SKS just as good as an AK 47?


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Scoped
January 21, 2014, 11:44 PM
First off, I really want an AK-47.. a bit out of my price range atm though. I have a /26\ Norinco sks 1982 production with a steel 30 round mag for it and it works pretty much flawlessly. I have heard that these types of mags are pretty useless, but from my experience i disagree. This makes it pretty similar in function to the ak47 in terms of round capacity and firepower. So, what should be my incentive for purchasing or trading in my sks for an ak 47?

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vongh
January 21, 2014, 11:54 PM
Sks's work good until you need to reload than its faster imo if you use stripper clips. I have never shot an ak but I have read that sks's a capable of better accuracy than a lot of ak's

Cee Zee
January 22, 2014, 01:08 AM
I'll take an SKS any day over an AK. I've owned both. The SKS is more accurate and that goes for all of them I've shot and owned. Plus the good SKS models are true milsurp and are built like tanks. AK's are made for the US market because a true AK is capable of full auto. Yes some are very similar to the original but others aren't at all.

The SKS is cheaper and more accurate and every bit as durable. I have one SKS that was converted to detachable mags too. It also works pretty much flawlessly. I have another SKS that still takes stripper clips. I actually prefer the stripper clips. You can carry more ammo with you since you don't have to carry the weight of the mags.

goon
January 22, 2014, 01:47 AM
I prefer a good SKS over an AK. I've always just shot the SKS better. Back when I had both and shot them side by side, I was able to make hits reliably about 100 yards further with the SKS using issue sights on both. Not to say there aren't more accurate AK's, but I shoot the SKS better.

bhhacker
January 22, 2014, 01:50 AM
I think that SKS's are more bang for your buck but thats just my personal opinion. I guess it really comes down to what you want the rifle for.

I live out in Southeast Alaska and i decided to get an sks over an ak because i dont have to deal with magazines. I dont plan on fighting a horde of zombies or anything so if rapid reloading was needed id just use my AR :P

Swampman
January 22, 2014, 02:28 AM
In my opinion the SKS is more practical than an AK for just about all the "real world" shooting that most people do. They have a longer sight radius which helps accuracy and usually at least four inches more barrel for slightly higher velocity.

I guess if I were regularly attacked by swarms of zombies or goblins while going about my daily life an AK might hold more appeal, but I've managed to survive this long with a lowly, box stock SKS as my "truck gun" and don't feel any strong urge to "upgrade".

carbine85
January 22, 2014, 07:52 AM
The only drawback with the SKS is the open action and fixed magazine if you consider that a drawback. I prefer the SKS over the AK any day. It's more than reliable, better accuracy and you can reload them quickly with stripper clips. They also look nicer IMHO.

Sam1911
January 22, 2014, 07:58 AM
Just as good? As a general thing, probably not. History shows that one rose and the other fell, and there are several very practical reasons for that having to do with how soldiers really fight with carbines.

Just as good, for a civilian in peacetime and not running high-round-count dynamic multi-gun/3-gun matches? I'd say so, certainly.

I really quite like the SKS, even though I don't grab it to take to classes or matches. It's a very solid, very shootable, pretty decently accurate rifle that will provide great service.

hso
January 22, 2014, 08:06 AM
There's no reason to get rid of an SKS, especially a ChiCom, for an AK unless that's the only way to finance the AK (and you just realllllllly are Jonesing for an AK).

The SKS is an excellent semi milsurp. They are accurate, reliable and hold their value if cared for.

If you compete with the gun then it could be relevant, the idea that changing magazines over feeding from stripper clips is important isn't really relevant since it is just a way to burn through ammo/money for 99% of people. Keep your reliable, accurate SKS and save up for an AK and you won't regret the decision.

benEzra
January 22, 2014, 08:26 AM
A stamped AK is shorter and handier than an SKS, and a bit lighter given the same size magazines. The SKS is very reliable but the AK is a little more so in harsh conditions (I have personally seen an 1952 Tula SKS short-stroke every shot due to powder fouling and lack of lubrication; a shot of oil fixed it).

The biggest difference though is optics. If you intent to shoot iron sights only, then the SKS's somewhat longer sight radius tends to make it a little more accurate, but it is easier to scope an AK than to scope an SKS. There are also more accessories made for the AK platform than the SKS, if that is important to you.

You can also get an AK in 5.45x39mm and 5.56x45mm/.223, but AFAIK all SKS's are 7.62x39mm.

They are both excellent rifles, but to me the AK fills the "carbine" role better due to its shorter length, if that is what you are after. The SKS is more of a full-length rifle.

AK103K
January 22, 2014, 08:48 AM
I think Sam summed it up nicely overall, from a reality standpoint.

The SKS is a decent rifle, but its not an AK.

While it seems some think the mag is a detriment, its really not. You can load/unload/reload the gun quickly, safely, and without fumbling. Something not said for the SKS. I can pop a mag in an AK without chambering a round, and lock the selector, and the gun is "safe". It can be quickly charged if needed, or quickly unloaded if needed, without fiddling.

The mags also keep your ammo secure, and easily accessed. My experience with the SKS and strippers, has not been as positive, especially if you draw the strippers from a chest bag or pouch. The strippers tend to be poorly made, and dont retain the cartridges well, and more often than not, you dont get the full ten rounds in the gun. If they havent already left rounds in the pouch when you try and draw them, they often drop them on the way to the gun.

As far as speed of reloading, theres no way the SKS is quicker. First and foremost, you have to load the SKS three times to equal one mag of the AK's, so youre already behind. Reloading the AK is much more positive and with less fumbling. A quick "top off" is also a lot easier.

"Most" of the SKS's with aftermarket extended mags Ive shot, were not very reliable. Im not saying all of them dont work, but that wasnt my experience. I have shot one of the SKS's with the "factory" AK mag conversions, and it seems to be the way to go, if you insist on a high cap SKS.

Accuracy wise, I never really saw much of a difference. With both, the ammo itself is usually more of an issue than the guns themselves, and with ammo they like, both are more than capable of decent accuracy.

One thing Ive never seen for the SKS was a good way to mount optics. The AK's have a couple of decent options, and you can either cowitness your irons to the optic, or they can be removed and replaced without loss of zero if needed.

Pilot
January 22, 2014, 08:49 AM
I have two Russian SKS's, and two AK's both in 5.45x39. I need to add a rubber butt plate to increase the LOP on my SKS's, and put American length stocks on my AK's as I have long arms. Anyway, bottom line is I prefer shooting the SKS, and with stripper clips it is pretty fast to load. I find I can shoot the SKS a bit more accurately, although it is pretty close. I just enjoy shooting the SKS more for whatever reason. I really can't put my finger on it.

Hokkmike
January 22, 2014, 10:30 AM
So, what should be my incentive for purchasing or trading in my sks for an ak 47?

Let me qualify my statement before hand by saying I have owned and shot both. In fact I have owned three different types of AK's and have shot Chinese and Russian SKS's.

The AK-47 is FAR superior in terms of ease of loading, reliability, ergonomics, and capacity. There is a reason, of course, why the AK-47 REPLACED the SKS as the issued military arm of choice.

That being said, they both are fun guns with historical notoriety and high interest. Owning and shooting either one is just fine in itself....

jrdolall
January 22, 2014, 10:42 AM
I have several. SKS, AK-47, and AK-74. All are great guns. The SKS feels more like a "long gun" if you know what I mean. Maybe because it actually IS a longer gun. 10 rounds in the fixed mag is plenty for me though I do have one set up for the detachable 30 round mag. From a military standpoint I see no advantage to the SKS over the AK-47 but most of us aren't using them for military purposes. I probably shoot the AK-74 more than the others combined because ammo is cheaper.

I don't ever recall having an FTF of any kind with any of these guns but I admit I don't run them all that hard.

Sam1911
January 22, 2014, 10:45 AM
There is a reason, of course, why the AK-47 REPLACED the SKS as the issued military arm of choice.I'll quibble just a tiny bit here, and only because I think it is relevant to the question at hand.

The SKS wasn't so much a predecessor to the AK which was then replaced, per se, by it, but rather they were complimentary contemporaries of each other. The two rifles were fielded only 2-3 years apart (1945 and 1947) and the SKS remained in various facets of Soviet service for many years. In fact, the SKS was still being produced up into the late '70s, at least in Albania.

So, while it could be said that the AK and AKM made the SKS obsolete as a front-line military weapon, it was still made, issued, and used to millions of various kinds of troops in many countries for decades. (Still today, in fact.) It was always considered, and is still considered, a serious rifle for serious purposes.

And so it is for us here in the US today. The fact that the Kalashnikov has some benefits really shouldn't detract from just how good the SKS is at doing what it does, even if that's a less glamorous, secondary role.

ForumSurfer
January 22, 2014, 11:21 AM
Having owned both, I think the correct answer is buy both. Always works that way, doesn't it?!

SKS - Accurate enough for what it is, 10 rounds is plenty.

AK (assuming it is a decent one) - Accurate enough, really quick mag changes. Lots of manufactures making solid optics mounts for low power scopes and aimpoint/eotech or whatever your 1x optic of choice is.

If I could only have one, I'd take a decent AK. This one isn't traditional and a purist or two may weep...but it was a hoot to shoot. Of course I had to count parts on my fingers and toes to make sure it was legal. The new owner is running it in competition and swears he draws a crowd when he shoots reloads through it due to the comp venting the smoke due to lube.

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p188/johnnnyhgmail/AK/0EC10ABB-604C-4CAA-AAA9-7AF6609A808F-4518-000004254018075B_zps28706daa.jpg

mokin
January 22, 2014, 12:13 PM
The short answer to the first question is yes. Unless you are in a situation where you need to reload a lot of ammunition fast. As to the second question, I am reluctant to advise you as to an incentive to trade your SKS for an AK. I've got a couple of Norincos and doubt I'd be able to replace either with an AK I'd like as much. I find the ergonomics of the SKS to be much more agreeable than the AK. I never got used to the way you have to fit the magazine in (spoiled by the AR-15), and having to move either one hand or the other to manipulate the fire control switch seemed like too much movement. All the finer points seem to have been touched on already. If you want an AK save up for one and enjoy!

ForumSurfer
January 22, 2014, 12:28 PM
The short answer to the first question is yes. Unless you are in a situation where you need to reload a lot of ammunition fast. As to the second question, I am reluctant to advise you as to an incentive to trade your SKS for an AK. I've got a couple of Norincos and doubt I'd be able to replace either with an AK I'd like as much. I find the ergonomics of the SKS to be much more agreeable than the AK. I never got used to the way you have to fit the magazine in (spoiled by the AR-15), and having to move either one hand or the other to manipulate the fire control switch seemed like too much movement. All the finer points seem to have been touched on already. If you want an AK save up for one and enjoy!

That's another thing to contemplate. Mag changes are undeniably easier and faster with an AR. Given the current market, AR's can be had cheaper than some nice AK's. Practice makes you better, but no matter how good you get...there will always be less wasted movement with an AR.

I'd hang on to the SKS and save for an AK/AR.

wojownik
January 22, 2014, 12:55 PM
I have several SKS' and AK variants.

As stated, these are complementary rifles. I like the ergonomics of the SKS - i.e. that traditional rifle feel. Plus, I find myself more accurate with the SKS in just about all conditions (Paper dinner plate accuracy with the AK, and small dessert plate with the SKS).

On the other hand, the AK is ridiculously simply to disassemble and maintain (the SKS is pretty easy too). And, I find the AK to be a bit more fun plinking on the range, even though its not as accurate for me.

AK103K
January 22, 2014, 01:10 PM
Mag changes are undeniably easier and faster with an AR.
With a little practice, the AK's mag changes are really pretty quick and easy. They can be done with the shooting hand on the grip, and the mags can be released with the middle finger of that hand while it is on the grip as well. With the proper technique, you can drop an AK's mag without touching it in most cases. Even if it were to hang, a slight shake will drop it.

I have both AR's and AK's, and find that while I am probably a little quicker with reloading the AR's, its not all that much faster. Im not trying to set world speed reload records, but just more focusing on getting either reloaded as smoothly and reliably as possible.

The common complaint you hear about the AK's ergos is also another misnomer, and usually heard from people who havent bothered to learn to run an AK. Spend a little quality time with one, and 99% of all complaints go away as you become familiar with the gun.

With any of them, the person who is well versed in what they have, will usually easily out pace someone who isnt.

19-3Ben
January 22, 2014, 01:26 PM
Not much to add to what's been said, except that the gap narrows if we are talking about an SKS-M or SKS-D. They were designed to take AK magazines, and have 16" bbls. So they are compact, take AK mags, and boast the same advantages as other SKS's. The downside is that like other SKSs, they are tougher to mount with optics if that's your thing.

Dean1818
January 22, 2014, 01:27 PM
Both being semi auto?

SKS

Its more accurate


If you are born in a 3rd world country and those are your choices, and its a full auto Ak......

AK

Godsgunman
January 22, 2014, 01:50 PM
Having owned both I think it comes down to personal preference. I sold the AK and kept the SKS. I like that with the SKS the bolt stays open after the last round. I converted mine with a Tapco stock and use the 20 rnd Tapco mags. I never timed them side by side but it seems to be just as fast reloading the SKS mag as the AK mag since the bolt holds open. Yeah the latch on the SKS is hard to release compared to the AK but with practice it can be almost as fast, granted you have to turn the rifle more. For my and probably the vast majority of people's purposes the SKS does just fine. Military wise I can see the AK having the advantage for quicker reloads.

Jackal
January 22, 2014, 03:33 PM
SKS wins in cost and clearly wins if you prefer traditional rifle styling/ergo's. AK wins if you prefer pistol grips and detachable mags. As far as accuracy, a good representation of each will generally be in the 2-3moa region. The Arsenal 26 is a mil spec SKS, the best quality version made by any country since the original Russian model. I have one, also a 1982 thats still unfired. I seem to prefer shooting my AK's most of the time, even over my AR's. My AK74 eats corrosive ammo purchased for 16 cents per round and only requires a 5 min Ballistol/water cleaning. Pretty hard to beat.

Inebriated
January 22, 2014, 04:07 PM
Depends on what you want to do.

AK's lend themselves to modern shooting techniques, they're lighter weight, easy optics mounting, most are easy to mount brakes to, come in a shorter package, are more reliable, are much simpler, and there are many many more parts out there for them than the SKS. As far as accuracy goes, they're not benchrest rifles. Both will hit a chest 300 yards away, and if you take good examples of each, they'll shoot about the same.

The SKS is good, the AK is better IMO.

zhyla
January 22, 2014, 05:41 PM
It's pretty hard to argue with detachable magazines. I love my SKS but for any purpose other than sitting there looking pretty my Norinco AK wins out.

theotherwaldo
January 22, 2014, 05:53 PM
I like my SKS's for hunting. I only use the AK at the range.

orionengnr
January 22, 2014, 05:56 PM
If the SKS was "just as good" as the AK, wouldn't it command the same price?
I remember when AKs were $349 and SKSs were $69 each.
Just sayin'... :)

Jackal
January 22, 2014, 05:58 PM
The AK is a superior WEAPON. Thats why we dont see any modern militaries issuing them to combat forces within the last 40 years. Much like our Garand, the SKS has been relegated to parade/ceremony use. Its certainly not a bad rifle by any stretch (I love the SKS), but it is an inferior WEAPON when compared to any military grade AK. Its like saying the Garand is a superior weapon to the 03A3. It doesnt make the earlier rifle bad, its just that the new rifle is better for the intended use.:)

surfinUSA
January 22, 2014, 06:20 PM
I've had both and sold both. If I had to get another I would look for one of the SKSs that take AK mags.

Although I prefer the rotating bolt and magazine of the AK, you really can't overcome the superior placement and ease of use of the SKS safety.

Although people say the SKS is more accurate than the AK I didn't find that to be true. However, my sks was well used when I got it and the AK (Norinco) was new.

I sure their current owners still enjoy them.

Biohazard1993
January 22, 2014, 08:06 PM
I think Sam summed it up nicely overall, from a reality standpoint.

The SKS is a decent rifle, but its not an AK.

While it seems some think the mag is a detriment, its really not. You can load/unload/reload the gun quickly, safely, and without fumbling. Something not said for the SKS. I can pop a mag in an AK without chambering a round, and lock the selector, and the gun is "safe". It can be quickly charged if needed, or quickly unloaded if needed, without fiddling.

The mags also keep your ammo secure, and easily accessed. My experience with the SKS and strippers, has not been as positive, especially if you draw the strippers from a chest bag or pouch. The strippers tend to be poorly made, and dont retain the cartridges well, and more often than not, you dont get the full ten rounds in the gun. If they havent already left rounds in the pouch when you try and draw them, they often drop them on the way to the gun.

As far as speed of reloading, theres no way the SKS is quicker. First and foremost, you have to load the SKS three times to equal one mag of the AK's, so youre already behind. Reloading the AK is much more positive and with less fumbling. A quick "top off" is also a lot easier.

"Most" of the SKS's with aftermarket extended mags Ive shot, were not very reliable. Im not saying all of them dont work, but that wasnt my experience. I have shot one of the SKS's with the "factory" AK mag conversions, and it seems to be the way to go, if you insist on a high cap SKS.

Accuracy wise, I never really saw much of a difference. With both, the ammo itself is usually more of an issue than the guns themselves, and with ammo they like, both are more than capable of decent accuracy.

One thing Ive never seen for the SKS was a good way to mount optics. The AK's have a couple of decent options, and you can either cowitness your irons to the optic, or they can be removed and replaced without loss of zero if needed.

Yeah I agree, I sold my almost mint norinco sks after having Hikock45 syndrome (cuts on my hands) while in a hurry loading it. It also needed way more lube than any ak I have shot (well aks realy don't need that much lube to begin with but my sks needed regularly lubed like my Tanfoglio Witness Combat 9 does). Oh I also do not need the bayo on it (sorry bayonet lovers) and didn't feel like replacing the stock because a wood stock without the bayo looks :barf:. Darn this thread reminds me I need an AK something fierce I never filled that niche in my heart or my arsenal. :( Maybe a draco will be my next purchase! :D

silicosys4
January 22, 2014, 10:21 PM
Either is great at what it is meant for. The ak is a better battle rifle, if one were in battle, but that doesn't make the sks an inferior overall weapon.
I have an sks-m that accepts ak mags. That evens things up a lot but It is still bulkier than the ak and wont accept aftermarket stocks because of the ak magazine conversion, so optics are hard to mount and cowitness. I haven't looked that hard though.
I do like that the sks is a machined receiver.

silicosys4
January 22, 2014, 10:23 PM
Pics to compare. You can see the para length sks is still bulkier and longer.o

Cee Zee
January 23, 2014, 12:23 AM
There is a reason, of course, why the AK-47 REPLACED the SKS as the issued military arm of choice.

Yes there is a reason of course. And that reason is that the AK was full auto while the SKS was always semi-auto (except for a few experiments by the Chinese). That makes a HUGE difference in battle. It also helps to have an endless supply of ammo that someone else is paying for which is what happens in the armies of the world.

The price of these weapons was brought up also. The SKS sold so cheap because the Chinese were dumping them for whatever they could get back in the late 80's and early 90's. They were already made and just gathering dust (and rust). So they sold them off cheap. It was always a supply and demand thing. The supply was huge while the demand took a while to get going. Prices went up as demand picked up. The AK was always more expensive because they had to be made to sell in the US unlike the SKS which could sell in stock format. You didn't even need an FFL to buy them. You just needed a C&R license. Clinton got mad at the Chinese over unrelated issues and ended the importation of the SKS from China but other countries also had surplus rifles to get rid of. So the Yugo started selling big time. It's always a matter of supply and demand like everything else.

Another big factor in this discussion should be the length of the mags. Even with your detachable mag setup you can get mags with less capacity (get USA brand mags - they're hard to find but they work). And less capacity means they hang down from the bottom of the rifle far less. With a standard 10 round mag on an SKS you can shoot off all sorts of things as rests. With a 30 round AK it's hard to shoot off anything as a rest. Very hard in fact.

I have a Norinco that works perfectly with detachables and I have several mags all of which are USA brand. That's the only brand that was available way back when. I use the 15 round mag I have because it doesn't hang down causing the rifle to be hard to work with in the field. That alone can make a big difference if you're going to knock down a deer with your SKS. I actually see them as more of a wild hog rifle myself. They have enough power to knock down a hog and they fire enough rounds to knock down a whole bunch of hogs (which run in packs). They can be good coyote guns too if you're a good enough hunter to get close to a pack of coyotes.

