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Is the SKS still a viable survival rifle

Is the SKS still a viable survival rifle
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Hunting whitetail deer after shtfWith SKS prices creeping close to the $300 price range, why are they considered a viable option for survivalist,,, or even anyone else? Back in the 1990s when you could pick up an SKS for less then $100, yea, I could see buying one then. But over the past 2 decades prices have steadily gone up, I think to the point where they are not worth the price.

Lets take the Remington model 770 – synthetic stock, factory scope, popular calibers that are more effective on deer sized game then the 7.62X39,,,, and the 770 cost right at the $300 price range.

Last year my nephew used his Remington 770 to take a doe during youth weekend. At around 50 – 75 yards, the 150 grain Remington core-lokt was devastating to the whitetail. The blood trail looked like someone turned on a waterhose.

I can see buying an SKS for its novelty, and for its history, but not for its price. The SKS is not going to be a target rifle like a modern bolt action rifle and the 7.62×39 is not as effective on deer sized game as lets say a 270 or 308.

Cost of the Rifle

In the $300 – $400 price range, there is the Marlin 336W .30-30 lever-action rifle, Rossi makes a single shot rifle chambered in popular calibers,,,,, there are a number of options available in the $300+ price range..

For the money, I think the SKS has priced itself out of the survivalist market. If you are looking for a SHTF survival rifle, there are better options out there for the same price.  But then again, I think a lot of it depends on what you are looking for.  If you want a reliable handout rifle, the SKS is going to be difficult to beat.  If you want a rifle you can leave at the bug out location, then the SKS would make a good choice.

I own a Chinese SKS I bought sometime around 1994 or 1995 for around $100. If the SKS was anywhere that price range I would buy more of them. But now, with prices creeping into the $300 range, I just can not justify it.

Cost of the Ammunition

One thing that the SKS has going for it, ammo is still cheap and easy to find.  As compared to 308 Winchester that cost anywhere from $13 – $25 a box, military surplus 7.62×39 can still be found for less then $4 a box.

When it comes time to stockpile ammo for SHTF, the SKS is the hands down winner.  The only thing that can come close to 7.62×39 is some military surplus 223/5.56mm, 308/7.62NATO, 30-06 and 7.62×54.


The SKS is a solid rifle, its heavy, it can be used as a club, its reliable,,,, its just one of the weapons that has a good solid feel to it.

The SKS has been battle proven in various conflicts all over the world.  So I guess you could say its a mil-spec rifle.

The SKS is easy to operate – load the rounds from the top, and the safety is net to the trigger guard.  With 5 minutes of training, someone should be able to learn how to load and fire the SKS.

Post your comments in this forum thread asking if the SKS is a viable SHTF survival rifle.

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Kevin Felts was born and raised in southeast Texas, graduated from Bridge City high school Bridge City Texas, and attended Lamar College in Port Arthur Texas. Hobbies include fishing, hiking, hunting, blogging, sharing his politically incorrect opinion, video blogging on youtube, survivalism and spending time with his family. In his free time you may find Kevin working around the farm, building something, or tending to the livestock
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