i must say, i was very anti-gun up until then and now i'm hooked and will be making my first purchase soon (after i complete a safty course and get my PAL) My brother and a good friend of ours went out to the sandpits to shoot some targets. My bro brought his SKS and our buddy brought his SKS and his 12ga shotgun. i must admit, as pussy as this sounds, the first round scared the shit out of me, and it wasnt even me that fired it. my bro wanted me to see first hand the damge a gun can do before handing it to me. (sort of a saftey thing i guess) it wasnt loud (hearing protection) but standing that close to a rifle firing i never realised the sort of punch you feel in the chest before. the SKS has a fair amount of kick (well, for a newb like me it did, having only experiance with high power pellet guns in the past) we were shooting 7.62x39mm rounds at about 100yards and i managed to hit the target pretty well for a beginner. i only took 3 shots with the shotgun. it had a little more boot than the SKS but, i loved it. he had a rubber peice fitted to the butt to supress recoil. i cant imagine what that fucker feels like with a brass or wood butt. i loved every bit of it. i fired 60 rounds total over the course of the day then we went and cleaned the guns out. (the cheap SKS ammo we used had corrosive paint on the jackets)they showed me how to clean them. not only am i now pro gun, i think i've found a new hobby!