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Thinking About Buying...


Army.ca Fixture
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I am looking at buying an SKS or an SVT-40 as a late Xmas present for me. I am wondering if any of the more knowledgeable members could let me know the pros and cons of each. Thanks guys.
I spend alot of time with a 1954 SKS carbine (original bore for 7.62 x 39 Soviet round; and yes, with the original bayonet); it's fun for the range, but pretty heavy and the recoil is not well mitigated by the stock.  The biggest con is that the barrel heats up very quickly and cools very slowly, which is something to always be mindful of if you are concerned about accuracy.  Hits around 2 or 3 cm precision at 100.  The beauty is that the rounds are cheap at the moment (box of 20 for $10), so you get plenty of bang for your buck, compared to, say, a 5.56 x 45 NATO (which are nearly double the bloody price)!

I have never played with a Samozaryadnaya Vintovka Tokareva, but know that the rounds are harder to come by (I think they use 7.62 Russian, a weird old-fashioned rimmed cartridge).  I will ask around and see if anybody I know has one- but I'm sure there is an expert on milnet somewhere.  ;)
I agree, go for an original Russian one, not a Chi-Com.


I have a Chinese SKS and a Pro for it is that it can take alot of abuse and keep on working fine.  The bad thing is that because of that I don't take care of it like I should and barely ever clean it properly. 
I owned a couple of SKS's. 

Neither shot better than about 8" at 100m. 

Ammo was chinese surplus (steel case) and both rifles were Chinese.  One was a D-mag, one was regular fixed mag.

Testing at longer range showed that they were incapable of consistently printing on a 4 foot screen at 400 yards. 

That said, the ammo is cheap like borsht, so are the guns.  Cheap center-fire, fun to shoot.  Reliable, not very accurate.

I have heard of better accuracy standards from Russian guns (Tula arsenal rings a bell for some reason.)

As for the SVT-40, well, the one I have played with was unreliable, and it's gas system very finnicky.  It wasn't mine, but I helped tear it down to try and get it working again.  It was fired in a series of 200m rifle matches (SR Matches 1-4) and the score was abysmal compared to Enfields being fired alongside it.

The SVT does use the 7.62x54R (rimmed) round, so it's a bit more spendy on the ammo side.

That's my experience....hope it helps!

Watch your ammo. If you're using old, corrosive surplus, the resulting salts, caused by the corrosive primers, will start eating the bore if not cleaned soon after shooting. Something with ammonia in it (window cleaner) down the bore gives you a bit of a stopgap and slows the salt  formation and reaction. Hot, soapy water works as a good initial scrub followed by normal cleaning procedures.