Author Topic: SKS LTR  (Read 6533 times)

cmidkiff

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SKS LTR
« on: November 29, 2010, 10:43:17 AM »
Some time back, there was a thread on building an SKS into an LTR.  The project was started by Longshot, and he did a fairly thorough job of documenting the process.  That documentation can be found at:

http://www.midkiff.us/sksltr.pdf

As mentioned on the original thread, modifying an SKS can raise legal issues:  If you decide to go this route, make SURE you pay attention to 922R compliance.

Since this was originally a MO project, I'm making this a sticky in the MO forum.

Thanks Lonshot!

Greybeard

Offline tittiger

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Re: SKS LTR
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2011, 02:03:00 AM »
Thank you KR & Thor.

Its a fine looking 2x4 when you are finished.
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Offline featherblue

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Re: SKS LTR
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2011, 05:24:59 PM »
Thank you KR & Thor.

Its a fine looking 2x4 when you are finished.

Ditto.

And the SKS & AK variants will still be runnin' when the AR's are non-functional.  ;)

-fb

 

Offline Wheeler44

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Re: SKS LTR
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2011, 06:01:53 PM »
I was shootin' a bone stock chi-com SKS yesterday.....I was hittin' golf balls from offhand at about 25-30 yards. I would like to try one with tech-sites and a decent trigger. Truly a robust platform.

W44
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Offline BeSwift

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Re: SKS LTR
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2011, 07:34:24 PM »
I've got Tech Sites on my Yugo, and wouldn't recommend it. Not as precise as I'd hoped (rear aperture too big), and I question if site adjustments would need to be made each time you disassemble the rifle for cleaning/maintenance..  My 02..    BeSwift
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Offline Wheeler44

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Re: SKS LTR
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2011, 07:44:13 PM »
Thanks BeSwift.......maybe I'll just buy a better pair of glasses if I want to shoot an SKS better..

W44
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Offline wcmartin1

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Re: SKS LTR
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2011, 08:26:19 PM »
I've got Tech Sights on my Norinco and love them - have shot many Rifleman scores.  8)

The rear aperture is big, but so what - I'm using a consistent cheek weld and focusing on the front sight.   :cool2:

Speaking of the front sight - I also got their front post that's much finer (more narrow) than the original post - maybe that's why I find it more accurate.  :---

If I remember correctly, Francis Marion also sells a better front post for an SKS as well.

YMMV
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Offline Johnnyappleseed

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Re: SKS LTR
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2011, 11:05:15 PM »
Wheeler
As I recall some 1000 grit wet/dry smoothed out the trigger on my SKS -- It has been some time ago , but recall shortening a spring slightly .
I could not open the orginal link -- so maybe this has been covered .
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Offline ItsanSKS

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Re: SKS LTR
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2011, 03:37:03 AM »
The SKS rifle platform can truly be a Riflemans Rifle.  There are a number of issues endemic to this rifle that need to be addressed:

Sights. 
Short sight radius, coupled with the open sights, make for a sight picture that leaves the front post fuzzy for most shooters, and incredibly difficult to tell if you've got a proper sight picture.  While everyone here suggests the Tech Sight rear aperture sight for the SKS, I humbly disagree, for two reasons:
A: Field stripping the rifle now requires a tool.  Yes, it is a simply flat-head screwdriver, that most people would have with them anyways, but the rifle, as designed, required nothing more than a bullet tip for full field stripping/cleaning. KISS!
B: Elevation adjustment via the rear sight, (on the ts-200 model) requires the use of a specialized tool- without it, making adjustments are imprecise, and even with the tool, are still a PITA. If you opt to go for the windage-only rear sight, now you have to make all of your adjustments at the front sight, which really should be loc-tighted in place..

I instead prefer the mojo peep sight, which replaces the rear leaf sight on the SKS with a click-adjustable aperture.  The click mechanism is stout, and you retain the ability to take down the rifle with zero tools.  Additionally, you don't have to worry about fitting the tech-sight to the rifle, and subsequent take-downs screwing up your zero. 

Trigger.
SKS rifles have a notoriously bad trigger, right from the factory (Russian-made SKS rifles being the only notable exception)
The problem is that none of the trigger parts were hand-fitted, and because of the machinery they were made on, all had machining burrs, and improper mating of surfaces.  I *HIGHLY* recommend sending your trigger to Tom Prince AKA "Kivarri" from SKSBoards.com   Mr. Prince has worked on a few of my SKS trigger groups, and I have been nothing but pleased with his work.  An inexperienced gunsmith can make an SKS trigger worse, or worse yet, make the trigger dangerous, so do not attempt to work on your own SKS trigger unless you are qualified to do so. 

Ammo.

