A Reward for Laziness

Non corrosive

This post originally had another title: “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire.” Alas, I realized I was trying to blame this all on someone else. While that is my forte, let me instead take full responsibility, and tell today’s tale.

For some time now I have been thinking about turning Sergei, my SKS, into a truck gun, so I decided this past weekend to get it out and re-install the folding stock, after going back to the original stock over a year ago.

As it turns out, about the time that I put the old stock back on, I took Sergei out to shoot, and, in a lazy mood, put him back in the safe after shooting, without cleaning. After all, it should be fine, because I only shot about a hundred rounds, and the ammo I shoot claimed to be non-corrosive.

That’s where the original title came from  . . . liar, liar, Russian pants on fire.

When I took it apart on Sunday, I could tell right away that things weren’t right. There was rust and fowling on the bolt (not normal) and the gas tube, which normally pops right off, took some real wrenching to get loose.

So, I took it all apart, and did probably the best cleaning on it since a couple of unnamed high schoolers cleaned all the cosmoline, when I bought it back in 1993 from a gun store in Alabama. I even put a bore brush on my power drill and did some reaming of the chamber

Rolling Back My SKS


One of the things I’ve enjoyed doing over the last 18 years or so is adding little touches to Sergei my SKS. You can read the full story here.

Sadly, over the last year I’ve had some problems with the magazines that have led me to conclude that they are not reliable enough to risk my life on. Since I don’t own any gun that wouldn’t be called on to defend my family if the time came, I have no choice but to undo 18 years of upgrades. Fortunately, this wasn’t hard.

Starting with the rifle as configured, with folding stock and detachable magazines . . .

SAMSUNGI disassembled the gun completely, except for the gas tube hand guard.

SAMSUNGAfter taking the opportunity to clean and lubricate, I then reassembled with the old wooden stock and the fixed 10-round magazine. I also re-attached the sling and adjusted it for a good fit.

I then spent 15 minutes loading stripper clips and getting them ready to go.

Now, I have an old fashioned, great shooting SKS.


I’ll write more later about my problems with the plastic 30-round detachable magazines, but suffice it to say that the top of the magazines split at the back, leading to failures to feed. Fortunately, the PMAGs I recently bought for my AR project are all one piece at the top and not subject to this mode of failure – a much better design.

New Contest – Name the SKS

Why do people name their guns?

I named my first Glock 17 after Bruce Willis, because my wife suggested I buy a gun she could shoot and not have to count the rounds fired, just like he does in the movies.

Since then I’ve come to realize a secondary benefit of naming my guns. If we’re in a subway station late at night and my wife asks “Is the Duke coming with us?” it draws a lot less attention than if she asks “Hey, are you carrying your Glock 21?”

Now, I’ve had many names for my SKS, but none of them have been memorable enough to stick. It’s a Norinco, all matching serial numbers. Of course, I’ve added a few aftermarket parts, including a tactical stock and foregrip.

So, please help me pick a name.

Please submit your choices for a name, and reasons if you have them (provenance lends interest, after all), and I will choose a winner, which I will announce on Friday April 15. The winning submittal will receive accolades and the admiration of the masses, in addition to Gun Naming Immortality.