SKS or AR-15? Which is better for defense?


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Ferrari308
July 27, 2006, 08:22 PM
Why is the SKS so cheap? They can be purchased for $200, while the AR-15 goes for closer to $1000. Everything I've read says the SKS is more reliable.

Consider a SHTF scenario where WWIII hits and there is anarchy. You're alone on your 10 acres in the middle of nowhere with a small cabin and no neighbors for miles. You have family to protect. Which gun would you rather have to defend your property?

You can only have one rifle, and it must be the AR-15 or any version of the SKS. Which one do you chose?

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Technosavant
July 27, 2006, 08:34 PM
The SKS is cheap because it is, essentially, a used gun. They also are lower quality (the tolerances aren't anywhere near those needed for an AR), made in an Eastern European nation (lower wages), and much simpler.

I love my SKS- it's an absolute hoot, and would be quite good in a SHTF scenario. If you decide to build up a SKS into something with better sights, larger capacity, etc., you're better off going straight to an AK- less compliance hassles. It's a good gun as-is, and for short to medium (preferably <100 yards, but can go farther) ranges, it is plenty decent.

However, I think the AR would be better. Longer range, more accurate, higher capacity, and lighter (easier to haul around). You can abuse the SKS more, but I'd try to take better care of any gun I was depending upon to save my life.

Keep in mind that the SKS was designed to be built for almost nothing in communist factories and be used by illiterate peasants. The M16 (and the AR civilian variant) was designed to be used by a trained and equipped soldier and made using good quality factories and tooling. The paradigms of the designers were wildly different, and it shows.

STAGE 2
July 27, 2006, 08:38 PM
Different rifles for different purposes. The sks was intended to be a simple, mass produced, eventually disposable, peasant weapon that could be operated by the village idiot and work under some of the worst conditions. The round is adequate and the rifle is sufficient for minute of man at 100 yds. Of course the sks holds 10 which is less than the AR's 30, and reloading is slightly slower. However when one gets good with stripper clips the actual speed of reloading becomes negligible depending on the user.

I'm not a real expert on the AR but its a far more complex design, which is much more accurate. Probably easier to clean as far as breakdown goes simply because of how it disassembles. There is virtually no recoil and you can probably carry more ammo on your person.

If the situation was WWIII as you described, the rifle I would select would be based on which ammo was the most plentiful. Both would be adequate for what I would need it for. Should ammo be equally available the I would give the nod to the AR simply because I find the pistol grip to be more manageable in the field and its a tad bit lighter.

Just my 02

50 Freak
July 27, 2006, 08:43 PM
I voted the SKS is better, cause for the price of one AR, I can buy 4 SKSs.

That makes it my four people armed with SKSs to your one guy with an AR.

hehehehe

1911JMB
July 27, 2006, 08:54 PM
I would take the SKS simply because every stoner varient I ever shot jammed on me. Granted I've only shot a few, but a clean and properly oiled bushmaster not jam, but they have each time I've shot one. I see lots of guys at the range with them that never have any jams, but I haven't had such good luck so its a clear choice for me.

Then again, I'd be a lot more worried about weapons of mass destruction than a paranoid shtf scenerio. Who in the world would be stupid enough to invade the US? A foreign country could nuke the US or use bio weapons, but theres no way US citizens will be fighting off a foreign invader on US soil any time soon.

Ferrari308
July 27, 2006, 08:55 PM
The round is adequate and the rifle is sufficient for minute of man at 100 yds.

100 meters, or 300 feet, is a short distance. I thought both these guns could do much better. Is there any option to make them good for 1000 feet? Will a scope increase the range, or is 300 feet as far as these rifles can push the bullet?

Minator
July 27, 2006, 08:57 PM
:uhoh: lol was this even a contest?

carterbeauford
July 27, 2006, 08:59 PM
You can get 7 or 8 SKS rifles for the price of one AR if you shop around and lower your quality standards enough. I paid $150 for one that was practially new, lower grades can be found for as little as $89. It is a big, heavy, fairly accurate rifle that is quite reliable with the factory 10 round magazine.

SKS is more resistant to dirt that might be encountered in an outdoor survival situation. For home defense, I think it is too long and heavy and is a last resort weapon. If you choose a rifle for home defense the AR is lighter and more maneuverable.

Technosavant
July 27, 2006, 09:39 PM
A good quality SKS with decent ammo will put shots into a paper plate at 100 yards. That's plenty good enough for most uses- if you go taking shots at longer ranges, even in SHTF, expect to see legal repercussions when order is restored (I kinda doubt TEOTWAWKI will ever happen, short of a plague as in Stephen King's The Stand, expect to have to answer for your deeds).

An AR of decent quality with good ammo should be usefully accurate out to 300 yards, if not more.

For more range, you need a full power rifle round like the .308; intermediate cartridges won't cut it.

Unless you plan to go hunting on the plains where multi-hundred yard shots are the norm, 500 yard accuracy is just "because you can." If you are worried about invading barbarians, IMO, 100 yards is plenty. Few people are an imminent danger to life and limb out past that. Prepare for it if you want, but don't be thinking you will have bodies piled up 500 yards away from your shooting position and nobody is going to care.

goon
July 27, 2006, 09:45 PM
AR.
Remember six months ago when you couldn't find 7.62x39?
You could still find .223 and 5.56 ammo. It is more expensive but still available and made by a whole lot of US manufacturers. Even with FMJ economy style bullets it will often fragment out to 150 yards or so, making a really nasty wound.
I never did the comparison with 7.62x39 but I know that you can get 38 rounds of 55 grain 5.56 ammo in a pound of weight.
The AR is a US weapon. You can get all kinds of parts and accessories to make it into whatever you want. They are basically pinned and screwed together. I have made customizations on mine already with only the knowledge of how to strip it for cleaning. In the event that you wound up being a US supported guerilla fighting against someone in WWIII you may be able to get help from an armorer if you had a broken part or needed a few magazines or ammo. That wouldn't happen with an SKS.
They are dirty but I just ran my Olympic carbine for about a thousand rounds with no lube to start with and no cleaning whatsoever. There were no failures to feed, fire, or extract. It was so dirty tonight that I had trouble getting it apart to finally clean it. That could be considered abuse but I do know that the damn thing will work when it is dirty.
If you can't find time to clean your rifle between every thousand rounds you are doing something wrong.
I wouldn't feel helpless with an SKS but I would choose a good AR over it.

beerslurpy
July 27, 2006, 09:46 PM
AR wins because the SKS is plain missing features. Lack of detachable, high capacity magazines is a major hindrance in a self defense rifle. Still, an SKS wouldnt be that bad if your adversaries were few in number or were mostly unaware of your position.

I would still pick an AK over AR because I feel reliability is more important than a few MOA of accuracy at combat ranges. As for ammo scarcity, I still have a few thousand rounds left.

Ferrari308
July 27, 2006, 09:48 PM
Unless you plan to go hunting on the plains where multi-hundred yard shots are the norm, 500 yard accuracy is just "because you can." If you are worried about invading barbarians, IMO, 100 yards is plenty. Few people are an imminent danger to life and limb out past that.

Even against anti-snipers? How far away do most snipers set up camp for shots? Are there any snipers that try to take out targets from more than 100 yards away? How do you defend against them?

possum
July 27, 2006, 09:48 PM
I own both and they both have there places, but cheap or not no matter what i would take the ar-15. I will sacrifice the extra money, and the smaller caliber round plus, engaging targets out to 300 meters is easy, to 500 if your good with ironsights not to mention if you have some form of high speed optics, then you can reach out even farther. The accuracy is gonna be alot better, especially for the scenario you described.wide open spaces. I love the sks for several reasons, but for a shtf situation, i would reach for the ar-15 everytime.The hi capicity if the ar-15 is sweet i have had problems with sks's that had hi-cap mags,being reliable. it is quicker to reload the ar-15 as well. not to mention the avalabilty of ammo it is alot easier to find .223/5.56 around here than it is to find 7.62x39. If you run out.

Technosavant
July 27, 2006, 10:30 PM
Do you honestly think you are going to have snipers after your family? If you are planning for that eventuality, neither the SKS or the AR is going to do it. Try something in .338 Lapua or .416 Barrett, or even .50BMG. You'll need the reach. Be sure to train up your 8 year old to be a spotter.

People with real training and practice can hit reliably at out past 100 yards, but they, in all likelihood, will not be going after innocent people minding their own business. It's the usual thugs who can't hit squat at 20 yards who will be pulling that garbage.

Prepare all you want for whatever you want, but enemy snipers are seriously getting into tinfoil hat territory.

BoySetsTheFire
July 27, 2006, 10:44 PM
My 2˘: I voted for the SKS.

First off, the 223 round has been in question with regard to adequate stopping power. Many LE agencies have gone with the 223, but they have been questioned/criticised for it. Plain and simple, the SKS has more snot.

The SKS is a field tested weapon, as reliable as they come.

Obviously, there are weapons out there that are superior to both. If you want a high powered tack driver, for $400 you can get an M1 Garand in 30.06. That's got better accuracy at longer distances and a hell of a lot more power than either the SKS or AR. But you should pick the rifle that you are comfortable with and that you can shoot well with.

So I pick the SKS. (But I'm in the process of buying an M1, simply because it is a historical weapon).

Ferrari308
July 27, 2006, 10:46 PM
Prepare all you want for whatever you want, but enemy snipers are seriously getting into tinfoil hat territory.

Think of the situation from the other guys point of view. Something horrible just happened, maybe a terrorist set off a nuke, maybe they poisoned the water supply, maybe a hurricane worse than Katrina hit. You saw how people acted after hurricane Katrina, there was anarchy. At any rate, this guy is not prepared, so he gets his family in his car and he gets his deer hunting rifle. He finds your cabin. He asks for help, you offer him a gallon of water and tell him to keep going north. But he drives a mile off, then decides to double back to get your cabin on foot. He wants everything you've stockpiled like water and food. You prepared, he didn't, and now he wants to take it the easiest way by snipering you.

How many people would be willing to kill an innocent person if it means saving his family? Would you kill an innocent man if it means feeding your children in a time of disaster with no law enforcement anywhere and no help anywhere? I would not, but I am sure there are people out there who would. I want to be prepared.

mrmeval
July 27, 2006, 10:56 PM
For what an AR cost me, about 900. I can get 10 SKS's. And I can still get ammo cheap for the SKS. 10 rounds means the person has to shoot a bit more careful.

10-Ring
July 27, 2006, 10:57 PM
I've never really been a fan of the SKS...I voted AR ;)

SomeKid
July 27, 2006, 11:04 PM
Ferarri,

In that situation, you would be dead before knowing you had an enemy. He would wait for you to come outside and nail you from his spot. At least, assuming he didn't Rambo into your front door.

lesjones
July 27, 2006, 11:06 PM
The AR is a better gun overall. More accurate, higher magazine capacity, better ergonomics, more accessories.

Now if you factor in cost I'm not so sure. :-)

I have an SKS. I have not been able to justify the cost of an AR. For home defense I've got a 12 gauge pump and plenty of handguns. For me an AR will mostly be a toy to take to the range. Right now I'd rather spend my money on WWII milsurps and old S&W revolvers.

