SKS or Kalashnikov?


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Nashmack
May 13, 2006, 01:13 PM
Which one would you get? The shop I frequent has both Yugo SKS's for $150 (unissued condition) and a WASR-10 for $375. I'm stumped as to which one I should get:(

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dawgtraxx
May 13, 2006, 01:36 PM
WASR 10...just look for canted gas tube and front sight... also magazine wobble....i have an sks and a wasr....sxs is a little more accurate...wasr is loads more fun....

Nashmack
May 13, 2006, 01:39 PM
If I could find a couple more bucks, i'd get both. Do you know anywhere I can get inert rifle grenades for the Yugo SKS?

kentucky_smith
May 13, 2006, 01:46 PM
SKS + TECHSIGHT

better safety on sks


Just have to reload after 10 rounds.

mainmech48
May 13, 2006, 02:24 PM
Kinda depends on personal tastes and what exactly you anticipate doing with it.

Accuracy is pretty much a toss-up. 4-6" groups with run-of-the-mill ball at 100 M about the norm for as-issued examples of either. The odd stock SKS or AK can be found that'll do 2-3", which is about the best you can expect from an expertly-massaged "custom".

Weight ditto. Either will come in at about 8 1/2 - 9 #.

Sight radius on AKs is very short, which affects the potential to deliver accurate fire for most folks. On the SKS it is longer, hence a bit more forgiving. Issue sights on both are coarse and fairly rudimentary.

Aftermarket support for both is strong, for replacement parts and accessories.

Both are simple, rugged and durable, as is to be expected when machinery's designed to be used and maintained under hostile conditions mostly by poorly trained conscripts.

Either will make for a perfectly servicable carbine of considerable utility. The only practical objection that I have to the Yugo model of the SKS is the lack of the chromium plating on the bore and chamber found in nearly all other AKs and SKSes. Tastes vary, but I prefer it for the anti-corrosive properties and the ease of maintenance. But then again, when I started shooting SKSes extensively almost all of the ammo was surplus and corrosive to some degree, so YMMV.

I don't own an AK myself. Everything I anticipated needing or wanting to do with a semi-auto 7.62x39 I can do well enough to suit me with an SKS, so I never spent the extra money for an AK clone. Without the option to rock-'n-roll, it just seemed pretty pointless. Unless the cosmetic "Gee Whiz" factor makes it worth the extra money to you, I'd say get an SKS and spend the difference on ammo.

brandyspaw
May 13, 2006, 02:47 PM
While my experiences with the WASRs has been less than great I would
pick the WASR before the SKS. Its just a more versatile weapon if you really
need to use it. I would prefer it due to the magazine capacity. Both weapons
have limits due to the 7.62x39 cartridge and while the SKS is usually more
accurate the additional capacity and shorter, handier length make the AK
better for a SHTF situation.

That's the only reason I would want anything in that caliber. I realize there are some who use the SKS for hunting where it would be a better choice but I
would pick the WASR overall. This coming after the many problems I had with
the WASRs with loose mags, canted sights, trigger slap, etc.

I would, however, spend the extra $100-200 for a Vector or a custom build after the experience I had. That said, the WASR can usually be corrected into a good gun. You just have to look at it as a pre-assembled kit gun where you do the final quality control.

Nashmack
May 13, 2006, 02:52 PM
A little more information:

The WASR is a sidefolder, with a wood forend, no "gangster grip".

Have any of you done a Kalashnikov build before? Is it something I can do with no gunsmithing experience?

The Grand Inquisitor
May 13, 2006, 03:06 PM
AK's are superior weapons to SKS's- pure and simple. The SKS is a nice gun for its price, and it served its niche in the little historical period that it occupied, but the AK-47 and all other Kalashnikov variants (that extend to Finnish AK, Israeli Galil's and Magal's, PKM's, Sig 550 series, etc...) are superior in every aspect over the Simonov design. That's not to say that the SKS isn;'t a nice an fun gun to have, and some Simonov guns are beautiful and shoot well, but when it comes down to it, for range shooting, personal defense, and military or SHTF combat, the Kalshnikov is simply a better weapon.

there is a reason that the Kalashnikov design has been alive and constantly used for 60 years, while the Simonov's life span was barely 20 years.

If you are really interested, I would recommend that you get an AK-74 in 5.45x39. The 74 is a redesign of the 47 and the 5.45 cartridge is a little beast (the Muj in the Soviet/ Afghan war called it the "poison bullet" because of the internal damage it causes because of the design of the projectile).

