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[Lead photo: Oleg Volk]

Original reports coming out of the shooting of GOP congress members at a Virginia baseball field reported that the attacker used a firearm “similar to an M4” in the attack. Reports are now emerging (confirmed by multiple sources) that the firearm in use was actually an SKS and a 9mm handgun.

The SKS is a semi-automatic rifle which pre-dates the AK-47 by about four years as a potential battle rifle for the Soviet Red Army. Designed as a top loading stripper clip fed gas operated rifle, the gun has since often been modified to use detachable magazines as well. SKS firearms imported into the United States are predominantly Yugoslavian manufactured, and while Russian and Chinese models are available they remain relatively rare and some are sought after by collectors.

That makes CNN’s statement about the SKS (“a Chinese-made variant of the popular AK rifle”) almost entirely incorrect. And as for the other news outlets like CBS which “confirmed” the weapon was an AR-15 that’s just fake news.

While some variants of the SKS have detachable magazines, the majority of SKS models have fixed magazines and hold only ten rounds at a time. The fixed magazine and low capacity means that this rifle would not be classified as an “assault rifle” under any of the current or proposed “assault weapons ban” legislation.

See our review of the SKS rifle here.

The other firearm involved in the attack has been described as a 9mm handgun, but the make and model have not been specified. The handgun, while present, does not appear to have been used in the attack — only the SKS was fired during the event.

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  1. Yeah, SKS/M-4…anybody could mix those up, right CBS? I mean they are practically indistinguishable. Geez, I figured that initial M-4 report was probably off, but not by that much.

    • He probably had it in a Crapco stock. Also, there are those duckbilled steel Promags look like AK mags from the duckbill down.

    • The MF’er could’ve used a break action shotgun and the lUberal media would’ve screamed AR15!!!! As fast as they could anyway.

      • Fake news media

        Dang! Confusing an SKS and M4! Pathetic

        Probably was a Chinese one. I’d bet the Norinco is more common than the Yugo (total numbers in the USA – not just recent ones). My SKS is a Norinco, and I don’t confuse it with my AR or AK.

        The fake news would call a 10/22 an AR15.

        • What could possibly be a more appropriate choice for a declared marxist/Bernie Sanders drone?

      • Remember the naval yard shooting?

        “It was an AR15!” Even had the first video ‘simulation’ with an AR15.

        Nope. Shotty.


      • A Mosin-Nagant is bolt action not semi-auto as the SKS. A Mosin doesn’t compare to an SKS.

        • You’re comparing the two based on functionality, which isn’t the strongest basis for comparison in this context. We’re talking about the media’s intial identification of the rifle, which would be based more on appearance of the rifle than anything else.

          The SKS and Mosin are both wooden and obviously older style rifles. In that regard, they have more in common with each other than either does with an M4, AR-15, or similar black rifles.

          Again, we’re talking initial reports here. Later in the day, the cell phone video surfaced. The rapid fire shooting heard on that video would strongly suggest a semi-auto of some sort. That, combined with “old style wooden rifle” would steer back toward SKS, at that point, but not before.

    • The ‘report’ was based on nothing except what a congressman said he heard. He said it ‘sounded’ like an AR. He was wrong but it’s not like they had much to work with.

      So, yes, they probably shouldn’t have said anything.

      • It matters that the press jumped on it, when as putative experts on confirming information should know that the sound of a firearm is an idiotic identifier — and they and the gun control groups already, within hours, before anyone knew the detail, went with explained how this justifies a renewed “assault rifle” ban.

        The main typical variant (no grip below the action, no thumbhole) of this firearm is legal in DC (in fact was legal in DC even before Heller), legal under all gun control “assault rifle” ban proposals, legal in all 50 states, legal in Canada and new Zealand and legal in a half dozen developed European countries.

        This guy was a legal owner under all gun control group proposals (his one qualify arrest, for domestic violence, was acquitted/pled so he had no disallowing conviction).

        Not one thing proposed by any gun control group would have prevented or even impeded this Democrat domestic terrorist fro attempting one of the largest political assassinations in US history.

