Today is the second in the economical gun series. Today we will look at carbines. We will cover one semi-auto and one bolt action. Both of the guns have a military history and are currently readily available. Both of these guns use a rifle cartridge.
The Type 56 SKS
This semi-auto 30 caliber (7.62x39) carbine was developed in 1949 by Russian Sergei Siminov. Russia and various comblock countries produced this weapon in the millions and the Chinese have produced it commercially for export. This gun is NOT the father to the AK47. This gun feeds from a non-detachable 10 round box magazine. There is a multitude of parts and accessories to dress up an SKS. Light, handy and reasonably accurate, this gun, with it's military background, is also durable. I have sent 3-4 thousand rounds downrange through one of mine and encountered Zero problems. A few of my friends have taken many deer with an SKS and hunting ammo. Prices for these little jewels are are at this time inflated due to the political climate. I was able to find one on http://www.kcguntrader.com/ for $325 and a couple on http://www.gunbroker.com/ for around $315 dollars. Still, a 30 caliber semi-auto for just over 300 buck is good. The ammo for these guns is fairly cheap and still available during this time of ammo shortages. It has been said there is no number to describe the amount of 7.62x39 ammo that has been produced. For more detailed information on the SKS go to this site. The ballistics of the little 7.62 cartridge are very similiar to those of the proven deer stopper 30-30. Velocity from the 124 gr. FMJ loading is 2300 fps with 1489 fp of energy at the muzzle. The 125 gr. soft point load has a muzzle velocity of 2365 fps and 1552 fp energy. At 200 yards the velocity is still running at 1783 fps with 882 fp energy. So this cartridge and gun is more than adequate for deer out to 200 yards and the SKS has proven itself capable in combat as well.
Now let's look at a bolt action carbine.
The Type 38, 44, 1891/56 carbines
The model 38 has been produced since 1938, the 44 started later. In production until 1955 there a plenty of these on the surplus market and being bolt action they are not on any ban list at this time. Chambered in the hard hitting 7.62x54R cartridge, this gun is between the power of a .308 and a 30/06. The cartridge is rimmed and carries bullets from 148 to over 200 grains. Plenty of fmj ammo for practice is available and soft point hunting ammo is widely available. In soft point form, the 150 grain load travels at 2600 feet per second and the 180 at 2400 fps. I was able to find ammo as low as $89.97 for a 440 rd box of Bulgarian fmj and soft point for 18 dollars per box of 20. This fine carbine chambered in this time proven cartridge is excellent for deer and larger game. In the carbine form, it does give quite a severe recoil but is easily managed. If you want to dress up your old M38 or M44 look at this sporterized scout version. Now for the good part... an as new 30 caliber bolt action carbine for....$79.99! Check your local gunshows and dealers for this handy hardhitting carbine. One of the best buys of the century.