Still, going with an AK-47 in 7.62x39 is a great choice and good start in the world of Kalashnikov's. Ammo is cheap and plentiful (although it is a little bit tight now, though the situation will clear up) and with some work on your part to learn the rifle, you can be very accurate out to about 350 yards with iron sights.


I mean no offense to Simonov lovers and collectors - my opinion is biased because I am a huge fan of Kalashnikov's, but my opinion is based on my personal preferences, as well as the facts.


Get the AK--you won't be disappointed..

Nashmack
May 13, 2006, 03:16 PM
How's the 7.62 recoil wise?

Foxtrot427
May 13, 2006, 03:34 PM
Ak. I know Saigas are a little more expensive but they are great.

The Grand Inquisitor
May 13, 2006, 03:35 PM
Not much.

The AK absorbs the vast majority of the recoil. While 7.62x39 has medium recoil (equililent or a little less than .223) AK 74's in 5.45 have little to no recoil.

One of the reason I love my 74's so much (I have both a Romanian CUR II with a PSO-1 and a Polish TANTAL) is because you can fire 3 three well aimed shots in the time it takes to fire one with a rifle in .308. Recoil from the 5.45 is not much more than 9mm out of a carbine-nothing.

jagdpanzer347
May 13, 2006, 03:39 PM
Nashmack, one other AK variant to consider is a Chinese MAK90. Much better fit and finish than a WASR. It does have a dorky thumbhole stock but there are ways to improve that. Ironwood designs has some really nice conventional AK-type stocks that will fit it. These would necessitate the installation of a few US parts to comply with sec922r. Choate makes a druganov-style stock that's also pretty decent.

AK recoil is mild, a little more than an AR15. I could shoot one all day if I could afford to blow that much money on ammo. I sure do miss those 80.00 cases of 7.62x39mm.

-jagd

The Grand Inquisitor
May 13, 2006, 03:47 PM
Chinese made AK's are of very high quality, even though people who tend not to know much about them think they are poorly made before having seen or fired one.

Only problem is that Chinese AK's are slowly becoming harder and harder to find and a nice Poly-Tech can cost nearly $1000 now.


Also, the only AK maker that you should avoid is Vulcan Arms or Hesse Arms (it's the same company but they had to change their name to Vulcan because Hesse had such a poor reputation). They're an American company that absolutely butchered AK's a countless other firearms - avoid them at all costs.

Nashmack
May 13, 2006, 03:50 PM
The only MAKs I've ever seen in the local shop was a scoped out pair chambered for .308:(

Technosavant
May 13, 2006, 05:21 PM
I would only get the SKS if you plan to leave it as-is. If you plan to tacticool it (high cap detachable mags, new stock, optics), then just get the AK.

The SKS is a reliable and fun little carbine, but those who really soup them up don't gain much in accuracy, and an AK would be the same price (and more reliable at its finish) than the whole build up. Depending on the SKS (if it's a Yugo 59/66) there's a fair amount of work in cleaning out the cosmoline (and if you plan to mod it, you have to begin by making it 922r legal; a fair amount of work and money itself).

The Real Hawkeye
May 13, 2006, 06:16 PM
Assuming they are both in good condition (always check bores before buying SKS rifles), keep in mind that an SKS is a real front line military rifle of a major super power (The former USSR), while the other is something manufactured from inception as a product to be shipped off to America to be sold to civilians on the cheap. That's not to say I don't like the civilian AKs. I have two good ones (both of Bulgarian manufacture), but they are not put together by people who are expecting their own countrymen to be depending on them for the defense of their own country. If you have a good one, though, the AKs are probably, all things considered, more useful as a combat weapon than the SKS rifles, but not by much.

1 old 0311
May 13, 2006, 06:37 PM
Hi The Real Hawkeye,

EXCELLENT point.

Kevin

The Grand Inquisitor
May 13, 2006, 07:08 PM
Sorry Hawkeye, but your point is flat out wrong.


When was the last SKS issued to troops? The late 60's.

The SKS was never widely used by any superpower because by the time that the SKS was gaining steam, it was surpassed by the AK.