The AK was made as a fire from the hip, full auto much like the Thompson was designed to do. The SKS is more like the M1 carbine in it's design and function. Yes both the AK and the SKS use the same ammo while the Thompson and the M1 carbine don't. But the way they are generally fired is what I'm talking about. The AK is certainly fired from the shoulder a lot but if you look at photos of the AK in action it is often fired from the hip. After all it's pretty hard to fire an AK from the shoulder if it doesn't even have a shoulder stock or it has a collapsible stock that is collapsed.

http://www.gunclassics.com/images/ak47.jpg

http://www.gunclassics.com/ak47.html

justice06rr
January 23, 2014, 12:54 AM
AK47 is definitely better than SKS. Let me count the ways:

- Other calibers available
- Detachable and high capacity mags
- lighter
- Different configurations including those with folding stocks, AK Pistols, etc.
- Option of milled and stamped receivers

I'm not hating on SKS. I actually like them. but for the advantages of the AK, I sold 2 of my SKS's (a Chinese26 and a Yugo59/66). Now I own 2 AK47's.

I still want to buy a Chinese SKS again just to own one. They are fine rifles on their own, but unfortunately have its downsides.

HisStigness
January 23, 2014, 01:14 AM
So you can get an SKS for $350, and it's sort of like an AK, but not really. Or you can get the real deal for around $550. I would definitely go for the AK because of it functions better and has a plethora of aftermarket items available. I shot an SKS for the first time a while ago, and it wasn't bad at all. It's a lot of gun for the price. It's definitely more accurate than the AK. However, I didn't like the whole magazine design where it goes way up into the stock, and the fact that it was impossible (at least for me) to reload from the shoulder. Not to mention it tried to eat my fingers every time. If the AK didn't exist, I would probably own an SKS. But with Dr. Pepper on the market, I just can't justify drinking Dr. Thunder even if it is cheaper.

csa77
January 23, 2014, 01:24 AM
accuracy wise my norico SKS shoots alittle better then my 2 AK's (wasr and maadi) but a high end AK like a VEPR, would beat any SKS.
But that's not really fair comparison- I mean if a company wanted to Make a quality modern SKS it would probably beat even a high end AK. the SKS I think, is very similar to a SVD after all.

Scoped
January 23, 2014, 02:44 AM
Wow, I've been at work all day so sorry for not responding earlier. Thanks for all the responses.. definitely going to keep my SKS now, haha. A lot of awesome points have been brought up, too. I guess i'll be saving my pennies!

justice06rr
January 23, 2014, 03:16 AM
Yes, keep that SKS. I regret selling my Chinese26 unissued SKS. Its hard to find those now. If anything they hold more collectible and intrinsic value. SKS shoot very well and are also quite balanced.

But an AK it is not...

jrdolall
January 23, 2014, 07:24 AM
I bought an SKS a few years back that had a Tapco stock so it had all the bells and whistles of an AK. Folding stock, detachable mag etc but it still was an SKS instead of an AK. I have since taken it back to "original" and it is a fine shooter.
$350 for an SKS, $100 for a Tapco stock and you have something similar to an AK for $450 or so. A new AK is $600 so why not just buy the AK if you are looking for an SKS that looks like and AK?

fiddleharp
January 23, 2014, 08:00 AM
CeeZee's post #34 nailed it!
All this arguing about detatchable mags v.s. accuracy is pointless, because us American civilians use these semi-auto rifles to do nothing more lethal than punching holes in paper.
Since none of us will engage in Balkan-Style street fighting anytime soon, what's the point of this argument?
On the other hand, if a group of Crips, armed with semi-auto AK-47's, wipe out a group of Bloods, armed with SKS's in a Los Angeles street battle, then we'll have some data to work with in this "which is better" argument.

jrdolall
January 23, 2014, 08:25 AM
Atlantic Firearms has Chinese SKS's for $299 right now. Battle rifles so definitely not show pieces.

Cee Zee
January 23, 2014, 08:31 AM
I appreciate the thumbs up fiddleharp. But let me add another point or two here. We did see the SKS used very effectively in street fighting right here in the good old USA. During the Rodney King riots in LA those very gangs you mentioned were looting and burning the businesses owned mostly by Koreans. They have a bone to pick with those shop owners I guess. Whatever it didn't call for burning down those shops.

The Koreans were very familiar the SKS though. It was used extensively in the war fought on their home soil. Lots of those business owners had their very own SKS. What I saw reported was that the few stores that avoided being burned were protected by the owner on the roof with an SKS holding off those roving bands of looters.

There was more use for the SKS after Katrina. But I don't know if they were used there or not. I never saw that being reported.

Also I bought my Yugo a couple of years ago for $250, not $350 as someone suggested. Maybe that's the price now but the price was over $500 during the last shortage. And the best thing about my SKS's is that they are extremely reliable. I don't get where people think they are less reliable an AK.

Also there are stamped and milled SKS rifles. I have a milled example and I've seen stamped models.

It is important to point out that all SKS's are not created equal. Some are milsurp and are very solid. Some are made for the US market and are a lot less solid. Plus there are some that were pretty rough when they were imported. Those rifles were made in a lot of places and with varying degrees of quality. The same is true of AK's of course.

FWIW I'm not knocking the AK's at all. They are great rifles or they can be anyway. I've seen (and owned) models that were pretty rough too. MY BIL had a Maadi that was exceptionally nice.

I guess my main thing is that the two rifles are actually very equal in quality for the most part. But the AK's cost a lot more. And IMO the SKS is a better rifle. It isn't a lot better but it is better.

Atlantic Firearms has Chinese SKS's for $299 right now. Battle rifles so definitely not show pieces.

That might be part of the found Norincos left over from the great import wave of the 1990's. Most were pretty rough from that lot.

Biohazard1993
January 23, 2014, 10:04 AM
CeeZee's post #34 nailed it!
All this arguing about detatchable mags v.s. accuracy is pointless, because us American civilians use these semi-auto rifles to do nothing more lethal than punching holes in paper.
Since none of us will engage in Balkan-Style street fighting anytime soon, what's the point of this argument?
On the other hand, if a group of Crips, armed with semi-auto AK-47's, wipe out a group of Bloods, armed with SKS's in a Los Angeles street battle, then we'll have some data to work with in this "which is better" argument.

As far as poking holes in paper yes. As far as needeing the rifle for a survival situation (which is another important common facet to look at in these times)no. There is a reason for the discussion (Not argument, argument is when people become uncivilized at one another; I have seen none of that in this conversation). Some people like the sks better for target shooting. I could agree with this wholey. But I think the biggest point made is that the AK platform is a better Weapon for self defense especially in many survival facets. As I stated before, reloading an autoloading weapon is one of the most important points to me and I had a tendency to cut my hands on an sks clip (a big no no for me in the field) and reloading one at a time is even worse for an auto-loader. Never liked the bill mags either (that is just me). As for the biggest point that I sold my sks, the weight/size. An ak suited my needs better all around. I live in a small town dotted with buildings (a 400+ yard shot is not needed) so the accuracy loss in the ak is no big deal. As much as I would like a room full of guns I do not have room so I needed to choose an over all good, fun, survival rifle. I will opt for the lighter, shorter, standard mag using, less accurate ak-47. But thats just me, If people like the sks good, so did I (for target shooting) but in the end I got rid of the sks because it filled less points of use at the time. Good conversation guys lets keep it going. :D

Onmilo
January 23, 2014, 10:05 AM
Like a lot of other posters here, I had a couple really nice SKS rifles and I also bought an Egyptian AKM sporter.
I kept the AKM and sold the SKS rifles but truth be told, the SKS rifles were BETTER in every way except firepower than the AKM could ever hope to be and that mainly hinges on the accuracy potential of the guns.
SKS rifles, ALL good mil spec SKS rifles are more accurate than the great and vast majority of AK/AKM type rifles, just as reliable and as one poster noted, just as useful if not actually more so in real world practical shooting.

As such, I have been in the market for another SKS like the Russian and Chinese Military ones that I used to own.
Not so easy to find the good ones anymore and when you do find one, they are much more expensive than they used to be.
Must be some reason for that,,,Hmmmm

aka108
January 23, 2014, 10:20 AM
I own AK's and SKS a rifles. I am pretty sure the SKS has a edge in the accuracy department. Both are enjoyable to shoot. The AK I believe is a superior combat weapon. The SKS has a more compliated operating system with more parts and that could be a problem. The AK is a uncomplicated weapon with a simple operating system that is difficult to bugger up no matter what.

Tirod
January 23, 2014, 10:45 AM
While it seems some think the mag is a detriment, its really not. You can load/unload/reload the gun quickly, safely, and without fumbling. Something not said for the SKS. I can pop a mag in an AK without chambering a round, and lock the selector, and the gun is "safe". It can be quickly charged if needed, or quickly unloaded if needed, without fiddling.

The mags also keep your ammo secure, and easily accessed. My experience with the SKS and strippers, has not been as positive, especially if you draw the strippers from a chest bag or pouch. The strippers tend to be poorly made, and dont retain the cartridges well, and more often than not, you dont get the full ten rounds in the gun. If they havent already left rounds in the pouch when you try and draw them, they often drop them on the way to the gun.

These are the same reasons I use to show why the AR is a better hunting rifle than a manual action with blind mag well. Therefore, the AK is the better rifle in terms of safety of use and ergonomics vs the SKS.

It IS easier to unload a magazine fed rifle, it doesn't scar the nose on the rounds cycling them all out of the chamber, and there is less chance of an ND fiddling around doing it. Pop the mag, unload the chamber, done.

If the AK and AR both superceded older designs, this is exactly one of the reasons for it - manipulating the weapon is significantly safer. When it comes to ND's in hunting weapons, the one with the bigger negative reputation is the Rem 700 - not the AK or AR. Whether the trigger has problems is much less the point than the fact most users cycle all the ammo through the chamber to unload it. Blind magazine firearms are not as safe as detachable mags.

Now consider the Win 94 and having your hand so close to the trigger when you close the bolt cycling ammo out of it. I own both, it's a messy and problematic issue unloading one. In general practice, I suspect nobody does when faced with a field obstacle like fencing. With a detachable mag, it's not nearly as much an issue.

And yet the knee jerk reaction is to defend the blind magazine gun as "better" because tradition is superior. Not. Bluntly, it's more dangerous and has the track record to prove it. That is exactly why those features were deleted from battle rifle designs, humans make mistakes and ND's will happen in the highly stressed situation of combat.

A good argument could be made for the SKS being more accurate, that goes to the individual gun, not the design. Plenty of highly accurate AK's or AR's are out there. Fact is, the AR has run off the M1's and older guns from Service Rifle because it's easier and cheaper to accurarize, and shoots rapid fire more accurately. <--- Which is another reason the mag fed designs are better hunting rifles. Most now are chambered in intermediate cartridges, which is another bonus with the AK. Lower recoil means the shooter is battered less and more likely not to flinch. That makes them more accurate, and also recover to take another shot more quickly and more accurately. They are subject to less recoil.

Some of us have been saying this for years, the difficulty is that the naysayers have never shot a modern sporting rifle and categorically refuse to admit the ergonomics and safety are superior. Well, if the old guns were all that good, we'd still see old gun designs being issued for mass use by soldiers. Nope. Not happening. Those old guns had flaws and no amount of love for them makes them better, you just accept them for what they are and work around them.

I've proposed a similar test in the past, line up two tables with ten rounds on one and a manual blind mag action, the other with a semi auto sporter and magazine loaded with ten rounds. When the clock starts, load, aim, fire five (5!) rounds, and unload. Score the targets. See for yourself - which is faster, more accurate, and easier to unload?

BTW, you AK guys, try it against an AR, ten mags with one round apiece. When you can beat the AR shooter you know you are really good. It still won't make you well ranked in Three Gun, there are no AK's in the top ranks and there are reasons, like, no bolt hold open or off hand bolt charging.

That's why most of the modern battle rifles now designed use AR control locations - they work better with the human hand and how we do things. That is applying the lessons learned from the older, less well done designs and refusing to make the same mistakes again. That is why modern sporting firearms are better than traditional ones for civilian purposes like hunting, target, or self protection.

It's why we don't drive cars with flathead motors and mechanical brakes, use dial telephones, or wear wool underwear. Things get better and we move on.

fiddleharp
January 23, 2014, 11:03 AM
I guess the main point I was trying to make is that the semi-auto "AK-47" range toy owned by the typical semi-retired white American male is a completely different animal from the selective-fire "Kalashnikov" being used to kill people at this very moment in conflicts all over the third-world.
Yeah, I suppose in some future TSHTF scenario, fools who are staking their lives on their semi-auto SKS's might be mowed down in their thousands by hardened guerrillas firing semi-auto AK-47 "weapon platforms" on American streets, but seeing how the average age of THR posters seems to be about 60 years old, I doubt any of us will ever see it. :rolleyes:
As I recall, those Korean storekeepers on rooftops during the LA Riots used the intimidation factor to great effect. I can't recall them actually killing anyone. I also seem to recall a variety of firearms in those photos, like Ruger Mini-14's, shotguns, and all kinds of things.

Hokkmike
January 23, 2014, 11:08 AM
I guess the main point I was trying to make is that the semi-auto "AK-47" range toy owned by the typical semi-retired white American male is a completely different animal from the selective-fire "Kalashnikov" being used to kill people at this very moment in conflicts all over the third-world.

Yeah, I guess we own what we can afford. And, not a completely different animal - just different.

I know lots of younger guys with AK's. The semi retired and white comment is just out there. I don't get the purpose.....

AK103K
January 23, 2014, 11:33 AM
I guess the main point I was trying to make is that the semi-auto "AK-47" range toy owned by the typical semi-retired white American male is a completely different animal from the selective-fire "Kalashnikov" being used to kill people at this very moment in conflicts all over the third-world.
It not "completely" different, one simply has an additional position on the selector, and if you understand its use, you know its not likely to be used all that much. Some will argue that its position in the stack, was chosen so that it had to be a "conscious choice" to attain it, and not a "panic choice". In a panic, you get semi.

So in reality, even the full auto AK's are probably shot more in semi than they are full.

Yeah, I suppose in some future TSHTF scenario, fools who are staking their lives on their semi-auto SKS's might be mowed down in their thousands by hardened guerrillas firing semi-auto AK-47 "weapon platforms" on American streets, but seeing how the average age of THR posters seems to be about 60 years old, I doubt any of us will ever see it.
We may never see it, but whos to say our kids or grand kids wont? My kids were taught how to properly shoot full auto weapons, as well as single shots, repeaters, and semis, and all as kids I might add, and their kids will likely have the same experience. Should I "assume" youve done the same for yours?

Unfortunately, most kids here wont get to ever experience shooting full auto weapons (many probably wont get to shoot the semi only versions of them), let alone, understand how they work, and how and when you employ them. Realistically, most adult American shooters are in the same boat.

RUT
January 23, 2014, 02:16 PM
>>Just as good? As a general thing, probably not. History shows that one rose and the other fell<<

Pretty much sums it up. Each has its purpose, and I like 'em both.

Fishbed77
January 23, 2014, 03:26 PM
I choose the AK because it's more ergonomic, easier to use, easier to clean and maintain, easier to load and make safe, and every bit as accurate.

Nothing wrong with an SKS per se, but for a "traditional" pattern milsurp semi-auto with a limited capacity internal magazine, I'll stick to my Garand. It'll will out-shoot any SKS all day long. ;)

Biohazard1993
January 23, 2014, 04:39 PM
I choose the AK because it's more ergonomic, easier to use, easier to clean and maintain, easier to load and make safe, and every bit as accurate.

Nothing wrong with an SKS per se, but for a "traditional" pattern milsurp semi-auto with a limited capacity internal magazine, I'll stick to my Garand. It'll will out-shoot any SKS all day long. ;)
Thats a good point. As stated the sks is heavier and longer. Both attributes I do not want while shooting long periods of time or lugging around... but if I was in the market for a heavy, long, internal mag gun, why not 30-06 with block clips (much easier to load). And I agree with others the sks is what it is, a target gun (due to the weight and longer barrel). Why take an sks and make it look like an ak or somewhat function like an ak? I don't know, the same reason people tacticool up garands and 1903 springfield bolt actions probably; they want something they do not have or at the time could not get for different reasons and want to change what they already have to save $$$. I understand that concept, Ive been there (and vowed to never do it again) and in the end I have found it is best to keep the traditional gun traditional and buy the tactical to stay tactical. in the end it will still be a heavier and longer rifle which are the reasons for having the ak.

Blade First
January 23, 2014, 07:17 PM
Haven't read every post, but has there been any consideration that the touted "superior" accuracy of the generic SKS is a simple matter of a longer sight radius? And the attendant ability of the average shooter to use that longer sight radius for effect?

The protocol of the Soviet-bloc countries would suggest that a standard barrel twist for the 7.62x39 military cartridge wouldn't change between the SKS and AK variants, but I'm not knowledgeable enough to suggest otherwise.

In my experience, the SKS is a clearly inferior weapon for one obvious reason: reloading is not just a more cumbersome effort but requires a multiple of those efforts to equate to a single 30-rd. mag change with the AK.

High-adrenaline situations dictate that gross-motor skills trump fine-motor skills. Notwithstanding the specific federal 922r prohibition that SKS rifles should not be "converted" to detachable mags [and we're still searching for a single instance of prosecution of same], why would there be a specific bias for the SKS?

Other than the less-expensive purchase price...before the "lipstick on a pig" tariff, of course...

JHansenAK47
January 23, 2014, 07:59 PM
The SKS is not an AK and shouldn't be turned into one.
If time spent reloading isn't a problem and iron sights work for you the SKS has everything you need.
The Detachable AK magazine is clearly superior in capacity to the fixed ten round and easier to change than the SKS Aftermarket mags. The exception being the SKS-M. The SKS-D may use a better magazine but still has the same ackward mag change.
Siderail optics mounts are rare on the SKS, but common on the AK. The top cover SKS mount is loose and wanders. Both can be forward mounted but at the end of the day the AK simply has more widely available and varied mounting options.
Lastly the AK has more accessories, everything from muzzle devices, pistol grips, stocks, forends, triggers and mag release modifications.
If you don't like the stock SKS for what it is, then get an AK.

barnbwt
January 23, 2014, 07:59 PM
So the consensus is that an SKS with detachable mag would be far and away the superior breed? Because that's the only recurring detraction I've read.

Well, they already have that; it's the Chinese Type 63 specifically, and the VZ58 speaking more broadly (the latter is lighter, too). Unfortunately, they both suffered from the same (and only) drawback, and one that the AK lacks; none of these were cheap enough to blow out freely all over the world by the millions. Milled AKs didn't exactly hold the mantle for very long, either, why would any other milled-receiver firearm?

Since we are neither nation states nor revolutionaries, the cost of the individual gun is much less important (keep in mind, the guns have already been paid for, so we are only paying for demand nowadays) than the quality. The average SKS tends to be better built than the average AK, though that may be changing as both dry up. They also do the same thing (send semi-auto 7.62x39 downrange). The SKS has a better safety layout, and nicer recoil due to the short stroke piston design. Some people really like a fat op-rod slamming their shoulder though, and don't care for the accessible ejection port.

At least with the SKS, you won't be tempted to buy a stupid number of spare magazines, so the cost savings is double ;)

TCB

Onmilo
January 23, 2014, 08:11 PM
Yep.
One might say I like the SKS over the AKM for the same reasons I prefer the M1 Garand over the M14.
The only real advantage the newer designs offer is firepower.
Of course, the fan boys will tell you an M14 is more accurate than the M1 Garand at longer ranges, which it really isn't and AKM fan boys will tell you the AK is more accurate than the SKS at longer ranges to which I say HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I wonder if the fan boys have ever shot an AK or M14 in steady prone position at 500 meter targets because if they have, they will want for a five or ten shot magazine after the fact.

Cee Zee
January 23, 2014, 09:19 PM
You can load/unload/reload the gun quickly, safely, and without fumbling. Something not said for the SKS. I can pop a mag in an AK without chambering a round, and lock the selector, and the gun is "safe".

Actually it is possible to load an SKS the way you say it can't be done. You just have to know how. I keep mine stored just that way (loaded mag, no round in the chamber). It's not as easy as an AK but it isn't something you'll likely be doing under stress. If the heat was on I'd want to go ahead and chamber a round anyway.

Also it's been said that we buy what we "can afford". Really? I had an AK. I sold it. I have rifles that cost over 12 times as much as I paid for my first SKS. Yes I would just as soon keep my money. But if I thought the AK was superior I'd likely have one. I do think AR's are superior but I don't have a collection of ammo for those that dates back 20 years. Ammo that I didn't pay much for too.

Inebriated
January 23, 2014, 09:25 PM
Yep.
One might say I like the SKS over the AKM for the same reasons I prefer the M1 Garand over the M14.
The only real advantage the newer designs offer is firepower.
Firepower is the name of the game, these rifles are built for fighting, not sitting in perfect field positions, punching paper at 500m. Why ANYONE would say that firepower is the "only" advantage, as if it isn't THE only advantage is beyond me.

