Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default SKS questions(help me choose my first rifle)

    I'm currently doing research to figure out what the heck rifle I wanna buy here within the next year. At the moment I'm leaning pretty heavily toward the SKS. I've never heard anything bad about them, and they're still relatively cheap-ish(I'm seeing some in the $300-$400 range online, which sure beats the $850+ I'm seeing for a Ruger Mini-14 or Mini-30). My main hangup is the lack of a removable magazine. Now I know there are some that came outta China after the ban with thumbhole stocks that take AK magazines, and I know about the duckbill magazines. I don't like the thumbhole, and I feel like the duckbill will make the magazines difficult/awkward to store and maneuver in and out of a magazine pouch. I'm also not exactly a gunsmith, so I don't know how much modification I wanna attempt(and this will be my first and most likely only rifle(at least for a while, I'm not trying to build an arsenal), so I don't wanna break it trying to modify it).

    So all that said, my question is what is the cheapest/easiest/most hassle-free way to have an SKS take a removable magazine without the thumbhole stock or the duck bills? Does an aftermarket stock exist that allows me to just slap the internals into it and use AK magazines, or am I gonna have to do some kind of modification myself?

    I'm gonna put my total budget at around $500, which is the current price of a PSA PA-15, which I don't REALLY want(EVERYONE has ARs, and I prefer steel and wood), but I'll get it if I can't find a viable alternative in a similar price range. Is $500 doable for what I want? How difficult is the conversion? Should I just give up my obsessive search, increase my budget, or just buy the damn AR? What I really want is something with an M1 action: M1 carbine, M1A, M1 Garand, Mini-14/Mini-30, etc, but I'm a bit concerned about magazine availability/cost and accuracy/heat issues with the Minis. The Garand has no removable magazine, the M1 carbine would probably bore me after a while, and they're all too expensive for me. An AK would be nice too, but they're running about as high as the Minis these days.

    Just like any other firearm I would ever purchase unless something in my life changes drastically, this will primarily be a "toy" I'll take to the range to shoot some paper targets and maybe the occasional watermelon or water jug. However, I do still want it to be viable in a self defense scenario should I ever need it to be. At the same time though, I also have a 20 gauge and a 9mm pistol I'll probably go for first because I'd prefer not shooting my intruder/attacker AND the neighbors. I also have no delusions of being Arnold Schwarzenegger or Tom Berenger. I just want a budget friendly practical rifle that can hit a target consistently at maybe 50-100 yards.

    I'm also open to the idea of a PCC, but I know nothing about them or what kinda range or accuracy they're capable of.

    I'm really kicking myself for not buying a Saiga about 5 years ago when you could still import them...
    Last edited by DerpSchnitzel; May 16th, 2020 at 09:14 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: SKS questions(help me choose my first rifle)

    I still regret not getting an sks back when I had my c&r license. Never bothered me that it didn't have a detachable magazine. I would think it's still a good choice.
    One option would be to build yourself and AR and put some wood furniture on. Do a search to see pictures. You could chose an upper in 5.56 or something like .458 and have a unique rifle.

    Just some thoughts and welcome, that's a great screen name. Btw my first rifle was a Marlin lever action .357, still one of my favorites.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: SKS questions(help me choose my first rifle)

    Quote Originally Posted by DerpSchnitzel View Post
    I'm currently doing research to figure out what the heck rifle I wanna buy here within the next year. At the moment I'm leaning pretty heavily toward the SKS. I've never heard anything bad about them, and they're still relatively cheap-ish(I'm seeing some in the $300-$400 range online, which sure beats the $850+ I'm seeing for a Ruger Mini-14 or Mini-30). My main hangup is the lack of a removable magazine. Now I know there are some that came outta China after the ban with thumbhole stocks that take AK magazines, and I know about the duckbill magazines. I don't like the thumbhole, and I feel like the duckbill will make the magazines difficult/awkward to store and maneuver in and out of a magazine pouch. I'm also not exactly a gunsmith, so I don't know how much modification I wanna attempt(and this will be my first and most likely only rifle(at least for a while, I'm not trying to build an arsenal), so I don't wanna break it trying to modify it).

    So all that said, my question is what is the cheapest/easiest/most hassle-free way to have an SKS take a removable magazine without the thumbhole stock or the duck bills? Does an aftermarket stock exist that allows me to just slap the internals into it and use AK magazines, or am I gonna have to do some kind of modification myself?

