Glenn writes  …

For any guys who see and read this if you are low budget like me, disabled and living on severely fixed income an SKS is a great cheap gun with tons of accessories on the market.

This is my factory 26 Chinese SKS with ATI folding stock in destroyer grey, with bi-pod foregrip, Cree 2000 lumin flashlight, 40 rnd mag, red laser sight, red dot and single point sling.

It shoots great, 1.25″ groups at 70 yards and that was a 4 shot group with first round flyer (see picture).


Thanks Glenn. The SKS is indeed a good choice for a low budget rifle, unfortunately it is not nearly as inexpensive as it once was.



  • UCSPanther

    I like the SKS better in its original configuration. It just does not feel right modifying a classic, even if it is a Chinese rifle.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      I agree its best form for value is having bought an original matcing gun, wood and fiberglass stocks, and bi pod.

      Thats all you could need.

      I have seen a few people put on hungarian amd muzzle breaks, that seems worthy of the effort, or maybe ak 74 style break.

    • Mr Silly

      Any modification to a Chinese weapon is an improvement. They are rubbish with dreadful finish, awful workmanship and sloppy.
      Yes they shoot and function albeit far worse than the Russian counterparts they reverse engineer identically with no innovation without license, but their inaccuracy explains well the “spray and pray” fire methods we see in the Mid East.

  • MR

    I like mine as it is, complete with the dinged-up wood stock, but if I could find a Tapco-ized version for the right price I might just have to find room in the safe. Two-is-one and all…

    • Asdf

      The tapco stocks are more than useable. I used on for years before resolving my sins and restoring the gun to the original stock. Now that I am older, and can afford other guns, I prefer the wooden stock SKS.

  • Matrix3692

    I presume that the “factory 26” that you mention is the one with the “26” within a triangle mark.

    That’s the 296 Factory stamp, the 296 Factory is also known by another name: Jianshe Factory,which also manufactures a multitude of sporting rifle, and the earliest factory to mass produce the Type-56 Semi-Automatic Rifle (SKS), under the help of Soviet aided machinery and tools.

    • Glenn Schantz

      Cool, didn’t know that, I’ve always heard them fererenced as factory 26 guns, see you learn something every day.

    • Mr Silly

      Learn something new every day, don’t we? Cheers for the info.
      But little bit of a dumb question- I see 2 and 6- but no 9- does the triangle represent 9- or are all factories assumed to be something 9 something- any clarifications??

  • M.

    I think this looks like a hideous mall ninja abomination.

    • Swarf

      Good thing it’s not your gun.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      But price is most important in this situation. It shoots nice, not a world beater but nice. It is stout as an ak or fal. Very hard to break or wear out. If one is modest income, you do not gave the cash to feed the beast enough ammo to wear it out.

      I have converted saiga aks, fal, ptr, dd m4, sks holds up well.

      I bought mine with multiple stocks, ammo, pouches for $125 when i was 14 on the 90s.

      Ugly does not matter, they just plain work. For the right price ill rock an aborted mall nija project and i have 20 rifles. I am not too proud

      • All the Raindrops

        That ($125) has nothing to do with anything. That mall defense apparatus is about 450 today with 250 bucks worth of unreliable crap hanging off.

        Could have done a lot better.

        • James Mcwilliams

          How do you know it’s not reliable?
          Just because it doesn’t say Magpul or Spikes Tactical doesnt mean it doesn’t work.

          • All the Raindrops

            I’ve made the mistake of buying that ebay Chinese crap before… it is all garbage, even the stuff that’s not even all that cheap. Lights that turn off with recoil, attachments that fly off, etc. Adding that stuff literally makes your rifle less effective.

      • J.T.

        “price is most important in this situation”

        At today’s SKS prices, between the price of the gun and all the conversion parts, you are at the price of an entry level AK or AR anyway and have a less functional rifle.

        • All the Raindrops

          This gun, as shown, is ABOVE the price of a QUALITY rifle like a PSA premium/freedom or a WASR10.

    • James Mcwilliams

      I’ve seen ARs that a re much worse.

  • Jared A. Faber

    SKSs that take AK mags are hardly inexpensive, easily going to $600 on Gunbroker. Not to mention after the flashlight, synthetic stock, optic and hand-pod thing, this isn’t that frugal.

    • Glenn Schantz

      Yeah I know, would love to have a M or D model but unfortunetly they are out of this poor old boys reach.

    • Nick Aschenbecker

      indeed! and the ones that take detachable magazines like the types 63 thru 84 and the Model M are getting really scarce. andthe regular ones will be $500 soon. anybody that has a mind to buy one should do so soon while they can.

  • Tassiebush

    Looks like a great little set up.

  • petru sova

    As long as you make no permanent modifications to the rifle all is fine. Any time you do you cut the value of the gun in half and destroy all future rise in price due to the collector value. The money spent on any permanent modifications is also money down the drain as well as it will never be recouped in a resale. Moral of the story, never make any permanent modifications to an original military weapon ever.

