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1963 Chinese SKS  vs AR15 , M16, M4

   in IPSC / USPSA / 3 GUN Rifle Competition

By: ACEeyeED A43209 August 15, 2007 

Revisions 10/14/2007, 09/25/2008, 6/22/2009, 5/14/2013 , 8/05/2013

 Copyright (c) 2007-2013 all rights reserved


Summary: This SKS has the following MODS

1- 922r compliant parts

2- Tapco Interfusion Stock

3- Tapco 20 rd Magazines

4-Williams Peep and Firesight Fiber Irons

5-Bolt cut to handle mag insert and remove with bolt closed

6-Trigger Job, Sear positive engagement

7-Shock Buffer

8-Choate Drill/Tap Scope receiver mount

9-CenterPoint Illum. Mil Dot 2 x 7 Scope

10- A2 BUIS 45 degree offset

~ 300$ in add on listed. (Stock and mag and the Scope were 2/3 rds of the upgrade cost.



Thoughts and Observations:

I can say the performance of my SKS was limited to myself.  If I had the time to practice as much as I do the handgun, I could be much faster. By no means is the SKS a bad performer. This report is the beginning. I will add more detail to see if the corrective actions identified get cleaned up. 


Now if you do the work yourself, here is what I spent. 100$ for the SKS early 1990 purchased. Mods, Scope mount, 923r compliance parts, Spring kit, Stock, Scope, Bolt mod, Sear tune.....added 300$ more. So for 400$ it is sweet. Still cheaper than the 550$ in the gun shop without the mods.


What I forgot about was the wind effect on a 7.62x39 at 10 mph crosswind will be 6 inches from aimpoint. No wonder I was missing.



I have shot the SKS in IPSC/USPSA 3-Gun and rifle matches, for 8 matches.


Some with open iron sights , then switching to tactical with the addition of the scope. 


First Scope was a Chinese red star 4x20 it broke .


Second - Simmons 1.5 to 5 shotgun scope not bad but I dropped the receiver and bent the scope. triangle reticule.


Third and newest - Centerpoint 2x7 32 scope with red / green illuminated mil dot reticule.    


Just added the Tasco Red Dot. 2013 , Tapcom Intrefuse stock with rails, and trigger tuning.


Added CHOATE Drill and TAP Scope Mount


The SKS shooting the same round as the AK47 is a bit more accurate because of longer barrel.



SKS vs AR15  in IPSC  - factors and value rating

Factor AR15 Value SKS Value
Weight lbs light 10 medium 7
Trigger Match 10 w trigger tune 9
Recoil little 10 more 8
Accuracy 100 yd 1 moa 10 2 moa 8
Mag change/ bolt closed Yes 10 Yes 7   Duck Bill limitation
Major power factor No 7 Yes 10
Cost of ammo high 8 medium 10
Ease to Clean, Strip, Parts   8   10
IPSC Rating (orange)   47   40

Total value rating higher is  better.

  73   71 


Orange - the criteria that matters the most in IPSC Rifle


All things perfect and the M16/AR15/M4 will beat the SKS every time mainly due to faster mag changes and a lot less recoil allowing the second shot to be completed faster then the SKS.  see Orange shade in table above. IPSC is points / time. It is the time factor here.


I have completed the SKS mods to help it compete against the AR,

Still not bad for a 1943's design.  Again the recoil time on the SKS is the deciding factor against the M4/AR15.  By adding the Tapco Interfusion stock, and the Choate drill/tap scope mount, it really is close to perfect. It is running 100% clean in 2 matches so far this year.




NEW BOLT for tactical reload with bolt closed


The SKS has to have the bolt back to load a new mag. I have a Bolt that can allow change out of mag with bolt closed. This will help make tactical mag change outs faster. Mag changes will still be slower on the SKS due to the Duck bill connector.  More info on bolt. Captain of a Crew of One: Evolution of a Homeland Defense Weapon 3  Duckbill see the You Tube links below. The Captain was nice enough to produce a 5 part video about an hour that goes over the Trigger and sear work. At best 25% of the population are handy. This means most of you should never try any mods.


The machinist and will have 2 bolts modified to accept mags when the bolt closed. Should be finished by end of sept 07. I will be testing the bolts and their new  ' H ' Buffer for the SKS.


Mark Holloway, 25thCTC


The Bolts I bought, were a bit long on the bottom, which gave inconsistent results. Sometimes the disconnect would not work causing trigger lockup. Eureka. It worked, I ran 150 rds of wolf FMJ and HP with no jams, lockup etc.

H Buffer worked fine. Need to do more bench work to check if the group shot are tighter.



Results of the testing after the changes:

Sight in at 50 yd using Wolf 7.62 x 39 154g SP

This was done seated , with sand bags front and rear

Scope is a 1.5x5 x 40  set to 5x

my last two perfect 2 groups of three are shown below.


Below: 100 yd Test 9/2008 Winchester FMJ 7.62x39 123 gr.

Ballistic Coefficient: 0.256

USA Full Metal Jacket: 
  • Positive Functioning
  • No Expansion
  • Good Accuracy
  • No Barrel Leading

     7x scope SKS Sandbag bench rest

    group 1.949 inch. in the top 20% of SKS.