MechAg94
July 27, 2006, 11:08 PM
I was thinking about shorter ranges myself. My SKS has a built in bayonet and solid stock that would be useful if ranges were really short. I can live with 10 shots. Better to not get used to spraying several rounds when one or two will do. 10 round strippers load quickly anyway.

To be honest, if you are worried about snipers hanging around, you will be holed up somewhere for months on end. If someone comes buy your house, you better make sure they leave the area anyway. I guess that is why friends and dogs can be helpful.

Limeyfellow
July 27, 2006, 11:10 PM
I would probrobly pick the AR15 in the US since I am more likely to pick up extra ammo and parts since they are so common in the US but if its a struggle for cleaning equipment and such the SKS makes a fairly desirable pick.

What really lets down some of the SKS' is some of the quality control, though the good thing is its all quite easy to solve. Stick on a tech-sight, give it a good bedding and sort out the trigger by reassembling it properly and your SKS can usually be brought down to at least 2 moa. The design of the rifle is fairly well done. It doesn't have the 30 round clip usually, though there is the SKS-M and SKS-D and some versions were even adopted then to selective fire, which with a fairly competent amataur is not too difficult to do. Its the poor man's do most things fairly well carbine.

GILROY
July 27, 2006, 11:12 PM
I would add and choose an obvious missing option. The venerable AK47. Rock solid dependable, accurate enough for legitimate social unrest ranges, hi capacity, small package with folding stock. Keep 1000 rounds in the closet put away nice and dry. If you need more than that, you probably did not survive to place the order. (BTW, I do own an AR and a SKS for backup).

Ferrari308
July 27, 2006, 11:12 PM
your SKS can usually be brought down to at least 2 moa.

What is moa?

Grunt
July 27, 2006, 11:12 PM
I'd go with the AR over the SKS. Now I do own 4 ARs and 2 SKS rifles, all of different designs and I still think the AR is the better weapon. True, the SKS does have a good reputation for reliability however, I have never had a propperly maintained (you didn't think I was some sort of slob did you?) AR or M-16/M-4 using decent ammunition malfunction either. I did have one M-4 blow up on me when I went through CATM school but that was due to an ammunition with the frangible ammo being overloaded. Just on a note, a fellow CATM instructor I know at Pope AFB had one round of frangible that blew apart a rifle up there they estimated to be generating 80,000 PSI rather than the standard 52,000 PSI the M-4 is designed to take. Anyways, no, I'm not overly thrilled about the smaller 5.56mm round but I'm even less thrilled with the 10 round magazines loaded with stripper clips, lack of a flash suppressor and other ergonomic issues the SKS has. It's a good deer rifle for brush country and today I'd rate it about on par with a good .30-30 lever action. However, as far as a rifle for fighting, I'll stick with the AR design out of the two choices given here.

leadcounsel
July 27, 2006, 11:14 PM
Apples and oranges.

If you're on a budget, go with the SKS. A great rifle. I have several and love them.

If you're not on a budget, the AR15 is an overall better rifle for many reasons.

Ferrari308
July 27, 2006, 11:17 PM
Do either of these two rifles have the power to take down a charging bear? Which rifle has more stopping power?

STAGE 2
July 27, 2006, 11:35 PM
What is moa?

I definately wouldn't be worried about snipers if I were you:D

Wes Janson
July 27, 2006, 11:49 PM
The Moa was a large, flightless bird native to New Zealand which became extinct several hundred years ago or so. Scientists generally believe they were killed off by humans, in hunting and land clearing operations. Genetically they're related to the emu.


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2d/Giant_Haasts_eagle_attacking_New_Zealand_moa.jpg/749px-Giant_Haasts_eagle_attacking_New_Zealand_moa.jpg

Yes, I know I deserve to be smacked for this.

trickyasafox
July 27, 2006, 11:54 PM
i own both, for home defense i like the AR. they are handier, lighter, higher cap yada yada.

if buggin out in rought terrain i'd like one of my sks's. i just think they stand up to abuse better because of their simplicity, and i think they are a better fall back hunting arm.

MTMilitiaman
July 27, 2006, 11:56 PM
This is actually a tougher question for me than it should have been. I voted SKS just because I've never seen a non-ammo related malfunction in any of at least half a dozen of them that I have fired. I could hit a five gallon bucket at 250 yards with my old 1954 Russian and with my current Yugo and TechSights, I know I could do at least that well. It is more accurate than anyone has a right to expect a $190 rifle to be, absolutely reliable, tough as nails, and I happen to prefer the stubby Russian cartridge to the 5.56.

By Christmas I should have a good deal of experience with the M16A2, and then I might change my vote. But for now I know and trust the Simonov.

BoySetsTheFire
July 28, 2006, 12:00 AM
MOA is Minute Of Angle, which is a measure of accuracy. I believe there are 60 minutes to a degree.

Ferrari308
July 28, 2006, 12:01 AM
The Moa was a large, flightless bird...

You guys aren't going to let me know what moa is, are you?

I definately wouldn't be worried about snipers if I were you

So a sniper will pass on someone who is not experienced? Good. Whew! I thought the BG snipers would target anything they could. I'm gald you cleared that up for me!

Edit- thanks BoySetsTheFire.

MTMilitiaman
July 28, 2006, 12:06 AM
Yeah it was covered briefly above.

MOA stands for Minute Of Angle. My trig is a little rusty, but I believe it has to do with 1/60 of a degree extended outwards for infinity. If you do the math, 1 MOA equal about 1.047 inch at 100 yards and increases linearly so that it is twice that at 200 yards, and so on.

It is used to measure accuracy. 2 MOA means a group of 'X' number of rounds measured center to center of the farthest rounds measures less than 2 MOA, or 2 inches at 100 yards, 4 inches at 200 yards, ect.

It is also used to measure windage or elevation. Your scope probably adjusts in 1/4 MOA or 1/8 MOA clicks. A spotter might call say, 3 minutes of wind for his shooter, ect.

chrisbob
July 28, 2006, 12:11 AM
I have 3 sks's rugged take abuse easy to break down and replace parts and I can get any accessories I want including a 75 rnd drum.

I agree that the 223 is an easier round to get but more expensive. If I was worried about tshf I can stock pile ammo when available.

I have a couple friends w/ the ar they paided 8 to 10 times what I paid for any of my sks's.

For accuracy in a SHTF scenario I would take the AR but if that happens it will probably be 100 yrds or less.

Off the subject of the two choices for accuracy and calibre size I have an AK74. This ammo is hard to get some time so when I find it I buy a couple thousand rnds at a time just for the range mind you:evil:

chrisbob
July 28, 2006, 12:21 AM
I voted sks on the poll :uhoh:
I didn't mean that one is better than the other IMO.
I meant to say I would choose the sks according to my previous post

STAGE 2
July 28, 2006, 01:17 AM
So a sniper will pass on someone who is not experienced? Good. Whew! I thought the BG snipers would target anything they could. I'm gald you cleared that up for me!


Just some good natured chiding:D

High Planes Drifter
July 28, 2006, 08:55 AM
RISE , RISE from the dead Oh SHTF Related Thread. I invoke thee
(flames, chants, and tribal drum beats)




:D
Kidding. I voted AR.

Technosavant
July 28, 2006, 10:03 AM
By the time you invest enough time and money for the SKS to become a 2MOA rifle (shoot rounds into 2" at 100 yards), you may as well just get a more accurate rifle anyway. While you may be considering this for the end of the world, the SKS has numerous legality issues which must be satisfied until that day comes- just do a search, and you'll find that the rules are pretty involved and ambiguous. I like the SKS, but it's only worth the trouble in stock configuration.

It does seem like you are worried about the most unlikely of conditions: if somebody really wanted to pop you for your supplies, they won't tell you about it first, and your first knowledge will be incoming fire. If you really want to do long range shooting, just get yourself a good bolt action deer rifle, or for the REAL long range stuff, go ask Barrett for something.

jjohnson
July 28, 2006, 10:44 AM
Yeah, I'd go with the SKS.

Before you blackstick people come out of your chair, let's be fair here.

The question was "defense" not "assault rifle." SKS wins. :what:

"Defense" vs "Assault Rifle" to me means you might have to use it in your house or yard ONCE againse a SMALL number (maybe 1) bad folk, not participate in an urban scenario like Baghdad.

I carried an M16 for three years in the Army. The onlyl thing I liked about it was I had the M203 40mm grenade launcher on mine so I could count on ONE weapon. I could hit very well with my M16, no sweat, but to me, life begins at thirty (caliber!) and the SKS wins. I own three, and have shot 'em for 20-odd years. No, they're NOT pretty, they're NOT as tight and accurate as an M16 - they're just NOT. However, they're reliable as dirt, and if the magazine bothers you, you can get a 20-round fixed mag that's very good and reliable. If you can't do what you want for "defense" with 20 rounds of ammo, you don't need to be here. That kinda also touches the ammo deal - if you can't stockpile enough ammo (like a couple of boxes) you shouldn't be worrying about availability. Again - original question - we're talking defense here, not some SHTF broken planet scenario where you somehow think the National Guard or somebody is going to be air dropping ammo to you in M16 mags. Neither round is legendary for lethality, but let's stick with the question the way it was asked.

I can keep strangers off my property with my SKS, thanks. Oh, by the way - they're reasonably effective with a red dot sight mounted, kinda like a beefy Ruger 10/22. I know, if somebody's beating on your front door in the middle of the night, you won't need to turn it on anyway - you'll be point shooting.

Okay. I'm gonna jump off my soapbox here so you AR15 lovers can start beating on me :evil:

MechAg94
July 28, 2006, 11:19 AM
jjohnson described what I was thinking on the SKS. I was thinking about home defense situations. If I had to go walking, I think I would end up taking my AR due to lighter weight of gun and ammo.

LanEvo`
July 28, 2006, 11:29 AM
Then again, I'd be a lot more worried about weapons of mass destruction than a paranoid shtf scenerio. Who in the world would be stupid enough to invade the US? A foreign country could nuke the US or use bio weapons, but theres no way US citizens will be fighting off a foreign invader on US soil any time soon.+1

It's hard to imagine a scenario in which any of us will be fighting off trained soldiers, snipers, etc. That's just silly. The most likely SHTF scenario would be another large-scale terrorist attack. Even nukes and/or biological weapons would be FAR more likely than invasion.

If you'll actually be shooting at anyone, it will be Katrina-style looters, thugs, and assorted ne'er-do-wells. It's hard to see how 500yd shooting would be necessary. Most problems would probably still be best left to a good 12ga.

HorseSoldier
July 28, 2006, 11:39 AM
Like other posters have suggested -- if you're defensive rifle budget is only $200 or so, go with the SKS.

Otherwise, AR hands down and no real comparison. It may have been an accidental bit of coincedence or deliberate design, but the AR with 16" or shorter barrel is one of, if not the finest, gunfighter's long gun for CQB. One might want to tweak with caliber or operating system, but in terms of ergonomics the controls are all just about perfect. SKS is not even in the same league. Debating AR vs AK vs FAL vs M14 and such I can see, but the SKS is a pretty big generation or two behind the state of the art.

coat4gun
July 28, 2006, 11:48 AM
It may be behind in technology... but when I flip out that big'ol bayonet on my Yogo SKS... I'd be scrambling for the hills if I was a bad guy... :D

kid_couteau
July 28, 2006, 12:31 PM
Hi All

I own or have owned a MAK-90, NHM-90 (Chinese AKs) an SKS and an AR.

