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"New" SKS vs. AR Thread

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Speedo66, Dec 12, 2016.

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  1. gsbuickman

    gsbuickman Member

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    one thing that most people don't realize is the SKS-M is not a real milsurp SKS, it's a cheap production imposter rifle, and it was never issued or used by any military branches, and I don't think it has any relevance in the premise of the OP's original thread.

    IMO the only reason it garnered any kind of popularity was due to the fact that it was rigged up for AK mags before being exported to the Western Market as a sales gimmick.

    I still find it hard to believe just how far some people will go to acquire one these days. I've had my fair share of milsurp SKS rifles which is quite a few, and they've all been dead nuts reliable without a single issue. after hearing about these for so long I finally acquired one with the original thumbhole stock. now that I look back on it, that has to be the worst gun trade I've ever made and it ended up being the most unreliable and biggest POS I've ever had. I understand some guys have good luck with them and that's fine, but imo this one was a real piece of crap. I ended up having a local guy offer me $600 for it and after informing him of all the trouble I had with it, he said he'd get it straightened out but in the end I was just glad to see that damn thing go. now I have the Jilin' Providence DP marked SKS pictured in my previous post and I really like this one.
     
  2. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    My commercial Norinco was not a mil-surp in the sense that it was issued to any military either. But it is an all numbers matching gun with a threaded barrel and milled trigger guard. I still have the canvas sling and canvas ammo vest it came with, too.

    I'd still would have liked to have gotten my hands on an SKS-M back in the day. Since I had to file, fit, and tweak the ol' USA Mag 30 round duck bill* to work in my SKS, I'm thinking I could figure out how to make an SKS-M work, too.

    * Long ago removed due to my preference for the fixed mag.
     
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  3. 1stmarine

    1stmarine Member

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    I understand Sam. But perhaps comparing the SKS with other classics or surplus would provide a more meaningful insight. Like M1 carbine, Garand, Remington model 8, etc...
     
  4. Browning

    Browning Member

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    For the vast majority of shooters (at least the ones I've seen) this doesn't bear out on a timer.

    If you take them on a course of fire and have them shoot with irons and then once they're done have them shoot the same exact course of fire I've never seen anyone run it in less time with the irons. Once they're familiarized with a dot they run it in less time.

    This isn't a study I've put together with a wide range of shooters of varying skill levels, this is just my own observations from I've seen with family members, friends and co-workers at the department (many of whom initially made the same claims of being faster and more proficient with irons based on long standing use and sometimes decades of training) and running both them and myself in an effort to find out if there was something to be gained from mounting a dot in some cases.

    What I have seen a few times though is that the gains in switching to a red dot weren't as great with a small minority of shooters who've really put the time in and who've shot literally truckloads of ammo to get to that level of proficiency with their iron sighted rifle.

    So for a very small percentage of the shooting population who are masters of their iron sighted rifle spending $200 to $700's to buy a red dot to gain a fraction of a second isn't that important and their irons came free with their rifle.

    That group of riflemen is a lot smaller than people often think it is though and sometimes they aren't even a part of it at all. It's hard to dispute the findings of a clock vs their estimation of that time.

    Since this is the net and since I have absolutely no idea what your skill level is with those irons it's completely possible that you could beat your own time using a red dot. However based on previous experience of guys who said that they'd beat their own time with irons as opposed to a dot (myself included around 2004 or '05) I respectfully submit that I kind of doubt it.

    Irons vs dot once they've become familiar with it they beat their own time with a dot.

    Instead of lining 3 objects up it's just 2 objects.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2016
  5. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    I haven't seen anyone use an SKS in any kind of match in ten years or more.
    Will it work? Sure. is it the best? No.
     
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  6. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    It's funny how difficult it now becomes to separate the inherent value of a carbine from its ability to easily and "suitably"* mount optics. But I can't get away from that reality.

    Especially in the low light conditions that most of us probably envision being a given during a home invasion "bump in the night" sort of situation.



    (By "suitably" I mean, sure you can put a scope on an SKS, but most of those arrangements are demonstrably downright bad, and the very best of them, probably something like the Ultimak rail setup [which Ultimak doesn't make...so maybe never mind!], are limited in what they can give you.)
     
  7. md7

    md7 Member

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    I'm not part of the small group of riflemen referenced in your post. Wish I was though!

