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Looking for advice on some firearms.

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Viking, May 27, 2009.

  1. Viking

    Viking Monkey++

    I am sure there are some posts similar to this but bear with me please, I am a relative newb here.

    I am looking for some Firearm advice. I currently own a S&W .40 cal, a small single barrel 20 guage shotgun and a couple of .22 rifles (10/22's).

    I am looking to collect a couple more. I am interested in home protection and hunting.

    I do not have a lot of money to spend. Unfortunately I am one of those people that believed the American Dream was to have everything NOW without saving for it. I have an excellent credit score and have always made my payments but most of my cash goes into those payments so there isn't a lot left over....

    I am fixing this situation a bit at a time but think I should purchase a rifle and perhaps a semi-auto along with a decent supply of ammunition before I am unable to at all.

    Can any of you reccomend a decent hunting rifle and a semi-auto rifle suitable for home-defense that are as reasonable as possible price wise?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    IMHO for the self defense rifle, and the cost factor you stressed, I would say go with one or two sks rifles and all the ball ammo you can stockpile. You might ask why not an AK-47? The sks will shoot groups half the size of an AK. The sks butt stock length is short enough to be acceptable for women and older children to shoot as well. If money was not a factor I would try to steer you to an AR platform for the defense rifle. For the hunting rifle I like the .308 in bolt action. Find a good used one. In a major name brand, Winchester, Remington, Ruger, Savage.
  3. Viking

    Viking Monkey++

    Thank you.

    My first hunting rifle was a Remington model 788 .308 and I was actually thiniking about one of those again.

    The SKS was what I was thinking as well. My only problem there is that I have heard some SKS versions are a lot better than others.

    Which SKS makes should I go with and or stay away from?

    What is ball ammo?
  4. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I prefer the AK over the SKS, and if you are looking for an investment that could be banned one day, the AK will have a lot more value. For defensive purposes the 30 round detachable magazine of the AK provides a lot more firepower than the 10 rounds of the SKS, but with aftermarket mags they can hold more. I am just partial to the AK. Aimsurplus has them as cheap as you will find them.


    Sounds like you are set with the .40, you might want to consider a .270 hunting rifle instead of the .308. The .270 is a extremely flat shooting rifle, and is big enough to take any game on the North American Continent. Even bears have been taken with them (although I would opt for a .300 Win. Mag. myself) and while you might have a hard time finding any .308 Win. on the ammo shelf, you can still find .270 if you look hard enough.

    Just a last bit of note before the SKS link below, I would not stretch myself financially and spend more on something than you should because of the market panic. While ARs if you could find them were going for $1500 a pop not long ago, now I am seeing more and more of them on the shelves, and when you either couldn't get a AR reciever, and if you did they were $300+, now I am seeing them in stock for $120. The panic is dying down, and with it the prices are dropping. So don't pay more for something than you should. If you buy a SKS, buy plenty of stripper clips, and if an AK plenty of magazines. You really should stock up on the magazines for your .40 cal. too.

    Just my two cents. Good luck.