As far as ability to put stuff on it and buy accessories the AR hands down.

Now a days as far as geting ammo for it the AR wins (darn wolf ammo inavailability)

As far as going bang every time the trigger is pulled the AR does not win.

I like my AR. it fits me well and points nice. But I have never owned a rifle that was so hard to clear a misfire or jam in my life.

I had some ammo issues. My own fault I forgot to trim the brass. Also had a time that I was firing some wolf through it and the gun was dirty and it failed to eject.

Please no stories about wolf ammo. No offense but in my opinion a gun that is designed for war or LEO stuff needs to not be finicky about what it shoots and also needs to clear jams easy. The AR does neither. I like my AR but will probably use my mini in TEOTWAKI

Later
Kid

saltydog
July 28, 2006, 02:15 PM
I would take either one of them. If you need to get off more than a couple rounds your are already in deep doo doo. :uhoh:

Some guy will probably take you out with a bolt action rifle 500+ yards away anyway, so I wouldn't be to picky between the AR or the SKS. :(

DMK
July 28, 2006, 02:35 PM
Consider a SHTF scenario where WWIII hits and there is anarchy. You're alone on your 10 acres in the middle of nowhere with a small cabin and no neighbors for miles. You have family to protect. Which gun would you rather have to defend your property?Actually, in that situation, I'd prefer my FAL. However, my AR would be preferable to any of my SKS.

Of course, if the SKS was all I had, I wouldn't feel too bad.

Bridger
July 28, 2006, 02:41 PM
My AR has been more reliable than my SKS, FWIW...

Stiletto Null
July 28, 2006, 02:42 PM
On my budget? The SKS.

For aimed fire, ten rounds with strippers isn't that much of a disadvantage over 30 rounds with mags. If I'm just spraying, well, I'll waste less ammo if I have to calm down enough to reload.

My SKS will do 2MOA. Under combat conditions, it will be more accurate than me.

Without optics, I can't really target anything past about 200m, which is (incidentally) right about the 7.62x39 round's max point-blank range.

***

I could put down $900 on an Entry Tactical, and feed it 68gr OTMs. But that's a lot of money for not a lot of useful performance envelope.

OldSchooler
July 28, 2006, 03:09 PM
SHTF gun, protecting my few acres and little house againse...what? Marauding bands of starving rabble? Wild Dogs? Government agents nbent on "policing armed citizens?

AR-15

bowfin
July 28, 2006, 03:39 PM
/*I voted the SKS is better, cause for the price of one AR, I can buy 4 SKSs.

That makes it my four people armed with SKSs to your one guy with an AR.*/

...and if Mr. AR-15 gets you and your three co-targets out in an open space shooting war at farther than 200 yards, he will probably have an AR and four SKS rifles for the price of a single AR.:)

Ferrari308
July 28, 2006, 03:47 PM
/*I voted the SKS is better, cause for the price of one AR, I can buy 4 SKSs.

That makes it my four people armed with SKSs to your one guy with an AR.*/

...and if Mr. AR-15 gets you and your three co-targets out in an open space shooting war at farther than 200 yards, he will probably have an AR and four SKS rifles for the price of a single AR

Does the AR-15 have a significantly longer distance it can hit targets than a SKS?

Stiletto Null
July 28, 2006, 03:49 PM
Does the AR-15 have a significantly longer distance it can hit targets than a SKS?Yep. It's not so much an MOA limitation (2~3MOA means reliable hits on frontal torso aspect out to 500m or so, if you take your time) as trajectory: 7.62x39 goes rainbow pretty quickly. Max point blank range on an SKS (using M43-esque ammo) will be about 200m. MPBR on an AR will be about 300m.

Also, the AR's sights are better—this can be largely remedied by spending on better irons for the SKS (Tech Sights, Firesights), siderail scopes, or scout scopes.

$400 can get you an SKS, a scout mount, and a pretty nice optic (Ultradot, a decent ~2x pistol scope, stuff like that).

***

...and if Mr. AR-15 gets you and your three co-targets out in an open space shooting war at farther than 200 yards, he will probably have an AR and four SKS rifles for the price of a single AR.

Well, let's see.

2x SKS: $250
M48A: $150
SVD/SKS standard siderail mount: $50
A nice Dragunov style 6x42 scope: $200
Some nice walkie-talkies: $50

Open field:
You come under massed fire from two widely separated shooters with SKSes. You duck behind a tree. The SKS shooters radio in your position, and the Mauser shooter blasts a chunk of tree through your spinal cord. You die.
Press fire to respawn.

Urban:
You walk into the vicinity of the people's house, apartment, whatever. You walk under the tree in which the sniper is encamped. He radios in your position. You come under massed fire from less than a hundred feet away, with wide angular separation. You die.
Press fire to respawn.

Tactical options get interesting when you start mixing up the weaponry. :) Frankly, unless you're really working the "rifle behind every blade of grass" scenario (foreign invasion) in which you will be deployed forward of your own area of residence, more guns (provided they are "combat accurate", reliable, semiautomatic, and quickly reloadable) will probably trump fewer-but-better guns.

KC&97TA
July 28, 2006, 03:52 PM
I used to own an SKS, it sat behind the seat of the truck, usally loaded and uncased... I think I cleaned it once in 4 years, took it horse back hunting for fox and coyote several times, it cost me about $150 and was "new & packed in grease". I got rid of it after it began to slam fire. I had 30 round banana's for it, and it go used when we'd go out shooting, Ammo at that time was like $1.50 for like 300 Russian surplus rounds.

I own 2 - Rock River Arms AR-15's, neither of them has had a manfunction, (except for a bad USGI mag with bent feed lips, but that wasn't the gun it was one of my buddies useing his mags). 100% reliabelity for $900 that was for my M4-gery and I don't really want to say how much money I have into the NM AR, But the NM will hold 3/4 MOA at 1000 yards (from the prone, not on a sand bag), that's with 77gr molly-coated match rounds.

I've placed my life on the M16A4, and am here to talk about it, I'll place my life on my personal M4-gery any day of the week.

Limeyfellow
July 28, 2006, 03:53 PM
Government agents nbent on "policing armed citizens

If government agencies came wanting to take your guns it doesn't really matter what rifle you have. Its not going to do well against the likes of tanks, helecopters and squads of men they are likely to call in on you for firing on them. We seen at Ruby Ridge and Waco what the Government do to such rebelious elements. Sure its not legal for them to take your weapons around but take Jeb Bush for instance. One day he signing a law to prevent this. The next he is talking about taking them away if their is a statewide crisis and they are seen as a danger to troops. I don't trust his doubletalk one little bit.

Luckly where I am in NC its not going to suffer bad flooding and mass destruction that sees millions trapped in a city. Compared to New York, Charleston, Galvaston, Houston, the Gulf Coast or the west and east coasts that are in tsunami range to flood for miles or earthquakes. We get it quite mild, even when hurricanes go over. We do however have problems with the electrical grid. In the winter with icestorms the area can loose power for over a week to in some places up to a month. Luckly the ice can be harvested then to keep food cool. The house itself is rather sturdy and well built. We have a good garden on the land and plenty of critters to eat, but its going to have to be one helluva storm for that.

Our greatest problem tends to be the odd wild animal. You tend to get coyotes preying on dogs and the odd rabid animal that needs putting down. Its unlikely to get mass looting though there is the usual criminal element. Either the SKS or Ar15 would do fine, though I do prefer the 7.62x39 round. Of course I always have the Fal and plenty of full bolt action rifles for longer range and more knockdown.

kfranz
July 28, 2006, 04:13 PM
SKS's are cheap because "tax payers" in worker paradises already paid for them once. It ain't the rifle, it's the shooter.

Those who cite ammo problems, you are aware that Federal/American Eagle make x39, right? Not super cheap, but it's available.

Ferrari308
July 28, 2006, 04:21 PM
Ammo at that time was like $1.50 for like 300 Russian surplus rounds.

For $4.50 you would be set for WWIII!

Technosavant
July 28, 2006, 06:07 PM
$400 can get you an SKS, a scout mount, and a pretty nice optic (Ultradot, a decent ~2x pistol scope, stuff like that).


Depends on the SKS model. If it's a non-C&R Chinese, yeah, you can do it.

If you begin with the current plentiful model, the 59/66, plan to spend several hours cleaning it up, removing bayonet/grenade launcher/night sights, and then conforming to the 922(r) "10 or less" rule. By this time you are quite close to $300, if not $400, plus whatever your time is worth, and you haven't added optics yet. At this point, you may as well have started with some kind of AK, for all the accuracy you are going to see out of it (the SKS is a bit more accurate than the AK, but not by leaps and bounds).

I've said it and said it, and I'll keep on saying it: if you don't like the SKS as-is, you are best off looking at something else. The legal issues are very involved, and you can wind up with a gun that can buy you a couple years of jail if anybody ever looks at it real closely. Just be darn sure what it is that you are beginning with, and know exactly what you want out of it, and exactly how you plan to get there.

BoySetsTheFire
July 28, 2006, 07:25 PM
I agree that life starts at 30. The .223 just doesn't have the snot, especially when you are out there 100 to 200 yards.

The SKS shoots 2 MOA, which is sufficient to hit a torso sized target out at 300 yards, which is the battle setting for that rear sight.

But it's the shooter and not the rifle. Or to paraphrase Mick Strider, if you know Mick, your brain is the weapon, the knife is just a tool. Same goes for a gun.

I was out at the range a few weeks ago and three guys were shooting two ARs at the two benches to my right. I was shooting my Chinese SKS. They had no spotting scope and we were shooting 100 yards. They were commenting on which ammo was better for targets vs. moving game, which sight was preferred for this and that. Which gun was better balanced and one guy was just totally blown away by the "balance" of his AR. It was the best gun conversation I ever heard. After an hour, I destroyed the black on my target. The guys with the ARs (remember, they had no spotting scope) asked the range officer for their targets. He brought back two perfectly clean targets with no holes. The guy doing most of the talking said, "well, I guess I didn't bag anything today".

This doesn't prove that the SKS is better than the AR. It just proves that your gun can only shoot as good as you can. Pick the one you shoot best with!

Stiletto Null
July 28, 2006, 08:57 PM
If you begin with the current plentiful model, the 59/66, plan to spend several hours cleaning it up, removing bayonet/grenade launcher/night sights, and then conforming to the 922(r) "10 or less" rule. By this time you are quite close to $300, if not $400, plus whatever your time is worth, and you haven't added optics yet. At this point, you may as well have started with some kind of AK, for all the accuracy you are going to see out of it (the SKS is a bit more accurate than the AK, but not by leaps and bounds).Eh?

Cosmo cleanup's a pain, but that comes with being a milsurp collector. Whatever.

Why would I want to remove the bayonet or grenade launcher, or restock at all?

A scout rail to replace the rear leaf will run you...$60. Right here (http://161.58.206.244/store/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=scoutscopes&Category_Code=skscope).