    Quick test after the trigger tuning of Sear above, last 3 shots come in at  1.4 inches (2013)

    On the right Golden Tiger at 100 yds.


    200 YARDS

    Using bench, can hit a Clay Bird which is 4 inches. Usual target at 200 yards is a 6 inch round plate.

    Getting used to the Vtac barricade.



    Why do I use the SKS in competition ?

    FUN, Ammo cost half as much, I only compete 3 times a year in rifle, and at least I do not come in last. 

    I recommend the TAPCO 20 rd .


    Needs a day or two of  break in.

    For break in spray silicone into mag , load the mag with 20 rounds, let set over night
    Use rifle, remove firing pin again remove firing pin and use the rifle to cycle and the rounds through. do this over and over by hand cycle until it runs clean.
    Let mags sit over night and repeat process, you could just go shoot,  this is cheaper.

    Then take mag apart clean and re-lube with silicone.


    Corrective Actions: Things to do

    1- To be smoother more dry fire practice. (Faster mag changes)

    1.5 - more dry fire with movement in close quarters.

    2- Purchase new bolt that allows mag changes with bolt closed. (Complete)

    3- Tighten all scope mounts, add Lock tite RED high strength thread lock.  lack there of caused me to DNF in the 200 yd stage.

        **  After the match I noticed 2 screws holding the scope and one mount ring was loose. UGH attention to detail.(Complete)  New drill tap mount see #10

    3a-Added new 2x7 32 Scope ilum mildot  Centerpoint

    4 - make sure you train to the longest shot. This is 100 to 200 yards (Complete)

    5- start the practice sequence 2-3 months before match.

    6- Disconnect not clean if mag is resting on anything. working on this. (COMPLETE 2013 - With the Tapco Interfuse stock system and the Tapco 20 rd mag, the mag can be used as a forward grip without issue 2013)  To do well your firearm must run clean, and you must run well

    7- 2013 Trigger work, crisper , reduced pre travel and post travel Complete

    8 - Rails/ Tapco Intrefuse stock complete

    9 - Develop a SKS Plastic Magazine holder, faster than the pocket or the pouch. (Complete 2013)


    10- July 2013 - Old scope mount tossed. New drill and tap CHOATE scope mount (40$). Get extra Gold TiNi bits, run no faster than 600 RPM drill press. Use Cutting fluid and know how to use the drill press manually to tap, 1/4 turn then back out, take your time allow 30 mins per hole.



    The RIFLE is now running 100% Clean in matches no issues!


    To have the magazine changes as fast as possible I developed my own SKS plastic magazine Holders. This version showing dual holder.















    Chinese SKS 7.62 x 39  TUNEUP - ACCURIZING

    Trigger Job


    Reading Materials:


    Jamie Mangrum  did a world of work on his . Has detailed procedures for the SKS and Enfield SMLE helped me a great deal.

    His site was shut down a few years back and the only way to find the articles is to look on the wayback archive.  Collecting and Shooting the SKS Carbine - HISTORY


    These were the names of the articles

    Collecting and Shooting the SKS Carbine - Lightening the SKS Trigger (Trigger Job)

    Collecting and Shooting the SKS carbine Lil-Miss part 2


    In Depth Trigger Work Info

    Video on SKS Trigger Job

    Purchased Products:

    Wolffe Spring - SKS Performance pack   $10>

    Initial results from the bench using Winchester White Box 7.62 x 39, at 50 yards, open site , groups were 1 3/8 inches smaller after the trigger job.


    Wolffe has spring kits for for many firearms.



    SKS 7.62 x 39 AMMO:


    I use Wolf and Winchester white box.  Now testing out GOLDEN TIGER in the projects section


    Wolf  7.62 x 39  - 154 sp  Aug 2007 - preferred for IPSC Major

    Chrono tests   10 rds  avg  2136 fps

    makes 328 major ipsc / 325 floor

    Stock test - 2104 fps

    Chinese SKS 1963 20 inch barrel 

    temp - 95 f   Hum 75%  Alt 850  bar  

    Sunny, no wind

    SKS Owners   - Murrays Gunsmithing makes a firing pin aand prevents slam fires.  


     SKS OWNERS You NEED THIS!     ++ 2007, Old version recall. New version available!

    This “New For 2007” replacement firing pin is designed after the original Russian design. And, it will fit all SKS’s. Even pre-51 versions. But, with pre-51 versions you’ll need a different spring. This is due to the hole in the bolt being drilled deeper in “later” versions. This new firing pin will eliminate slam-fire and uncontrollable full-auto incidents! And, it will allow the use of “soft primered “American” ammo, or reloads.

    Seen below are Murray's NEW SS SKS Firing Pins, Firing Pin with spring for pre-'51 Russians - (center) Firing pin with spring for EVERYTHING else (top).


    Ben was  on Discovery Channel MythBusters.


    I have experienced a slam fire from the red sealer used on some rounds at the primer. It gets gummed up and makes the firing pin not retract.







    I (William E. Fowler III) AM NOT A Certified Firearms Instructor, or Gunsmith.   I am a certified range officer. You assume all risks and liabilities. 


    SAFETY FIRST - when you are dead, you don't get a second chance.             

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    "AceEyeEd" , Owings Mills, Maryland

    Updted on 9/01/2013  by Ed Fowler