Of course, the fan boys will tell you an M14 is more accurate than the M1 Garand at longer ranges, which it really isn't and AKM fan boys will tell you the AK is more accurate than the SKS at longer ranges to which I say HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I wonder if the fan boys have ever shot an AK or M14 in steady prone position at 500 meter targets because if they have, they will want for a five or ten shot magazine after the fact.
Have you? That 30-round mag makes an excellent rest, but I don't know why you would assume that they couldn't just put a 5 or 10 round mag in if they wanted :confused:

These rifles are made for fighting, and the AK is just the better rifle for that. Lighter, more reliable, easier and more secure ways to mount optics, better triggers, more mag options, more parts, and will put shots on target 500m away in a hurry. The SKS works, but the AK is just better suited, and to pretend that any accuracy difference between a quality AK and SKS means that one is better is just silly.

dprice3844444
January 23, 2014, 09:55 PM
hey,they both work.they have both been proven in battle.they both will get the job done.plus,you can buttstroke easier with the sks

AK103K
January 23, 2014, 10:01 PM
Actually it is possible to load an SKS the way you say it can't be done. You just have to know how. I keep mine stored just that way (loaded mag, no round in the chamber). It's not as easy as an AK but it isn't something you'll likely be doing under stress. If the heat was on I'd want to go ahead and chamber a round anyway.
I understand what youre doing, but its not the same as I was describing. Once the SKS is loaded, you cant "unload" it like an AK. The SKS is still cumbersome to reload compared to the AK, and again, it has to be done three times to match just one AK mag, and thats assuming you get 10 rounds in the gun each time.

Also it's been said that we buy what we "can afford".
Ive learned its best to buy what you cant afford, right off. Its usually cheaper in the long run. Only a rich man can afford cheap stuff.

goon
January 23, 2014, 10:02 PM
First off, I really want an AK-47.. a bit out of my price range atm though. I have a /26\ Norinco sks 1982 production with a steel 30 round mag for it and it works pretty much flawlessly. I have heard that these types of mags are pretty useless, but from my experience i disagree. This makes it pretty similar in function to the ak47 in terms of round capacity and firepower. So, what should be my incentive for purchasing or trading in my sks for an ak 47?

In your case, getting back to the original question, I'd say none.
You shouldn't trade a good rifle away unless there is some reason you just don't like it. I've done that with a few, an SKS and a couple Finn Mosins among them, and I regret it. If you lose interest in the SKS, consider greasing it up and sticking it in the back of the cabinet or safe for a few years instead of getting rid of it.

One thing against AK's is that you picked the wrong time to buy one. Prices have gone hysterically insane on AK's since the panic. It used to be you could pick up a cheap AK to learn on and experiment with for under $300 used or around $350 new. Now a $300 AK is priced at $600 and a $600 AK is priced at $1,200. If you want one, either wait for prices to come back down some or really do some shopping and hope for a little luck.

Sam1911
January 23, 2014, 10:16 PM
I understand what youre doing, but its not the same as I was describing. Once the SKS is loaded, you cant "unload" it like an AK.
That's the second time that's been said and I'm still confused as to what you mean.

If you have a loaded AK, pop the mag release lever, rack the charging handle, and you have an unloaded AK.

If you have a loaded SKS, pop the mag release lever, rack the charging handle, and you have an unloaded SKS.

What in the world is the difference? Except that it's easier to drop the 10 loose rounds from the SKS into your pocket than it is the AK mag and one loose round.

AK103K
January 23, 2014, 10:26 PM
All I have to do with the AK, is drop the mag. I was also referring to loading the AK, "without" loading it. I dont need to chamber a round at all.

Theres no fiddling with loose rounds as with the SKS, however you want to unload it. I can just pop the AK's mag in my pocket just as easily, and instantly reload the gun if necessary.

Float Pilot
January 23, 2014, 10:42 PM
There is nothing wrong with a good tight SKS that has not been bubba'ed. I had an old Russian model and a Norinco paratrooper version that would both shoot 1.5 MOA at 100 yards.
I had a East German model for a couple years that was so nice I never shot it... It turned into a snow blower one day during a swap.

theotherwaldo
January 23, 2014, 11:41 PM
I have a stock Romanian SKS. It loads with stripper clips. When I'm hunting I usually load one stripper, as that's more than enough for the average hunt. The safety works fine.

I also have a Chinese SKS that has been given the full Bubba treatment - not by me, by the way. It can be loaded with 30-round detatchable mags from the empty state (with the bolt held back) and the initial load is as quick and almost as safe as with an AK. When empty and with the bolt open, I can slap another 30-rounder in and continue to shoot or I have the option of popping in a stripper clip.

I find that the SKS models are more accurate and that the stock SKS is easier to shoot from cover, tree stands, and the reclining position.

Stock SKS's also attract much less attention from game wardens.

It isn't really a question of which is better. It's a question of what you want the gun to do,

Fishbed77
January 24, 2014, 12:17 AM
So the consensus is that an SKS with detachable mag would be far and away the superior breed?

Except for the fact that it's still heavier, still less ergonomic, still more difficult to clean and maintain, and still no more accurate than a decent AK. ;)

barnbwt
January 24, 2014, 12:31 AM
I know I didn't just read that the SKS is less ergonomic than the AK. Dat safety, man, it's heinous. no doubt. :D. I will grant takedown is generally easier, but it's also easier to knock off the AK tip cover with recoil or contact. It's still pretty easy for both in any case, but the AK selector is undeniably in an unreachable spot and noisy/hard to use. A run o the mill SKS is generally more accurate than an equivalent AK (though who really cares at that point?), but have you priced those? A nice AK (not 'decent') will be more than double the SKS for what, maybe 1/4 better accuracy? Bench rest ARs are more cost efficient.

I noticed you didn't refute the VZ part.:D No one ever does :cool:

TCB

nathan
January 24, 2014, 01:07 AM
Ill take a SKS any time . If i get to find a nice Romanian SKS at a good price, ill jump on it in a heartbeat.

nathan
January 24, 2014, 01:10 AM
The SKS is the most practical and idiot proof semi rifle . Besides i started with a Russian SKS rifle 20 yrs ago and still have it. Ive killed quite of game with it. It will never be sold.

Cee Zee
January 24, 2014, 01:13 AM
I understand what youre doing, but its not the same as I was describing. Once the SKS is loaded, you cant "unload" it like an AK. The SKS is still cumbersome to reload compared to the AK, and again, it has to be done three times to match just one AK mag, and thats assuming you get 10 rounds in the gun each time.

I actually thought you were talking about detachable mag converted SKS's. Even if talking about a fixed 10 round mag though I can load 9 rounds in the mag and have an empty chamber. It's just a matter of holding the cartridges down when the bolt comes forward so that the bolt doesn't catch a cartridge. I've done it many times.

With detachables there is a fix for loading and unloading a mag whether the bolt is open or not. It's a matter of cutting some metal but once it gets done the gun will always function pretty much exactly like an AK. You can find a good description on how this works on this web page (http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=247541).

Another point is that some SKS's were built to work with AK magazines and AFAIK they can be loaded with the bolt closed also. The Chinese did a lot of experimenting with the design including an uber rare full auto version. The AK mag versions were pretty rare too.

I don't agree that the AK is more ergonomic either. Maybe the Yugos are less ergo but not the Norincos. I very much like the way my SKs shoulders. I'm not a small person either but the short stock doesn't give me any trouble. I'm 6'1" so I'm not super tall and I can see where taller people or people with longer arms could have problems but I don't.

I don't agree that loading an SKS is slower either. Those stripper clips work smooth if you practice with them a while. And instead of carrying a heavy mag to hold 30 rounds you have 3 light stripper clips to hold 30 rounds. The GI's in WWII didn't have a lot of problems loading their M1's with stripper clips. IMO Russia copied that design because it was so effective. I have a chest pouch that holds 20 loaded stripper clips. That's 200 rounds of ammo and it's very accessible and quick to load IMO.

nathan
January 24, 2014, 01:59 AM
Stripper loading can be fast if you practice a lot. Its old school but effective. The US Recon forces in Nam used AK 47s when deep inside enemy territory. They carry the SKS bandoleers loaded with ammo in strippers. The AK steel mags can be loaded using a mag loader.

shadow9
January 24, 2014, 02:11 AM
Owned an SKS, shot an RPK "AK" setup. Personally prefer the SKS, as it mimics the ergos of a traditional rifle (as mentioned), and it's easier to go on/off safe with it. Mine had a scope and was moderately accurate, but it may have been the scope that was bad. I prefer the SKS trigger, and find the weight on it balances nicely.

The way I'd compare perks:

SKS:
-Longer barrel (less blast, better sight radius, better velocity).
-More familiar ergos - that bolt-rifle like stock is more familiar to shoot with than the pistol/foregrip/etc of the AK, and the safety is MUCH quieter.
-Trigger is arguably better. I personally prefer it. Also I found the SKS piston to be smoother.
-can load single, 2, 3, 5, rounds easier (top off's are easier - just push 'em in and go)
-Bolt hold open!
-Bayonet, or steel buttplate. Good for..well, things that such items are good for. :p
-Less expensive


AK:
-More compact shape, lighter, better for close-in work (building clearing, competition, etc.)
-Mags mean rapid unload and reload while retaining rounds. Also more rounds on tap per reload...and it doesn't stop at 30.. ;) Keeps rounds contained more securely as well.
-MUCH better "spare parts base" than the SKS. If you need spares, it's pretty easy to adapt nearly any of the AK (NOT VZ) parts to others with a dash of fitting, if we're going to go that far.
-Stupid-easy manual of arms.


SO: If you're going general use or hunting, I'd stay SKS. The better velocity ensures SP round expansion, and the longer sight radius allows for better use of irons.Seldom do you need over 10 rounds for hunting, and in most states, anything over 5 is grounds for an unhappy day.

If you're going into combat, or are looking into competitive combat training where rounds-sent-downrange is more important than the round's impact speed, AK is your ticket. Likewise, with how expensive AK's are, unless you really REALLY need one, I'd spend money on an AR. Better ergos, less recoil, better mounting for accessories, and MUCH more accurate system, IMHO.

Swampman
January 24, 2014, 03:20 AM
If you read through this thread carefully and note the claimed advantages of each design; the answer becomes crystal clear. If you're looking for a tough, military style rifle in 7.62x39 GET A VZ-58!

It has pretty much all the advantages of both the SKS and AK, with fewer negatives than either.

The only "disadvantage" is that there aren't 500 companies out there selling useless, heavy trash to hang all over your rifle.

It's a real tragedy when grown men don't get a chance to play "Barbie" accessorizing their new toy... :(

Devilfrog
January 24, 2014, 08:36 AM
I own a Russian SKS and a mid-range AK, I find the SKS much more fun and comfortable to shoot. The SKS being an actual Mil-surp I'd never trade it for an AK, keep the SKS and save up for the AK. This way you have the best of both worlds!

AK103K
January 24, 2014, 09:30 AM
I actually thought you were talking about detachable mag converted SKS's. Even if talking about a fixed 10 round mag though I can load 9 rounds in the mag and have an empty chamber. It's just a matter of holding the cartridges down when the bolt comes forward so that the bolt doesn't catch a cartridge. I've done it many times.
No, I was referring to the later part of the above. SKS's that use AK mags are few and far between, and not the "norm".

I don't agree that the AK is more ergonomic either. Maybe the Yugos are less ergo but not the Norincos. I very much like the way my SKs shoulders. I'm not a small person either but the short stock doesn't give me any trouble. I'm 6'1" so I'm not super tall and I can see where taller people or people with longer arms could have problems but I don't.
The SKS actually has a shorter LOP than the "short" AK's, or at least mine did. I believe they were around 12". I always have to chuckle when people complain about the AK's LOP, when it has the exact same 13" LOP as most other combat stocked guns, like the M16/M16A1, M14, M1, HK's, etc.

From what Ive seen, many people try to shoulder the AK's with their cheek weld on the "comb", which is wrong, and why the stock seems so short. Your head should be down on the stock like you shoulder an AR(nose to the charging handle), and your cheek weld on the narrow portion of the stock at the rear of the receiver, with your nose along the side of the top cover. Shouldered like that, and you get retty much instant sight alignment as the gun comes up, and its very natural and comfortable to shoot with.

I don't agree that loading an SKS is slower either. Those stripper clips work smooth if you practice with them a while. And instead of carrying a heavy mag to hold 30 rounds you have 3 light stripper clips to hold 30 rounds. The GI's in WWII didn't have a lot of problems loading their M1's with stripper clips. IMO Russia copied that design because it was so effective. I have a chest pouch that holds 20 loaded stripper clips. That's 200 rounds of ammo and it's very accessible and quick to load IMO.
Its slower, theres no way around that. Its also a 3:1 deal, so you have to stop and do it more.

Strippers arent a big deal if you practice and use them, regardless the gun, but I rarely ever saw anyone loading their SKS's (or anything else for that matter) at the range using them, and if they did, it wasnt from a pouch.

As I said earlier too, very often, you dont get a full stripper into the gun, simply because the stripper had dropped rounds somewhere between the pouch or pocket, to the gun. Most of the SKS type strippers Ive seen, and strippers in general, were not meant to be reused. Mauser, 03, M14, M16 strippers tend to be a lot more robust than the SKS strippers, and especially the Chinese strippers, and hold up better to reuse. Even with the others, if you use them a lot, they start to have the same issue as the SKS strippers, and lose rounds and have troubles feeding more and more as they wear.

The M1's "clip" isnt a stripper by the way, its an "en bloc" clip, and goes into the gun with the rounds, and is ejected where the gun is empty. The "strippers" have been around since the late 1800s, and were well known by the time the SKS came around.

As far as speed goes, heres an example of the difference. I used to shoot a lot of High Power/DCM military type matches. Most of the rifles at the time were M1's and M14's, with the occasional AR/M16's, but one boy I used to shoot with still used a Springfield bolt gun, that was stripper fed. He was quite good too, and usually beat many of the "geared up" auto shooters, and he shot in street clothes. These matches were designed around the '03 Springfields using strippers, and the rapid fire strings still force you to reload appropriate to that. You either load 5 rounds into a mag, or load 2 rounds into the first M1 clip. You cant load the mags with 9/1 rounds, or load an 8 round clip into an M1 first, you have to limit the mag fed guns to basically the bolt guns handicap.

The SKS stripper pouches Ive used (Chinese type chest bags) were not what Id call "quick" to use. The strippers are often hard to get out smoothly, and the rounds on the end of the strippers tend to catch on the pouch as you draw them. Ive practiced with them a good bit, and have a real good idea as how well they work. For my AK's, I also prefer the Chinese type chest bags, which are made of the same material as most of the SKS chest bags, but they are much easier to get the mags out of. Both those type pouches are for me, the most comfortable and usable. The AK's surplus type bags are usually are a 3-4 cell, but some of the aftermarket pouches will carry 6. I have a few of those as well, and they weigh just slightly more than my old SKS chest bags when loaded. The slight difference in weight due to the mags, is well offset by the mags ease of handling and use, and only having to load the gun 1:3.


Stripper loading can be fast if you practice a lot. Its old school but effective. The US Recon forces in Nam used AK 47s when deep inside enemy territory. They carry the SKS bandoleers loaded with ammo in strippers. The AK steel mags can be loaded using a mag loader.
Stripper loading is pretty quick, but the key is practice. Its basically becoming a "lost art", and other than classic military rifle shooters who use them, and even that isnt a very big number these days, many people dont have a clue what that slot in the receiver is for.

I have a couple of the Chinese stripper loaders for AK mags, and while they can work "OK", once you get the knack of them down, they are really a pretty poor set up, and more often than not, annoying to use. You also have the same problem stripper problems you have with the SKS's, since they use the same strippers.

The only "disadvantage" is that there aren't 500 companies out there selling useless, heavy trash to hang all over your rifle.
That, and they use a proprietary mag, and share nothing in common part wise.

Im not a big fan of trying to make an SKS into an AK, or an AK into an AR, but it is nice to have some options, especially when it comes to optics.

Fishbed77
January 24, 2014, 09:42 AM
I know I didn't just read that the SKS is less ergonomic than the AK. Dat safety, man, it's heinous. no doubt.

You got me there! :) The AK safety - while it works very well from a mechanical standpoint - does suck as far as ergonomics is concerned.


I will grant takedown is generally easier, but it's also easier to knock off the AK tip cover with recoil or contact.

This is something I have NEVER encountered on any AK. For example, the top cover on my converted Saiga is so tight that it takes two hands to remove. It takes careful alignment and solid whack from my fist to re-install.

AK103K
January 24, 2014, 10:29 AM
The AK safety - while it works very well from a mechanical standpoint - does suck as far as ergonomics is concerned.
This isnt directed at you personally, but just a general comment here. Does it really suck because of ergonomics, or is more just a lack of experience and figuring it out, and learning how to use it?

You hear so many complaints about things like this, but in reality, if you spend some quality time with the gun, 99% of "problems", really do go away. A small jewelers file, takes care of another 0.5%.

As far as the selector and mag release, every AK Ive had, has needed a little touch up with a file, on both the selector and mag release. The parts are stampings, and have sharp edges that benefit from a file on the sharp edges. Once thats been addressed, things are usually a lot smoother, and easier to operate. The places you want to hit, are the little "tit" on the back of the selector, and possibly the ledge/point of contact on the receiver where that tit contacts, and the edges of the mag release where the tail of the mag contacts it. It doesnt take much, and you just want to break the edges.

I can manipulate the selector using the middle finger of the my hand on the grip, and I can drop the mag, using the same finger, and also without removing it from the grip.

The AK also has the advantage of using your thumb to work the selector, when cradling the gun, which is a very natural carry method for it, and the gun comes up quickly and into your shoulder naturally as you sweep the selector off.

One other comment about any of all of this. Some things dont mean squat, if all youre doing is shooting off a bench, or bumping a mag or two off in the back yard. The difference comes in if your using the gun in the manner it was meant to be used, or trying to learn that use, for what ever your needs are. I personally believe, while they are all toys, knowing how to work them "properly", and knowing their "realistic" good and bad points, is important, should at some point, they become something other than toys.

Theres really nothing wrong with the SKS, the AK, AR, FAL, HK, M1, etc, but some things are more right than others, especially if you consider the place of what you have in the scheme of things.

Speedo66
January 24, 2014, 11:48 AM
"The "strippers" have been around since the late 1800s, and were well known by the time the SKS came around. "

Probably been around a lot longer than that. :rolleyes:

HKGuns
January 24, 2014, 05:59 PM
As a current owner of both, I would say it very much depends on your intended purpose. They are both good and there are uses where one would best the other and depending on that use it would flip flop.

The correct answer is to own both.

mljdeckard
January 24, 2014, 06:06 PM
I will put MY SKS up against any AK, but getting it here probably wouldn't be cost effective. I bought a like-new Yugo for $100, and modified it from there. You would be lucky to find one for that now. I put on TAPCO everything, and tech sights, and a Kivaari trigger. I probably have $650 in it.

orionengnr
January 24, 2014, 06:25 PM
^^^
Kind of like...
$350 for an SKS, $100 for a Tapco stock and you have something similar to an AK for $450 or so.
Yeah. And if you buy a Mini 14 and add a collapsible stock, you will have something "similar" to an AR. :)

barnbwt
January 24, 2014, 08:04 PM
"That, and they (VZ58's) use a proprietary mag, and share nothing in common part wise.

Im not a big fan of trying to make an SKS into an AK, or an AK into an AR"
...or a VZ into an AK ;). An AK47 has much more in common with an M16, even more with an M14, and is nearly identical to a SIG 55X series. The VZ, I'm not entirely sure what's similar to it. Many say it's like a FAL or SKS in function, but the lockup is done totally different (separate locking piece engages the receiver, not the tail of the bolt). The FCG is totally different, as is the receiver construction. The only similarities are the cartridge (which defines the shape of the mag) and the commie-styling (which defines sights and aesthetic features). How many AK mags are aluminum, btw?

"It's a real tragedy when grown men don't get a chance to play "Barbie" accessorizing their new toy..."
Not necessarily :D. There's a ton of VZ furniture, sight options (side, scout, grip rail, dust cover rail, ladder sight replacements), flash hiders, slings, drums. They've just come on the market the last couple years since AKs got so expensive, so the old perception still remains. Hell, I'm developing a bolt-on belt fed conversion for stock VZ's that uses RPD belts, and one of these days I'll try for an accurized version in 308 (A 510 Reedwhacker conversion is probably asking too much of the trunnion, though :()

TCB

Inebriated
January 25, 2014, 01:13 AM
I will put MY SKS up against any AK, but getting it here probably wouldn't be cost effective. I bought a like-new Yugo for $100, and modified it from there. You would be lucky to find one for that now. I put on TAPCO everything, and tech sights, and a Kivaari trigger. I probably have $650 in it.
Against an AK in what way?

