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Tax Return... Upgrade to budget AR... Stick with 7.62x39... Decisions... Decisions...

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by FatGeek, Feb 7, 2010.


To AR or Not to AR

Poll closed Feb 21, 2010.
  1. Sell SKS & ammo, add $350, buy budget AR15

  2. Sell SKS, add $250, buy WASR w/folding stock

  3. Sell SKS, add $350, buy AK-47

  4. Keep shopping for SKS M or other SKS that takes AK mags

  1. FatGeek

    FatGeek Well-Known Member

    Need your input, experience, etc.

    The itch for an AR15 has been getting worse and worse, and I see a limited window of opportunity to get one. Someone at the local range let me shoot one, which really got this ball rolling. It didn't help that the EOTech he had on top made it so easy to hit POA at 50 yards...

    In order to get an AR and keep peace at home (gotta sell one to get one rule), I have to sell my SKS (Norinco), accessories and case of ammo, and put it toward the new rifle. Adding similar/same cash could also get me close to a SKS M, WASR, or AK, which allows me to keep the case of 7.62x39, as opposed to finally getting an AR but having to start building up ammo again. The frustration with the SKS fixed magazine and duckbill detachable magazines are the motivating factors here. If there is another economical 7.62x39 rifle that accepts AK mags I'm not aware of, I'll accept going that route over the AR to save money.

    If my estimations above are completely off, or you see other options, please educate and enlighten me.

    Thank you for your time.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2010
  2. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Well-Known Member

    The AR weapon system is a whole different level, especially when you add an Aimpoint/Eotech.

    Stag makes a good budget minded rifle. So is CMMG's Bargin bin.

    You can also order a complete LMT lower from your local gun store and then order a comlete upper online. I like BCM's uppers and boltcarrier groups. No assembly required, just pop all the components together.

    I strongly recommend getting your Eotech/Aimpoint from Larue Tactical in one of their Mount combos. Lower 1/3 cowitness and the ability to remove and replace the optic without loseing zero.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2010
  3. sv51macross

    sv51macross Well-Known Member

    I remember that there is a company that makes and sells modular AR lowers that separate the trigger group/grip/stock half from the magazine well so that one can not only swap upper receivers, but the magazine well can be switched from STANAG to AK rock n' lock. The name escapes me at the moment though...
  4. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

    You forgot one option. Wear the pants in the family. Keep the SKS and ammo. Save your money for another month. Buy your wife a new pair of shoes, an ipod, whatever. Then buy the AR15. Enjoy life.

    The SKS is a fine affordable weapon. I would NOT sell it. Their prices have increased steadily and will continue to do so. They have gone from $60 a decade ago to around $300 for a common SKS... a 5-fold increase in value. If you are 'frustrated' with reloading, learn to use stripper clips. The SKS was not designed to use detachable magazines and for the life of me I don't understand why everybody wants to trick theirs out to do this. Stripper clips can be rather fast. I'm a big fan of the SKS. If you decide to sell, PM me.

    Based on your critiria, you don't want an AK47 (for the life of me I don't know why... they are great guns and a great buying opportunity now because the market is flooded and you can get them for sub-$500), so don't get one.

    Conversely, AR15 prices have plummeted. Right now is a great buying opportunity for an AR15. You can easily get a good one for $700. Heck that's less than it was a decade ago! Or even in 2009! They have flooded the market, in large part, ironically, to Obama getting elected. Companies ramped up production trying to sell AR15s for $1200 and now they are taking a beating trying to give'em away!
  5. desidog

    desidog Well-Known Member

    One other option: Buy ammo and use it.
  6. 1832

    1832 Well-Known Member

    Sell the SK.
    Buy the AR.
    Keep the ammo and get a 7.62x39 Upper for the AR later on
  7. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you are on a budget, that's ok.

    But if you want a AR that's going to run your around $500 at the lowest, the Eotech you want is another $250 or so. Plus decent (no reloads) 5.56 ammo is still running around $375 per thousand.

    Upgrading to a AK lets you keep the ammo you already have (and is cheaper than 5.56) buy cheap $10 steel mags that just work (Pmags for ARs are running $12.50 in bulk), and lets you get a commie optic that fits the side rail on the AK you're going to buy.

    Commie optics can be had for under $200 and are built like a brick lavatory. BSW

    Here's a under $200 red dot on my AKs side rail.

  8. wally

    wally Well-Known Member

    You want an AR, so get the AR. Any other choice will leave you second guessing yourself. No reason you can't get an AK later.

    Extra uppers are not guns so you can buy on the net when you have the money and find at the right price.

    Any AK will likely be less accurate than is your SKS, any AR will likely be more accurate.
  9. Al LaVodka

    Al LaVodka member

    The CORRECT solution is to keep the SKS too and get past that sell-one/buy-one rule. Does that go for purses and shoes? Get a "safe" and more guns. You'll be divorced or have moved out of your current situation eventually anyway and rue the day you sold your $100 SKS.
  10. wally

    wally Well-Known Member

    Where? Best I've ever done is about $300 for the bottom of the line model that takes AA batteries, and that was a good while ago, $350 is about the best I've seen lately.

    On a budget, the Vortex "StrikeFire" is a very nice red dot for $150, and I like the Barska M16 Electrosight for plinking at about $75.
  11. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Well-Known Member

    I was lowballing it. He might get lucky and find a fool selling a used one...

  12. rfurtkamp

    rfurtkamp Well-Known Member

    Buy what you really want, even if it means saving up or risking your war at home. You won't be happy otherwise and be spending a ton more money over the long term as you shift towards what you want.

