Rifle questions: pitted bore and SKS spare parts

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by dheat, May 3, 2006.

  1. dheat

    dheat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    295
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    I recently purchased a Yugoslavian M59/66 SKS. I'm currently in the process of removing the cosmoline. How do I determine whether the bore is pitted? That is, what am I looking for? I know it's a little late to ask, since I've already purchased the rifle, but I'd like to know for future purchases.

    I'd like to purchase some spare parts for it. Which parts are most likely to fail on an SKS? Would it be wise to simply purchase a $90 parts gun for the primary purpose of a spare parts source and the secondary purpose of having a backup gun (until it's canibalized)?

    Thanks,

    Doug
     
  2. Obser

    Obser "Mobile Homesteaders"

    Messages:
    577
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Location:
    Highly Variable
    After you have thoroughly cleaned the bore with bore brush, solvent and many patches look through it with a light source at the other end. You don't need a bore scope, only a flashlight or sunlight and a piece of white paper as a reflector.

    The bore should look shiny and smooth, with pronounced "lands" and "groves" spiraling along its length. Dark areas that won't come clean or worn (rounded) lands indicate the bore is not in good shape.

    However, the weapon could still be perfectly serviceable with a "bad" bore. An SKS is not known as a “tack driver” so don’t expect “minute-of-angle” accuracy. If it will group shots into a relatively small area at 100 yards and if holes in paper are not “key holed” (elongated indicating that the projectile was wobbling in flight), the weapon is probably adequate.

    For information about parts one could visit www.gunbroker.com
     

  3. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    486
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Location:
    Missouri
    You need a strong solvent to get cosmoline off, I used to use gasoline but very carefully. Maybe you know someone with a parts washer or can make friends at your local service station and offer to buy them lunch if you can use theirs?

    Regarding the bore being pitted, if the rifle is still packed in cosmoline, its most likely new. If the bore was sealed or coated well I'm sure its fine.

    As was already mentioned, I wouldn't worry about any pitting if it turns out the barrel has some. I don't know what you are planning to use this for but if it's home defense, plinking, etc the pitting won't matter at the ranges involved in most situations.

    As for parts, most any gun shot will have some or can order what you need. A lot of parts are available online as well.

    I don't know what parts wear out on sks ( my experience being having them shot at me, haha ). I would guess most likely stuff like the ejector, firing pin, etc. The moving parts so to speak.
     
  4. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    806
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    Location:
    NC
    My wife's cousin has shot over 20,000 rounds through his sks and it's still going strong. In a SHTF situation a extractor, spring kit and a firing pin could save your life. PROVIDING you have the tools and skill level to change out the parts. IF NOT
    then the old survivalist rule comes into play "Two is one and one is none" BUY TWO SKS's. :D


    Kenneth
     
  5. dheat

    dheat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    295
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Thanks all for the input.

    From what you've described, I'm pretty sure my bore is pitted, but I'm not too concerned. Besides, there's nothing I can do about it now. At $119 for a non-parts gun, I feel I did all right.

    I priced a bolt rebuild kit with new parts (firing pin, extractor, extractor spring and firing pin lock) at $35; a used bolt assembly at $40 and a new one at $70; a new operating rod and spring at $14; a new recoil spring assembly at $20; and a new carrier bolt at $20.

    At those prices, I'll probably just buy a parts gun for $89 and be done. Besides, if you're preparing for a survival scenario, I understand you should have a spare rifle for every two people anyway. A parts gun will fulfill that need as well.

    I've steamed off most of the cosmoline and used a spray on solvent to get what was left. It hasn't been as bad as I expected. I've finished everything except the stock and the gas port assembly and hand guard. I can't separate the hand guard from the gas port assembly. I know how--punch out the rivet--but I'm having a difficult time. I'm thinking about taking it to a gunsmith for that job.

    Thanks again for the info,

    Doug
     
  6. diamondtim

    diamondtim Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    751
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Location:
    WI
    dheat,

    Lucky you!! :dance:

    I bought a Yugo SKS and it is a hoot to shoot. My son uses it for a deer rifle since it is both accurate and has a low recoil.

    Go to www.surplusrifle.com for a pictorial description of how to disassemble the rifle. Once you take it apart and put it back together, you'll realize what an insired design it was. :)

    Don't sweat the parts issue as there are tons of them available at gun shows.

    I HATE COMMUNISM, BUT I LOVE THEIR WEAPONS!
     