Also, the Romanian AK's that come into this country come from various manufacturing plants, like RomArm, that build rifles for the Romanian military. The same goes for the Bulgarian and Polish rifles that come in; American companies go to these countries, buy big numbers of the rifles in mil-spec loadout, disassemble them, ship them back to the US, and then rebuild them as per US law.

trickyasafox
May 13, 2006, 08:04 PM
i dont own an ak but i have 2 sks's. both yugos, a m59 and a m59/66. i didn't get an AK because it can never be anything but a range gun/shtf gun. Not saying that isn't a good thing and their isn't a place for them, but if push really came to shove, an sks isn't a terrible hunting option with only slight modification and i am still at the point in my life financially where i cant afford a 350+ dollar gun that can't serve more functions. my 2 sks's delivered to my door were 304$ thats to my door, no other charges incurred. with the 70 dollar difference i can get 500 rounds of ammo. (used to be a case i hear:uhoh: )

MagnumCaliber357
May 13, 2006, 08:11 PM
:scrutiny: Minght I suggest an SKS model D or M?

The model D and M's accept standard AK magazines

Kina "best of both worlds" for you ! :D

And I thought 922r refered to Assault Weapon Ban? Correct me!

trickyasafox
May 13, 2006, 08:33 PM
922r refers to the "10 or less game" if a rifle is imported as a curio and relic to stay legal it has to be left in the configuration it was imported in. IE with bayonet and all the parts. if you change it, you have to replace 10 parts with US made ones. at least thats how i interpreted it. i could be wrong though i dont pretend to know much about anything :)

The Real Hawkeye
May 13, 2006, 08:43 PM
How could they require that you keep the bayonet on to avoid being a Federal criminal? That's absurd. The bayonet is not an essential part of the rifle, and comes off with the turn of a screw. Additionally, bayonets can break. If it breaks, are you telling me you can't take the remaining part off and order a new bayonet to replace it? I can just picture ATF agents storming Bubba's house because he dropped his SKS from a tree stand and the bayonet broke, so he took it off and is waiting for the replacement to arrive. At some point you just have to call BS on some of these things.

grimjaw
May 13, 2006, 11:08 PM
I'm not going to weigh the pros and cons of the two platforms. They'll keep making AK clones for awhile, but SKS rifles are going to dry up eventually. If you want one, I'd get it. That's a decent price OTD for one in unissued condition.

jmm

pipboy
May 14, 2006, 12:08 AM
bragging rights-ak shooter-sks fun-ak mods-equal hunting-sks.....you decide

pipboy
May 14, 2006, 12:22 AM
bragging rights-ak shooter-sks fun-ak mods-equal hunting-sks.....you decide

MSGT9410
May 14, 2006, 12:24 AM
the Muj in the Soviet/ Afghan war called it the "poison bullet" because of the internal damage it causes because of the design of the projectile

Isn't this more of a bad thing?

It got the name "poison bullet" because it didn't always outright kill its intended target, rather they died later after the battle was over. The bullet penetrated, but that's about all it did. It doesn't fragment, it just passes straight through its target, causing them to die aftewards due to the internal injuries.

trickyasafox
May 14, 2006, 01:05 AM
about 922r i could be wrong, and yea i think its odd but thats how it was explained to me. the rifle has to remain unaltered to stay a relic

k_semler
May 14, 2006, 02:44 AM
What do you want it for? If it's just for hunting, get the SKS. It's legal in most states. If you want it for range/TSHTF/suppresive fire/room clearing/cool/patrols/emergency hunting, (not legal), get the AK. Get at least one drum, and 6 magazines. Get a 1500rd assortment of JHP, FMJ, and SP.


Regarding 18 USC, Chap 44, Section 922, Subsection R:

It is illegal to assemble a firearms containing more than 10 components of foriegn origin as specified in 27 CFR section 178.39. It is illegal to assemble a firearm deemed to be illegal for importation for sporting purposes that consists of 10 or more parts of foriegn origin. To manufacture a weapon of non-sporting configuration, you are required to have no more then 10 foriegn parts as defined by 27 CFR section 178.39.

Dacoda
May 14, 2006, 02:52 AM
*scratches head*... thanks for clarifying that... I think.

The Real Hawkeye
May 14, 2006, 10:07 AM
Sniper, you must be thinking of something else. The SKS and the AK-47 are both auto-loading rifles. Neither is a bolt action.

