How to Sight in a SKS Rifle

••• Wikimedia Commons

The SKS is a semi-automatic rifle designed by the Soviets, which has since been manufactured by at least 10 different countries and with multiple variants. These variants affect the iron sights on the rifle considerably. For example, SKS rifles that have a grenade launcher fitting also have a different sighting mechanism that can be used for the grenade launcher. Most SKS rifles, however, share the same basic iron sights which, while simple to use, are poorly designed.

Hold the rifle properly. Put your primary hand on the grip, with the index finger around the trigger, and your secondary hand to grip the rifle forward of the trigger and on the stock. Place the rifle butt squarely into your shoulder.

Adjust the leaf rear sight of the SKS by sliding the indicator forward to the estimated range to the target.

Close the eye furthest away from the sights, so you are only looking down the sights with one eye.

Tilt back your head so you align and look into both the rear sight and the front sight. The front sight should be aligned into the notch of the rear sight. When this is done, you are on target and can shoot.


  • The typical SKS has a notoriously small notch in the rear leaf sight, and the front sight is hairline thin and not much better. Against a dark background or target, the front sight is likely to disappear, and the iron sights will probably be useless after dark

Photo Credits

  • Wikimedia Commons