SKS Collecting And Identification: A Buyer’s Guide

SKS Collecting And Identification: A Buyer’s Guide


I had a C&R License (FFL 03) for around twenty years off and on back in the “golden era” when you could find plenty of German and Yugo Mausers, Lee- Enfields, Mosin-Nagants, Swiss K-31’s and Norinco and Russian SKS’s all for very reasonable prices.

It was a great way to learn about firearms, improve your gusnmithing skill-set (I taught myself how to repair Mausers this way) and amass a nice “collection” of very usable military weaponry including pistols and revolvers.

One of the many perks of having a C&R License is you get the weapon delivered directly to your home without the need of a Gun Dealer as a middleman. I cannot tell you the excitement of seeing the Big Brown Truck of Joy come rumbling up the road!

Curio and Relic Guns Anyone?

AIM Surplus – Mosin Nagant Rifles, Tokarev Pistols and Surplus 7.62x54R


(Note: The Tactical Hermit is not a paid spokesperson for AIM Surplus nor do I receive any monetary compensation for advertising for them. I am simply a Curio and Relics buff who likes to pass on information to like minded folk.)

I have said this many times before, but If you do not have your Curio and Relics License (FFL 03) I highly urge you to get one.

It’s very easy and extremely cheap (If you can pass a NICS Background check to buy a firearm, and have $30, you can get the license) and the best part is, The license is good for three years and you can get get the guns delivered right to your front door! The Big Brown Truck of Joy (UPS) never looked so good arriving! 🙂

A M91/30 Mosin Nagant was one of my first C/R Rifles, and the 7.62x54R caliber is still one of my favorite loads to stockpile. It has the .30 caliber stopping power without the price tag of .308 or .30-06.

The 7.62×25 Tokarev round is a powerful pistol cartridge as well and worth investing in.

Remember, you can never have too many guns and having a few warhorses like these in your armory is a great prepping plan as well.

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!


Time to Renew my FFL 03, now it’s time for you to get Yours!



I recently received my FFL 03 or Curio and Relics Firearms License renewal form in the mail. I originally purchased the License 3 years ago for $30. When I was a noob to the game back then I talked about becoming a CRUFFLER and since then it has allowed me to purchase numerous firearms and firearm parts (including not only rifles, but sidearms {pistols and revolvers} as well) and have them shipped directly to my home without the hassle of going to a gun shop to pick it up or paying  a hefty transfer fee.

It always amazes me how many folks in the gun culture are completely unaware that you can have a license like this. It also amazes me how many so called “pro-gun guys” miss out on not only the obvious benefits of having a license like this (guns delivered right to your door) but the deeper, fundamental reason for HAVING a license like this in this day and age we live in.

Let’s face it fellas, our 2nd Amendment rights have been under attack for a LONG time, and the fact of the matter is, they are going to continued to be attacked, regardless of who rents that Big White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. So if we don’t let our voices be heard and show the powers that be that we intend to use the RIGHTS that have been given and made available to us, they will be that much easier to take away from us when the next attack comes.

Having Curio Weapons is not just fun as a hobby as a military arms collector, it is also just good common sense for the Prepper-Patriot. Most of these guns operate off military surplus calibers that are somewhat plentiful right now and are easy to reload also.

So to give you an ideal, I prepared a quick list of C&R Firearms I think every CO should have in his weapons locker



M1 Garand (.30-06)

The Rifle Patton called “The Greatest Battle implement ever devised..” I bought several of these a while back from the NRA CMP Program. That is a really big benefit of having a FFL 03, as it satisfies almost all the requirements of the NRA requirements to purchase one of their firearms.


m1 carbine

M1 Carbine (.30 Carbine)

I bought several of these a while back from the NRA CMP Program before they dried up. That is also a really big benefit of having a FFL 03, as it satisfies all the requirements of the NRA requirements to purchase one of their firearms.



Chinese Norinco SKS (7.62×39)

The SKS series of rifles was added to the ATF’s list of Curio and Relic Qualified Firearms not long ago, which makes it one of the first Semi-Automatic Rifles to be added in some time. While you are it pick up a Yugo SKS too. 7.62×39 is a popular caliber due to the AK series of rifles, so having 2 weapons platforms operating off the same caliber is a no brainer for the prepper-patriot.


Mosin-Nagant M91/30 (7.62x54R)

I must admit, I am a fan of Soviet era and Com-Bloc Weapons. This rifle was like the one used by famous Soviet sniper Vasily Zaytsev (the sniper version is also available with a 4x Unertl scope added) during the Siege of Stalingrad in World War II. 7.62x54R is the Russian equivalent of our .30-06, it is Hard-Hitting and combat accurate. The ammo is semi-plentiful right now, so stock up.

polish tok

Polish Tokarev (7.62×25)

Absolutely one of my favorite com-bloc pistols. Hard Hitting, and another great example of the utilitarian Russian design of Firearms. Tokarev ammo availability  can be very sketchy some times, so when you find it, buy it.


