Saturday, April 21, 2012

Firearms for Preppers, SKS Rifle

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

The SKS rifle was manufactured by about seven countries, Russia, China, East Germany, Romania, Yugoslavia, North Korea, and Albania. Notice, I wrote 'was.' The SKS rifle is no longer manufactured by most of these countries; however, a prepper can still purchase a SKS from their local firearms dealer, mostly likely a Chinese or Yugoslavian surplus rifle.

Yugoslavian M59/66 SKS Rifle
Thomas Powell

By now, most folks know a little about the SKS rifle. For those preppers that don't or those who would like to know more; I have provided two links (in the link section, of course)

My Family's Situation
We live in a suburban area, like most preppers, so we need a rifle that accurately shoots about  300 meters (325 yards). Plus, we are on a budget, but not that tight of a budget.

Some folks would recommend a Mosin-Nagant rifle at about $100, each. For a family of four that would set you back about $400 for the rifles, another $200 for 1600 rounds of surplus ammo from the 1970's, and another $200 for accessories like cleaning kits, slings, and ammo pouches, $800 total.


The Mosin-Nagant rifle kicks (recoils) like a mule. Not really, but most women and some men will have difficulty shooting a Mosin-Nagant rifle. Children will find it nearly impossible to shoot.

Other folks would recommend a M16/AR15 series rifle. At about $1.000 each, the rifles would set your family back $4.000. Plus, you'll still need magazines, ammo, cleaning kits,  slings, and the necessary kit to carry the magazines, another $2.000, $6.00 total.

My Family's Solution
We decided on the SKS rifle for several reasons. First, for about $400 per rifle I can budget $100 a month for about six months and have a rifle, 500 rounds of ammunition, and other accessories. In two years, my family and I can have four rifles, ammo, and other necessities for under $2.500 total.

Another reason, we choose the SKS; all you really need is the rifle and some ammo. There is no need to purchase magazines, like the AR-15 rifle, for the rifle to effectively shoot.

Lastly, we choose to buy SKS rifles because If we upgrade, we will purchase AK-47 series rifles for the adults. All of the ammunition and most of the tools and other necessities will transfer to the AK-47 type-rifle, but none of the spare parts : - (

Modifications to the SKS Rifle
Chinese SKS Rifle
Bought Used for Under $200
The SKS is a very good rifle, the way it is. I wouldn't make any modifications to the rifle.

That means ...

No extended magazine

No collapsible stock

No rail system

No pistol grip

No telescopic sight

No detachable magazine

No recoil buffer


For some folks, especially folks with older eyes, adding the SKM Mojo sight or the TS-100 Tech sight to the rifle would be helpful.

Spare Parts
Many decades ago, some survival writers suggested getting a second rifle to use as a source for spare parts. Not very smart. : - (

Now a days, you can shop on-line at SARCO Inc. or Numrich Gun Parts Corp. for spare parts for your rifle. I mean any rifle; just not the SKS.

But what spare parts to get?

First, do you really need spare parts? If you're planning for a short disaster, like a hurricane, you don't need spare parts. If you're planning for a long-term disaster, you'll want to store some common spare parts for you'uns' SKS rifles.

Firing Pin
Firing pin retainer

Extractor spring

Ejector spring

Magazine follower
Follower spring

Recoil spring, Complete assembly

Front sight

Tools and Other Almost Necessities
I'll repeat myself; "all you really need is the rifle and some ammo." Needless to say, every prepper owning a SKS rifle should plan on buying some tools and other necessities for their SKS, to increase the rifles utility.

First, after ammunition, I would suggest a way of carrying the ammo, like ammo pouches or carrier. The soviets (an example) and the DDR (an example) have a little pouch that holds loaded stripper clips or loose ammunition, buy two for each rifle and a belt. The Chinese had a ten-pocket canvas pouch that held 180 to 200 rounds of ammo on stripper clips (an example).

Next, I would suggest a cleaning kit because your rifle needs to be cleaned. The one that comes with the rifle will do, but a U.S. military .30 caliber cleaning kit (an example) is a higher quality. Either way, you will want to add an old (clean) tooth brush, an used (clean) t-shirt, some .30 caliber rifle cleaning patches (an example), and a small bottle of oil.

Oh, don't forget a ruptured case/broken shell extractor.

Empty and Loaded Stripper Clips
Next, you'll want some stripper clips. These hold ten rounds and allow a quick reload, with practice.

Remember, your family needs to practice, practice, and practice some more on new skills, especially quickly reloading your SKS rifle with 10-round stripper clips.

Almost lastly, you and your family will want a sight adjustment tool; there are two types. First is the tool that only adjusts for elevation, up and down (an example). Second is the tool that adjusts for elevation and windage, left and right (an example).

Finally, you'll probably want a sling; unless, the rifle came with one.

I'll say it again. The SKS rifle is probably the best rifle for most urban and suburban preppers because it's reasonably priced, rugged, and needs only ammunition to be functional for you and your family.

Wikipedia - SKS Rifle

William Sanders - Meet the SKS

Yooper John's SKS: Battle rifle of many nations - Section 26
Note: Neat page with two cut away SKS rifles showing the inside of the rifle. Plus, check out the home page for more information.

Pistol Craft - SKS-56 Instruction Manual (html)

The Firearm Blog - SKS Manual

Wonder How To - How to Disassemble and Clean an SKS Rifle

The following links are supplied for information only. If you have a company you would like to add, write a comment. If you want to complain, call the company.

Ammunition Dealers

Ammo Man - Home

Bulk Ammo - Home

Cabela's - Home

Cabela's - Ammunition

Cheaper Than Dirt - Home and Ammunition

After Cheaper than Dirt's actions in late 2013, early 2014. I'll never do business with them again. Ever!

Lucky Gunner - Home

The Sportsman's Guide - Home

The Sportsman's Guide - Ammunition


Someone You Know said...

Ms. Davis,

Sorry, I had to delete your comment, but it seemed too ??? (Dang, I can't think of the word) of an attempt to advertise for a commercial site. If you had complimented me and then done it, maybe. Oh, well : - (

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