      • “Sounded like”? It sounds like the reporter is an idiot. Really, sir– how many firearms’ report can you reliably distinguish? Are you certified in that? No– well, then you shouldn’t be quoted. It’s just gibberish.

        My favorite is “it sounded like a bomb went off”, by idiots that have never been around explosives. You mean, moron, that it sounded like what you imagine a bomb would sound like, based on TV.

        • Actually the 7.65×39 has a VERY distinct sound. You should get behind a fortified position and have someone shot rounds over you. The 7.65×39 is drastically different than a 5.56×45. That being said, I doubt any reporter from the liberal media could tell the difference between a .22lr and a 12.7×99 (.50 cal)

        • “Actually the 7.65ร—39 has a VERY distinct sound. You should get behind a fortified position and have someone shot rounds over you. The 7.65ร—39 is drastically different than a 5.56ร—45.”
          You’re right, of course.
          But I seriously doubt anyone on that field, including the cops, have ever had occasion to tell the difference between an AR and AK round.
          Years ago, before they went digital, I listened to the Phoenix police radio comms. They were often a hoot. They were often very different from the news descriptions of what happened. I was fascinated by the number of reported (by citizens) Uzis in circulation (Uzi wished they sold that many guns!). Any gunshot came from an Uzi.
          Except one call from a lady who reported a shot from a machine gun. When the cop asked how she know it was from a machine gun, the dispatcher said she asked the same question, and was told that the she could tell from the way the shot sounded. Yes, “the” shot, one only.
          Peoples’ ideas about guns are seldom to be trusted, unless they are actually POTG.

      • Yesterday I saw Judge Napolitano on Fox Business News. He is usually pretty good, but he totally blew it in IDing the weapon. He said he had shot such a weapon and was amazed by its power, etc. Then he went on to identify it as an AR-47. He did not call it an AR-15 or an AK-47. He actually called it AR-47 and acted like he knew what he was talking about.

        All these talking heads seem to make this stuff up as they go.

        • Accuracy of an AR and the ruggedness and dog-solid reliability of a 47?

          Hell yes, ask him where I can get one!

        • I still remember Bill O’Reilly ranting about AK-15’s just after Sandy Hook happened. Pathetic.

        • It doesn’t help that company brand names mess the naming system up. There actually *is* an AR-47, sold by PSA, which is an AR-style rifle that uses the 7.62×39 cartridge and AK-47 magazines. While it looks like an AR in most respects, it has a radically redesigned lower magazine well and the upper interior is designed to handle the different magazine interface. Furthermore, there are also AR-7 (that little take-down .22LR survival rifle), AR-10 (the .308), as well as AR-9 and AR-45 (which are non-standard company names for AR-15 pistol caliber firearms). Was this the case? Probably not, but the waters of the naming conventions have been getting muddy, and someone not following closely has more reasons to get confused.

      • ROTFLMAO funny!!!

        Whenever I hear new reports from the media about a bad guy using an AR-15, your clever little graphic will spring immediately to mind!!!

    • The commie was clearly on a budget so I expect his handgun of choice was a High Point, although the media will call it Glock, because all handguns are Glocks now, just like all rifles are ARs (unless they’re an AK).

    • The media (most of it anyway) is all about getting the blood and guts out there… never mind the facts. Most people don’t know what an SKS even is. Why not just say “rifle” and “handgun” if you can’t confirm the facts. They make things up just to hype the story. I’m sure “assault-rifle” was used on a few outlets. I’ve been in media for 33 years and I know how this works. Forget the facts… just make it sound scary. Unacceptable, but unfortunately it’s now standard practice.

      • Steve,

        I was received a BA in Radio/TV journalism way back in the days of IBM Selectric typewriters and phone pagers, and I recall my Mass Media professor telling me that the news departments of ALL major mass media organizations are aligned under the ENTERTAINMENT side of the corporate wiring diagram. He said news shows are presented to seek higher ratings, not to actually INFORM anybody of anything valuable. “If it bleeds, it leads” was the way it was way back in my salad days…the report of “No worries, mate!” does not garner increased ratings so to better sell advertising minutes.

