SKS / Mosin-Nagant equivalent for ... .223?


April 28, 2007, 01:34 AM
I recently got my first chance to fire a Mosin-Nagant, and an SKS. Both were great fun (the Mosin kicked less than I'd been led to believe; helped that the gun is nice and heavy), and the SKS was really fun.

However, I have a "thing" (fetish, compulsion, tendency, whatever you want to call it) for sticking to guns in just a few of the very most common types of ammo, NATO-approved / used (or former NATO in the case of .45) in particular. So, .45 and 9mm in handguns (plus .22, which is forgiveable), and when I get a centerfire rifle, I'm thinking 5.56 x 45 mm / .223 (and when I can afford it better, a .308, too ;)).

So, I *know* that Wolf is cheap in the Russian calibers, that there are some sources of surplus that are perhaps even cheaper, that it's cheaper to use the cheap stuff in (steel / aluminum) cases than reload, but ... I'm trying to stick (by my guns; ) ) and figure out the answer to this:

What's the closest thing to a Mosin or an SKS for someone like me who'd like to shoot 5.56 x 45 mm? That is, I'm seeking the analogy gun, rather than an actual SKS in .223 (unless someone could tell me that such a thing exists ;)).

SKS: ugly, reliable, cheap, amenable to repairs when needed, good shooters, reasonably accurate, autoloading, surplus.

Mosin: Similar (hey, no accounting for taste -- I know not everyone finds them ugly), but bolt-loading, and at least the best of them are superbly accurate, I'm told. The one I shot was certainly more accurate than I knew how to exploit.

So, perhaps this is asking the impossible, but is there somewhere that a pig-headed person who doesn't want to seek out scads of surplus Russian ammo can find a rifle in .223 with many of the characteristics (esp. wrt reliability and price -- accuracy is nice but I'm a plinker at heart rather than a surgical mall ninja ;)) of either of these guns? Did any military make a lot of indestructable .223 rifles that are floating around the world for sale to Americans? :)

Is the closest I'm going to find a Saiga in .223? (Seems not a bad option, really, from what I've read on this site and elsewhere ...)



It's Friday night / Saturday morning, I can come up with any question I please ...

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April 28, 2007, 01:49 AM
I will probably get flak over this, but what about the Mini-14? I know it has a mixed rep, but a lot of natives use them up here, as do a lot of ranchers down in the lower 48. They're not the most accurate firearms, but they're tough and seem to be reliable. They're pretty cheap on the used market. They run $300 to $400 here.

April 28, 2007, 01:56 AM
Get an SKS; they are inexpensive, and you will not regret the purchase.

April 28, 2007, 02:09 AM
Saiga version of the AK in .308 or .223.

chris in va
April 28, 2007, 02:12 AM
I'm not really understanding the question, but how about an AK74 in 5.45x39?

April 28, 2007, 02:16 AM
Saiga or SU 16 is the cheap thing in .223 that comes to mind

April 28, 2007, 02:20 AM
I am also going to say Saiga. As it happens, mine is in 7.62x39, but I have shot both the .308 and the .223 versions and they were perfectly satisfactory. Not particularly expensive, the Saiga's are AK's that have been sporterized. I also think Cosmoline had a good point about the Mini. They are demonized, but they work pretty darn good. They are not super accurate, but they are accurate enough for general use.

April 28, 2007, 03:49 AM
+1 to the Saiga

April 28, 2007, 07:51 AM
I had a saiga in 223. it was a good inexpensive rifle.

April 28, 2007, 08:50 AM
Ditto here on the Saiga, for what you are asking.

April 28, 2007, 09:38 AM
Saiga 223. Super durable and fool proof. The mini is prettier, but the Saiga would survive being dropped out of a helicopter better.

April 28, 2007, 05:17 PM
buy an m44 or m38 and go from there.

Lamb of Gun
April 28, 2007, 05:24 PM
I would think a Remington 700 would be an equal to the m44. The only difference would be the astronomical price difference.

As for the SK, I would have to agree that an AK would do the trick.

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