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  • Ken Kraushaar

SKS Disassembly / Reassembly


Warnings and Disclaimers


Careless use of any firearm can be dangerous. The warnings and instructions in this manual should be read thoroughly so that you fully understand how to properly disassemble your SKS rifle. Accidental discharge can occur from careless handling and could cause serious injury, death, and damage to property. Ken Kraushaar Firearms assumes no liability in the dissemination of this information.

It is vital that you check and clear your rifle to make sure the magazine and the chamber are empty before attempting to clean or disassemble your rifle.

SKS rifles should be cleaned prior to use.

Danger: Ammunition Warning:

Use only 7.62 x 39 soviet ammunition in your SKS rifle. Never attempt to use ammunition of any other caliber in your gun. Use only newly manufactured ammunition that is of high quality and in good condition.

Never use re-manufactured ammunition or ammunition that is faulty. Though there is an abundance of Russian ammunition on the market, the mass produced cheap ammo can sometimes be either under or over charged. It is generally a good idea to research the best quality ammunition for your firearm that you can safely fire. A readily available model is TulAmmo:

Again, if you are unsure about your ammo’s performance, don’t hesitate to do research to ensure the best operation of your firearm.


Caliber: 7.62x39

Weight: approx. 8.4 lbs

Length: approximately 40.20inches

Barrel: approximately 20.5inches, 4grove, RH twist

Muzzle Velocity: approximately 2,410FPS

Magazine: 10-rnd fixed box

Aiming Range: .621 mile (1092.96yds), 1 Kilometer.

The SKS Consists of 11 Main parts:

  1. recoil spring assembly

  2. receiver cover

  3. receiver

  4. bolt

  5. gas tube/handgard assembly

  6. bayonet

  7. stock

  8. trigger group

  9. magazine

  10. barrel

  11. cleaning rod.

The basic SKS accessories:

  1. cleaning rod head

  2. drift punch

  3. brush

  4. oil can

  5. accessory case

  6. muzzle cap

  7. gas port cleaning tool

  8. clip

it will be helpful to refer to these parts described when following the instructions in this blog post.

SKS Disassembly / Assembly

  1. Clear the weapon

  • Make a safe examination of the rifle to be certain it is NOT loaded before stripping. Open the magazine cover, draw back the bolt and look into the magazine and chamber to be certain they are empty.

Instructions for field stripping disassembly / assembly:

  1. Take out all accessories: with a finger, press in the cover of the accessory chamber on the butt plate and take the case for the accessories out of the stock.

  1. Remove the receiver cover and recoil spring assembly with the bolt in the forward position.

  • Holding the stock securely with your left hand (or holding the rifle securely in a gun vise) rotate the receiver cover retaining lever / pin up and out to the right as far as possible.

  • Allow the receiver cover to move backward ½” and remove by sliding it to the rear, then lift up and remove the cover. This will expose the recoil spring.

  • Remove the recoil spring from the back of the bolt. Remember during reassembly to reinstall the recoil spring with the end with the C clip going inside the bolt cavity.

  • Gently slide the bolt assembly rearward along the rails until the whole assembly comes out. The bolt will be in two haves, the upper portion which reacts to the blowback piston, and the lower half, which contains the firing pin.

  • At this point you will have removed the receiver cover, the recoil spring assembly, and the two halves of the bolt as shown.

3. To remove the gas tube / hand guard assembly:

  • Use a pin punch or the nose of a bullet to pry the lever located on the right of the rear sight base into a 70-80 degree angle where the camming surface of the lever is completely vertical. Note: further movement will allow the operating rod and spring to escape.

  • Lightly pull up on the gas tube / hand guard assembly, which contains a gas piston inside.

These steps are sufficient to fieldstrip and clean the rifle and perform regular maintenance. Note: reassembly requires you perform the above steps in reverse order.

4. Remove the operating rod and spring from its housing:

  • To further break down the rifle, gently press in on the operating rod’s flat surface while rotating the lever located on the right side of the rear sight further forward (approximately 100-110 degrees.) This allows the camming surface of the lever to rotate further and allow the rod and spring to escape. Beware: the rod and spring are under tension so constant pressure must be applied to keep the spring from launching out of it’s housing.