    • The anti-news paranoia in most of these comments is ridiculous. If you watched any of the reports from eye witnesses on the scene, and these people are NOT gun experts, they were the ones who came up With the AR identification. It was a breaking news story of a major event for which people were clamoring for information. Just chill. Everyone is not out to take your gun.

      • Yep, speaks volumes about Congress that few “have seen the elephant” and so must base their comments on what they read or someone else tells them. Different rate of fire and definitely distinctive sound. Of course they were too busy taking cover to pay attention. I see that one Congressman intends to carry a pistol now ( used to keep it in the glove box ) – pistol versus rifle?

    • My senator, Flake, was there and they interviewed him afterwards.

      He noted that, based on the wound he saw on Scalise, it must have been a “large gage”

      go figure.

    • Hey, don’t forget the 9mm part. I’ve never seen a 9mm SKS, so if anyone has a picture of one I’d love to see it since they don’t exist. Typical Liberal media stupidity. No brains, no desire to learn, and no clue.

    • I wonder if he used one of those. One had a thumbhole stock. Both can be fitted with after market SKS stocks.

      It’s still wrong to call an SKS an AK variant, but it’s CNN that calls AR15s M4s.

      If it wasn’t the M or D Norinco CNN sucks even more than they already do.

      • At least AR15s are sometimes sold under the name “M4” (Thanks to Bushmaster proving in court Colt doesn’t own that like they do “AR15”) and work the same. SKS is a completely different gun in every respect but the chambering.

      • I’ve got one of those thumbhole Sporters. Fun little gun. Never mistook it for an M4 even once.

  2. So, why did the FBI special agent allow the false narrative, i.e.: M4, to continue all day long and until the media starts losing interest? Why didn’t he just say SKS earlier this afternoon?

    • I’m not sure. I’m not a federal agent and I don’t speak for the FBI, but I’d guess they were kinda sorta busy investigating a major assassination attempt and how widespread the plot might be.

      They knew the weaponry involved. That’s more important than correcting every early news story out there in the first few hours of the aftermath, even if they had contributed to any reporting errors.

    • Law Enforcement sometimes obfuscates facts in an investigation so they can flag people who know the correct information, but should not know those details. Case in point: the handgun. They said it’s a 9mm, but not what brand, and I’m not even sure if they’ve confirmed it was a semi-automatic (as there are revolvers that can fire 9mm rounds with moon clips, and at least one without), nor even what kind of 9mm round.

  3. Actually there is more than 2 sks models that take ak mags. Sks-d, sks-m, sks sporter, and a couple others.

  4. Hoo boy a lowly SKS. A used gun. Not a M4…duh. Anyone get psychological fatigue with all the evil occurring EVERY day? I was around in the 60’s and 70’s and don’t remember this level of vitriol-even with Vietnam and race riots…

    • What were these?
      SDS, Black Panthers , 1968 Democratic convention protest, assorted college protest, the Vietnam war protest, the Weatherman, lots of students in universities identified as Marxist.

    • Are you kidding?
      In the mid-60s, US cities were burning.
      It was so bad the Army (at Ft. Gordon) ran a Civil Disturbance Orientation Course for military and civilian law enforcement upper echelon members on how to deal with the rioters. This was serious business.
      What we are experiencing now is not unprecedented, it’s merely reported differently.

      • “What we are experiencing now is not unprecedented, itโ€™s merely reported differently.”
        Precisely. Couldn’t be stated more accurately.

  5. SKS/M-4? ABC/CBS/NBC/MSNBC/CNN? Yep, it’s awfully hard to tell one from the other.

    • They’re all Fake News. Fake, Lie, Misinform, Disinform… news. Every employee, the editors, the producers, the technicians, the cameramen, the managers, all of them that work at those Alphabet news corporations… God damn them to Hell to suffer for eternity.

  6. Was going to say something stupid like how so many “news” programs reported the weapon was an “assault rifle” so it had to be an AR not an SKS…but decided the lame humor was out of place. Am still waiting to see coverage stating the obvious (to most of us here), that the most expeditious and efficient way to bring the shooting to an end and thereby saving lives, was defensive gun use.

