The SKS is truly an iconic firearm. This soviet era semi-automatic firearm has been seared into the cultural conciousness. Primarily as a result of movies and video games. In keeping with true russian tradition – it chambers a 7.62mm round. The SKS was in constant use during World War 2 and wasn’t succeeded until mass production of the AK-47 began.
Since then, the firearm has found relative popularity in civilian circles. They’re particularly popular in Canadian and American circles. Due to the older nature of the firearm, the Burea of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has placed them in the “Curio & Relic” category of weapons.
Its successor, the AK-47, is an absolutely iconic firearm. But it was still a surprise when it overtook the SKS in terms of popularity. Many other Russian firearms from this period have remained in relative obscurity.
Why Would I Upgrade?
Due to the age of the SKS, it can be difficult to procure one. If you do, you may find yourself pining for an upgrade. One of the more popular forms of SKS rifle upgrade is the installation of a new stock.
The best SKS stock will net you a serious increase in performance in one of many categories. Durability, being a key one. The default stock that was manufactured alongside many SKS models isn’t particularly well guarded against the elements, for example.
Comfort is also another key reason for making the upgrade – the default stock isn’t particularly notorious for its ergonomic design.
With that being said, there are some variants out there that seek to mimic the original design. These variants will also generally make some attempt to modernise certain aspects of the design – for convenience. Aspects such as weight and durability, for example.
Modern material science means that it’s possible to mimick the original design aesthetic. But still manage to get a product that’s 10x as strong. Better recoil protection is also an option now.
Listed below is a selection of some of our personal favourite SKS stock upgrades available to the general public.
Best Tactical sks stock
Choate SKS Dragunov Stock
This is a pretty iconic stock for fans of Russian firearms. It’s a direct copy of the stock that was initially designed by Yevgeny Dragunov. Dragunov stocks are typically hollow in the middle but reinforced around the edges. They also have a particularly iconic and unique aesthetic to them.
This particular stock is manufactured from a tough polymer that’s filled with fibre-glass for additional reinforcement. This additional support means that it’ll be able to withstand a plethora of abuse without breaking on you.
This material also means it’ll be highly resistant to changes in your environment which may weaken/damage a traditional stock. Changes in temperature, humidity & weather can alter the speed at which your components degrade. This specific stock is better orientated towards withstanding these changes. As such is a pretty solid pick if you’re anticipating have to brave harsher conditions.
Another benefit of this polymer and the dragunov design is that the stock is fairly light weight. If you’re anxious about tacking too much weight onto your rifle this is an ideal choice. This is a particularly solid choice for anyone expecting to have to walk for long stretches. It’ll help prevent fatigue over time.
It still retains a relatively ergonomic design on top of this – so it’s pretty comfortable to shoot too.
Advanced Technology SKS Monte Carlo Stock
This stock is absolutely ideal for those of you looking to maximize comfort and durability. The sleak, black finish looks amazing on any SKS. It has a soft, cheek resting pad to ensure you can relax when lining up a shot. It comes with a scorpion recoil pad integrated into the butt of the stock. This dissipates some of the kinetic energy more evenly across your shoulder. Having this in place can prevent straining and injuries associated with recoil.
There’s a swing swivel stud near the base of the stock to allow you to attach a sling easily. It’s worth mentioning since this isn’t a definitive feature in every stock.
It’s also incredibly tough – for all intents and purposes this is practically indestructible. Given that you can TRY to damage this stock and you’ll probably fail. It’s safe to say it’ll be able to handle whatever conditions you take it shooting in.
It’s also scratch resistant too. So you won’t need to worry about the previously mentioned harsh conditions ruining the aesthetics of your rifle.
It’s slightly heavier than the standard wooden stock that comes with the SKS – but by an amount that’s honestly neglible.
This is an excellent option for anyone who’s looking to sporterize their rifle without adding too much weight. It’s an ideal stock for hunting due to the ergonomic features.
