Buying advice wanted: SKS or AK47


February 22, 2007, 12:55 AM
Should I purchase:

3x Romanian AK-47 WASR-10 7.62x39 at $350 each
5x Yugoslavian SKS 7.62x39 at $199 each

Purpose is to have additional firearms available to equip the family if ever in a time of need. Just a general question. If someone offered you one of the above today, which would you take?

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February 22, 2007, 01:01 AM
How many family members are you looking to potentially arm?

February 22, 2007, 01:07 AM
That is a difficult question and hence the difficulty in making the decision. Being in Idaho, it is possible that close family may decide to come "visit" if the going gets tough. I could have as few as zero and as many as 5 or 6 headed my way. So I guess the decision is quality or quantity? I'm open to be educated.

February 22, 2007, 01:16 AM
Lot of variables here, but my insight is specific:

I have attended or instructed at 3 Appleseed Marksmanship Clinics. I have had the chance to shoot, instruct, or see attendee's shoot with both and a host of other rifles. My advice is based on that experience.

I have seen guys approach rifleman scores (4 MOA) with the SKS, even heard of them being attained with an SKS. The SKS is a very well engineered and milled peice of machinery, they are every bit as reliable as the AK but inherently more accurate. The AK, while they ALWAYS, ALWAYS, go "BANG" just is not an inherantly accurate platform. Some others claim acceptable accuracy, no doubt some get it, but as a rule my answere to someone who claims to have an accurate AK would be "show me". Don't get me wrong I own both but the go to is the SKS......if those are the choices.

BTW tech-sights really improved my groups with the SKS, I highly recommend them. In fact if it where me I might shop for 5 $150 yugo's and spend the money to upgrade the sights rather than 5 pristine stock SKSs. YMMV

February 22, 2007, 01:21 AM
The Romanian AK is lighter and uses large capacity detachable mags. You can get detachable mags for the SKS, but they're a bit trickier to properly insert for an inexperienced shooter. Detachable mags aside most folks can learn to load the SKS' fixed mag with stripper clips pretty easily. The SKS will be heavier, but is probably a bit better made. It's a tough call because both are very well built and rugged firearms.

Of course you could also get Yugo 24/47 8mm Mausers for a bit over $100 each if you want to leave extra money for a good stock of ammo.

February 22, 2007, 01:28 AM
lets break it down

well, from the sound of it these would be to augment your existing arms.

fromt he sound of it none of these family members are active shooters, or they would have thier own guns

those two things tell me your gunna be the only person to have to worry about doing any accurate shooting. the accuracy differance between an SKS and an AK will be lost on some one who is a beginer.

i say, if you have a good rifle for yourself. then let what ever you buy be by the number of people you have. since no one in the group is gunna be high speed low drag, then Quantity might as well win.

chris in va
February 22, 2007, 02:42 AM
Personally I like the AK's much better. Easier to handle and shorter. Not sure on the low-end AK's, but my friend's Arsenal is much lighter than my Yugo SKS.

Considered the Saiga's?

February 22, 2007, 02:45 AM
Why not just split the difference?

2 AK's and 2 SKS.

February 22, 2007, 03:55 AM
Well, its not necessarily and issue of quantity vs quality. The WASRs you are pricing are not any better made (and some, me including, would say they are worse) then the Yugo SKS. I own a WASR, great gun for the money....but its not a quality piece.....and its machined far WORSE then my Yugo SKS.

So for quality OR quanity, either way the SKS is your choice.

The real question is capacity and handiness vs cost.

The SKS is a great doubt. But its heavier, longer and just not as "handy" as the AK. Especially when comparing the Yugo SKS.....remember the 59/66 model you are likely looking at has the grenade launcher on the end. Not very useful, but it CAN be removed. That aside I feel the SKS is JUST as durable as the AK and should be more accurate then the WASR your considering. The BIG downside is capacity. I realize you can get "duckbill" magazines for the SKS but most prove unreliable and mag changes are horribly slow.

So the SKS wins on cheaper (and quality when compared to a WASR IMHO).....but loses on handiness and capacity.

I think reliability is a draw and accuracy is variable and usually not significant enough to be an issue for non-shooters.

My opinion.

I would go for the SKSs over the WASRs. If you were considering nicer "cheap" AKs such as MAKs or SARs then perhaps I would get them......but I will take 5 Yugo SKS over 3 WASRs any day.

I also DONT recommend splitting the difference. When your handing out arms to people they need to be familiar with each others will have parts interchangeability as well.

February 22, 2007, 04:04 AM
The SKS is the better weapon when compared to lower end AK's IMO.

February 22, 2007, 04:52 AM
I also think you should split them. 1 AK & 3 SKS'. Extra $50 spent on AK magazines.