  • At this point you should have the following items removed and placed on your work area: receiver cover, recoil spring assembly, bolt assembly, hand guard / gas tube assembly and piston, and gas tube operating rod and helical spring.

5. Removing the Stock from the Receiver:

  • To remove the stock from the barreled receiver, press the safety into the “ON” position.

  • Next locate the dimpled tab at the rear of the trigger group / trigger guard assembly. Then using the nose of a bullet or a domed pin punch, press in hard until the tab clears the edge of the trigger guard assembly, thus releasing the assembly from the stock. Pull up and out to remove the trigger group assembly from the stock.

  • You are now also able to remove the magazine by pulling up and outward.

  • Unfold the bayonet from the “march position” and into the “ready position” by locating the knurled area on the base of the bayonet and pulling it towards the butt-stock to release the locking surface which will then allow you to swing the bayonet forward.

  • You should now be able to remove the stock from the action by pulling up on the rear of the receiver, and slightly pushing forward to clear the retaining surface at the end of the stock.

At this point, you should now have the following removed from the action:

  1. Receiver cover

  2. Recoil spring

  3. Bolt carrier and bolt

  4. Gas tube / handguard and gas piston

  5. Operating rod and helical spring

  6. Trigger group

  7. magazine

  8. Barreled action

Reassembly notes:

Reassembly is performed in the reverse order that you removed the preceding items from the rifle stock:

  • Reassembly is pretty straight forward beginning with reinstalling the barreled action into the rifle, making sure that the barreled action marries up with the retaining surface at the fore end of the stock. Then the bayonet can be closed into “march position” by reversing the steps to extend it.

  • Then the magazine is located into it’s position in the action, followed by the trigger group.

  • A special note about the trigger group: the trigger group is extremely hard to relocate as the tab which you pressed in to release the trigger group from the action must now clear the rear of the trigger group once more; it is a very tough spring and requires a lot of pressure to clear as it is responsible for holding everything together. It is recommended that you use a gun vice to perform this operation, though it can be accomplished with an extra set of hands, it is much easier if you use a gun vice to accomplish the task.

  • Once the action is affixed to the stock, turn the firearm right side up, and reverse the order you removed the gas piston blowback parts, first installing the helical spring and the operating rod, applying pressure so that you may trap it once more behind the camming surface of the lever located to the right of the rear sight. Then relocate the gas tube and gas piston into position. Once in position, rotate the lever into it’s rear most position, which traps the hand guard / gas tube in place.

  • Next, slide the bolt carrier and bolt into place, and guide them into their forward most position along the rails.

  • Next, reinsert the recoil spring into the rear of the bolt group, making sure the end with the C clip is located inside of the bolt. Press forward so the recoil spring assembly is trapped on the tab in front of the disassembly pin lever.

  • Next, relocate the receiver cover, pushing forward and down until it is located in place.

  • Finally, push in on the receiver cover pin / lever, locking the cover in place, and complete reassembly by rotating the lever to the right into it’s locked position.

  • You may now pull back on the bolt knob, which will relocate the recoil spring. You can now reinsert the cleaning kit into the trap door located in the butt plate.

Failure for the gas system to blow back and spent case to eject on rifles with the "grenade launcher" notes:

  • If you should encounter whilst firing, that the bolt does not blow back and eject the spent casing, make sure gas cut off knob for the grenade launcher system is rotated to the 45 degree position. In the 90 degree position, the gas port is blocked, thus preventing the gas piston system from functioning properly. note: if your rifle doesn't have this setup then you will likely not have this problem.

(Gas system enabled)

(gas system disabled)

And there you have it. Hopefully this information will be helpful for shooters who have picked up one of these rifles. They truly are a joy to shoot, and if they're well maintained, will keep being useful for years to come, despite the design being 72 years old!


The preceding document is for informational purposes; reproduction of the information or pictures herein is expressly forbidden without the express consent of Kenneth Kraushaar.

In using this information to detail strip the rifle in question, “Ken Kraushaar Firearms Service” assumes no liability for damaged rifles or injuries caused by improper handling or service of the rifle, with ultimate responsibility for safe usage and maintenance falling to the end user.

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