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One of my co-workers has an SKS for sale and I am interested in buying it, but I have no idea what questions to ask to make sure that neither of us gets the short end of the stick in the deal. So I was wondering what a fair price is for an SKS and what kind of questions I need to ask about the gun. Also, would it be impolite to ask to try it before I buy it?
 

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It depends on the SKS. Most of the ones you will see were cheap Norinco (Chinese commercial) ones that cost about a hundred bucks new fifteen or twenty years ago. My bud and I bought two, just for kicks. Consecutive serial #s. His shot great, mine was a POS. Russian or other eastern bloc country ones should be better, but as with any firearm, check the fit, finish, and condition before you buy. I hear rumors of really nice ones out there, but have never laid eyes on one.

If possible, shoot it before you buy it.

Me? I wouldn't pay more than a hundred bucks for one, in perfect shape, and then I would encase it in cosmoline again and bury it with a case of ammo in a deep hole and hope I never have to dig it up. Your mileage may vary.
 

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One of the prime concerns is whether the barrel is threaded into the receiver or pinned. If it's threaded, you'll see the two flat wrench lands on the barrel right next to the receiver. If not, walk away or at least, knock $150 off the price.

If you're buying it to collect, all the serial numbers should match on the major parts. On mine, when it's disassembled, every part that CAN be marked, is marked with the last four digits of the serial number. If you're not interested in collectibility, then it doesn't matter.

I'm not a fan of the extended 20 and 30 round magazines. I prefer the stock 10-round magazine, as built.

Something else to check is to see if the firing pin is floating freely. If it's "sticky" it may just need to be cleaned but if it's got some other mechanical flaw, it can cause the dreaded slam fires. Not hard to check. Pull the bolt and bolt carrier and on the underside, the rear of the firing pin is visible. You can actually move it with your finger or with a small screwdriver (but don't force it or you can damage it). Regardless, you can tell if it has a problem or not. They're easy to replace, though, so it's not exactly a deal breaker.

I enjoy shooting mine at the range as much as any other rifle I have and have put thousands of rounds through it without any failures. No matter what, though, if you just want a plinker, the SKS is about as fun as it gets. Be aware, it's not going to get you MOA shooting. Somewhere between 2MOA and 10MOA! LOL

--Wag--
 
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SKS prices have gone crazy high as noted compared to 20 years back...........just like the insane prices for old surplus 30 carbines.

Wag's advice is spot on.

beware of trigger jobs ......and other such modifications. Check the safety and make sure it has a positive click to it. Some do not and are just "friction" and will potentially give trouble over time.
 
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