Ignition Override
January 25, 2014, 04:37 AM
To me the SKS' ergonomics are better, and the SKS has the bolt-hold-open (BHO) feature. The AK has none.

Tech Sights manufactures specific models for the SKS, AK, Ruger 10-22, Marlin 60 and a few other types.
The TS 200 version made my SKS much more accurate and consistent in my unskilled hands.

For those who don't do Google searches (they have actually asked me how to find the info), these are rear aperture sights which easily fit onto the rear of the SKS bolt cover. They are designed for it. It requires No permanent alteration.

Also, my excellent condition Yugo SKS M59s (No gren. launchers) were Not assembled by Century Arms. They were manufactured and assembled in former Yugoslavia. I can't imagine gambling my money on any semi-auto rifle assembled by Century.

Scoped: Are you a little familiar with the Czech VZ-58?:) It is Not an AK, even though similar. For the first time, I actually saw the 58 at a gun show-the latest show in the Memphis area.

benEzra
January 25, 2014, 08:38 AM
With a standard 10 round mag on an SKS you can shoot off all sorts of things as rests. With a 30 round AK it's hard to shoot off anything as a rest. Very hard in fact.
AK's are not limited to 30-round magazines.

I found that for 7.62x39mm, 20-round magazines were a nice compromise between length/weight and decent capacity:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=51615&stc=1&d=1169260474

And of course 5- round hunting magazines and 10-round SKS-capacity magazines are readily available if you prefer them:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=194055&stc=1&d=1390657038

barnbwt
January 25, 2014, 09:23 AM
Someone here also made 20rnd VZ mags, which also looked way more practical than 30rnders, let along 40's :D. I really do think at this point that 20x is probably the right number for any 30cal necked projectile, as is the case for 308win. If x39 weren't so tapered, you could probably experiment with shorter/fatter mags in the coffin style, but alas, we are relegated to banana's that all end up looking like the AK's

TCB

Aaron1100us
January 25, 2014, 10:16 AM
I had an SKS 20 some years ago. I thought it was cool at the time. It jad a bayonette, folding stock and one 30 round mag. It was a great gun, fairly accurate and reliable. The main thing I didn't like was not being able to change mags as easy as an AK. I loaded the mag while it was in the gun. It worked but reload times where long. Ended up selling it.

Now I have am Arsenl SLR-101S. Loks way better than that old SKS, I have 10 mags instead of one, its very reliable and just as accurate or more than that old SKS. Both are reliable and pretty accurate, the SKS just doesn't look as cool and reloading sucks.

AK103K
January 25, 2014, 10:22 AM
and the SKS has the bolt-hold-open (BHO) feature. The AK has none.
I dont know why so many people are so hung up about this. Its really no big deal. The gun is empty, you reload it, bolt open or closed. With the AK's (and a few others) the last step of the reload (empty or top off), is to work the charging handle.

Also, my excellent condition Yugo SKS M59s (No gren. launchers) were Not assembled by Century Arms. They were manufactured and assembled in former Yugoslavia. I can't imagine gambling my money on any semi-auto rifle assembled by Century.
I cant say for some of Centurys current offerings, but the SAR's and WASR's are assembled/made in Romainia, and then have the "good" parts replaced with the crappy US compliance parts, here, by Century. They also open the mag well on the WASR's.

I own an early Century import SAR and WASR, and both guns are accurate and work well. The SAR did need its trigger group replaced because of the compliance parts and "slap". The WASR was fine.

With a standard 10 round mag on an SKS you can shoot off all sorts of things as rests. With a 30 round AK it's hard to shoot off anything as a rest. Very hard in fact.
Im assuming here, youre talking of shooting off a rest on a bench. Shooting that way, can be an issue for anything with an extended mag, even 20 rounders. If you shoot from field positions, I have yet to find it to be an issue.

I rarely shoot off a bench, and do most of my accuracy type shooting from a prone position. I shoot both AK's and AR's with standard mags, and its never been a problem getting close to the ground. Ive also shot both using a rucksack, and a few other field expedient rests, and no problem there either.

If not shooting off a bench, what exactly is the problem?



One thing I didnt see brought up in the negative for the AK's, and it truly is a negative, is the dreaded "mag lock", that can occur, if you dont insert the mag properly. If youre not accustomed to rocking a mag in, I think it just exacerbates the problem.

It generally occurs if you hold the rifle in your left hand by the front handguard, and use your right hand to insert the mag. What happens is, the front of the mag doesnt get seated properly into the "notch", but still gets a bite, and when you rock it back, it can still lock under the catch.

Problem is, its not in the gun right, and is now sitting to low for the bolt to strip a round off the mag. When you try to release the mag, the release wont let go, because its bound up. The only way I know the get the mag out, is to put the butt on the ground while holding it by the barrel, and "boot" it out.

I never ran into the issue until someone told me about it, as I load the AK basically like I do my AR's and most other autos, with the mag in my left hand, while holding the rifle by the grip with my right. I actually had to set it up the first time to get it to happen.

Its not fun when it does happen, but if you have an AK, you need to know it can, and how to deal with it if it does.

Tirod
January 25, 2014, 11:21 AM
Ergonomics is the study of how a device or mechanism accommodates human design in it's operation.

"I don't see how it can be a problem" isn't justification that the Kalashnikov's controls are poorly laid out for combat use. Sure, they work. They don't work as well as controls laid out to improve the use of the firearm.

I'm going to describe the systems by their designers name, because it has more to do with them and the requirements laid out on them, not the exact make and model of firearm they came up with.

The lack of a bolt hold open means that the firearm has to either have the bolt retracted before loading the magazine, or after. That is an operation that other firearms delete - the hold open already has it open. The magazine doesn't have to be pushed up against the bottom of the bolt compressing the first round down into the mag, neither does the bolt have to be retracted against that pressure to chamber a round. And with the Kalashinikov, the bolt handle is also the trigger hand for most right handed people. That means reacquiring the trigger takes longer, and the first shot is delayed.

Same for the safety - the trigger hand has to put it on safe, not the untasked thumb which could do it.

Contrast the loading of a Stoner vs a Kalashnikov - the Stoner, bolt back, you drop the mag with the trigger finger, the off hand inserts the mag with no extra pressure on it, bumps the hold open, the bolt slams shut while the trigger finger returns, the sight picture is acquired, and the finger pulls the trigger.

The Kalashnikov? You reach forward with the off hand to dump the mag, a new one is inserted against the closed bolt, the bolt is retracted against magazine pressure with the shooting hand, it has to return to the trigger after the round is already chambered, then the sight picture acquired.

In the Kalashnikov's case the safety remains off during the entire reload, the AR can be on safe. If it is, the thumb takes it off, with the Kalashnikov, you accept the higher rate of negligent discharges.

The Kalashnikov requires a lot of work out of the trigger hand, which delays getting it back into battery to fire again.

Try it yourself, line up ten magazines with one round apiece, load and fire all ten, a Kalashnikov on one table, a Stoner on another.

The Kalashnikov has less efficient ergonomics, it takes the shooter out of targeting mode for a longer time, and it takes a very skilled and practiced user to compete against the Stoner at three gun matches where time is of the essence.

This isn't something that a jeweler's file can fix, and it is the reason we now see left side charging Kalashnikovs with revised safeties. The vendor's are trying to improve the ergonomics. The Russian Army is on record as trying to get rid of the design so they can buy "modern" firearms - which all use Stoner control layouts. The design of placing controls to speed use and be easier to operate has spread to ALL the new designs, none of which copy the Kalashnikov controls. They use the Stoner layout. It might be slavish or even a requirement according to the contract they were competing for, but nobody is complaining they are wrong.

The Kalashnikov was designed at a time and climate when soldiers were considered a disposable asset that was easily replaced. In America, we train our soldiers to a much higher degree, prize them very highly, and have grief relief political systems to force the Army to change it's profligate ways and not waste our manpower. The ethics and politics of a environment has a huge influence on how guns are designed.

The proof of the pudding is right there at any competition where both systems compete against each other. The Kalashnikov control layout works against the shooter and does not help them achieve their best response, the Stoner layout - even with the SCAR or ARX - does. Competition shooters use the "Stoner" control layout because it's superior.

It's not a matter of one being US vs Iron Curtain - we dumped the M14 because it had the same problems, an old world control layout that hindered the shooter, too. But, at least it had the bolt hold open.

Study the progressive design changes from bolt action to modern military rifle, and parallel them with civilian offerings. You see a lot of improvements over the years, and very few go back to deliberately making a gun more difficult to use. The AK was type accepted in 1947, it's obsolete in all the First World inventory, and it's being sold off for money to civilian users or given away as aid to third world countries. It's no longer top tier for a number of good reasons, the most important of which is the poor control layout. We know it's not that good because so many other guns are better, it can be tested and proven on the range, and because of that testing, it's not adopted for new military uses.

Shoot the better guns and you will see why. It takes longer than one range session, but simple use and observation of what is going on in the big picture will give someone the clue. Kalashnikov's aren't all that. Just foreign and at one time, cheap.

So were Yugos.

Biohazard1993
January 25, 2014, 11:43 AM
So the consensus is that an SKS with detachable mag would be far and away the superior breed? Because that's the only recurring detraction I've read.
TCB

No that is not the total consensus in sks vs ak anyway, it is in sks vs sks with ak mags. It may be one of the biggest refered too but not the single comparison. Weight and length are the other two most important. Let us forget the magazine capacity, yes we all know that a few sks have ak mag capitability. They however are not as readily available as the ak or the regular sks, nor the price of a regular sks usually. But to go with an sks with ak mags one could also easily buy an ak which uses the ak mags (redundance), have lighter weight, shorter rifle, and it was designed to use the magazine (not that the sksm has noted problems using them, im just saying). If accuracy is a big deal then spend $150 on a texas instrument dog leg and peep sight (not that much cash in the long run considering the cost of the rifles now) to increase the sight length, or just buy the dog leg and optic it. And as to the other point of easier cleaning; the dog leg adds even more ease to the already easier to clean ak-47.

ForumSurfer
January 25, 2014, 11:49 AM
You can speed up that ak reload process by overhand charging over the receiver or reaching under the mag. I preferred to reload with that method. You never break from firing position but I always broke cheek weld that way. Still not as fast as an ar but much faster than charging with the firing hand, or at least for me that was the case. Another problem is the AK is sort of heavy, not everyone can support it with the firing hand only long enough to drop mag, reinsert mag and rock the handle. I also sped things up by grabbing the mag and then dropping the spent mag with the new mag in hand. No matter how you do it, it's clumsy so I always had better success by being very deliberate and downright forceful. If I tried to be delicate (like with a norinco I had that had a downright nice blue finish) I ended up fumbling something up.

If you've got money to spare, there are left hand charging solutions for AK's now.

And if there is any sort of malfunction clearing involved, I work that out faster with the ar.

Biohazard1993
January 25, 2014, 11:55 AM
I think he means just that,the ten rounds are now in your pocket. Not in a magazine, or in the case of the sks a stripper clip. Let us say we both are using ten rounds in each gu to make it fair. Your ak is safe, with 1 round in the pocket and 9-10 in a mag. Your sks has 9-10 in the pocket if you caught al of them/ have loose strechy pockets. I think he is saying that the ak mag just needs inserted and the sks needs reloaded one at a time if those rounds need used now thats all. Really not that big of a deal... unless your being shot at.

Biohazard1993
January 25, 2014, 12:22 PM
An empty ak mag can also be stripped from the rifle by the new mag in the left hand with one swift motion, tapping the mag release and the back of the empty mag with the tip of the new mag, then forward rocking the new mag into the magwell leaving the old mag on the ground. Granted the mag is on the ground but if in a fighting situation a mag on the ground is better that a bullet in the body; and surplus ak mags are cheap.

AK103K
January 25, 2014, 12:51 PM
Tirod,

While Im not at all in disagreement about the AR's having a setup that makes things easier, they do, and as with most things that progress, you wind up with better tools.

I do have a couple of comments on some things your pointing out with the AK's though.

Most of the differences Im going to point out, are training and familiarity issues more than anything else. The guns are each their own critters, and need their own methods of operation to be efficient. Trying to apply or force one method use onto another tends to not work to well. Ive seen some AK shooters work their rifles faster than I can work my AR's, and of course the opposite it true.

Beyond the obvious physical differences, and set ups, I think a big part of all this is lack of familiarity with platforms that often drives a lot of this. By that I mean, and as an example, just the differences in our opinions that follow.

And with the Kalashinikov, the bolt handle is also the trigger hand for most right handed people. That means reacquiring the trigger takes longer, and the first shot is delayed.
It is only if you use the right hand to work the charging handle, which most who understand the AK dont. The right hand is not removed from the shooting grip to work the charging handle, the left hand does that.

Same for the safety - the trigger hand has to put it on safe, not the untasked thumb which could do it.
Not sure which "thumb" youre referring to here. With the AR's, I usually use my right thumb. With my AK's, I use my right middle finger. In both cases, I dont take my right hand off the grip.

he Kalashnikov? You reach forward with the off hand to dump the mag, a new one is inserted against the closed bolt, the bolt is retracted against magazine pressure with the shooting hand, it has to return to the trigger after the round is already chambered, then the sight picture acquired.

The AK has a couple of ways to drop the mag compared to the AR's. One is to use the hand holding the mag, the other is to drop it with the middle finger of the right hand while still on the grip. Both work, and it depends on the shooter which they prefer.

Since the AK's mag "levers" in, the issue about the pressure of the top round isnt as much of an issue as it is with the AR's, when loading against a closed bolt.

When you charge the AK after a mag replacement, its not the right hand that works the charging handle, its the left. Some prefer to rotate the gun to the left slightly to work it, I prefer to reach under and do it. Both work about the same, so its just personal choice.

In the Kalashnikov's case the safety remains off during the entire reload, the AR can be on safe. If it is, the thumb takes it off, with the Kalashnikov, you accept the higher rate of negligent discharges.
I would think this is more of an administrative issue than anything else. In a worrisome situation, are you going to set the selector to safe on your M4? I doubt it. As with anything else with any of them, "safety" is a training issue, and I dont see one being any more or less safe than the other, in the hands of someone familiar with it.

The Kalashnikov requires a lot of work out of the trigger hand, which delays getting it back into battery to fire again.
Again, I dont agree here. I use my right hand for the controls, and it doesnt normally leave the grip.

Try it yourself, line up ten magazines with one round apiece, load and fire all ten, a Kalashnikov on one table, a Stoner on another.

The Kalashnikov has less efficient ergonomics, it takes the shooter out of targeting mode for a longer time, and it takes a very skilled and practiced user to compete against the Stoner at three gun matches where time is of the essence.
Theres no doubt in a "speed test", the AR's will win. From a practical and realistic use stand point, I dont know if the difference is really worth bickering over, assuming each shooter is familiar with what they are using.

I have a number of both of the above, and over the years, have or have had a least a couple of most of the others you could name off the top of your head as well. Im all for the latest and greatest, but you still need to know how to "reasonably" work the old stuff as well.

If you dont have a decent and realistic base on as many of them as you possibly can, how can you really know which is really better.

As much as I like the AK's, and would have no issue what so ever grabbing one, right now, the AR would still be my choice, and for a number of reasons other than whats been pointed out above.

msgtgross
January 25, 2014, 12:55 PM
I keep seeing that the AK-47 replaced the SKS because it is better. The AK-47 replaced the SKS for the simple reason that is is manufactured for full auto operation. Yes, the SKS can be modified for FA but it was never designed for it. As far as reliability, accuracy, and usability, my 43 years experience with the SKS has proven very satisfactory. I couldn't bring one back from Nam and was ecstatic to be able to buy one when I got home.

Biohazard1993
January 25, 2014, 04:31 PM
Alright so so far we have...
sks has on its side:
accuracy (due to longer barrel and sight radious)
better safety/trigger
slightly higher velocity
ability to top off mag well
price (9/10 of the time)

Ak has on its side:
higher capacity
Readily uses magazines
Shorter length
Lighter weight
Aftermarket capabilities
More chamberings
easy full auto conversions and capability

See both have their place. :cool: The sks is a good long range sniper/target shooting rifle, and the ak is made for close quarters to mid range engagements. Wow the more I think about it the less sense it makes to even compare them, they have two completly different roles in the end lol. :D Its kind of like comparing people in a way; sniper to an infantryman. I guess im just more of an infantryman at heart. :)

goon
January 25, 2014, 07:31 PM
I think he means just that,the ten rounds are now in your pocket. Not in a magazine, or in the case of the sks a stripper clip. Let us say we both are using ten rounds in each gu to make it fair. Your ak is safe, with 1 round in the pocket and 9-10 in a mag. Your sks has 9-10 in the pocket if you caught al of them/ have loose strechy pockets. I think he is saying that the ak mag just needs inserted and the sks needs reloaded one at a time if those rounds need used now thats all. Really not that big of a deal... unless your being shot at.

Or you could just put those 10 rounds back on a stripper clip before you put them in your pocket. It's still probably easier to snap the magazine back in an AK though.

See both have their place. The sks is a good long range sniper/target shooting rifle, and the ak is made for close quarters to mid range engagements.

The SKS is more shootable for me, but I'm not sure that they're inherently more accurate. The extra range is negligible if any because both rifles are firing the same round. You may get a little flatter shooting out of the SKS because it's got 4" more barrel, but I doubt that it would amount to more than a few inches at 300 yards. I'd say with a good RPK or VEPR AK and a decent scope you'd have no trouble beating out an SKS. Either way, the trajectory of the 7.62x39 round and the nature of the ammo that we tend to shoot in bulk limit both rifles.

The SKS was designed in a different era than the AK. The AK incorporated the lessons learned from wartime designs and select fire weapons and resulted in an obviously excellent service rifle. In terms of a weapon for issue to an individual, it doesn't give anything up to the SKS. It retains everything an SKS can do but makes reloading faster and adds the ability for FA fire.

But in terms of which one you like the best... that's an individual call.

Swampman
January 26, 2014, 01:44 AM
Originally posted by: Tirod
Try it yourself, line up ten magazines with one round apiece, load and fire all ten, a Kalashnikov on one table, a Stoner on another.

Now try it again in a sandstorm, THAT'S why the OP is debating between the AK and SKS.

Sometimes a "BANG" every time is worth more than all the ergonomics in the world.

Originally posted by: Tirod
The Kalashnikov was designed at a time and climate when soldiers were considered a disposable asset that was easily replaced. In America, we train our soldiers to a much higher degree, prize them very highly, and have grief relief political systems to force the Army to change it's profligate ways and not waste our manpower.

SERIOUSLY!?
Do you have ANY knowledge of the M-16's history?

Hint: The NVA and VC didn't get a lot of bad press because of all the soldiers they had killed while trying to clear jammed rifles with twigs and pieces of wire!

The US, in the MIDDLE OF A SHOOTING WAR, issued a new rifle to its troops with no cleaning kits or supplies, and in fact told the troops that the new weapon didn't REQUIRE any cleaning. Then to top it all off, the military issued ammunition loaded with gunpowder that contained enough calcium carbonate to virtually guarantee stoppages after enough rounds had been fired, which wouldn't take long because the powder (intended for the M-14), also raised the cyclic rate well above the original design specifications. A problem that was solved in brilliant fashion by simply changing the specs to fit the firing rate that the cheaper, more easily available 7.62 mm powder provided.

When (surprise, surprise) American troops started getting killed in 1965 because their weapons had jammed spectacularly during combat, the military took quick, decisive action and by late 1967 they had issued cleaning kits, adopted a (generally useless) forward assist assembly, changed the gunpowder formulation and took the revolutionary step of CHROME PLATING the chamber and later the entire bore of the rifle. They also designed a brilliant stowage compartment in the (hollow) buttstock to hold the rifles cleaning gear. The Russians didn't adopt chrome lined bores and sophisticated buttstock stowage compartments on the primitive AK-47 until...1947.

The Russians issued a couple of rifles (the SKS and AK), that truly did almost never need cleaning, but due to their backward, non progressive, "Let's kill off our own troops" ways, they still weighed down their men with cleaning kits and insisted that their troops use them. They even continued the quaint and anachronistic practice of having a one piece cleaning rod mounted right under the barrel and a broken shell extractor in the cleaning kit. Clearly these things were done so that they could get more of their own soldiers killed!