    I'm gonna put my total budget at around $500, which is the current price of a PSA PA-15, which I don't REALLY want(EVERYONE has ARs, and I prefer steel and wood), but I'll get it if I can't find a viable alternative in a similar price range. Is $500 doable for what I want? How difficult is the conversion? Should I just give up my obsessive search, increase my budget, or just buy the damn AR? What I really want is something with an M1 action: M1 carbine, M1A, M1 Garand, Mini-14/Mini-30, etc, but I'm a bit concerned about magazine availability/cost and accuracy/heat issues with the Minis. The Garand has no removable magazine, the M1 carbine would probably bore me after a while, and they're all too expensive for me. An AK would be nice too, but they're running about as high as the Minis these days.

    Just like any other firearm I would ever purchase unless something in my life changes drastically, this will primarily be a "toy" I'll take to the range to shoot some paper targets and maybe the occasional watermelon or water jug. However, I do still want it to be viable in a self defense scenario should I ever need it to be. At the same time though, I also have a 20 gauge and a 9mm pistol I'll probably go for first because I'd prefer not shooting my intruder/attacker AND the neighbors. I also have no delusions of being Arnold Schwarzenegger or Tom Berenger. I just want a budget friendly practical rifle that can hit a target consistently at maybe 50-100 yards.

    I'm also open to the idea of a PCC, but I know nothing about them or what kinda range or accuracy they're capable of.

    I'm really kicking myself for not buying a Saiga about 5 years ago when you could still import them...
    Just buy the damn AR.
    And please don't use Liberal buzzwords like "arsenal" and the half dozen others you mentioned.
    How can you have any cookies if you don't drink your milk?

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Belly of the BEAST, Pennsylvania
    (Montgomery County)
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    Default Re: SKS questions(help me choose my first rifle)

    Quote Originally Posted by DerpSchnitzel View Post
    I'm currently doing research to figure out what the heck rifle I wanna buy here within the next year. At the moment I'm leaning pretty heavily toward the SKS. I've never heard anything bad about them, and they're still relatively cheap-ish(I'm seeing some in the $300-$400 range online, which sure beats the $850+ I'm seeing for a Ruger Mini-14 or Mini-30). My main hangup is the lack of a removable magazine. Now I know there are some that came outta China after the ban with thumbhole stocks that take AK magazines, and I know about the duckbill magazines. I don't like the thumbhole, and I feel like the duckbill will make the magazines difficult/awkward to store and maneuver in and out of a magazine pouch. I'm also not exactly a gunsmith, so I don't know how much modification I wanna attempt(and this will be my first and most likely only rifle(at least for a while, I'm not trying to build an arsenal), so I don't wanna break it trying to modify it).

    So all that said, my question is what is the cheapest/easiest/most hassle-free way to have an SKS take a removable magazine without the thumbhole stock or the duck bills? Does an aftermarket stock exist that allows me to just slap the internals into it and use AK magazines, or am I gonna have to do some kind of modification myself?

    I'm gonna put my total budget at around $500, which is the current price of a PSA PA-15, which I don't REALLY want(EVERYONE has ARs, and I prefer steel and wood), but I'll get it if I can't find a viable alternative in a similar price range. Is $500 doable for what I want? How difficult is the conversion? Should I just give up my obsessive search, increase my budget, or just buy the damn AR? What I really want is something with an M1 action: M1 carbine, M1A, M1 Garand, Mini-14/Mini-30, etc, but I'm a bit concerned about magazine availability/cost and accuracy/heat issues with the Minis. The Garand has no removable magazine, the M1 carbine would probably bore me after a while, and they're all too expensive for me. An AK would be nice too, but they're running about as high as the Minis these days.

    Just like any other firearm I would ever purchase unless something in my life changes drastically, this will primarily be a "toy" I'll take to the range to shoot some paper targets and maybe the occasional watermelon or water jug. However, I do still want it to be viable in a self defense scenario should I ever need it to be. At the same time though, I also have a 20 gauge and a 9mm pistol I'll probably go for first because I'd prefer not shooting my intruder/attacker AND the neighbors. I also have no delusions of being Arnold Schwarzenegger or Tom Berenger. I just want a budget friendly practical rifle that can hit a target consistently at maybe 50-100 yards.

    I'm also open to the idea of a PCC, but I know nothing about them or what kinda range or accuracy they're capable of.

