Hi everyone! I have been very happy with my pistols and my bolt-action .22, but for a while I have wanted to get a rifle with a little more power for use at the range, and something I could use for SHTF if it really came to it. I am saving up for an AR-15 that I want, but it will be a while before I can afford it. Anyway, there is a gun show this weekend, and I saw some AK's and SKS's for a good price. But I honestly don't know much about the SKS. The dealer (who was selling both) told me that the SKS is slightly more accurate than the AK... but they were a lot more beat up so I have no idea if that is only true for new ones. I do know that the SKS uses the 10 round stripper clip rather than the AK's detachable magazine. I do eventually want an AK, but buying one now will increase the time it takes to buy the AR I really want, where the SKS is no problem. However, I don't want to buy something I will be unhappy with. Any advice?
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Father Knows Best
February 11, 2006, 03:01 PM
It's a matter of personal preference. You already know the key differences. Both are boringly reliable. Both are "minute of goblin" accurate, which is to say they'll get the job done as long as the job isn't competitive target shooting. They use the same ammo.
Personally, the SKS has never done anything for me. I prefer the AK. The SKS is cheaper, though, which means you'll have more money left over for practice ammo and to buy that AR you want.
February 11, 2006, 03:18 PM
i recently bought an AK, because i didn't want to regret not buying one if there was another assault weapons ban. i already have 2 sks carbines.
both are accurate enough, both are fun, but my problem with the AK was that it was too much fun to empty a magazine downrange. the first time i shot it, i went through 2 30 rounders pretty quickly, and then thought "crap, that was three boxes of ammo!"
February 11, 2006, 03:19 PM
I have a couple yugo sks rifles and really enjoy them. Right now I'm trying to get a hold of a AK from the folks at AIM Surplus. I've got a side deal going with a guy for an AR. Got to cover all my bases in battle rifles. ;)
February 11, 2006, 03:22 PM
one thing i love about the AK compared to the SKS (or any other rifle) is how friggin easy it is to take em apart and clean them. For SHTF scenarios i would prefer an AK due to bigger mag capacity, and ease of reloading (just swap the mags). Also, when you need to field clean it, you can get by with a bore snake and a cheap nylon brush (hell a tooth brush would even work).
February 11, 2006, 03:24 PM
I find the AK more ergonomic and, more importantly, more handy then the SKS. The 30 detachable mags seal the deal for me.
February 11, 2006, 03:45 PM
I'll pretty much echo the sentiments of everyone else. I have a Rommie AK clone and a Yugo SKS. The Yugo SKS is more accurate and feels more like a rifle while the AK is more handy and definately counts as a carbine. Both will take care of any social encounter out to 300 meters or a little more if you do your part, but you'll never dress either up as a varmint rifle. Kalashnikovs are neat. I love em. I don't even see the need for a poodle shooter since I got my Rommie.
February 11, 2006, 04:10 PM
Check your local 7.62x39 ammo supply first. This ammo is harder to find than Uranium ore now.:(
That being said, AK all the way if you like adding accessories to your weapons. SKS is a traditional type carbine with very few practical add-on accessories available. Accuracy has more to do with the trigger feel and sighting system on these types of weapons than inherent accuracy IMO.
February 11, 2006, 04:16 PM
Ammo is hard to come by right now, if all you want to shoot is Wolf. I get by with reloading for my Yugos...great reliable rifles, brand new/unissued for $161 delivered from J&G Sales.
Will get an AK from J&G soon to compare...but I never did spray and pray. I'll get some 10 round or 5 round mags for range use...
February 11, 2006, 04:18 PM
For a first rifle, I would suggest to go ahead and get an SKS to play with. You can get for for a little over $100. For another $100, you can get a case of ammo. If the sights don't work very well, you can get the Tech Sights rear sight attachment for another $65 or so. With the Tech Sight, you can start hitting 4" clays at 100 yards without too much problem. Also, you don't need to buy magazines. You can get 20 or more 10 round stripper clips for under $10 and a little pouch to carry all 200 rounds.
