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Preparing for the Apocalypse
Posted by: Dale Franks on Friday, August 11, 2006

This afternoon after work, I went to Turner's Outdoorsman. When I got there, I saw that they had a Yugoslav SKS 59/66 Rifle in really good condition, for $200.

So I bought it. It looks like this:

Yugoslav SKS M59/66

The SKS 59/66 is one of the last really good SKS battle rifles. The SKS is a gas-operated, magazine fed, semi-automatic rifle, which holds ten rounds in an internal magazine, firing the 7.62x39 rifle round. It can be loaded with 10-round stripper clips, or one round at a time. Unlike the Chinese copies of the SKS, the Yugoslav rifle is milled, not stamped, and is of a quality comparable to the Soviet M1945 original.

Like most Warsaw Pact weapons—the WWII SVT40 being a notable exception—it is extremely durable in the field, simple to maintain, and can stand up to the worst that nature, weather, and mud and crud can dish out. It's definitely not a rifle with sniper-level accuracy, or long-range accuracy for any purpose, but it's one hell of a reliable battle rifle, and is shorter and lighter than either the M1 Garand or the M14. At 1/5 the price of a Garand, it's an exceptional value for the quality and dependability.

(Although, having said that, I'd love to own a Garand. I mean, I wouldn't shoot my mother to get one, but I'd certainly be willing to make a few nasty comments to her.)

Unlike most SKS's, including the Soviet version, the M59/66 also has night sights, with the front post sight being adjustable for windage and elevation. The rear sight is a standard, notched, ramp sight, adjustable to 1000 meters. (Theoretically. If you can hit a man sized target at 1,000 meters with a 7.62x39 round from any rifle, I wanna shake your hand, because you are a marksmanship god.) I expect I'll set the sight to 150m, and be happy.

The one I purchased has very few signs of use, and is well-blued. The beechwood stock has very very few nicks or scratches. The stainless steel bolt is unmarked. It's jam packed with cosmoline, and it looks like it's been sitting in a warehouse for the last 50 years, which, it probably has. I really like it. It's exactly the model I was looking for in an SKS, and for 200 bucks, the price can't be beat. And like most late-model SKS's, it has the integral, folding-blade bayonet, making it useful for...uh...close-in work. In the picture above, the bayonet is shown folded back into the stock.

In fact, all other things being equal, I far prefer the SKS to the AR-15, or, really, any other 5.56 caliber rifle I could name.

The only non-standard part of the rifle is the grenade launcher. Those are illegal in California, so the grenade launcher has been replaced by a similar-looking flash suppressor. The stock grenade sight is still attached to the rifle, though, and I wouldn't dream of removing it, unlike some lunatics.

The only downside to the M59/66 is that unlike almost every other nationally-licensed version of the SKS, the Yugoslav version does not have a chrome-plated chamber and barrel. Yugoslavia did not have a naive chromium industry, so they had to make do. The upside of this is that it makes the rifle slightly more accurate. The downside is the cleaning issue. Most Warsaw Pact-style ammo used corrosive propellants, so that meant that the M59/66 rifle needed to be cleaned more often than most of its SKS counterparts, to prevent pitting. Fortunately, in the modern world, most 7.62x39 ammo purchased in the US uses non-corrosive propellants. Even with that, however, without the chromium lining, the M59/66 takes about twice the effort to clean properly after firing.

When I bought the rifle, I also bought 200 rounds of ammo and 20 stripper clips. 7.62x39 ammo is pretty cheap at $4 per box. So I have slightly more than one day's combat load. In fact, when I got home, I loaded up all the stripper clips, and stuck them in my gun cabinet.

What I don't have—and won't for another 10 days—is an actual rifle. California has a 10-day waiting period for firearms. So, I will be allowed to pick up the rifle at 5:44pm PST, on 21 Aug 06. I expect to have it in my possession by 5:45pm on that date.

In closing, I like what Jamie Mangrum at SurplusRifle.com has to say about the M59/66:
Overall the Yugo SKS is a superior specimen that is still available for a pittance and in great abundance. I recommend everyone should have at least one.
At least.
 
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OK, I’m jealous.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Tam is reporting that 7.62x39 is about to get expensive. I don’t know how it’s going to go, but I’m about to cop a thousand rounds from Cheaper Than Dirt.

My Type 45 is one of the Russian milled receivers, with the blade bayonet. My muzzle-brake sort of gets in the way of that, though. A friend of mine came around with ten of these in his pickup truck, about fifteen years ago, and offered me one for $120. Some of the best money I ever spent. Bruce: I could kick myself, now, for not thinking of you. It just didn’t occur to me.

I had an opportunity to compare it with my brother-in-law’s Garand a couple of years ago. The Garand is an easier shoot, no doubt about it. Target acquisition with that peep-sight was very smooth, although there are peep mods available for the SKS. However, the SKS definitely can be handled competently on the same range by anyone who puts their time in with it.

You will not find a more reliable battle rifle.

