I have always thought well of the SKS. Purchased one new in cosmoline several years ago (OK, maybe more than one) and found it to be a simple workhorse. Never have had a jam, even with a hi cap clip and several hundred rounds without cleaning. It was accurate enough to bust bricks with open sights 150-200 yards, which is just about the extent of the accuracy I'm capable of with no scope. I know of many whitetails that have been taken at 100 yards or so with one shot, clean kills. They aren't fancy, which in my mind is a big plus. I could take it all the way down, including the trigger assembly, without ever having to consult a manual or ask someone.
IMO, the SKS is one of the better choices for a survival weapon. I'd hate to face a bear with one, but for most game, it will do the job and they are definitely more than enough for the two-legged bipedal predators. They're built pretty ruggedly, and cheap enough (though it's been awhile since you could buy them new for $90) that you can have several around for personal use and some for barter. Ammo is cheap and plentiful and there would be plenty around after the SHTF. Recoil is light enough for small women and medium-sized children, though you will see quite a bit of muzzle rise in rapid-fire.
The wood stock is not exactly sized for a full-grown man and the wood isn't the best, so a synthetic stock is a needed replacement for me, but the stock is perfectly sized for my 5'4" wife. I don't like the scope options, but wouldn't want it with a scope anyway. I did find it necessary to file down a few burrs and smooth the action a bit, but several friends have done nothing to theirs and they shoot fine. Maybe I'm a bit picky there.
When I think of survival gun, I look for something inexpensive enough to own more than one, plentiful ammo sources, enough power for defense and hunting deer-sized prey, and reliability, without extra bells and whistles that could just cause failure. The SKS fits those points nicely.
I own a heavy modified SKS and as a survival rifle I think it would do fine, I personally would choose my AK over it. However as long as every part works great and and you can tear it apart and put it back together easy then it should be fine.
Things to note.
You need a bit of ammo since 7.62x39 may not be reliable to find in a SHTF scenario.
Do you have extra parts in case you have to rely completely on one gun.
Is your build of your SKS easy enough to carry around. Remember if you have run from stuff you want a gun that is easy to carry.
yugo sks's are fairly cheap the cheapest one i found was in a barrel of guns in a surplus shop for $99 but it had a tag on it that said will not fire semi-auto i asked the guy at the counter what does the tag mean will not fire semi auto?, he told me it was returned to him by a fellow that said, it would not cycle after he fired a round. i bought the gun and some spare parts. just for fun i put some winchester white box 7.62x39 in it and low and behold it fired everyone without a hickup. not bad for $99 and the extra $30 i spent for recoil spring, and firing pin which i didn't need to replace.
as far as survival rifles go i'd would grab an sks anyday good for combat, hunting, mid-range sniping if rifle has scope, very durable easy to fix, hell the viet cong beat the crap out of some and they still worked, it's been reported that there still in use over there.
I love the SKS, its the only semi-auto I reccomend in the Survival Firearms page on my site for the reasons stated above. Its rock solid, shoots accuratly, and one thing not mentioned: With the fixed 10 round mag, you can simply top off the mag instead of ejecting partials between actions.. and if your walking along with FMJs and a deer happens to pop up its head, its easy enough to switch the top round to a soft point... and if things go south, it can be fired single shot without too much issue.
Gunner, it looks like you have the monte carlo stock with an aftermarket mag and a scope (my monitor is not too good). Is it a detachable mag? If so what brand is it and does it function well?
Please tell more about your scope setup as well. I have heard nothing but poor reviews from anyone who has scoped their SKS (other than people tryin to sell a product). But I'm still waiting to hear from someone who has found a decent scope mount for the SKS.
Yes that is a MC stock, I am going to buy the new model with the M4 style adj stock... The mag is detachable 30 round and works fine.. No name brand on it, Gun show purchase... I think it was around 20 to 25 bucks...
The scope (you don't need a costly one) is nice, I got it at a Gun show for around 50.oo with the mounts and all. I have never had a problem with it... Most important thing to do is to get a good receiver cover/holder that will LOCK down nice and tight.
It also has a flash suppressor and military folding and semi rotating bi-pods
The problems with scopes on SKS's is the mouting you need a scope with a floating mount. A one piece bar mount that has a not sure how to explain. It mounts to the gun via the one piece bar. Then the scope is mounted to the bar. if its a foating it allows some movement during the burst. Like a floating barrle on sniper rifles.
The good part of this is less haveing to resight. So more volume of shots before resighting.
A couple of my friends have SKS's. Im not too fond of them, they are pretty heavy and awkward to shoot freehand for me, it almost feels front heavy. Perhaps some modifications to the stock and the sights would make it more appealing to me. Ive always liked the AR better. But hey for 200 bucks at my local gun shop they sell very very good quality SKS's that even have bayonets on them.
I have a Yugo and a Norinko "Paratrooper" SKS, would choose either of them over just about anything else I have is TSHTF. The thing you have to remember about the SKS is that it's designed to be a 10rd 200yd gun and that's it. Many aftermarket mags don't work worth a flip in it and several of the synthetic stocks actually add to the weight of the gun.
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