Now, I have a Vepr K. To be honest, I bought it first since I had little or no experience with SKS's or AK's. However, an SKS is just too good a value to ignore, and it is an easy gun to take care of. The money you save can go toward more ammo or other accessories like the Tech Sights.
An AK is definitely something you will want to pick up, but take your time and get a good one.
I don't know why someone would say an SKS is more difficult to take apart for cleaning. The method is pretty much identical to that of the AK with one or two extra gas system parts. It is easy, and the SKS doesn't require polishing anything.
February 11, 2006, 04:21 PM
Down here around Houston, I have seen plenty of Wolf 7.62X39 available. It is not as cheap as it was last summer, but it has been available. There are several online people that are shipping it now as well. I have even seen some S&B brass 7.62X39 at gun shows, but it is more expensive.
February 11, 2006, 04:49 PM
personally, i would get the sks. i didn't like the sensation of reciprocating mass in the ak i played with. and i prefer rifles that look like rifles, anyway. but that's just me.
February 11, 2006, 04:54 PM
I'd get both as the SKS is not that expensive or if you really want the AR, get the SKS and use the money you save to be ahead for that future purchase.
February 11, 2006, 05:11 PM
My only gripes on the AK are the rock-and-lock mags interfering with foregrips and crappy iron sights. The rainbow trajectory of the bullets is another gripe if I had to shoot beyond 300 yards. With a 50 yard zero it shoots within 1 moa of zero out to 200 yards and 15 inches (5moa) at 300. At 400 yards it gets a bit more untenable due to the 4 feet of bullet drop.
The SKS doesnt fix the AKs problems. Same cartridge, less ammo capacity, less ergonomic,
I think the SKS has a slight edge in accuracy, but not so much that the AK cant make up for the occaisional miss with extra shots.
February 11, 2006, 05:17 PM
I really like my SKS-45 better than any AK clone I've shot. But here's the pros and cons:
Less expensive in general
Actual, orginal combat arm--not a clone
Works off stripper clips
Generally a notch more accurate, and can be more easily accurized
Handles more like a traditional rifle
Milled not stamped
Somewhat easier to keep clean
Works off easily detachable and pretty reilable mags
Tolerates dirt a little better
February 11, 2006, 05:20 PM
They make milled AKs that are a notch more accurate than most.:D
February 11, 2006, 05:25 PM
I perfer my SKS to the ak47s I fired as they fit my hands better, as reliable and I tend to just leave stripper clips and have more experience so I am happier with them over magazines on most occasions. They also more solid feeling and I be happier to bash someone with one.
February 11, 2006, 05:47 PM
Thanks for all the comments. The dealer seems friendly and actually lives less than an hour from me, so I don't feel too much pressure to buy something this very minute. When I go back to the show I am going to check more closely on the condition of the SKS barrels, I looked online and saw that it is easy to get a corroded barrel. Anyway, I am sure one day I will have my AR, an AK, and an SKS, I just can only get one at a time! :)
February 11, 2006, 05:48 PM
I say get what you really want. If you want an AR, get an AR - don't beat around the bush and waste money on stuff you don't need.
An SKS is a cool plinker and all, especially for the price, but once you get an AK, there's no need for an SKS. I owned all three once upon a time, and realized that my AR did everything my AK and SKS did, so I ditched the latter two.
February 11, 2006, 06:25 PM
I have both. SKS is a great utility rifle. If I could only have one it wiuld be the AK. Folding stock and high capacity makes it more versatile. But it looks more "evil" if seen by the general public. BTW, I would sell my AR before my AK, but that is a personal preference.
February 11, 2006, 07:39 PM
I guess it depends on your SHTF scenario. I once read an article that I very much agreed with where the author made the case that if it was a survival situation, he was just trying to survive in the countryside, he's want his favorite deer rifle, what caliber I can't remember, but it was your typical 1moa .30-06 performance round. In my case, it'd be my remington .308 turn bolt. Idea behind his statement is hide, don't shoot unless last resort, shoot to take out the leader, shoot from long range, and move without detection. Strike fear in the enemy only in the way a sniper does.
