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SKS Rifles


The Simonov Carbine - SKS

Bob Dunlap teaches this course on the Russian designed, and German StG 44 inspired, SKS semi-automatic carbine. Designed in conjunction with its 7.62x39 ammunition, also inspired by the Germans 7.92x33 (8mm Kurtz or Short) cartridge, the SKS was the first Russian Assault Rifle. Produced by the millions and still in service in many parts of the world, this gun saw extensive use in both the Russian and Chinese versions in Vietnam. A cut-away gun is used so that you can actually see the operation and relationship of the internal parts. If you want the quick course on how to get the venerable Simonov carbine apart, back together, and operating as intended, then this course is for you (if you want the "long course," look into our basic 108 hour Professional Gunsmith Course.)

Among the items covered are:

Design & Function

  • The gas system is shown, and its well thought out parts discussed
  • Why having the gas port farther than normal from the chamber, and the large diameter system, are a good idea
  • Why the guns work well with wide variations in strength and quality of ammo
  • The gun was designed to work well with poor quality steel as well as varying levels of quality in manufacture, why?
  • The guns unique locking system shown and demonstrated. Where are the locking lugs?
  • How the carrier tail serves as a hammer block if the disconnect has disengaged and the bolt is not locked
  • How the tip of the magazine follower activates the bolt stop
  • The robust extractor and the soldier proof ejector are displayed, and their direct ancestry of those in the later AK-47 are obvious
  • The clever way the extractor is forced inward on bolt opening is shown
  • The fire control system is displayed and explained
  • See the multiple disconnect devices designed into the gun, and how they work
  • Stone axe simple safety and its operation shown, required clearances shown, and corrections if necessary
  • Design and operation of the magazine shown
  • Why the bolt MUST be back before the magazine is removed, and the consequences if it is not
  • Why SKS and AK mags are curved


  • Extensive disassembly, parts not removed have removal described (or the reasons not to), including barrel, gas block, front and rear sights, receiver cover pin, and the bolt stop pin
  • Why the flat tipped firing pin can cause problems, and its solution
  • Why the firing pin has cut outs
  • Why the springs have multiple strands
  • How to correct a negative hammer/sear engagement (and what that is)
  • How to adjust the disconnector to get properly aligned trigger bar, sear engagement
  • How to improve the trigger pull, the ubiquitous Trigger Job
  • If you do a trigger job, why you need to adjust the mag catch engagement

Cleaning & Lubrication

  • AGI cleaning & lubrication methods shown, along with the reasons for their use


  • Making sure you have no parts left over
  • Why it does not hurt to oil the piston
  • How to correct a negative angle on the extractor hook
  • How to recognize and correct a magazine feeding problem if you damage the lips

Common Problems and Their Correction

  • Feeding and extraction
  • Barrel problems
  • Bedding the barrel
  • Making the magazine flush with the stock


  • What is available
  • Magazines available, and removable mag conversions
  • Reforming the safety to clear your finger
  • What to avoid

If you noticed how often the terms "explanation" and "demonstration" are used, you may be getting some idea of why this course is necessary  for any SKS owner, or someone who intends to be.

How much does your Professional Course cost? The answer can be found in our intro pack. We recommend to anyone considering our Professional Course that they get the Introduction to Gunsmithing Packet as this packet includes a video with a sample gunsmithing lesson. It also includes an Enrollment Form that lists the costs of each Course level available as well as the material covered in each level.

Do I have to pay $7 s/h on each retail video? No, we discount shipping on multiple video orders. The new website calculates shipping based on weight and destination. In most cases, the actual shipping is less than listed in the catalog.

Is there a time limit to complete your course? No, our course is self-paced. As you complete sections of the course and submit your tests, we provide certification of completion for that portion of the course.

Can I become certified by taking your retail courses? Answers vary. If you are intending to purchase all the videos in our Law Enforcement Armorer's Course, for example, as long as you buy the test separately you can obtain a Certification as a Law Enforcement Armorer once you complete the testing successfully. Otherwise you would need to purchase one of our certified professional courses in order to obtain a profession Gunsmithing certificate.

What does your Professional Gunsmithing Course Introductory Lesson cover?The Introductory Lesson is one hour and includes complete information on how to get started Gunsmithing. You will also learn how to insure reliable auto-pistol feeding and how to prevent jams, checking and adjusting "range" on Smith and Wesson revolvers, how a gas system works on a Colt AR-15, AR-7 trigger repairs, timing and understanding cartridge stops of a Remington 870 and much more! 

Are your Courses guaranteed? Yes! The American Gunsmithing Institute is proud to offer a 100%, "Bulletproof Guarantee." We are so sure of the quality of our Courses and products that you may return any item purchased directly from AGI for a full refund (less shipping) for up to 90 days after purchase date. Defective DVDs and videos will be replaced for up to 1 year. The only question we will ask is: "How did we fail you?"

Does AGI offer other Certified Courses aside from the Professional Gunsmithing Course? Yes. We also offer a Certified Machine Shop Course, complete with Lathe, Mill and general Machine Shop instruction. Additionally AGI offers a Certified Welding Course and a Certified Locksmithing Course.

What do the Disassembly/Reassembly Courses cover? AGI offers D/R Courses that clearly demonstrate the complete process of disassembly and reassembly step-by-step. The Courses use close-up views to provide comprehensive instruction. Each DVD Video Manual covers one specific model or family of firearms and is indexed to help the user quickly find the information that they are looking for. At the price of only $19.97 each (plus s/h), these video manuals are must have support information for anyone who owns one of these firearms.  

What do the Armorer's Courses cover?AGI's Armorer's Courses teach you how to disassemble, maintain, repair and reassemble your choice of the 51 guns featured. These videos are packed with exclusive information and are equal to a complete Factory Armorer's Course! While our Disassembly/Reassembly Courses contain invaluable information, our Armorer's Courses contain so much more. Master Gunsmith and AGI Instructor Robert "Bob" Dunlap explains design and function using exclusive factory cutaway firearm models, giving you close-up details of the internal functions you would not otherwise be able to see. All AGI Armorer's Course DVDs include a FREE printable schematic!    

Are your Instructors experienced in their fields? Absolutely. Master Gunsmith and AGI Senior Instructor Robert "Bob" Dunlap is a widely respected authority in the firearm industry and spent over 35 years as the senior instructor at Lassen College's internationally known Gunsmithing School. Master Gunsmith Gene Shuey is a world class custom gun builder, former world class competitive shooter and current trainer specializing in 1911 and Glock pistols, IPSC limited and open class guns, and high-end custom rifles. Darrell Holland is a well known custom rifle builder, writer and lecturer who is always inventing new performance shooting products. Ken Brooks is a graduate of the renowned Gunsmithing program at Lassen College and continues his journey by working full time for Bob Dunlap. Gene Kelly is the President of AGI and the Gun Club of America. He graduated from Lassen College's Gunsmithing program and worked as a Professional Gunsmith prior to founding AGI. T.R. Graham is a NRA Certified Pistol Instructor and is a known authority, author and Gunsmith specializing in Glocks and other handguns. Master Armorer John Bush is an AGI Instructor and a consultant to manufacturers and importers of military firearms, and is certified as an Expert Witness in firearm cases.

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