SKS Assembly.

Well, finally pulled the trigger (pun intended) on a rifle. I've owned my 9mm subcompact for over a decade, and my grandmother gave me my grandfather's old shotgun after he passed away a few years ago, but I have never owned a rifle. A co-worker has an FFL that he has run as a side-gig for a while, and he's going to allow his FFL to lapse (he's moving to a state where the laws on selling guns are stricter, so he figures he might as well let his FFL lapse, too.) He specialized in Russian rifles, and has been clearing out his last stock.

Arranged to get an immaculate condition Mosin-Nagant M91/30 (1939 manufacture, all stock, complete with accessory kit and bayonet,) a 440-round tin of 7.62x54 ammunition, and some SKS parts.

He said he was missing a few pieces to finish an SKS, most notably the trigger group, but that he's sell me the rest for $100. When I got there, he determined that he *DID* have all the parts! Got the whole set (both rifles plus ammo) for $330. Now I just need to assemble the SKS...

It's a Yugo 59/66 receiver, with any possible part US-made (mostly Tapco,) so it meets all US-sourcing requirements. Have disassembled and reassembled a few firearms in my day, but this will be the first time for an SKS, and the first assembly-from-scratch (without me previously disassembling it immediately prior,) so I'll be taking it slow-and-careful.

Anyone have any tips I should know about that aren't in the standard assembly guides? (I was advised by the seller to take it to a proper gunsmith after assembly for verification, since it's made from disparate parts.)

edit: I should specify that I've shot SKSes on numerous occasions dating back to college. I love the SKS, and always figured my first rifle would be one. In this case, it gets to be my first project, too. :p

Tony Quilici

New member
I am sure that you can find a video on YouTube of someone assembling one. AK/SKS type weapons are by far the easiest to field strip and fix when compared to ARs or HKs or FNs.


New member
There is really not a whole lot to the SKS. How disassembled is it? The reciever has a spring, and rotation clip that goes only one way. The gas tube also has a rotation clip and once seated just rotate the clip down located on the right side. The trigger assembly will be inserted forward into the trigger assembly first and then pushed up into the gun with a spring loaded retainer that holds the trigger assembly just behind the trigger guard next to the safety. Be sure have the safety off or will not engage and you will bend something. As said above, youtube has some great videos of assembly and if you google SKS parts, I have favorite I cant access at work, but it has schematics of the SKS that are very helpful. I really like this rifle, had one for years and are great fun to shoot.


New member
Only thing to watch out for is how fast some of those spring-loaded parts can come off, especially the receiver cover. My chicom has a slot in the stock for a cleaning kit - I'd advise against using your finger to push the cover down because as soon as that kit can come up it will, and it'll catch your finger when it does. Another trick I use to get those rotating levers to move is to use the tip of a 7.62 round. Just put the tip in the dimple on the lever and use it to rotate the lever.
There is really not a whole lot to the SKS. How disassembled is it?

Nearly as disassembled as is possible. Only the trigger group is "assembled." Every other part is separate. (There are parts that loosely fit together that I have together in storage, but if I shake the box hard, they'll be separate.)

I've found some good disassembly/assembly instruction PDFs, and now that I know, I have found a couple YouTube videos as well, thanks!
Alright, after searching for good "assembly from scratch" documents/videos, I can't find any. Most are "here's how to disassemble, just do it in reverse," but some parts don't apply properly. So I finally decided to just try it without directions. (Yes, I'm one of the "do it first, look for directions later" kind of people. At least this time I tried to find directions.

After a few mis-steps (forgetting to put in the piston assembly BEFORE the gas rod,) I have it assembled in what I think is the correct manner.

I haven't yet taken it to the range, I want to get it at least looked over by a proper gunsmith before trusting it with explosives inside. Especially since I'm not entirely sure what's going on with the magazine feed. If I have more than one round in a magazine, it will load just fine. But the last round always gets caught, it doesn't actually feed.

Anyone assembled a Tapco T-6 SKS and experience this before? (And more importantly, figure out how to fix it...)
Finished assembly, finally got a chance to take it to the range.

A couple problems:

1. The I'm-not-sure-what-it's-called attached to the right of the rear sight (standard open type) pops up after 2-3 shots. (I've attached a photo of the part highlighted.) It takes quite a bit of force to push it back down, so I don't think it's loose.Link Removed

2. The hand guard over the piston extension (and therefore the picatinny rail,) are loose. Rotates around the piston extension about 1/16-1/8" inch left/right.

3. I get a LOT of mis-feeds and bad ejections. Tried two different brands of (admittedly fairly cheap) ammunition, and I would often have the fired brass not fully leave, jamming when the carrier returns. Generally this would also cause a mis-feed. The last round (on two different magazines) would also ALWAYS misfeed.

Also, to really freak me out, the very first time I pulled the trigger, I heard the loud *CLICK*, but no bang, no recoil... Turned out the one dud of the day (~100 fired,) was my very first round. Not a confidence-expiring first trigger pull, though. (I kept it pointed down-range for one minute, then very carefully removed the round, put it in the range's dud bin (which had apparently just been emptied, so mine was the only round in it,) and came back to it after I was finished shooting. Primer looks fully depressed, looks like I got a true dud.

Edit: And, the "oh, duh" moment: I was wondering why I was consistently hitting 6" high *EVERY* shot, even after adjusting the rear sight noticeably. Then I realized that I wasn't focusing on the rear sight, I was focusing on the picatinny rail.... Once I got my sighting in properly, I got to a decent grouping. 10 shots, had 7 within a four inch group centered on bullseye, three outliers high (probably accidentally focused on the rail again.) But it takes a LOT of eye effort to focus in the right places now, so I'll probably get at least a red dot optic. (I did better on an original-wood-with-no-rail, rear-housing-mounted closed rear sight SKS a while ago at 100 yards than I did this time at 50 yards, so better sights would help.)
Okay, I'm forgetful. The 'lever' on the rear sight base is, of course, the lever to release the gas tube assembly. I bet all three problems are related. Time to disassemble and reassemble.


New member
Not sure what might be wrong with the gas tube assembly, other than the pin missing from the hand guard. Make sure its there and the gas tube is seated properly. It shouldnt wiggle at all once the release lever is fully engaged. And if you need a new gas tube, I dont think they are very expensive.
Do you know of a good photo/video of the gas tube assembly procedure? All those I found are very light on actual detail, I'd like to make sure I didn't miss anything.


New member
I just bought my first gun (yay!), which happens to be a Yugo SKS as well. I am very excited to learn all I can about it and appreciate your starting this post as it has given me much to soon as I figure out the best way to clear off all this cosmoline !!!


New member
Gun scrubber, or kerosene removes cosmoline well. When I tore down an SKS the take down lever was tight and stayed as such. Make sure it is fully engaged as it not only holds the gas tube assembly but the operating rod too. When you take it down it has the potential to fly across the room. The only issue I had when changing the stock came when I had to take the top hand guard off. The Yugo's have a rivet holding the top hand guard on. A good punch gets it out, if you don't destroy the retaining plate. Save yourself some hassle and buy a new gas tube with top guard attached, Tapco makes a good one, mine needed a gunsmith to fit properly as they are made generically. Finally make sure your gas key is in the "semi" position and fully engaged as that could be causing your FTE issues. Cleaning and cosmoline tend to jam these up.

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