Of course there are a bizillion SHTF scenarios and the most probable would likely involve some sort of urban riot situation, so I reckon my hick country attitude is a little out of the main stream. :D
I do have a Norinco SKS paratrooper carbine with folding stock, 20 round Chi Com box mag, rounds stashed, and a case that holds said rifle and over a hundred rounds at the ready. I sure would feel better armed with my Remington, though. I'm a one shot, one kill kinda guy. I'm thinkin' I'd have my .308 turn bolt and my 9mm with 5 fifteen round mags loaded on my belt.
Raise your hands, how many here still have a copy of "Red Dawn" and watch it occasionally?
February 11, 2006, 09:43 PM
That movie came out when I was fifteen, during the Cold War. I was (am) a patriotic citizen, so it left a lasting impression! WOLVERINES!!!!
As far as SKS vs AK47, look at this way- an AK can substitute for a SKS, but a SKS can't substitute for an AK. At least in a SHTF role. Please don't misconstrue this as some kind of a knock on the SKS. As a truck, utility, or lost cost plinker, it is almost without compare.
If you want a combat rifle buy an AR or AK. If it's going to take a while to save the money for it, buy an SKS and some ammo and begin honing your skills. This will also save your shiny AK or AR from "utility" work. Plus, I personally would rather face a zombie "gangbanger" with an AK rather than a rifleman with a SKS in a fight. Just buy something an start shooting it! Just my two cents.
February 11, 2006, 10:16 PM
Of course there are a bizillion SHTF scenarios and the most probable would likely involve some sort of urban riot situation, so I reckon my hick country attitude is a little out of the main stream.
Hell is other people. In any disaster scenario, most of the problems will be caused by your fellow humans. Doubly so if they happen to be poor, stupid or angry.
If you live in the middle of nowhere, you arent likely to encounter crowds of angry black gang members because they live in a big city far away. If you encounter anyone wearing gang colors, it is more likely to be heavily armed caucasians affiliated with the gang we pay taxes to.
That being said, anyone who decides to cause trouble during a disaster will either be armed (but not so heavily that they cant carry loot) or travel in a large group. Even taking on 5 people with only 10 rounds seems risky to me.
February 11, 2006, 11:54 PM
Tarendol, you mentioned saving up for an AR-15. In that case, I vote get an AK-style rifle. The ergonomics of the AK design are closer to the AR-15 than the SKS with its more traditional rifle lines. If you decided to get an SKS, though, I don't think you'd regret it.
I tried an Norinco SKS a little over a year ago and did not like it. When the time and funds came, I bought a Romanian SAR-1 (AK-style). It was fun to bang away with, but it would barely do 'minute of goblin' at 50 yards. Also, it quickly became a scramble to find the deals on ammunition that were once available. It didn't matter that I had a 30 round magazine, I couldn't find the ammunition to buy. I decided to sell the SAR-1 and started looking for a more accurate AK.
I happened across a great deal on a Russian SKS and bought it on a whim. After taking it out to 100 yards and maintaining better accuracy for less money that I'd spend on just about any AK, I was hooked. I have two of them now and have two more on the way. I've come to realize I find accuracy more satisfying than the ability to run through scads of cheap ammunition.
I'd still like an AK-style rifle, but with the shortage of 7.62x39 in stores and the price of consistently accurate AK's vs the price of the same accuracy in SKS's, I just can't pull the trigger, so to speak. ;)
The Real Hawkeye
February 12, 2006, 10:23 AM
Hi everyone! I have been very happy with my pistols and my bolt-action .22, but for a while I have wanted to get a rifle with a little more power for use at the range, and something I could use for SHTF if it really came to it. I am saving up for an AR-15 that I want, but it will be a while before I can afford it. Anyway, there is a gun show this weekend, and I saw some AK's and SKS's for a good price. But I honestly don't know much about the SKS. The dealer (who was selling both) told me that the SKS is slightly more accurate than the AK... but they were a lot more beat up so I have no idea if that is only true for new ones. I do know that the SKS uses the 10 round stripper clip rather than the AK's detachable magazine. I do eventually want an AK, but buying one now will increase the time it takes to buy the AR I really want, where the SKS is no problem. However, I don't want to buy something I will be unhappy with. Any advice?Except for some of the Chinese made SKS rifles, they were ALL actually manufactured for a national military as rugged infantry weapons intended to take a beating and keep on shooting. This is not the case, however, of the AK-47 look alikes that are being sold in America. Those were slapped together with the full expectation that they would be exported to the United States for sales to civilians. You can usually see the difference. The SKS rifles are much better put together than the AK-47 look alikes. That's because they are real issue military rifles manufactured by major national military industries whose national leaders were expecting to have to fight WWIII with the West at any time. Not the case with the AK-47 look alikes you see at gun shows. Go for the SKS, but don't get a Chinese one, because some of them were actually manufactured for export to the United States for the civilian market, and the lack of quality shows on a lot of them.