SKS Intrafuse Stock
This stock is particularly useful if you’re looking to convert your SKS into a collapsible. This will allow you to convert your SKS in literally minutes. If you’re looking to avoid the hassle of making permanent alterations to your firearm, this collapsible is a solid bet.
The hard, borderline indestructible polymer this is made of will see you through years of use and abuse. It can also be adjusted to six different positions. This will allow you to truly narrow in on your prefered length of pull.
The pistol grip on this stock is designed to mimick that of a SAW. With a wide, reliable and solid grip that’ll enhance your comfort when firing and holding the rifle in general.
The moulded black polymer also generally just looks great. These synthetic stocks aren’t to everyones taste. But the durability and ruggedness they offer you honestly make them worth a consideration.
The SKS intrafuse is highly adjustable and compatible. It’ll even fit onto an SKS model D. But some minor alterations must be made before you can expect this to happen.
Archangel Conversion Stock
The archangel conversion stock is a personal favorite. Before I dive into the technical, I’d like state that aesthetically it looks great. It’s arguably one of the better looking polymers I’ve seen. It doesn’t even clash too harshly with the original design aesthetic of the SKS. It comes in a variety of available colors to suit your tastes. Olive drab, tan and black are all available at no additional cost.
The pistol grip is incredibly ergonomic and feels very natural in your hand. The grip has a textured section on the front-end to enhance your grip. It also has straps near the back to increase the level of control you have over your firearm. The aforementioned grip also has a storage compartment that can be locked with relative ease.
The stock is fully collapsible allowing for compact transport. It can also be adjusted up to 7 different positions to guarantee you find a length that’s comfortable for you.
You’ll note that the end portion of the stock has a rubber pad on it. This pad is designed to dissipate trauma from recoil across a wider surface area. This will protect your shoulder from strain or other injury.
The manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on this stock because they’re confident that it’ll withstand a lifetime of constant use.
It even has an adjustable cheek rest to allow you to rest your head when you’re lining up a shot.
It’s manufactured from an incredibly high strength carbon fiber. It’s then reinforced with specially treated glass to ensure the stock is borderline indestructible. If anything stock is deserving of the title of best sks stock, it’s probably this one.
Tapco Timbersmith SKS Stock
The Tapco Timbersmith is manufactured by a particularly great company. Timbersmith are a subsidiary of the American Parts Company. Their sole mission statement is to consistently produce high quality wooden rifle stocks. That’s all they do – every day. So naturally they’ve developed a bit of a knack for it. If you’re looking for a hardwood rifle stock they’re probably the best people to turn to.
This is an excellent choice for anyone looking to preserve the original aesthetic of their rifle. Whilst still improving upon some of the functionality. This SKS stock by Timbersmith is manufactured from authentic, high quality, laminated wood. The distinctive black finish honestly looks beautiful, it’ll have your SKS looking great without detracting from its antiquity. This right handed stock is crafted entirely in the USA and comes with an integrated cheek rest.
It follows the exact same design philosophies as the original, vanilla stocks did. However, modern material science means that it can be lighter, stronger and more resistant to harsh conditions than its predecessors.
Not a fan of synthetic stocks? The authentic hardwood build of this stock will likely be an easy purchase for you.
It even comes with a recoil pad at the butt of the stock. Proving that you don’t need to sacrific modern conveniences for a retro aesthetic.
Finding The Right Stock – Some Tips
Lefty or Righty?
Stocks are one of the main weapon components that should change depending on your dominant arm.
The stock can effectively be thought of as the “skeleton” of a firearm. The shape, size and weight of a stock will have a considerably larger bearing on how ungainly a firearm. More so than, say, its sights.
Firing from a left handed firing position? You may want to invest in a stock that can facilitate this. This can make things a lot easier for you on the range and will generally be a much safer experience.
Getting The Purchase Right
Perhaps the most obvious suggestion on this front is to ensure that your stock is compatible. You’re not going to fit a stock for AR 15 onto an SKS. At least not without some time spent in the toolshed.