And lest you think this is all ancient history, just a couple of years ago the Army unveiled their revolutionary new M-16/M4 magazine with an ANTI TILT FOLLOWER! This state of the art breakthrough was said by Army spokesmen to reduce magazine related malfunctions by a full 50%! The crude and unsophisticated Russian AK-47 didn't have that particular feature until ...1947.

If you still believe those Godless commies issued second rate equipment, you could compare the M4 Sherman to the T34/85 or IS-2/3 and if you decide that you'd rather have gone up against a German Tiger tank with the M4, you not only have no understanding of armored warfare, you're suicidal.

So please, let's drop the whole "Commies didn't care if their soldiers died" BS.

If nothing else, their rifles have always done a damn good job of going bang every time the trigger is pulled.

mljdeckard
January 26, 2014, 01:59 AM
Inebriated -in every way.

arspeukinen
January 26, 2014, 02:51 AM
I own both. SKS looks better and is the better range gun, AK the better gun overall.

SKS is a bit more accurate, but malfunctions easier (try rapid firing from hip if you doubt me). Also my SKS does not have a chromed gas piston so surplus makes it rust easier.

SKS is more shootable from prone position, no mag in the way.

The SKS is of very ergonomic size, weight and shape. So is the AK...

Both guns are in stock configuration.

Cee Zee
January 26, 2014, 07:29 AM
Does it really suck because of ergonomics, or is more just a lack of experience and figuring it out, and learning how to use it?

Doesn't that apply to stripper clips as well? You seem intent on proving they don't work as well yet when confronted with an AK part that obviously doesn't work as well as it's SKS counterpart you start using the same argument I used. Funny how that works.

BTW I wouldn't imagine anyone would have a need to load with stripper clips at the range. Also I've never shot my SKS or my AK from a bench. I have shot them from fences, tree limbs, and off rocks in the case of the SKS. It is certainly easier to find a good rest in the field with an SKS. Far easier. Very few people shoot off hand at deer if they can help it. I try to find a rest for every shot I take at some living thing because I would rather not wound it instead of killing it.

The sole purpose of stripper clips and the chest pouches that carry them is to have lots of ammo available to load in case of extreme emergency. Not likely by a long shot but possible. I see very little use for an AK other than that though. But an SKS lends itself to being made into a hunting rifle much better than an AK does. They are not all "toys". If you lived where I lived for the past 25 years you would understand that there are reasons to own a battle carbine outside of a SHTF situation. Like having a gang of drug dealers living up the hill from you about 300 yards away and that gang has developed a deep dislike of you because you shoot your gun too often to suit them plus you have been engaged as a one man neighborhood watch committee disturbing their patrons business of breaking into houses. When they sneak up to within 20 yards of your back door and fire off 3 shotgun blasts you know you have a problem. When they dump dead deer at the bottom of the hill by your house not just once but 3 times you know you have a problem. When people connected to that group murder 3 people in plain sight of a 5 year old boy you have a problem. Trust me there are reasons to own a battle carbine other than just having a "toy". If I buy a gun I use as a toy I shoot it a while and sell it like I did my Tec-9 about 20 years ago. I keep a system I have invested in and have come to trust to work which is the first thing a HD weapon must do.

So when that gang decides to invade my property (they have the local LEO's bought off BTW - it's well known and has been proven time and time again by Federal DEA agents) and I can't find a spot to hide and rest my rifle just above my line of sight I'll remember you told me it was just a toy and I'll feel better.

You have made this far more personal than it should be. I have said the AK was a fine weapon but you didn't notice that. You didn't notice my comment about firing from a rest. Someone else did that and put it into their own context without considering others may have a different context. So I'm stopping my involvement in this thread after you brought in what I believe are red herring arguments (like no one at the range does loads that way - I don't live at the range). Please feel free to believe what you want "AK"103K. It's not that big of a deal to me. I owned a Romanian SAR and just to be blunt about it the thing was a piece of junk. Again I'll take a true milsurp rifle over a cobbled together representation of an AK that has key parts stripped out and others added in. If it isn't full auto it isn't really an AK IMO. It's a rifle made for consumers much like some SKS models were (like the Cowboy Companion among others). I don't like those either. I do like a rifle that has proven to be incredibly reliable over the course of 20+ years. Even when my AK worked it wasn't as accurate. It also wasn't shorter than my SKS so there goes the stuff about being a better CQC rifle.

I just don't want to play this game. I have better things to do. Have a nice day and I mean that sincerely. Goodbye.

One comment directed to

easy full auto conversions and capability

That's an easy way to spend time at the federal country club too. BTW I have seen AK's modified to full auto. According to the person who did it things weren't so easy. Just saying. I wouldn't do that anyway. That's a big time risk right there. Even if you could get a Class III license you wouldn't be allowed to manufacture a new full auto weapon. You can do it if you can get a license to manufacture NFA firearms and you must also pay a special occupational tax as a class 3 dealer. Neither thing is easy to do or cheap. It can be done technically but you give up a lot of rights for the privilege and you will be harassed by BATF according to what I've heard. I wouldn't know myself. I have no use for a full auto weapon. Maybe someday I will but laws will be the last thing I'm worried about if that time comes. There probably won't even be a government to enforce them. I doubt I will live that long to be honest but all civilizations eventually fail. I'd be very careful about converting any weapons to full auto if I were you and I dang sure wouldn't broadcast about it on the net. I'm not trying to help you by telling you to avoid talking about this. I'm trying to help you by telling you to avoid trying what you suggested period.

One more:

try rapid firing from hip if you doubt me

I've done just that many times without ever having any problems. The rifle does want to climb big time but it wasn't really built to do what you're asking it to do there. Also I've shot thousands of rounds of corrosive ammo through my Norinco and it still hasn't rusted yet. I never even cleaned it for years because I considered it a throwaway rifle because of the price. That was back in the 90's when there was nothing but corrosive ammo that I saw. And I've yet to have the first problem because of it.

Pete D.
January 26, 2014, 08:02 AM
Swampman: Great post.

And....about the SKS/AK comparisons. Upfront....I have never understood the fascination that many shooters have with the semi-auto AK.
Magazines..stripper clips, reliability, accuracy, blah, blah, blah.......
Are you going to war? Are you going into battle any time soon?
No...I don't think so.
What is your most likely use for the gun? Not what you could do, not what others do, not what has been done......what are you going to do with it most likely?
The range.....you are going to take it to the range.
At the range you are going to shoot at some type of target.....or you are going to blast away and burn up ammo. If you are target shooting and accuracy is important to you....the SKS is the way to go. (If it is really important to you, the AR is the way to go, but that is another story.)
Magazines. I have an SKS....I did the magazine conversion.....bought high capacity mags.....what a waste. I went back to the fixed magazine and the stripper clips. Why? Because I found that I have no real use for a 20 or 30 round magazine....I am not in combat.

Agent1209
January 26, 2014, 08:41 AM
I had a Norinco MAK 90, it was the cheapest piece of crap that would barely shoot a 8" group at 100 yards with a 9 lb 3inch gritty ass trigger pull. My buddies $80 SKS was way more accurate and honestly better built. Don't give in to the AK hype. Anyone who throws their gun in the mud is an idiot anyway!

benEzra
January 26, 2014, 08:58 AM
I have never understood the fascination that many shooters have with the semi-auto AK.
Magazines..stripper clips, reliability, accuracy, blah, blah, blah.......
Are you going to war? Are you going into battle any time soon?
No...I don't think so.
Do you think the only use for a Ruger Mini Thirty would be "going to war"?

If you think of the civilian AK as updated, more reliable Winchester 94 in semiauto, using detachable magazines and a more modern stock, while offering comparable accuracy and ballistics to the 94, I think you'd understand AK aficionados a whole lot better. You can plink economically with them, you can hunt with them if you are so inclined (154-grain 7.62x39mm softpoints aren't that far from 150-grain .30-30 loads), and you can use them for defensive purposes in a pinch.

Some people find the rather industrial fit and finish of the Century imports off-putting, but if you want fit and finish you can always get a Saiga.

At the range you are going to shoot at some type of target.....or you are going to blast away and burn up ammo. If you are target shooting and accuracy is important to you....the SKS is the way to go.
In my direct experience (1952 Tula SKS and 2002 Romanian SAR-1), the SKS is slightly easier to shoot well if both rifles are limited to iron sights; an AK with a Kobra is easier to shoot accurately than an SKS with irons; and an AK is far easier to scope (and to keep the scope zeroed) than an SKS is.

Magazines. I have an SKS....I did the magazine conversion.....bought high capacity mags.....what a waste. I went back to the fixed magazine and the stripper clips. Why? Because I found that I have no real use for a 20 or 30 round magazine....I am not in combat.
I'm not in combat, either, but I still like the idea of reserve capacity. Do you honestly think that any civilian firearm holding over 10 rounds is useful only for combat? :scrutiny:

It is true that *for the SKS*, its size, weight, and balance are not helped by any of the SKS-specific detachables on the market. An SKS with a 20" barrel (and a bayonet, if equipped) already puts a lot of weight out front, and the SKS detachables and duckbills are all unwieldy to start with, so I'm not surprised that you went back to the factory fixed magazine (my ex-wife went the same route with hers, tried a 20-round duckbill briefly and then ditched it for the factory mag). But that doesn't mean that *all* 7.62x39mm rifles holding over 10 rounds are unwieldy; if you had an SKS shortened to 16" and set up for 20-round Hungarian AK magazines, it would probably be a handy little carbine---just like a SAR-1 or Saiga using those magazines.

ForumSurfer
January 26, 2014, 09:20 AM
That's odd because my mak was actually a nice rifle. It had a great trigger because I swapped in tapco bits for compliance when I went with a traditional stock set. If you can't hold tighter than 8" with a mak at 100, the ammo or rifle is having an issue. With quality loads hitting clay pigeons at 100-150 yards was easy. The blueing on my example was even a decent quality. With decent hand loads and a good comp, it was actually a fast, accurate rifle if I did my part. It was reliable for me, just as reliable as my SKS or AR despite what the Internet says :)

My SKS was nice enough. Lots of pluses but none of them outweighed the long trigger, heavy, gritty trigger pull and the chunky 2x4 ergonomics. The trigger can be fixed but I honestly didn't enjoy shooting it enough to bother.

It's a subjective thing for shooting. We're all different. My mak was fun to shoot, but I'd take it or a mosin carbine any day over my SKS for a fun range day. I've got a friend who wouldn't take 2 AK's for his beloved SKS though. Subjectivity is funny that way.

Like most people have said...get both brother and neither is better. Good AK's are tricky, make sure to get a good one. I advise spending time on the ak forum and speaking with knowledgeable folks that will clue you in on what to look for on a nice shooter.

AK103K
January 26, 2014, 09:26 AM
Doesn't that apply to stripper clips as well? You seem intent on proving they don't work as well yet when confronted with an AK part that obviously doesn't work as well as it's SKS counterpart you start using the same argument I used. Funny how that works.
I never said strippers dont work, they work fine, when you have good strippers, and youre practiced with them. The problem with the SKS strippers Ive used is, they are not very well made, and dont always work all that great. And again, you need to load the gun three times to equal one AK mag.

I never said AK's were perfect either, but simply pointed out that most of what people complain about, goes away with practice and familiarization, just like anything else, including the SKS.

I think the biggest problem in this respect is, many people have little experience with anything other than what they have, and hence what they have is "the best" (because its all they know) and everything they lack experience with, is junk or inferior. Nature of the beast I suppose.



BTW I wouldn't imagine anyone would have a need to load with stripper clips at the range.
Its how you load the gun, why wouldnt you practice that at the range, or any other time you load the gun?

The sole purpose of stripper clips and the chest pouches that carry them is to have lots of ammo available to load in case of extreme emergency.
Again, the gun was designed to be loaded with strippers, just like the Mausers, 03's, etc.

I see very little use for an AK other than that though. But an SKS lends itself to being made into a hunting rifle much better than an AK does.
Why? How?

Ill readily admit, I never hunted with my SKS's, but I have hunted things a couple of times with my AK's and AR's. They were not really my gun of choice, but they were what I had at the moment, and they worked just as well at that purpose as anything else.

They are not all "toys".
Sure they are, until they arent.

They are toys, tools, and weapons, all depending on what youre doing with them at the moment. Any time youre having fun with them, puts them in the toy category to me, although lines can be blurred there, depending on what else you might find fun, and then they become multiple category guns.

You have made this far more personal than it should be. I have said the AK was a fine weapon but you didn't notice that.
You seem to be the one who has taken things personal. I never said the SKS was "bad", simply pointed out why I thought the AK was "better".

Please feel free to believe what you want "AK"103K.
Hey, I will. :) You too. ;)

Oh, and in case youre not up on your rifles, AK103K is an AK. Its a imported Russian Saiga Mark Krebs "restored" to an ("peon" legal) AK103 series rifle. The "K" is the chopped 14" barrel version. Great gun too by the way. Reliable and as accurate as all my other AK's (and SKS's).

I owned a Romanian SAR and just to be blunt about it the thing was a piece of junk. Again I'll take a true milsurp rifle over a cobbled together representation of an AK that has key parts stripped out and others added in. If it isn't full auto it isn't really an AK IMO. It's a rifle made for consumers much like some SKS models were (like the Cowboy Companion among others). I don't like those either.
Unfortunately for us "free" Americans, except for a very few tightly regulated and quite pricey items, we arent allowed to own certain things our government deems "scary", and if you want a representation of a certain platform, you have to deal with the watered down versions. "Most" of the auto type military rifles fall into that realm, so I suppose that makes all of them "not real" in your eyes.

Ive been lucky enough to get to shoot many of the "real" guns, and reality is, 99% of their (real world) use, is no different than that of their semi auto only versions, so Im not sure how that makes the semis, bad, because of it.

Now if you want to get back to the "toy" thing, the full autos are the "primo" versions when youre ready to "play" (good for "real" stuff too, if you know how and when to use it) :D

I do like a rifle that has proven to be incredibly reliable over the course of 20+ years. Even when my AK worked it wasn't as accurate. It also wasn't shorter than my SKS so there goes the stuff about being a better CQC rifle.
I like reliable (and accurate) firearms too. In fact, I cant abide those that arent, and they arent here long if I should encounter them. I still have a bunch of AK's, and even the dreaded and often maligned unreliable AR's (I must be lucky :)).

In my experience, when people tell me the AK (or anything for that matter) isnt accurate, I dont generally look at the gun for the reason. ;)

The only AK's that Ive personally encountered that werent accurate, were US made/assembled guns, or guns assembled in someones basement, from a kit. Had that same issue with a couple of AR's as well.

AK's made in the country of origin, like the SAR's and WASR's, while crude to some, usually shoot better than those assembled or "made" here in the US. Most of the imports are made in the same factories where they make the "real" guns.

As far as the "shorter" part, you must have one of those SKS's you dont like, since every "standard" SKS Ive ever seen, was longer than any AK with a standard stock Ive compared them to.

And....about the SKS/AK comparisons. Upfront....I have never understood the fascination that many shooters have with the semi-auto AK.
Magazines..stripper clips, reliability, accuracy, blah, blah, blah.......
Are you going to war? Are you going into battle any time soon?
No...I don't think so.
What is your most likely use for the gun? Not what you could do, not what others do, not what has been done......what are you going to do with it most likely?
The range.....you are going to take it to the range.
At the range you are going to shoot at some type of target.....or you are going to blast away and burn up ammo. If you are target shooting and accuracy is important to you....the SKS is the way to go. (If it is really important to you, the AR is the way to go, but that is another story.)
Magazines. I have an SKS....I did the magazine conversion.....bought high capacity mags.....what a waste. I went back to the fixed magazine and the stripper clips. Why? Because I found that I have no real use for a 20 or 30 round magazine....I am not in combat.
No argument with most of what you say here. Use your gun how you want. If you like the SKS, and who cares why, your business, thats fine. Just be prepared to hear opposing views that may not agree with yours, if you bring up somethng else "you" think is inferior. ;)

As far as the "combat" thing. There was once a time in this country when people were encouraged by our government to practice and train with the rifles our troops used so they were prepared and familiar with their use, in case of war. These days, its not as common a thing.

Dont you think its a good thing, to at least be competent in the use of the weapons you do have (regardless of who made them), in the ways they were meant to be used, if for whatever reason, you might need to use them in that manner?

It used to be a thought in this country, that it was your responsibility to do so. Then again, look where we are today.

Pete D.
January 26, 2014, 01:08 PM
Do you honestly think that any civilian firearm holding over 10 rounds is useful only for combat?
Close....I cannot think of any reason other than "I want it" (and that ain't a bad reason) for having a magazine holding more than ten rounds (and don't start with the "you are on the side of those who who limit our freedoms bs....I am not.)
Want to use 20/30/40 round msgs? Knock yourself out. Absolutely unnecessary for any practical purpose if you are not in combat. Understand, though, that I am a guy who hunts grouse and pheasant with a flintlock one shot at a time....and whitetails with a Thompson Contender.
As for hunting....in any case, living in the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I cannot use a semi-automatic for hunting (except for birds).
Accuracy vis a vis scoped AKs, etc......I don't scope my rifles....irons work just fine.
And.....I never said that one was inferior to the other. I did say that I have never understood the fascination with the AK, a firearm that, I find, has limited use for me (at that rate, the SKS has limited use for me.....but it was a whole lot less money.)
About uses of the Mini-30.....we aren't discussing the mini thirty.
Ballistics: top velocity of the 7.62X39 with 154s is about the same a top velocity of the 30-30 with 170 grain bullets. Shooting bullets of equal weight the .30-30 is about 200 fps faster. If you think that is close...
Pete

goon
January 26, 2014, 04:24 PM
I hear up in NY they think you only need seven rounds unless you're in combat. Now in NYC, they seem to think 5 is enough.

So you'll forgive me if I don't line up with you and beg for a limit on magazine capacity.

ForumSurfer
January 26, 2014, 05:56 PM
Close....I cannot think of any reason other than "I want it" (and that ain't a bad reason) for having a magazine holding more than ten rounds (and don't start with the "you are on the side of those who who limit our freedoms bs....I am not.)
Want to use 20/30/40 round msgs? Knock yourself out. Absolutely unnecessary for any practical purpose if you are not in combat.


They seem to come in very handy in competition.

benEzra
January 26, 2014, 08:54 PM
About uses of the Mini-30.....we aren't discussing the mini thirty.
We are discussing a gun that is functionally identical to a Ruger Mini Thirty. Same caliber, same range of capacities, same size, same weight, same rate of fire, same range of magazine capacities, similar manual of arms. The only significant differences I see are that the Ruger puts the barrel over the gas system instead of under it, and the position of the safety lever.

If a Mini Thirty has any civilian purpose whatsoever, then so do the other civilian rifles in its class, like civilian AK's.

Want to use 20/30/40 round msgs? Knock yourself out. Absolutely unnecessary for any practical purpose if you are not in combat.
Are you counting keeping a gun for defense of home and family as "combat"? Because having some reserve capacity above 10 is a Very Good Thing in that role.

JBrady555
January 26, 2014, 09:01 PM
My sks has been horrible with detachable 20 and 30 round mags. I'm actually fixing to duracoat it and buy a stock 10 round fixed mag. If you want high capacity I would go with a ak, they aren't that much more money. Centerfiresystems.com has aks for 450.00-550.00 all day long. That's only one or two hundred more than your gonna get a sks for. They only thing that I think the sks beats the ak on is accuracy but if that's what you want then you don't need anything that shoots the 7.62x39 anyways, you need something else. Just my opinion based on experience with both guns.

Sent from my KFTT using Tapatalk 2

mljdeckard
January 26, 2014, 09:55 PM
The only mags I have tried are Tapcos and the new Promag. The Tapcos are pretty good, the would jam occasionally, and I mentioned it to Tapco when I called them and asked about something else, they told me to frim and sand the sides and edges of the followers, I did, and put some dry graphite lube on them, they have been perfect ever since. I got one Promag 30 based on the reviews on Midway, and it has been perfect, I should buy several more.

The Kivaari trigger is much more distinct than the stock trigger, the better sight radius and thinner front sight post have REALLY tightened up the accuracy, The Tapco brake dulls the recoil and noise, I am mostly aware of the bolt clacking when I fire it, the adjustable stock makes it a lot easier to run close in or stretched out, I have the SAW grip and I keep the sight adjustment tools inside it, and I haven't even had the bolt modified to allow for tactical reloads and shut-bolt mag changes yet. There is not a thing on this planet I would prefer to have a AK for over my SKS. But it wouldn't be worth it for most people to set one up this way.

nathan
January 26, 2014, 10:12 PM
Its the cheap man's M1 carbine with a more powerful round.

