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M39, Hang tag or Imperial Eagle Stamping?


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I just got a few bucks from selling a small bike and was going to buy my first C&R rifle, that being the Finnish VKT M39. I chose the VKT over the Sako due to the fact that there are more lower star reviews on the handpicked Sako over VKT and a couple other things I've read. I also read that people who selected Imperial Eagle seem to be getting nice rifles also but was wondering about the hang tag option and if anyone can give me any input as to why I might want to think about this option over stamping? 

 

   I might even have enough left to purchase an M48(I like these also)  but there are three sites to choose from ranging from $250-$399(AIM being the highest) but I may save up another week or two and see what's out there. These M39's seem to be rumored as "drying up" and I definitely wanna close on this deal. SOG has very nice unissued Yugo SKS for $425 but I think the Finnish is the way to go, again, unless I am overlooking something and someone more knowledgeable has some input, thank you.

 

   

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I'm glad you are getting one of the M39s to start with.  They are high quality guns and the ones that Classic Firearms has are priced fairly.  The SKS's are nice guns, though I would get the M39 if in your shoes.  

 

I would recommend a Sako over the VKT.  I have both a VKT and a Sako and the Sako is much nicer.  Classic Firearms made some big mistakes when they had their first shipment of the M39s and a lot of folks getting a Sako and a lot of folks didn't get what was described.

 

One of our TGO folks paid for a Sako hand select the the stock was cracked.  

 

To their credit, Classic admitted their mistake and made changes to improve.

 

In my opinion, the hang tag is over rated at $25.  It would appeal to collectors.  You can google 'M39 hang tag', and click on the images tab to see what they look like. 

 

My recommendation would be to get a Sako and pay the $20 for hand select. 

 

If you have money left over, you may look at the un issued SKS over the M48 if you can afford it and if you like semi automatic rifles.  The M48s are nice, no doubt, though you'll already have a vintage military bolt action and the SKS rifles are a lot of fun.  I'm a WW2 history enthusiast.  The M48 definitely has more historical significance than the SKS. 

 

Having said that, a lot of NVA and Viet Cong used the SKS in the Vietnam War.  Pic below. 

 

533dac2b42991cfef63ae78fcf61d739.jpg

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Very nice post, Thank you!

 

I'll be able to get the un issued SKS from SOG after the M39, but am going to do a bit more searching to make sure this is the best deal. No need to rush. I am waiting for Classic to get my FFL dealers license(will be after 3 and will be ordering that today. 

 

Hmm, I missed(or forgot) Classic has the SKS in VG to Excellent condition for $5 more but I'd save on shipping. SOG doesn't say what shipping is until after you order or call in order.

Edited by MountainDewed
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Classic has the only remaining primary market M39's left, as they purchased the rest of the rifles that John Burns imported directly from Finland in the late 90's.  As for the "brand", get what you want, the VKT's are rarer than the SAKOs but a lot of people favor the SAKO rifles as that's a recognizable stamping from the later rifles they made for the civilian market, VKT was the Finnish state arsenal and never produced later rifles for civilian sales.  An unscrubbed Eagle is pretty much luck of the draw, a lot of the M39's are scrubbed but some managed to miss that particular modification. The hang tag is of interest to collectors, but it's not something that is highly valued.  From what I've seen of the M39's that Classic has left in stock, you are more likely to get a post-war refurbed rifle ( a "pretty" one) by choosing the SAKO option, a lot of the VKT's seem to be in wartime condition with the requisite "character marks" normally associated with those guns.  Those are the ones I normally look for, I like the "been there and done that" look myself ...

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Cool, Thank you for the info. Well, I just ordered The M39 and their Yugo SKS. I went with the VKT as I tend to like the war/story(would luv "some" trench art per say) guns also. A buddy of mine recommended the Sako as did Pete^ but there wasn't enough to sway me in the extra $50 from the pics I saw and the many posts/reviews I've read. I'll be happy unless there's a family of termites :eek:  or something living in the stock... 

 

 As for the trench art, I noticed a lot of the chinese SKS has loads of it usually. I might get a beat up one just to have later down the road if I can find one che...inexpensive...

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I think you made a great choice getting the M39 and un-issued Yugo SKS.  There is certainly nothing wrong with the VKT.  Anything the Fins did, they did well.

 

I can't speak for the quality of the Chinese SKS's.  I'm not knocking them, I'm not familiar with them.