For far too long, the SKS/AK rifle platforms have suffered a stigma- they've been labeled as inaccurate P.O.S rifles, hardly suited to minute-of-garbage can lid at 100yds.  For some, this may be true.  For the most part, though, I believe that this is ammunition-related, and I've done quite a bit of research to back this up.  Long and short of it is this:
Most commercial ammunition (including USA manufactured 7.62x39) is either so inconsistent (WOLF) or uses the wrong bullet (most USA) so as to invariably give horrible groups, even from an otherwise excellent rifle and shooter.  Wolf Ammo varies not only in powder charge, bullet weight, but even bullet diameter- truly the worst ammunition for shooting groups.  USA made ammo uses a .308" diameter bullet, when the bore of an SKS is .310" nominally.   Not a recipe for accurate shooting, even if the ammunition is match-grade consistent (which it isn't).  I have only found two brands of ammunition available that shoot well: Golden Tiger, and Silver Bear.  Further testing shows that both brands exhibit high round-to-round consistency, and both use a .3095" diameter bullet, which more closely matches the bore diameter... 

If you really want to stretch that SKS out there beyond 3-400 yds, reloading is the answer.  For details on this aspect, PM me and I'll share what I know. 

Sling.
Standard SKS sling mounting hardware makes it very difficult for a shooter to adapt a USGI web sling to the rifle.  With a little bit of ingenuity, it IS possible.  Take a look at that brand new MidwayUSA shooting mat you just got for Christmas-  notice the shoulder strap?  Those quick-detach swivels are 1-1/4" and fit the sling mount on the SKS perfectly.... While it may not be as good as having the sling directly under the rifle, its a darn sight better than the standard SKS sling, which is barely useful in a hasty configuration.

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Offline siglite

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Re: SKS LTR
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2011, 11:09:48 AM »
BBKF has a russian SKS that is a pretty darned good shooter using even crappy russian ammo.  It's accurate enough that I can't tell if any accuracy discrepancies are me or if they're the rifle.   :-\  Meaning, it shoots as accurately for me as an AR.

My yugo SKS shoots pretty well too.  Though, the trigger on it makes it a little harder to shoot accurately.  I actually am a believer in the SKS as a rifle platform.  The accuracy complaints on these rifles tend to be misplaced, IMO.  It's not that the rifles are inaccurate, it's more that the short sight radius makes them difficult for the shooter to shoot them accurately.  Optics improvements can really take away that complaint.

I have an AK as well, and either the rifle does not shoot well, or (more likely) I do not shoot it well.  From a bench, the rifle is acceptably accurate.  But if I take it off the bench, I can't shoot the thing very well at all.  Would I use mine as an LTR?  Um... nope.  But I think that's me more than the rifle. 

Besides, I've heard a nasty rumor that a member of our instructor corps has shot rifleman with a polish tantal.   :cool2: *cough* dinky *cough*

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Offline Cyclops WY

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Re: SKS LTR
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2011, 12:39:55 PM »
Quote
Ditto.

And the SKS & AK variants will still be runnin' when the AR's are non-functional.   

-fb


I sure wish that was the case.........I have a question for you sir? (and I am sure you will answer it)  If the platform for the AK is so much better than the AR..........Why does the majority of people purchase the AR?  Also, why don't we have our military using that firearm if it is so superior to the AR?  I know a few US soldiers that have come home from fighting in the desert and everyone of them (that I know of) have purchased an AR not the AK platform.  I have talked to some and asked why they went with the AR and most said "I shoots so much better"  For a combat rifle they would choose an AR.  I have one myself and have never had a FTF or stoppage of any kind.  I didn't drop 3000 dollars in it either.  Off the shelf.  This post is not directed at you personally, I would just like to know where you get your opinion from is all.

Thanks,

Cyclops_WY Out.
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Offline ID_Hezekiah

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Re: SKS LTR
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2011, 02:33:39 PM »
There is a good bit of "anti-AR" sentiment out there.  The AK/SKS system is a very robust and extremely dependable weapon, but is not and was never intended to be extremely accurate.  It is economically assembled with inherent design aspects that make it reliable at the expense of accuracy.  As a departed friend (Viet Vet, decorated Marine Force Recon) once told me, "these weapons are designed to be spit out by the thousands from tractor factories and given to untrained combatants who have little or no metal in their society who then can effectively deploy them in a battle situation."  The major accuracy deficiency in the AK/SKS is not only the short sight radius, it also suffers from a very large bolt and gas piston recoiling while a light and relatively unsupported barrel is flexed by the upper gas tube (which is a good reason for the difference in "on the bench/off the bench" performance).  The AK/SKS also has an imprecise (for reliability) and crude two-lug bolt that is non-repeatable in lockup. Although the AR platform has it's own problems (direct impingment gas system and fouling), it's rigid barrel and receiver, small bolt mass, multi-lug bolt and fundamental design tightness make it heads and shoulders above the potential of the AK/SKS.  Each applied to its proper intent, they are both fine combat platforms, but apples and oranges bickering is old and tiresome.