AK for carry & primary weapon. SKS' go on the rack for potential hand-out to family as needed. SKS also back-up for hunting rifle

February 22, 2007, 05:08 AM

His intention for ALL the rifles is to handout to family.....he already has his own rifle.

Atleast thats how I took it.

February 22, 2007, 05:29 AM
I made that same decision some years back. I chose the SKSes for several reasons. They're easy to use, reliable and accurate. The thing that won me over the most was the stripper clips.

You can reload with strippers almost as fast as you can with removeable magazines. The strippers are a lot cheaper though and that lets you keep a large load of ammo ready for each gun. You can buy enough strippers to hold 1000 rounds for about the same price as you'd pay for 2 AK magazines.

The price difference between guns is a factor also. Better to have 5 guns in a crisis than 3. The AK has an advantage when it comes to overall firepower, but the SKS being a little more accurate and having 5 of them instead of 3 tends to even the score. Ask yourself if you'd be in a situation where the firepower of 3 guns using 30 round mags would be a benefit over 5 guns with 10 round mags. I don't think any of us would be heading to war with these things. For defending the homestead, I think 5 SKSes is plenty of firepower for most folks.

Just my thoughts on the matter.

February 22, 2007, 11:41 AM
get an ak for yourself 5-10 mags and as many sks as you please
i would advise spending the money on unissued sks though

February 22, 2007, 12:00 PM
I'd say go with two AK underfolders rather than the WASR-10s -- if an AWB kicks in and prices go through the roof you can then sell one and buy 10 SKS's or so.

February 22, 2007, 12:01 PM
If you are leaving them stock, then I'd go for the SKS for that purpose. If you want to eventually convert them into AK-like rifles on the cheap, just get the AKs. I do think a Yugo SKS is probably better made than the Romanian WASR, but you'll do yourself a favor by buying the best quality ones you can get your hands on (excellent or unissued).

I find it a little easier to shoot my SKS accurately at the range, but quite honestly, at the ranges I will ever be likely to have to defend myself, the AK is more than accurate and a little more comfortable to shoot. Society would have to break down incredibly far to ever justify defensive shots out past 100 yards.

Don't Tread On Me
February 22, 2007, 12:06 PM
One word: SAIGA

Let the rifle do the speaking. Go check out a Saiga in person. That will make up your mind.

February 22, 2007, 08:29 PM
Thank you for the input everyone. Here are my conclusions... no disrepect to anyone that offered contrary advice:

I'll be staing away from the SKS with the detachable magazines... I've only heard bad things.

I do have my own firearms, these weapons will be to equip the extended family as appropriate.

I'll look into the SAIGA option. Thank you.

I think I will skip the WASR and pickup a nicer AK as well as two or three SKS rifles.

Thanks all!


February 22, 2007, 08:45 PM
I think the SKS is the best value for the buck. You don't need to buy mags, just a bunch of strippers. For a backup or emergency rifle like you said, I think that is the best choice. You don't have to worry about parts or mags, just have a pouch full of loaded stripper clips for each rifle.

AK's are great and I would get one if I had nothing else, but if you want to maximize numbers of weapons that have a basic functionality, the SKS is the answer. If SKS's weren't so cheap, I probably wouldn't say that.

February 22, 2007, 09:26 PM
Another vote for Saiga. The WASR is the cheapest AK you can buy. They will go bang if the monkeys put it together right but there are much better examples of AKs out there. The SKS is a fine rifle but they tend to be heavier and less balanced (especially the Yugo 59/66). The nice thing about the Saiga is it is based on an AK receiver and is a true Russian factory rifle, and can be converted fully to AK configuration. That takes some time and work to do, but without much trouble you can at least convert it to take AK mags and leave it in 'sporter' configuration (which is what the SKS is essentially).

If you can hand pick the WASRs and make sure they're good to go then that might be a good route too. With a Tapco G2 trigger group you'd be in good shape.

February 22, 2007, 09:32 PM
I think that a number of rifles that accept detachable magazines and a shared cache of mags is the optimum solution.

I'd suggest either Saiga's or WASR's. I handpicked my WASR's, and they're all straight and plenty accurate - easily the equal of my Norinco or Yugo SKSs, with better shooting ergonomics (pistol grip) and the advantage of sharable drop magazines.

The Saigas will be cheaper up front than the WASRs but will cost more money downstream to convert back to AK configuration.

February 22, 2007, 09:36 PM
Farmer, I'm also a SW Idaho resident and know about the open spaces out here. One of these in 30-06 might be good to add to your loaner battery to get some range here in the high desert. I know we don't have an Academy here, but I'm sure one of the local gun shops can get you the same pricing.

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