The rifle arrived today and I've got to say, it's bittersweet.
The Cons first:
1. I was immediately reminded why I haven't bought a lot from Marstar over the last few years. The price they list on their site is always the "bare bones" price that does not include shipping or tax. Both of which are added after you order and can come as a bit of a shock. So instead of costing me $189, this SKS cost $250. I understand, it's the cost of doing business, but I'd like to be told the total cost at the time of order, rather than when I get the bill with the gun when Canada Post is on my doorstep. Like the last thing I bought from them: An $8 chest rig that cost me $30 in S&H and tax.
2. These rifles ship without anything. No sling, not ammo pouches, only an oil bottle and one - just one - stipper clip. Good thing that the case of ammo I got from the other place (shipping included in price) is all loaded onto stripper clips.
3. These rifles have been promoted as "authentic" Chinese war stocks and not civilian export models. They sure are. While there are clearly some parts that are better made than Norinco comercial models that I have handled, overall build quality is just not that much better. Not to mention the fact that they have been in storage for something like fifty odd years, so there are numerous stock dings, and corrosion bubbles under the finish on the metal. Not unexpected, but dissapointing on a premium SKS offering.
4. The LOP is startlingly short. I'd guess maybe eleven and a half inches. I have to actively "suck it in" shouldering the rifle. That could be a problem.
So are those four problems a deal breaker?
I'd like to clean it up and shoot it first. But in order to take advantage of the company's "ironclad return guaruntee" I have to ship it back within 30 days of the original purchase, and I don't see myself going out to shoot it if the weather remains this bad within this time frame.
The only thing that is really bothering me is the short stock. I'll give it a few days...