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Thread: 7.62 X 39 ammunition

  1. #1
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    Default 7.62 X 39 ammunition

    I was given an SKS several years ago by a family friend. It has never been fired and is still "protected" with cosmoline. I wanted to querry you folks who might have any experience with cosmoline removal for any hints or recommendations you might care to offer.
    When I do get it cleaned up, I am looking to pick up a few more rounds for the gun. I am leaning towards 124 gr hollow point if I can get it (500-1000 rounds), does anyone have experience with the ammo for this gun? I've come across a lot of Wolf and WPA advertised on the net, but I don't know much about either manufacturer.


  2. #2
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Time, lot's of rags, more rags, more time, lots of Hoppes and more rags and a couple of tooth brushes. You didn't say whether you've ever field stripped it but that's your first step. If you haven't done it then try this:

    http://www.alpharubicon.com/leo/thesksshooter.htm

    Here's the manual:

    http://www.pistolcraft.com/sks/

    Here's how to get the cosmoline out.

    http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/edu23.htm

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    The Yugo SKS I picked up a few years ago was loaded with cosomoline......Including the inside of the bolt, to the point the spring was just loaded.
    Check these out....:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ng_Kdn3JQDQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWmEy...feature=relmfu
    Bolt

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9B7X4...feature=relmfu

    When you work with the bolt, check ad see if there is a return spring, some of the newer ones don't have one (?), and also check to see if the key that hold it togeather has been garfed up along with the firing pin.
    They say that lack of spring may cause slam fires (?), but I had mine done because someone had garfed up the pin and there wasn't a spring.....gotta drive out the key with a hammer and is a PITA.

    I shoot mostly Wolf cheap stuff FMJ and have had a few round that didn't fire.....but it was cheap ammo.
    If you are gonna hunt with it (sorta a 30-30 balistics) buy soft nose ammo....and if you are goona hunt with it sight it in with the "Hunting ammo" to be sure where it shoots.

    I mounted a new reciever top with scope mount like this one....
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002GO5WK6/...hvptwo=&hvqmt=

    Again some say that it moves around and doesn't hold zero....I have not found that to be the case ...yet...But I haven't shot it in a while....Oh yeah, it got lost in the accident, now that I think of it...yeah that's the ticket.
    Didn't really like the detachable magizine, I just load with stripper clips.

    Fun auto loader for just over $250 bucks, haven't priced one lately.....

    This guy wiwill supply a new firing pin w/spring and polish the bolt pretty cheap, I think it was about $30 bucks, 5-6 years ago
    Last edited by hunter63; 05-02-2012 at 05:12 PM. Reason: splin'
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    Thanks for the info guys. I'll look up the links when I get to town and have access to broadband.
    Last edited by Cast-Iron; 05-02-2012 at 06:01 PM.

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    As everyone has said, break it down to the last spring and get the stuff out.

    I would recommend you stop at the filling station and buy a gallon of kerosene or desil fuel for the initial cleanup. You will use a gallon of hopes #9 is you go with it from the start.

    When we sold them out of the shop back in the '80s we had a 55 gallon barrel split in half like a Bar-B-Q grill, only filled with desil. We bought Norinco SKS carbines by the truck load and hired high school kids to clean them. We would dump them in the barrels of desil and let them soak for a while, then squirt the cosmoline out of the barrels like toothpaste using steel GI cleaning rods, and wiping all the excess out with dollar store tooth brushes and tons of cheap paper towels.

    I can guarentee you that there are a couple of guys in their mid-30s in Smyrna, Tennessee that can still detail strip an SKS in the dark with a broken right hand.

    Set aside an afternoon or whole evening for this project. It is going to take much more than just runnng a patch through the barrel.

    As for ammo? Those guns were designed to use the worst possible ammo under the worst possible conditions. Buy a spam can of surplus and get to know the rifle. Much of the "expensive" ammo is off the same production line as the surplus stuff, it is just in a nicer package or has a cheap hollowpoint slug instead of the fmj. Even Soviet Block surplus has to meet very specific accuracy and quality standards, just as stringent as ours.
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 05-02-2012 at 06:21 PM.
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    I personally have had a lot of success with loads from Georgia Arms up in Villa Rica Georgia. I have bout from the for over 18 years and had bought from them for retail when I had a small store. Now I just buy to squirrel back and shoot with my kids. Havent had one bad round.