 

The best deal on ammo for your M39 will be the old stuff.  Always consider that ammo corrosive.  Corrosive isn't a big deal.

 

I handle that by using a mixture of Ammonia and water, running a damp swab down the barrel will neutralize the corrosive salts.  That is all that I do.  Damp swab, not soaking.  You don't want to get the ammonia on parts outside of the barrel.  I then run a damp plain water one.

 

A lot of people deal with the corrosive ammo differently, I learned the way I do it from someone who makes a living with old guns.

 

Next, you'll have to get the cosmoline off of the guns.  The best way I have found is to go to the hardware store and get a length of three inch pipe, a cap, the glue to seal it and a gallon of mineral spirits.  All the metal part can go in the mineral spirits bath for a few days and then they are easy to clean.

 

**IMPORTANT**  The SKS has a free floating firing pin.  Most likely, the mineral spirits bath won't get the cosmoline out.  You should hear a little clicking when you shake the firing pin assembly, which is the firing pin moving back and forth.  If you can't hear this more action is needed or THE GUN WILL NOT BE SAFE TO SHOOT. 

 

I dealt with this by taking the firing pin assembly and putting it in a warm oven.  (Not hot but warm)  I then used mineral spirits and compressed air.  It took two or three rounds, but that took care of it. 

 

You can also take the firing pin assembly apart for cleaning, though there is a pin that is hard to get out.

 

Next, I hope you will avoid the mistake I made with my first two C&R's.  I had people tell me to take the gun into a hot shower and use a scrub brush and lots of soap.  I did this with the stocks and it removed the finish.  I enjoy refinishing stocks, so I didn't mind, though I ruined part of the history of the gun.

 

Also, my Yugo has a rough trigger.  You can send the trigger group off and someone will improve it for about $60.  Some people don't like to do anything at all to the trigger.

 

Below are a few pics of my Yugo.  

 

SKS%201_zpsx0qv5dsv.jpg

SKS%203_zpsiod0eacx.jpgSKS%201_zpsqofvy3vo.jpgSKS%204_zpspv4hafal.jpg

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Cosmoline removal ?" Slowly I turned, step by step etc.,"The shortest , easiest way to remove preservative grease is a total immersion baptism in boiling water. The temperature of the H20 will not affect the hardness of the mildest steel and is generally best performed by placing the parts in a cheap metal collander  and heating the water on one of those Korean butane one-eye stoves. Put the collander in one of those aluminum turkey cooking trays with high sides so the cosmo won't go to un-desirable places.Bajabuc & I have used this method many times with outstanding results.It even works on wood innards if you carefully pour the very hot water carefully through the stock into the aluminum turkey cooking tray. Best wishes, Bucnball

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Inch by inch, lmao. That is one beautiful firearm you have there! I am so glad you warned me about the wood surface. I wouldn't worry much about it, like I said, it's beautiful! I know that wood is fragile and all but not sure how much I would have been careful about it, mostly from some of the ignorant(not the disrespectful ignorant) instructions I've read on other forums.. I cleaned a Makarov about a month ago and even though it's was smaller(no wood) compared to a rifle, at least(shutters) I have an idea(shivers) of what's to come... :doh:  I really don't mind the cleaning part, I luv learning the gun this way but the smell, which isn't bad at first but once you really get into it, oomph!   

 

   Another thing is it seems I always either finish paying off a layaway or order a gun right on a friday. That's 2 extra days I have to wait for these, lol. Seriously though, I am excited to see these. 

  Huge thanks for the comments! As usual, they are damn good on here!

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M39 and SKS are great choices! I used to be a fan of Classic but after the last round of BS and people not receiving the guns as described I have lost all faith with this company.  A quick Google search of hand picked M39 will provide hours of horror story's.

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NRA,

 

No one has been more angry with Classic than I have.   I've changed about them and now like them.  Here's why.  

 

After the huge fiasco with their first shipment of M39s, which I was a part of, they sent a survey.  They acknowledged that they had really messed up and asked for feedback, which I provided.

 

They took that fiasco to heart. I bought a Sako when they had the second round come out and the experience was really good, including them reaching out to make sure I was happy.

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Hey MountainDewed,

 

One other thing.  The SKS is not known for its safety.  In short, my policy is that an SKS only has a bullet in the chamber when it's pointed down range at the shooting range.

