Eastern Bloc Plinking

Discussion in 'Other Rifles' started by Buzz, May 15, 2007.

  1. Buzz

    Buzz Premium Member

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    Back in the 80's and 90's my prized rifle was an HK 93, but the rifle that I enjoyed shooting the most was a Norinco SKS, a rifle that was flooding our shores at the time. 7.62x39mm is a fun round and was and is cheap to shoot. Of the thousands of rounds that I put through that SKS I never once had any type of malfunction. Recently, especially with the worsening political environemnt for 2nd Amendment rights, I got the itch again. So, last week I picked up a Yugoslavian SKS. This one, refurbished but unissued, ran $200, about $140 more than my first one when the SKS used to come to gun shows packed in crates oozing with cosmoline. BTW, do not burn Powder Blast/cosmoline soaked paper towels. My neighborhood was deluged by a funky waxy smelling chemical cloud of smoke that probably freaked some people out.

    While I haven't shot the gun yet I've got to say that as to workmanship the gun is a big improvement over the old Norincos. I love the grenade launcher and full bayonet. While I'll drop it all into a Tapco collapsible stock, the wood will be re-finished. Yesterday I went to pick up a second SKS to keep stock, a Russian built gun from 1954, but spotted a Romanian built AK 47 clone, the WASR 10. Okay, it isn't a piece of art, but everyting that I have read says that these guns, like the SKS, are shooters that will do what is asked of them. They can be diamonds in the rough with a little work. At $400 I'm pretty darned pleased and will probably look back favorably on the purchase in years to come. I put one on one day layaway (I was waiting for a check to clear) and will leave in an hour to pick it up. Luckily the price of 7.62x39mm has come back down again with Wolf working in virtually any gun.

    I've had my share of fancy higher tech guns, but sometimes those bargain guns can be an absolute blast. Besides, the AK has always fascinated me, probably the most successful modern military rifle of all time.

    Buzz
     
  2. babj615

    babj615 Premium Member

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    ...maybe a couple photos???


    ...before and after refinishing?


    :D
     

  3. Buzz

    Buzz Premium Member

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    Can do, will do. I'm going to start with the AK. The stocks are the laminated wood, and seem to be unfinished. I think with a Minwax red oak and golden oak stain start they will look nice, even before I get to the final finish. Photos to follow.

    I've got to say that its great with AKs as the accessories are so cheap. I paid $17 for new 30 round mags and I can do lot better than that. Yuk, more cosmoline.

    The only down side to this gun is that the front sight is canted to one side. Luckily there is a fix for that, but if the sights are sighted in I'll leave well enough alone. I sus[ect this will be the case as the sight housing is canted to the left with the sight post drifted far to the right pretty much dead center. Canted sights are common. Canted gas tubes result in a trip back to the distributor if it affects cycling. The gas tube looks fine. But boy, there things are rough, but that is the charm. No need to be fussy.

    Buzz
     
  4. babj615

    babj615 Premium Member

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    My AK front sight is also canted to the left....

    Thought I was the only one.....

    Haven't shot it yet...
     
  5. SELFDEFENSE

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

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    2-3 years ago I got a WASR10 for $280 and have never looked back after 2,000+ rounds.
    You will enjoy.
     
  6. Shooter

    Shooter Premium Member

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    I've been exploring the AK lately myself. The WASR here is about $550....... :shock: I'm getting a kit and having a friend help me build a good AK that will cost that much but be basically customized...............7.62x39 of course. I have a Vepr in 223 and it is like a Rolls Royce compared to the stuff I have seen. .........It was customized by Krebs for Robinson ARms and I feel like I stole it back then for $6oo.oo...........couldn't touch something like this today for under a 1ooo.oo...........used...........its as accurate as my AR...............
     
  7. Buzz

    Buzz Premium Member

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    Here's the before photo:

    http://img116.imageshack.us/img116/7028/image070al0.jpg

    Sorry, it was taken in my wokshop with a PDA camera.

    The wood is some kind of laminate that looks like it was taken from trees grown around Chernobyl or some toxic dump. The wood was unfinished, or very poorly so. The laminate gives it a zebra effect, but no amount of sanding (without filling) will result in a showcase finish. I decided that wasn't what I wanted anyway. This is a down and dirty military weapon and turning it into a "Safe Queen" isn't going to, and shouldn't, happen. It would look rather silly. My idea was to keep this as stock as possible while improving the finish and look of the wood overall as if I happened to luck out and get a gun with better than average wood.

    After sanding and steel wool I used two washes of stain, red oak and golden oak, and then applied a multi-coat rubbed Danish oil finish. It's a quick finish but penetrates deap into the wood resulting in a matte/satin finish that will be very durable. The gun looks right and the washed out raw looks of the stock have been replaced with a warm wood look more in line with the finer stocks seen on the Russian SKS. While the gun could be handled almost immediately, I'm letting the Watco Danish oil finish set in overnight. I suspect I'll apply the Danish oil finish to the wood from time to time to see what kind of rubbed finish I can achieve over time. I can tell now that it will be very dirt and moisture resistent even without further attention.

    When I go to restore the Yugo SKS wood I'm going to get picky and go for a much better finish commnsurate with the much better wood used.

    Over the years I've bought a lot of fine weapons, but the greatest challenge is in finiding the best value diamonds in the rough. There's great satisfaction in that. I hope this gun makes the grade.

    I'll have a photo tomorrow.