The Real Hawkeye
May 14, 2006, 10:22 AM
about 922r i could be wrong, and yea i think its odd but thats how it was explained to me. the rifle has to remain unaltered to stay a relicIsn't that a law having to do with characteristics that make a gun legal to IMPORT? End users are not ordinarily reachable by import regulations. For example, if an import regulation states that orange shipments must be accompanied by an inspection sticker certifying that they are not infested with insects of any sort, the end user is not subject to government inspection to see if he still has a copy of that certification in his possession while the oranges sit in a bowl on his kitchen table. If ladders are required by import regulations to be able to support 300 pounds, that does not in any way bind the end user to keep it in that condition or be subject to a Federal Inspectors raid. The end user is free to remove parts on the ladder, and make is as flimsy as he chooses, if he thinks removing those parts makes it more useful to him in some other way, because end users are not ordinarily reachable by import regulations.

Could you quote the statement IN THE LAW itself that allows this regulation to reach end users in any way? If not, end users are allowed to do whatever they like to their rifles or oranges or ladders, so long as they do not violate a law regulating the general characteristics of those items while in their possession. Concerning firearms, there were three such Federal laws that I can think of (all of them, by the way, unconstitutinal, but that's another thread). One was passed in the 1940s, the other in the 1960s and then there was the assault weopon ban of (I believe) the 1990s, which has since sunsetted.

The Grand Inquisitor
May 14, 2006, 11:21 AM
The bullet penetrated, but that's about all it did. It doesn't fragment, it just passes straight through its target, causing them to die aftewards due to the internal injuries.



This isn't the case. The 5.45 was designed to have an extreme haw once it entered soft tissue - in fact, 5.45 projectiles almost never go in and out of a human target. Look up the internal design of a 5.45 projectile, it has been designed with an empty air pocket that makes the bullet take a very ugly path inside the body. 5.56 was designed to fragment inside the body, while 5.45 was design to move around once inside - both do their intended target better than the other, and both have been extremely effective.

One of the real dangers with being hit with a 5.45 projectile is that a hit higher in the chest can move down into the intestines and create greater and greater internal bleeding.

armoredman
May 14, 2006, 11:28 AM
Have WASR. 3 inch group at 25 yards. Have Yugo SKS. 6 inch group at 100 yards. Both from the bench. More work needs to be done with WASR.

Technosavant
May 14, 2006, 05:16 PM
There is a bunch of talk about SKS legal issues at Survivor's SKS board (http://www.sksboards.com/forum/).

The way I have read and understood it (and YES, the laws are purely insane), is that the Yugo 59/66 (the current widely available SKS) is imported as a C&R rifle. ANY changes from the original configuration void the C&R status, bringing you under the jurisdiction of section 922r (the 10 or less part game, as well as the infamous "sporting purposes" clause). This means you will need to remove the bayonet, grenade launcher, and night sights, as well as adding enough US made parts to reach the correct number. Such parts are easily available, but you end up doubling the price of the rifle.

The SKS is a good and reliable short to medium range carbine. I hate the sights, but not enough to void the status of my rifle and embark on a campaign of legalization (and when it's done, you are still doing good to be shooting 8 inch groups at 100 yards).

Like I said, as it is, the SKS is a good rifle. T'were I to stockpile a bunch of rifles, the shooter grade SKS is the easy pick. But it's just not worth going to the trouble of upgrading (IMO).

Lonestar.45
May 14, 2006, 10:04 PM
I've got both. I got the SKS first, and about six months later picked up a WASR.

To be honest, I like shooting my SKS much more, simply because it is more accurate. The AK is great because of the high cap mags and portability. But it stays in the safe for SHTF and when I want trigger time I take the SKS's to the range.

Recoil is negligible with the Yugo SKS. With the AK, it's still tame, but does recoil slightly more.

The SKS IMHO is slightly harder to clean, but the AK is not bad like an AR. I finished the wood on my WASR with 10 coats of tung oil and it looks great, changes the look completely.

If I were you I'd go with an unissued or excellent Yugo SKS, because they don't make 'em anymore and one day you'll wish you had. The WASRs are being churned out all the time and you should have no problem picking one up later if you still want one.

roscoe
May 14, 2006, 10:25 PM
ANY changes from the original configuration void the C&R status, bringing you under the jurisdiction of section 922r
I am not sure this is true. Just because it is no longer C&R does not make it so it is not a sporting rifle. You would have to make it 'non-sporting' by adding a pistol grip, or detachable magazine, etc.

lesjones
May 14, 2006, 10:56 PM
"projectiles almost never go in and out of a human target. Look up the internal design of a 5.45 projectile, it has been designed with an empty air pocket that makes the bullet take a very ugly path inside the body."