    I'm really kicking myself for not buying a Saiga about 5 years ago when you could still import them...
    Check out the keltec sub2k 9mm. You can get one that takes glocks mags if your 9mm is a glock.
    Extar ep9 is nice and affordable as well but is a pistol. Also glock mags.
    10/22s are also fun, not the best for self defense but the Israelis dont seem to have many issues.
    All these are less than $500 and would do what you want with the 10/22 being found in wood and steel.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: SKS questions(help me choose my first rifle)

    You can get detachable mags for them , I have 2 Norinco sks with 30 rounders . and they are detachable .

  6. #6
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    Default Re: SKS questions(help me choose my first rifle)

    Quote Originally Posted by Berncly View Post
    Just buy the damn AR.
    And please don't use Liberal buzzwords like "arsenal" and the half dozen others you mentioned.
    ...wait, what? What other "buzzwords?" I don't mean anything by the term arsenal, I just know quite a few gun owners with like 50 guns. There's nothing wrong with that, and hell, I'd love to have that myself, I just can't afford it. And I've seen a lot of "what gun should I buy" discussions get responses like "Just buy them all." That, and sometimes people go into great detail about the accuracy of a particular weapon like they need to hit a needle a mile away on a regular basis, or they'll talk about firepower like they're taking their rifle to a literal war, or maybe they just live in REALLY bad neighborhoods or something.

    I was just saying I don't need to go into all that noise. I just like guns and think they're fun to shoot. I'm certainly no "liberal." I wouldn't necessarily call myself a "conservative" either, but I'm not really here to discuss politics.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: SKS questions(help me choose my first rifle)

    Quote Originally Posted by DerpSchnitzel View Post
    ...wait, what? What other "buzzwords?" I don't mean anything by the term arsenal, I just know quite a few gun owners with like 50 guns. There's nothing wrong with that, and hell, I'd love to have that myself, I just can't afford it. And I've seen a lot of "what gun should I buy" discussions get responses like "Just buy them all." That, and sometimes people go into great detail about the accuracy of a particular weapon like they need to hit a needle a mile away on a regular basis, or they'll talk about firepower like they're taking their rifle to a literal war, or maybe they just live in REALLY bad neighborhoods or something.

    I was just saying I don't need to go into all that noise. I just like guns and think they're fun to shoot. I'm certainly no "liberal." I wouldn't necessarily call myself a "conservative" either, but I'm not really here to discuss politics.
    You're too immersed in the culture speak to understand my post.
    I didn't call you a Liberal but since you mention it, it is impossible to "like" guns and not be political if you expect to be able to keep them.
    How can you have any cookies if you don't drink your milk?

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: SKS questions(help me choose my first rifle)

    Quote Originally Posted by DerpSchnitzel View Post
    ...wait, what? What other "buzzwords?" I don't mean anything by the term arsenal, I just know quite a few gun owners with like 50 guns. There's nothing wrong with that, and hell, I'd love to have that myself, I just can't afford it. And I've seen a lot of "what gun should I buy" discussions get responses like "Just buy them all." That, and sometimes people go into great detail about the accuracy of a particular weapon like they need to hit a needle a mile away on a regular basis, or they'll talk about firepower like they're taking their rifle to a literal war, or maybe they just live in REALLY bad neighborhoods or something.

    I was just saying I don't need to go into all that noise. I just like guns and think they're fun to shoot. I'm certainly no "liberal." I wouldn't necessarily call myself a "conservative" either, but I'm not really here to discuss politics.
    Hang around here long enough and we'll suck you into that. It looks to me like you have a good, grounded approach to what you want. If you have cash and time to look around you may find just what you're looking for cheap, good and used. I'm not opposed to buying used guns as long as they're in excellent condition and they are out there.
    Red is grey and yellow white, But we decide which is right, And which is an illusion.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: SKS questions(help me choose my first rifle)

    Loading a SKS from the top isn't too bad. Get one, get a BUNCH of ammo and try it out. It can be changed over to a mag fed later if you still want to. They are a blast to shoot. Pretty accurate also.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: SKS questions(help me choose my first rifle)

    derp,

    Don't get sucked into the "mod" noise either. You did say you like steel and wood, right - me too.

    Watch for a used Yugo. At the right time you can still snag one for sub $400. Lots of guys over purchase then get into to money crunch situation. A good % of my range time is with a Yugo - just steel and wood. Love it!

    Shoot the hell out of it. I'd bet you won't even want to screw with it.

    Good luck with your search.


    (avoid the noise - I like that)
    Obama. AYFKM?! / Pravda vit'azi.

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