Tuesday, June 18, 2013

SKS gas valves

Parts get corroded and wear out, especially if those parts are on firearms fired with corrosive ammunition from countries where cleaning may not have been top priority. I have a Yugoslavian SKS that has severe gas leakage and causes the rifle to short stroke the bolt carrier sometimes. Now I have heard that Yugoslavian ammo tends to be a bit hotter than the Russian Tula and Wolf imported ammo but I have not shot any in my rifle so I do not know if that is necessarily true or not. I have only shot Wolf/Tula through my gun which short cycles from time to time.

If you have a SKS that is short cycling one easy way to see if you need a new gas valve is to slip a O-Ring over the gas valve and re-install it into the rifle and shoot a few rounds and see if it cycles more reliably, the O-ring will not last long as it will "blow out" or be forced out of the excess space between the gas valve and the gas tube. I used this quick test on a few SKS's before deciding to machine my own gas valves out of 5/8's Stainless.  I may choose to do other gas valves out of carbon steel in the future as the stainless is a little harder to machine as it is "gummy", that is a technical term....NOTE: I had planned to do a part 2 to my gas valve experiments however I figured it was better to just let the SKS's I had go down the road, even with the gas valves I machined and increased reliability, I realized I wasn't happy with the accuracy of the rifles and sent them on their way. Life is too short for headaches such as this.

What the O-Ring looks like after a few rounds.

Blown out O-Ring for testing purposes.

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