Cee Zee
January 27, 2014, 02:03 AM
the SKS detachables and duckbills are all unwieldy

I have a 15 round duckbill that isn't so bad. It's not as smooth as a 10 round mag though. Not even close. But FWIW my USA brand mags have worked perfectly since day one which was over 20 years ago.

BTW those that speak of a Kivaari trigger may want to consider that he only changes one spring when he fixes a trigger. He says that all SKs triggers could be good if they were put together right at the factory but few were. It's complicated and unskilled workers did the job mainly so most got botched up triggers. He just puts them back into spec and changes one spring to make it stronger. He does great work for sure but he's not adding a different trigger to the rifle.

I'm going to say once more that I like both rifles. Either would make a fine battle carbine. I have nothing against either rifle except the one I owned was a piece of junk.

One other thing. I specifically mentioned reasons I needed a battle carbine but I was told again there was no use for such a rifle. I wish people would at least read what was said before declaring it wrong.

Swampman
January 27, 2014, 02:11 AM
Originally posted by mljdeckard
Inebriated -in every way.

Hmmm... My understanding is that sober people present reasoned arguments, while drunks (AND people high on drugs) make unfounded personal attacks in poorly written, cryptic one liners.

In any case you accusing me of being inebriated is laughable.

YOU'RE the one that admitted, in a public forum full of people knowledgeable about guns, THAT YOU HAVE SIX HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS TIED UP IN AN SKS THAT YOU PAID A HUNDRED BUCKS FOR, AND FURTHERMORE,THAT MOST OF THE MONEY WENT INTO TAPCO PARTS!

You didn't just admit it, you BRAGGED about it!

If that's not prima facia evidence of intoxication, NOTHING is!

The only plausible explanation that doesn't involve intoxicants is directly related to your sig line. After all, there's no label warning people not to spend over $400 on Tapco parts for their SKS and then thinking that doing so makes it better than a top of the line Arsenal AK!

Pete D.
January 27, 2014, 06:30 AM
BTW those that speak of a Kivaari trigger may want to consider that he only changes one spring when he fixes a trigger. He says that all SKs triggers could be good if they were put together right at the factory but few were. It's complicated and unskilled workers did the job mainly so most got botched up triggers. He just puts them back into spec and changes one spring to make it stronger. He does great work for sure but he's not adding a different trigger to the rifle.
I'd expect a YouTube video about that. Do you know of one? (Asking before I look for myself).

Reloadron
January 27, 2014, 07:17 AM
First off, I really want an AK-47.. a bit out of my price range atm though. I have a /26\ Norinco sks 1982 production with a steel 30 round mag for it and it works pretty much flawlessly. I have heard that these types of mags are pretty useless, but from my experience i disagree. This makes it pretty similar in function to the ak47 in terms of round capacity and firepower. So, what should be my incentive for purchasing or trading in my sks for an ak 47?

I guess it really depends on what you want the rifle for and what you expect the rifle to do. During the early 90s God knows how many SKS and AK variants I sold at my shop and gun shows. Today out of all those guns only a single Chi Com SKS remains in the safe. I can't believe the prices today either. :)

My experience was the SKS was the more accurate of the two rifles of what I went through. However, that said it does not mean I would necessarily choose the SKS rifle over an AK rifle.

While my combat days ended in Vietnam where I saw my share of both rifles, sometimes up close and personal my choice would depend on why I was getting the rifle. Then too, that can be said of all rifles or for that matter guns in general.

If I were for reasons unknown to find my now ancient self dropped off in a combat zone with real live people shooting at me my choice would be the AK without a doubt. However, for a lazy fair weather afternoon at the range basking in the sunshine the SKS would be my choice. So for a combat type roll I want the AK and for a leisurely generally enjoyable little rifle to shoot I'll opt for the SKS.

So, what should be my incentive for purchasing or trading in my sks for an ak 47?

Beats the heck out of me. Your rifle, your choice based on your intended application.

Just My Take....
Ron

chicharrones
January 27, 2014, 08:28 AM
At least with the SKS, you won't be tempted to buy a stupid number of spare magazines, so the cost savings is double ;)

TCB

Great point for the economy minded. I sure have increased the cost of each gun I've bought that has a detachable mag over the older guns I have with fixed mags. :D

Robbins290
January 27, 2014, 08:58 AM
Owning both rifles, a yugo 59/66a1 (I think) and a Romanian wasr10/63. I like my sks a lot more then the ak47. With stripper clips, I can reload pretty quick. It does lack some fire power and after market parts.


I Would not feel under gunned with a taken care of sks. I had mine over 10 years, never had a hiccup. And i ride it hard.

Biohazard1993
January 27, 2014, 12:59 PM
That's an easy way to spend time at the federal country club too.

That statement is kind of obvious. :rolleyes: When I said it was easily converted I didn't mean to do it without proper paper work (I really should not have to post that), that goes with everything BATFE. I in no way advocate such things without paper work and I never said that nor hinted at it as far as I can tell. Just because something is easy to do does not mean you just do it. If my short and vague post insinuated that in any way I am sorry. Guess I need to change my signature to a disclaimer lol. :D

Disclaimer: No content in this post should be tried unless conducted legally by professionals. My advice is neither legal advice or counsel and should not be taken as legal advice or counsel. I am also not held legaly responsible for any neglect of my disclaimer. :neener:

Cee Zee
January 27, 2014, 06:44 PM
I didn't mean to come on too strong biohazard. I just know the gun grabbers like to use statements like that to attack us. I'm not a board moderator or anything but generally they don't like it when people even appear to encouage something illegal.

I'd expect a YouTube video about that. Do you know of one?

I got that info from the SKS board where Kivaari has his own section and from Kivaari's own web site (http://www.kivaari.com/). Here's a couple of quotes from that site:

"SKS trigger groups have an excellent design thanks to Mr. Simonov. The problem lies with their hasty assembly which precludes extracting the potential from the design."

"The price of $59.95 + $5 shipping includes carefully cutting and changing YOUR sear/hammer geometry for a minimal, acceptable positive engagement. A Wolff sear and hammer spring are installed upon re-assembly. I tune the trigger spring myself. The safety function is effected with a minimal first stage. Anything that precludes smoothness is corrected by lapping, stoning, or filing as needed. Crooked disconnectors are straightened if needed."

So apparently he's also adding a sear as well as the spring now. But for the most part the trigger is the one you send him. It's just put within the tolerances it was supposed to have when it was built.

mljdeckard
January 27, 2014, 08:32 PM
Swampman, I was speaking directly to Inebriated. If you had bothered to read back through my posts, you would have seen that.

And I believe I stated TWICE that what I did would not be cost effective for most people. It was worthwhile for me because I was curious about project guns, and I didn't want to start on something expensive. Thank you for allowing me the freedom to do whatever I want to with my own time and money and not giving a rusty hump what you think about it. Namaste.

krupparms
January 27, 2014, 08:49 PM
I have owned both. I have shot both quite a bit including full auto military AKs. If I were to find myself in a combat situation & was given a SKS to defend myself I would use it until I could get my hands on a better rifle. But I believe that you could defend yourself well with the SKS . The SKS will do the job as we have seen in many places around the world. I like the SKS for hunting also, it takes deer just fine. It's not as 'cool' as the AK or an AR, but can still be just fine for SD or plinking and hunting. I think your SKS will serve you just fine. But that's just another opinion. So get what you feel is best for you.

Ignition Override
January 27, 2014, 10:44 PM
Unless involved in a military operation, who needs a quick mag change in a non-LEO civilian scenario?

Too much heat damages the gun's bore. No thank you.

AK103K
January 27, 2014, 10:50 PM
Unless involved in a military operation, who needs a quick mag change in a non-LEO civilian scenario?
You never need it till you need it, and if youre not practiced for it, well..... never mind. :rolleyes:

Too much heat damages the gun's bore. No thank you.
Ive got a couple SMG's with about 25 years of steady use, and hundreds of thousands of rounds through them, much of that being of being "shot hot", that might dispute that. ;)

barnbwt
January 27, 2014, 11:33 PM
Yeah, yeah, the grabbers hate the AK slightly more than they hate the SKS. I can't even tell who's being facetious, sarcastic, or serious about their reasons for owning either at this point :banghead:

You know, in free states, you don't have to care what they think about your guns, and grabbers hate both in any case :rolleyes:

Has anyone mentioned the Norinco Type 53, yet (folding stock SKS that takes AK mags?)

TCB

AK103K, SMGs don't subject the barrel to quite as much damage as rifle calibers on full-auto. Granted, the 7.62x39 is fairly slow/low pressure so it probably isn't as bad as 223 or 308. Luckily SMGs are even more fun, though :D

Swampman
January 28, 2014, 01:41 AM
To mljdeckard

My sincere apologies Sir.
I honestly did read back through the thread several times and it appeared that you had ignored Inebriated's question.
I saw your post, made just a few moments after my own and didn't realize that it WAS a valid response to Inebriated and instead read it as political commentary on my post.

I truly was an ass and I hope that you will accept my heartfelt apologies.

In any case, I once spent 125 dollars getting a custom suppressor mount made for my $89.00, 59/66 Yugo, so ounce for ounce, I'm probably a worse "SKS Spendthrift" than you are.

On the bright side my faux pas did remind me of one area in which the SKS is far superior to an AK, at least in my experience. It's a quieter and far less smoky suppressor host and with a little judicious spring clipping and polishing, along with a LOT of load development, it can even cycle heavy cast subsonic rounds with decent reliability and accuracy.
Sort of a "poor man's" .300 Blackout.

I couldn't get any of several AK's I worked with to even BEGIN to cycle subsonics. The only AK I found that was worthwhile to shoot subs through was my sons M70 Yugo. With the gas system shut off, it was pretty quiet with subs and didn't foul up too badly.

mljdeckard
January 28, 2014, 08:17 AM
It's all good man.

MyRoad
January 28, 2014, 03:22 PM
There is a huge spectrum of variation within both AK's and SKS's, and expectations and uses for the gun factor in to this argument. Since the OP mentions cost as a factor, we would have to compare similarly priced SKS's and AK's, at stock entry level out-of-the-box configurations.

I will admit that I have not read every page of this carefully, but the topic seems to have expanded to include the potential of each platform, so I'll just put in my $.02 (or $1k, as the case may be). Back before the crash, I had a good job and threw a lot of money at my favorite hobby. To that end, I had milled receiver Arsenal AK's all fixed up and upgraded in every imaginable way. I also had a few SKS's that I had professionally cut down, threaded, Duracoated, Choate scope mounts drilled and tapped, drop free bolt mod done, upgraded stocks and trigger groups...

The bottom line is that when the economy turned, I sold the AK's and held onto the SKS's. For me, the SKS platform was more versatile, more accurate, and more fun. I realize my contribution to this thread is taking a step away from the heart of the original question, but in response to the thread subject, for me the SKS is better than an AK. Now, if I were in an active war zone, my answer might be different... but I'm not, and I don't expect that I ever will be. So for any and every use I can actually imagine having for a rifle, I prefer the SKS -- and that would include in their bare-bones stripped configurations.

Biohazard1993
January 28, 2014, 06:57 PM
Unless involved in a military operation, who needs a quick mag change in a non-LEO civilian scenario?

Too much heat damages the gun's bore. No thank you.

I believe others have stated plainly that one reason they like their aks (or any other combat oriented rifle with many rounds) are because if they ever need to use it in a "military" type application, natural disaster, without law, ect they have it. I understand how some do not care for that purpose and they have the right not to, but im with those that want them and they have that right as well. I usually do not like stating my opinion about the structure of our country but with the obvious rate that we are going we (the people) might need to use them like that. Also not only is it a good idea to have one (or many) :evil: but as others have stated it is our responsibilty to have arms like that as citizens in our country, even though it is looked down upon now. But as I have stated everyone has the right to their own arsenal or lack thereof and I respect that. :D

Cee Zee
January 28, 2014, 08:16 PM
I completely understand the concern with heat affecting the bore on these rifles. I've had my SKS smoking hot. I mean there was smoke rolling off the stock where it contacted the barrel. They do get very hot.

For this reason I don't see a lot of option for using multiple mags though an AK in battle. Sure you would do it if you had to but I doubt the rifle would stand up to a lot of that kind of treatment.

People I've talked to that were in actual wars told me that they never had to fire a whold bunch of shells at once. I've heard some say that 5 - 10 rounds was a lot to fire in a battle. I'm not as familiar with more modern battles though. I'm sure there are people with far, far more knowledge on the subject than I have.

AK103K
January 28, 2014, 08:58 PM
Sure you would do it if you had to but I doubt the rifle would stand up to a lot of that kind of treatment.
They are a little more robust than you give them credit for.

Back in the 80's and 90's, when ammo was cheap (and the guns too for that matter) , we would shoot multiple "cases" through full auto AK's, M16's, G3's, M14's and a few others in a single day, and did that at least once a month for years, and many of those same guns are still being shot to this day, although not as regularly.

I still have a Colt SP1 I bought new back in 74, that has had multiple cases at an outing through it numerous times as well, at least three or four times a year into the early 2000's, and much of that was as fast as people could empty the mags, and its still in great shape and going strong to this day.

I think you'll find they hold up better than the shooters do over the years. ;)

goon
January 28, 2014, 09:15 PM
They are a little more robust than you give them credit for.

Back in the 80's and 90's, when ammo was cheap (and the guns too for that matter) , we would shoot multiple "cases" through full auto AK's, M16's, G3's, M14's and a few others in a single day, and did that at least once a month for years, and many of those same guns are still being shot to this day, although not as regularly.

I've read speculation that the AK was designed primarily with semi-auto fire in mind. Evidence for this was that through the transition from AK-47 to AKM to AK-74, at no point did the Soviets install heavier handguards to prevent overheating. The other thought was that the AK's semi position is with the safety clear at the bottom and the gross motor skills you'd experience in a firefight would make you more likely to slide it all the way down rather than stopping at the FA position.

But that's a whole other debate I guess.

barnbwt
January 28, 2014, 10:39 PM
The barrel not holding up to the heat has much more to do with accuracy than the gun breaking. Faster cycles of the bolt don't stress the action more, but getting the bore hot will erode it right quick. Luckily, the Soviets and others knew this, and chrome lined most of the milsurp bores so they could take much higher temperatures without blowing iron out the muzzle. The barrels used by US makers often do not have this consideration (but they also tend to be semiauto).

I don't have to worry about his on the VZ, either, since your hand will burst into flame long before the barrel can be damaged, making it a self-limiting problem (they really do get hot fast :D)

TCB

Cee Zee
January 29, 2014, 12:50 AM
The barrel not holding up to the heat has much more to do with accuracy than the gun breaking.

It was fairly common at one time for early full auto guns to melt barrels to the point where they would just droop. That hasn't happened in a long time that I know about. But you're right about the accuracy. You'll lose accuracy pretty quick if you go superheating your barrel. Heat is a big enemy of a barrel. If you're just spraying and praying you won't have to worry so much.

BTW most SKS models do not have chrome lined barrels of course. That's why we all worry about corrosive primers. Still I've had my Norinco hot enough to smoke the wood on the forward grip and it still shoots straight. But I wouldn't want to bet my life that it wouldn't cause problems. I've shot many thousands of rounds through my SKS and through my AK for that matter. I know they get hot and I know how long it takes to get them hot. After all I did have my stock actually smoking.

Besides all this the question becomes how many people do you take on with a single weapon no matter how many rounds you can feed it? If you have to change mags more than once there's a big chance you're in real trouble and what you really need is a bunch of help. There's always that chance we might have to go down fighting but I don't figure too many people want to do a charge on even a 10 round mag SKS. They will fire fast and you can aim them accurately enough to make someone think twice about advancing on you. That person will either have to be trained extremely well or desperate or crazy on drugs or just crazy. The thing still is that you can only shoot so many people by yourself if it comes to that. Trust me if the gang bangers up the hill from my house didn't have the sense to avoid someone with a battle carbine that clearly practices shooting often then they aren't very smart at all. Not many are that stupid. I can't stop them from coming at me while I'm asleep or burning my house down but a daylight attack with enough numbers to overcome even a modest battle carbine like the SKS is going to be a rare thing. I've been putting on a regular show with that SKS for many years. They know I have something that shoots fast and sounds loud. That's been enough to keep them away so far. Some day it might not be. We'll see how effective I am with my SKS at that time. Remember my Norinco does have detachable mags that work very well. I figure a 15 round mag and another 30 will settle things one way or the other. But again I'm sure they know I can hit what I shoot at and that's enough along with them knowing about my battle carbine to keep the peace IMO. Actually I've moved away from that place now anyway but I still own the house and plan to move back in a few years if I make it that long.

So IMO an SKS can be a big detriment to a gang assault. My place is going to be hard to rush without me knowing about it too. I have a great defensive layout in fact. I also have a great watch dog that won't get close to anyone, is too fast to catch and won't eat anything unless I tell him it's ok. He chased off two bears one day after they killed a cat. It won't be easy to get past him without him letting me know they're around.

fiddleharp
January 29, 2014, 08:05 AM
Bears?! Gang-Bangers?! :what:
You certainly live in an interesting neighborhood.
While I have no way of predicting such things, I doubt we'll be facing any "bonsai charges" in American neighborhoods in the event of a SHTF scenario. We're not talking about Imperial Japanese troops here, or even the NVA.
I think it's safe to say that whatever rabble is giving you trouble will scatter like quail the moment you fire into their midst.
Even today's urban gang-bangers, who we must admit actually have more "combat" experience than most of us here, tend to let loose a single volley and leave the scene with screeching tires rather than fight to the last man.
Personally, I believe any firearm, if wielded by a determined defender willing to shoot to kill, will be adequate in some future SHTF scenario involving lawless mobs.

PabloJ
January 29, 2014, 08:07 AM
In S/A mode for civilian use ABSOLUTELY.

jrdolall
January 29, 2014, 12:17 PM
Talk about a dead horse.....

SilentScream
January 29, 2014, 04:25 PM
I've read speculation that the AK was designed primarily with semi-auto fire in mind. Evidence for this was that through the transition from AK-47 to AKM to AK-74, at no point did the Soviets install heavier handguards to prevent overheating. The other thought was that the AK's semi position is with the safety clear at the bottom and the gross motor skills you'd experience in a firefight would make you more likely to slide it all the way down rather than stopping at the FA position.
But that's a whole other debate I guess.

Nope! And for good reason, the Russians new the value of massed full auto fire(So did everyone else at that point in history well except the powers that be in the U.S. of course) They had noted how successful the PPSH & PPS43 sub-guns had been in various engagements; the weak link being 50 to 100 meter effective range. Then add to that the effect the STG44 had on the Ruskies they knew a good weapon/idea when they saw it. As I said before, pretty much everyone except the U.S. had realized that he who puts out the most fire generally wins. The days of massed rifleman firing carefully aimed shots @ 300+ yards was over by the 1860's it just took the U.S. until the 1960's to see it. Everyone else was pretty much on board by the 1920's unfortunately development took a little longer.

Cee Zee
January 29, 2014, 06:37 PM
I think it's safe to say that whatever rabble is giving you trouble will scatter like quail the moment you fire into their midst.

Exactly. They don't want me shot bad enough to risk getting shot themselves and they know there's a good chance of that. And any drive by attempts would be almost comical because of the terrain where I live. They would have to sit still and hope I was standing in the exact right spot in my house. And they would have to hope I didn't have my SKS handy.

Truth is that they know it wouldn't be easy to come after me. Yes one got close behind my house and shot 3 times. I caught him too. That scared the bejesus out of him. He threatened to kill me about 20 times and then took off as fast as he could go. I haven't heard any more from him since. It didn't hurt that I stand about a foot taller than him and outweigh him at least 100 lbs.. And since I've made a habit of letting the police know who it is that likes to harass me he couldn't get away with shooting me and he has to know that. Besides I don't think he could have turned that shotgun around inside his little truck before I could go through his window after him. I caught him on my ATV BTW and I got him stopped. Stupid drug bozos.

As for the bears there are lots of those critters around anymore. They are spreading like deer did a few decades ago. It's amazing how many just showed up. It didn't hurt that the state turned 500 of them loose in a state park about a mile from my farm. But my house is like 15 miles from there but that isn't far for bear actually. I've seen bear on the farm and at my house lots of times. I first noticed them when I saw their tracks where they had come into the yard and ate my dog's food. That wasn't more than 20 feet from my house. From then on I have seen tons of signs and lots of bears too. Here's a story about bears returning to my area but there aren't nearly as many in the area that story was written. I live in a place almost surrounded by a huge national forest and it's wild country.

http://www.hockinghills.com/featstory/bears.html

lobo9er
January 29, 2014, 06:46 PM
The AK is a superior WEAPON Depends on the AK. I'd say the avg SKS is better than the majority of the AK's sold at gun shows. I wouldn't trade a Yugo sks for a Romanian AK. But I'd trade for an Arsenal.

fteter
January 29, 2014, 07:36 PM
Gosh, this is a hot topic, isn't it? Seems like we have some "passionate" opinions on this subject. So, I'll throw in my own two cents here:

The SKS and AK are two very different rifle designs, both have strong and weak points.

