Molot’s Modern SKS

Russian gun maker Molot had a very attractive looking SKS rifle on display at Moscow ARMS & Hunting ’12 expo. The rifle (which is of new manufacture, not old surplus) features a carbon fibre stock, picatinny rail, muzzle brake and a factory magazine. I am pleased they went with a traditional “hunting” stock, rather than a tactical style pistol gripped stock that look out of place on an SKS in my opinion. My only complaint would be the long 21.5″ barrel.

Photo by military photographer Vitaly V. Kuzmin.

[ Many thanks to Zach for the tip. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Cybrludite

    AK magazine or duckbill SKS magazine?

    • Erwos

      That looks like an AK magazine to me. Hard to believe they’d go with any other sort of detachable magazine.

  • GreenPlease

    DO WANT!

    I’m with the OP on the barrel length though. 16″ would be better, 18″ max. IIRC, 7.62×39 doesn’t really benefit from barrel lengths >18″. Also, I wish the stock extended a bit farther forward on the barrel/gas tube.

  • milo

    really digging the detachable mag, no offense to the old stripper clips, you could fit 4 in a pouch meant for 2 mags, so… kinda miss them. still looks like molot listened to the market. now… how about izhmash?

  • kagbalete

    Do they have plans of making one in 5.56?

  • Here in the UK we would call the carbon-fibre look ‘Chavy’ – it’s a bit vulgar. But otherwise a very nice looking piece and were we Brits allowed to own such a thing I would have one. Smashing stuff!

    • bbmg

      Not at all, I think it’s very tastefully done and looks great!

      This is what a “chavesque” (too posh?) SKS would look like:

      • Schizoid

        If I’m not mistaken, the British “Chav” translates roughly to “douchebag”. Think “giant wing on a Honda Civic”, or “Affliction T-shirt.”

      • bbmg

        Not quite, my understanding is that a “douchebag” can come from any economic background, while a “chav” is normally associated with lower income individuals. I was going to say “working class” but they are more likely to be on government benefits. “White trash” would be a more appropriate US equivalent.

      • RocketScientist

        I’m not brittish, so please correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m thinking more: guy living on the council estate, sovereign rings on every finger, talking with an affected ‘urban’ accent. Maybe a track suit?

  • iMick

    Man I miss my SKS. I think its refreshing that a modern rifle has a rifle length barrel on it!

  • Hopefully that receiver-cover scope rail is more stable than the aftermarket units. They don’t usually hold zero very well as the bolt slams directly into it, & you’d better use loctite on everything you mount on there or it will rattle loose in short order. A bolt buffer helps the problem somewhat & can cure it if your SKS is well machined & the cover fits on really tightly, but we went with the “scout” style rear sight replacement instead. At least you don’t need an LER scope for this one, that was probably the primary driver behind the positioning on the receiver.

    I’d love to see a test group from this thing. In all likelyhood it’s much better built than the pervasive Norinco.

    & I agree that 18″ of barrel would have been plenty. Perhaps they had a load of surplus long bbls to use up…

    • Erwos

      Totally agree. What I’d like to see:
      1. Tech Sights-style rear peep
      2. Ultimak-style gas tube mount for scout optic
      3. 18″ CHF barrel

      I’d pay $700 for an SKS like that, easily. I’d love running something like that with those 20rd Hungarian tanker magazines.

      Also, Molot? 5.45×39 version. MAKE IT HAPPEN.

      • Zach

        5.45 SKS?


      • W

        “Also, Molot? 5.45ร—39 version. MAKE IT HAPPEN.”

        Such a genius concept belongs in the pure pleasure realm of sexual fantasy.

      • While we’re at dreaming about SKSs in new calibers, personally I’d love to see one in 6.5 Grendel (which is a grandson of 7.62×39). Especially if it coincides with Wolf finally shipping the inexpensive Polyformance ammo they’ve had in their catalog forever in this caliber.

        I believe that the combination of the inherent accuracy & range of the 6.5 Gren cartridge in carbines with the brick latrine reliability, maintainability, and low cost of the SKS would put it back on the international procurement map.

        As 6.5 Gren shares the same case head as 7.62×39, they’d probably still fit in stripper clips too :-).

    • Trey

      So looking at the rail it appears to completely obscure the rear sight.

      • The aftermarket integrated receiver-cover scope rail we messed with for a while was actually high enough that you could get a (somewhat awkward but still usable) iron sight picture through the rail mount. The bit between the rail itself & the receiver cover is just two metal plates on the sides; the center is completely hollow. Have a look at the receiver mount rails at MidwayUSA & you’ll get the idea (esp. the Barska, the others probably look like that on the ends as well).