Most 7.62x39mm also has an air pocket in the bullet (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=141122&page=2).

http://www.gunsnet.net/album/data/500/273russian4-med.jpg

Newton
May 14, 2006, 11:18 PM
If you modify an SKS that was imported under 922(r) it does not automatically become illegal but it does remove itself from the protection of the C&R concessions.

So......you either need to play the 10 foreign made parts or less game OR you need to remove ALL of the illegal features and render the gun to be in a condition that would allow its importation as a "regular" sporting firearm.

For an SKS, specifically a Yugoslavian 59/66A1 which represents the bulk of the currently imported guns, that would mean the following:

1. Remove the grenade launcher and the barrel threads (or permanently cover them with a soldered flash hider etc)

2. Remove the bayonet and bayonet lug

3. Remove both front and rear night sights

This process is commonly known as "bubba'ing" and it seems like a very significant number of Yugo SKS rifles are being put through this process if only because that super long barrel, bayonet and grenade launcher make the rifle very nose heavy and over-long.

Rexrider
May 14, 2006, 11:26 PM
I would only get the SKS if you plan to leave it as-is. If you plan to tacticool it (high cap detachable mags, new stock, optics), then just get the AK.

The SKS is a reliable and fun little carbine, but those who really soup them up don't gain much in accuracy, and an AK would be the same price (and more reliable at its finish) than the whole build up. Depending on the SKS (if it's a Yugo 59/66) there's a fair amount of work in cleaning out the cosmoline (and if you plan to mod it, you have to begin by making it 922r legal; a fair amount of work and money itself).

Personally, the above qoute is the best way to decide which rifle you want.

If you want an AK, save up your money and by an AK. If you're thinking of buying a SKS and turning it into an AK on the cheap, it won't be cheap and it won't be an AK. Simple as that. What you will end up with is a very expensive non-reliable SKS.

I own 2 Yugo SKS (their like potato chips.....) They are rugged, reliable rifles with decent accuracy. Can't beat the price and I can't begin to think what it would take to break one. I didn't buy them for SHTF, HD/SD, or hunting (but they could easily fill those duties if needed). I just bought them because I think they are interesting rifles. They also happen to be fun to shoot. They are what they are and work best when left in their original configuration.

rangerruck
May 14, 2006, 11:46 PM
i hate with a passion, the boomerang or wishbone mags of the sks. now if that sks takes ak mags...

Nashmack
May 15, 2006, 09:30 AM
The rifles I buy are for hunting. The hunting that I do involves hunting paper at known distances, not delicious moving things at estimated distances. (I'm hungry just thinking about whitetail burgers!)

I like to throw a lot of lead downrange, and I dont particularly care to sit on the line loading mags.

Stiletto Null
May 15, 2006, 09:41 AM
My Yugo SKS is good for at least (most?) 4MOA.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v331/StilettoOne/50ydSKShead.jpg

Gas system was off, and I was taking my time. Didn't quite manage to avoid screwing up the trigger pull (LOOOONG and crunchy), but I did OK. 50yd on a half-size silhouette.

Recoil? What recoil? :confused: Mausers have recoil. My SKS just kind of pushes me back without me noticing until I'm teetering on my heels. (I forget to lean into the recoil sometime.)

armoredman
May 15, 2006, 10:28 AM
Shoot a Mosin M38, and never complain about milsurp recoil again - my SKS love taps.

chopinbloc
May 15, 2006, 02:16 PM
get the ak, then get the sks, then buy several more of each type.

anyway, i vote ak. you never know what kind of ugly laws the next president will sign. besides, i rest easier knowing that my guns make feinstein and clinton sit bolt upright in bed covered in a cold sweat.

America_without_liberals
May 15, 2006, 02:35 PM
So basically from how you guys are interpreting the law. All of the SKS that are for sale in Shotgun News that say they are CA Ok are illegal since they have been modified from the original configuration and no longer can be considered a C&R? The nonsensical AW ban of 94 has sunset and at least for now we can have fun toys. The law that had nothing to do with the functionality of the firearm but the appearance.

I have shot both and I have to say the SKS kicks much less due to the weight of the gun. They are both extremely fun to shoot. The box mag and stripper clips on the sks is great and with a little practice you can learn to load quickly. Don't waste the money on the duckbill mag.

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