    • Glenn Schantz

      I agree, I got the gun with it missing the original stock, bayonet and other original parts so I set it up they way a modern tactical rifle is and the feel and function of it now is so much better, recoil is almost gone and I mean none so I’m happy with it. The gun was an issued active duty gun in the 60’s and 70’s and has god only knows how many rounds down the tube so I’m tickled with the group in the 1.25″ range and that was with running back and forth, not the best breath control and all that too. I did mention I’m disabled right, lol. I didn’t have a spotting scope handy or the groups might have been a lot tighter. Back in the 90’s I had a 1951 russian new surplus sks that held dime size groups at 100 an it kills me when I see post after post of guys saying the best they get are 3-4″ groups from their sks’s, maybe it’s an operator problem not a weapon problem, lmao

      • Dan

        If the gun makes you happy, you need not defend your choice in customization to anyone. As the cool kids would say now days “you do you”

        • Glenn Schantz

          Thanks Dan, I’m not worried one bit about any of the neg comments but for the ones talking about cost and I shoulda got an AKI or AR, I traded a 22 revolver for it, the stock on it was crap, was missing many parts so set it up like it is. It is funny though, like most guns or most things it seems it is either hated or loved depending on who sees it, lmao!!!

        • Mr Silly

          Is that what they say?. I used to be with “it”, but then “it” changed and now what’s “it” seems strange and scary. It will happen to you one day. (Paraphrasing Granpa Simpson of The Simspons).

    • Kelly Jackson

      Yes, we wouldn’t want to hurt the value of a $200 gun of which millions exist.

      I think it’s about as valuable as it’s going to get.

      • James Mcwilliams

        At least for another 20
        I never thought the price would go over 200 bucks but I was seeing them here in AZ for 3-400 and that’s for a Norinco.

    • TonysTake

      In the case of the old Mosin Nagant, I’m forced to disagree. You have a powerful accurate weapon that can be modernized to accept a non-flip-out scope and adding a nice lightweight synthetic stock will increase the value. Granted, not all that much but you won’t loose money.

      • petru sova

        You are not aware of military collecting history or what is going on in the world of military surplus as we speak. Some time ago Nato passed a law that mandated all surplus military rifles not be sold but melted down. None Nato countries like Russian and China and Viet-Nam are banned from importing military rifles into the US. Already the price of Mosin’s are starting to rise and I see most being worth $400 in the very near future as supplies dry up never to be replenished again. Making permanent alterations to a historical rifle civilian or military is a financial disaster as you lose the future collector value, you cut the immediate worth of the rifle in half and all the money you spent butchering the historic rifle is money down the drain that will never be recouped in a resale. Posterity will condemn you for such unspeakable acts.

        • TonysTake

          It is obvious to me you have no idea what you are talking about. Try Gunbroker dot com or go to a local gun show. $400? Ridiculous. Maybe 50 years from now when today’s dollar will only be worth 10 cents. And what you call butchering is making an old rifle relevant in today’s world. I trust you have plenty of money so you can buy-up every Mosin you can find because you will instantly quadruple your money and save your classic military arms for all generations to come (on your way to the looney bin).

          • petru sova

            Take a look at what Finnish Mosin’s are selling for right now. Depending on condition and type they range from $300 to $550 dollars and take a look at butchered Mosin’s and what they sell for. Answer just about nothing. I checked Gun Broker today on this. Just one example of how fast prices rise when the particular rifle is no longer available. Does anyone remember when you could buy 03 Springfield Rifles for 100 bucks. Try buying one now in decent shape and expect to pay around $800 to $2,000 depending on model and condition if it is original and 100 bucks if it has been butchered. Again I checked Gun Broker today. So who is the gun writer trying to push the sale of after market parts for butchered military rifles, you are not me and by the way when you point the finger at me and call me looney you have 3 fingers pointed right back at your self.

        • Dan

          Well good thing i never get rid of my guns and when I die, I’m not gonna care all too much how much they sell for. My gun my money my choice. Maybe I’ll spray paint my Mosin hot pink and neon orange and hack the barrel of to 16″ and try and port the barrel. Wait, no I need a new canoe paddle I’ll just use the gun for that, no no a florescent gun would be cooler. Just kidding I don’t own a Mosin

          • petru sova

            Since I personally care about other people I would want my relatives to get the maximum amount of money for my guns when I die. They would get very little from butchered military guns that’s why mine are all original. Also people of the future will want to own original military weapons. People of the future will look at butchered military guns and say “What in the hell went through the mind of a person when he destroyed this historic gun.”

          • Dan

            Oh right my family will be on the streets if i put a tapco stock on an sks. Also i don’t think people of the future will spend to much time mourning what could have been. But I respect your passion for firearms I really do. I also respect what someone chooses to do with their property.