  7. Why should we expect any “news outlet” to not immediately report the suspect used a military rifle? (Note they aren’t even trying to use the civilian designation just the military one to make is sound more scarier and deadlier-er-er-est)

    If it turns out to be an AR, then they reported “the scoop” first and can pound the assault rifle drum earliest

    If it turns out to be anything else there is no one at those organizations holding them accountable for spouting lies and then they pound the complete gun control agenda

  8. Another one with an SKS? Seems the commie guns are popular with leftist psychos. ๐Ÿ˜

  9. SKSs I’ve been around were either 5-round fixed magazines or the duck-billed 30 round mags. The only ones that could handle AK mags had to be refitted by a gunsmith which made them semi-rare…in my experience with the SKS.

    • They make a factory five rounder?

      Stock configuration is a 10 round integral box mag loading from a stripper and dumpable (except the chambered round) buy releasing the floor plate.

      At least that’s how all the stock ones I’ve seen are made.

    • Then sir, you are “around” some very odd weapons.

      SKSs hold ten rounds, not five. Thus discrediting anything else you might say.

      • I’ve seen 5 round duckbill mags. I guess they meet some state or others hunting regs. The problem is yes, the Chinese made factory SKS that take AK mags and yes, I see them on gunbroker from time to time. This guy thinks we need to here information he’s acquired by being around things rather than by actual research.

  10. Well, I did see very short piece of tape with a cop holding up an “evil black rifle” as if it was evidence, but the clip was so short I could tell nothing from it, and it could have been that officer’s rifle. One thing I did notice, though, is that the phrase “assault weapon” seems to have been dropped and replaced with “assault rifle.” And of course there was the usual rigamarole, lead by Governor McAuliffe, about how easy it is for people to get their hands on “assault rifles”, and of course, SOMETHING MUST BE DONE, WHY ISN’T CONGRESS ALREADY CALLING FOR TOUGHER LAWS!!!!

    • McAuliffe also said 93 million americans died today, yeasterday, and will die tomorrow from gun violence….. by Saturday there won’t be anybody left.

    • What Congress really needs to do is pass a federal reciprocity law so legal gun owners can carry in all states and U.S. territories protecting themselves and loved ones from criminals and terrorists. Seems most of the violence and encouragement is coming from the left.

  11. All I gotta say is ouch Mr. Scalise. An AK on spray and pray mighta wiffed you, but the sks is a very accurate rifle and it makes the 7.62×39 a somewhat heavy hiiter.

    An AR in 5.56/.223 mighta left the projectile 3′ away from the entry wound but still in your body, the SKS was a big hit to survive. Our thoughts & prayers are with you and your family, and your fellow reps, and America.

    • The common M67 7.62×39 round has poor performance on flesh compared to the 55gr .223. It tends to be too stable and not fragment like the .223, but it is more accurate than the original M43 7.62×39 which yawed in soft media better.

      • The terminal ballistics don’t matter much when the person doesn’t know how to shoot. Both rounds would easily inflict lethal wounds if the guy was capable of actually hitting his target reasonably well.

        • True, but the most common and widely available ammunition in 7.62 x 39 is FMJ type stuff.

          I’d probably pick to get shot with a 7.62 x 39 FMJ at that distance rather than a 55 gr Hornady GMX scorching in at 3000 fps and that turns into 25 tiny supersonic pieces that take the scenic route through me.

          And that’s a smaller caliber. For the 8.5 lbs his SKS weighed, he could have used an AR-10 of similar weight with 20 rd magazines filled with Hornady TAP .308

          Soviet surplus is one thing, fine high-velocity hunting ammunition is another. Soviet crap was made to be as effective as mid-century technology would allow while still being cheap. Modern hunting and tactical loads were designed for killing as fast and efficiently as possible.

          I’d like to know what kind of ammunition was used.

        • What would be the most effective anti-personnel rounds in 7.62×39, for somebody relatively new to the caliber?


          This article details extensive testing of 7.62 x 39

          Anything with soft point or polymer-tip tends to tear up meat better (but does worse against armor), but the bullets are more expensive. The shooter may well have bought high-quality ammunition for his rampage, but I suspect it was just regular FMJ stuff.