    The Samozaryadnyi Karabin Sisyemi Simonova Obrazets 1945g, or SKS45 (commonly just called the SKS),was designed by Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov around the then new, intermediate powered, 7.62x39mm M43 cartridge. It was adopted by the Soviet military forces shortly after WW II. The SKS was superseded as a front line Soviet firearm within only a few years by the AK-47, but has been manufactured in a number of countries, and used by the military forces of at least 21, as well as various insurgent groups. The variants most commonly seen in the west are from Russia or the PRC (China). Both of these nations ceased shipping SKS rifles to the USA during the mid-1990s, thanks to efforts by President Clinton. But when the Bush, Sr and and Clinton anti-gun laws faded into the sunset, unrenewed by both Congress and the latter President Bush, the SKS once again became plentiful and less expensive.
    While the AK-47 improved on the SKS design, the SKS is still extremely inexpensive to produce (eastern bloc Communist military doctrine inclined towards throwing lots of expendable soldiers and weapons at the enemy, overwhelming with sheer numbers rather than quality) and yet reasonably accurate under battlefield conditions. The SKS is about half as accurate as an M-16, but costs about 1/10 as much to produce. It's still plenty accurate to stop a person (or deer, or mountain lion) at 200 yards (the standard battlefield "zero" distance").
    I've been told by Chris Wardrop of Lafayette, IN, that some of these rifles have milled trigger assemblies, while others have assemblies that were stamped and spot welded. I'm not sure which is the better version, or how to tell without disassembling the rifle.
    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. What are the major differences between the Chinese and Russian SKS?
      The basic rifles are the same. Differences tend to be more by armory and when the weapon was produced. There was at least one batch of Russian SKS carbines with press fit safeties (no spring). These quickly became useless. I have heard rumors of Chinese guns slam-firing (acting like automatic weapons) but have yet to see any proof of this. I suspect it's a rumor started by people who don't like "commie guns". There are a few minor differences. Chinese paratrooper rifles have the sling swivels on the side of the rifle instead of the bottom (this is the type I bought). Another common Chinese feature is a bayonet which folds under the rifle.
    2. I've heard they are illegal.
      Between Presidents Bush (Sr.) and Clinton, they became more scarce, and many combinations of modifications could make them illegal. They were classified as "assault rifles", which they are not! Assault rifles are selective fire - they can be set to fire in either semi-automatic mode or full-automatic mode. No rifle available in the USA to civilians without special, difficult to get licenses has been fully automatic since the 1930s! But some combinations of stock, bayonet, clip, flash suppressor and other items were, and may still be, illegal. You should check with the BATF before modifying an SKS to assure you are not doing something illegal. Yes, changing the style of stock on an SKS could at one time instantly change you from a hunter or person trying to defend their home into a horrible terrorist or serial killer. Perhaps you should just hurl yourself in front of a BATF tank now and save the government the expense of tracking you down!
      Or, for an overview (not BATF guaranteed for accuracy) of what is or is not legal, check out http://www.recguns.com/Sources/OutII.html .
      Of course, if you live outside the USA, in more "enlightened" countries such as England, Australia or Japan, you won't have this problem. If so, I'm terribly sorry. And I hope we learn the lesson before it's too late for us, too.
    3. How accurate is it?
      I haven't been to a long range yet, but my impression from magazines (and my friend's hunting experience) is that at 200 yards, all hits should be within 3 to 5 inches. Not great, but good enough for most of us. At 100 yards, mine will group about 2 inches with common, Russian (Wolf) ammo.
    4. How many rounds does it hold?
      The rifle comes with a 10 round clip attached. It's normally loaded from the top with stripper clips (the bolt stays open once the clip is empty). Larger, detachable, "banana" clips are available which hold 15, 20, or 30 rounds. To use these you have to partially disassemble the rifle, but it's not hard to do. This brings me to what I consider the one major deficiency in the SKS. The clips have a big metal part sticking out in front at the top. This makes the clips slightly bulkier than those for the AK-47, and drives the cost up. In 1996, at the Austin gun show I attended, 30 round AK clips were going for $5 to $7; 30 round SKS clips were anywhere from $15 to $20. This makes stripper clips an attractive option. Of course, an SKS is so much less expensive than anything else in its class, you can probably afford a couple of extra 30 round clips!
      Since the ban on importing these clips expired, prices have gotten more reasonable. I recently bought one for (IIRC) $12.95 at a gun show, which wasn't much more than an AK clip.
    5. What about ammo? Wal-mart doesn't seem to have any.
      You may have to call around. Wal-Mart sometimes carries it. But you may want to order a case. We usually get 3 or 4 people together to order a case from whoever has it cheapest in "Shotgun News". Last time I looked, you could get 1200 rounds for around $150 or $160. That's "surplus", of course. Be sure and look for non-corrosive primers. Ammo is usually 20 rounds per box. Retail here is anywhere from about $4.50 or $5 per box for Russian Wolf brand ammo to $15 - $20 for high quality ammo (which should improve accuracy to about 2 or 3.5 inches at 200 yards).
    6. Is it good for hunting, defense, etc?
      Sure. I got mine primarily to protect our children and animals from predators in the area (we lived in the boonies when I bought my SKS), but it also works for self defense. I have a friend who hunts deer with his once or twice a year, and he's happy with it. This is definitely a military rifle. There's a safety on the trigger guard, but no clip safety - if the clip is detached but a round is chambered, the rifle will fire if the trigger is pressed (unlike most modern, non-military rifles).
    7. How does the 7.62x39 compare to the .223 and .308 (7.62x51)?
      It's not as powerful as the .308; at longer ranges it's going to drop more and have less stopping power. But unless you are after something really big and/or nasty, at ranges under 300 yards or so, it's plenty. The .223 may produce a bigger wound since it may fragment inside the target.
    8. Where can I get one?
      At most gun shows, I'd expect to find at least a couple of people selling these. "Shotgun News" has ads from a number of places who sell them, and several places on the Internet sell them. Also, better stocked local gun shops, and some pawn shops.
    9. What about parts?
      Parts are plentiful. If you're really worried, buy two - they're inexpensive! I bought mine in 1996 for under $100. All of the places noted above will carry after market parts - synthetic stocks, scopes, clips, etc.
    Some of the historical information for this article came from the Feb. 1998 issue of ``American Rifleman''.
  5. Cephus

    Cephus Monkey+++ Founding Member

    If you are looking for an SKS the best place I have found is small town pawn shops .

    I got lucky a few months ago and found an SKS-D for around $300 (i can remember when ya could get one for $129) which is a good price now.
    These will accept the AK mags but do lock open on last shot .

    Ammo is not to easy to find so when ya do buy what ya want then and don't look back .