Polish P-64 Makarov (9×18)

A great little gun that I have talked about before on this blog.  Makarov ammo is cheap and plentiful and you can buy some good hollow point designs also.

So there it is guys, Click HERE to begin your journey like I did 3 years ago, I can promise you will not be disappointed!

Stay Alert, Stay Armed, Keep Cruffling and Stay Dangerous!






Are Suppressors, SBR’s and Bullet Hoses Worth It?


You know I get asked alot of firearms questions, some of them technical, some of them tactical; but the ones that I really like are the VALUE questions…not just in terms of financial value, but in terms of Practicality. A recent example would be how practical is it for the CO to own an Uzi?? This question comes on the heels of certain “internet” gun training personalities (who happen to make Uzi’s too, imagine that!) that are now flaunting them as the perfect “survival weapon”?? Huh? Did I miss something?

First and foremost, a “Civilian Uzi” is nothing more than a semi-auto, hi-capacity, 10″ SBR or 16″ Barrel, mostly “Frankenfish” kit, 9mm pistol. My answer: Instead of buying an overpriced “toy” to show your gun range buddies, do the right thing and buy a few happy stick’s for your Glock. Problem solved: take an existing weapon and add capacity. Isn’t it funny how practical solutions are often very economical too?? 🙂 Wow..this is earth shattering stuff, huh??? 🙂 (insert sarcasm HERE).

So the question on the table is What is the real world “practicality” of suppressors with civilians?? Besides the obvious reasons of lowering the decibel level during drills and using one while hunting (see list of legal State’s here) you would be hard pressed to come up with a valid, practical reason, wouldn’t you? I mean your “run of the mill” civilian CO is not going to be inserting via HALO into an enemy encampment, having to neutralize several sentries silently along the way, grab a VIP (politician taken hostage say) package and execute a Zodiac boat exfil without anyone being any wiser is he? Of course not. Those roles are filled by Tier 1 & 2 Professionals in the Military and some Law Enforcement SWAT & HRT.

You could argue along the same lines I suppose about the practicality of civilians owning SBR’s (Short Barreled Rifles) or a Machine Gun; what is the practicality of it? Although there are no laws on the books against civilians (or companies) using a SBR or Automatic weapon for self-defense, it is not something you hear about on a frequent basis, nor is it the smartest legal move of the century. (Imagine the Zimmerman/Martin case if Zimmerman had been carrying a legally owned SBR Uzi on neighberhood watch!?? Ouch!!! The DA would be having a field day.

Just for FYI and so not to bore you with facts/figures, go to Silencers are Legal &  BRPGuns to get the low down on the legalities/history and all other info on how to LEGALLY own Suppressors, SBR’s and Automatic Weapons.

I suppose the answer why civilians buy Suppressors, SBR’s and “Bullet Hoses” is two-fold:

  1. The “Cool” Factor
  2. Because YOU CAN!!!

As I really don’t think the “Cool” Factor needs any explanation as far as when you are talking about cars or guns we will move on to #2….

As we are still living in a land where the 2nd Amendment is in force (KNOCK ON WOOD TWICE), I am of the school of thought that states as long as something is legal in your state, take advantage of it and buy one! Forget about practicality! Forget about legitimizing your purchase to your gun store buddies! Forget about trying to make your purchase politically correct! (My God in the Socialist Soup we live in, you are in for an uphill battle on that one my friend!! 🙂


The best, most illustrative example I can give you was my purchase of a FFL 03: Curio and Relics License..yeah, I don’t use it all that much and the guns I can get are mostly bolt actions (although I did buy some Sweeeet M1 Garand’s from the CMP recently!!), but for me to spend 5 minutes filling out a basic background check and spend $30 for a 4 year license perfectly legitimizes when that UPS big brown truck of joy pulls up to my house with a working firearm! I guess what I am trying to say is at least with me, it is more about the principal of the matter. With the past and current push of the progressive socialist to dis-arm and criminalize guns, I say, take whatever opportunity you can to exercise your 2nd amendment rights! As a sidenote, as the ATF is always updating the C&R Firearms list, I recently got some really nice SKS’s, so the armory is growing and more every day, which means several things:

  1. I am making sound investments for future financial “hard times” (yeah, people will always buy or need guns!!)
  2. Me and my family are well prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse and/or Armageddon
  3. With each gun purchased and delivered, that is one more liberal out here that is pissed off because a CO took the Constitution at face value!!!