 

The safety on them is a 'sometimes she works sometimes she don't' kind of deal.  Also, the sear on them may or may not have the correct angle.  If not, they are prone to either fire when you don't want them to or fire full auto.

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Ooh, very good to know. Thank you

 

I just stumbled across this site: https://www.libertytreecollectors.com/productcart/pc/viewcategories.asp?idCategory=2

They "seem" a bit high(no expert here) but a good assortment none the less. The first one I looked at was out of stock so they don't mark them oos until you click on one and view it's page, such as the M1 Garand.  Maybe something in there for someone?

 

Edit: No "buy" button if OoS it seems...

Edited by MountainDewed
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BTW, any other accessories that are good ideas for these rifles that anyone can recommend would be appreciated.

 

Also, I'm reading on the ammo that 172 grain-200ish grain ammo is best for grouping on the M39 as this is what they used to line the sights. Anyone can confirm this? I'm thinking I'll want some of the cheap stuff even if it's not that accurate to have something to shoot on my poor days?

Edited by MountainDewed
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BTW, any other accessories that are good ideas for these rifles that anyone can recommend would be appreciated.

 

Also, I'm reading on the ammo that 172 grain-200ish grain ammo is best for grouping on the M39 as this is what they used to line the sights. Anyone can confirm this? I'm thinking I'll want some of the cheap stuff even if it's not that accurate to have something to shoot on my poor days?

 

The only accessory I can think of would be a sling if you are going to hunt with it.  It may come with one.  You never know what accessories you'll get until it arrives.  

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Its been a while for me to look at M39's as I got mine few years back, but is Pat Burns not selling them anymore?

 

The rifles that Classic has been marketing for a couple of months are the John/Pat Burns M39's, sometime late last year Classic negotiated the purchase of their remaining stock.  Pat Burns has had a few sell on Gunbroker since then, mostly those on antique receivers as well as some "parts guns" so she obviously held back a few, but the Wholesale Guns and Ammo site has none listed since the sale to Classic.

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MountainDewed, I noticed your location was in  Memphis. Have you been to Classic Arms out in Germantown? (Germantown Rd. and Dexter)

 

I haven't been there in a while but I would bet they have some things that would perk your interest.

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I saw their page somewhere but forgot about it. I was actually out that way yesterday and would have gone their if I thought about it, Grrrr!  :wall:

 

 Ok. I'm over it, Thank you for reminding me, next time I'm out there, I'll definitely check them out!

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BTW, any other accessories that are good ideas for these rifles that anyone can recommend would be appreciated.

Also, I'm reading on the ammo that 172 grain-200ish grain ammo is best for grouping on the M39 as this is what they used to line the sights. Anyone can confirm this? I'm thinking I'll want some of the cheap stuff even if it's not that accurate to have something to shoot on my poor days?


If you get a Yugo SKS a golf ball launcher is the only accessory you'll need... Along with some blanks and a huge field. Johnson Automatics used to make one that simply attached to the grenade launcher but I think they're out of business.

Keep an eye out for Yugo heavy ball for the M39. It's surplus and corrosive but was made by Prvi in the 80's. It's brass-cased (not reloadable), with a 182 gr, lead-core bullet. Very good and accurate stuff. It still pops up from time to time.
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BTW, any other accessories that are good ideas for these rifles that anyone can recommend would be appreciated.

 

Also, I'm reading on the ammo that 172 grain-200ish grain ammo is best for grouping on the M39 as this is what they used to line the sights. Anyone can confirm this? I'm thinking I'll want some of the cheap stuff even if it's not that accurate to have something to shoot on my poor days?

 

The M39 was chambered and rifled specifically for standard 7.62x54r ammunition, in addition to being able to shoot the Finnish 7.62x53 round.  This was due to the fact that the Finns were involved in the war against the Soviet Union, experience in the earlier Winter War of 1939 had shown them that they could expect to capture and use standard Russian ammunition, earlier Finn variants had a chamber that was tighter than optimal for the Soviet ammo thus the change for the M39.  Most (not all) of the earlier weapons were also re-chambered during this period to fire x54r (the "D" mark on the barrels indicates this), thus unless the guns were sited differently at later dates the standard 147 gr milsurp ammo is what it was designed for.  Having said all that, most Mosin variants "like" the heavy ball ammo mostly because it was normally made to better specifications, being the Soviet version of "match" ammo ...

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Cosmoline can be removed with simple green and water boiled in the depths of he** itself, that's what I did for my Mosin and my bolt works great!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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