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Yugo 59/66 Sks Carbine Review


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#1 Thed

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Posted 20 August 2003 - 10:09 PM

AIM Surplus has Yugo SKS 59/66 Carbines for sale in three different grades (Shooter $109, Standard $129, and Like New $149). All of these come with free shipping to the Lower 48 States. They are available with direct sales to any Type 01 or 03 FFL License Holder.

I recently purchased one to see how good the lower grades were. I shoot often on overnight Camping and Shooting trips in Texas, and I am looking for some low cost rifles to help teach shooting skills and safety to people with little or no experience with firearms. For years I have been using Norinco SKS Carbines I bought in the Late 1980's, but I wish to retire them while the bores are in Very Good+ condition. So I am looking for new rifles.

Well...Not exactly New. These rifles are going to be used. They are going to be scratched, so I do not want to pay extra money for a wood condition that is going to get marked and chipped. So I decided to order one of the Shooter Grade Yugo SKS Carbines.

Posted Image

The shooter grade yugo looks like it was used. I have already disassembled it, and the wood stock has already gotten a half day in the 100+ degree Texas sun. Tomorrow it will get a full day. I have used the "Old English Wood cleaner w/orange action" when I wiped of the cosmo on the wood after a few hours in the sun. The Cosmoline is coming out and it does suck up thsi orange stuff. It is a treatment I use on my other Mosins that seems to work well.

The external parts have seen use. It is obvious and many parts have about 30-40% finish left which is not bad. No signs of rust, and it was well stored. The serial numbers don't match, and there is some electropencil work.

The gas system is in great condition. I was expecting a poor fitting piston, rusted out gas block and a rattling gas tube. None of that. Fits tight and the gas piston look like new.

What amazed me was the barrel. The receiver has the 30-40% finish while the barrel has closer to 90%. The reciever and the barrel are two different tones. There was a barrling witness mark on the reciever, but not on the barrel. The inside bore condition I would say was excellent+ if not near new. This rifle (or receiver anyway) has a new barrel on it. It may have had some use, but it looks awesome.

The whole rifle is a leftover parts gun. Its obvious. But if it functions well and has a new(er) barrel I am happy for what I paid. If it works well it will fit the bill for a training rifle for newbie with no problems, I don't have to worry about scratches or dings in the finish. It is exactly what I was looking for, plus a little.

This is a Photo after I cleaned up the metal and the Cosmoline out of the stock:

Posted Image

What amazes me is the level of refinement that has been done to this model as compared to other SKS Carbines I have owned.

There is a Gas Shut Off Valve on the gas block which is used for when launching rifle grenades with blanks. It shuts of the action and makes the SKS like a bolt action rifle. I can see the advantage of this if I was trying to save brass or not litter.

The Trigger Group is Milled, and is of far greater quality than any of the Chinese stamped SKS carbines I have. The biggest drawback of the trigger is the actual trigger bar is a bit shorter than on the Norinco SKS Carbines and I have noticed that the "creep" of the trigger is even worse than the Chinese SKS.

I am goin to do a trigger job on it to give it better performance by TIG welding some additional material to the trigger bar and grinding and sanding it smooth.

Posted Image

With SKS Carbines, this single issue (besides good ammo) is the biggest thing to help tighten up groups.

Some people sand the sear itself, but I always thought that was too risky and dangerous.

Another feature is flip up night sights. Yup! there is also flip up brackets with some type of burnt out glow in the dark material which is still in place. I am researching replacement illuminating dots. This is a really coll feature, although they are not adjustable othere than elevation (rear sight) I think its a neat feature.

What is also nice is the leather pouch on the sling holds a round brass oil bottle and the kit also comes with a belt pouch that looks like it would be able to hold 80-100 rounds on stripper clips.

ALL FOR $109 Delivered!! I cannot beleive it really.

I will be shooting it this wekend, and if all goes well I will be purchasing at least three more. I see this rifle increasing in value similar to the Norinco SKS of the Early 1990's.

-Thed



#2 Thed Re: Yugo 59/66 Sks Carbine Review

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Posted 29 August 2003 - 08:09 AM

I took this SKS out to the range for a little bit of shooting. I found that the sights were WAY off on the rifle. When I look at the barrel condition and finish, then compare it to the rest of the rifle, I truly beleive that the barrel was assembled and never used. Unless the Yugo 7.62x39FMJ that was shot from it flew that far to the Left :D . With Silver Bear 8m1 Effect ammo I was able to keep 3-4" patterns.

The Norinco SKS carbines I beleive are more accurate overall, but the Yugo is bigger and more comfortable to shoot.

