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Old 03-01-2010, 01:16 AM
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Default SKS: a great SHTF weapon



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In a general bug out SHTF situation where concealing your weapon is not an issue, you're likely to be on foot and can only bring as much gear as you can cary on your person, I strongly believe that the SKS, in it's "as issued" unmodified state, is the best weapon. (I am not a fan of the aftermarket stocks and magazines.)

I feel that the SKS is terribly under rated. Given the situation stated this is why the SKS is the best choice:

-First off, the SKS in such a situation has the advantage over magazine fed weapons because;
1. If you run out of stripper clips, but not ammunition, you still have a weapon with a capacity of 10 rounds.
2. Magazines take up a lot of space. With all stripper clips, you have room for; more ammo, food, water, essential gear to survival.
3. Stripper clips are cheap. Stocking up isn't a big budget issue.
(These reasons, in my opinion, outweigh the fact that the weapon is limited to 10 rounds, where as many other rifles have detachable magazines with a capacity of 20-30.)

-From my personal experience, compared to the AK (a common SHTF weapon choice) the SKS is more accurate. Granted, you need to properly sight in the weapon, as you would need to with any other. Compared an AR (Another common SHTF weapon choice), the SKS is more reliable, and requires less maintenance.

-The SKS fires the 7.62x39 cartridge. In a SHTF situation this is preferable because;
1. This cartridge has the stopping power to neutralize an aggressor, will take down game as large as deer if needed and isn't terribly over kill for smaller game such as squirrels and rabbits.
2. This is a very, very popular cartridge. I don't think I've ever seen a gun store that doesn't cary this round, let alone bulk surplus of it. In the event that you exhaust all your ammunition, you're more likely to find 7.62x39 than other, less popular cartridges.
3. It's cheaper to stock up on than other common surplus rounds such as .308/7.62X51 or .223/5.56x45.

-If you do exhaust all of your ammunition, the SKS is still a formidable mele weapon with it's folding bayonet. Not to mention it's a very solid weapon, and has a metal buttstock.

-The SKS comes with a cleaning kit in the buttstock, and a cleaning rod under the barrel. If you need to, you can maintain the weapon with just these tools alone.

-Unlike the AK, the bolt stays open once your last round has been fired. You don't need to worry about a "ghost" round.

-Finally, SKS's are generally cheaper than most rifles people will recomend as a SHTF rifle. Just about anyone can afford to purchase an SKS and stock up on ammunition for it.


I would like to make it a point to say that I have different weapons of preference for different situations. In the best case senario, I would have my WASR-10 (with the G2 trigger, tapco M4 type stock (for easier shouldering with my personal body armor) and EOTECH) my M500 with pistol grip (and buttstock readily available), my Auto Ordinance M1911A1, and Henry .22LR survival rifle along with my kevlar, my personal body armor (soft kevlar and ceramic plates), my LBE, and my rucksack with all the necessary survival gear, food, water and ammo. That's all if bugging out with access to vehicles, or moving on foot (or patrolling) within a few miles. My setup would change if circumstances changed. You get the idea... my point being that I don't praise the SKS as the BEST AND ONLY weapon for ANY SHTF situation. The point of my post is that for every situation there is a proper tool. There are many, many situations where there will be more desireable weapons than the SKS. I feel a collection of firearms for any given survival situation is not complete without an SKS, and if you were only to have ONE rifle or carbine for ANY general situation, my opinion is that the SKS is the best choice.
Old 03-01-2010, 03:39 AM
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Old fight but I'll weigh in.

An SKS weighs 8 lbs, has horrible sights, lousy triggers, wood stocks designed for 5'3 Asians, and vastly inferior shootablity and accuracy than any US service rifle since the 1903. They are a very short range system. (But that should be your focus anyway.)

What makes you think 7.62 x 39 Russky is more common than 5.56/223? I see them both with good regularity. What I also see, in the hands of capable shooters, is an optically enhanced AR but rarely an AK and rarer still an SKS.

What I like about an SKS is they are cheap, the sights work, the trigger can be managed and it has good reliability. I wish they were still $110 as I would prolly bury some along with the ammo for $100/1200 rds.

