Today represents the absolute end of a project that gave me great joy for a long while. That’s right, my Anti-Zombie rifle has been sold. It sits, all packaged up along with spare furniture, magazines and assorted do-dads, waiting for payment from the buyer before it is entrusted to the people at CanadaPost for delivery.
It was a decision I didn’t take lightly, but the SKS-D had been a project filled with “bling” and experimentation. There a few other rifles I’d rather face the zombocalypse with, but that’s a rather narrow application and I’m dying for a new project for which I lack the funds. Amongst the residents of my gun cabinet the SKS-D has languished the longest, and I can only hope her new owner appreciates her more than I have come to.
There will be another anti-zombie rifle project in the future, likely built up around the VZ58, but it will undoubtedly involve far fewer modifications that the SKS-D saw.
Farewell AZR.MkI, we hardly knew you.
The Anti-Zombie Rifle has been put through it’s paces, and with 500 rounds through it in its present configuration I feel confident that the modifications are holding up well (as nothing has shaken itself loose), and I think we can call it a success.
Based on experience at the range there are three remaining additions / modifications that seem to be called for;
- Creation of proper secondary tool/cleaning kit for pistol grip (containing some minor handtools and allen keys for dismantling rifle in the field).
- Attachment of a buttstock magazine pouch for 30 round magazine.
- Obtain mag cinch to lock two mags together in rifle.
Optimally I would like the rifle to be a “grab and go” sort of rifle, having everything needed to keep the rifle running (including ammunition) attached to the rifle itself so that the operator is ready to go, regardless of any other equipment that may be to hand (in keeping with the anti-zombie theme, natch).
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On Friday Mike and I drove to the range for (what I was hoping would be) the final series of range tests for the AZR Tactical SKS. To keep things interesting I managed to acquire a dozen coconuts as “reactive targets” for our efforts (At $0.89 a pop, it’s hard to go wrong).
The rifle performed flawlessly, with none of the previously noted “hiccups”. The mount and scope stayed rock solid, the stock continued to stand up to the punishment inflicted on it and theres only a slight feel of torgue in the pistol grip (this was traced back to the retaining pin we installed, as the hole it mates with is drilled in the wood, some of the wood had splintered allowing some lateral movement. I am in the process of widening the hole, and filling it with JB weld, which should provide a better receptacle).
Additionally the flashlight was tested for brightness and alignment, and was more than adequate to illuminate targets at 50 yards in total darkness (the flashlight, a surefire knockoff has also survived 200 rounds of abuse at this point, which is positive).
I think at this point we can call the project completed, and I can get back to working on the M14.
Mike and I drove out to the range for some general shooting, and some Tactical SKS field testing. 140 rounds were fired through the project rifle, and the focus of this trip was the reflex sight and the modified stock.
Reflex Sight: Sadly this sight proved to be entirely inadequate for the project. The sight itself would shift left and right by approximately 1mm (shifting the POA 1 foot to the left or right). I am not sure if this is a defect with the entire line, or with this unit specifically. This sight will be used for something else, the Barska Reddot has been mounted in its place.
Stock Modifications: The stock modifications held up perfectly. The rifle is comfortable to shoulder, and easy to fire. The pistol grip addition held without tightening and remained locked in position for the duration of the shoot.
I forgot to mention that an unexpected event was the Williams Firesight coming apart, the fibreoptic strand shook itself loose and fell out of the front sight post. Not a major malfunction (especially as I noticed and recovered it), and it has been epoxied back in place. It will be something I’ll have to monitor for future runs.
At this point I think we can officially say that one final test remains. With the reddot sight reinstalled we have to try this rifle for accuracy and see if this series of modifications have improved or degraded the accuracy of both the rifle and the shooter.
The Tactical SKS Project had brought about the realization that a pistol grip would be preferable to a standard stock for the SKS. The available array of aftermarket stocks entirely failed to inspire me, and I eventually concluded that I would have to build my own.
(Two tone tiger stripe camouflage)
If you’ve decided to add a pistol grip to your SKS you have two real options, you can purchase a SKS Pistol Grip from Tapco or you can cludge something together yourself. As I wanted a project I decided to begin cludging.
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The most recent field test of the project SKS had shown the scout mount was unstable. An examination of the mount on my return showed the factory provided “loctite” solution had failed to hold the elevation screw (#1) in position, and it had loosened off during firing.
I’ll acquire some proper loctite and treat this screw which should prevent a recurrence of this problem. The tension screw (#2) should hopefully require no further treatment.
I also plan on cutting the rail down so the gas tube can be removed without requiring the removal of the scout mount. This decrease would prevent the use of standard scout scopes, but should be fine for both red-dot and reflex sights (of course I will continue to wait for the much anticipated arrival of my reflex sight before actually cutting the rail down to prevent too much material being removed) as the picture clearly shows the extra length of the rail overlapping the gas cylinder (#4).
More pics when this series of modifications are complete…..
I hate my range on weekends. It’s crowded, it’s social and it’s murder getting a cease fire. Ok so I don’t “hate” it, but it’s not conducive to trouble shooting a technical problem either.
Today I linked up with Ian for our semi-annual coffee and social activity, and we went to my range. My sole intention on this trip was to try out the red dot sight on the Project SKS. I was foiled in this, as first the scope loosened off, then when that was fixed the Millett Scout Mount loosened off, and I figured the problem couldn’t be solved short of using copious quantities of LocTite (of course that kinda defeats the purpose, as I need to remove the mount to clean the gas tube…grrrrr….gonna have to stew on this problem for a bit, see if I can’t work out a solution).
In the end I gave up, removed the mount and we spent a little time enjoying the shooting with the iron sights (at the very least we confirmed that the previous mods were still working just dandy). I’m sure I can sort out the mount problem, but the proper field test will have to wait for another day.
Took a trip to the range today with Tony and Mike. Dragged an assortment of firearms along, but most pressing on the list was the in-progress SKS-D project rifle (pictured right).
I must say that I was suitable impressed with the modifications made so far. The williams firesight was a vast improvement, and luckily is at exactly the right height. The rear aperature was excellent and once the windage was adjusted the rifle was dead easy to shoot, and as accurate as it’s yet been. Still lighter than either the AR or certainly the M14, and with the rubber buttpad properly installed comfortable to shoot.
Overall I’m very pleased. I can’t wait for the scout mount and optics to arrive so I can put the rifle through its paces properly. Hopefully I’ll have finished my “zombie targets” for it’s maiden range trip.
Assorted introductions to the varied rifles and handguns with Tony and Mike, both the AR15 and M14 being big hits along with the handguns (I neglected to bring more than a single box of 9mm, so our time was limited with the pistols sadly).
Ah…with the exception of the cold (and me forgetting my gloves again) a perfect day…
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.
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