The 1MOA SKS

1 MOA SKS Rifle

It barely looks like an SKS does it? The bolt handle is the big giveaway! Forum user Loose-Cannon from Texas had this SKS built, and its come a long way from Siminov’s original beast. He describes his creation…

This is a straight-pull bolt-action benchrest style rifle with a custom chambered Israeli 1919A4 barrel. The action is fully bedded with two aluminum pillars. The magazine is a shortened duckbill-less Tapco and locks in similar to the Marcus adapter via a custom aluminum ramp just behind the Anschutz accessory rail and is removed by my custom “Talon” extended release. The stock is solid black-walnut fitted with a Vostok adjustable buttplate assembly, a solid Ebony nose-cap, and an Ebony grip-cap. The Scope rail was completely custom made as well.

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The parts came together over the course of 2 years, with the highlight being the Israeli machine-gun barrel. Sized for .308, the barrel was chambered, recrowned, and threaded to fit the SKS receiver. He puts his cost around $500 USD with the optic, which shows you the advantage of slow builds, making your own parts, looking for deals, and surplus parts! This 1 MOA group was shot using Yugoslavian M67 ammunition, and the right handloads could theoretically produce sub-MOA groups.

1 MOA SKS grouping

The intent was to eliminate a few contributing factors at a time in an attempt to narrow down where the sks and x39 lost its accuracy. The rifle at one time had a stock Yugo barrel which it was found the chamber dimensions were atleast half the issue. Harmonics, bedding, pillars etc were the first issues addressed from the start of the build, along with elimination of the gas system as a variable. The barrel is completely free floating minus the first 1.75″ forward of the receiver at the forward pillar/action mount location.

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All sks rifles have an enormous jump to the lands and the angles just forward of the mouth are all wrong for accuracy. It actually more resembles a machine gun chamber which makes sense considering it was originally designed to keep operating under extreme conditions including debres etc. The reamer that cut this chamber was custom altered by the manufacturer to eliminate several angle issues and reduce the jump to lands. Given the bore is a true .308 and not .310/.311 and the changes to the chamber, I have to watch my pressures with reloads. Factory loads were tested and ‘some’ showed signs of slight primer bulging, but I have not experienced a popped primer as of yet.

SKS Israeli M1919A4 barrel

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Edward O

Edward is a Canadian gun owner and target shooter with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. Crawling over mountains with tactical gear is his idea of fun. He blogs at TV-Presspass and tweets @TV_PressPass.


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  • Jeff Smith

    A lot of people are going to ask why, but, as the old saying goes, a dog licks himself because he can.

    Good job on the build! As a college kid, slow builds for a decent price always have my attention.

    • Southpaw89

      I honestly wonder why people ask that in most cases, even if the idea doesn’t make sense to some people that’s no reason someone else can’t try it. I’ll bet this was a fun project to take on and made for an interesting challenge. And in the end he got a one of a kind rifle with excellent accuracy to boot. Not to mention that it cost less than most 7.62×39 bolt actions out there. I think the better question is, “why not?”

  • Fred Johnson

    Very nicely done. Tell us more about the trigger? Tuned up SKS trigger or something more?

  • Budogunner

    That is beautiful workmanship. I’d love to see the CAD files for that magazine system.

  • santi

    I have never seen an SKS looks so beautiful and 1 MOA to boot. That would be really fun to own.

  • Wetcoaster

    So basically he kept only the bolt and receiver. Neat as heck though. I gotta say it looks like he got lucky finding surplus ammo that would hold that kind of group. Figured he would have gone with handloads after all that trouble.

  • John

    Hmmm, a blend of modern technology and old world machinery….nice.

  • Vitsaus

    Good idea since there are no other military surplus rifles capable of 1 MOA that are straight pull, detachable box magazine fed, and available for under 1000 dollars.

    • MAUSERMAN

      You forget k31 and the Swedish Mauser both are 1 moa rifles with the right load.

      • Vitsaus

        I didn’t forget them. It was sarcasm. I pretty much described the K31.

    • Kelly Jackson

      Yes he ruined this rare gun that otherwise would have ended up being used in a drive by in some housing project in Atlanta…

      • iksnilol

        Well, about as many K31s were made as STG44s.

        • Kelly Jackson

          What does that have to do with an SKS of which millions were made?

          • iksnilol

            I swear I had a point somewhere. Gimme a second or two.

            Found it! My point: Better to “butcher” a rifle that there was made millions of (and which is still made to this day) than to do the same to a rifle that there was made half a million of.

      • 1leggeddog

        Rare???

        • Southpaw89

          I think both were being sarcastic.

    • John Yossarian

      True, but 7.62×39 is way cheaper than 7.5×55 Swiss.

    • iksnilol

      7.62×39 is way cheaper than 7.5×55, higher magazine capacity, more available and practical mags.

      Sure, it was 200 dollars more expensive than a K31. But it will pay for itself pretty quickly in ammo. Wolf 7.5×55 costs about 80 cents a round. “Red Army Elite” costs about 50 cents a round. And it is the closest to match ammo in 7.62×39 you can get without going for Lapua or handloads (+ it comes with the M67 bullet which tumbles fast).