  7. Obser

    Obser "Mobile Homesteaders"

    Messages:
    577
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Location:
    Highly Variable
    DiamondTim, Doug, Kenneth, Hammer, Others,

    If you had to choose only ONE all-around gun from each of the choices below, would you rather have:

    1) SKS or AK-47
    2) SKS or M-16
    3) AK-47 or M-16
    4) SKS or Winchester 94 30-30
    5) M-16 or Winchester 94 30-30
    6) Any of the others (specify which) or a 12-gauge pump shotgun
    7) Any of the others (specify) or your choice of handguns (specify)
     
  8. dheat

    dheat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    295
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Obser,

    I'm afraid I can't answer your question as I'm a new to the whole gun thing. I can, however, tell you why I chose the SKS over other choices: low price, relatively inexpensive and widely available ammo, widely available parts, sturdy and reliable, accurate enough for hunting and serious enough for self defense.

    BTW, where are you located in NW AR? Both of my parents are from AR (north central and west central). I like the idea of moving there myself: land is inexpensive and beautiful, taxes are low and regulations few in some counties. Nevertheless, I'm pretty sure finding a stable and decent paying job would be an issue.

    Best regards,

    Doug
     
  9. Obser

    Obser "Mobile Homesteaders"

    Messages:
    577
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Location:
    Highly Variable
    Dheat, We are not too far from Yellville at the moment. You are right about it being beautiful country, with relatively inexpensive land, few regulations AND few good jobs. Employment is not an issue with us, but would be a consideration for others.

    The SKS you purchased is probably a good introduction to guns. You ask many of the right questions so you will learn quickly. I have owned and used guns for well over fifty years and was trained in long-range accuracy in the Army.

    The only weapon I own that is similar to the SKS is a Mini-14. I consider it to be a "firepower" weapon, with large magazine capacity, abundant cheap ammo, and reliability. However, it is not known for its accuracy. I seldom take it out of its case, but don’t mind having it available if needed.

    The "One Gun" question produces some interesting answers when asked in the right place.
     
  10. Country Doc

    Country Doc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    427
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    I have one . Very simple mechanism, very reliable, cheap ammo, not very accurate. Remember what the gun is designed to do. It is an assault rifle designed to be built cheaply to direct a large volume of fire .
    I think there are better range guns and better home defence guns.
     
  11. ThreeJane

    ThreeJane Me Love Your Face

    Messages:
    537
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Location:
    North Idaho
    I have a Russian SKS and after asking around, it appears that the main thing that gets worn is the firing pin, causing "slamfires", which are apparently lots of fun. :)

    Enjoy, they're tackdrivers up to about 300 yards (maybe more if you're good, I'm better with pistols). I'm having a hard time finding the AK round (7.62x39). Maybe you'll have more luck than me!

    *edited to add: If I had to make a choice between the Tula or the Mini for accuracy, I'd take the SKS hands down, anytime.
     
  12. dheat

    dheat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    295
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Obser,

    you're very near where my mother was born: Big Flat. Her family moved elsewhere in AR shortly after she was born, but both of her parents and other kin are buried there.

    Small world.
     
  13. dheat

    dheat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    295
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    ThreeJane,

    I bought 1000 rds for $130 + shipping from classicarms.us 2 weeks ago. That's the best deal I found, but there are other places on the net. They're sold out now, but receive intermittent shipments.

    I visited either auctionarms.com or gunbroker.com (I don't remember which) in search of ammo yesterday. There were auctions for 500 rds at (seemingly) reasonable bids.

    Best regards,

    Doug
     
  14. spam4einstein

    spam4einstein Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    273
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    North GA
    I think you can buy a shooter grade Yugo for $89 online. Id be suprised if the bore was pitted, You may want to use a bronze cleaning brush and wd-40 in the bore. Dosnt matter anyway. a 4" group or a 7" group is still deadly at 200 yards.
     
  15. buspete

    buspete Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    456
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    A pitted bore in an SKS would be a real surprize. Most of the com-block stuff like the SKS, RPK and AK-47 have chrome lined bores and would have to really have been abused to have a bore problem.

    I've got a Russian SKS that is my "shooter" and picked up a Yugo last year because they were cheap and I thought the grenade launcher and night sights were funky. The Russian SKS shoots as good as my AR-15, at least as far as I can shoot with open sights. (I live in the woods, and don't care about 600 yard shots)

    I've had good luck removing cosmoline by using gumout, the carborator cleaner. Brake parts cleaner works pretty good too, but you can't use it on the wood. A heat lamp will melt off the cosmoline from the wood. After removing the grease if using solvent of any kind, be sure to oil it.