Good deal, man.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
5:44pm PST, on 21 Aug 06. I expect to have it in my possession by 5:45pm on that date
And the Iranian president says something big is coming down on the 22nd...I know who’s going to protect me if something goes down :)
 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
If you qualify, the Civilian Marksmanship program will sell you a good M1 Garand for $550 or so for a service grade Springfield Armory. And they deliver through the US Mail!
 
Written By: Fredrik Nyman
URL: http://
Good rifle.
Theoretically. If you can hit a man sized target at 1,000 meters with a 7.62x39 round from any rifle, I wanna shake your hand, because you are a marksmanship god.) I expect I’ll set the sight to 150m, and be happy.
I don’t know about 1,000 yards but a Dragunov sniper rifle had a 1st-time user like me hitting man size targets 500 yards out consistently. A dream to shoot. Unfortunately, several Army and Marines have been on the other end of Iraqi marksmen with Dragunovs.
 
Written By: C. Ford
URL: http://
I don’t know about 1,000 yards but a Dragunov sniper rifle had a 1st-time user like me hitting man size targets 500 yards out consistently.
Yeah, but the Dragunov fired the 7.62x52 round. That’s an entire order of difference from the 7.62x39 round.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
f you qualify, the Civilian Marksmanship program will sell you a good M1 Garand for $550 or so for a service grade Springfield Armory.


Yeah. I’ve seen those out at Camp Pendleton for the annual M1 Shoot. I’m not impressed with those rifles. For the most part, they’ve seen a lot of hard use.

Besides, in the real world, at platoon-level combat, how often are you gonna have 500m of unobstructed fire?
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
My Type 45 is one of the Russian milled receivers, with the blade bayonet.
Ah, the M1945. That’s the only SKS I would pick over the the one I got. And I’m not completely sure I’d pick that one. It’d be a very close call with the M46/99. Very close.

I suspect though, that, all other things being equal, I’d pick the M1945, if only for weight reasons, and the chromium plating.

I’m not totally sure about that, though. It’d be a hard choice.

As far as I know, though, Soviet M1945s are pretty hard to come by.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
The (Yugo SKS) I purchased has very few signs of use, and is well-blued. The beechwood stock has very very few nicks or scratches. The stainless steel bolt is unmarked. It’s jam packed with cosmoline, and it looks like it’s been sitting in a warehouse for the last 50 years, which, it probably has. I really like it. It’s exactly the model I was looking for in an SKS, and for 200 bucks, the price can’t be beat.
(*drool*)

Sounds like a good buy. A gunshop here in the Kansas City area got one in about a month ago; I’d never before seen an Yugo SKS outside of gun magazines. The specimen this guy had for sale (asking price: $170) had a rather beat-up stock and maybe half the finish, plus some discoloration of the bolt. The guy wouldn’t let me remove the dust cover, recoil spring and bolt so I could get a good, unobstructed view of the bore...which made me go hmmmm. I decided I didn’t really need that particular SKS. I guess I’ll just have to make do with the Norinco commercial SKS I bought about fifteen years ago while in college; cheap stampings or not, it still works and it’s plenty accurate.

One question: Have you had any problems with slam-fires in SKSs? I’ve heard a great many stories about slam-fires, although I’ve never had one with mine. However, I’ve also never shot any ammunition through mine lacking a hard military-style primer (I’ve shot various military surplus FMJ, Norinco FMJ and "Wolf" brand FMJ and hollowpoints). I’m aware (via surplusrifle.com) that at least one supplier is offering a spring-loaded replacement firing pin that is supposed to eliminate that problem; does it work and is it worth the money?
 
Written By: Wes S.
URL: http://
One question: Have you had any problems with slam-fires in SKSs? I’ve heard a great many stories about slam-fires, although I’ve never had one with mine. However, I’ve also never shot any ammunition through mine lacking a hard military-style primer (I’ve shot various military surplus FMJ, Norinco FMJ and "Wolf" brand FMJ and hollowpoints). I’m aware (via surplusrifle.com) that at least one supplier is offering a spring-loaded replacement firing pin that is supposed to eliminate that problem; does it work and is it worth the money?
My understanding is that adequate cleaning if the bolt, especially of the hole through which the floating firing pin protrudes, is an adequate solution of the slam-fire problem.

Essentially, a slam-fire (firing at full auto until the magazine is expended) is usually caused because cosmoline or other packing grease has built up to the point that the floating firing pin gets stuck in the firing pin hole of the bolt, causing the firing pin to protrude too far beyond the bolt face. This causes the rifle to fire every time the bolt travels forward, because the firing pin gets stuck in the firing pin hole, and the firing pin’s head protrudes from the face of the bolt.

This causes slam fires with ammo other than hard primer ammo. The fix for this is to clean the rifle adequately, so that the floating firing pin doesn’t get stuck in the hole on the bolt. Once the packing grease is removed, the firing pin shoudl float freely through the hole in the bolt face, preventing slam-fires, even if you use non-hard-primer-ammo.