The SKS has a comparatively simple design and it's easy to use. It's possible to get an untrained shooter up to speed on running an SKS in a pretty short period of time. It's also built to take a lickin' and keep on tickin'. It's also a great value for the price, even in this inflated market.

The AK is also rugged and durable. Fill it with sand...drag it through the mud...soak it in lard...kick it across a football field...whatever, it'll still work. And you're definitely able to sustain a higher rate of fire for a longer period of time than you can with an SKS (sorry, but stripper clips v detachable mags for someone trained on each - no contest). But you can't just put an AK into the hands of a newbie and expect them to pick it up in a short period of time. The design is a bit more complex than that of the SKS. It takes some practice to run an AK efficiently. And an AK is a bit more expensive than an SKS.

If my life depended on it in an armed conflict, and if I were practicing regularly with both, I'd rather be holding an AK than an SKS. Less reloading. Quicker reloading. Big factors in an armed conflict, IMHO. But I'm not planning on engaging in an armed conflict anytime soon (not to be confused with basic home defense...got a semi-auto shotgun for that).

If I'm just shooting paper or targets, I have to admit I like shooting the SKS more than an AK. It's easier for me to operate, so I spend more time focusing on my own technique and accuracy rather than the actual operation of the rifle. That's why I sold my AK and kept my SKS when faced with the choice (although I admit that I'm watching the AK-74 market closely...like that little rifle).

Speaking of accuracy, I'd take my Mosin Nagant M44 over either the SKS or the AK for shots over 150 yards...that oughta get the flames roaring here :evil:

AK103K
January 29, 2014, 07:48 PM
I think it's safe to say that whatever rabble is giving you trouble will scatter like quail the moment you fire into their midst.
Thats a definite "maybe". Might could/might not. You would be foolish to assume, or plan for, anything but the latter.

With violent home invasions on the rise, and most of those being done by multiple actors, some of which seem pretty determined, I think youre only fooling yourself that just having a gun, will have them quaking in their boots, and scampering off at the sight of you.

Thats also assuming you even have it handy and ready, and have warning trouble is about.

We live in a very rural area, with no real police protection other than a roving State Trooper, who, unless they happen to be right here, "might" get here in a half hour or so, if youre able to get the call out. We only just got a 911 address and 911 service about 5 years back, and that is only on the land line, there is no cell service here until you get down to the highway about a mile or so away. Our closest neighbor is about 500 yards away, and most keep to themselves. Shooting, day or night isnt unusual here, so theres no guarantee that would generate a call from others either.

Anything bad happening here, and youre pretty much on your own for a good long while, until help might arrive. If you dont have a plan in place for anything remotely bad, things probably arent going to go well. What you have handy, better be easily accessed, ready, or easily and quickly made ready, and youd better be well practiced with everything about it.

More than likely, the handgun you "always" wear, is going to be the weapon you have when things go south, and if youre lucky you might get to something better, and youve planned ahead.

As for the bears there are lots of those critters around anymore.
What kind of bears are we talking of? Brown, black, grizzly?

We have black bears all over around here, and most of the time, like snakes, the fear of them harming you is really more in your head, than it is a reality. Having worked in the woods a good portion of my life, and having quite a few encounters with them, they were usually going the other way once they knew we were there. Its pretty funny how freaked out people get, over bears, snakes, and ticks. All you have to do is plant that seed, and then watch the fun. :D

I wouldn't trade a Yugo sks for a Romanian AK. But I'd trade for an Arsenal.
Id probably do just the opposite.

My experience with US assembled AK's (albeit, early on) has not been good, and the lowly Romanians Ive owned and shot, while not as refined, have always been good, reliable, and accurate shooters.

The only way Id take one of the US made guns, is if I could shoot it first, which isnt likely, unless youre buying used from a buddy.

futurerider103
January 29, 2014, 07:56 PM
I like my SKS way better than my buddies AK. Today I was shooting on a 12x14 steel target at 550yds iron sights. I just don't see the AK doing that.

goon
January 29, 2014, 08:54 PM
But you can't just put an AK into the hands of a newbie and expect them to pick it up in a short period of time. The design is a bit more complex than that of the SKS. It takes some practice to run an AK efficiently. And an AK is a bit more expensive than an SKS.

Tens or hundreds of thousands of teenagers in the world's less developed nations may disagree with you on that.

Personally, I find the AK easier to strip for cleaning and about the same as the SKS in actual use.

CWL
January 29, 2014, 09:08 PM
Tens or hundreds of thousands of teenagers in the world's less developed nations may disagree with you on that.

Personally, I find the AK easier to strip for cleaning and about the same as the SKS in actual use.

I think the proper figure would be "tens of millions" since there have been ~100 million AK-family weapons manufactured so far.

Cee Zee
January 29, 2014, 09:47 PM
We have black bears all over around here, and most of the time, like snakes, the fear of them harming you is really more in your head, than it is a reality.

You mean shooting all those bears was just a waste of ammo? I was trying to carpet my house with bear rugs! Dang. Now what do I do?

Oh yeah. Don't forget to breathe in "and' out. Yeah it's obvious for most of us but...

Oh I forgot. Bear attacks are greatly increasing all through the east. Guess it was ok to shoot all 50 of those bears I shot. Or was it zero. Yeah that's it. Zero.

But just so you know fatal black bear attacks have increased substantially in the last 3 decades. Bears have always lived near my house. There's a den cave not more than 3 miles from my house where the DNR found several bears hibernating and that was before the big increase. I think they found 9 bears there including newborn cubs. A bear was killed on the highway not more than 3 miles from my house in 1999. And that was before the big increase in numbers. Surveys claim that there are triple the number of bears in the state from what there were in 1993. That was an AP story so forget trying to blame it on sensationalism.

I don't live in fear of those bears. In fact I like having them around. They don't scare me. But I do take precautions. If you had seen the area where they were bedding down at the upper corner of my property a few years ago you'd know why. There's a "lot" of them around. The bulk of that increase in bears in Ohio has taken place in my region. When Kentucky turned loose 500 bears one summer in the mid-90's I started seeing lots of signs and a few bears. Now it's lots of bears. Yet I haven't had to shoot even one. Imagine that!

barnbwt
January 29, 2014, 09:52 PM
Granted, not many of those teenagers were given the choice between the AK and an anything. A good 3/4 of the AK's popularity was a direct result of the Soviet's self-destructive overproduction and their desire to destabilize strategic areas to their advantage. If we'd made a few more butt-loads of M3 Grease Guns and given those to everybody, it would probably have had the same ubiquity and mystique, but instead we dumped them in the ocean, or something (I have no idea why there are no parts kits after all that were made. :confused:) From the end-user perspective, the ability of a nation-state to crank out copies of your gun ranks pretty low on the list of features, but stacks the odds in your favor of being popular ;)

TCB

benEzra
January 29, 2014, 10:25 PM
For this reason I don't see a lot of option for using multiple mags though an AK in battle. Sure you would do it if you had to but I doubt the rifle would stand up to a lot of that kind of treatment.
A chrome lined AK can certainly shoot "multiple mags" semiauto without any bore damage whatsoever.

And having the ability to quickly switch to a reserve magazine without tying up the weapon is a good thing in a civilian defensive carbine, IMO.

Ignition Override
January 30, 2014, 01:24 AM
AK103K: You made some excellent points, and I'm glad that most of those Century guns seem to have satisfied customers.

The lack of the BHO feature on an AK was never important to me, but the fact that the SKS has it is an attractive feature.
If the lower-priced AKs in early '08 had cost almost exactly what most flavors of SKS cost, I might have bought one. My "gun bug" infection was well into middle-age.

If a reliable AK-74 could Now be bought for the same price and in the same condition as a given SKS, the present surplus 5.45x39 ammo prices alone would be the incentive. I never would have bought the second Yugo M59 SKS. People would only need to clean the 74's bolt face, chamber, bore, gas tube components each time with a water-based liquid.

Inebriated
January 30, 2014, 12:03 PM
^Some mags with BHO followers would fix the BHO "issue."

RIATAC45
January 30, 2014, 01:35 PM
I have a Yugo M59/66 sks, and a deconverted Saiga AK. I was given the sks as a birthday gift from dear old Dad. I liked the round so much I bought the Saiga and did the restoration. Both will ring a 6"x6" steel at 200 yds with boring regularity, how much better accuracy does one need? I actually shoot my sks in our gun club milsurp match and placed 5th out of 15 shooters. That in itself doesn't sound too bad, but considering everyone else was using, Garands, Endfields, 03A3s, and Mausers, I think it shoots pretty good.

Buy both an be happy!

fteter
January 30, 2014, 02:47 PM
"Tens or hundreds of thousands of teenagers in the world's less developed nations may disagree with you on that."

Probably, goon. Point well taken. But the key word in my original statement was "efficiently".

lobo9er
January 30, 2014, 03:17 PM
"Tens or hundreds of thousands of teenagers in the world's less developed nations may disagree with you on that."
I hate the argument about AK's and third world countries using them. Yes they are in use but I doubt the majority of those that you see strapped to poor souls without shoes or what not that appear on the news would meet most of the members expectations here that belong to this forum. In my opinion.

*Disclaimer - I am not an AK hater I am exact opposite. It works both ways of course but to say "any AK is better than any SKS" is hog wash.

AK103K
January 30, 2014, 04:37 PM
Some mags with BHO followers would fix the BHO "issue."
I think they actually make it worse.

They do hold the bolt back on an empty mag, until you remove the mag, which has to be done by hand, as they wont fall free on their own, and when removed, the bolt slams forward again, requiring you to still work the charging handle when youre done with the reload anyway.

Lack of a BHO really isnt a big deal, if youre familiar with the gun. When it stops going bang when you pull the trigger, its empty, and you reload. You just "always" work the bolt after each mag change.

At least with the guns that dont have them, you know for sure the gun is loaded after you do change out a mag, as it SOP to work the charging handle when youre done, empty mag or not.

Ive had AR's drop a bolt on an empty mag on more than one occasion, and that tends to screw with you, as it messes with your head, and you try to solve why the gun stopped shooting.

If I do a tactical reload with an AR, I usually go ahead and stroke the charging handle anyway, just so I know for sure its loaded.

benEzra
January 30, 2014, 04:49 PM
The lack of the BHO feature on an AK was never important to me, but the fact that the SKS has it is an attractive feature.
The SKS *requires* a BHO because the SKS can only be reloaded with the bolt open. Meaning that without a BHO, an SKS would require three hands to reload (one to hold the rifle, one to hold the bolt back, and one to insert the stripper clip). If I am not mistaken, removing the stripper clip does *not* drop the bolt on an SKS, so you still have to tug the charging handle just like you would on an AK.

Since an AK can be reloaded under a closed bolt, with or without a round in the chamber, a BHO is not necessary for an AK.

Having said that, a BHO + bolt release (as on an AR) does gain you a little in reloading because it is a little faster to hit the bolt release than it is to run the charging handle. But a BHO without a bolt release doesn't serve much purpose beyond "hey, the rifle is empty" or for administrative handling.

^Some mags with BHO followers would fix the BHO "issue."
I have not really seen the value of these for AK's, because the bolt drops when you remove the magazine, unless you want a BHO for notification or administrative purposes.

theotherwaldo
January 30, 2014, 05:01 PM
<Brainglitch>
-You say "BHO".
-I hear "Barack Hussein Obama".
-This is not what I want in any firearm.
</Brainglitch>

AK103K
January 30, 2014, 05:09 PM
The gun and ammo industries have to love BHO. He's been their best salesman by far.

silicosys4
January 30, 2014, 07:29 PM
Bolt hold open mags for the ak are a pita to use.
They are harder to remove because they drag on the bolt.

Biohazard1993
January 30, 2014, 09:20 PM
Bears?! Gang-Bangers?! :what:
You certainly live in an interesting neighborhood.
While I have no way of predicting such things, I doubt we'll be facing any "bonsai charges" in American neighborhoods in the event of a SHTF scenario. We're not talking about Imperial Japanese troops here, or even the NVA.
I think it's safe to say that whatever rabble is giving you trouble will scatter like quail the moment you fire into their midst.
Even today's urban gang-bangers, who we must admit actually have more "combat" experience than most of us here, tend to let loose a single volley and leave the scene with screeching tires rather than fight to the last man.
Personally, I believe any firearm, if wielded by a determined defender willing to shoot to kill, will be adequate in some future SHTF scenario involving lawless mobs.
I agree with you on not being able to predict what is going to happen in a "shtf" scenario however... the fact remains that gangs, at least inner city have a great deal more members than brain cells (if they were stupid enough to try the first time, a second is very plausable especially when they can go back and tell) and if it is a true "shtf" situation and some group does try "drive bying" (or other such foolishness) my family I want to make sure each and every one of them does not get the chance to harm me or anyone else again. I know a few well placed shots are always best but in high stress situations with moving targets (who knows how many with a bunch of desperate animals) I personaly like more than ten rounds on tap without the fuss of reloading (ak or sks with mags). But for normal home defense 10 rounds or less is alright by my book *as I look at my sp101*.

goon
January 30, 2014, 10:30 PM
Amazing that a pretty simple question about two old Russkie rifles turned into such a lengthy discussion! lol

Cee Zee
January 31, 2014, 07:37 AM
personaly like more than ten rounds on tap without the fuss of reloading (ak or sks with mags)

That's the reason I converted my Norinco to take detachables. I have 30 round mags for it and yes they work perfectly. And there can't be any moving drive by shootings at my house. There's only one spot on the road where you can shoot at my house.

I have thought about this stuff a lot. And they didn't really try anything except try to scare me by shooting behind my house. It was actually a huge mistake on their part because now I have a police report filed with their name on it where they tried to intimidate me by trespassing on my neighbor's place (which I was asked to watch for him) so they know the first place the LEO's would look would be at that guy. Yes they have the LEO's paid off but I have a few political aces up my sleeve. I know what's going on. I have plans and contingency plans. And again, I don't even live there now and won't be living there for several more years. I'm sure tensions will have died down by then. My point was that there are scenarios where a battle carbine can be a major asset. This thread is getting too long to go back and find what I was responding to though. But I was responding to someone saying there wasn't much point for an SKS except for fun but I'm not going to go looking for that post.

krupparms
January 31, 2014, 12:55 PM
I live in an area that has almost no L.E. protection. We have problems with meth, large scale pot grows by drug cartels & M.C. gangs. Alot of people not only keep a S.G. around, but an SKS is standard now also! The SKS has become one of the most popular H.D.guns for people living out in the sticks. It is also a great rifle for fokes living & trying to make a living on gold claims. It has stopped a number of tweaker incidents at the lakes where parties got wild &out of hand. Some say 10 rds isn't enough! But reloading from striper clips or duckbill mags are not that slow if practiced. And if there is more than one person, then it is possible to lay down plenty of fire power. From the number of aid packages that included thousands of SKS rifles, the SKS will be front line issue in a number of 3rd.world countrys for years . And it has proven to be a fine combat rifle. Bottem line . I don't think it's better than a AK, but I do think it would work for what you will need it for. I spoke to a farmer in a 3rd.world country he had all kinds of guerrilla groups & dangerous animals around he had been useing his SKS for over 30 years to keep his & his family safe & fed! He had nothing but good to say about his SKS! : I would add that the duckbill magazines work well especially if fitted to rifle & they work with stripper clips. My son used the U.S.A.mags and stripper clips. He could reload a 30 rd. magazine with 10 rds.& keep going until he could change the magazine. He got very good and has keep the SKS even though he had a AK & has a AR15. He also believes it to be fine for S.D. . Kick back & enjoy it! It is a great little rifle IMO.

Cee Zee
January 31, 2014, 06:05 PM
I live in an area that has almost no L.E. protection. We have problems with meth, large scale pot grows by drug cartels & M.C. gangs.

You must live on the same road I do. I lived there for a full 10 years before I ever saw the first LEO on that road. Then I saw them about every 2 or 3 years and it finally got up to 2 or 3 per year. I found a spot where meth cooks had operated a mobile setup after a big write up in the paper about a new cleanup system the county had bought. They still have never gone to that location and it's been 5 years. I know there are dangerous chemicals there. I guess they don't care.

Like you said we have to be our own protection. If I called the LEO's they wouldn't show up for hours. I guess they did put one on duty in a town not too far away but it's only one shift a day. Guns are our only protection. I wish the gun grabbers would come and live in my neighborhood with violent oxycontin dealers protecting their turf and road signs marked with gang graffiti and pot crops everywhere they can be hidden and meth cooks driving the roads. Those people are making big money and they are going to protect that. If they see you as a straight arrow they see you as a threat. There's no way on earth I would live where I did without a gun. Actually I wouldn't live where I do now without a gun. Everyone who lives in these places has guns for protection. It would cost a fortune to hire enough LEO's to actually patrol this country on a regular basis. It's not like a city where you see 3 cop cars a minute. It's a whole different world. And that doesn't even cover the problems you might have with rabid animals, aggressive packs of dogs, dogs that are starved at home and dogs that think you're living on their turf. I've had all of those problems and more. Plus I'm not big on trying to feed the whole wildlife population. They will steal my dog's food in a heartbeat. He won't eat it all at once so he doesn't get to eat it all. I'm not particularly worried about the bears but they can be a problem. And we have bobcats, coyotes, and rutting deer (which can be a big problem).

I love living in the country and would never move back to the city. But that means I have to protect myself. The thing is the gun grabbers think we're all stealing the land that belongs to the critters. I wonder where they think their food comes from?

goon
February 1, 2014, 02:17 AM
Yeah, there are all kinds of low life people who find ways to make life harder for rural people. And the police response is always anemic... if you even get one. As much as I hate to be hard on cops, the truth is that even the best ones usually only get there after the damage has been done.

I'd definitely never want to be without a good rifle. A reliable SKS fits that description.

Swampman
February 1, 2014, 02:34 AM
Originally posted by Cee Zee
BTW most SKS models do not have chrome lined barrels

To the best of my knowledge, all SKS's except for the Yugo's and some of the very earliest Russians, have been equipped with chrome lined bores. Even the el-cheapo Norincos manufactured purely for commercial sale.

Cee Zee
February 1, 2014, 05:43 AM
You're right Swampman. My brain must have been on vacation when I posted that. I was thinking of the Yugos and the debate about their quality I guess. I knew there was a common debate about chrome lined barrels and the SKS. The Yugos lacked it because they didn't have a source of chromium they could access on their own without importing it.

Dave Markowitz
February 1, 2014, 08:00 AM
The Yugos lacked it because they didn't have a source of chromium they could access on their own without importing it.

This is an Internet myth that somehow gained traction and keeps getting repeated. Pre-breakup Yugoslavia actually had large deposits of chromium/chromite in Kosovo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_resources_of_Kosovo) and Macedonia (http://www.infoplease.com/country/macedonia.html). As to why the Yugos didn't chrome plate the bores of their SKSes and AKs, who knows?

Cee Zee
February 1, 2014, 10:07 AM
Actually Kosovo was known as the Autonomous Kosovo-Metohian Area during the period of Eastern Bloc influence. It was not governed by Yugoslavia. Macedonia also had major control over it's own economy in the form of labor groups too. They ran things for the benefit of the workers and didn't invest in things like mining. But the core principle here is that they were under no obligation to surrender chromium ore to Yugoslavia. Russia was the real power in the region and they allowed the various ethnic groups of the Balkan region to exist without too much mutual entanglement because it meant they were easier to govern. So Yugoslavia really didn't have access to chromium during the time period they were making the SKS. Yes technically those areas were part of Yugoslavia but they weren't directly ruled by that government. There's a reason the term "Balkanized" is used to describe anything that has been split into a lot of factions. Those people pretty much hated each other before Russia and during the USSR period and after. They just don't play well together and that includes sharing resources. Of course Russia could have just taken the raw materials if they wanted but they didn't need them.

Swampman
February 1, 2014, 02:25 PM
Since the Yugoslavians chromed the op rods and even the bayonets on their SKS's, I don't think they would have decided not to chrome bores because they didn't have chrome.

I've read that early chrome lining was not as uniform as what we can do now.

I'd guess (and this is pure surmise on my part), that they didn't chrome the bores because they wanted better accuracy. If the Yugoslavians had gone to war, it was a pretty safe bet that they'd be outnumbered, just like the Swiss.

More accurate rifles (and a bunch of NATO spec 22 mm grenades) may have been their plan to repel numerically superior invaders. The SKS seems more suited to defensive or guerilla use than the M70 AK, while the M70 (being an assault rifle) is more useful on the offense, especially when used from infantry fighting vehicles.