    7.62x39 ammo is getting a little hard to find because so much of it is being shipped to Iraq for their police/military. The last time I bought a case of Wolf brand, it was $69 for 500rds from Cheaper Than Dirt. It is still around by the box, but I like to get larger quantities to keep the per shot price down.

    Now you have to get an AK-47 while they still can be had cheap.
     
  16. diamondtim

    diamondtim Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    751
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Location:
    WI
    Obser,

    YOU MEAN I CAN ONLY HAVE ONE? :eek:

    1. SKS vs AK-47 - SKS only because I like the trigger better and you can be pretty quick with 10 round strippers vs 30 rnd clip.

    2. SKS vs M-16 - Only fired a AR-15 once (nice gun, never been in a green suit for a job). Full Auto would be a kick. :dance: SKS only for cost.

    3 AK vs M-16 - AK because it was built to be as "fail-proof" (foolproof?) as a weapon can be. AK's have been found buried in sand with a full clip. They knocked off the dust and poured motor oil on the action. Pulled the bolt back and fired off the whole clip. Not many weapons can do that.

    4. SKS vs Win 94 - SKS because of semi-auto, better safety, smaller and cheaper round with same ballistics.

    5. M-16 vs Win 94 - M-16 because of FULL AUTO! :dance:

    6. Any others vs 12 guage pump - Kinda of a apples vs oranges deal. 12 guage is good for all around short range use. Rifle if you want to "reach out and touch something".

    7. Any others vs handgun - See above. Depends on what you want to use it for.
     
  17. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,510
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004
    I'd keep working on that bore. I wouldn't be shocked if that wasn't just some cosmoline gunked up in there and not pitting.

    I've got a chinese SKS that does pretty good in the accuracy department. I restocked it and it made it pretty nice shooting rifle.

    I prefer the AK. I modded mine with US made internals and stock and it has a great trigger now. The AK, mine anyway, is more accurate too. I've got mine topped with an EOTech holosight and it is one of my favorite rifles.

    Have a couple of AR series rifles too. But I have to say that if I had to trust my life to either and AK or and AR I would choose the AK. The AR is fine if it is cleaned and cared for meticulously. You can neglect and beat the AK unmercifully and it doesn't miss a beat.

    Oh, and as for getting cosmoline out I've actually had the best luck with soapy boiling water followed by solvents. Don't drain it down your plumbing though.
     
  18. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,808
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Location:
    Dysfunction Junction, SW PA
    yugoslavian sks's dont have chrome bores. russian sks's before 51' for the most part did not have chrome bores.
    slamfires are caused by a stuck firepin in the block, from a weak spring in the pin. older russian sks's didnt have springs on the firepins, slamfires can also be from a worn or badly made trigger block.

    cosmoline can be stripped off with cans of "brake cleaner", or some people use an old oven, dissasemble the metal bits and bake them on low heat on the oven rack and the cosmo will melt and drip off onto a pan waiting below.

    use an old oven, itll stink up your wifes oven and youll end up sleeping outside with your clean sks.
    lol

    the bore can be cleaned out somewhat with gunk called "firelapping compound". I havent used this stuff but I understand it does polish up a rusty bore. You put a glop on a bullet and shoot it, after a few dozen the bore is polished out.

    Ive never seen it done but I know people who have done it, and the bores are nice and shiny.

    as for buyiing cheapo ammo.... when those shots have to count youll want good made ammo anyway. the cheapo surplus stuff wont show how well your rifle shoots.
    get the bore cleaned out, buy a few boxes of good brand hunting rounds and test fire it to see how well it shoots as a control test.
    then when you run chreap surplus thru youll know your off from the ammo not the rifle.
     
  19. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    806
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    Location:
    NC
    SKS
    AK-47 (or clone)

    Mauser 6.5x55 swiss

    Rossi 45 long colt/.410 over shotguns (why? I like them)

    Handgun (supplement to rifle- Ruger Vaquero 45LC and/or a S&W 22)


    Kenneth
     
  20. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,510
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004
    I've had good luck with both the Remington and Winchester. The Remington seem a tad more accurate in the AK but not noticeably so but off the bench.