My SKS is a Russian, and it was purchased in new/unissued condition. In other words, it was manufactured in Russia, cosmoed, and stored, eventually being sold in a bulk purchase to an American arms dealer, and finding its way to a large sporting goods store in NY, along with about a hundred others just like it back in the early 1990s. I bought three for myself, and one for my brother for $100 a piece. Years later, I sold two of mine at a significant profit, and my brother still has his. His is still packed in cosmo, and is still in the original packaging. He's not a gunny, but likes to know he has it just in case. I kept the best of the three I bought for myself. Has an excellent trigger, and it was the most accurate of the three. I intend to install the improved Garand-style rear sight mentioned by another poster. I actually have it, but haven't installed it yet. This will be a huge improvement, in my opionon.
February 12, 2006, 07:08 PM
If this is a rifle for when the excrement strikes the oscilator, I would recommend the AK. From what I've been told of firefights (from cops, and police who've been in shootings), one can easily go through alot of ammo quickly, and having the greater capacity is an advantage you want to have.
Also, the SKS while a great reserve rifle is just a little more complicated. You're talking about marginal, but all around the AK is better. Now, for hunting, the SKS is superior (more accurate, and you don't need 30 rounds for deer). But, the AK is superior for defense.
February 13, 2006, 05:27 AM
if you plan on buying an ar , skip the sks as edventually it will make you very unhappy, you can NEVER go wrong with an ak , and youll be glad you bought it.
February 13, 2006, 06:12 PM
Actually, I would like to suggest that you purchase a Mosin Nagant rifle of some flavor and an SKS for about $100-125 each. You will still have about $150 left over to buy ammo with, and you will get to sample the full-size centerfire bolt action experience as well as the intermediate semiautomatic.
These rifles are pretty much the starting point in milsurp collections because they are extremely cheap now and are rugged enough to last a lifetime of use.
An AK is fun too, but you'll get more bang for your buck by getting a mosin and SKS. Also, these rifles will begin to appreciate value as collectibles in the near future as supplies dry up. Who really thought we'd be running out of milsurp Japanese rifles, for example? These things aren't being made anymore, and have undisputed historical value, as well as being very fun to shoot. A commercial AK won't have as much of a value increase in years to come, barring further noisome legislation.
February 13, 2006, 07:43 PM
I have both. I picked up both a shooter grade and an unissued grade Yugo SKS first. I shot the shoooter grade and loved it, put the unissued up as a safe queen. I then went out and bought a WASR AK. I much prefer to shoot the SKS. It's just plain more accurate. True, the WASR has 30 round mags, but I have a feeling I'm never going to shoot it much because of the inaccuracy. I'm talking from a bench, 50 yds, and 4" or larger groups. My SKS at that distance will put them nearly touching. Now I'm thinking of selling off the WASR to put the $ towards an AR.
February 13, 2006, 08:13 PM
Shoots quite well, and is VERY high quality. It is also shorter and lighter than the current YUGOS. It outshot a Winchester 30-30 at 75 yards one day. I paid $120. I'm sure the guy with the Win paid more. The Russians are very nice, but command premium prices now - $300-400. You might nail a Yugo M70 Underfolder AK for $450. Pretty good quality.
Whatever suits your taste - try them out.
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