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A couple questions:
I have a Chinese SKS - is it a Norinco? What does this mean? All it says is "Made in China by CGA...imported by Glinic..."

Another question: is it hard to cut the barrels? I was hoping to get a shorter barreled sks (like the paratrooper model) but I couldn't ever find one around here, so I would like to just trim off a few inches from the end.

I've used a tool before that cuts circular objects (like a barrel of a rifle). It is a sharp blade that you tighten around it, then you rotate it around several times, tighten it some more, and repeat until you've cut through it. I used it on a lot thinner metal though. Would this tool work on something as thick as an sks barrel? What are these things called?

Would it be better for me to just go to a blacksmith or something? What about the removal and replacement of the front sights?

Any info appreciated. Thanks! :)
 

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A couple questions:
I have a Chinese SKS - is it a Norinco? What does this mean? All it says is "Made in China by CGA...imported by Glinic..."

Another question: is it hard to cut the barrels? I was hoping to get a shorter barreled sks (like the paratrooper model) but I couldn't ever find one around here, so I would like to just trim off a few inches from the end.

I've used a tool before that cuts circular objects (like a barrel of a rifle). It is a sharp blade that you tighten around it, then you rotate it around several times, tighten it some more, and repeat until you've cut through it. I used it on a lot thinner metal though. Would this tool work on something as thick as an sks barrel? What are these things called?

Would it be better for me to just go to a blacksmith or something? What about the removal and replacement of the front sights?

Any info appreciated. Thanks! :)
I dont think that a tubing cutter would work very well in cutting a rifle barrel, as far as the front sight goes, it looks like it is pinned to the barrel and the barrel looks like it is turned down to a smaller diameter for the front sight. You would need the services of a gunsmith. It might be cheaper to trade for what you want.
 

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One home method I have used successfully.......

One home method I have used successfully on both an SKS and a Mauser involves cutting the barrel a square as possible with an appropriate tool (I used a dremel cutting wheel) - then squaring the end up with files, using a machinist's square to check to see if it is square.

Once you have the end of the barrel, you then have to create a crown to protect the rifling. First, chuck an appropriate sized grinding stone into your drill and CAREFULLY create a dished in area in the center of the end of the barrel. It is VERY important that the dished in area be in the form of a circle (not an oval) and that it be centered on the hole on the end of the barrel :)

After you create the initial dished area, chuck an appropriate size brass round head screw into your drill and coat it with automotive valve grinding compound. Use this "tool" to finish the creation of your crown.

I am still sorting out problems with my SKS, but the Yugo Mauser Scout I created using this method will shoot 1.25-2.0 moa all day long. Not bad for a 7lb rifle with a 2x scope!

Try this at your own risk! If you decide to do so I urge you to refer to the following links for more info - read all of them and get a good idea of what you are doing before you cut:

http://www272.pair.com/stevewag/muzzle/mz.html (Great info on creating the crown!)

http://www.castbullet.com/misc/hack.htm (Great info on cutting the barrel.)

http://www.lasc.us/Brennan_CrownBarrel.htm

(A must watch!)

One more positive reason to shorten your barrel is that many military guns have the rifling near the end of their barrels ruined by lots of cleaning - cutting them back a couple of inches can really improve accuracy.

Two BIG CAUTIONS:

1) Never shorten a rifle barrel below 16 inches - in fact I would never go below 18 inches. 16 inches in the legal minimum under federal law. In addition, there are minimum overall lengths under both state and federal law. Know the law before you cut!

2) Leave enough barrel so that if you mess up once or twice, you can still have a pro cut it a bit shorter and properly crown it.

I hope this helps!
 

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The two problems with crowning a Chinese SKS using the above methods come from the barrel being smaller under the front sight (as mentioned before) and the fact that the barrel is chrome-lined. Chrome is a lot harder than gun steel, even rifle barrel steel, and requires a different type of abrasive to achieve a smooth finish. You run the risk of the plating flakiing off and causing accuracy problems if it is not done carefully and correctly. I was going to do the same thing to a Norinco by cutting and then using a Brownells crown tool to finish the job. After discussing the matter with Brownells tech support,(super nice guys) I decided to cut and crown a Yugo shooter grade instead. The Yugo's are not chrome lined. Survivor's SKS boards has a lot of info available if you are interested.
 

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A couple questions:
I have a Chinese SKS - is it a Norinco? What does this mean? All it says is "Made in China by CGA...imported by Glinic..."
Check this site regarding identifying make and year info. It tells you how to ID the year of manufacture by the serial number.

http://www.yooperj.com/SKS.htm

My SKS is a '63 type 56 manufactured by the Jiahanshe (sp?) arsenal under Russian supervision. If your SKS has a machined and milled receiver and threaded parts it is likely an older model where as newer versions are made from stamped steel and pinned together parts to save manufacturing costs.