Except for a trophy Brown Bear, I have taken everything in Alaska with a 55 FMJ BT/ AR-15 with 1 or 2 shots.

AR and AK's, properly maintained, are pretty reliable. I wouldn't give either the edge.

That said, I will take whatever is in my hands but I hope it's my AR not my Norinco Paratrooper SKS.
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Old 03-01-2010, 03:42 AM
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Agreed, ,my dad recently asked me what kind of rifle to get because he's concerned about the state of the economy. I told him to get an SKS, about a week or so later I found him one the local range, like new Chinese unbubba'd for $149! He bought it on the spot and it is a shooter! It shoots just as well as my Chicom or my Russkie SKS. I used to be a gun snob and looked down my nose at the lowly SKS, until I got one in trade and spent a little time behind it. I've since become a big fan and while not my front line SHTF wep they do figure into my SHTF plans, if you practice on it, it'll serve you well. As for the 7.62x39, it's effective all out of proprtion to it's size and can double as a decent meat getter. You know elephants have been killed with 22LR's, does that make the 22LR an elephant round? Sorry but the 223 is a gopher gun, period. Yeah it'll kill you but so will a 22 short, it's how quick you drop that matters in a fight.
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Old 03-01-2010, 03:57 AM
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You know elephants have been killed with 22LR's, does that make the 22LR an elephant round? Sorry but the 223 is a gopher gun, period. Yeah it'll kill you but so will a 22 short, it's how quick you drop that matters in a fight.
Didn't say it was ideal, but neither is a 7.62 Russian, least of all in an SKS when you need a precise shot. Never heard of an elephant with a .22 LR.
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:25 AM
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Old fight but I'll weigh in.

An SKS weighs 8 lbs, has horrible sights, lousy triggers, wood stocks designed for 5'3 Asians, and vastly inferior shootablity and accuracy than any US service rifle since the 1903. They are a very short range system. (But that should be your focus anyway.)
and you can buy 3-4 of them for the price of a US service rifle, if you can find one thats not all shot out.

Unlike the author of this post, I am in favor of a aftermarket stock, and sighting system (concur with you on open sights).
Our SKS trigger is no worse than our M1 trigger, semi auto, is semi auto.

This is the sows ear, made into a silver purse.



You might notice the lack of sights, also the AK74 Muzzle break. You or I can shot this one handed like a pistol,
it has zero recoil. The balance point is forward, which keeps the muzzle down.

At 50 yards the Mrs can cut the center out of a target, at 100 yards 10 out of 10 hits into a 2 liter Pepsi bottle.

Cant ask much more of a chi com hunk of junk.

Being that my wife is a 5ft tall Asian, even the leverguns are more than she can handle. When she shot the Marlin, she handed it back to me and stated she liked the SKS better.

With all this crap on it, and 2000 rounds, I dont have $700 invested.
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:36 AM
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I too wish they were still $90 NIB and ammo was $100/1200rds.

As the old sayin goes...if I knew then, what I know now...

Also, SKS make a great hand out gun to people not real familiar with guns.
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by AKpredator View Post
Old fight but I'll weigh in.

An SKS weighs 8 lbs, has horrible sights, lousy triggers, wood stocks designed for 5'3 Asians, and vastly inferior shootablity and accuracy than any US service rifle since the 1903. They are a very short range system. (But that should be your focus anyway.)

What makes you think 7.62 x 39 Russky is more common than 5.56/223? I see them both with good regularity. What I also see, in the hands of capable shooters, is an optically enhanced AR but rarely an AK and rarer still an SKS.

What I like about an SKS is they are cheap, the sights work, the trigger can be managed and it has good reliability. I wish they were still $110 as I would prolly bury some along with the ammo for $100/1200 rds.

Except for a trophy Brown Bear, I have taken everything in Alaska with a 55 FMJ BT/ AR-15 with 1 or 2 shots.

AR and AK's, properly maintained, are pretty reliable. I wouldn't give either the edge.

That said, I will take whatever is in my hands but I hope it's my AR not my Norinco Paratrooper SKS.

Well, I think you missed the point of my post. But I'm more than happy to stand up for Mr. Siminov.