        Personally for deer hunting with an SKS out to 100 yards (which is about your longest clean shot on a deer in east coast woods most of the time) I think the Tech Sight ghost ring setup is the way to go, although I can see how a nice small red dot optic on the scout rail would work well too. We use a small 4x pistol scope on the scout rail for targets & plinking.

        Hmmm, project for the winter: finally get all the cosmoline out of the Soviet SKS & get her to the range

  • Thylacine

    It needs a shorter barrel and a pistol grip. Since it is not dependent on stripper clips they could have made it side eject and used a full length rail. And it needs a Pistol Grip. Missed the bus on this outing.

  • crkt308

    i hate to burst the bubble on the stock but its not carbon fiber, its a dipped ati monte carlo. i can spot those things a mile away after spending so many years with one in my hands. i also had the near exact same scope mount and yes it retained zero since i made up a set of buffers for it. i also modified the bolt by removing a section from the guide rail to allow the mag to be inserted from a closed bolt.i hope molot has heard of this mod and is doing it to these rifles.

  • C J

    A scope mount that bolted directly to the reciever would have been a better arraingement, especially if it incorporated a shell deflector. +1 on the 18 inch barrel, but a previous comment was probably correct about surplus parts on hand.

  • 7.62x25FTW

    Are they going to import these with saigas and veprs?

  • Bryan S.

    Nice, looks like a good hunting setup for those of you who can use such rifles to hunt with.

  • Zach

    Does anyone know if an SKS can still be imported in its original configuration without being modified for 922(r) compliance?

    • Flounder

      I would guess that it cannot… Well that was my first thought but then I thought are the yugo SKS rifles still coming in?

      So I would have to go with yes you can still import them in thier original configuration…

      But are the yugo SKS’s C&R? HMMMMM I honestly can’t give you an answer… Hopefully someone who is wiser than I can give you a good solid answer.

    • Eric S

      Just the Yugos can be imported cause of some trade agreement with Russia and an import ban on Norinco or something. Unless you’re in Canada, they get all the Russian goodies. They should be C&R if you can find one 1960s (I think the earliest Yugo is 1956)or earlier assuming it has never been modified.

    • Phil

      Should be importable under 922r. The Yugo 59/66 was C&R, and the features keeping it from being “sporting” are the bayonet, grenade launcher, and night sights.

      A new production SKS without those things and with a fixed magazine would indeed be a sporting rifle. You could probably even do it with a removable (the Saiga rifles have detachable mags and are perfectly importable). But I don’t know that somebody could make that rifle and keep it competitive against rifles that had similar prices. I just don’t think people would rather buy a new SKS for $400ish when you can get a Saiga for that price and make it into something more AK-ish or just get an older Yugo or Norinco.

  • Squirrel Nut

    BF3 undoubtedly put the SKS back on a lot of radars lol

    • omologato


    • mosinman

      its been on the radar because of 90s gun laws and its great price, collect-ability and great quality and the fact its ammo is cheap and effective

  • Stanislao

    I think my retinas are burnt. Carbon fiber reinforced plastics have some fantastic material properties to be sure, but theyโ€™re ugly as hell. Why anyone imitates the look is beyond me.

    • Flounder

      I disagree!!!! SOOOOO SEXY!!!
      LOL I’m halfway joking on that one! I actually really like carbon fiber Stocks but Think they should be put on slightly more “tactical” models. Just my .2 cents.

      OOOHHHH I kinda wanna see an AK with carbon fiber furniture… Actually does anyone make a super lightweight AK? (I’m just curious if it can be done! I want something to laugh at) ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Esh325

    It couldn’t be imported in a config that would allow it to accept 30 round AK mags unfortunately. I don’t think such a rifle would do well on the US market because it probably wouldn’t be able to compete price wise with the abundant amount of surplus SKS’s on the market. The stock looks really ugly, and I think the barrel would be shorter.

  • Raoul O’Shaughnessy

    I wish, i wish, I wish…..someone would just go overseas and buy a dman SKS factory and bring it to the US. (Like PTR did with the G3 factory.) Build the guns in the US, make them in .223 to take M16 stripper clips, and watch the money roll in. Heck, all they’d need is the receiver tooling….outsource the other non-controlled parts, find a domestic barrel maker, and you’d be in business.

  • Jeff

    You missed what I feel like we all want to know: does it take ak magazines?

  • David

    I still say this is the best SKS stock and system.

    Have had mine for a couple of years and I love it.

  • Cymond

    It seems that the Zastava Arms sporter SKS is discontinued. It was never imported, but I think it looked nice.

  • Clodboy

    Ugh. I hate the fake carbon fiber look on… pretty much anything that isn’t made of actual carbon fiber.

    Nice gun though.

  • FourString

    These would be VERY nice in California.