  7. #7

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    kyrat, what about using mineral spirits?
    Last Labor Day weekend I spent a whole day turning my first cosmoline sculpture into a rifle (not an SKS). Got most of the heavy stuff off the metal parts just using a hair drier over a bucket.
    The rest came off easily with Hoppes. But someone had mentioned Mineral Spirits afterward, which would have been way cheaper.
    The wooden stock went in a heated plastic tent to sweat it out overnight. Seemed to work ok. No sweating on the range.

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    Senior Member SARKY's Avatar
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    I have 2 SKSs and after cleaning them up, (I took the action out of the stock, broke it down and soaked it all in a tub of solvent for 24 hours, then used high pressure air to blow most of the preservative off, used rags for the last bits) I have had no problems with Wolf or Tula ammo. Stay away from the Brown Bear stuff, too many hang fires or no fire (duds).
    Last edited by SARKY; 05-20-2012 at 10:16 PM.
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    I am sure mineral spirits would work too. Gasoline would work but would be a bit dangerous.

    A hair dryer will get some of it out but you are going to have to eventually scrub it down with something that will cut through the crud.

    I mentioned desil or kero just due to it being accessable at any gas station for $4 a gallon.

    I dumped the bolt of my Mosin in a quart jar of kerosene and let it sit overnight and had a layer of crud floating on the surface of the liquid the next morning.

    The SKS rifles we used to get had been dipped in melted cosmoline from the looks of them. The barrels were full, the actions were full, the bolts were full and the stocks resembled a rifle shaped candle.
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    Just remember to do the high pressure air thing outside. His wife was pretty upset.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    I used mineral spirits as well.....just don't put rags with it on in a pile...or in a can....It will spontaneously com-bust.
    neighbor was selling his house, re-did all the wood trim, left the rags in the garage in a bucket....mineral spirits as a solvent....burned down the garage.

    Still sold the house, but that was after the garage was re-built...........
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwp View Post
    I personally have had a lot of success with loads from Georgia Arms up in Villa Rica Georgia. I have bout from the for over 18 years and had bought from them for retail when I had a small store. Now I just buy to squirrel back and shoot with my kids. Havent had one bad round.
    +1. They have great ammo, for sure. I especially like their .308 match ammo.

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    Senior Member Daniel Nighteyes's Avatar
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    My experience has been with Russian- and Yugo-made SKS carbines. As a matter of personal preference I stayed away from the Far-East SKS carbines like the plague.

    Russian-made SKS's (particularly those from the Tula Arsenal in the early 1950s) can be tack-drivers out to about 400 yards. Can't quite say the same about Yugo-made versions, but they're still danged good carbines.

    A word of caution, though. Russian ammo may have steel jackets or cores. Some shooting ranges absolutely prohibit these rounds. Why? Because they generate sparks if they should strike a rock. I personally know of four (count 'em, four) ranges here in SoCal that danged near burned down because of said sparks igniting wildfires. One of them was a Police range, fer heaven's sake...

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    I truly appreciate all the valuable input here. I must admit that I have no significant experience with this firearm. I had a gameplan in mind for this project, but your suggestions have given me a better approach to cleaning this weapon. Now if I can just get a "rainday".

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    Senior Member Daniel Nighteyes's Avatar
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    Heh-heh-heh! Recently, all ya gotta do is come to Southern California for your rainday.

    "It never rains in Southern California." Yeah, right. Pass the hip-boots, please...

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    Don't worry - when it stops raining you may still get some use out of those hip waders......on here.
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    LOL....I hear ya.....
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    Senior Member Daniel Nighteyes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashdive123 View Post
    Don't worry - when it stops raining you may still get some use out of those hip waders......on here.
    I noticed already. Contributed more than a li'l bit me ownself...

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    Well I finally got around to cleaning this gun today. I opted for mineral spirits because I already had plenty on hand. It seemd to do the job just fine with a little soaking, some light brushing and an air compressor to blow out the little nooks and crannies. Oiled her up and reassembled. Thanks for link on field stripping the gun Rick. Watched it twice and I was easily able to break down the gun. I plan to fire a few rounds with it tomorrow with some ammo I bought a few years back (bagged FMJ from a gun show, manufacturer unknown). If I can get a grouping I'm happy with I'll probably try that modified dust cover that Hunter suggested and drop a scope on it. I am not much of an expert on scopes so if any of you have suggestions on variable scopes, I'm all ears. My upper limit is $200 but I might be persuaded to spend a bit more. (especially if it comes with a remote)
    Last edited by Cast-Iron; 05-21-2012 at 05:13 AM.

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    Senior Member SARKY's Avatar
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    For scopes, I would stick with a 1-4 or 1-5 power variable and possibly a 2-7 max as that is all you really need for the effective range of that round.
    I know what hunts you.

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