to thank for the SKS 45. Comrade Simonov designed the SKS, and the Soviets produced it at the Tula Armory from 1949 until 1955, and at the Izhevsk Armory from 1953 to 1954. SKS is an abbreviation for Samozaryadniy Karabin sistemi Simonova, Russian for self-loading carbine Simonov’s system, 1945. SKS 7.62x39mm M43 ammunition is the same round as the ammo used in the wildly effective, popular, and mass-produced AK-47. The AK-47 later became the weapon of choice for Russian troops over the SKS, due to its increased ammunition capacity and automatic capabilities.

Viet Cong, 1968

1968, a Viet Cong soldier crouches in an underground tunnel with an SKS rifle.

The SKS 45 is a gas-operated, self-loading carbine with a wooden stock and no pistol grip. The Russians have distributed it widely, notably to Russian-friendly Warsaw Pact countries and China. In East Germany, it was adapted and named the Karabiner S, in North Korea, the Type 63, and in Red China, the Type 56. SKS versions have found their way into the hands of Yugoslav, Romanian, Albanian, and North Korean combatants. Most versions of the SKS 45 sport an integral folding, spike bayonet. The Yugoslav version, the M59/66 has been equipped with grenade launching capability. The Russian army adopted the SKS in 1949, but soldiers quickly relegated it to second-class status by the fully automatic AK-47 assault rifle. The SKS saw action in Vietnam—in the hands of the Viet Cong—and in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa. Still, the SKS lacked the firepower of the more popular assault rifles like the M16 and the AK-47.

In Australia, the Chinese SKS rifle (along with the Russian SKS rifle) was very popular with recreational hunters and target shooters during the 1980s and early 1990s before the Australian government banned semi-automatic rifles from legal ownership in 1996. Since the introduction of the 1996 gun bans in Australia, the Mosin-Nagant series of bolt-action rifles and carbines have now filled the void created by the now illegal SKS. In the early 1990s, the Chinese SKS rapidly became the “poor man’s deer rifle” in some Southern areas of the United States due to its low price, lower even than such old favorites in that role as the Marlin 336. The United States government banned importation of the Chinese SKS in 1994.

Norinco SKS

A Norinco SKS

Empty, it weighs 8.5 pounds. With the bayonet folded, the SKS measures slightly more than 40 inches with a 20.5-inch barrel. The SKS loads from the top like the U.S.-made Garand. It has a 10-round internal magazine and boasts a muzzle velocity approaching 2,500 feet per second. The SKS has a hooded post front sight and a tangent rear sight that shooters can adjust to 1,000 meters (3,280 feet), although its effective range is realistically closer to 1,312 feet or 400 meters.

AK and SKS Rifle Beauty Contest

We just finished our AR-15 beauty contest, but now it’s time to see those rifles from the other side of the Iron Curtain. That’s right, we’re kicking off our AK/SKS beauty contest May 1st. That’s right, just submit a photo of your AK or SKS rifle to our Facebook Page and you could win a $50 gift certificate from Cheaper Than Dirt! This contest is open to any AK or SKS platform, including pistol variants and non-standard calibers and configurations such as the Saiga or SKS Model D, etc.

Here are the rules:

  • Post an image of your AK or SKS rifle to our Facebook Wall.
  • In the description make sure you have the phrase “AK/SKS Beauty Contest”
  • Have your friends click “Like” on your photo
  • The fan photo with the most “Likes” at the end of the month (Contest ends May 31st) will win a $50 Gift Certificate from Cheaper Than Dirt!
  • One entry per person, please!
  • Keep all entries “Family Friendly” please! If you wouldn’t want your own mother to see it, it’s probably not appropriate for our contest.