    My ARs were irons only for several years. I'd say I'm reasonably proficient with irons at the ranges I normally shoot. The aimpoint I put on last September seems to help me be at least as accurate as I am with irons, and quicker to boot. I find its quicker to get on target initially, and quicker to put subsequent rounds on target as compared to irons. At least for me it is.

    In my experience, the aimpoint is very helpful in low light conditions where picking up a sight post is difficult and in shooting from unorthodox positions. (On your side, on your back, on the move, etc)
     
  8. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    The one you know, know how to fix when it goes down, and can work efficiently with is the best one.

    But the AR is quantifiably better than the SKS in every conceivable way. The recoil advantage, the weight and size advantage, the light and optic mounting advantage, the speed to fix malfunctions and reload advantage, the domestic support should something break advantage, the accuracy... There's no compelling reason to buy an SKS other than "want", at this point. And want is a valid enough reason to pick an SKS over an AR if you have other roles for the rifle, but I would suggest someone to run a carbine course with an SKS before they commit to buying one for defense.

    Ultimately, the SKS is still a capable rifle, but the value proposition with it is just not there anymore.
     
  9. Browning

    Browning Member

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    Yeah, red dots are quicker and head placement isn't as critical.

    On some of the smaller MOA dots (1 and 2 MOA) at least the dot doesn't cover part of the target and you can do good work at distance. On the larger dots they seem to be meant for pure speed at <100 yards though, they completely cover the target. On those I like the triangles, you can just put the point of aim on the tip of the triangle (like on the WWII-era post type reticles and the Trijicon Accupoint post reticle, although those are magnified).
     
  10. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    The SKS is a great beater of a truck gun but it's limited in what it can do no matter how much stuff from the tapco catalog you put on it.

    It was a great rifle for the 40's. It was a great buy at less than a hundred dollars. But it's apples and watermelons with today's modern sporting rifles.

    Just checked gunbroker. SKS are selling for same price of a low end/home built AR. Not a single reason I can think of to buy one now.
     
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  11. gsbuickman

    gsbuickman Member

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      • I'd take the SKS in a heartbeat, and here is why:
        1.) Ease of disassembly. The SKS can be taken apart for maintenance without any tools.

        2.) Easy to maintain system. ARs are notoriously finicky unless they are clean. An SKS can run dirty for a very long time and virtually any oil or grease can keep it lubricated - not so for the AR. Sure, you may be on your farm, but if we're talking Panic in Year Zero here the longer you spend on maintenance, the less the gun is available on the fly. If the panic lasts longer than your supply of CLR, Dri Lube or whatever else your AR needs to function, you're hosed. The SKS was designed to run as well on axle grease or pig fat as it will on proper lubricants.

        3.) The SKS is not a picky eater. Steel, aluminum or brass casings, odd bullet weights, odd projectile shapes, hot loads or plinkers, the SKS can digest them all. Tighter tolerances on the AR and a more finnicky gas system mean more possible issues from oddball ammo. Just for poops and chuckles I've even seen an SKS run on several hundred black powder handloads without hiccup. Let's see how many home-brew-supplies-have-run-out-and-we're-back-to-basics BP loads an AR could run before dying spectacularly. I'm guessing a handful at best since I've seen a particularly dirty batch of Wolf disable one before we had even moved onto the second mag.

        4.) The SKS in it's original configuration doubles as a club. The human forehead, in its original configuration, doubles as an AR destroyer.

        5.) Will the gun need to double as a brush gun for game? While the AR is way more accurate I think most people would agree that it isn't the best in dense foliage against larger animals. The 7.62x39, however, is basically a soviet 30-30 - the caliber that has been king of brush guns for more than a century.

        6.) Many of you have talked about the advantages of tactical reloads or fast loading. Remember, in this scenario you are on your farm - ALONE. If things have become bad enough that this is a consideration you are already vastly outgunned and out-manned. If you've properly fortified your position and cleared the area of advantagous cover for the enemy you should have tactical advantage over a single enemy, or even multiple ones regardless of reload speed because you have the advantage of picking your shots from cover.
        If there are enough baddies, and your position is weak enough for this to be a problem, I hope you remembered an escape tunnel, because a 200 round drum and lightning fast reflexes wouldn't make a difference at that point.