The trigger on the Yugo SKS desperately needs help!!! I will be doing this before I go and tune the sights.

These rifles are a steal at the price they are available for. They are heavy duty built (Better than the Norinco SKS in my opinion), and have alot of features. After using the "shooter Grade" I will suggest that people who want to buy this SKS decide if they want to collect it, or use it like a beater rifle.

I want beater rifles, and these fill the role very well.

-Thed

#3 asianthug Re: Yugo 59/66 Sks Carbine Review

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Posted 29 August 2003 - 10:49 AM

what's your defintion of beater rifle?

what do i look for or try to avoid at gun show. i think i'll load up on rifle at the gun show in september or october. i want to get at least 3 rifles but good price. is there a way to determine how used is used. i can't never tell how is considered good rifling. i have seen ww1 rifle that was actually used in war, and they rifling was very visually.

#4 Thed Re: Yugo 59/66 Sks Carbine Review

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Posted 29 August 2003 - 04:19 PM

Beater Rifle:

I shoot often on overnight Camping and Shooting trips in Texas, and I am looking for some low cost rifles to help teach shooting skills and safety to people with little or no experience with firearms


The like new SKS are excellent, don't get me wrong. But I want a rifle where I don't have to worry about the wood getting scratched or the finish on the metal getting waorn off.

During the summer months it gets VERY Humid where I shoot in East Texas, and in July and August your rifle will start to rust in a few hours after the heat of shooting. I take precautions but they are not fool proof.

Newbies to shooting, don't think that is they drag a rifle across a rough surface they will scratch it. They are usually like "deer in the headlights" for their first shooting experience. I put 100% on safety. I don't want to be pestering them about "ohh. you put the rifle on the table wrong, it scratches it."

That is why I like to have used rifles and like new rifles. The used ones I shoot. Alot.

The New ones I try to keep looking like new out of habit.

So a Beater rifle is a lower grade that has dings and gouges already, so I know from the start what its for. A few more won't bother me ok>

-Thed

As to judging condition of the rifle at gun shows.....I will put some info together to help you out.

#5 Thed Re: Yugo 59/66 Sks Carbine Review

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Posted 29 August 2003 - 04:34 PM

Here is a thread I started to help people learn how to find good deals and get a handle on collecting "basics".

How do I get good deals on firearms?

-Thed

#6 BigMallard73 Re: Yugo 59/66 Sks Carbine Review

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Posted 02 September 2003 - 10:26 AM

SN/
I bought one of these bad boys as soon as they went cheap on the market. I bought the mid grade version from a buddy of mine that has a family gun business. The first thing that I did was clean out all the gas operated parts with a solution of ammonia and water, to neutralize the salts. Then I cleaned out all the cosmoline in a similar fashion as Thed. I took it out to shoot and after the first twenty rounds the rifle began to stove pipe. It made me mad to say the least. I am about to buy a new gas tube and piston, but was wondering if there was a cheaper alternative.

#7 Thed Re: Yugo 59/66 Sks Carbine Review

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Posted 02 September 2003 - 05:41 PM

Is it using the original magazine?

Has the magazine spring and pivot arm assembly been thouroughly cleaned?

Stove piping spent or live cartridges?

-Thed

#8 pyro_maniac1945 Re: Yugo 59/66 Sks Carbine Review

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Posted 02 September 2003 - 09:30 PM

you know whats a pity, my dad has a brand new sks, the barrel is still full of grease. i keep on trying to talk him out of it but he won't sell it, or shoot it. every time i go to his place i mention it. its just discouraging.

#9 BigMallard73 Re: Yugo 59/66 Sks Carbine Review

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Posted 03 September 2003 - 08:40 AM

SN/
Thed, I have tried both the original 10 round, a 31 round and my 5 round hunting mag. Like you, I turn the gas operation off due to using it for hunting. It is a smaller round with good velocity and good bullet weight. I bought it for my girlfriend to hunt with, due to the low recoil. But, since there are bears and wild hogs on our property I don't want her to get caught having to pull back the bolt every time if she gets into trouble. Back to the original conversation, it stovepipes the spent cartridges or wont even attempt to throw them at all. I have not had a dud in the 100+ rounds that I have run through it.

#10 Thed Re: Yugo 59/66 Sks Carbine Review

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Posted 03 September 2003 - 09:27 AM

I would suggest stripping the bolt and firing pin and cleaning all parts.

My guess is that the extractor arm spring is corroded or wore out. I would suggest a new one. If you are having consistant extraction problems that seems to be the trouble.

By stripping the bolt you will need to punch out the retaining pin that holds the extractor assembly and the firing pin in place. I am willing to bet that your spring is corroded.