Then stick an Ultradot on there, or a decent pistol scope, and you're good to go. Hell, you might be able to squeeze in a Leupold FX-II 2.5x28 Scout scope at $400 for platform...definitely if you go up to $450.

That's a pretty serious rifle for controlling a 200m radius, for not a lot of money.

922r would be fairly irrelevant for a SHTF scenario like we were verbally jousting about (AR-15s vs. a fire team of milsurps, lol). Legally, though, would it actually break any rules to use nonpermanent mods/retrofit gear as described?

chrisbob
July 28, 2006, 10:47 PM
BRAKE PARTS CLEANER! I was told about this from a local dealer and his smith. It doesn't require removing any pressed pins. Break it down to the screws place the barrel & reciever intact including grenade launcher in a long tub "like a wall paper gluing or wetting container " spray the sh** out of it 2-3 cans let sit how ever long it takes until the brown stuff isn't coming out of the cracks . a little will come out as you shoot it when it gets hot. Then clean it as normal.

brake parts cleaner evaporates clean no residue. Caution don't let it evaporate w/ the gun in the solution!:neener:

This works for me I hope I can help
P.S. place all screws and parts in this solution and take them out one at a time when cleaning or oiling.
This is only for cosmo. covered parts right off the boat. I use it also on guns that have fired corrosive ammo. And barrels.

gunsmith
July 28, 2006, 11:37 PM
You wanted to know how either would stack up against bear??

You want a .308 or a 30-06...for 3 or 4 hundred you can get a .308 Saiga
...Thats what I'm gonna do, I can not afford a cool rifle like a M1A or an AR10
but the .308 will at least slow down or kill your black bear and can reach your sniper at 3 to 5 hundred yards, when you get better and read up on sniper techniques you can upgrade to a good AR10...or a FAL type of rifle..or a M1 Garand for 30-06

For an interesting read, go to frugal squirrels and read "lights out" by halffast...

http://www.frugalsquirrels.com/

http://www.survivalmonkey.com/Lights%20Out.htm

B Easy
July 29, 2006, 12:30 AM
I'd put my money on 10 guys with SKS' against 1 guy with an AR but let's be reasonable here.

I'm assuming the poll is about *your* gun, for *you*. So we're talking one gun here.

That said, the AR is a significantly better firearm in nearly every way, plain and simple.

Reliability? Well, I've never had any huge reliability problems with any AR with good mags and good ammo. Guatemalan milsurp jams me up sometimes even with good mags, but 193 and WWB are picture perfect every time. It's a precision weapon. You have to clean it.

Unless you're some 3rd world guerilla with a kindergarten level education that eats insects and vermin, the AR is going to be a much better weapon both in "the shootout" and in the long haul.

With the AR with good ammo, I'd expect a jam once every few hundred rounds at most. With the SKS probably less often, but the AR is light years ahead in terms of ergonomics, accuracy, weight, magazine capacity, recoil management, etc.

Stiletto Null
July 29, 2006, 12:36 AM
I voted the SKS simply because ARs are sufficiently expensive (read: more than FN49s, for crying out loud) that I will probably not buy one anytime even close to the near future.

If we were talking about $1000 SHTF rifles, I would be hauling out a worked-up FN49 in one of the FN49 chamberings—probably 8mm, just because I like the round.

If we were talking about general purpose SHTF rifles, I would be hauling out a slightly tricked-out SKS.

Someone once said "there is no such thing as SHTF past 150 yards", and I'll generally agree, especially since I currently live in an urban environment.

An AR would be nice, but I don't see it offering enough advantages over anything for me to actually bother with buying one.

albanian
July 29, 2006, 12:45 AM
I am a huge fan of the SKS but I must admit that the only thing an SKS has over a AR-15 is reliabilty. An AR-15 is more accurate, more compact, faster to reload, holds more shots, flatter shooting, ect.

If it were some situation where I was going to be away from any cleaning supplys and would be dragging the guns through mud, then I would take the SKS because I know it would work. The SKS is the most reliable semi-auto there is. I have no doubt that it is actually more reliable than the famed AK-47.

No_Brakes23
July 29, 2006, 02:44 AM
I like my Yugo SKS, but I'll take the modularity, accuracy, and 30-rnd box mags of the AR-15 anyday. Plus, I have messed up wrists, and pistol grip rifles are far easier to fire than standard grip rifles. I also have a lot more experience with the M16A2 than with the SKS.

Besides if you chose based soley on caliber, you can get an AR in 6.8RemSPC, so my vote still goes to the AR.

Bluehawk
July 29, 2006, 03:10 AM
The SKS is cheap because it is, essentially, a used gun. They also are lower quality (the tolerances aren't anywhere near those needed for an AR), made in an Eastern European nation (lower wages), and much simpler
I'm sorry but I can't stop laughing from reading that above quote!
The SKS is not lower quality..if you tried to make one today in the US it would cost as much if not more to produce than any AR rifle on the market since almost every major component is high quality steel machined to high tolerances whereas the AR parts are either cast or forged aluminum...very few parts are milled and only the barrel and fire control parts and springs/pins are steel and some of those parts from some sources are suspect!
The SKS is a simpler design? It uses two gas pistons...one forward and one to the rear with two heavy milled bolt/bolt carrier parts.
Fire control parts on the SKS are certainly not simpler than those used on the AR...take the trigger assembly on the SKS apart sometime and compare it's quality to the AR and tell me which is more complex and better made! Compare the trigger/hammer/sear springs on an SKS to an AR and tell me which ones you would rather bet your life on!
Pop a gas ring or two on a AR and your rifle is pretty much out of action...no such problem with an SKS. Bend a charging handle on an AR and see how fast that rifle is out of the picture! Put a kink in its gas tube and you're screwed! No easy fix in a fight for that problem!! If you think these problems haven't occured ask any service armorer!
The SKS is a well designed and battle proven carbine and will stay in my arsenal for as long as I live.
I prefer the larger heavier bullet of the SKS for man-sized targets...the AR is fine for rabbits!

BoySetsTheFire
July 29, 2006, 09:13 AM
B Easy said <With the AR with good ammo, I'd expect a jam once every few hundred rounds at most. With the SKS probably less often ...>

My Chinese SKS has never jammed through thousands of rounds. My friend has been shooting his Chinese SKS since the late 1980s, he shoots much more than I do, loads cheap corrosive crap only, and has never expeienced a jam. He shoots it all the time and NEVER cleans it. He just puts some WD40 through it when done - and we all know WD40 is a no-no.

I not only vote for the SKS, I am searching for another unissued Chinese. I will buy all I can find.

No_Brakes23
July 30, 2006, 03:24 AM
take the trigger assembly on the SKS apart sometime and compare it's quality to the AR and tell me which is more complex and better made! Compare the trigger/hammer/sear springs on an SKS to an AR and tell me which ones you would rather bet your life on!

Right, because you always hear about broken pins and slam fires with the AR. And we all know how those sloppy AR triggers creep all over the place, right? And SKS rifles NEVER ever stovepipe or jam.

Maybe a custom smithed SKS with some trigger work, a better pin and a spring retrofitted is better than an AR, but out of the box, (De-Cosmo'd of course,) they are some pretty rough stuff.

As for betting my life on it, I will take the one that has a pistol grip, better sights, (Though I put Mojos on my SKS,) and 30 round mags that feed reliably.

Oh yeah, and ammo that ranges won't through a hissy fit over is more readily availible for the AR.

Don't get me wrong, I actually own an SKS, and don't own an AR, (3 weeks left in Cali, then I can get one.) I think the M43 is an awesome round inside 300 meters. And the $180 I paid for my Yugo M59 certainly won't buy many ANY AR. But given the choice of platforms, I will take the AR every time.

STAGE 2
July 30, 2006, 04:03 AM
Right, because you always hear about broken pins and slam fires with the AR. And we all know how those sloppy AR triggers creep all over the place, right? And SKS rifles NEVER ever stovepipe or jam.

As much as I hate to disagree with a fellow San Diegan, the SKS is by far the more reliable rifle. Plus, it was originally designed to have a firing pin spring. Why the manufacturers decided to nix it I don't know, but I put my SKS back to spec and can shoot any and all kind of ammo, soft or hard primer without any worries.

As far as the trigger goes, well I'm sure it varies from rifle to rifle. I do know that the russians have very decent triggers. Mine certianly was no slouch.

Granted the AR is much better for hitting the target at any distance. But theres something to be said for the fact that the best trained most powerful army on the face of the earth cant keep the AR running properly whereas some peasant peon who has never seen a can of CLP can shoot all day without a hiccup.

No_Brakes23
July 30, 2006, 04:30 AM
Plus, it was originally designed to have a firing pin spring. Simonov's design was good to go, but that isn't how it comes from the factory. Granted, a Kivaari job with Wolff springs will make it a whole new rifle, but that wasn't quite the OP's question as I understood it. (A smithed SKS IS still cheaper than an AR.)

But theres something to be said for the fact that the best trained most powerful army on the face of the earth cant keep the AR running properly whereas some peasant peon who has never seen a can of CLP can shoot [the SKS] all day without a hiccup.

I had 3 FTEs with my M59 within the first 200 rounds. Yes, I cleaned all the Cosmo out. Though to be fair, it was crap ammo, (Golden Tiger from Turner's) and I have had no trouble with WWB or Remington boxer-primed ammo. I have had a few M855 FTE in various M16A2s, but I have fired at least ten times as many of those as I have M43 through the SKS.

Also, though a Dragunov stock will make the rifle more ergonomic, no amount of work will fix the PITA of 10 round strippers versus 20/30 round box mags.

As far as the trigger goes, well I'm sure it varies from rifle to rifle. I do know that the russians have very decent triggers. Mine certianly was no slouch. I have to give the SKS its due, here. Despite loads of complaints I hear about how bad the trigger is, I don't mind the pull on my Yugo.

Glockman17366
July 30, 2006, 10:00 AM
In a SHTF situation, I'm not looking for ultimate accuracy...I'm looking for a close (less then 30-40 yards) mankiller that can take a lot of abuse. In an anarchy, I don't think any of us are going to be maintaining our rifles as we should...and we'll need one that can deal with a lack of cleaning and still function...in the choices given, that's the SKS.

Of course, if the AK 47 had been a choice, that'd be my choice!

Stiletto Null
July 30, 2006, 10:32 AM
Firing pins: It's not like people haven't ever broken firing pins on <insert gun here>.

Slamfires: not if you keep the thing clean. IME, even just blasting the thing out with Breakfree spray is enough. If you actually disassemble the bolt (mine pwned my buddy's metal punch, so that may be harder than it sounds), then cleaning it is a matter of wiping it down and lubing it a little bit.

Trigger: yeah, the triggers suck ass. On the other hand, I've never heard of SKS triggers turning into release triggers.

Let's say we stick to iron sights...

SKS: $300 to get a decent trigger and some better sights
Gun: $150 for a nice 59/66
Trigger job: $75 to send it to Kivaari and get it back Real Nice
Williams Firesights or Tech Sights: $75

AR-15: $850?
Gun: $850 for a new Rock River Entry Tactical (I like the way these handle)

Yeah OK. So the SKS "needs work". It's still barely a third the cost of a nice AR, and I still haven't gotten used to pistol-gripped rifles. In fact, I don't even own one (yet).