If this isn't the case, then why did they keep making the 59-66 so long? They were still being produced 20 years after the M70 was introduced and the 59-66 requires both more material AND more skilled machining time.

The AK and SKS are both excellent weapons, but the Yugoslavians figured out a long time ago that both of them have strong and weak points. Neither one of them is the answer for all situations.

Ignition Override
February 1, 2014, 08:13 PM
arspeukinen:
You might have lots of old corrosive Russian or Yugoslavian 7.62x39 ammo.

For those other guys who confuse all foreign-made centerfire (semi-auto) ammo with corrosive, the commercial Russian Wolf/Tiger/Bear etc 7.62x39 imported into the US has Not had corrosive primers for a number of years.

As a separate clarification for those unaware of the early Yugo M59 SKS, there is No grenade launcher, No gas valve and unless they are slobs who have contempt for their guns (never clean), don't need a chrome-lined bore.

krupparms
February 1, 2014, 09:45 PM
The Yugoslavian army did plan for defense & rifle grenades were part of their tactics. Each squad had 2 or 3 SKS rifles for that reason . SWAPO guerillas also used them in Africa for defense against S.A. army units. They would launch them in volleys or use it as a anti - vehicle wepon.

Swampman
February 1, 2014, 11:51 PM
Originally posted by Ignition Override
the commercial Russian Wolf/Tiger/Bear etc 7.62x39 imported into the US has Not had corrosive primers for a number of years.

I can't claim it as fact since I didn't personally buy or use any, but I've read in a number of places that there was a good bit of Wolf ammo imported from Ukraine in 2012 that while marked "non corrosive" was actually corrosive primed.

It honestly wouldn't surprise me a bit, since a couple of years ago, I got some Monarch brand ammo that had mild steel cores. The ammo appeared to be recent production and was definitely in current production packaging. It couldn't have been military ammo that had been mispackaged since there was no sealant on the primers or case mouths.

I think someone at the factory just screwed up.

I could certainly see how the same thing could happen with primers.

It hasn't made me paranoid enough to do a nail or plate test every time I buy a couple boxes of ammo, but if it comes from a factory in a former Combloc country that also makes military ammo, I keep a close eye on my bore for a couple days after shooting it.

Cee Zee
February 2, 2014, 06:18 AM
I shot a whole lot of that early 90's imported stuff through my Norinco. It didn't hurt it a bit that I can tell. It doesn't have any pitting or rust and it's still as accurate as ever.

AK103K
February 2, 2014, 09:06 AM
I shot a whole lot of that early 90's imported stuff through my Norinco. It didn't hurt it a bit that I can tell. It doesn't have any pitting or rust and it's still as accurate as ever.
I dont doubt it. The only 7.62x39 I remember coming across that was corrosive, was the brass cased Yugo stuff that was around there for awhile.

None of the various and cheap Russian or Chinese stuff Ive shot had the issue.

dprice3844444
February 2, 2014, 09:18 AM
i bought my 2 new unissued red phenolic stocked sks rifles when the red plastic ones first popped up for sale.

saltydog
February 2, 2014, 10:23 AM
I have both the AK and the SKS and I love both of them and would be fine with either. Unless someone has me in their crosshairs, it ain't much gonna matter what you have on you......:uhoh:

Cee Zee
February 2, 2014, 01:24 PM
The only 7.62x39 I remember coming across that was corrosive, was the brass cased Yugo stuff that was around there for awhile.

It was brass cased stuff we had back in the 90's. I have heard a lot of it was made in Yugoslavia.

AK103K
February 2, 2014, 01:38 PM
That Yugo stuff was the only bulk "non US" brass 7.62x39 I can remember ever seeing, and as far as I know, it was all corrosive.

Corrosive ammo isnt really an issue, unless you dont clean your guns soon after use. Flush everything with hot soapy water, and clean as usual, and all is normally well.

Cee Zee
February 3, 2014, 12:39 AM
I still have a lot of that 1990's brass stuff if you want to see some. I don't know for sure if it's Yugo or Russian. I just know it came in wooden crates of 1440 rounds with cryptic writing on the wood. I also saw steel case ammo in the same type of crates though so that may not be much help. I actually thought it was Russian for a long time but someone said it was probably Yugo. So I don't really know personally but I'm guessing some here do know.

Also back when I bought that rifle no one I knew ever mentioned that it was maybe corrosive. No one much cared about destroying their rifles. They figured they could just buy another one if something happened to the one they had. So we didn't do any kind of maintenance at all. That includes rinsing it out. Still I have no pitting or rust in the bore or chamber. Go figure.

Ignition Override
February 3, 2014, 03:03 AM
Scoped: If somehow "all else were equal", your ammo will last much longer in an original SKS than almost any AK Clone.
In these very delicate, unstable times, extra reserve could be worth something.

If your eyes are in good shape: even though a specific Tech Sight is available for the AK-47, the TS 200 improved accuracy on my SKS without a doubt, and consistently. With my rifle, I could easily outshoot guys who had their first M4, same distance. Never saw them again, so it's a totally invalid comparison. The modern, non-corrosive 7.62x39 ammo still costs a fair bit less.
Good luck with your decision, if still pending.

Swampman
February 3, 2014, 09:45 PM
Originally posted by Ignition Override
your ammo will last much longer in an original SKS than almost any AK Clone.

By that logic, a Contender would be the ultimate combat weapon, a combatants ammo supply would last 10 times as long!

However, I'm not so sure how long the shooter would last in an actual firefight...

It may just be me, but relying on limited magazine capacity to conserve ammunition rather than using good fire discipline seems tactically unsound.

Just having a larger magazine capacity doesn't mean you've GOT to shoot more/faster, it just gives you the capability of doing so on those rare occasions when it might be needed.

I believe the SKS has some real advantages over the AK, especially for what most Americans shooters are likely to use them for, but don't take a (potential) negative and try to present it as a positive attribute.

You can always choose NOT to shoot, but if your weapon is equipped with a 10 round magazine, you can't decide to shoot 15 rounds without reloading, no matter how desperately you might need those extra shots.

Ignition Override
February 4, 2014, 12:24 AM
Good points Swampman. In our civilian settings, almost everybody with an AK clone tends to fill the large magazines.

Luckily we won't have much chance of any Hezbollah (etc) cells being organized in this part of west TN. But people along the southern US border could see interesting developments, if not already.

My brother in law has a friend who operates one of the most exclusive US schools on teaching very advanced horse "riding techniques", not far from the AZ border.
The guy has seen cars in remote areas of his land which are probably involved in the illegal drug business.

tahunua001
February 4, 2014, 12:46 PM
I am very late to this and I'm sure the OP has already made up his mind(I'm too lazy to read the entire thread) but I'm going to put in my .02 anyway.

I'm owned the bottom of the barrel AK and I now own a type 56 factory 26 SKS. the AK was complete and utter garbage. yes it'll hit a man at 50 yards no sweat but hitting at deer at 100 was almost outside it's abilities from sandbags no less free hand with outside variables coming into play. the thing was a rust bucket, the mag wobbled, the front sights were canted, it kicked like a mule, and it horribly unreliably unless you spent the extra money on crapco and Peemags.

I spent 3 years and well over 1000 rounds trying to make myself like it, and when that failed I tried to adapt it to me... that failed just as badly. so I sold it for a loss and never once regretted the decision. now I own the SKS, when I got it, the stock was horribly shrunken and I did not want to try and work with the sights which are the same as the ones on the AK47. I upgraded to tech sights, swapped out for a ramline sporter stock and just to keep it legal I went with a crapco 20 round mag. the thing will hit pill bottles full of tannerite at 75 yards almost without effort. I have never once found a speck of rust inside it, I have now tried the factory 10 round, crapco 20 rounder, and most recently a 20 round fixed chinese mag. all have been 100% reliable.

it is MY OPINION, based on limited personal experience with the AK and SKS that the SKS is far superior to the AK especially considering the price differences involved. for everyone claiming that you can't compare a single rifle of one to a single of another and expect it to be an accurate representation of the total market. I grab every SKS and AK I see on the racks for the sole purpose of comparison. with the exception of mag wobble and canted sights, there is no difference in the fit/finish of an arsenal AK47 and a century, no difference in the ergos, no difference in the triggers, they are, in MY OPINION, a waste of extra dollars. as for the sks, I will conceed that too many people try to make it something that it is not and put the crapco T6 stocks with M4 telescoping stock and pistolgrip on it and they essentially ruin the essence of the SKS and turn it into a clunky, bulky rifle that has little practical application but in proper configuration with proper sights, it is a wonderful rifle and one which I would take any day of the week over an Arsenal or other top tier AK...

... OK I lied, I would take the AK, sell it and then buy the SKS and a few thousand rounds instead.

Cee Zee
February 4, 2014, 03:41 PM
I spent 3 years and well over 100 rounds trying to make myself like it

That sounds a lot like me and my AK. Only I put about 1000 rounds through it trying to make it work right. Never did. Certainly not many are as bad as the one I owned. I've seen some very nice models but I still like a good SKS over a good AK. Now if the AK was a true AK and was full auto that view would certainly change.

AK103K
February 4, 2014, 04:01 PM
Now if the AK was a true AK and was full auto that view would certainly change.
In what way?

Other than having an additional position on the selector, the "real" AK's, are really no different than the semi auto imports.

mr.trooper
February 4, 2014, 05:31 PM
If you are talking about an unconverted saiga with a 10 round mag, then yes, an SKS is just as good.

But then again, I'm not the sort of barrel burner who sheds lead at the astonishing rate of 100 rounds every 3 years. ;)

tahunua001
February 4, 2014, 09:03 PM
apparently I forgot a zero...
1000 rounds...
proceed with the chlorophyll.

Swampman
February 4, 2014, 11:37 PM
Originally posted by tahunua001
and it horribly unreliably unless you spent the extra money on crapco and Peemags .

VERY interesting!
Do you mind telling us where you purchased these "Peemags", since the AK Pmags haven't been available to the rest of us until the last month or so.

Also, I've never paid more than 8 bucks a pop for Tapco 30 round AK mags and I haven't seen any surplus for less than that in years.

Here's a question for all the AK owners reading this thread. Do you consider "crapco" mags MORE RELIABLE than surplus mags?
Understand that I'm not dissing Tapco here, but how many people would choose to load their home defense AK with Tapco mags in preference to quality surplus mags?

I'm guessing it'll be pretty close to the number who purchased "Peemags" for their AK's before January 2014!

goon
February 5, 2014, 01:21 AM
I'd try to stick to standard mil-spec AK mags. They work fine, they're made out of too much steel, and there just ain't much to go wrong with them.

I got a pack of "excellent" condition Romanian AK mags back when I bought my first AK and one of them looked like it had been buried in a Siberian outhouse for a decade. No finish, rust, a couple dents... etc. AIM Surplus sent me a replacement with no questions asked and let me keep the bad magazine. I cleaned it up a little and started using it - and it worked just fine.

I don't own an AK now but if I ever have another, I'll have steel magazines for it, even if I have to track them down one at a time for double the cost.

FWIW, I did break an FAL magazine once in normal use and I've seen some bad AR magazines too, but never a bad one for an AK.

Cee Zee
February 5, 2014, 03:01 AM
Other than having an additional position on the selector, the "real" AK's, are really no different than the semi auto imports.

That seems like a pretty significant difference to me.

Robbins290
February 5, 2014, 05:15 AM
The tapco mags seem to work just as good as factory steel mags. And at a third of the price. I bought 15 of them when the local cabelas had them on sale. Had to file them down to fit in the mag well. Im not sure how the tapco's will hold up to the abuse, as the lips are plastic too

benEzra
February 5, 2014, 07:12 AM
Here's a question for all the AK owners reading this thread. Do you consider "crapco" mags MORE RELIABLE than surplus mags?
No. The only advantage of the Tapco mags is lighter weight.

I don't think any magazines are more reliable than surplus, at least in 7.62x39mm. If the Pmags are *as* reliable as surplus at a lighter weight, they'll be ideal.

That seems like a pretty significant difference to me.
Not if what you are after is a good, reliable 7.62x39mm carbine (e.g. the subject of this thread) and not a select-fire assault rifle. Since we're comparing the civilian AK to the SKS for civilian use, select-fire capability is pretty much irrelevant.

Swampman
February 5, 2014, 09:08 AM
Honestly, I have no problem with Tapco products, in fact I've had several of their AK mags fully loaded for almost three years now to see how the unreinforced feed lips hold up over time. So far everything looks great, no noticeable creep whatsoever, and no failures at all when I've used them.
If they're still doing this well in 8 or 10 years, I might even consider using them for "serious" duty, but probably not. I KNOW the surplus mags are GTG and if I need something lighter, I have a few Bulgarian "Circle 10's" with steel reinforced feed lips that I trust implicitly.

The main reason I brought it up was to question the whole concept of someone claiming that spending more money :confused: on "crapco" mags was the best way to increase reliability.
Anyone with any real experience with AK's knows that aftermarket mags aren't really going to help reliability since the issue mags are excellent, albeit heavy as a blacksmith's anvil.

tahunua001
February 5, 2014, 09:29 AM
I did not say that any AK can be made more reliable with tapco mags, I said MY AK wouldn't feed from anything but tapcos. it had significant mag wobble and tapcos fit more snugly than steel surplus. this is common among century AKs where they take a grinder to them and open them up to allow for all mags to fit loosely but this pretty much ruins them for steel surplus which in my area cost half as much as a tapco. my older brothers century AK also will not feed from surplus and requires plastic mags.

AK103K
February 5, 2014, 09:59 AM
it had significant mag wobble and tapcos fit more snugly than steel surplus. this is common among century AKs where they take a grinder to them and open them up to allow for all mags to fit loosely but this pretty much ruins them for steel surplus which in my area cost half as much as a tapco. my older brothers century AK also will not feed from surplus and requires plastic mags.
Most AK's have mag wobble to some extent, and its actually correct and proper. WASR's arent the only ones that have it, nor is wobble usually an issue. My WASR has wobble and its never been an issue with any of the surplus mags I have. Nor have those mags been an issue in other AK's, including a few other WASR's, Ive used them in.

I would be leery of any mag that fit snug or tight, as that is not a proper fit, and would interfere with proper mag function.

If your guns dont feed from mags they were designed to feed from, then something is either wrong with your gun, or you have some seriously screwed up mags. I know a lot of people bitch about the WASR's, but they really arent that bad, and from all that Ive seen and handled, the "issue" mags have worked without issue, or seemed to fit correctly on those I didnt shoot.


Having had issues with a couple of things from Tapco and a few others early on, I learned my lesson, and personally, wont waste my money. The key to "improving" things, is to only do it where its truly needed, and then only with quality stuff. To many of these aftermarket companies pump out cool looking junk, with limited, if any real use or improvement.

Biohazard1993
February 5, 2014, 12:26 PM
That seems like a pretty significant difference to me.
yeah as far as rate of fire goes. the actual gun itself is almost the exact same thing. If you could get your hands on a full auto an individual could put almost every part on the semi auto.

Swampman
February 5, 2014, 06:10 PM
@ tahunua001

How did you get the "Peemags" prior to SHOT 2014?
Enquiring minds still want to know!
Were they the all plastic version, or the ones with steel reinforced feed lips and locking tabs?

goon
February 5, 2014, 06:36 PM
Wasn't U.S. Palm making polymer magazines for a couple years now? Maybe that's what he was thinking of.

tahunua001
February 5, 2014, 06:58 PM
promag... been out for many a year

MartinS
February 5, 2014, 07:17 PM
I have an AK, I do not have an SKS but I've fired one. Aside from any firepower issues the SKS is, to me, the sweeter shooter. Balance and maybe a bit more inherently accurate. I sort of like the idea of not having to lug the magazines around, if you just got bullets you're in business.

ridgerunner1965
February 5, 2014, 08:45 PM
simple solution, buy one of each. for accuracy and hunting id go with the sks, hands down. for ease of carry,quick mag change and a investment id go with the ak.the ak WILL be eventually be banned and at that point will raise in value hugely. for practical use they will each do what the other does.

the sks has the advantage of longer sighting plane, better stocking, allbeit poor stocks for us huge americans.

the ak can do anything a sks will do and vice versa.they both take practice to hit with reliablity.

justice06rr
February 6, 2014, 05:38 AM
the ak WILL be eventually be banned and at that point will raise in value hugely. for practical use they will each do what the other does.

Do you have a crystal ball that predicted this?

I sure hope its wrong...

AK103K
February 6, 2014, 08:18 AM
I sure hope its wrong...
Technically, its already been done.

Scoped
February 6, 2014, 10:35 AM
Scoped: If somehow "all else were equal", your ammo will last much longer in an original SKS than almost any AK Clone.
In these very delicate, unstable times, extra reserve could be worth something.

If your eyes are in good shape: even though a specific Tech Sight is available for the AK-47, the TS 200 improved accuracy on my SKS without a doubt, and consistently. With my rifle, I could easily outshoot guys who had their first M4, same distance. Never saw them again, so it's a totally invalid comparison. The modern, non-corrosive 7.62x39 ammo still costs a fair bit less.
Good luck with your decision, if still pending.
I looked up those sights! They are pretty nifty.. Probably have to buy one! as far as the ammo reserve... damn good point. This is going to be pending for a while lol. However, I have since decided (and yes, ive read EVERYTHING in this thread) that my sks will never leave my hands.. but, I will be welcoming an ak-47 in the near future when i have money to blow. I never thought that this would have became such a heated discussion, haha. Glad it did though.

goon
February 6, 2014, 03:21 PM
the ak WILL be eventually be banned and at that point will raise in value hugely. for practical use they will each do what the other does.

Well... we can do a lot to prevent that. I'm not ready to mount the defeatist horse (or to be mounted by the defeatist horse) just yet.

But if they're ever restricted from being transferred, the value of the AK is going to be worth nothing to anyone other than the current owner. There is a school of thought that says something lower profile like an SKS or Mini-14 is a better type of rifle to own because they're less likely to be targeted.

I guess we all have to make our own decisions on that one.

AK103K
February 6, 2014, 04:01 PM
Well... we can do a lot to prevent that.
I dont think we really have much say in the matter. If they want them banned, they will be banned.

They pretty much did that with the machine guns, and to an extent, along the same lines with the "assault" rifles.

The GCA 68 stopped the import of foreign machine guns for civilian ownership, and the 86 ban cinched anything else beyond that, and put whatever was left in the registry into loss by attrition. They could be all contraband at any given moment for that matter. Thats one reason I got out of them. To much equity gained and tied up in them to be lost in an instant, at some politicians whim.

Bush's import ban on assault weapons, followed by Clintons ban show how easy it is for them to do as they like, and nothing really stops them. It also shows that democrat or republican it doesnt matter, they all will follow the plan if told to. The NRA was worthless on all of them as well, and still is. Like the politicians, they need all the drama too, and they want constant strife so people keep sending them money.

All it would take, is the swipe of a pen, and its a done deal, on paper anyway. Its obvious, the masses dont seem to care one way or the other, and are easily manipulated into following or doing what they are told. We really have no rights when it comes down to it, if the powers that be say so. An illusion of rights, yes, true rights, no, not anymore.

Oh, and if you think that SKS wont be banned as well, dont bet the farm on it. Just look at what went on in NY. That can happen anywhere, and at any given moment.

stubbicatt
February 6, 2014, 04:21 PM
There are so many variables in ascertaining which rifle is the "best" or "most accurate"...

The ergonomics of how the piece fits your body, you preference on pistol grip versus standard stock design, the length of pull, whether you wish to install an optic, etc.; the dimensions of the chamber of a given rifle, the bore diameter, off center bores, nicked crowns, and myriad other issues of stock pressure on the barrel, etc. All of these will affect the ability of you to shoot a given rifle accurately.

Heck, given 10 examples of an SKS manufactured the same day or an AK manufactured the same day, one of them will outshine each of its contemporaries in the accuracy department... If you are the purchaser of that rifle, well good for you!

Due to all of these variables, I will demur and say that get the one that you like, that fits you, and you shoot well. Truth to tell it is a crap shoot if when you trade your SKS for an AK you get something better or something worse.

Cee Zee
February 6, 2014, 04:41 PM
They are very close in many regards especially quality. But I'd have to give the nod to the SKS for accuracy and the AK for features. I prefer the SKS for it's features though. They are very similar rifles really. But we can't forget that one is more expensive by a good bit either.

goon
February 6, 2014, 05:58 PM
I dont think we really have much say in the matter. If they want them banned, they will be banned.

That's the spirit!

Art Eatman
February 6, 2014, 06:01 PM
Sorta gotten away from comparing. :)

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