    • Flounder

      LOL it would be… if the mag wasn’t detachable… ๐Ÿ™

      At least I think it is detachable… The second picture shows what looks like a mag release just behind the mag. I wonder if it still can take clips?

      • FourString

        I believe that under Californian law, the detachable magazine clause is limited to rifles with “evil features” such as pistol grips and telescoping butt-stocks. Which is what makes this rifle very California friendly, with a traditional “hunting” style stock and semi auto action! It’d make for a great alternative to an M1A!

      • FourString

        Whoops, I didn’t clarify—so with that particular stock, detachable magazines should be A-okay.

  • John Doe

    Carbon fiber wraps look tacky.

    • Mike Knox

      Just when they looked bad on cars, they start putting it on guns..

  • Anonymoose

    I think if you removed that muzzle break the barrel length wouldn’t be much of an issue.

  • Nicks87

    Nice, the SKS is one of my favorite firearms ever. I bought one when they where dirt cheap and it is still one of my favorite guns to shoot. Cheap, reliable, accurate. The best plinker thats not a .22LR.

  • Molot, wtf, dude? Don’t you already make sks scope mounts? Why use the top cover? Also, why not a peep sight, more or less a knock-off of tech sights (ั‚ะตั… ัะธะณั…ั‚c)?

  • Neal

    I saw this the other day on their website and I was definitely intrigued. Even more so if they could develop a .308 version!

    • .308 Win (7.62 NATO) won’t fit in an SKS action…

      5.56 NATO (.223 Rem) & 7.62×39 are the west & east’s short-action intermediate cartridges.

      7.62 NATO (.308 Win) & 7.62x54R are are the west & east’s high-power intermediate cartridges.

      Molot makes plenty of .308 Win weapons but they mostly seem to be based on the larger Dragunov action originally designed for 7.62x54R.

      • Flounder

        I don’t think it would take much work to stretch the SKS platform a little bit so that it could take the 308 round… And that is the main thing that would be required in order to convert an SKS to 308. The gas system is already adjustable (it would still need to be tuned) and the barrel is already in 30 cal… So one would only have to lengthen the action a little bit… Okay you would have to make sure the locking lugs and a few other parts were strong enough for the 308 but it wouldn’t be a terribly hard conversion.

        Molot probably just doesn’t see the value. unfortunately. ๐Ÿ™

      • k

        Thats why he said he wanta them to develop a 308. Version fucking know it all

  • Brian P.

    Why the hell would you complain about the barrel length? That’s part of the whole thing with the SKS. It’s more accurate than an AK. What’s a few extra ounces gonna hurt? As for the gun, itself, I really hope we can get these imported to the US. It’s hard to find a good surplus SKS, and I’d much prefer a new one, anyway.

    • Two reasons for a short(er) barrel:

      – better handling

      but the main one is:

      – unless it’s a bull barrel or “target bbl” or something, in general a long bbl = a floppy bbl. As you continue to shoot it, it heats up, and it heats up at different rates along the length of the bbl due to stuff clamped to it, gas system & bullet travel reducing pressure, etc. and different bits of the bbl radiate heat at different rates for the same reasons. The end result is that long thin barrels creep all over the place, and this fact combined with an unbuffered factory recoil system & mass-produced military ammo leads to a poor reputation for accuracy in the SKS (esp. in the stamped Chinese units with lower machining tolerances & less quality control).

      But cut the bbl down to about 2-3″ beyond the gas port, give it a good crown, add a bolt buffer and a fresh recoil spring, and otherwise clean it up inside (e.g. polish out any tool marks etc) and the weapon really comes into its own. I’m not saying it can be made as good as a dedicated target rifle or something but it will easily print tight enough 100yd groups to make a very satisfying hunting & plinking rifle.

      BTW here’s an explanation of the bending-thin-barrel concept as applied to the mini-14 and mini-30:

  • gunslinger

    is this a new manufacture of SKS? or a refinished surplus?

    looks good though

    • Mike Knox

      Looks like a refurbished surplus. Look at the top cover lever..

  • Gabriel Thames

    Take my money! When, where and how much?! I will buy this asap!

  • k

    Good nwo gun

  • Maxim Burov

    This is surplus SKS.
    I have shoot from this carbine.

  • hargrew

    the stock/semipistolgripl looks an awful long way from the trigger group

  • Trilby

    In Russia you can get self loading rifle for hunting as a sportsman, but you must have professional “genuine reason” like pest controller to get any self loading rifle in Australia.
    Russia has more freedom in gun laws than Australia.
    Does that seem right to you?

    • Porty1119

      Things are getting to the point where Russians have more freedom in general than those in Australia, the UK, and other so-called “developed” nations.