    You'll lose money selling a gun you already have plunked down a pile of cash on for ammo and accessories, a no-brainer to not do if you don't have to.

    Buy your AR a piece at a time if you have to. Lower, upper, BCG, sights, 22 conversion kit (since you're on a budget, this additional expense is a very wise one).

    Or spend the $350 on marriage counselling to "and keep peace at home (gotta sell one to get one rule)" - if you've submitted to a rule like that, there are deeper troubles in your home.
  13. FatGeek

    FatGeek Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your input, I do appreciate your candor. Yes, there are problems at home, all of which I accept responsibility for, I made my bed, now I have to lie in it. Walking away from my daughter is not an option. If the wife decides to throw me out, that's her decision, I'll do everything I can for my daughter's sake to prevent it.

    Thinking everything over again, any thought of selling the SKS will only bring regret down the road. Thank you. DUH!

    Leadcounsel - The AK hasn't seemed like an option mostly because of the reading done online about too many of them not being accurate enough to hit a pie pan at 100 yards, and only being good for really close range. On the other hand, they seem to have a reputation for being able to eat any ammo and run dirty forever, over an AR not as much. I do understand that all information online is subjective to the user and each case is different.

    ARs dropping to $700 in stores is what I don't want to pass up. When the next gun run hits and prices shoot back up quickly, I'd like to have gotten one at $700, even though 5.56 prices aren't attractive now and will be worse when demand shoots back up. The .22 conversion kit is a no brainer because it makes practice so affordable.

    I had looked into building an AR a while back and was going through the videos on brownells.com, but with new fully assembled rifles at the store for $700, it seems like its cheaper to buy than build, unless the $700 units are that low in material quality. I'll continue to go through the videos and will shop around once the return hits, I'd almost prefer to build just for the learning process.

    Thanks again for your input.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2010
  14. Golden_006

    Golden_006 Well-Known Member

    How much are SKSs that take AK mags supposed to cost?

    I've haven't seen one for less than 600 dollars and for that kind of money it seems there are better options. Not to mention I'd just as soon have a Romanian one for half the money than some Chinese one ak mag or not, and withtthe money left over be 1/2 way to a budget AR.
  15. buy guns

    buy guns Well-Known Member

    What about getting a Saiga and converting it? I plan on doing that and have never heard anyone complain about their accuracy.
  16. SpeedAKL

    SpeedAKL Well-Known Member

    In your situation I'd go with a quality AK.
  17. Expertowgunner

    Expertowgunner Well-Known Member

    i dont know why some folks constantly bash aks for supposed pie plate accuracy. Ive owned 2 wasrs, 1 vepr, a 5.45 tantal, norinco mak-90, and my current arsenal ak-104 clone. Only one of the wasrs were pie plate accurate most could hold a decent group off a bench (anywhere between 2-4 moa at 100 yds). my vepr and arsenal were god awesomly accurate (vepr got 1.5-2 moa with a eotech at 100 yds with remington no joke). i think most people got a negative idea of seeing hajis spray and pray on tv or shoot their buddies ak by shooting without really idea of trying to be remotely accurate (have had that happen more than once, when i a guy shoots his first ak he thinks to just lob as many rounds downrange as possible but if its my rra m4 clone they get "tacticool" and actually try to aim). had a norinco sks and i would definetly say it was NOT as accurate as the other aks except for one of the wasrs that i had. either sell the sks at a great price and get a high end ak or buy a saiga or a good wasr or better yet a sar you find cheap. do not buy a low end ar you will just be tempted to sell it to get a better one down the line and you will get screwed.
  18. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    I like AK's (I shoot a SAR-1 with a Kobra optic), but if you want an AR, you want an AR, not an AK. You should be able to get a pretty decent price for your 7.62x39mm ammo, BTW.

    The one thing is, whatever AR you get, get one with a flattop receiver, not a fixed carry handle, or else you won't be able to easily mount optics later. If you get a stripped-down model without a rear sight initially, the Magpul MBUS is probably the cheapest quality option. You can shoot it with the irons for now and add optics as you can.
  19. Fremmer

    Fremmer Well-Known Member

    Keep the SKS and ammo.

    Buy a quality lower and mags right now. Save your money (until next year, if necessary), and then get the upper; one with a removeable carry handle. A year seems like a long time, but it'll pass in a flash, and you'll stick that upper onto your lower and start shootin' with irons. Buy the Eotech whenever you can find a great deal on it (again, well after next year if necessary). That's what I'd do.

    Avoid the divorce if possible. You'll never know pain like that of missing out on your children growing up. :(
  20. Sholiz

    Sholiz Active Member

    Fremmer hit it on the head! I'm a 20-something and broke as a joke! Unemployed, wife works, we both go to college ... I bought a Daniel Defense 12" handguard, got a great deal on it LNIB (mounted on rifle, shot, didn't like, sold). Last week I ordered an Aero Precision lower from AmmoSurplus.com for $230 total after paying the transfer fee's at my FFL. I'll be buying a "stripped" complete upper from Bravo Company, I've bought a mag here and a mag there over the last few weeks ...

    $230 lower
    $250 for 12" DD Lite rail
    $525 for BCM upper

    Add a BCG, and iron sights, and I'll have a top-shelf gun for around $1000.

    Granted, a $330 upper from this week's issue of Shotgun Weekly and the same lower would have built a $550 AR, but I might hesitate in grabbing that from the safe over even an SKS in terms of reliability.

    Get a good idea of your primary purpose (SHTF, duty gun, HD, safe queen, range gun) and buy parts when you find good deals. You won't have to drop $1500 initially to get to the range with a good gun, or drop $2100 after replacing all the parts on a $600 paperweight.

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