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SKS vs. AK47 as first centerfire rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Tarendol, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. Tarendol

    Tarendol Active Member

    Hi everyone! I have been very happy with my pistols and my bolt-action .22, but for a while I have wanted to get a rifle with a little more power for use at the range, and something I could use for SHTF if it really came to it. I am saving up for an AR-15 that I want, but it will be a while before I can afford it. Anyway, there is a gun show this weekend, and I saw some AK's and SKS's for a good price. But I honestly don't know much about the SKS. The dealer (who was selling both) told me that the SKS is slightly more accurate than the AK... but they were a lot more beat up so I have no idea if that is only true for new ones. I do know that the SKS uses the 10 round stripper clip rather than the AK's detachable magazine. I do eventually want an AK, but buying one now will increase the time it takes to buy the AR I really want, where the SKS is no problem. However, I don't want to buy something I will be unhappy with. Any advice?
  2. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Well-Known Member

    It's a matter of personal preference. You already know the key differences. Both are boringly reliable. Both are "minute of goblin" accurate, which is to say they'll get the job done as long as the job isn't competitive target shooting. They use the same ammo.

    Personally, the SKS has never done anything for me. I prefer the AK. The SKS is cheaper, though, which means you'll have more money left over for practice ammo and to buy that AR you want.
  3. lawson

    lawson Well-Known Member

    i recently bought an AK, because i didn't want to regret not buying one if there was another assault weapons ban. i already have 2 sks carbines.

    both are accurate enough, both are fun, but my problem with the AK was that it was too much fun to empty a magazine downrange. the first time i shot it, i went through 2 30 rounders pretty quickly, and then thought "crap, that was three boxes of ammo!"
  4. el44vaquero

    el44vaquero Well-Known Member

    I have a couple yugo sks rifles and really enjoy them. Right now I'm trying to get a hold of a AK from the folks at AIM Surplus. I've got a side deal going with a guy for an AR. Got to cover all my bases in battle rifles. ;)
  5. The-Fly

    The-Fly Well-Known Member

    one thing i love about the AK compared to the SKS (or any other rifle) is how friggin easy it is to take em apart and clean them. For SHTF scenarios i would prefer an AK due to bigger mag capacity, and ease of reloading (just swap the mags). Also, when you need to field clean it, you can get by with a bore snake and a cheap nylon brush (hell a tooth brush would even work).
  6. PAC 762

    PAC 762 Well-Known Member

    I find the AK more ergonomic and, more importantly, more handy then the SKS. The 30 detachable mags seal the deal for me.
  7. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Well-Known Member

    I'll pretty much echo the sentiments of everyone else. I have a Rommie AK clone and a Yugo SKS. The Yugo SKS is more accurate and feels more like a rifle while the AK is more handy and definately counts as a carbine. Both will take care of any social encounter out to 300 meters or a little more if you do your part, but you'll never dress either up as a varmint rifle. Kalashnikovs are neat. I love em. I don't even see the need for a poodle shooter since I got my Rommie.
  8. Caseless

    Caseless Well-Known Member

    Check your local 7.62x39 ammo supply first. This ammo is harder to find than Uranium ore now.:(
    That being said, AK all the way if you like adding accessories to your weapons. SKS is a traditional type carbine with very few practical add-on accessories available. Accuracy has more to do with the trigger feel and sighting system on these types of weapons than inherent accuracy IMO.
  9. armoredman

    armoredman Well-Known Member

    Ammo is hard to come by right now, if all you want to shoot is Wolf. I get by with reloading for my Yugos...great reliable rifles, brand new/unissued for $161 delivered from J&G Sales.
    Will get an AK from J&G soon to compare...but I never did spray and pray. I'll get some 10 round or 5 round mags for range use...
  10. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Well-Known Member

    For a first rifle, I would suggest to go ahead and get an SKS to play with. You can get for for a little over $100. For another $100, you can get a case of ammo. If the sights don't work very well, you can get the Tech Sights rear sight attachment for another $65 or so. With the Tech Sight, you can start hitting 4" clays at 100 yards without too much problem. Also, you don't need to buy magazines. You can get 20 or more 10 round stripper clips for under $10 and a little pouch to carry all 200 rounds.