-Thed

#11 BigMallard73 Re: Yugo 59/66 Sks Carbine Review

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Posted 03 September 2003 - 11:01 AM

SN/
When I first bought it I di all that stuff. I did it again after I first noticed it happening, so it looks loke a new extractor arm and spring for me. Maybe I'll still put on an aftermarket gastube and piston, just to be safe.

#12 Buckshot Bob Re: Yugo 59/66 Sks Carbine Review

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Posted 03 September 2003 - 03:58 PM

Big Mallard, just a thought and you probably did it, but did you clean the shorter rod that drives the action back. The one directly under the rear sight. This could be gummed up.

#13 Thed Re: Yugo 59/66 Sks Carbine Review

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Posted 03 September 2003 - 04:18 PM

You disassembled the bolt and the cross pin and the spring was new?

Is the bolt and carrier moving all the way back when fired?

If the bolt carrier is not cycling all the way back than its a gas problem. If it is going all the way back and is failing to eject it is an extractor problem.

-Thed

#14 BigMallard73 Re: Yugo 59/66 Sks Carbine Review

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Posted 03 September 2003 - 06:09 PM

SN/
Thanks for the info. Some times it will cycle, but some it almost like the bolt peters out. I personally trhink its a gas problem, but a new spring and extractor arm couldn't hurt either.

#15 Thed Re: Yugo 59/66 Sks Carbine Review

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Posted 04 September 2003 - 07:47 AM

Ahhh. Yes.

If thebolt does not go back all the way then it is a gas problem.

Before you buy new parts, have you scraped out the gas port? Carbon build up will often restict the flow of gas which can cause this problem.

Does the Gas Tube "rattle" when installed and the rifle is shaken?

On Yugo SKS carbines often the Gas valve for the Grendae launcher is rusted and corroded and this can be a source of the the leak. I would inspect this prior to replacing parts.

-Thed

#16 PhoenixZorn Re: Yugo 59/66 Sks Carbine Review

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 03:36 PM

Found this today while searching for "Sling" posts... very interesting to know how little we knew about Yugo's only a year and a few months ago. It amazes me that people didn't realize that the rifle was stove piping because when you shut the gas off, the bolt is actually kicked back far enough to release the spent round, but not far enough to kick the shell out of the chamber. I put 80 rounds downrange today, and not a single stovepipe... I think most of us have gotten past this point by now, and indeed, have stopped using the rifle in "No Gas" mode unless firing granades. =)

I can see how it would be more "hunting effective" to put the gun in "bolt" mode, but I can see from only reading this post that it would be a definite pain in the ass to have to pull the handle back and dump out the round every few shots because it slips off the bolt face.

If you can learn to control your "Buck Fever" you won't pull a second round anyway in semi-auto mode, because you'll have the control to look down range to see if the deer fell before you jack off another round because you got nervous. =)

All in all, I had to bump this post because it reminds us that there is always something new to learn in this world... and only good things can come of new rifles. =)

#17 sendero Re: Yugo 59/66 Sks Carbine Review

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 04:46 PM

Hi, I'm new to this board. I'm sort of a noob about guns but I'm learning.

I bought a Yugo SKS from a local out-of-his-house dealer last weekend. It is definitely a used gun, but as far as I can tell is in good shape. Numbers match, furniture has a few nicks and scrapes but the metal parts look good.

I took it apart and gave it the gunscrubber/hot water treatment to remove *most* of the @#$%@ cosmoline (which I know provides an important function but I love to hate the gunk anyway).

I had not heard of baking the stock, will probably do that someday. I'm looking forward to shooting this thing soon.

And BTW - It is my understanding from readings on the net that the gas switch should be down (to the right) when using it to shoot rounds. The other position is for launching grenades only.

#18 euroman Re: Yugo 59/66 Sks Carbine Review

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 05:16 PM

Sendero,
The gas cut off switch ( or valve ) needs to be to the right for semi auto shooting. When your grenade launcher sight is down, it actually "locks" this switch. You can't turn it upright.
The "up" postion is for single shots or grenade launch. In some states, you can only hunt with single shot or bolt action rifles....

#19 PhoenixZorn Re: Yugo 59/66 Sks Carbine Review

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 07:21 PM

Other way around Euro... the Sight gets locked in place by the valve... if you can lift the grenade sight, there's something wrong... or you have it in single fire mode. =)

#20 euroman Re: Yugo 59/66 Sks Carbine Review

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 10:28 AM

Actually, you are correct.....The sight is locked when the valve is turned!
Good catch!!
I should read my own response before sending it.... :beer:







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