I've never had any issue with the SKS's weight. Personally, I feel it's a well balanced weapon. As for it's sights and trigger, they're certainly not the best, but I wouldn't call them horrible. I use it as a battle rifle. The way it was intended to be used. At 100 yards, in a slightly smaller than life shilouette target, prone unsupported rapid fire I can put every round into center mass. It's not going to win competitions, but it's going to kill an enemy.
I'm 5'9 280lbs. The SKS's stock doesn't feel too small when shooting, to me. I don't think that Siminov had 5'3 Asians in mind when designing it.
And I'm not going to argue that the Springfield '03, the M1 rifle or the M14 arent great rifles. Personally not the biggest fan of the M16 series weapons, but really my only complaints are the gas system and caliber. Both of which, if changed (and adopted for U.S. service), IMO would make the M16 series a weapon that's hard to beat... that being said, not for the situation I described on my first post.

I never directly compared 7.62x39 to .223/5.56NATO in availablility. I see the both more or less just as commonly. I did however compare the the prices of ammunition to .223/5.56NATO. Obviously, 7.62x39 is cheaper.

I have an AR, an M1A, AK's, Bolt action rifles, Lever action rifles, Shotguns, pistols, revolvers, weapons with optics. I could argue points for every one of them as to what makes one preferable over another. The point of my post, however, was to explain the reasons why if I could only grab one weapon and only be able to bring the equipment, ammo, food and water I can cary. The SKS is my choice, for the reasons that I listed in my first post.



LD 50/50,

As much as I don't like the aftermarket stuff for SKS's , that's a pretty good looking rifle there. Nice work. What type of optic do you have on it?
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Old 03-01-2010, 03:19 PM
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LD 50/50,

As much as I don't like the aftermarket stuff for SKS's , that's a pretty good looking rifle there. Nice work. What type of optic do you have on it?
Had to do the stock, what it came with was usable. The poll out stock works for wee folks and us economy sized folk.

The red/green dot is for my left handed half blind woman.

Its a Vortex, here is the write up

http://www.vortexoptics.com/product/...-low-30mm-ring
Old 03-01-2010, 06:13 PM
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I like the SKS a lot. Not as a primary SHTF weapon because I have other guns that work better for me. But as an inexpensive handout gun. I bought a bunch of them back when they were cheap, and picked one up now and then since. They're very simple and you can train almost anyone to use it in a matter of a few minutes.

I see the stripper loading system as a bonus in that particular gun, though I do have a few that I use the Tapco 20 round magazines in. Strippers let you carry more ammo per weight and bulk than magazines and you don't need to worry as much about dropping them and losing or damaging them. They're a lot cheaper, which lets you keep a BUNCH of ammo loaded up for your guns. Also, with a little practice, you can reload with strippers almost as fast as a removeable magazine. Capacity has never been of big importance to me, so I don't see 10 rounds as much of a limit, though some of my SKSes are using the Red Star fixed 20 round mags.

I've trained new shooters using the same method I'd use to teach a non shooter during SHTF. I started them on an air rifle to teach safety and marksmanship. Graduated them to a Ruger 10/22 because of it's similarities in function to the SKS. Then when I saw that they were ready, moved them up to the SKS.

If you have someone who pays attention and follows instruction well, you can have them hitting effectively at pretty decent distances in an afternoon, and more importantly, doing it safely. Also without wasting a lot of rifle ammo.
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by LD 50/50 View Post
Had to do the stock, what it came with was usable. The poll out stock works for wee folks and us economy sized folk.

The red/green dot is for my left handed half blind woman.

Its a Vortex, here is the write up

http://www.vortexoptics.com/product/...-low-30mm-ring
I sell the Vortex scopes and have put a couple of them to the test. I'm quite impressed with them from a durability standpoint. I think they're about as good as anything on the market. I have yet been able to break one, or even cause it to lose point of aim. I like them well enough to have installed them on quick detach setups for my main rifles.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:17 PM
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great thread guys. I have 2 of my own chinese sks's both have detachable magazines. (say what you want about them) They work great. My father has a russian made one.
And my brother has ( the crappiest rusty cheaply slap dashed together) chinese made sks. Seriously its terrible.


Out of all the ones i fired, the russian is the lightest and had the least recoil. dont forget you can use the bayonet as a monopod.