You can avoid having to resort to Frankenstein tier methods when fixing up your gun. Simply by ensuring that you buy the right stock in the first place. Make sure you’re definitely settling on a stock designed for your own specific firearm.
SKS rifles can actually vary quite a bit depending on region. Minor changes in size and quality exist across continents. So it’s entirely feasible that an “SKS stock” may not actually fit your rifle. If you’re worried about this being the case – user reviews may be a lifesaver. People who’ve had difficulties with specific variants will often leave helpful advice on compatibility.
You can also reach out directly to a manufacturer if you’re worried about compatibility. Some basic information about your firearm will allow them to advise you on whether or not you’ll have any difficulties.
The Perfect Stock
Of course, the perfect stock for you is one that suits your own individual needs. You should give some consideration to how and why you’ll be using your firearm before making a purchase. For example, if you’re planning on going very long treks with your firearm, you’ll want something that’s lightweight. Fatigue doesn’t just slow you down, it’ll damage your accuracy too.
If you aren’t particularly fussy and you’re on a relatively tight budget? You might not bother reading up on the ergonomics of each individual stock. But if you’re looking to upgrade your shooting experience to something a bit more luxurious? Look at how your stock handles recoil. Also, look at how much care has been taken into the ergonomics of the grip. This will greatly affect the overall feel of the stock itself.
The materials your stock is manufactured from will likely play a role in how you orient your purchase. For example, if you’re a fan of a more traditional look, you’ll likely have a preference for hardwood type stocks.
If you’re going for a more sporty look, or you’re hoping to go into competition shooting; you may end up opting for a synthetic stock.
Both types of material bring with them their own unique sets of positives and negatives. For example, hardwood stocks generally don’t clash with the original design aesthetic of an SKS too much. They also have a nice weight behind them. But if you’re planning on walking for long periods of time with your rifle you could become fatigued.
Conversely, synthetic stocks are generally much lighter in weight. Synthetic materials can generally be manufactured to a much tougher standard too. This means that they can generally take a bit more abuse. Synthetic stocks also have the option of being collapsible. So that you can transport your firearms in a smaller, more compact space.
The downside to synthetic stocks can be an issue of comfort for some people. Some people literally just prefer to have a hardwood stock and anything else feels uncomfortable. Synthetic stocks also have a really modern look to them. If you’re hoping to preserve the antiquity of your rifle, a wooden stock may be a better option for you.
It’s important to carefully weigh up the positives and negatives of each material before making a purchasing decision.
Most stocks will come with a manufacturers warranty of some kind. It’s important to take the warranty into account, for more than one reason.
On one hand, it’s handy to be able to replace your stock. Especially if you have any kind of issues with it. But the warranty is useful for more than just that. A warranty is an indication of a manufacturers confidence in their own product. You should be concious of a manufacturer that only offers a warranty of six months. In some cases they may offer this warranty because they feel that 6+ months is when you’ll encounter issues.
That’s why manufacturers who offer lifetime warranties are often a solid choice. Think about it this way: if their product broke easily, offering free replacements could potentially bankrupt a business. They would never offer this service if they weren’t completely confident in the build quality of their products.
So be on the look out for a lifetime manufacturers warranty. Often times this is an indicator that you’ll never even have to use it.
The SKS rifle is a beautifully designed piece of machinery. It has also seen a tremendous amount of conflict in its many years as an active rifle. Notoriously reliable and a pleasant addition to any gun collection, it’s not wonder they’re so popular. It’s not uncommon to want to swap out the default stock, in fact it’s very common. Luckily there’s a plethora of stocks out there to suit any individual need you may have.
Take care of your SKS and it will take care of you.
Thanks for reading!
Please make sure you check local state laws before purchasing a pistol grip for your rifle. Each state has different legislation surrounding the use of pistol grips. Including pistol grips that are or aren’t integrated with the stock of a rifle.