What more can we say besides the fact that the SKS rifle, or the Samozaryadny Karabin sistemy Simonova, is one of the most iconic, even the most infamous firearms that has ever been produced? In villainy and “cool factor” it ranks alongside the equally famous AK-47, and it has something the AK-47 lacks; that old school-era spirit that suggests it is “something that came out of World War II.”
Indeed, the SKS rifle was developed during the latter part of the Second World War, and though the platform saw only very limited use in that conflict, it was widely carried by Russian troops throughout the 1950’s, and it was widely exported around the world.
The list of nations and combatants that carried SKS rifles and variants is exhaustive, and includes over 50 countries around the world. Made famous by the Russians, Chinese and Vietnamese, the SKS rifle is firmly cemented in the annals of history as one of the most influential service rifles of all time.
One might think that with its status as an “enemy” weapon, it might not be widely collected stateside, but the opposite is true. Due to the sheer volume of SKS rifles that have been produced, SKS models and variants are relatively widely available in the United States and there are many collectors and shooters that appreciate their low cost, ease of maintenance, and legendary reliability. An SKS platform can shoulder surprisingly hard use (some might even call it abuse) and continue to feed, fire and cycle without complaint.
The SKS is also commonly paired with the 7.62x39mm, which is a perfectly serviceable cartridge for a wide variety of applications. For a Spitzer bullet, it has a fairly “fat” profile and a round nose, and its ballistic performance reflects this.
It is slightly more powerful than the .30-30 Winchester and has a similar ballistic trajectory, accounting for similar loads. This made the round even more popular with American shooters who had plenty of time to fall in love with lever actions chambered in the former offering. It’s also easy to find 7.62x39mm ammo (current conditions notwithstand) and the ammo is usually cheap. Hunters, competitive shooters, and recreational shooters all love the cartridge and subsequently the SKS for these reasons.
Given this contextual information, it is not surprising that so many Americans own and shoot these rifles. The platform itself is reliable and unflinching, but that doesn’t leave it without the ability to be improved. It is one of those rifles from which a lot of utility can be extracted without accessories, but there are many ways to improve the performance of the platform nonetheless.
Consider some of the following SKS accessories if you’re looking to make your platform a little bit sweeter and enjoyable to shoot.
One of the most basic, yet practical, SKS accessories has got to be a sling. There are a couple good reasons for this point, despite the fact that slings are way down on the scale of “cool” accessories.
First, there is a good likelihood that your SKS already has sling mounts, because many SKS stocks and models are made with them. Secondly, there is an equally high chance that the previous owner of your SKS modified it to include sling mounts if they weren’t there already. If the stock doesn’t have sling mounts, you drill a small hole in the stock and add them; it’s probably the easiest and most risk-free firearm modification you can make.
Another reason is that slings are wildly practical for so many shooters, especially hunters. If you carry your rifle through the woods and fields for extended periods of time, a sling for an SKS is really more of a “must-have” item than a “nice-to-have” feature. Slings shift the weight out of your arms and evenly distribute them across your back and over your shoulders.
Plus, if you hunt with an SKS, you aren’t going for rabbits and pheasants that you can stuff in a game bag. You’ll be taking a deer or some other medium game at the end of the hunt, and you need your hands free to help pack it out.
2.Stocks and Handguards
Stocks are another very useful item in any roster of SKS accessories, although they, like slings, are not the most exciting. What they lack in excitement, however, they make up for in practicality.
Most SKS rifles will come with a wooden stock, which, when not properly cared for, will develop dry rot or delaminate, effectively destroying it. Truth be told, even with care, a wooden stock that is many decades old may be a bit worse for wear and require a replacement. A rifle can limp by on a compromised stock, but it will adversely affect your shooting experience.
Luckily, an SKS stock can be replaced fairly easily and effectively, and SKS stocks are very easy to come by. They actually might be some of the most widespread accessories out there.
We have plenty of them in our online collection; if you have any questions about size, compatibility or installation, make sure you get in touch with us and we’ll assist.
While the 7.62x39mm cartridge isn’t particularly known for its recoil, some recoil sensitive shooters might find a recoil pad a highly valuable addition to your collection of SKS accessories. Also, if you’re introducing someone new to shooting and you have to teach them on an SKS, don’t let kick ruin the experience. Recoil pads are cheap, easy to mount and remove, and widely accessible.
Also, if you, yourself, don’t appreciate recoil, there’s nothing wrong with that. You shouldn’t shoulder recoil (no pun intended) just because it exists. That’s stubborn and pointless. It’s not like it comes with a badge of honor. If you can improve your comfort at the range with a recoil pad, why shouldn’t you?
Finding a stripper clip for 7.62 ammo can significantly decrease the time it takes you to load your SKS, as opposed to individually loading the cartridges one at a time. Actually, it can totally slash the time into a tiny fraction.