  12. Interestingly, if it was an SKS with an aftermarket stock and hi-cap clipazine, unless other parts were changed out to meet the “made in USA” parts count, the rifle would be illegal under 922(R). Another toothless law.

    • Yes! As soon as I heard all this my first though was “did he have an American op rod? Oh. please tell me he had an American op rod!” 922R what a joke!

  13. I weirdly view the SKS as an ideal Bernie supporter weapon of choice. Thrifty, used by communists around the globe and all natural organically grown wood stocks.

    For the 9mm, I’m thinking the ever popular Glock, second a Hi point (after all, you have to be down with your peeps) and thirdly, if he’s real old school Commie, a Tokarev of sorts.

    Anyway, humor aside, hope everyone makes a speedy recovery. The two officers deserve a well earned commendation.

    • or a Makarov, or a Polish P-64, or Hungarian Fร‰G PA-63….. or hell, true oldschool commies might run a Nagant M1895. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. The SKS might not be the best rifle ever but it’s more than capable at the ranges involved in this case and, assuming it wasn’t rechambered, 7.62×39 is a potent cartridge for people at these ranges.

    Unless the rifle was basically in junk condition we still got lucky that this guy couldn’t shoot for shit.

    • Fortunately for the world. Most of the nut jobs don’t spend a lot of time on marksmanship training.

  15. Quit being dorks guys. So what, the same dumbasses that lie about everything also make stuff up. Wow earth shattering news there. Nobody gives a shit what kind of rifle it was really, they’ll just cry to ban them all.

  16. So the guy likely used a featureless rifle with a fixed internal 10 round magazine. Please tell me how a new assault weapons ban would have prevented this?

    • I don’t think an SKS is illegal even in Cali. But, If you look at Cali they seem to be working toward just banning any semi auto rifle so that ought to do it.

  17. Wasn’t there that Democrat meme from during the campaign when they called surplus weapons “fetish” objects like the Mosin, I wonder what horrid name will be attributed to the SKS?

    If my spidey senses are correct, the Rachel Maddow crowd will latch onto the fact that the shooter is a white male and try in their award winning way to bend the truth so far back around itself that their lies leave you gasping for reality.

  18. Even though it’s impossible to assign victim status to this would be assassin from Illinois, Scott Pelley of CBS simply couldn’t restrain the liberal urge to give it a try.

    Pelley deceptively labeled the loser Hodgekinson a “homeless man”, as if a radical violent leftist making the conscious decision to leave his home in Illinois then drive to the D.C. area where he apparently camped out in his truck since March while stalking Republican targets, makes the now dead piece of $#it a “homeless man”.

  19. The CNN produced article on my local news site claimed “Traces were still being done on the two firearms recovered at the scene — an SKS rifle 7.62 (which is a Chinese-made AK variant) and a 9 mm pistol”.

    Journalism: What you major in when you can’t handle the math for English Lit.

    • What good does tracing the weapons do? Waste of time. He no doubt got them legally while he was at home in the St. Louis area.

  20. “The other firearm involved in the attack has been described as a 9mm handgun, but the make and model have not been specified”….

    NBC news anchor Lester Holt identified this as “an assault pistol” which means that it was a fully automatic, high powered sniper gun, spewing 35 bullets in three seconds from a deadly banana clip.

  21. How does a SKS become a M4? That is like saying a Crown Victoria looks like a F-150? In any case, at least Capitol Police are armed. Unlike most of the London Metro Police last week.

    • Well they both have the same size bed and four wheels. The Vic does come with a bed cover thingy in the back that flips up!

    • One time I took the DailyMail UK to the woodshed for reporting that a gunman was armed with a .38mm revolver.

  22. Fortunately the only death was the shooter. Without the security detail it would have been a gun free zone, and he could have kept killing people until he ran out of ammunition.

    There’s nothing like the mainstream media when it comes to fake news.

