The SKS was at one time billed as the poor man’s AK-47. That may be true but the SKS has its disadvantages. Namely that it’s much harder to mount an optic to an SKS than it is to mate one up to even the oldest surplus commie AK-47’s.
Optics have a few definitive advantages over iron sights but if you have a bad mount or a good mount mated up improperly then you have a problem on your hands. The answer is for you to find the best SKS mount you can for the job you have, not just something your buddy picked out.
SKS Optic Mounts
Overall best SKS optic mount #1 Pick
Best SKS scout scope mount
Best low costing option
Best SKS red dot mount
Best light weight mount for the SKS
Challenges for an SKS Scope Mount
The SKS was deigned before the age of combat optics. Telescopic scopes and electronic red dot sights were very specialized items when the SKS was designed at the tail end of WW2 and the open receiver of the SKS was designed around using stripper clips to feed the internal box magazine.
Blocking that opening means you either need a magazine conversion or you need to single feed rounds into the magazine. Fine for hunting but could get tedious for plinking after a few reloads. Look for a way to get the best of both worlds or you could use a scout mount for your riflescope.
Best Way to Mount Scope on an SKS
Getting the best combination of mount and optic onto an SKS means you have to remember that the SKS was not designed to be used with an optic.
Mounting an SKS scope is a combination of fining a solid mount and protecting the scope from damage when it gets hit by brass flying out of the ejection port. This means anything you mount up there is going to take beat, plan accordingly with both your optic and your mounting solutions.
This makes the scope mount set up one of the best options for an SKS because you can mount the optic well away from the ejection port. This allows you to shield your optic from brass and still load it from the port, meaning you don’t have to make a magazine conversion on your rifle.
This doesn’t mean that you can only use the scout set up. There’s several options for you take advantage of an optic on your rifle:
SKS Optics Mount Options
After searching far and wide through SKS scope mount reviews these are a few options that rise to the top as great products:
Best SKS Optics Mount Overall
If you want the highest quality optics mount for your SKS this is the best on the market. It is a solid steel base that mounts on the receiver and includes an integrated shell deflector. The mount itself is thick and solid enough to hold zero no matter what but still allows you to use your iron sights because of its low-profile design.
This mount has a 22 slot picatinny rail that is the longest of any SKS mount available. This gives you options to run optics as close and far away from your eye as you would like, a great feature for red dot sights and parallax free scopes.
Best SKS Scout Scope Mount
A scout mounted optic is preferable on fast and light carbines if you want the absolute largest field of view and the ability to make the fastest snap shots possible on targets from 0-300 yards.
The scout concept starts to be hard to achieve when you shoot at smaller and smaller targets out to ranges greater than 300 yards. The additional advantage on an SKS is that you can still load through the ejection port on the top of the gun because you don’t have a scope mount blocking the hole. Global Sportsman makes the best solution for SKS owners wanting a scout style scope mount.
The best thing about this scope mount is the fact that it gives you in effect the same forend as an Ar15. It has had a ton of design work done including a way to fit the bayonet into the design by including a channel for it to fold into when you’re not using it.
Best Cheap SKS Scope Mount
The SKS is popular in the US because it is one of the cheapest military surplus rifles you can get your hands on that is semi-automatic. The SKS is known for being made in crude Chinese factories and not being of very high quality or accurate. If you’re looking to complement this cheap philosophy the rifle was made under, a cheap scope mount is in store.
If you’re trying to check into an inexpensive SKS mount for hunting or plinking, this is a good option. It combines a durable steel construction with a durable coating to prevent rust and corrosion. This mount uses the rear sight to add a long picatinny rail for solidly mounting optics close to the eye on top of the receiver.
SKS Red Dot Mount
SKS was designed as the Soviet’s first mass produced ”assault rifle” essentially a light and fast carbine, made for close range fighting with an intermediate round. The good news is that this is the realm the red dot was created for and a red dot mount for the SKS fits like a glove.
This scope mount makes a rock-solid fit made of a combined aluminum and steel construction. This mount puts a sight right where you’d be used to with and Ar15 or bolt gun and it already includes an integrated rail. The best thing about this mount is the performance for the price. You could find both a cheaper mount, and a high-performance mount but for this price it fit’s the theme of an SKS like a glove.
Another, often forgot, feature is the fact this rail is going to have plenty of rail space for any red dot you’re going to use. Mini-red dot sights are all the rage now a days, but the larger models have a lot of merit and you can easily fit one onto this mount.
Ultralight SKS Mount
The 7.62x39 round can get heavy quickly. A lightweight aluminum mount can go a long way to trimming weight from your rifle that doesn’t need to be there. Extended shielding for your optic can be a good thing for precision scopes used for hunting or long range plinking but most red dots don’t need that kind of protection. Choose the amount of shielding you need carefully based on the optic you plan to use.
This Matador Arms Razor is a great answer as a light and fast mount that is not only dead simple, but also a quality mount for not a lot of money. The main feature is its light weight. It’s made from solid aluminum and mounts forward of the receiver. This is perfect for red dot sights because you don’t have much real-estate to mount on but this small mount will certainly get the job done.
Best Optics for an SKS
Red Dot Sight
The SKS was a combat driven design, it just makes sense that it pairs with a combat style sight. The red dot sight is the simplest aiming system you can put onto your rifle. The magnification free red dot is parallax free, has unlimited eye relief is many are virtually bombproof.
The main advantage of a red dot on an SKS is the fact it can be used on a scout set up with no problems. All you need is the proper mount and you’re set. Just put the red dot where you want the bullet to go, and squeeze the trigger.
Rifle scopes offer a lot of advantages for hunters especially. They can be used in low light because the optical coating amplify color, allowing you to hunt longer within legal hours. They help you see better by adding magnification and visually bringing the target closer and they’re just simple to use.
The greatest advantage is that if you put the crosshairs onto a target and do your part, the round will hit. For aging eyes, new shooters and young hunters the scopes are the best option by far.
The iron sights on an SKS are like the aperture sights on an M1 Garand. These sights are good in the field and many mounts made for the SKS are designed for your to be able to use them in case your optic isn’t usable while on a hunt or at the range.
If you want to save money on a plinking or small game rifle the SKS is a good deal. If you want to add an optic, it can be a bit tricky because the design came out before the advent of combat optics. Choosing the best SKS scope mount can be a challenge. The best solution is to find a compromise you can deal with and appreciate the rifle for what it is... a hard use, field gun, not a show rifle.
Featured image by Mitch Barrie