Although, with Wolf selling 1,000 round cases for less than $200, why would you?
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Tam is reporting that 7.62x39 is about to get expensive. I don’t know how it’s going to go, but I’m about to cop a thousand rounds from Cheaper Than Dirt.
Thanks for the heads up, Billy. I just bought 1,000 additional rounds of Wolf 7.62x39 hollow-point.

You know. Just in case.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Congratulations, Dale.
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Dale — Here is a ton of SKS information, a great deal of it specifically addressing the 59/66.

Also, I heartily recommend Duncan Long’s excellent little book, "The SKS Type 45 Carbines". The best price I see in a brief online survey happens here.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Glad you got one you like Dale!!!

I’ll sit back with my M1 Garand with bandoliers filled with good old fashioned 30-06 and wait for the bad guy to get anywhere in my line of site. I’m no sharpshooter, but I’ll drop anything man sized if it gets close enough to see ;-)

Hey McQ - I get together about once a month with buddy at the American Marksman in Norcross. I bring the M1, he brings his AR15 and his AK47 and we put a few lbs of lead in the sand. You should come over some night :)
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Picked up a 59/66 a couple of years ago, and was very pleasantly surprised. More accurate than I’d hoped for, reliable as a rock. And VERY greased up for storage. Only bad part about that was getting all the grease/oil out of the wood; thank God I knew the kitty-litter trick.

I’ve not had a chance to shoot beyond about 125 yards, so can’t comment about longer ranges. I do know that if I do my part it’ll break clay pigeons every time at that range. If want better than the stock sights, check out the Tech Sight; it’s an adjustable aperture sight that mounts on the back of the receiver.

Oh yeah, if you have a chance get an M1. Wonderful rifle. Most of the CMP rifles available have had hard use, but you can still get a good rifle. Or, for about $1000 can get one of the new ones from Springfield. There’s nothing like the clip ejecting and someone saying "Hey! Something came out of your rifle!" Especially if it lands on your hat brim.
 
Written By: Firehand
URL: http://elmtreeforge.blogspot.com
Note to the wise...if you should "happen" to stumble across a bananna clip for said weapon at a gun show....don’t get caught with it while transporting the weapon. Just sayin’.
 
Written By: markm
URL: http://
DOOMSDAY.

Doomsday Pending? or Doomsday Thwarted?

In the year 1905, Nobel physicist, Albert Einstein, discovered the Proton Genie, and gave the World his paradigm E=mc² equation.

Einstein proved that extracting and fusing PROTONS from ordinary pure water can make everybody on Earth so idly rich and content from the benefits of this clean, virtually-free and inexhaustible energy supply that nobody should ever again have to contend with pollution, war or poverty, and Mother Nature will once again reign as The Supreme Mistress of any and all Climate Change.

The Earth Clock reads: One Minute Until Doomsday!

Is it too late? Or, will some ordinary, individual tinkerer (maybe even a high school student) rise to the occasion and demonstrate the physical expression of Einstein’s equation so that the entire World can prosper in peace and happiness, far into the distant future?

web site:
http://howtosavecivilization.blogspot.com/2006/08/how-to-save-civilization.html



 
Written By: ROBERT MACELVAIN
URL: http://
Well congrats on buying the SKS, have fun tonight. I to live in Cali and just had to wait my 10 days on a shotgun i bought at Turners. Such crap!!!!
 
Written By: Method Man
URL: http://
I recently acquired a 59/66 Yugo SKS myself. I spent weeks restoring it to military operational condition. In KY the grenade launcher is NOT illegal, and in fact at the range I shoot at you can buy practice grenades for about $20.00 ea. I shot a few and blew some pumpkins to shreds and than put about 500 rounds through my rifle. I have the iron sights dead on (I shot the center out of a 4 inch circle at 300 meters, but that comes from being a former Army Ranger I think) and this I feel you the redaers need to know. The Soviet ammo is cheap and crappy. I will only put Winchester or similar brass cased American made ammo through my rifle. The Soviet ammo (in my weapon) has a 30% misfire rate, where as the American made stuff never misfired even once. If you were thinking of getting a Yugo SKS, there are a few things to look for:
1. Ensure all the accessories are with the rifle or can be acquired (i.e. cleaning rod, below the barrel and cleaning kit, in the stock).

2. Look at the condition of the firing pin and extractor assembly. You want your pin to have a slight point to it, not be flat on the tip. A few I saw were indeed flat and this makes the weapon nothing more than a nice wall ornament, rather than an actual shooting rifle.

3. Don’t be afraid of a super gunky weapon as opposed to a lesser gunky one (aka Cosmoline). No matter what the amount of Cosmoline you may have on your weapon, look past it to the working parts. Remember you will be cleaning ever last drop of that crap off anyways (WD-40 works nicely by the way).

4. Inspect, ask questions, and pick up multiple models. Some disreputable inporters will strip parts off one weapon to another. Ask plenty of questions, because they will all tell you that the weapons are in "as-is" condition and are in no way warenteed. So if something happens you will be repairing it.

Oh and a final comment, my SKS cost $139.00 complete with the cleaning rod and kit in the stock. It was just super Cosmolined, and it took 11 hours to clean!
 
Written By: Jay
URL: http://

 
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