    Buzz
     
  8. Buzz

    Buzz Premium Member

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    Here's the before and after shots:
    http://img479.imageshack.us/img479/2158/akfkt9.jpg

    The before photo is washed out, but that is pretty darn accurate as to the color of the stocks as purchased. The end result of my labors is furniture on this AK that could have been as-issued, but finished about as nicely as one could hope. Nothing too unrealistic, yet my aesthetic sensibilities aren't offended as they were by the original condition. Plus, the finish as applied will be tough and resistant to moitsure and dirt. The Danish oil really penetrated and left a rock hard finish. Polyurethane on top of that would be a waste and only add a finish that will be subject to wear.

    Total time expended for the project, from start to finish, including sanding (120, 180, 400, 0000 steel wool) and dry time between coats: less than two hours. The wood could be handled within a half hour, and the furniture went back on the gun within an hour to dry further overnight.

    I had thought that I might acquire a set of Bulgarian style synthetic furniture, but I may scrap those plans. If I do make the buy the synthetics will probably just be put away for some possible future use.

    Buzz
     
  9. squirrelpotpie

    squirrelpotpie Premium Member

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    wow, what a difference. looks nice. where do you get "danish oil"?

    youv'e definitely enhanced the value of your gun - even if it still shoots the same either way.
     
  10. Netfotoj

    Netfotoj Premium Member

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    Just got an email sale note from Island Tactical for FPK Dragunov Romak3 Sniper Rifle.

    [​IMG]

    http://www.islandtactical.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=122340

    Interesting, but they only got 3 rifles available so they're likely already long gone. It does shoot the NATO .308, which is more my personal preference, vs. the 7.62x39 of the AK/SKS.

    But you're definitely turning a pig's ear into a silk purse with that AK, Buzz. Nice work.
     
  11. Buzz

    Buzz Premium Member

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    Lowes! I've noticed that the grip makers (including Nills) go for the oil finish, so it seemed the way to go.

    Buzz
     
  12. Buzz

    Buzz Premium Member

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    Thanks, but if it oinks it will still be a pig, but a prettier one! :roll:

    Buzz
     
  13. Shooter

    Shooter Premium Member

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    That sucks........you could buy a Dragunov for peanuts a year ago.........now its double the price.............AK's looking good Buzz......my AK kit is in the mail and hopefully my machinist friend is up to the task of remaking it into a custom job at half the price.............. :wink:
     
  14. SELFDEFENSE

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

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    "I've been exploring the AK lately myself. The WASR here is about $550"
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    :shock: Jeez, Shooter, you must be able to get one mailorder to your FFL for $350-380 from somewhere.
     
  15. Shooter

    Shooter Premium Member

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    Probably could, but for the same money, I'm hoping my curiously meticulous machinist can whip up a beauty............ 8)
     
  16. Buzz

    Buzz Premium Member

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    I also have a Bushmaster M17S .223 bullpup on the near horizon (I may be picking it up tomorrow if I have time) but there will be no wood to restore on that one!

    [​IMG]

    It's supposed to be quite a shooter and the only American bullpup to survive the 94 ban.

    Buzz
     
  17. Buzz

    Buzz Premium Member

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    The new furniture for the SKS arrived. After I spent some time looking over the new Bushmaster M17S (I'm going to love this one) I set about building the new SKS. I've got to say that Tapco, local here in Atlanta, makes some incredibly good products.

    First I installed the guts of the rifle into the new synthetic collapsible stock with pistol grip. It was incredibly easy with the entire innards slipping out of the old stock by merely removing the trigger group. Total installation took less than an hour. The only trick, at least with this SKS, was to re-install the gas brake assembly before slipping the action into the stock. If you put it in before it will sit too low in the stock preventing full engagement and the latch from closing. Once the trigger group was replaced the stock was locked in and the 20 round detachable mag could be slipped in. It seems that the mag can only be put in and taken out with the bolt open. I'm going to check with Tapco on that one.

    Next I added a rear UTG tri-rail picatinny/Weaver mount that replaces the receiever cover. They are made to fit all models so some trimming was required, and it was just a bit tricky. A UTG tri-rail mount was also installed that pretty much wraps around the front handguard. There is a channel peep sight that will work, but I installed a 30mm red dot sight on the rear mount. On the front rails I have left on the UTG rubber rail covers as a good grip is needed in that area for shooting. Covers will remain on whatever rails are unused, with a lazer anticipated. I still have to swap the wood furniture on the upper handguard cover with a perferated metal one, but it is so buried under rails that it can't even be seen.

    So, for around $365 (already had the red dot) I have one wicked "Crazy Ivan" zombie killer, a poster child for the aftermarket. That was ain incredibly fun project with no difficulties. A purist SKS collector would want to wretch, but for me the SKS has always been about having some fun, and this one is going to be a blast.

    Buzz
     
  18. Buzz

    Buzz Premium Member

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    Zombie Killer "Crazy Ivan": [​IMG]

    Buzz
     
  19. Shooter

    Shooter Premium Member

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    Now that is a good looking sks............!!!!
     
  20. Buzz

    Buzz Premium Member

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    Thanks! The best part is that it's still an SKS within, and incredibly fun and cheap shooter. And if the Zombies ever run....

    With all of this Eastern Bloc activity I felt kind of guilty so today I picked up this: http://img106.imageshack.us/img106/7421/falkx9.jpg , a used a FN/FAL.

    To further show my support of our allies, tomorrow I will be picking up another NATO beauty that has been on layaway, a G3 clone, a new PTR91 as shown here:
    http://img45.imageshack.us/img45/1293/popwm37az7.jpg This starts to make up for an HK93 that I sold back in the Nineties.

    Between my SKS, AK, Bushmaster M17S, FN/FAL and PTR91 I think i have it covered, other than an AR, f course :twisted:

    Buzz