  23. Yup it was a 9mm with a 500 round magazine, made by China as a model SKS, distributed by AR15 and sold under two names as a M4 or AR47, Knockoff competition selling AR47s! only in caliber 7.62x54R and the RPD and RPK in 7.62x.39, and the .22 LR has such a high rate of fire that the SEALS banned it from their weapon system because of Logistics and possible UN violations! Yup yup got the straight skinny now maybe!

  24. Bump fire from an SKS would explain so many rounds fired with so few on target… Leave it to a radical socialist to use a communist’s weapon to attempt a political assassination … While the Socialist media propaganda machine pumps out the evils of America’s rifle….

    • The only ‘bump’ on that commie was his beer belly (and maybe his big red WC Fields nose).

  25. “Chinese models are available they remain rare and sought after by collectors.”

    Since when are Chinese SKS models rare and sought after by collectors? It’s been a while since I had any interest in SKS and I sold my Chinese one many moons ago…

    I mean Russian ones, yeah, they’re more sought after. East German ones for sure! But Chinese? I know they’re decent SKS models, better than Yugos, but I didn’t think they were anything special.

  26. How do you tell an SKS from an AR-15?………I think it’s because one of them has a thingy on the shoulder stock that goes up!

  27. They always automatically say it’s an AR used every time no matter what. This time they went one step father than usual by paying him to use an SKS so when it comes around to banning rifles they’ll have the support of those that were targeted this time and using the AKs ugly uncle that only holds 10 rounds they’ll b thinking about the way better 30round AK so it’ll b allot easier to get them banned this time. They’ve went one step too far this time by targeting the people that have been upholding our constitution til now, we’ll see how it goes next time an “assualt weapons” ban runs across their desk

  28. I am thank full the man was not a good marksman and more people weren’t hit.

    We have to do something about the killing field like DC, NY, Chicago on many other place like our schools.

    We must be able protect ourselves and a great help would be if people would report these type of people.

    GOD bless America

  29. There were Army vets of various combat experience, including an Army surgeon with Iraqi war experience.
    There was also a General that may have had Vietnam War experience.

    The good news that won’t be reported is that the bernie supporter wasn’t a real member of the “gun culture” since he couldn’t hit the inside of a barn if he was inside. I guess he believed all the proaganda about “lethal assault weapons that you can spray”

    Too bad that the Congressmen didn’t have some ARs in their gear bags. Congressmen are privileged…
    “They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.”

    Trump could order that Congressmen and their staff are required to be armed. schumer would love that.

  30. “BAN THE DNC !!! BAN ALL DEMOCRATS, NOW !!! For the children !!! To prevent leftist violence !!! “

  31. We are actually trusted by our NZ government to own an SKS (5 rounds only) on an ordinary A Category firearms license. For an AK47 or AR15, we’d need a more expensive E category license with more extensive home security and background checks. Either way, we’d have to pay for more ammunition. As prices for everything here are about double what you pay in the USA, I’m happy with my SKS. And the Washington incident shows how even an old SKS (mine is the same age as me) can spit bullets when loaded with stripper clips. I wasn’t sure when hunting season for politicians begins or ends, but save some tags for me.

  32. On the day of the shooting, Lester Holt, a respected news anchor for NBC, stated that the shooter used an “assault rifle” and an “assault pistol”.

    • Drove there in an assualt car, with assault clothing, bla, bla, bla. They go into a feeding frenzy using that word.

  33. how did all these people survive being hit by a 7.62? were they wearing +1 body armor or something?

  34. He looks like the SKS type. Cheap surplus Shopper. Glad he’s dead and there’s no money or attention to be wasted on him.

  35. What SKS, 9mm “H A N G U N”…???
    Has ANYBODY ever heard or seen a SKS, 9mm “H A N D G U N”

  36. My AR15 is very clearly marked on the side: Stevens 311a. Now the barrels are marked 12ga which if you knew anything about assault rifles you would know that is a 9mm and the fact that it has a part for your hand to grip makes it a Glock. Geez …………. any darn fool knows this, howcome you gun guys don’t? Of course, I haven’t figured where to stick that AK high capacity clip yet (tut tut tut shhh, kids can read this) but leave that one with me and I’ll investigate further.

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