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Reliability .. SKS vs AK

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by tnieto2004, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. tnieto2004

    tnieto2004 Well-Known Member

    I was looking at both of mine today .. I hear a lot about the AK's reliability and I was wondering how the SKS would match up.. The SKS is built like a tank (IMO) and mine has always been reliable .. Anyone ever done a test? Or what is your oppinion?? Thanks!

    HOLY DIVER Well-Known Member

    do you know how may rounds it would take to wear either one of those rifles out?thats a million dollar ????you have there lol
  3. hobbeeman

    hobbeeman Well-Known Member

    I know from experience that the SKS can have Gas issues, that really hamper reliability IMO. It took at least 4 range trips and some trading of parts at two shows to solve the gas problem on one of my SKS.

    That said, I know longer own an AK because I just like the simplicity of the SKS better than the AK...go figure
  4. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Well-Known Member

    I'm no SKS expert, but I would think that the potential for error in reloading the SKS is greater than that of reloading the AK....if for no other reason, because you have to do it more often.

    Any time a tool requires you to do something to make it work, you introduce human error and adversely affect reliablility
  5. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Well-Known Member

    A good SKS is so much fun to own and shoot. It is reliable and hunting accurate and makes for a good truck or SHTF riflle.
  6. tnieto2004

    tnieto2004 Well-Known Member

    That is what I was thinking .. With stripper clips .. It can be a REALLY good SHTF gun .. I have also taken deer and hogs with it.. I dunno which I prefer or which I would trust more .. hmmmm
  7. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Well-Known Member

    If we're talking stock, I'd say it's a tossup. If we're talking SKS's with detachable mags, then the AK wins hands down. I think the AK design is inherently a little more reliable, (long stroke vs. short stroke piston and there's a little less of the bolt carrier exposed), but having a fixed magazine is a bit of an advantage too. Even when mags are built like tanks, like AK mags are, they still sometimes develop problems.
  8. Hokkmike

    Hokkmike Well-Known Member

    The AK is clearly an improvement over the SKS. The SKS is Korean early Viet Nam vintage technology. Modern (foreign) armies are not armed with the SKS for a reason. They are issued AK's and its variants.

    Also, I have owned and shot both. My very limited experience backs this up.
  9. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Well-Known Member

    The SKS and the AK were made only a few years apart...
  10. aka108

    aka108 Well-Known Member

    I've never had a failure with the SKS or the AK but would say the SKS would probably be the most prone to some type of failure. It simply has more parts.
  11. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    SKSs are reliable, last forever, rugged battle rifles to the max, and are CHEAP! Either gun is just a toy to me, so I go with the cheap range toy. There is no real use for this thing. I dressed one of 'em up as a hunting rifle, but a poor excuse for one. Took one deer with it, The other could do defensive duty outdoors if I had any use for that, if the Muslims invade or something, I guess. But, rifles for me are for hunting. Handguns are for self defense (because that's what you can carry concealed into Lubys), and shotguns are for birds, rabbits, and safe room duties in the house. If I wanted to go to war and kill somebody for some weird reason, emulate Sargent York or something, I'd choose neither. Sargent York would laugh at the accuracy of these things. Even he couldn't hit squat past 200 yards. ROFL

    To ME (YMMV), they're fun, cheap range toys. Take your pick, whatever turns you on. I'd take an accurized M1A over either to play Sargent York.
  12. possum

    possum Well-Known Member

    i have both and they are equally reliable and i have yet to have trouble with either one.

    there is more room for error with an ak as it is magazine fed, and everyone knows that the number one cause for issues in a magazine feed semi auto is the magazie. unless of course the sks in question is not stock. alot of folks make mods that don't work on sks's and they aren't reliable at all, and run like crap. if the sks is a d model and made to accept ak mags then fine but alot of the bubba jobs are botched and work crappy.
  13. mp510

    mp510 Well-Known Member

    SKS were used in the Balkans conflicts right alongside AKs. They were resently made too- the C&R cutoff manufacture date for 59/66's is 1992 production.
  14. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    I'm not a "modern army", therefore I do not need the suppressive fire qualities of the AK, thank yu very much. I'm an American citizen, not the member of an assault squad.

    One thing I did to one of my SKSs that does work is add a Chicom 20 round magazine. It was not perfect. At first it didn't work at all until I knife edged the lip where the magazine cap closes on the body of the magazine. Now, it's 100 percent. However, it only holds 19, not 20, go figure. Stripper clips are only 10 rounds, but at least you can get off 19 before having to reload, I mean, if there's a battalion sized group of BGs assaulting your abode. For anything I could possibly think of to use the gun for in the civilian world, it's plenty of firepower. I used to travel with that gun in a case in the car/truck, but I really prefer shotguns as long guns for close range defense or any of a number of scenarios that don't involve shooting 100 yards at something.