For a reasonable SHTF situation (no zombies or anything, just roving bands of brigands, maybe looters, etc.), I doubt there's anything an AR will do for you which an SKS won't. People love hating on stripper clips, but it's not like they're that hard to use, and if I find myself in a situation where the few seconds' delay in reloading (compared to an AR) gets me in trouble, I'm not likely to make it out alive with an AR either.

Borachon
July 30, 2006, 11:08 AM
SKS.

I'm not worried about hordes of UN soldiers coming to my house to take my rifle. This is an unlikely scenario. What is far more likely is that you will have some incident occur at your home that does not rise to the level of "End of the World" but which could involve the use of your gun. And typically...I don't know why they do this...but the police like to involve themselves in these types of affairs. They act like they are getting PAID to do it or something.:D And I know for a fact that it is ENTIRELY possible that I'd have to surrender my rifle to a police officer if I were ever involved in a justified self defense shoot at my home. In fact I have in the past had this very thing happen.

The length of time that the police might keep my rifle (or pistol as was my case) could vary. If some question exists as to the facts of what happened, then my guns might remain in their custody for quite a period of time. In fact, I can picture in my mind the police taking ALL of my weapons away with them for investigative purposes for some indefinate period. Now...do I want them to be responsible for the care and maintanence of my highly accessorized $1500 AR-15 with custom stock, tactical light, red dot scope etc ad nauseum doo-dad rifle, or would I rather they took my $150 beater rifle that I can replace in a day? Two issues arise at this point. One, the police have now got my highly valuable rifle in their possession. The AR would make a NICE addition to the local police arsenal. I'm sure that the department would make far more of an effort to determine if my gun could be legally seized for their use. An effort they would NOT make for an SKS. Perhaps I'm being too cynical.
Secondly, when I invest 1500 in a rifle I typically don't allow it out of my sight. I'm not inclined to leave it with a friend for safe keeping. So when the police take ALL the guns from my house, they would have all my guns...period. Often the reason that you used your gun in the first place, which led to it's confiscation, was because of some problem. Your home was broken into, or some such. Sometimes the incident ends when they take your assaliant to the hospital...but sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes your problem may be ongoing. A relative of the person you shot may show up...which again is what happened in my case. The person who was robbing you may have been a neighbor. And you may have to see his cousins, friends ("homies"), and brothers 200 feet down the street.

Guns can be stolen. They can be taken legally by the police, and frequently either of these events can happen at a time when you would feel far better in having a gun. If you can afford 10 $1500 rifles...then no problem. Ignore what I've said. But I can't. But having 3 SKS rifles is within my budget. Therefore I advise people to purchase several firearms, and to be clever in where and how you store them. Luckily, the SKS is a quality firearm. That was a nice bonus for me.

SKS fits the bill on many levels.

Eightball
July 30, 2006, 01:46 PM
"if you can only have one gun" is the operative phrase, not 10 SKS's for the price of the mall-ninja-tactical AR you would otherwise choose.

I'm not a fan of AR's--hate the mechanism. Not a fan of .223, either. But I voted AR---if it was "no one for miles", I'd have a few thousand rounds more of .223 than x39 stocked in a hole of the same size (in theory), and .223 can kill more & leave more meat. Stick a 24" SS free-floater and a durable scope on top, and you're set--varmit hunting, good "anti-THEM" sniper rifle, or close-in high-cap semi. Just make sure you clean it.

I love my SKS, don't get me wrong. If I was in an URBAN environment, 300 yards MAX, with lotsa streets and medium-amounts of open space (not confined....SKS + Small space=bad), and it'll function like a tank, but it's heavy. Though, that pig-sticker in the end would come in handy.......

Depends on the situation. If, as the 1st poster said, it was rural area, I'd stick with a long-range AR. If it was kinda a medium open-spaced rural area, my SKS (ok, I'd cheat and take my AK, just because I have one already:D ) would be fine. If it was Iron Sights only.....I'd take an AR. Better, more accurate sights, and more rounds in an equal-weight magazine to use if I miss with that first aimed shot with 'them thar' Irons. I'm smart, and I'm skilled, but I'm not infinitely accurate, and those extra rounds would come in handy.

HorseSoldier
July 30, 2006, 02:33 PM
Granted the AR is much better for hitting the target at any distance. But theres something to be said for the fact that the best trained most powerful army on the face of the earth cant keep the AR running properly whereas some peasant peon who has never seen a can of CLP can shoot all day without a hiccup.

I've had twelve years in the military, and I've never had a problem keeping my issued M16 or M4 up and running.

To paraphrase some of the comments in a similar discussion over on TFL, the AR's internet reputation for unreliability and tack driver accuracy are grossly overstated. Likewise, the AK's (and by extension in many minds the SKS') reputation for inaccuracy and reliability are both overstated as well.

Both are, at the end of the day, mechanically reliable (unless old, worn or damaged) and combat accurate (perhaps an edge to the AR, but a stock military service one is still usually a 2-3 MOA kind of gun). But one of them has better ergonomics and better set up for gunfighting -- and that's the AR.

Snake Eyes
July 30, 2006, 02:43 PM
I think this is absolutely, bar none, the silliest thread I have ever read on THR. I actually checcked to make sure I was on THR.

And it's gone on for FOUR pages!

Tamara? Would you please come back and post something worthwhile? Please?

LawDog?

Tuner?

Anyone???

Stiletto Null
July 30, 2006, 02:49 PM
Well, it's not like there's any kind of flamewar going on. The Internet can be a relaxed place for shooting the s***, you know.

carterbeauford
July 30, 2006, 03:01 PM
If in 4 pages of debate, we haven't answered this question, it is clear that there is no single right answer. As much fact as we can throw at the question, it still comes down to a matter of opinion. Moral of the story is either one will work in the unlikely event the world comes to an end. But I gotta throw it out there that it might not be a bad idea to have mulitple SKS rifles for your friends or family or even for spare parts. If you can afford to do that with AR-15s, then more power to you.

I do have some SHTF experience with my SKS, though: The S has HTF in my own yard with an invasion of insurgent groundhogs. They are all over the place. I put a 122GR FMJ through their leader's skull at 75 yards today. He didn't know if it was an SKS or an AR-15 that hit him.

Making a varmint head shot at 75 yards with iron sights with either rifle would be an accomplishment for me, at least. Not to get too far off topic, though, this is merely satire at the idea of true SHTF.

STAGE 2
July 30, 2006, 05:20 PM
I've had twelve years in the military, and I've never had a problem keeping my issued M16 or M4 up and running.

To paraphrase some of the comments in a similar discussion over on TFL, the AR's internet reputation for unreliability and tack driver accuracy are grossly overstated. Likewise, the AK's (and by extension in many minds the SKS') reputation for inaccuracy and reliability are both overstated as well.

I have no doubt that you have kept your AR running. However there are plenty of documented examples of AR's failing in the field. The design is such that it is not forgiving to gunk working its way into the mechanism.

Internet discussion or otherwise, there is some statistical weight to be given to the fact that a majority of AR threads deal with getting it to work, while a majority of SKS threads are about getting it to shoot better, or how to mount extra junk on it.

mp510
July 30, 2006, 06:56 PM
1 MOA= 1 Minute Of Angle= just over 1 inch at 100 yards.

Eightball
July 30, 2006, 06:57 PM
Internet discussion or otherwise, there is some statistical weight to be given to the fact that a majority of AR threads deal with getting it to work, while a majority of SKS threads are about getting it to shoot better, or how to mount extra junk on it.Ahh, the great debate--"internal junk" vs "external junk".

mp510
July 30, 2006, 06:58 PM
1 MOA= 1 Minute Of Angle= just over 1 inch at 100 yards.

Even against anti-snipers? How far away do most snipers set up camp for shots? Are there any snipers that try to take out targets from more than 100 yards away? How do you defend against them?
According to the FBI, the average Police Sniper engagement occurs at 71 yards.

I would choose the SKS- it is simple, reliable and cheap. I also prefer the 7.62x39's ballistics at close range over those of the 5.56. The main downside to the SKS is that 7.62x39 ammo can easily dry up in this country, and with some varients, accuracy leaves a lot to be desired.

Michael Courtney
July 30, 2006, 07:19 PM
Between the AR-15 and the SKS, I'll take the AR-15. The fallacy in picking the SKS is the assumption that you'll always have a man-sized target to aim at. You usually don't.

In any deadly force encounter with competent attackers, you're real target is whatever small slice of a man is sticking out from behind cover. This is where the MOA or better accuracy of the AR-15 will beat the SKS.

I also think that the sighting options for the AR-15 probably make for a better chance of hitting fully exposed targets, because if any targets are fully exposed, they are most likely going to be moving. The ergonomics of hitting moving targets depends a lot on the shooter, and some particular shooters may well find the SKS to be more suited to this role, but I like the AR-15 better here.

Finally, this is a false dichotomy. There's no reason why one can't select a 30-30 lever action or a .308 in semi-auto or pump. I prefer the pump .308 as the combination of weight, power, accuracy, reliability, and ergonomics. It's not a long term TEOTWAWKI type rifle, but it is high on my list for a wide variety of scenarios. I also prefer the 30-30 lever action over either the SKS or the AR-15.

Michael Courtney

Michael Courtney
July 30, 2006, 07:21 PM
According to the FBI, the average Police Sniper engagement occurs at 71 yards.

And at 71 yards, an SKS will not get the job done if your effective target is a the 2" wide slice of man sticking out from behind cover.

Michael Courtney

Stiletto Null
July 30, 2006, 07:59 PM
Neither will an AR, though. What's your point?

STAGE 2
July 30, 2006, 08:35 PM
In any deadly force encounter with competent attackers, you're real target is whatever small slice of a man is sticking out from behind cover. This is where the MOA or better accuracy of the AR-15 will beat the SKS.

And in any kind of deadly force encounter that would go on here in the US, the range of engagement will likely be close enough so that the difference in accuracy won't matter. Besides, I'd rather hit that small slice of man with the 7.62 than the AR's varmint round.

RH822
July 30, 2006, 08:37 PM
Quote:
Neither will an AR, though. What's your point?

I can do it all day long with my Colt AR with iron sites. As for my SKS it's not near as accurate but it's just as much fun. If I had to choose just one, I would have to go with the Colt.

RH

Stiletto Null
July 30, 2006, 08:50 PM
I dunno, a 2" target at 70yd? I can manage that with an SKS pretty easily, although not offhand.

MechAg94
July 30, 2006, 09:21 PM
Tech Sights are cheap and can improve the accuracy of an SKS considerably.

When I voted SKS (back when it was only one page), I was thinking about home defense, short range, and the possibility of getting up close and personal. Sniping or getting caught in open fields were not on my mind. I was thinking purely defense.

Stiletto Null
July 30, 2006, 09:35 PM
I think that's still the question in the poll, just that the rest of the thread has morphed into a more general discussion of AR vs. SKS for SHTF.

pcf
July 30, 2006, 10:36 PM
Q: What does how a rifle's reliability in the "field" have to do with the home defense?
A: Nothing.

