Goal: To create an inexpensive “tactical” rifle using the Norinco SKS-D as a starting point. Visualized was a cheap, reliable rifle mounting a reflex sight in a scout configuration. As the scout mount replaces the existing rear leaf sight, a replacement rear peep sight was required to ensure that some sighting system remained available to the user should the optics be damaged or otherwise fail. A series of minor asthetic and ergonomic changes were planned in order to create a more comfortable rifle overall.
Stay tuned, this entry will be updated as the modifications are made.
This project came about after a few discussions on the Zombie Squad Survival Forums about the perfect “Anti-zombie” rifle. I felt the SKS was quite probably the perfect rifle for this role, but still found myself favoring the more expensive residents of my gun cabinet. I began this project in an effort to create the perfect general purpose anti-zombie rifle “On a budget”. As such I allowed a maximum of $150 for the slated improvements (magazines, ammunition and existing mods excepted).
Modification 1: Bolt Carrier – The Albanian version of the SKS features a different bolt carrier with a curved charging handle (as opposed to the “knob” that is standard on most other SKS variants). I had acquired one of these some years back, and it has been present on the SKS-D since I first bought it.
Besides being a bit more pleasing to the eye, I’ve found the curved charging handle to be easier to manipulate while on the range (it feels more familiar, like the M1 or M14). Installation could not be easier as this is a “drop in” part, simply swapping out your current bolt carrier for the Albanian one (I have used this bolt carrier on my Tula, Norinco SKS and now the Norinco SKS-D with no problems what so ever).
Modification 2: Handguard – An asthetic change that I have been meaning to make for some time was the replacement of the wooden handguard with a ventilated metal version. I’ve not seen many offered through local suppliers, and eventually I turned to Ebay finding one for dirt cheap.
Installation was fairly simple, involving driving a retaining pin from the gas cylinder (a little difficult as it was hard to determine which side of the pin to hammer on), then removing the handguard retaining cap (entire process is better documented here). Installing the new handguard was simplicity itself compared to removing the old wooden one.
Modification 3: Front sight – Williams markets a fibreoptic front sight post replacement for the SKS. Designed to improve the visibility in “low light” conditions, this sight is not adjustable for elevation or windage (which is not important as the rear aperature I’ll be installing adjusts for windage) and was fairly simple to install.
To install the firesight you remove the front sight post, and drive the drum out to either the left or right (this is much easier if you have the C-clamp style sight adjustment tool, fortunately I do). Then drop in the Firesight and tighten down a screw that sits in the old drum cavity and you’re away).
Modification 4: Rear Aperature Sight – TechSights has come up with a receiver mounted peep sight for the SKS (the TS100), exactly what I needed with the planned installation of the scout mount (and removal of current rear leaf sight) from mine (excellent service from these guys by the way, prompt responses and quick shipping). The sight mounts across the rear of the receiver replacing the receiver cover retaining pin.
Installation (including removal of the leaf sight) took approximately 45 minutes of fiddling, but the instructions included are excellent. The sight picture is not exactly “clean” as the mount for the leaf sight obstructs the lower portion of the front sight post, but still provides a much improved overall sight picture (without machining the “wings” on top of the leaf sight mount down theres really no way to improve this and keep an overall low profile). As the rear aperature sight is intended to serve as “back-up iron sights” this is more than acceptable for my purposes.
Modification 5: Scout Mount – Millet offers a scout mount that replaces the rear sight for the AK47 and SKS. Using the mounting points on the rifle, this mount provides a basic rail for weaver style scopes.
Installation was fairly simple, with the one hiccup being the removal of the rear sight spring (this is required as the Millet mount utilizes a piece that slides into the spring recess and provides tension to keep the mount stable). Once this was done, the sight was installed (with only a little percussive effort) and I was immediately impressed with how solid the mount was.
Removal is easy, requiring only an allen key to release a single bolt, and then the removal of the cross pin (this had been a concern of mine as the mount WILL have to be removed in order to clean the gas cylinder on the rifle). Millet appears to have taken this into account, as the elevation screw does not need to be adjusted for removal, and should facilitate a “return to zero” when the mount is re-attached.
Sadly the mount (as I suspected) is high enough to block the iron sights altogether, but as removal is simple this is not a catastrophic set-back.
Modification 6: Optics – The final modification slated for this rifle was the addition of an inexpensive reflex sight. Until the reflex sight arrives I obtained a red dot scope which serves the same purpose and will allow me to test the rifle at the range.
While less asthetically pleasing than the reflex sight, the red dot is located perfectly when the rifle is shouldered, and gives the user a wide field of view.
The reflex sight finally arrived, and as I’ve already got the red dot I’ll test them out on the range and figure out which is the better option.
It certainly looks a little more futuristic than the uber-red dot.
Modification 7: Tactical Illuminator (Flashlight) – It was a bargain, and I couldn’t resist, a flashlight with remote switch was picked up for a song, and mounted on the rifle. The results (when combined with the red dot sight) are amazing.
The flashlight was moved to the strong side of the rifle, as I felt during range tests that the weak side (or body side when slung) should be kept as obstruction free as possible.
Modification 8: Stock overhaul – A customized stock designed to incorporate a pistol grip into a standard SKS stock. Key goals were the retention of the storage compartment in the buttstock, and utilization of the hollow pistolgrip to store extra hex keys needed for disassembly of the rifle in the field.