SKS vs AK vs AR


December 23, 2006, 08:32 AM
I have never fired a .30 caliber SKS. I have never fired a
.30 caliber AK. Some say recoil is subject so that's why I'll use the word "noticeably". I have 3 questions: 1. Is the SKS noticeably more pleasant to shoot than a milled receiver AK? 2. Is a milled receiver AK noticeably more pleasant to shoot than a stamped receiver AK? 3. Which has more muzzle flash, the SKS/AK or the .223 AR? (Assume all have 16" barrels.) Thanks in advance.

Also see my reply below pertaining to length of AK stocks.

If you enjoyed reading about "SKS vs AK vs AR" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
December 23, 2006, 08:38 AM
I haven't fired the AK or the AR, but I do have an SKS. I can say that the SKS in rapid fire will push me back and almost off balance. Maybe it's my stance. A single shot or slow fire isn't bad at all. The weight of the gun helps, so avoid the synth stocks. Get a good looking wood one and stick with it.

Loyalist Dave
December 23, 2006, 08:47 AM
Physics is physics, and recoil is partly due to the weight of the projectile being launched. The 7.62 Soviet round (aka 7.63x39) is a 2x heavier bullet on the average than .223 ammo. I have shot all three, and have fired the AK as well as the M16A1 full auto and the M16A2 in burst mode. The muzzle climb was a bit higher in the AK, but since you really have a tough, exspensive time buying a full auto AK, it probably doesn't matter. I don't think the recoil is that bad in any of the three rifles. I highly doubt that changing from a milled reciever vs a stamped reciever will do anything for recoil, as the ergonomics of the rifles are still the same, unless the weight of the rifle is lots heavier in a milled rifle, allowing inertia to help control the recoil.

As for muzzle flash, that's more a function of the powder than the rifle, since these days most of them have had the flash hider removed. Much of the ammo is overseas surplus stuff, so controlling the powder load is a bit problematic.

You might find fitting an after market stock with deminsions closer to what really fits you might help you be comfortable with the AK or SKS. Both are notoriously "short" when speaking of stocks.


December 23, 2006, 09:41 AM
I'm not sure that there's much difference between the SKS and AK (I had my Yugo 59/66 and my MAK-90 at the range yesterday). The AK is better balanced; the SKS is much more front-heavy. Recoil is almost identical between the two, but the trigger on the AK is better (and generally, easier to improve than on the SKS). Maybe I'm more used to the SKS, but I'm also more accurate with it over the AK. Generally, the SKS is the one I'd use for slow aimed fire, but the AK would be my pick if I had to shoot while moving (30 rounds beats 10 any day of the week).

December 23, 2006, 09:56 AM
"You might find fitting an after market stock with deminsions closer to what really fits you might help you be comfortable with the AK or SKS. Both are notoriously "short" when speaking of stocks."

Good point, L.D. This is something I've thought about. The SKS is too short for me (as is the Ruger 10-22 & Mini 14, and M1 Carbine).

>>Is there a specific AK which comes with a longer stock? >>This is an important question for me, and answers would greatly be appreciated.<< In my neck of the woods, no shops carry AK's.

December 23, 2006, 10:30 AM
You can get a M4 style stock for an AK and it might feel better extended all the way out if that's what your looking for.

I've got 1 AK, 2 SKS's, and 4 AR's. The AK has an almost identical recoil to the SKS and they are still not much more than an AR. You should have nothing to worry about as far as uncontrolabilty and discomfort goes with the recoil of any of the weapons.

I'd say the AR has a "tad" more muzzle flash than the AK and I can't comment on the SKS since mine are not para's and have a longer barrel that the AK/AR's. The .223 seems to have a louder crack when it reports and the feeling you get sitting next to one when it fires seems like it is a "hotter" load than the 7.62x39.

December 23, 2006, 12:55 PM
How much money you got? That will answer the question in part.

The SKS is still the best value if you want a semi-auto defense rifle with decent power. A rifle and a case of ammo is still cheaper than anything else. Might require some sight upgrades to make it effective beyond short range.

AK's are good since the rifles are cheaper than most other semi-autos available and the accessories like mags are cheap and good quality even if used. The cheapest WASR's need to be inspected before buying.

AR's are higher end, more accurate, and have endless options for upgrades and accessories. Reliability is just as good IMHO, but requires more cleaning and making sure you get the best magazines.

I think they all have a good sized muzzle flash and I recommend a flash hider. I have never noticed a big need for compensators, but I have not used mine in competition.

December 23, 2006, 01:13 PM
The milled rec. AK's will have less felt recoil than the stamped rec, as the milled rec weighs in at about a pound more. I find the SKS to have more perceived recoil ( mostly due to stock design) than the AK's, which have more than the AR.

December 23, 2006, 04:17 PM
though they are all fun to shoot and though none of the recoils bother me here they are in order of less felt recoil to most for me.

my ar
my dad's yugo underfolder
my norinco sks
my mak-90 (stamped)

December 23, 2006, 10:05 PM
The SKS is great for what it is - an inexpensive, reliable .30 cal rifle that's pretty accurate. Great truck gun, deer rifle, plinker, etc.

What it isn't is a short, lightweight, high capacity assault rifle. I pretty much agree with the conventional wisdom that you should leave an SKS as is except maybe for the sights or scope mount. If you want something else (generally an AK) you're better off buying it than modifying an SKS. By the time you replace enough parts on an SKS to make it 922r compliant ( you could have bought an AK.

In particular, do not buy a Yugo 59/66 if you're looking for a lightweight assault rifle. That's a heavy-barrelled gun with a lot of extras (grenade launcher, launcher sights, etc.) that you'll have to remove to make it into a lean, mean machine. Then you'll have to play the 10-or-less parts game to make it legal. If you want an AK, save your money and buy an AK.

Likewise, if you want high capacity just buy an AK rather than fiddling around with conversion magazines.

If you enjoyed reading about "SKS vs AK vs AR" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!