Q: What does a rifle accuracy at 100m have to do with home defense, in a non-SHTF situation (or even in a SHTF situation)?
A: Nothing.

Q: What does "anti sniper" capabilities have to do with home defense?
A: Nothing.

Q: What does a beat-up ill-maintained unservicable rifle, have to do with using a servicable and tested rifle for home defense?
A: Nothing.

Use either one, if you can't make one work for you, you would have failed had you had the other.

Make sure it works, get proficient with it, shoot it until you know the rifle. What you do with the rifle is more important than the rifle.

MTMilitiaman
July 30, 2006, 11:27 PM
In any deadly force encounter with competent attackers, you're real target is whatever small slice of a man is sticking out from behind cover. This is where the MOA or better accuracy of the AR-15 will beat the SKS.

Of course, "cover" is a little harder to find if you'er hiding from a 7.62x39 than from a 5.56. The typical ~125 gr .311 caliber FMJ @ around 2300 fps or so is much better at busting apart bricks, cinder blocks, and even some concrete. It also penetrates 12 to 14 inches of pine while still remaining lethal. I don't know about where you live, but everywhere I look around here, I think that if I see an arm sticking out from a corner, or a tree, I am shooting through the object first. If that doesn't work, then I might worry about "winging" him.

Also, lets not forget that while the vast majority of them might do better, or even much better, the acceptable level or accuracy for a military issue M16A4 is 4 MOA at 100 yards, which most SKSs and many AKs can do quite easily as well.

Michael Courtney
July 31, 2006, 07:45 AM
Q: What does how a rifle's reliability in the "field" have to do with the home defense?
A: Nothing.

Q: What does a rifle accuracy at 100m have to do with home defense, in a non-SHTF situation (or even in a SHTF situation)?
A: Nothing.

Q: What does "anti sniper" capabilities have to do with home defense?
A: Nothing.

You need to be reminded of the original question:

Consider a SHTF scenario where WWIII hits and there is anarchy. You're alone on your 10 acres in the middle of nowhere with a small cabin and no neighbors for miles. You have family to protect. Which gun would you rather have to defend your property?

So we're not talking about urban "home defense." The question is about rural "homestead defense." If a 10 acre property is approximately square, then it's about 650 feet across. If your goal is to protect your family, then it is a much better idea to confront attackers _before_ they get inside the home. This makes a rifle's capabilities at 100 yards very much relevant.

Michael Courtney

Michael Courtney
July 31, 2006, 07:57 AM
Of course, "cover" is a little harder to find if you'er hiding from a 7.62x39 than from a 5.56. The typical ~125 gr .311 caliber FMJ @ around 2300 fps or so is much better at busting apart bricks, cinder blocks, and even some concrete. It also penetrates 12 to 14 inches of pine while still remaining lethal.

The SKS only has a barrier penetration advantage if you are constrained to military issue ammunition. Premium ammunition or bullets for the SKS is hard to find, and there are very few choices other than military ammo. However, there are lots of AR-15 ammo choices other than FMJ. A Barnes X bullet from an AR-15 will penetrate intermediate barriers as well as FMJ ammo from an SKS. It will also perform better on the terminal end.


I don't know about where you live, but everywhere I look around here, I think that if I see an arm sticking out from a corner, or a tree, I am shooting through the object first. If that doesn't work, then I might worry about "winging" him.

The advantage of homestead defense is the ability to know what really provides cover for the rifle you're shooting. On my homestead, most of the avalaible cover is in the form of hardwood trees (oak and hickory mostly) 18-24" thick. Trying to shoot through that stuff is a waste of time, even with a .308. One's point of aim should depend on the ability of one's rifle to penetrate the cover.

Also, lets not forget that while the vast majority of them might do better, or even much better, the acceptable level or accuracy for a military issue M16A4 is 4 MOA at 100 yards, which most SKSs and many AKs can do quite easily as well.

We're not talking about being issued a random AR-15 off of the rack. The phrasing of the question allows for buying a carefully selected rifle, testing the accuracy of the rifle with various loads (or developping a well-tuned hand load). If I were to use an AR-15 for home defense, I'd probably get one with an MOA accuracy expectation from Rock River Arms or DPMS, and I'd probably put a Leupold CQT scope on it and feed it well-tuned hand loads shooting Barnes X bullets. You're gonna have a real hard time matching the accuracy of this set-up with an SKS.

Michael Courtney

Stiletto Null
July 31, 2006, 08:55 AM
My choice would depend on layout: if my house is right in the middle, I'd still get the SKS. If it were off to a side, then I'd get an AR (or a proper battle rifle). Inside of ~100yd, I doubt the two will be particularly different in terms of thumping power.

roscoe
July 31, 2006, 05:17 PM
WOW!! An AR vs SKS thread - why don't we bring the AK47 into the discussion?

If you get a good SKS, AK47, or AR, take care of it, learn how the mechanics work, learn how to shoot it well, you will be plenty well set-up. Any of these rifles are good, solid weapons and plenty capable.

It is the software, not the hardware, for most cases like this. Obviously, if money is a factor, and it often is, you can get a good rifle like the SKS for less money than the AR, but you will be well served by either if you do your part.

Whatever you get, spend TIME with it. Spending money will not compensate for the time you invest in learning the skill.

50caliber123
July 31, 2006, 05:49 PM
The person who gets the first shot off is usually the survivor. If defense of a rural area is the issue, then why not have regular patrols or guard duty?

BoySetsTheFire
July 31, 2006, 06:38 PM
It's a trick question. The way I read it, conditions are similar to battle conditions. An M1 in 30.06 would be superb - neutralizing threats at 500 yards. The SKS was designed as a second line weapon and not for front line soldiers. But since the M1 is not in the mix, then the SKS is the obvious choice here, because it is a battle tested weapon. While the AR is based upon the M16, it is NOT an M16. It is a civilian sports product, accompanied by commercial quality control standards. Which is why someone mentioned that they expect a jam every few hundred rounds (I think that was mentioned on this thread).

I repeat, the SKS is a reliable field tested battle weapon. And the AR just doesn't have the snot (.223) compared to the 7.62x39 or 30.06.

50caliber123
July 31, 2006, 09:12 PM
I mentioned in another thread (one I started) that I disassembled my SKS today. The Yugo M59/66 is milled from steel and feels very heavy and strong. Aluminum, unlike steel, cannot hold up to the pressures that steel can. As a science teache rexplained it to me: "Say a piece of steel has a maximum pressure rating of 12000 psi. Now say a piece of aluminum has that same rating of 12000 psi. If a constant pressure of 2000 psi is applied to steel, nothing happens, even over time. If 2000 psi is applied constantly to aluminum, it will eventual wear and break, being a softer, less dense metal.

Shrinkmd
July 31, 2006, 10:09 PM
I do like the "modern" safety features on the AR, such as being able to either slam in a mag, or keep one in but no round chambered, or to actually chamber a round and use the safety. Imagine wandering around your house/property with the thing in condition one. Wouldn't you rather have the AR safety than what passes for a safety on the SKS? And how about dropping the thing in that condition. I guess you could do the "load ten" and then push down and slide the bolt over the rounds, but then you need to be really sure what condition the rifle is in (and dry fire to release the hammer?) BOOM when you don't want it to, CLICK when you need it to go BOOM.

MechAg94
July 31, 2006, 10:20 PM
If a constant pressure of 2000 psi is applied to steel, nothing happens, even over time. If 2000 psi is applied constantly to aluminum, it will eventual wear and break, being a softer, less dense metal.
I am not sure I would say that with constant pressure. However, when fatigue or alternating stress is factored in, steel is a better material. Aluminum is a metal that has no fatigue strength. Alternating or cyclic stress will eventually lead to failure though it might take a while. For steel, as long as the combined stress is less than the fatigue strength of the steel, it can handle near infinite cylces assuming no other issues. (theoretically, of course and I am probably rusty from not having studied this in 10 years).

However, I believe the main stress bearing components of the AR are steel, not aluminum. The SKS is a tough rifle, but I wouldn't say the AR is weak.

If I had my Armalite and SKS sitting there, I would probably pick up the AR. If I was starting from scratch and had limited money to buy rifle and ammo, the SKS might very well be my choice. As said above, the home defense scenario I was thinking of doesn't quite fit the original quesiton. The AR might actually be a better field rifle to carry around.

Terrierman
July 31, 2006, 10:22 PM
Which one has quicker reloads?

Bartholomew Roberts
July 31, 2006, 10:52 PM
Aluminum, unlike steel, cannot hold up to the pressures that steel can. As a science teache rexplained it to me: "Say a piece of steel has a maximum pressure rating of 12000 psi. Now say a piece of aluminum has that same rating of 12000 psi. If a constant pressure of 2000 psi is applied to steel, nothing happens, even over time. If 2000 psi is applied constantly to aluminum, it will eventual wear and break, being a softer, less dense metal.

Which is why aluminium isn't used for any of the parts in an AR that are subject to pressure. The barrel, barrel extension, and bolt carrier group are all steel. The aluminium parts of an AR are nothing more than a housing.

BobTheTomato
August 1, 2006, 10:58 AM
As the question is asked my answer is the SKS. From the wording of the question you cannot:
1) Bring up the internet and order spare parts to get FedExed to you if soemthing breaks
2) Get whatever you need to keep it clean/working (oops a mud puddle)

Because of this I will pick the gun I can drop in the mud and don't need to clean. :)

Stiletto Null
August 1, 2006, 11:58 AM
Well, you'd probably need to swab the bore out...

Gustav
August 16, 2007, 06:16 AM
I would go with the AR15 any day over any SKS for many reasons among them are the AR15/M16s better ergonomics a much better trigger and sights less recoil and faster time on target between shots lightning fast reloads vs awkward stripper clip reloads also a larger amount of ammunition can be carried for the same weight and don't forget all of the things you can add to the weapon should you have a need to do so.

Parts can easily be had for both and both can easily be field stripped and maintained, this should be a non issue.

A good .22 LR subcaliber kit can be bought for the AR 15 so cheap training is an option.

With the AR you have 20 or 30 rounds with the SKS you have only 10 and yes you can get larger capacity aftermarket mags but are they 100% reliable?

Cost should not be THE deciding factor , spend what you think your life is worth find somewhere else to save money than your rifle who will spend what you save if your weapon gets you killed for not being good enough for the task at hand!:cuss::banghead:

The AR5/M16 has its problems but it does the job if kept clean and maintained the SKS is cheaper to buy and simpler built but is not even close to the AR in so many critical areas.

The SKS design goes back to WW II and was only a fair rifle in its day having been replaced by the AK or other weapons long ago.

SKS rifles are cheap for one simple reason name one country that is currently buying them to use as a primary military rifle?

AR15s and M16s are one of the longest serving if not the longest serving rifle in our countries history for one reason like it or hate it they do the job and newly built ones are still being purchased today across the globe.

For home protection use a 40 grain bullet or a Glaser Safety Slug in the 5.56 to limit penetration, The 7.62x39 will go through your wall and maybe into your neighbors house.:fire:

Only reason for choosing the SKS over the AR15 as your main defensive rifle is if you are on a really tight budget and simply can not afford a better rifle. YMMV

hankdatank1362
August 16, 2007, 11:45 AM
OH NO!!!! iT'S THE THREAD THAT WOULDN'T DIE!!!!



