2012 SKS Market Report

Most recent SKS Market Report: 2014 Jan. - June is now available.

2012 was full of opportunities to score some fine examples of SKS rifles, which everything from rifles needing some repair, tact-tee-cool fully bubba-fied examples to documented bring-back's available for sale. In 2012, the GunStockMarket tracked 2,898 SKS rifles exchanging hands on various sites, which in no way is this the real number of SKS sales throughout the United States but only the number that could be scanned by the GunStockMarket. Even more SKS were listed, as the GunStockMarket found 20,382 listings (note that this number may be high due to sellers relisting the same rifle for sale many times). From January of 2012 to December of 2012, the average price of an SKS (all varieties) rose 18%.

2012 SKS Sale Price Trend

Green Line: Average price
Red Line: Highest price
Blue Line: Lowest price

The insight from the above graph is not that the high price fell dramatically from January, as this is due to a single high price is from one listing, but rather that the average price rose towards the end of 2012. Looking only at the second half of the year, the trend of a slight rise is clear (the same data is used for the average price in this graph, but the high and low price line is removed to highlight the rise).

The highest priced auctions which sold are interesting, for from the titles alone it is possible to learn what types of SKS will get a good price, even without the "grey-blanket" effect noted on many collector message boards.

JanuarySKS Yugoslavian COMPLETE STILL IN GREASE83500Gun Broker
FebruaryRussian SKS-45 Vietnam war trophy with papers111525Gun Broker
AprilRussian SKS 1954 ALL MATCHING NON-REFURB !16700Gun Broker
MaySKS, Type 561895Gun Broker
JuneChinese Norinco MC-5D SKS Takes AK Mags AK-474650Gun Broker
July1954 Russian SKS, Izhevsk11100Gun Broker
AugustRussian SKS39715Gun Broker
SeptemberNorinco SKS AK mag conversion NIB1630Gun Broker
NovemberVietnam Chinese SKS With Capture Papers1875Gun Broker
DecemberYugo SKS Bullpup not ak47 ar15141275Gun Broker

Clearly, documented war trophies and early Russian SKS examples will bring the highest prices. Note that sales with zero bids were "buy it now" transactions.

So what about the bottom of the market? What kind of deals were found in the SKS world in 2012?

JanuaryNorinco SKS 7.62 X 39mm12165Gun Broker
AprilSKS Rifle with scope1140Gun Broker
JulyYugo M59 M 59 Yugoslavian SKS NOT 59/66 A1 NR .01! KBI NOT Russian Romanian Chinese Albanian NR .0130193Gun Broker
AugustNorinco Norinco SKS 7.62x398148Auction Arms
OctoberNorinco SKS, 762X3953177Auction Arms
NovemberNorinco SKS14209Gun Broker
DecemberChinese SKS semi auto 7.62x39mm w/ bayonet6205Gun Broker

Even with prices of SKS on the rise throughout 2012, there were deals to be found on-line. Someone scored a Yugoslavian M59, the original model without the grenade launcher, for a penny under $100! If this was a fully functional rifle in original configuration, that was quite a score.

Another factor in price is the availability of the item being sought. Most of 2012 had a steady supply of SKS, the rise during the fourth quarter could be explained with the influx of the "Sino-'banian" SKS. The next graph shows the supply of SKS throughout 2012.

The Russian SKS in 2012

The Russian SKS is a collector favorite, and the "gut feel" of most collectors is that it leads the pack in price of all the variants. Early years and some sub-variants (for example, a 1953 SKS from Izhevsk) may be hard to find and expensive to purchase, but it was still possible to add an example Russian SKS for your collection for much less than the highest price in 2012. The good news/bad news for 2012 for Russian SKS prices is that they went up in 2012, if you have one you're in good shape but if you haven't acquired one for your collection yet, the price trend for Russian SKS rifles has shown no sign of reversing.