    Now, I have a Vepr K. To be honest, I bought it first since I had little or no experience with SKS's or AK's. However, an SKS is just too good a value to ignore, and it is an easy gun to take care of. The money you save can go toward more ammo or other accessories like the Tech Sights.

    An AK is definitely something you will want to pick up, but take your time and get a good one.

    I don't know why someone would say an SKS is more difficult to take apart for cleaning. The method is pretty much identical to that of the AK with one or two extra gas system parts. It is easy, and the SKS doesn't require polishing anything.
  11. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Well-Known Member

    Down here around Houston, I have seen plenty of Wolf 7.62X39 available. It is not as cheap as it was last summer, but it has been available. There are several online people that are shipping it now as well. I have even seen some S&B brass 7.62X39 at gun shows, but it is more expensive.
  12. pauli

    pauli Well-Known Member

    personally, i would get the sks. i didn't like the sensation of reciprocating mass in the ak i played with. and i prefer rifles that look like rifles, anyway. but that's just me.
  13. Moonclip

    Moonclip Well-Known Member

    I'd get both as the SKS is not that expensive or if you really want the AR, get the SKS and use the money you save to be ahead for that future purchase.
  14. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

    My only gripes on the AK are the rock-and-lock mags interfering with foregrips and crappy iron sights. The rainbow trajectory of the bullets is another gripe if I had to shoot beyond 300 yards. With a 50 yard zero it shoots within 1 moa of zero out to 200 yards and 15 inches (5moa) at 300. At 400 yards it gets a bit more untenable due to the 4 feet of bullet drop.

    The SKS doesnt fix the AKs problems. Same cartridge, less ammo capacity, less ergonomic,

    I think the SKS has a slight edge in accuracy, but not so much that the AK cant make up for the occaisional miss with extra shots.
  15. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    I really like my SKS-45 better than any AK clone I've shot. But here's the pros and cons:

    Less expensive in general
    Actual, orginal combat arm--not a clone
    Works off stripper clips
    Generally a notch more accurate, and can be more easily accurized
    Handles more like a traditional rifle
    Milled not stamped
    Somewhat easier to keep clean

    AK Clone
    Higher capacity
    Works off easily detachable and pretty reilable mags
    Better safety
    Tolerates dirt a little better
    Looks meaner
  16. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

    They make milled AKs that are a notch more accurate than most.:D
  17. Limeyfellow

    Limeyfellow Well-Known Member

    I perfer my SKS to the ak47s I fired as they fit my hands better, as reliable and I tend to just leave stripper clips and have more experience so I am happier with them over magazines on most occasions. They also more solid feeling and I be happier to bash someone with one.
  18. Tarendol

    Tarendol Active Member

    Thanks for all the comments. The dealer seems friendly and actually lives less than an hour from me, so I don't feel too much pressure to buy something this very minute. When I go back to the show I am going to check more closely on the condition of the SKS barrels, I looked online and saw that it is easy to get a corroded barrel. Anyway, I am sure one day I will have my AR, an AK, and an SKS, I just can only get one at a time! :)
  19. Mulliga

    Mulliga Well-Known Member

    I say get what you really want. If you want an AR, get an AR - don't beat around the bush and waste money on stuff you don't need.

    An SKS is a cool plinker and all, especially for the price, but once you get an AK, there's no need for an SKS. I owned all three once upon a time, and realized that my AR did everything my AK and SKS did, so I ditched the latter two.
  20. GILROY

    GILROY Well-Known Member

    I have both. SKS is a great utility rifle. If I could only have one it wiuld be the AK. Folding stock and high capacity makes it more versatile. But it looks more "evil" if seen by the general public. BTW, I would sell my AR before my AK, but that is a personal preference.

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