Oh, well... it's a decent topic. My choice would be an AR, but not an AR-15. I would want an AR-10. Fed the right ammo, it's good from CQB to hunting for food to long-distance engagements. Keep it clean, throw a good 3x9 on top, and worry about other things.







Or an AK.

cameron.personal
August 16, 2007, 12:50 PM
I have both an extremely reliable and accurate SKS and an equally reliable and more accurate AR15...

While my SKS is a fine rifle there is NO WAY I would consider taking the SKS over the AR!

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m198/2007cam/SKS/SKS09.jpg

The AR is lighter, handier, faster, more accurate, higher capacity, faster to reload, and fits more people better, and American made rather than a Commie gun.... I'm sorry but that makes a difference to me.

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m198/2007cam/Camo/M4wEOTechRLarge.jpg

Cameron

GarandOwner
August 16, 2007, 12:54 PM
I choose AR......and I dont like AR's.......but I do like hitting what I am aiming at :neener:

buck00
August 16, 2007, 12:58 PM
Why is the SKS so cheap? They can be purchased for $200, while the AR-15 goes for closer to $1000.

Supply and demand.

I can buy a NIB Glock pistol for $495 in the U.S. In Turkey, a Glock pistol goes for $3000 on the black market.

I love SKS rifles, but when I really think about it- if you squared off against a guy in the woods with an AR-15, it might be rough.

Ohio Rifleman
August 16, 2007, 01:01 PM
I'd choose the SKS because that's what I have on hand and have the most experience shooting. We can debate all day about SKS vs. AR, but it all depends on how the individual defines what is "best"

The Deer Hunter
August 16, 2007, 01:19 PM
I says SKS because they have less junk designed to be bolted on:neener:

although there is always duct tape...

GotGlock
August 16, 2007, 01:28 PM
I voted sks just because of the round, 7.62x39 is just a better round then .223

RockyMtnTactical
August 16, 2007, 01:37 PM
This is a silly question. The AR15 is better, no doubt. The SKS is a great "value" for someone with little money to spend. The AR15 is the choice of SWAT teams, special forces, etc...

SSN Vet
August 16, 2007, 01:40 PM
I voted the SKS is better, cause for the price of one AR, I can buy 4 SKSs.

That makes it my four people armed with SKSs to your one guy with an AR.

I think there's much merit in this "strategy"

Lot's of cowboys want to Rambo on their own....but a team will go a long ways in a SHTF scenario....

Little things like eating and sleeping expose the weeknesses of the one man show.

For the price of one AR you can equip a "possy".

It seems like SKS prices are right up there with cheap AK prices now, so if I was going to "bury a SHTF box" I'd go with an AK...

Actually....I'd buy 4 Saiga's (at $247 ea.) and a grunch of ammo for the price of one good AR-15.

Make or buy bullet guides and get hi cap. mil. surp mags on the cheap ($12/ea.) and store these seperately.

I doubt 922R will rise to the level of concern in a SHTF scenario.

The AR is undoubtedly a superior rifle....but it aint cheap.

As for as shooting past 100 yds......I can't envision any kind of a self defense scenario where I could ever make a case for shooting someone 100 yds away that would keep me out of prison afterwards.

Val USP
September 1, 2007, 05:51 PM
Which one has quicker reloads?

Depend as fast as you can do that :rolleyes:
Both of them have detachable mags - see link bellow

With the AR you have 20 or 30 rounds with the SKS you have only 10 and yes you can get larger capacity aftermarket mags but are they 100% reliable?

Well, AR with 20 or 30 rd, but SKS may have 30 - 40 of them
Check the Gunbroker (http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=78756504) site. :eek:
So, all that questions - are not so important.
If something happen - you should be able to have more ammo - so in US soil - 223 is right choice, if it is in Europe - 7.62 with no doubt

BGlaze250
September 1, 2007, 06:06 PM
Real men use stripper clips.

def4pos8
September 3, 2007, 08:44 AM
My SKS is of excellent quality, being one of the first imported from the Soviet Union/Russia. I tried a few "upgrades" but reverted to the original configuration, except for a Williams rear peep sight and a bright yellow front post.

I have an AR-15 too, but would use the SKS in a SHTF situation. I had to make use of a bayonet post Katrina. . .and it's ALWAYS on my SKS. :evil:

I find it interesting that the latest fashion in AR-15 mods is some sort of gas impingement conversion, making use of M-14/AK/SKS features to make an "ultimate" AR. :scrutiny:

one-shot-one
September 3, 2007, 09:41 AM
$0.02

for the money i would spend on an ar of the quality i would want, i would get 1-ak47 and 2-sks. and probably some ammo for the same price.

Bartkowski
September 3, 2007, 09:47 AM
I don't know where everyone is getting their SKS's but I can get them for $110, clean in perfect working order, and without a very scratched up stock, just one or two marks on the stock.

I voted SKS because I would rather have a gun firing a cartridge designed to kill someone rather than just wound them. Price of the guns and I would like to have a very realiable gun in my hands to save my life.

4v50 Gary
September 3, 2007, 10:01 AM
I like the AR design better but for home defense, I'd take the SKS - why? Because, after you shoot someone (presumably a criminal), your gun will be confiscated and thrown into an evidence barrel. It won't be returned until after you're cleared of a wrongful homicide. So, why lose a $750-$1000 gun when a $110 gun will do the same job? Be Roman, be pragmatic.

esq_stu
September 3, 2007, 10:04 AM
Commonality parts, accessories, and ammo. There just seems to be more of 'em. Almost a commodity, like milk, unleaded gas, 12 gauge shells.

At the range yesterday, there were more ARs than anything else. ARs on either side of me at the 100 yd and then 50 yd areas. I saw one SKS in the place.

Geno
September 3, 2007, 10:05 AM
Define "better". They are both excellent. I paid $159.00 and $179.00 for my SKSs. ARs, well they do cost more.

Freightman
September 3, 2007, 10:13 AM
Do not have eather at the present, do have an AK would like to have a AR will one of these days, if it is to far away for the ak I can use my Hakim, or M! Garand, if up close I will use my AK. Seems that every time I get the money saved for a AR something breaks, the plumber took it the last time. O-well such is life.

havanatrader
September 3, 2007, 11:27 AM
Pick the AR. The arguments for the SKS boil down to:
1 - cost. What's your life worth? Unless it comes to having a $200 gun or nothing, spend the money for an AR.
2 - perceived superiority of the 7.62x39 cartridge over the 5.56. Guess what? The AR can be had in that and many other chamberings.

I'd rather have a rifle that allows me to hit where I aim.

esmith
September 3, 2007, 11:41 AM
I'd rather have a rifle that allows me to hit where I aim.

Ive seen sks's shoot 2 inch groups and i know theres other ones that can shoot better. Which is more than enough accuracy to shoot a man sized target.

And even though you can have ARs in other cartridges you often have to pay more which just adds up to the already sky high cost of an AR. Plus theres a lot more 5.56 ARs on the market than most others. Reliability of an sks plus the easy takedown makes it a lot easier of the owner.

Bartholomew Roberts
September 3, 2007, 11:43 AM
Training is about a thousand times more important than the rifle. If you can get an AR15 and training, then I think that is the better choice; but an expensive one. Someone with an SKS and some training will do better than someone who spent it all on the rifle and never learned to use it (or someone who thinks that because they have hunted every season for 10 years and go to the range once a year, they have all the training they need).

havanatrader
September 3, 2007, 12:03 PM
Ive seen sks's shoot 2 inch groups and i know theres other ones that can shoot better.

They're the exception, not the rule.

Rossshady120
September 3, 2007, 12:06 PM
well never shot a SKS but i have fired a 9mm AR-15 it was pretty hard for me to get into the sights with the big ear muffs thats why i started using plugs, i hip fired the gun the whole time at i guess about 25 yds it was pretty good and it was my rifle time useing the AR-15 and plus it was a rental gun.

elmerfudd
September 3, 2007, 12:59 PM
Commonality parts, accessories, and ammo. There just seems to be more of 'em. Almost a commodity, like milk, unleaded gas, 12 gauge shells.

At the range yesterday, there were more ARs than anything else. ARs on either side of me at the 100 yd and then 50 yd areas. I saw one SKS in the place.

I'd choose an AR over an SKS myself, but this is a bogus argument if I ever heard one. First off SKS's are built like tanks. Maybe they do sometimes break, but I've never seen it. If, however, that were to happen at $150 a pop you could buy 4 good SKS's for the price of one cheap Olympic AR and just throw them away and pick up a different one if they were to ever break.

RustyHammer
September 3, 2007, 02:58 PM
Is this about price or performance?

Price, go SKS
Reliability and total performance ... I go AR15.

Have several of each .. but if I had to hit the road with only on, I'd have to take the AR.

YMMV

Rusty

Picknlittle
September 3, 2007, 03:25 PM
I shot an AR15 for the first time yesterday. It was a hoot, but with the sights on it, I couldn't hit a stinking thing.

I'm finally getting my SKS set up to where I''m very confident to it. My vote goes for SKS.

kid_couteau
September 3, 2007, 03:28 PM
Hi All

Just another country heard from here :neener: :)

I have an AR and an SKS

I think the SKS is tougher.

Maybe not as accurate as an AR
Maybe not as many toys for it.

But when you get right down to it. If the SKS had removable mags that were easy to change I think the SKS would be a better battle rifle as far as toughness goes.

I know if I butt stroke someone with my SKS it will not break

Not sure with an AR.

Just an opinion
Later
Kid

762X39
September 3, 2007, 03:51 PM
Wow this thread is still going... My choice is an SKS. In a SHTF situation I can get an SKS, 2000 rounds of steel core, a used pickup, 100 gallons of diesel fuel and pick up anything else I need after a bit of social work...

Limeyfellow
September 3, 2007, 04:13 PM
For an SKS you really need to do some stuff to make it in the same league as the Ar15. Bed the action, clean up the trigger and put on a better sight. With that done you cut the rifle to at least 2 moa many times. SKS' have even gone down to sub moa. It gets annoying when people compare match grade Ar15s to an off the rack SKS.

Val USP
September 3, 2007, 04:28 PM
4v50 Gary - I like the AR design better but for home defense, I'd take the SKS - why? Because, after you shoot someone (presumably a criminal), your gun will be confiscated and thrown into an evidence barrel. It won't be returned until after you're cleared of a wrongful homicide. So, why lose a $750-$1000 gun when a $110 gun will do the same job? Be Roman, be pragmatic.

I never think about it. But you re actually not 100, but 500% right.
VERY good point! :D

Lonestar.45
September 3, 2007, 06:00 PM
In a SHTF situation I can get an SKS, 2000 rounds of steel core, a used pickup, 100 gallons of diesel fuel and pick up anything else I need after a bit of social work...


