I was checking out some of the other blogs on the Gun Blog Black List and I came across Disabled & Shooting, and his post about his SKS. Since I had already planned a series on the backstories of my guns, I decided to tell you about Sergei, my SKS.
I was at the local gun store one day in 1993, and I noticed the distinct aroma of cosmoline coming from the back room. The owner told me he had gotten in a shipment of SKS rifles, and he had hired some local high school boys to clean them so he could sell them.
By the way, did I want one?
Well, I had received a year end safety bonus of $150, which happened to be the price he was asking. So Ronnie and I picked out one of the best looking, with all matching serial numbers, and away it went.
I took home a Chinese SKS carbine with wooden stock, which included a spike bayonet, sling, oiler, cleaning kit, ammo carrying chest pouch, and a set of ten stripper clips.
From the beginning, this was a good shooting gun. The front sight was a little off, but it was predictable enough that I could apply a little Kentucky Windage and be on target every time.
But I wasn’t satisfied. Over the years, here are the mods I’ve made . . .
* Replaced the wooden stock with a polymer Monte Carlo style stock. The original wooden stock had a very short length of pull, not surprising given the small stature of its intended shooters. The new stock made it easier for me to get a good cheek weld.
* Replaced the Monte Carlo stock with a folding pistol grip stock. (That’s the one shown in the photo above.) Yes, you can hip shoot it with the stock folded. I don’t do that very often.
This also led to me first serious gunsmithing attempt, replacing the wood grained gas tube hand guard with a black plastic one. I used my Dremel to grind off the pin holding it on, then used a nail to pin the new on back in place, and ground it flush. I was proud.
* Bought a 30 round plastic magazine, and removed the 10 round fixed magazine. I added a second plastic magazine later.
But, one of the things I found when I took the gun to the Blogger Shoot and shot 200 rounds in one afternoon was that both of these plastic magazines suck. On both of them, the feed lips spread so much during use that they could not be put into place. I had to squeeze the feed lips together to get them to work at all.
So my next purchase will be some 30 round metal magazines. I know TAPCO makes plastic magazines that are supposed to be pretty good, so I may get one of those, too.
* Added a scope. I bought a 4-9 x 30 mm scope, that came with a new rear receiver cover and rings. My red dot scope also fits these rings.
* Added a vertical hand grip in the front. I also had to add a strip of rail to support it. This was simple – I just drilled through the lower front of the stock, and screwed on the rail using stainless screws and some blue Loc-Tite. I also painted the heads of the screws with some flat black model paint.
* Added a fluorescent plastic front sight post, and drifted it perfectly into place. The gun now shoots dead on to a 8 x 12 sheet of paper, hand held, at 100 yards. Did this take some getting used to, after having to aim left about 1/4 inch for 15 years? Yes – it took me 3 rounds.
Look for more mods in the future . . . .