        • Mr Silly

          No wallets in a shroud. I’m sure the Russians have a similar phrase.

      • petru sova

        Log on to any gun auction and see how little butchered military rifles bring and then compare them to unaltered guns especially some rare ones that were not rare when they were being butchered. A Czech mountain rifle butchered brings about 100 bucks and an original brings as much as $3,000 dollars and how about original sniper rifles. I have seen some go for $6,000 and butchered ones go for 100 bucks. Just a few examples of past lunacy.

    • Mr Silly

      Good general advice. But it’s a piece of expletive Chinese clone that was always intended to be as disposable as its PLA soldier attached to it.

  • Asdf

    Just get an AR. The lower end guns are in the 500 range. They are the same price as AKs now.

    • Swarf

      I was about to post a “yeah, but ARs are ugly as hell” comment, but this is probably the wrong thread for that…

      • Mr Silly

        albeit internally far more beautiful than ChiCom garbage.

  • anon

    Absolutely disgusting.

    What you did to that rifle is bad, and you should feel bad.

    • All the Raindrops

      The hand of bubba

    • Panzercat

      There are only over 30 million left in the world. You’ll survive.

  • SCW

    I own a Norinco SKS D….or is it an M? It takes AK mags and has a 16″ barrel with no bayonet lug. Paid $475 around 5 yrs ago. I probably overpaid then, but I knew they were pretty uncommon and I thought it looked cool. I need to get a Tapco stock for it.

    • gunsandrockets

      I think you have what they called an “SKS sporter”, it came with a thumbhole stock. I used to have one until California confiscated it (2000?).

      I put on one of those early SKS peep replacement rear sights (williams?), a cheap black plastic folding stock (tapco?), and black plastic ventilated handguard(?). The stock wasn’t very solid, but boy did that SKS then look tacticool. And the big peep worked surprisingly well. I even won a rifle speed shooting match with that setup.

  • All the Raindrops

    He could have gotten a quality WASR or AR for the same money and not draped it with complete mall ninjaesque garbage of the highest (lowest) order.

    Seriously, that gun SUUUUUUUCKS. I bet it wasn’t even all that cheap with all the crappy stocks and doodads.

  • Cymond

    SKS prices keep going up. They’re not so cheap anymore, but I really like my SKS. Sure, an AK is more practical than an unmodified SKS, but I really like the feel of the SKS better.
    I managed to get a re-arsenaled Yugo 59/66 SKS during the wave of imports back in 2007-ish. In the end, I paid $225 after S&H and dealer fees.
    Yeah, I thought about modifying it, but Tapco stuff is expensive, and then there’s 922(r) to deal with. I still might buy a railed gas tube and mount a red dot sight, but that’s it.

  • UnrepentantLib

    Exactly! It’s your dime, do whatever makes you happy.

  • janklow

    going to be honest… if your income is THAT tight, aren’t a lot of even the cheap add-ons just wasted money?

  • Dan

    We love to eat our own. Even the ford vs chevy custom car community isn’t as blood thirsty as the gun community

  • Budogunner

    That is what I did with mine. Reloads take practice with unmodified tapco mags, but another company makes an adapter that let’s you cut off most of the “duck bill” for straight insertion.

    Overall, the rifle balances much better and I like having a full length barrel in a tight package.

    • James Mcwilliams

      Do you remember the name of the company that makes those adapters?

      • Budogunner

        The company is called The SKS Mag Adapter, LLC, and the domain name is thesksmagadapter.

        You will probably either want the G5/1 or G9/1 models. The former uses modified tapco mags, the latter users a very specific brand of AR47 mags, also modified.

        Personally, I want the G5/1 but don’t have the cash to drop on something that low on my priority list right now. Someday, maybe. If you get one, let me know what you think.

        • James Mcwilliams


  • gunsandrockets

    If that extended magazine works like the ones I’m familiar with, it’s a safety hazard and should be replaced with the original SKS magazine pivoting floorplate.

  • Steveweiser

    So now it’s an 11 pound rifle that shoots an intermediate cartridge? No thanks. Shoulda left it stock.

  • Eurk Burkell

    I never used an aftermarket mag that worked as well as the stripper clips. You have to practice, but they are lightening fast and reliable if you do.

  • mikewest007

    To quote a classic:

  • Mr Silly

    The only decent analogue to an AK-47 is its superior, the FN FNC- the accurized European AK, Considering the FN’s are not cheap then the analogue falls to the Pindad SS-2- a fully licensed production of the FN FNC. FNC is a long-stroke piston barrel-gas driving rotary bolt. Effective range 500m. STANAG 5.56 ammo & magazines.
    Cost approx $500USD (quoting wikipedia)- no idea how much in the US. SS-1 & 2 battle-proven in Vietnam-like jungle and arid area (Western Indonesia is identical in climate, flora and most fauna to Australian Northern Territory) since 1980’s.