Well, I was sit­ting around a cou­ple weeks ago, clean­ing one of my rifles when I took a close look at her and thought that I might want to give her a new look.  Basi­cal­ly replace the stock.  My issue, how­ev­er was that being in NJ, I have to keep her NJ legal, which means, no retro­fitting the muz­zle, keep­ing the stock mag­a­zine, and no col­lapsi­ble or fold­ing butt stock… This left me a lit­tle lim­it­ed in design.  I also want­ed an AR type han­dle, which is not legal in NJ either, to my knowl­edge…  The result how­ev­er was a Dra­gunov type stock from ATI.  It seems that Dra­gunov stocks are legal in NJ because they have none of the fold­ing or col­lapsi­ble parts as men­tioned ear­li­er and are all one piece.  It also gives me the AR type of han­dle that I was look­ing for as you can see in the above image.  It was inex­pen­sive enough, weighs about the same as the wood­en stock that was on the rifle already, and seemed easy enough to make a change to… It was also a good oppor­tu­ni­ty to give the SKS a thor­ough clean­ing since it had been a while since I com­plete­ly dis­as­sem­bled her and cleaned her up… More on the Drag­onuv sys­tem can be found here.

Tak­ing the SKS apart was easy enough.  I had done it sev­er­al times with ease, and it is an easy rifle to re-assem­ble.  Or so I thought.  Once cleaned, I start­ed reassem­bling the rifle with the new ATI stock.  The receiv­er and the bar­rel seemed to fit snug­gly in the stock, and was easy enough to get back togeth­er with the excep­tion of the hand guard above the bar­rel of the rifle.  It is riv­et­ed in place, and I could not pound out the riv­et.  I was going to drill it out until I found that that par­tic­u­lar riv­et is a “hard to find item,” and are con­sid­ered rare.  I decid­ed to keep the stock hand guard on the rifle until I am able to locate a riv­et or two to pur­chase and have a cou­ple as spares.  I have two SKSs so this makes sense for me, in my mind.

The reassem­bly issue that got me was re-insert­ing the trig­ger group.  For the life of me, I thought I was doing some­thing wrong, for rough­ly three hours…  After assess­ing the sit­u­a­tion in my frus­trat­ed state, I decid­ed that I was going to have to grind down a small area where the rear of the trig­ger seats right around where the trig­ger guard spring would be…  As it turns out, after about 10 min­utes with the grind­ing attach­ment on the dremel tool, and try­ing to re-seat the trig­ger group a few times, mag­ic hap­pened and it snapped into place…  Here are a few pic­tures for you to show the trans­for­ma­tion from one look and feel to the oth­er…


Before Dis­as­sem­bly and Reassem­bly. Click for larg­er image

Some Dis­as­sem­bly. Click to see larg­er image


Almost com­plete­ly dis­as­sem­bled, less the gas tube. Click to see larg­er image.

Reassem­bled with the ATI Drag­onuv stock, less the black hand guard. You can see the wood through the slots in the stock. Click to see larg­er image.


Over­all, I like the new look and feel of my SKS.  The next step is to take it to the range and re-sight it in.  My group­ing seems to be a lit­tle to the right, so it is time to get out my sight tool and read­just it a bit.  Had I not had trig­ger guard issues, this swap would have tak­en rough­ly 20 — 30 min­utes had I not want­ed to clean and oil the rifle.

When fin­ished, I reat­tached my sling, which seems to be a lit­tle more ergonom­ic on this stock than the orig­i­nal stick as well.  I’m look­ing for­ward to sight­ing her in soon…

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