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I have a couple SKS 'project' guns that were complete milsurps before undergoing their transformation. You can find a decent one to start with for around $200-$300. The whole is definitely less than the sum of its parts.

Not sure how in-depth you want to take your project, but most owners prefer starting with a gun with all matching numbers as the main firing components have already been tweaked and worn-in to fit together as a unit.

Visit yooper johns (http://www.yooperj.com/) to see what to look for in an SKS. At the very least you will want a threaded, heavy-lugged barrel that screws into a milled receiver, with a milled trigger group. You can surf Survivor's SKS Boards for additional knowledge, along with this link, (http://www.victorinc.com/SKS-FAQ.html).

BTW, I will never part with my SKS's.
 
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