Attached is a slow-motion link - observe carefully the massive bolt recoil and the flexing of the barrel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeeeFxA_9nA
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Offline ItsanSKS

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Re: SKS LTR
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2011, 02:37:47 PM »
Cyclops-

This is a long-standing argument among riflemen.  It boils down to what you perceive to be the most important aspect of a rifle- its accuracy, or its reliability.

The M-16/AR-15 rifle platform was plagued with reliability issues from the outset, and only after 30+ years of refinement can our military say that they finally have a rifle that is battle-proven to be reliable.  It was, and still is, a machined piece of art- the tolerances are extremely tight, and that makes for an exceptionally accurate rifle.  

The AK-47 line of rifles has long been recognized as *the* most reliable rifle system in the world.  Literally throw the thing in a swamp, pull it out two weeks later, and shoot it.  The tolerances are so loose that pieces of grit, grime and debris have practically zero chance of interfering with the function of the rifle.  However, those loose tolerances also reduce its potential long-range accuracy.  

Add to this argument the number of small parts that will eventually wear out- the M-16/AR-15 rifle has dozens upon dozens of these parts, any number of which may take the rifle out of action until repair/replacement can be found.  The AK-47 type rifles have few small parts, and have been known to continue functioning reliably without them.

The simple fact of the matter is that the two countries, Russia and USA, had different ideas on how they wanted to arm their soldiers- the Russians wanted a rifle that was so simple any peasant could use it, and it didn't matter much if that soldier maintained it- it would still function.  The USA wanted a rifle that could be used for accurate shooting, was light-weight, and fired an extremely fast bullet.  Because of the difference in the nature of the militaries in question, the USA was able to field a rifle that requires a much higher degree of personal proficiency and willingness to maintain the rifle.  

Either rifle platform can be used to qualify to 400m.  The AR-15/M-16 platform arguably makes it easier for a Rifleman to do so, while the AK-47 line of rifles make it harder.  
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Offline Wheeler44

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Re: SKS LTR
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2011, 02:45:15 PM »
I have only recently fired an AK.......Lumping the SKS with an AK is truly (IMHO) incorrect....How can a sheetmetal receiver compare to a milled receiver?
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Offline ID_Hezekiah

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Re: SKS LTR
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2011, 03:40:26 PM »
The AK and the SKS share the same basic design and Kalashnikov operating system.  Not all SKS have a milled receiver, my Chi-Com version is stamped steel, and there are also some milled receivers available for AKs.  A milled receiver will be less likely to flex, but the barrel still flexes, the heavy bolt still rattles back and forth in the loose rails on recoil and locks up irregularly. The fundamentals are the same in both platforms and they share the same inherent issues that I mentioned in my previous post.
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Offline TOMINCT

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Re: SKS LTR
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2011, 03:42:38 PM »
 This is a very informative thread for those who are contemplating an SKS or AK. Much info talked about on ammo quality, trigger pull/weight issues and shootability all are informative. Without getting into a debate vs other rifle types I believe most shooters will find the SKS easier to shoot well at distance than an AK. Maybe this is why it is rated as being more accurate. The info on rear sight upgrades is good also. I've held off changing the sight for the reasons given on special tools and repeatablity of sight adjustments. The issues on sling attachment were well addressed also. The Chinese models have a side mounted swivel on the butt that makes getting a good cheek weld very difficult at best.
 My experience with the SKS is limited. I have none with the AK. I fired a Yugo SKS with Wolf std. FMJ ammo 2 weeks ago and got hits on a 2' square plate out to 400 yards. I believe the right combo of rifle/ammo and some practice will show this doable for most rifleman. A rear sight upgrade may be needed for some shooters. Scope mounts, at least the ones I've seen, tend to be well too far back for most std. scopes that shooters would have installed. If there are some other options in this area it would go a long way towards being a better LTR or MBR for that matter. A scout scope mount may be the answer.
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Offline fepowered

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Re: SKS LTR
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2011, 04:40:23 PM »
The AK and the SKS share the same basic design and Kalashnikov operating system. 
The SKS was based on the AVS 36 and the AK was more similar to the German StG44.  They are of different operating systems and design and nothing about the SKS is of a Kalishnikov design...
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Offline fepowered

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Re: SKS LTR
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2011, 04:42:13 PM »
The M-16/AR-15 rifle platform was plagued with reliability issues from the outset, and only after 30+ years of refinement can our military say that they finally have a rifle that is battle-proven to be reliable.  It was, and still is, a machined piece of art- the tolerances are extremely tight, and that makes for an exceptionally accurate rifle.  
The original AR10 and AR15 rifles had no reliability issues.  The issues were artificially induced by McNamara and gang when the powder type was changed and cleaning kits/rods were not issued.   Once the chambers were chrome lined and the proper powder was used, the M16A1 and the M16A2 which followed had no history of reliability issues.  The design is  54 years old this year and no changes have been made to the basic design which effect reliability in well over  40 years.    Since the chambers were chrome lined in the early 1960s, nothing has changed which effects reliability.
 