Chinese ones are bulky heavy and kick a good deal but they are my babies and im used to them. Ammo is always at walmart etc. And the ammo ...penetrates a little too well .. we had to make a earthen berth to prevent it from going past the range.

tried a scope on mine... ehh i like iron sights better. Stripper clips might be great but they tend to get lost easier and the bullets are exposed more to the elements.

Anyway id rather have an SKS that any other rifle i can think of.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:34 PM
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The bayonets actually vibrate upon firing and open up the groups a bit. I've found that taking them off makes the gun a little more accurate, and of course lighter. I don't have a use for a bayonet anyway. Just thought I'd pass that on for folks like me who don't really care for the bayonet.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:45 PM
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Ohhh be careful with this OP... You are opening a BIG can of worms... AK guys will jump all over you...

P.S. I had a SKS, loved it.. had a Monte Carlo stock and removable mags... Loved that rifle....
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunner-Fisherman View Post
Ohhh be careful with this OP... You are opening a BIG can of worms... AK guys will jump all over you...

P.S. I had a SKS, loved it.. had a Monte Carlo stock and removable mags... Loved that rifle....
Don't take me wrong, I love AK's! I'm a Russian made and/or designed weapon guy. Really just a gun nut in general, but there's something abut ruskies for me.

Only reason AK guys would have to "jump all over" the post is if they completely miss the point.
Old 03-01-2010, 09:42 PM
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I call it Vera...
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunner-Fisherman View Post
Ohhh be careful with this OP... You are opening a BIG can of worms... AK guys will jump all over you...

P.S. I had a SKS, loved it.. had a Monte Carlo stock and removable mags... Loved that rifle....
Nah. I'm an AK guy too. I love both guns, each for different reasons.
Old 03-01-2010, 10:11 PM
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The SKS is great for what it is "a battle carbine". It will function through more conditions than most other weapons-drop it in the mud, stomp on it, etc. and it will still function. Just an old geezers .02
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:18 PM
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Thanks for the post! I was thinking about getting a Saiga as my MBR, but this post has opened up another option that I wasn't considering before, but now I'm glad that I am considering it.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKpredator View Post
Old fight but I'll weigh in.

An SKS weighs 8 lbs, has horrible sights, lousy triggers, wood stocks designed for 5'3 Asians, and vastly inferior shootablity and accuracy than any US service rifle since the 1903. They are a very short range system. (But that should be your focus anyway.)
What I like about an SKS is they are cheap, the sights work, the trigger can be managed and it has good reliability. I wish they were still $110 as I would prolly bury some along with the ammo for $100/1200 rds.

That said, I will take whatever is in my hands but I hope it's my AR not my Norinco Paratrooper SKS.
Other than that they are perfect LOL. Have had good luck with mine. I would not be afraid to defend myself with the ones I have, maybe not my 1st choice, but it will do.
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I call it Vera...
Call her Vera? She is black and sexy my kindah gal! Way to go.
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:09 AM
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PoorBoy,

I have a Saiga in 7.62x39. I prefer any one of my SKS's over it, but it's a damn good rifle, a cheap one too. It's made in Russia, so it's a real Russian AK! One compaint I have about it though is the lack of availability of high capacity magazines. I bought a few 10 round mags for mine, but with the money I spend on two 10 round mags for my saiga I could buy three 30 round AK mags for my WASR-10. I'm not about to modify it to accept 30 round AK mags. I don't want to deal with 922r.

I would definitely buy an SKS though, if you don't have anything right now for a SHTF rifle. Get a couple chest rigs and fill them up with ammo on stripper clips. You can't go wrong. Look for a Ruskie. I like 'em the most. My tula 55/56 is a sweetheart. Though, my Norinco is a good shooter. I have a little experience with a Yugo, they don't seem too bad, but the grenade launcher adds some length to it that i don't feel is necessary, I also prefer a metal plated buttstock. If I find one for a good price, however, I wouldn't think twice before I bought it. For some reason (atleast on the Yugo my friend had me help sight in) the sight adjustment tool for eleveation wouldn't work. It fit perfectly on the Norinco and Ruskie. I haven't had any experience with any other SKS's.

Good luck finding a weapon that suits you! I'm glad I could help.
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