    The 40 is a great choice make sure ya have the ammo ya think you'll need and as many mags as ya can afford ,this will be the one ya carry most when doing chores and work around the place .

    I wish all the luck .

  6. WestPointMAG

    WestPointMAG Monkey++

    Saigs in 7.62x39 Can still be had for around $300 and steel AK mags can be made to fit. If you can find it get at least some 154 grain soft point ammo.
    Hi-point .40 carbine. You already have a 40 so this will add some range to that ammo.
    Mossberg 12ga pump. With a mini shell elevator conversion. Inexpensive well made parts available. I you get a 590 and do the elevator conversion it will hold 12 +1
    CZ52 For now the ammo is still available and the price is OK. This will makeup for the 40’s lack of penetration.
    MS 91/30 The rifles are still reasonable in price and there is still ammo available.
  7. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    For a hunting rifle you may want to check with Minuteman and see if he still has that sportsman conversion M44. It has a scope, synthetic stock and shoots the very potent 7.63x54 round which is still fairly cheap, and Minuteman was very fair on his asking price.
  8. Viking

    Viking Monkey++

    The prices on the Ak vs the SKS doesn't seem to be as great as I was thinking. I have been looking at www.gunbroker.com to check pricing.

    Is ther ean AK that I need to stay away from?

    If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all, if I don't go in as informed as possible I am going to get screwed. Just how things seem to go, lol.
  9. ikean

    ikean Monkey++

    sks and a 12guage.[peep]
  10. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    As an alternate to the sks route, you might consider the Remington Model 700. It's available in 243, 270, 308, and 30-06. I'm pretty sure that someone out there makes 10 rd mags for them, but I can't remember for sure. They are reasonably priced, legal (and good) for deer, and formidable against bad guys.

    Getting away from the rifles for a sec, but have you considered rounding out the collection with a small pistol, something that can be carried in the pocket without ever being seen? I have a S&W chiefs special that fits perfectly in my front pocket and goes everywhere with me without anyone ever knowing I'm carrying, and it's extremely light weight.
  11. Egret

    Egret Monkey++

    I love the Remington 700 as a bolt action for hunting. Very accurate. Very dependable. It's been around a long time.

    Love the AK for general defense. Dependable. Easy for anyone to handle. Even a kid can easily handle it and in other parts of the world they often do.

    You can hunt with the 20 g and the 22 you already have. Not always optimal but doable.
    The 20 g is not bad home defense if it is a pump. Again, not the best but I would not want to stare one down.

    So it's a matter of priorities if your budget allows only one.
    Hunting..... the Remmie 700.
    Home defense.... the AK.

    Both if you can afford to buy both and stock the ammo for both.

    Just want to add one thing. It's useless to have 10 weapons with 100 rounds for each. Don't buy more than you can afford to store ammo for. Better to have the AK and 1000 rounds than Rem. 700 and AK with just a few rounds for each. May want to take that into consideration when purchasing.

  12. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    For the home defense portion are you looking at present situations or post SHTF MZB situations? I ask because especialy if you are looking at present wolrd and definatly if you live in a more urban area, then I would say go for a 12 guage pump for the home defense over any of the rifles. Load it with buck shot or slugs and it it will hit a lot harder than any rifle if you are talking about ranges inside 25 yards which should cover any home defense needs. With 9 pellet 00 buck its basicly like shooting the person 9 times with a .30 cal with 1 pull of the trigger. It also reduces liability issues since with buckshot it will have plenty of penetration on a bad guy but is less likely to go out of your house, into a neighbors and kill someone down the block. Then theres also the fact that there is no more terrifying sound for a bad guy in a dark room than the distinctive CHU-CHUNK of a shotgun being racked.

    The SKS or AK either one has balistics very similar to a .30-30 and so is excelent for deer and such at 100 yards or so and either would also do the trick if you wanted to go with a rifle for home defense.

    For a low cost hunting rifle that can reach out and touch something you might consider the Mosin Naggat. Low cost, long range, ammo not as bad as some.

    If it was me, I would probably get the pump 12 guage pump (Charlse Daily is VERY similar to the Remington 870 for less $) a Mosin Naggat along with some ammo first then get an SKS or AK and at least a case or 2 of ammo.
  13. Viking

    Viking Monkey++

    Very good advice guys, thank you.
  14. Galactus

    Galactus Monkey+++ Founding Member

    What is everyone on this boards obsession with firearms? Arms that are on fire can not be comfortable. Ask the Human Torch.
  15. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

  16. NVBeav

    NVBeav Monkey+++

  17. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Outside the box suggestion.I like my enfield mk1no4 bolt action .303 /STRIPPER CLIP FED /10SHOT MAG : there's your big game hunting rifle and 10 proven relatively fast defensive shots. surplus ammo is/was plentiful. cheaper than an sks.... 174grn 2475fps.
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