Monday, September 26, 2016

TFB--"Matador Arms SKS Sabertooth Chassis"

The Firearms Blog has posted a review of the Matador Arms SKS Sabertooth Chassis. (There are photos in the TFB review, or more photos at Matador Arms' website). Basically, this is an aluminum "chassis" designed to hold the guts of an SKS, and provides a fore-grip that sports Picatinny rails. The system is designed to accept AR pistol grips (none are provided with the system) and take an AR butt stock (I assume you will have to also purchase the buffer tube). As you can see, it is designed to take the "duck-bill" detachable magazines designed for the SKS (I presume, but don't know, that it can be used with the fixed 10-round magazine) (Update: after reviewing the information on the distributors website, the chassis will NOT work with the original fixed 10-round magazine)**. Other accessories are available, including a top sight rail to fit over the bolt assembly for mounting a scope or moving a red-dot back closer to your eyes, and an extended magazine release. The chassis is available in black, flat-dark earth, and woodland digital camo according to Matador's website. Weight is 2.2 lbs., and the price is about $250 from the company's U.S. dealer.

Based on appearances, this appears to be the best after-market stock system I've seen for the SKS, offering a solid platform for mounting optics or other items on the front end of the weapon, and opening up a large field of different options as to the rear stock and pistol grip. The magazine well is probably a nice feature, as I imagine it assists in correctly aligning the magazine for seating.

However, as I noted in my earlier review of the SKS, from the perspective of survival preparations, I question the value of spending substantial amounts of money upgrading the SKS in order to turn it into something that it is not--a modern sporting rifle. The exception I see would be if you had a substantial amount already invested in the weapon system (ammunition, extra magazines, and so forth). In that case, the potential for increasing accuracy due to the rigid chassis* and the added options that this chassis offers might be worth the investment. Otherwise, I would stand by my original assessment in my review of the SKS that you would be better to save your pennies and upgrade from the SKS to another weapon system.

On the other hand, if you like tinkering with rifles (and the SKS has quite a bit of unexplored potential in that area), and don't mind the cost, this may be just the thing.

*Unfortunately, the TFB review does not discuss whether the chassis would increase accuracy, instead focusing on ergonomics.

**Updated 1/23/2017

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