I have to recommend leaving cutting and crowning to an experienced gun smith but I say that never having tried to do it myself. As an experienced auto mechanic I can attest that there is little a dedicated and determined person cannot do with the right tools but I would also remind you that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
 

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Check this site regarding identifying make and year info. It tells you how to ID the year of manufacture by the serial number.

http://www.yooperj.com/SKS.htm

My SKS is a '63 type 56 manufactured by the Jiahanshe (sp?) arsenal under Russian supervision. If your SKS has a machined and milled receiver and threaded parts it is likely an older model where as newer versions are made from stamped steel and pinned together parts to save manufacturing costs.

I have to recommend leaving cutting and crowning to an experienced gun smith but I say that never having tried to do it myself. As an experienced auto mechanic I can attest that there is little a dedicated and determined person cannot do with the right tools but I would also remind you that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
If you've got a stamped steel receiver SKS, you have got something EXTREMELY rare in the US, and it is a high dollar item.
 

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If you've got a stamped steel receiver SKS, you have got something EXTREMELY rare in the US, and it is a high dollar item.
Really? I was under the impression the older milled units were the more valuable and more reliable ones while the later cheap to produce stamped and pinned units were the ones you could buy at the local sporting goods store for $99 about 12-15 years ago.

I'm not a collector though so I can't say say being wrong comes as a huge surprise.

Why would the stamped models be worth more? Just the rarity?
 

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Really? I was under the impression the older milled units were the more valuable and more reliable ones while the later cheap to produce stamped and pinned units were the ones you could buy at the local sporting goods store for $99 about 12-15 years ago.

I'm not a collector though so I can't say say being wrong comes as a huge surprise.

Why would the stamped models be worth more? Just the rarity?
15 years ago, you could buy pretty much any of them for $100. But, yes, the rarity.
 

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The older Chinese SKS rifles had all milled parts and threaded in barrels, the newer ones have pressed in barrels and some of the parts in the trigger group are stamped, the receivers are all milled. There WERE some experimental Chinese SKSs made with stamped receivers that are very rare and highly prized by collectors and when a knowledgeable individual refers to a "stamped" SKS that is what they are referring to. There are some out there who advertise their SKSs as the "highly prized and sought after MILLED variety" but that is like saying that Goodyear tires come in the highly desirable ROUND configuration, they are ALL milled! As far as I know the Chinese are the only ones to ever make a stamped SKS and all of the others are all milled: Russian, Romanian, Albanian, Yugoslavian, North Vietnamese, North Korean and East German, all milled.

Stamped Chinese SKS:
 

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As for the question of cutting down a SKS to "paratrooper" length: it is a HUGE pain on the rump! If you want a 16" SKS go find one, it is NOT worth the hassle. I did it, twice, NEVER again. The OD of the barrel under the sight/bayo lug unit is smaller than the OD of the barrel behind it so the barrel has to be turned down to fit the unit on.

The first one I did on a fugly mismatched Russian and I used a surface grinder to turn down the barrel so I didn't have to take the rifle completely apart. This worked well, except that when I was done the bore was not centered in the muzzle! The rifle shoots great with the front sight drifted to the left (a lot).

The second one was a Yugo M59/66 that had no finish left and did not function due to a leaky gas shut off. That one I pulled the barrel from the receiver so I could turn it in a lathe. That was fine in theory but it was a major task to get the barrel stripped down, there is a lot of krap attached to that tube!

The end result is nice, I built two examples of rifles that did not exist, but I will not do it again!
 

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As far as I know, an "original" Paratrooper SKS if there is such a thing was created in China by cutting down a standard carbine barrel.

So factory or not, all SKS Paratroopers have cutdown barrels.
How did the Chinese (Norinco) factories avoid the chrome flaking problem?
 

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They didn't. It is not a target rifle, and the Chinese care little about long term quality anyway, so they cut them, blued the machined parts and sent them over here.
 

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Not sure if anyone mentioned it, but there Darin Prince over at SKSboards sells an easy bolt on fornt sight, he also has a real easy to understand thread abot making your para.

It's easy. Hacksaw for cut, file to smooth, drill with brass screw for crowning, install fornt sight.
 

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If you are going to cut the barrel yourself I'll make this suggestion for getting a straight cut. Wrap a worm screw type automotive hose clamp around the barrel at the point you want to make the cut. Using as exact as you can measurements with a tape measure, check at three or more pionts around the barrel from the muzzel to the front edge of the clamp as you tighten it down. Now you have a guide to keep the hacksaw blade from drifting off line. With a good quality new blade the hack saw should do a nice clean and square cut. Dull blades always drift and make crappy cuts. Round off the sharp outside edges of the cut with a double cross cut file. Now take the gun to a good gunsmith and request a match grade crowning. There are a few companies that make a clamp on front sight assembly for the SKS. Just Google "SKS front sight base" and you'll find them.
 
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