Add to this argument the number of small parts that will eventually wear out- the M-16/AR-15 rifle has dozens upon dozens of these parts, any number of which may take the rifle out of action until repair/replacement can be found.  The AK-47 type rifles have few small parts, and have been known to continue functioning reliably without them.

You are simply exaggerating the number of parts in a AR15 and the disparity of parts count between an AR15 and a AK47.  
I have seen bolt carriers and bolts fail in an AK.  I have seen trigger springs break.  I have seen Garands, M1As, AR15s, SKS and AK rifles all fail at the range so none are 100% reliable forever in my book.
The AR15 does have more parts which are prone to eventual failure than an AK but a few extra parts (they fit in your buttstock compartment) is all it takes to ensure that your AR does not stay down should it fail at a shoot.  

We are not shooting in combat.  Any percieved reliability issues are not relevant for Appleseed shoots as all are plenty reliable enough if kept cleaned and lubed.  I have shot thousands of Wolf rounds through my Bushmaster and I have had zero parts breakage so far.
Choose what you are comfortable shooting and your pocket book will support.  A Rifleman score can be attained with any of the above mentioned rifles.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 04:50:41 PM by fepowered »
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Offline Wheeler44

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Re: SKS LTR
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2011, 04:58:57 PM »
Quote
They are of different operating systems and design and nothing about the SKS is of a Kalishnikov design...
I kind of thought so...Thanks

W44
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Offline ItsanSKS

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Re: SKS LTR
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2011, 06:03:35 PM »
Believe me FE- it was not my intent to disparage the AR-15 platform- I own a few of them, and they make for an excellent target rifle.  The 'problems' with reliability *have* been worked out, and as long as the rifle is properly maintained at regular intervals, it will provide problem-free use for 99.99% of its users. 

While Appleseed events may not be a 'combat environment', the typical Appleseed event does place a certain degree of stress upon a rifle platform, as everyone who has been to a single event knows.  Issues such as blowing sand, freezing temperatures, driving rain, and God only knows what else, have been experienced at an Appleseed.  I have yet to see an AK-type rifle taken down for the count at any one of my events; I *have* seen problems with the AR-15 platform.  Most of these were due to improper maintenance procedures, to be sure, but the fact that they still choked stands as a testament to what I believe to be the fickle nature of the rifle. 

To put it bluntly, the M-16/AR-15 platform requires a relatively high degree of familiarity and competence in its user to remain a reliable rifle.  The AK-47 rifle does not.   Does this make one rifle 'better' than the other?  No.  Does it make one rifle more suitable for an Appleseed than the other?  Certainly not.  Each rifle has its own set of limitations and functional requirements- the creators of these rifles took two different paths to arrive at the same basic concept, with fundamental differences between the two.

As this thread was originally intended to discuss the suitability of the SKS as an LTR at an Appleseed, I humbly suggest that we stop littering this thread with discussion of the traits of unrelated rifles. 

-ItsanSKS
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Offline Wade

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Re: SKS LTR
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2011, 06:50:00 PM »
 

As this thread was originally intended to discuss the suitability of the SKS as an LTR at an Appleseed, I humbly suggest that we stop littering this thread with discussion of the traits of unrelated rifles. 

-ItsanSKS
[/quote]

HEAR HEAR.
For what its worth  I have a favrot Rifle its not an SKS ,,but thats not what we are talking about on this tread, That said I do have an SKS in fact there are 3 SKS's at my home (gee man why 3 of em) simple the sks is simple to use easy to clean and works well  does it make for a good Appleseed Rifle ? Yes  !
Years ago 2 of my friends bolth nam vets had only one rifle each and there where SKS's and one of those old friends of mine wasone of the old AMU shooters top five in the Country when he was doing that(Sargent Robert Tilly if you want to look him up),,he said that for what it was for it was good enough and you know what that enough of an endorsement for me ,my other friend did 2 tours specail forces .

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Offline PHenry

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Re: SKS LTR
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2011, 07:04:23 PM »
I've seen every popular rifle type malf at events - AKs and SKS' as well. Nothing is perfect and each has its strengths and weaknesses. Find what works for you and learn it inside and out. A Rifleman with a marginal rifle who knows how to keep his rifle working, trumps a Rifleman with a zippy rifle who does not.

Look for recommended books on your rifle (buy books first, then rifle), study the info / study the rifle. Learn how to keep your rifle running. Trigger time beats internet time. Learn about other rifles as well. Become familiar with all of the popular types, as it makes u a better instructor and a better Rifleman.

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