    I've found your average SKS to possess slightly more accuracy than the average AK. That is important, more important than firepower for an individual. That alone is enough to choose the SKS, not even taking price into consideration. I've gotten 3 MOA out of both of my SKSs, which is almost useful out to maybe 150 yards. One thing I sorta like about 'em, don't know about the AK, but might apply, is I can remove the gas piston and operate the gun as a straight pull bolt. Why, you ask? I reload and I don't like chasing brass when I'm firing hunting ammo I've concocted. Yeah, with milsurp, who cares? :D
  15. Hoppy590

    Hoppy590 Well-Known Member

    SKS-45 AK-47
    both were in design at the end of the war. the SKS may have seen testing in Berlin,while the AK had yet to be finalized.

    the SKS seems to have served as a testing bed for the 7.62X39 rather than as a rifle in its own right. the SKS design was from some of Simonov's earlier works, the PTRS (14.5X114 anti tank) and AVS-36 (7.62X54r semi auto, with box mag). essentialy the SKS and PTRS are the same rifle, only differant sizes

    while the 7.62 was relatively new, and the AK 47 was stll being developed the soviets probibly need to test the cartridge, and what better way than take a proven design and test the round in that. it also helped to bridge the gap between, subgun, and mosin. in terms of both power, and fire power. and while the soviets did have the SVT to bridge the firepower gap. they were very expensive and complex to make compared to the simonov design
  16. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking that you would have to burn a LOT of ammo in either one to prove any significant rate of failure in one over the other. The more you practice loading the SKS, the more proficient and consistent you are with it. I would say the advantage of the AK in capacity is somewhat hampered by the fact that the magazines are somewhay bulky and clumsy to reload when you aren't used to them either.
  17. Omaney

    Omaney Well-Known Member

    I have both and would rather have my AK (WASR variant). Not because of reliability issues. My SKS has a very ugly trigger creep and is a bit heavier. The G2 on the WASR is pretty crisp. Both are entirely reliable and capable. I really need to get that SKS trigger worked on.
  18. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    elmerfudd has it I think. A stock SKS, without Bubba or any additional aftermarket parts, is usually very very reliable. As soon as you start messing with SKS's (esp the mag) it tends to introduce problems.

    As far as their tactical value, the SKS has the big advantage of not having to rely on a bunch of heavy magazines. A soldier can carry a ton of ammo on strippers in the handy belly pouches. There's also no need to mess around re-charging empty magazines. A strong argument can be made that in semi-auto only the SKS is the more sensible design, and the AK only has a real advantage when it's used in full auto as an assault rifle. That's also the only reason for the bigger magazine.

    Neither is a "cheap toy." SKS's have in fact been used by civilians in self defense. There was one such case in Texas recently IIRC. And they beat any handgun for that purpose. To choose a short gun over an AK clone or SKS if you have a choice makes no sense at all. As far as accuracy, the SKS's are on average slightly better than the AK. Neither are up to the level of an AR-15, but they don't need to be. I've also seen one of those old "cheap toys" used for hunting alces alces gigas no less. I helped butcher the thing afterwards in xchange for dog meat, and he looked dead to me ;-) The moose had stomped around a bit spraying blood, but the 150 grain sp's took him down in the end just like a .30'06 or .338 would have.
  19. CWL

    CWL Well-Known Member


    The SKS was a 1945 weapon and the AK was adopted in 1949...

    The reason why the AK was formally adopted is that it fit Soviet infantry doctrine: overpower your enemy thru mass assault & firepower. Volume of fire was more important than accuracy of an individual. Nothing 'modern' about this battle tactic. The AK was chosen because it used interchangeable magazines.

    As for reliability, I have seen rusted discards of both left in the field.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2008
  20. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    In my collection, my SKSs were cheap and they are range toys. I'd carry one for defense, but I can't find a good IWB holster for one. For as home defense, I prefer buckshot if I go long gun.

    I killed a doe with my SKS once at about 80 yards quartering toward me. Tough shot, but made it. At that range, the bullet is no more than something over an inch off in any direction, good enough to woods ranges. I have better hunting rifles, though. But, it was only 75 bucks before mounting the scope and adding a better stock, ambi safety and 5 round magazine. By the time I put all that on it, it came up to real money. LOL I stuck a spotlight I had sitting around on it and use it for night hunting, now, so at least it gets some use other than on paper....I hope, just started night hunting with it and ain't shot hog with it, yet. For what I've put in it, though, I sorta like it. It might be somewhat sloppy accuracy, but it's good 'nuf at woods ranges. While other guns would no doubt work better, the thing is fun to shoot and that's enough justification to own it, after all. Unfortunately mil surp is getting more expensive now days. But, that affects the AK, too. Worst comes to worst, I have dies. :D

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