So guys, bottom line, if you got the cash, and don’t mind some hefty paperwork and the ATF prying into your business some, (after all, they have already been eaves-dropping your IP’s and Phone lines!) buy that $200 tax stamp for that Suppressor, SBR or Machine Gun. Let’s face it, with the current white house renters and their anti-gun track record thus far, who knows, something you buy today could be outlawed tomorrow and then be worth ten or twenty times what you paid for I guess in that sense it is a “practical” move!!

Stay Dangerous and Exercise your Rights!!!

Cruffling: Do it while you Can!!


I recently went through with something I have been meaning to do for some time: I got my FFL 03 Curio & Relics License (BTW, Licensees are called “Crufflers”) For those of you who have been living on the moon or just out of the loop, a C/R License or FFL 03 enables you to purchase weapons (rifles, shotguns, revolvers and pistols) deemed by the ATF as 50 years or older (Curio and Relic Status) directly from a dealer and have it shipped directly to your home. No transfer fees, No Middleman Dealer…just the big brown truck of joy pulling up to your house with a firearm. Important Note:  This license is for Collecting only, not to go into business selling guns out of your house….this is a big no-no and can land you in hot water with the ATF; so be warned.

The process for getting the license is really uber-simple. Simply request from the ATF Website ATF Form 7CR…the form and postage is free. Also, while you are at it request a few copies of the Curio and Relics List..this list every firearm deemed by the ATF as a C&R. When you get the 7CR, there will be 2 copies, one you mail to the ATF, the other to your local Law Enforcement Officer (Police Chief or Sheriff depending on if you live inside or outside city limits..after you mail this to them, you have fulfilled your obligation to notify them as stated by the ATF). The 7CR Form is basically like filling out the ATF Form 4473 when you buy any firearm over the counter. If you can pass a background check to buy a gun, you can pass the 7CR background. Fill the form out completely and include a Money order for $30, which covers you for 3 years. Mail them both off and in about 8-10 weeks you should receive your this where it gets fun, but first some drudgery….

One of the regulations set forth when you obtain your license is that you keep a detailed record of your purchases in a BOUND BOOK. There are several ways to do this, the simplest being to print the forms off the ATF website and start a simple binder, I also bought some pocket dividers to put the receipts and shipping forms in for each that and you are done….wham bam, easy peezy. Now that you got that out-of-the-way, the real fun can begin!!



When you get your license, DO NOT SIGN IT!!! Make about 100 copies, then file your original away in a very SAFE place! Sign each copy individually because you need to either fax or mail them to Companies that sell C&R Weapons. You also need to have a few copies to take to gun shows.  Along with a copy of your license, you need to make out a form letter basically stating that this is your license and for the company to please file it for you and for them to put you on their mailing list and also ask what discounts they offer for license holders…some companies offer substantial discounts, so do ask. For a list of companies to mail or fax your license too, check out R&K Enterprises..they offer a package deal for the Cruffler that is $25 and worth every penny; it includes a really nice bound book and all documentation, plus a current, extensive list of dealers and wholesalers.

While I am talking about who to mail your license too, do not forget about the CMP (NRA Civilian Marksmanship Program); having a FFL 03 allows you to bypass all the hoops that standard civilians have to jump through to buy a M1 Garand or M1 Carbine. Also, Brownells is a good place to fax your license too, once you get a collection of guns going, you are going to need parts, some of them hard to find and Brownells is the best place to start looking…they also offer a nice discount for License holders. Lastly, Gun Broker..some people forget about these guys, but some nice C&R guns can be found there. As a resource, you also might consider getting a subscription to Shotgun News..I have found A LOT of good information on C&R Weapons plus some C&R companies exclusively advertise in there.


A word about Ammo: typically most of the best priced ammunition used in C/R Weapons is surplus. Not all surplus is Corrosive, but most is. Don’t freak out if it is, it is no big deal..just be sure to clean your weapon after you shoot water is all you need most of the time. Most people make a bigger deal out of this than need be IMO…I mean the gun is already 50+ years old, and unless you got a real gem (a collector grade weapon), the bore is not pristine, so don’t worry about it!! Shoot it, clean it and repeat!

Now that I have went through HOW you get your license and what to do after you get it let’s talk about WHY you should get it.

Besides the obvious reason of allowing you to purchase a variety of firearms and have them delivered directly to your home, I think that as Americans we need to exercise our right to own firearms before it get’s heavily MODIFIED or taken away all together. The way things are going Politically, that is not just some prepper paranoid talk, but an eventual reality. Also, collecting various types of firearms expands the CO’s expertise..learning how to work and fix guns is always a good thing folks…self-sufficiency should not be a two letter curse word in our modern society of convenience!!


As time goes by, I will showing some of my new C&R Weapons and stay tuned.

In Closing,  spend the $30 and get yourself a FFL 03 while you can, you won’t regret it.

Stay Dangerous!