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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone.
I am kindly asking for advice on what ammunition to use in a recently acquired Russian SKS (7.62 x 39). I have a couple hundred assorted rounds for it but I would like to stockpile some as this is my home defense rifle and don't want to be left wanting. I don't have an AR (5.56) and the wife has put any gun buying on lock-down so, for the foreseeable future, this is what I am going to have. Please forgive my ignorance on the different brands as this weapon and caliber is fairly new to me. In the little bit of research I have done, I have read both good and bad about the reasonably priced TulAmmo and Wolf brands. Nosler, Federal, Winchester are all considerably higher in cost. Even Fiocchi and Seller & Bellot are about double what the Wolf and TulAmmo are. I understand you get what you pay for generally speaking and I don't mind ponying up for a better round but will only do so on solid information that I trust as correct. Thank you for your help and input.
 

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I keep a good supply of both Golden Tiger 124 gr FMJBT and Tula 8M3 124 gr HP for my VZ58 and PSAK 47, and haven’t had any issues with any type of steel cased ammunition, regardless of manufacture. They eat them all equally well, and keep asking for more!

Remember, the Russian design was built around the steel case round, and the rifles have functioned fine using them for decades.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Remember, the Russian design was built around the steel case round, and the rifles have functioned fine using them for decades.
@Cyanide. Thank you for the reply. I did not know that. As written, I am not as familiar with the SKS and 7.62 x 39 as I am with other platforms and calibers. The main thing is, of course, reliability in feed and fire but I have read that the TulAmmo and Wolf really dirty up the weapon very quickly. I clean my weapons after each use anyway but would prefer a round that leaves minimal residue as opposed one that leaves excessive residue. What is your experience regarding that potential issue if you would be so kind as to share it with me?
 

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Not a high round count between cleanings by any means, but currently my VZ is at about 750+ rounds since it’s last cleaning (I have kept it lightly lubed, however ). It’s dirty, but probably no more than my traditional DI AR would be with the same round count between cleanings using “clean” Federal brass cased rounds, and shows no signs of sluggish operation. It just keeps going.
 

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I have an old Type-56 Chinese SKS that runs just fine with TULA 122gr FMJ. If you're looking for something to stockpile, I'd get a 600-round spam can of that. You can't go wrong with those spam cans. They'll last forever.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
@Think1st
Thank you, sir. Sounds like a good plan. I appreciate y'all helping me learn about this weapon. If you would be so kind; What is the difference twixt a Type 56 and Type 45? I noticed Numrich Gun Parts has them both listed (I need the butt-stock plate with the trapdoor in it as mine is missing). I would really like to ID mine properly other than the "Made in Russia" and "CCCPxxxx" serial number stamped on the right side. I have an old Russian (well, the writing on it's Russian) scope that has "button-style looking" battery compartment and toggle switch on it. I need some help identifying that as well. It does not have cross-hairs in it. It has like a horizon line through the middle and a curved, graduated line coming up from the bottom meeting it in the middle. Would be neat to have working. I mean you can see through it but no idea how the other stuff works. It didn't come with a manual, lol!
Thank you, again, for all of y'alls help.
 

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@Think1st
Thank you, sir. Sounds like a good plan. I appreciate y'all helping me learn about this weapon. If you would be so kind; What is the difference twixt a Type 56 and Type 45? I noticed Numrich Gun Parts has them both listed (I need the butt-stock plate with the trapdoor in it as mine is missing). I would really like to ID mine properly other than the "Made in Russia" and "CCCPxxxx" serial number stamped on the right side. I have an old Russian (well, the writing on it's Russian) scope that has "button-style looking" battery compartment and toggle switch on it. I need some help identifying that as well. It does not have cross-hairs in it. It has like a horizon line through the middle and a curved, graduated line coming up from the bottom meeting it in the middle. Would be neat to have working. I mean you can see through it but no idea how the other stuff works. It didn't come with a manual, lol!
Thank you, again, for all of y'alls help.
I can't help you with the scope information, but I can answer the question about the Type 56. The Type 56 was the version of the SKS that the Chinese produced when they acquired the design from the Soviets. The Soviets began helping the Chinese develop the rifle in 1956. The Type 56 models with a 26 inside of a triangle were produced at the Jin Jiang Armory 26, where Soviet technicians oversaw production, and these rifles are sometimes called "Sino-Soviet" models. Mine has only a four-digit serial number, so it was made during that first year of production. The early Type 56 SKS rifles had forged receivers, as opposed to stamped receivers, so the barrels are apparently screwed in, instead of being pressed and pinned. I do not know about the Type 45 rifles. Perhaps those were the original designs the Soviets implemented in 1945.
 

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The Soviet-fielded SKS was also known as a model 45, hence that may be why it is referred to as such. GRAU (their technical reference) called it 56-A-231.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Great info, Think, and thank you. I will post a pic or two in a minute. Bad thing about working from home is actually having to work from time to time. lol! Stand-by and thank you
 

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Sorry for the bad site picture photo but that was after about 10 tries holding both camera and scope stable enough to get a clear shot. Also, please pardon the grandson's rock collection. I encroached on his lab table for the photo op. LOL!
Scope_in_Case[1].jpg
Scope_Left[1].jpg
Scope_Right[1].jpg
Scope_Top[1].jpg
Scope_Site_Picture[1].jpg
 

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That's a PSO-1, designed for the SVD sniper rifle. The curving line is used to measure distance. You place a standing man (height average of 1.7m) under the arc and read the approximate distance in 100 meters, and then aim at the target adjusting for the now-known distance. This is good for range, but was designed for the trajectory of the 7.62x54 round. The 7.62x39 range drops way faster, especially after about 300m so it doesn't really make sense to use it on an SKS.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well right on and thank you very much, sir. (y)
How about the toggle switch and battery? How does it work and can I get a battery for it?
 

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The toggle switch illuminates the reticle, but I do not know what the voltage requirement is (I think originally 3V) or whether you could put in batteries to fit. I have found online references to paired D357/D303 button cell batteries, the original bulb is a 2,5V and a paired set of button batteries may give 3v, or too much (nothing Russian is ever easy). Yours does have an IR detector, it is charged by turning the knob facing out and left in front of the upper adjustment knob. This lets the detector charge. If working, it lets the viewer know that an active IR searchlight is in operation. Not sure if it would still work though.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
@matthanne
Buddy, thank you so much for the information. Not that I would implement this on my SKS for actual use but it would be cool to have it in "working order" as opposed to just a conversation piece in the cabinet. My dad acquired it from one of his many campaigns overseas and has been sitting in a closet for at least 25 years. I cleaned it up as it was caked with dirt/dust, crud. Even though the site picture doesn't show it very well, the optics still seem to be very good. The image is very clear when you look through it. Thank you, again, for all of the information. I appreciate you. (y)
 

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My 1955 SKS ate everything without drama, so I mainly shot cheap steel cased ammo. I didn’t keep the SKS, my SIG 556xi Russian fills that niche, but the SKS is a solid choice for 7.62x39. I would not hesitate to feed it the cheapest stuff I can find, but I also always clean the bore after each range trip. You are correct, Wolf et al. ammo can be pretty dirty, but at around $0.2/round I can’t complain. (My SIG is also able to cycle anything I feed it without any issues.)
 
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