2012 Russian SKS Sale Price Trend

Green Line: Average price
Red Line: Highest price
Blue Line: Lowest price

Russian SKS Listings in 2012 by Month

The Sino-Soviet SKS in 2012

2012 was exciting for the SKS collector, in that for the first time in years new Sino-Soviet SKS were imported into the United States. Since importation of firearms directly from China was still banned in 2012, it was obvious that this batch of imports came from another country which was not China. It did not take long for collectors to figure out that the non-China country was Albania. While there were some gems in the 2012 Sino-Soviet SKS imports, many were rough. Care must be taken in the future to know if what you are buying is an "original" Sino-Soviet, or from the batch of 2012 which collectors quickly began calling the "Sino-'banian" SKS. As only a few true examples of Sino-Soviet SKS were found by the GunStockmarket, there is not enough data in 2012 to produce a trend.

Sino-Soviet SKS Listings in 2012 by Month

The Albanian SKS in 2012

Another darling of the SKS collector crowd is the Albanian SKS due to its rarity (most sources state around 5,000 were imported into the United States) and differences from a "standard" SKS such as the bolt carrier handle. The price of Albanian SKS stayed strong throughout 2012.

2012 Albanian SKS Sale Price Trend

Green Line: Average price
Red Line: Highest price
Blue Line: Lowest price

Given the low number of Albanian SKS sales compared to the wider SKS market, the Albanian SKS had a large variance of price in 2012. The GunStockMarket found 52 Albanian SKS sales in 2012. Around $400.00 has been a fair price for an Albanian SKS in 2012, but as always condition matters greatly in the price.

The Yugoslavian SKS in 2012

In recent years, the Yugoslavian SKS has been imported in two forms, the original M59 which resembles the Russian SKS and the M59/66 with the grenade launcher (there are several forms of the grenade launcher). With so many available, it was possible to find the rifle you wanted in 2012.

2012 Yugoslavian M59 SKS

2012 Yugoslavian M59/66 SKS

The Romanian SKS in 2012

2012 Romanian SKS Sale Price Trend

Green Line: Average price
Red Line: Highest price
Blue Line: Lowest price

The Romanian SKS followed the market in 2012, looking a lot like the Russian SKS and trailing by a bit in prices.

The Chinese SKS in 2012

With so many variations of Chinese built SKS, and sub-divisions for different factories, etc. the GunStockMarket focused on the popular Paratrooper, SKS-D, SKS-M and then a catch all for Chinese SKS. There is confusion in the marketplace between the D and M models, causing some to be misrepresented in on-line listings. Since the GunStockMarket does not use photographs, instead using the text of the poster, there is some error with the D and M models but this data should be close enough to provide insight regarding a fair price of D and M model SKS.

2012 Chinese SKS

2012 Paratrooper SKS

2012 SKS-D

2012 SKS-M

Unicorns and Summary

2012 held a lot of rousing action with the SKS in auctions. The introduction of a new batch of Chinese/Sino-Soviet/Sino-'banian SKS rifles mixed things up. The Russian and Romanian SKS were steady performers. The M59 version of the Yugoslavian SKS showed up a few times, as did examples of the Albanian SKS. Chinese SKS continue to be popular, with the Paratrooper, SKS-M and SKS-D variations leading the Chinese SKS pack.

A few ultra-rare Unicorn SKS showed up for auction with interesting results. Examples of both a Polish and North Korean SKS showed up for auction. The Polish SKS sold, while the North Korean SKS did not make the reserve price.

The Polish SKS was listed three times, finally selling the third time for $425.00.

The North Korean SKS was listed twice, and not meeting its reserve, closed in December and was not listed again in 2012. In its two listings it achieved $2,505.00 (closed 9/22/2012) and $2,300.00 (closed 12/23/2012). There were bidders, but the seller attached more value than the bidders were willing to pay at this point.

In 2012, SKS showed up for every budget from every country that every that produced the SKS. These rifles continue to be popular for plinking, preparing for TEOTWAWKI and collecting. The SKS provides shooting fun and has interest for those who study history with the use of SKS spanning WWII, the Cold War, Vietnam and elsewhere, continuing into recent history. No matter what your use of the SKS, this handy little semi-auto is fascinating and fun.