A Canada-based firearms accessory manufacturer is working on adapter kits that let SKS shooters use AR-15 lower components. It also provides a stable flat-top rail for AR-style iron sights and optics.
The Pearce Armoury ILS chassis lets users tap the huge AR-15 aftermarket for parts to use with their SKS rifles. Everything including magazines, triggers, safety selectors, pistol grips and buttstock assemblies.
This obviously isn’t designed to compete with the booming AR market. This conversion kit is for shooters who don’t have access to ARs and are restricted to other rifles. It’s also a cool project for anyone who likes the SKS but still wants to enjoy a few more modern features.
The SKS, or Simonov Carbine, was developed during World War II and saw widespread global adoption starting in the 1950s. Even though it was soon technologically surpassed by the AK-47, among other designs, it remained a second-line rifle and stayed in service with the Russian military for decades.
Many other countries and Soviet states adopted the SKS and later replaced it as well, sending large numbers of these carbines straight to the military surplus market. Because they mostly have traditional stocks and fixed 10-round magazines the SKS family of rifles remains available to shooters even in places with restrictive gun control laws.
While it’s starting to become a collector’s gun for shooters in the U.S., in Canada the SKS is dirt cheap and common. That’s a good thing because to use this kit the SKS must be permanently altered. To accommodate the kit the magazine well needs to be opened up along with the hammer channel.
The top cover is also replaced with a receiver-length flattop rail. The rail replaces the rear sight and pins to the receiver for stability. This should be better than the bulk of SKS optics mounting systems. With an AR-15 stock assembly in place, the flattop rail is more or less at standard AR-15 height and it looks like it should work without the need for height adapters or cheek risers. The original SKS front sight can be removed and discarded.
For now, Pearce Armoury plans to 3D print the ILS chassis kit, but they have considered a run of “lowers” CNC machined from aluminum billet. These are not lowers in the same way that AR lower are — they’re not considered firearms and can be shipped freely.
Still, people have been 3D printing AR lowers for years now and while the final product is not going to be as tough as an alloy part it should still hold up to regular use. Pearce Armoury shared photos of their proof-of-concept unit and it looks, well, decide and comment for yourself.
“About two years ago, I bought my first SKS rifle,” said ILS chassis designer Ryan Pearce reports the Firearm Blog. “Like many new SKS owners, I searched the aftermarket for upgrades to improve its accuracy, reliability, cartridge capacity and ease of magazine reloading.”
“I could never find exactly what I wanted, so I began researching the dimensions of the SKS and learned that I could integrate [the features] I wanted … if I created an all-new chassis,” said Pearce. “It was then that I started Pearce Armoury to develop modern technology solutions for the SKS rifle.”
“We are using a material called Nylon 12, it has good strength principals in the thicknesses we are using and produces a fairly nice finish,” said Pearce. “These could smoothed by hand if the layers are bothersome.”
He also added that other colors may be possible in the future. “We will be offering them only in white at the moment but looking at an option to have them painted.”