      So I would dare say it is a good idea.

  • Ryan

    So not an SKS barrel, not an SKS stock, not semi-automatic, no longer a gas piston system. How exactly is this still an SKS?

    • Gabe Is Fat

      What else would it be? It’s still an SKS action.

      • MR

        Needs a bayonet.

      • Chris A Carter

        Yes it is a SKS but with the improvements it is more accurate using the NATO 308×51 round and if used with the high speed sniper round it could be a big game changer for both hunters and prefers alike

        • Will P.

          It still uses a 7.62×39 chamber hence the slight over pressuring using surplus ammo.

        • Southpaw89

          Its not a .308 win, the bore diameter is just .308 as opposed to the .311 bore of most 7.62×39 rifles, its still chambered in the original cartridge. Which would still be adequate for deer hunting, may be a little light for elk.

        • El Duderino

          When you get an SKS to chamber and fire 7.62x51mm you lemme know, k?

          • iksnilol

            You could convert a SVT.

      • Ryan

        Just because a gun is based on one action type doesn’t mean it stays that gun when the rest of the parts are changed. For example, all the pistols based on the Browning Hi-Power, or the CZ-75. If I took a Browning linked cam and trigger group from a 1911, changed the barrel, and dumped it into a single shot T/C Contender chassis, would you still call that a 1911? This is just another “Frankengun”.

  • Rob

    I kind of want to see a video or something showing this thing in action.

  • Joe

    What about the bipod?

    • jamezb

      issa ittle beebe bipod! Awww… issa so cute!

      • iksnilol

        That bipod is hella strong if it can take that weight. O_o

  • HenryV

    Freakin’ awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • DrewN

    Ha! I have a project even sillier than this, a Mini-30 converted to 6.5 Grendel that won’t feed with any magazine I can procure here in Cali. So it’s a freaking single shot Mini. And I want that sliding weight stock inset for it. Because reasons.

    • iksnilol

      You could pin the mag to 10 rounds?

  • Ben

    Waste of a good SKS!

  • Patrick M.

    “The 1MOA SKS”
    words I have never read in that order

  • Laserbait

    Neat, he turned an SKS into a Savage. Looks pretty, though!

  • Squirreltakular

    That is frakking gorgeous. I love, LOVE, weird-ass custom guns like this. Bravo, sir.

  • gunhead

    Furiosa would be proud.

  • ProdigalSon

    That is the most gorgeous piece of blasphemy I’ve ever encountered. Just awesome.

    • jamezb

      Agreed….that is my kinda heresy right there …for sure… !

  • jamezb

    A drool-worthy SKS. Shut. My. Mouth. Well done sir. Well done indeed!

  • janklow

    so torn between “seems like too much effort” and “such a nice-looking rifle”

  • Anyone got a link to the forum posts or instructions on how to do this ourselves?

  • Giolli Joker

    Waiting for an update on the results with reloads using .308 bullets.

  • iksnilol

    That’s a cheap way of getting into the straight pull game.

    I wonder how much weight you save by taking out the gas system? I am sorta interested in a 7.62×39 bolt action. I want lightweight and a decent capacity (10 or 20 round mags). I intend on cutting it down and integrally suppressing it. I was looking at the CZ 527 but maybe a straight pull SKS is the ticket?

    Could one rig up a way to easily change barrels on a SKS?

  • Bal256

    Am I the only one who thinks the rifle looks goofy as hell? Its the blocky tacticool upper rail and optic, and the ridiculously skinny bipod. If that rifle was a person it would be some guy who has a bulky upper body, and skips leg day.

  • squareWave

    I wonder what sort of barrel life is to be expected from cramming .311″ steel jacketed bullets down a .308″ bore. Of course, I suppose the Mini-30 has been doing that for a long time now.

  • Goody

    K31 is not impressed. :p

  • Raven

    Okay, I gotta ask: if you’re going through all that work, why keep it in 7.62×39? I get that ammo is cheap for it, but if you’re building a super-accurate benchrest “SKS,” why on earth would you not convert it to 6mm PPC or 6.5 Grendel?

    • iksnilol

      Because cheap ammo? He mentioned he was a college student.

      Personally I would like a CZ 527 (or possibly a converted SKS) that I can change the barrels on quickly (between short integrally suppressed barrel in 7.62×39 and longer 6.5 grendel barrel). I am looking at keeping the weight down, though. But I would like the increased capacity of the SKS.

  • You did an impressive job as well!

  • Patrick Adams

    LC…..What you did takes talent….heart…and a love for this rifle……I think it’s beautiful! Very nice…….

  • J-

    Is it still an SKS at that point? I mean if you take the wheels off a car, put it on pontoons, and attach a propeller to the drive shaft, isn’t it really a boat?

  • Loose}{Cannon

    If you change the barrel on a 10/22 to a bull barrel… Is it still a Ruger 10/22?. Again.. The barreled receiver is all sks minus the barrel. I dont think adding a scope and new stock constitutes a ‘new’ gun, or there would be 900,000 skss out there that are no longer an sks. :/ FYI, this rifle has a Yugo sks serial number and thats exactly how its registered.

  • Dolphy

    Wow, I didn’t even know this was possible.