Text and Photos by Scott Bain
There are almost as many reasons to own a “Black Rifle” as there are accessories to put on one. The weight reduction from wood to plastic, the addition of specialized optics / sighting systems and increased magazine capacity. Besides, they also look cool!
TAPCO has a long history of making quality parts for some of the most popular guns around. Their products have made good guns better and brought old ones up to speed with modern times – and all their products are made in the USA.
I had seen a series of SKS stock being offered by TAPCO and shot them an email. A few days later a box arrived and the fun began! Now there is an amount of hesitation that comes when you begin to tear down a firearm beyond what is needed for cleaning…
So, I get my tools, cleaning supplies (Sentry Solutions) and set to reading the directions. Now, I’ve trolled the SKS boards and have read about other persons experiences with stock change outs. They have varied from “perfect fit” all the way to “I had to take a Dremel to the stock and the receiver”. That last one is the one that got me…If it doesn’t fit, maybe you should just leave it as is…In all of that I read a lot of good things about the TAPCO upgrades and a few not so good things…so keeping an open mind I went to work.
When I originally purchased my SKS I lucked out. Instead of getting a “Franken Gun” made from assorted parts, this one had matching serials all the way through and I was a little hesitant to do anything to it. After reading the instructions a few times just to be sure what I was doing, woosh! off with the old stock and on with the new! The process was so simple I was amazed! Strip it down, pop it out and drop it in! That’s it!
In fact it was so easy my son actually was able to help and it was done before my daughter woke up from her nap. The polymer parts are of top quality and the finish is nothing short of phenomenal. The fit was tight, slop free and when I was done you would have thought the rifle came out of the factory like this! TAPCO makes a top quality product that you can trust your life with.
The collapsible shoulder stock really allows for a custom fit and the weight reduction was like night and day. Considering I have a tri-rail with optics and a light on it the lighter stock is more than welcome. Included in the package from TAPCO was a little surprise that I will reveal in Part II of the build.
As of now, the gun is rebuilt and is waiting for a trip to the range. In Part II I will discuss the surprise part, mag function and the murky waters of 922r compliance along with a complete range report. Stay tuned!
Editor’s Note: for the more traditionally minded shooter, TAPCO also offers this rather nice wood stock with classic styling. Seen here on display at The SHOT Show 2012.
TAPCO’s full line of SKS accessories can be found on their website.