Much like speedloaders for sporting rifles and handgun magazines, a stripper clip will be more comfortable to use, take strain off your thumbs and fingers, and cut way back on the time you waste loading your rifle. If you go to the range to burn brass, don’t burn time instead. Pick up a couple of stripper clips, like five or six, and bring them to the range with you.
You’ll enjoy your time more, and what matters is that you’ll actually spend that time at the range shooting and not loading your rifle. Plus, stripper clips are also fairly easily obtainable and not particularly expensive, so there’s hardly a good reason not to add them to the collection of accessories in your range bag.
Most SKS rifles come with a non-detachable magazine that holds ten rounds of 7.62x39mm ammo. While this might be perfectly acceptable for some situations, if you’re going to create an impressive display with your SKS, you are a collector, or you compete with it and can’t make ends meet with only 10 rounds (since it isn’t particularly easy to reload them) then a bigger magazine might be a lot more valuable to you.
Among the many SKS accessories we carry are a variety of magazines. If you need to extend the capacity of your SKS, just look for a compatible magazine, and if you need to complete any modifications, we can help you determine what they are.
6.Bayonets and Bayonet Mounting Accessories
Bayonet warfare, far from being a relic of the distant past, was alive and well through the First and Second World Wars, through Korea and even further. Even today, modern arms fitted with bayonets provide soldiers with indispensable, highly practical tools that can accomplish a multitude of functions that range far beyond the offensive and defensive.
If your SKS does not come with mounts for a bayonet, we may be able to help you find the hardware and adapters necessary, depending on what type of bayonet you wish to mount. Check out our collection of accessories first, and if you have any questions, get in touch with us for more information.
We’re not keeping figures on this, but the likelihood is that the majority of SKS shooters are shooting over iron sights, and almost all (if not all) SKS rifles are outfitted with them. However, some applications call for additional utility, and iron sights aren’t the best in all scenarios.
To shrink your groups or make your SKS more effective as a reflexive platform or a long-distance shooter, optics like red dot sights or scopes might really be valuable. Even if your receiver isn’t drilled or tapped for mounting rail adapters or scope rings, any competent gunsmith can perform that service for you.
With a drilled and tapped receiver, you can mount a whole range of optical sights to your SKS, which will make it more modern and far more effective at range, especially in the hands of a skilled shooter.
8.Sights and Sight Tools
Sometimes, used firearms come with sights missing, which is unfortunate, because it severely handicaps their utility. Even a shotgun is not particularly practical without so much as a bead. Luckily, there are steps you can take to reverse this unfortunate happenstance. The most straightforward of these is to replace the sights if they are missing.
Here at Sarco Inc., we carry a variety of iron sights, many of which are compatible with SKS rifles. We even carry the tools you might need to make adjustments for windage and elevation. If your rifle is missing sights or needs them adjusted and you don’t want to add optics, this might just be the route for you to take.
9.New parts: Firing Pins, Springs, Pistons, and More
Although they aren’t exciting or fun, some of the most valuable firearm accessories out there are mission critical parts. If you use your SKS and break the firing pin from heavy or sustained periods of hard use, you won’t be as interested in your tactical lights or sights when the gun won’t fire.
Similarly, when springs and pistons wear out and need to be replaced, oftentimes the case is that the firearm won’t function until they have been. If your favorite rifle needs some TLC, it’s best to take care of the issue up front. The SKS will thank you for it, and good practice is to keep some spare parts on hand to make repairs as they become necessary.
Finally, cleaning accessories need to be included in this list if we’re going to claim that it’s complete. Every firearm should be cleaned routinely. We recognize that there are some owners who take pride in the fact that they rarely clean them, but for some guns, like autoloaders and muzzleloaders, without routine, systematic cleaning, part failure is just a few shots down the road.
You need the right brushes, jags, patches, solvents, cleaning rods, tools and other accessories to break your SKS down and thoroughly clean it. Some producers of 7.62x39mm ammo are less than scrupulous in their use of primers and powders, too. Corrosion is always a threat with a dirty rifle, so keep it clean, and if you have questions about what to use, just call us and we’ll give you some guidance.
Want to check out some of these SKS accessories for yourself? Just check out some of our offerings at the previous link, and if you have any questions at all, make sure to get in touch with us directly. We have one of the largest selections of firearms and firearm parts on the web, so sifting through it all can be a little confusing, especially if you don’t have a specific model to search for.
You can get in touch with us at 610-250-3960 anytime you have questions or need a little guidance finding the right accessories for your rifle. You might even be able to take your rifle to a gunsmith to have it altered to make it compatible with accessories intended for another platform or to have the receiver drilled and tapped for optics or other accessories. Call us to learn more about your options.