Unless you run into a pack of 5-8 guys looking to do the same thing and just so happens they need some diesel and a used pickup truck....

wezwez3
September 3, 2007, 06:25 PM
so much to rant about just to lazy to start, sks will kill man or best @250 yds, with no problem.

wezwez3
September 3, 2007, 07:53 PM
I love SKS rifles, but when I really think about it- if you squared off against a guy in the woods with an AR-15, it might be rough. it all depends on who see who first! sks all the way baby.

woad_yurt
September 3, 2007, 08:33 PM
I'd go SKS, specifically, a Chinese one. They're light, cheap and totally dependable. I can buy 4-5 of them for the price of one AR 15. I was in the army in the early '90s and found the m16A2 uncomfortable to shoot and a pain to clean. The SKS needs far less TLC. Crude can be good, you know. One thing, though. I did put a Williams peep sight on the SKS. I wasn't too fond of the original.

Bartkowski
September 3, 2007, 08:48 PM
2 - perceived superiority of the 7.62x39 cartridge over the 5.56. Guess what? The AR can be had in that and many other chamberings.


Doesn't the actual "AR-15", the one asked about in the poll, only come in223/5.56 NATO? I am not a huge ar nut so correct me if I am wrong.

Hunter0924
September 3, 2007, 09:06 PM
GotGlock why is the 7.62X39 better than the 5.56X45?

havanatrader
September 3, 2007, 10:38 PM
Doesn't the actual "AR-15", the one asked about in the poll, only come in223/5.56 NATO? I am not a huge ar nut so correct me if I am wrong.
That's certainly the most popular chambering, but you can get it in 9mm, 40s&w, 10mm, 22lr, 204 Ruger, 223, 5.56, 5.45, 7.62x39, 6.5 Grendel, 6.8mm SPC, etc... If the cartridge can fit into an AR-15 sized mag, you can find someone supplying it.

DiN_BLiX
September 3, 2007, 11:24 PM
The legendary inacuraccy of the sks stems mostly from poor stock the action fit, as withy any "iron and wood" rifle. bedded the action, smoothd out the trigger, chopped and recrowned the barrel at 17 1/2 inches, and cleaned it really good! it will shoot 3moa from a rest. Maybe better with non wolf ammo.http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc63/din_blix/sks.jpg
THats my vote.

yesit'sloaded
September 4, 2007, 02:33 PM
My SKS in a Choate dragunov stock does 1 moa. It can also hit steel at 400 yards if you know how to aim it. But as a previous poster noted anything over 300 yards is sketchy without a scope. So here is my setup for the cost of an AR.
$130-sino soviet SKS (what I actually paid for mine)
$80-Choate Stock
$130-Moisin Nagant 91/30 with great bore and crown
$70-scope mount for moisin
$200-Decent Scope for said moisin
$100-500 rounds of 7.62x39
$100-100 match grade rounds of 7.62x54r
saving 200 dollars and dropping the guy with the AR from 650 yards away-priceless

Hunter0924
September 4, 2007, 04:55 PM
I disagree that past 300 yards against a man sized target is sketchy without a scope.
Hits on a B modified targets from 500 yards away is common place at Parris Island and Camp Lejeune with an M16 that has had better days.
There is a place I reckon for both rifles but on the hole the AR 15 is the better built rifle capable is more accurate sustained fire and has the ballistic advantage.
I believe the comparison is apples to oranges.

GotGlock
September 4, 2007, 05:06 PM
5.56 NATO (XM16E1):

Bullet Weight = 55 grains
Nominal Muzzle Velocity = approximately 3185 fps
Muzzle Energy = 1239 ft. lbs.
Muzzle Energy at 500 yds. = 252 ft. lbs.

7.62 X 39 (AK-47):

Bullet Weight = 125 grains
Nominal Muzzle Velocity = 2400 fps.
Muzzle Energy = 1598 ft. lbs.
Muzzle Energy at 500 yds. = 414 ft. lbs.

HorseSoldier
September 4, 2007, 07:06 PM
Cartridges of the World puts military loads of 5.56x45 at 1325 foot-pounds (velocity 3250 for 55 grain, 3100 for 62 grain) while the M43 7.62x39 military load clocks 1470 ft-lbs at 2329 fps.

As for retained energy at 500 yards . . . no one with an AK or SKS is going to be landing hits on anything smaller than a truck at 500. Hits at 500 with an AR are feasible (not that either caliber is being used much to engage people at those ranges, and not that 500 yard performance has much to do with civilian self defense).

Glock19Fan
September 4, 2007, 08:07 PM
Those extra 100 FPE dont mean a thing when the bullet cant propertly put it to use. In other words, although the x39 has slightly more energy, the wounds created by the bullets arent very satisfactory, but certainly lethal.

With the 5.56 ammo, you get a short neck, yaw, and pretty explosive fragmentation, along with controlled penetration on many targets. The x39 does yaw, but not normally before 4-5 inches, and does not fragment.

I have personally does comparison testing between the two in ballistic gelatin, and it is obvious the 5.56 is the clear winner.

There are x39 bullets that give the M193 a run for their money (American man. soft points), but when you step up to 75 grain OTM 5.56 then the 5.56 is right back up again.

DiN_BLiX
September 4, 2007, 09:15 PM
I thought it was the merits of the particular rifle, not the ammo that was the topic. Lets break it down.

SKS: heavy and reliable (stock is hard wood, parts are machined from heavy STEEL), super reliable 10 rd mag, lethal and accurate enough for 300 yards (3 footballfeilds for the distance impaired), doesnt need bi-daily cleaning in less than ideal conditions. looks vary, at best someone will mistake it for somekind of mutant deer rifle.

AR: light and handy (points very naturally!!) parts are made from t6 aluminum (and held togehter buy 2 roll pins), 30 rd mags (nuff said), accurate as hell (you will hit center mass in your sleep) needs cleaning often to prevent jams in less than ideal conditions( it even has a nifty knob for helping clear malfunctions!! ***?) looks super fu*&in cool.

Both have their merits, and will do the job. i just some of just perfer the sks, some dont. MY ideal SHTF rifle would a garand or m1a or some other semi-auto in 8mm (Hakim i think) i wish i was old enough to get in on that deal. Unfortunitly I own only 4 long guns, ruger 10/22, sks, no4 enfield, and a mossy 500 tactical.

SoCalShooter
September 4, 2007, 09:22 PM
I'll take an AR any day of the week. I can carry more ammo, load faster (unless sks mods are made) and accurately hit a target at 300 yards.

ConfuseUs
September 5, 2007, 05:41 AM
I pick the AR.

AR:
Accurate to 600 yds
Safety is easy to operate
superior trigger
superior sights
lighter (generally)
30 and 20 rd mags
tactical reloads are easy
Modular system so it's easy to customize with add on stuff.
Multicaliber capability, just stick on the right upper half.

SKS:
Cheap
Works with little to no maintenance
In stock configuration looks less politically incorrect
easier to field strip and reassemble in the dark.
20-30 rd mags are retrofits. They don't always work well either.
Swapping mags requires open bolt.

The SKS is reliable and tough but I like the AR-15 better. It is a little more complex and needs more maintenance but the benefits outweigh those minuses a lot.

MHBushmaster
September 5, 2007, 08:12 PM
AR15 all the way, the ballistics are better, you can actually hit targets at 400+ yards, you can carry more ammo, there are detachable mags from 5-100 rds available, and the modularity of the design lends itself to bear hunting to busting woodchuck to punching holes in paper at 500+ yards.

The sks shoots an underpowered bullet, it has a poor ballistics coefficient, and with stripper clip reloads and shoddy sights, you have yourself a reliable rifle that is only good out to about 150 yards, with only 10 rds on tap. Sure you could use the flimsy and unreliable after market tapco mags, but then you are substituting the rock steady reliability of the 10 rd internal mag for a cheappie hi cap mag of questionable reliability.

Bottom line, why go discount rockbottom price shopping when its you and your families life on the line. I like my Yugo SKS, but I would not feel comfortable being only armed with it when I could have choosen alot of better and more modern rifles capable of achieving reliable hits at greater distances with more follow up shot opportunities.
YMMV.

elmerfudd
September 5, 2007, 10:31 PM
If the SKS shoots an underpowered bullet, what does that say for the AR? Last I checked, 7.62x39 had about 20% more kinetic energy and 50% more momentum than the 5.56x45.

Green Lantern
September 5, 2007, 11:52 PM
I voted the SKS is better, cause for the price of one AR, I can buy 4 SKSs.

That makes it my four people armed with SKSs to your one guy with an AR.

hehehehe

As they say in the popular internet parlance these days, PWNT! :evil:

But if I recall, aren't SKS rifles getting more scarce these days - and thus more expen$ive? :(

I've shot both, and I can't decide which I'd choose in a "it's TEOTWAWKI, and you can only bring ONE rifle with you, bwaa-haaa-ha!" situation.

I wouldn't feel naked with 'just' an SKS and several loaded stripper clips, for sure...

But the weight would be a drag, compared to the lighter AR...

*thinks on it*

DiN_BLiX
September 6, 2007, 10:38 AM
If the SKS shoots an underpowered bullet, what does that say for the AR? Last I checked, 7.62x39 had about 20% more kinetic energy and 50% more momentum than the 5.56x45.

WHAT?

AtticusThraxx
September 6, 2007, 09:26 PM
Hate to go sideways on ya, but I keep and have much faith in a 12ga.pump loaded to the brim with 00. Don't have to worry about aiming, easy to operate, makes a big noise with a big hole and won't travel through multiple walls/doors. I know this isn't the specific question, but for home defense there is no better.

Hunter0924
September 6, 2007, 10:15 PM
This link should help (from the Carolina Shooters Forum)
http://www.mouseguns.com/compare.htm

elmerfudd
September 6, 2007, 10:56 PM
DiN_BLiX,

It depends a little on whose figures you use, what particular load they used and what barrel lengths they did the testing with, but generally a 5.56 puts out around 1250 fpe and a 7.62x39 puts out around 1500 fpe. An SKS has a 20.5" barrel, so it will tend to put out more energy than most quoted figures and unless you get an AR with a 20" barrel the AR will tend to put out less.

Kinetic energy is measured according to e=1/2mv^2, and if you're using English measurements you forget about the 1/2 and multiply it by a constant of 1/450240 to make the units work out right. Momentum is determined by the formula p=mv, so heavier and slower projectiles will tend to have much more momentum if they have equal kinetic energy.

one-shot-one
September 8, 2007, 01:21 PM
where is art? we are way past page 3 on this!
next week best bug-out vehicle: Hummer H1 or Corvett?

RobZ71LM7
September 8, 2007, 01:26 PM
Harbor Freight or Snap-On?

Which tools are better for a professional mechanic?

Bartholomew Roberts
September 8, 2007, 01:39 PM
where is art? we are way past page 3 on this!

And Art's theory on that is holding true.

mick470
October 25, 2008, 09:45 PM
I love the SKS.It's perfect for my budget and I have no cycle problems.Even the cheap ammo goes through like butter.

wyocarp
October 26, 2008, 02:32 PM
Should have included the AK in the poll.

benEzra
October 26, 2008, 08:01 PM
Of the two, I would prefer the AR because in the OP's scenario, I would want optics. And SKS's are very, very hard to fit with scopes unless you go with a low-power scout setup on a forward rail or somesuch.

BGlaze250
October 26, 2008, 08:39 PM
This sure is a blast from the past.

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