        7.) Many of you have also talked about parts breakages. If either gun fails at a critical time you aren't going to have time to fix it . Run.
        But with little to no help, Asian and Middle Eastern peons who haven't mastered the art of butt-wiping yet have managed to Jerry rig SKS rifles to work with unrelated salvaged parts. Unless you have the aforementioned Brownells catalog of small parts at your cabin, or machining equipment to create them, you're hosed with your AR. Besides, the exercise was that you had one basic gun. Not one basic gun and enough spare crap to make another gun.

        8.) Even with massive inflation an SKS is still a good bit cheaper than even a basic AR. Less money for gun means more money for ammo, parts, reloading supplies and more. Remember, in this exercise you only have ONE gun.
      • .
     
  12. bc38

    bc38 Member

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    J.M.2.C. after having to use the ar for the last 36 years, i've never found it to be reliable other than when clean and on the range. sometimes not then. it's fun accurate and the sks is WAY over priced, having said that i'll take the sks every time, or better still a good pump shotgun not all tacticooled up.
     
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  13. kozak6

    kozak6 Member

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    These days, I think the AR15 is more rifle for the same money.

    However, the 7.62x39 isn't far off from a .30-30. It's just fine for whitetail within the limitations of the cartridge. In that respect, it would be much better than .223/5.56, which is arguably inhumane or even unlawful for hunting.

    Hunting caliber AR15's are available (6.5 Grendel is nothing to sneeze at), but you might have to pay more or buy a new upper.

    I'll also have to give the SKS the nod for reliability in extreme conditions.

    Because Russian and Chinese SKS's have been (mostly) banned from importation and the remaining imports dried up?

    If they were still $150, like they currently pay in Canada, they'd be hotter than ever.
     
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  14. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Tools and lube, AR vs. SKS . . .

    Both my AR and SKS get motor oil and grease as necessary. Not synthetic, but dinosaur oil. Same lube and both run fine. I know specialty oils exist and I probably ought to use them, but I don't.

    Tools for disassembly? I assume basic take-down for cleaning as you can't change barrels or gas blocks on an SKS any easier than an AR.

    So, my AR requires me to push two pins with my fingers or bullet tip to remove the upper from the lower. Everything that needs cleaning comes out of the AR with my hands. The firing pin retaining "hair pin" pulls out with a bullet tip and that hair pin can be used to push out the extractor pin.

    Then, the SKS comes apart by using hands or bullet tip. The extractor and firing pin are removable with a bullet tip, too. The trigger group can be removed, but you can't take it apart further without tools. So you spray it out and lube it as an assembly. The same can be done for the AR trigger group, but you leave it in the gun as access for cleaning is easy with the upper of the AR out of the way.

    The one thing I do dislike about the AR is cleaning the locking lugs at the breech. The SKS definitely wins that battle, IMO.
     
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  15. Wishoot

    Wishoot Member

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    Have both.
    Like both.

    If I could only keep one, it would be the AR for the relative simplicity, flexibility and availability/variety of parts/ammo.
     
  16. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    I have AR's in various configurations and an SKS. If TEOTWAWKI the choice would be easy. AR patrol carbine with 16" barrel. Heck, if things go bump in the night the same AR.
     
  17. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Of these two, AR. There are other rifles I prefer over the AR.
     
  18. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Let me start by being honest......

    those of you that have been around THR as long as I have know I have had NASTY things to say about my personal experiences with the SP1, XM-16E1, and M-16A1. I have even been called a liar on the subject, and sometimes not politely. SO I have been "playing with "AR15s" since th elate 1960s and (guess what?) the SKS since before they were commercially imported ad the only ammo was some green Czech stuff I have no idea how it got in the country back then.

    I own an SKS and have since "the were less than $100" call it 25 years. I like the SKS. It is fun. It works every time I pull the trigger.

    I have owned since the same week I grabbed that SKS a Colt HBAR Match AR15. Once upon a time I lived with one M-16A1 or another and carried it into dark and scary places regularly....and was not particularly happy about someone making that choice for me.

    I have taken an SKS to a "carbine Class" with a former Gun Site instructor and fired one of the courses of fire with it, just for giggles. I also fired a bit with an M-1 Carbine and a very early model Mini-14 one student had, though fired most of the class with an AR-180 (Sterling). It was funny as most of the LEOs in the class laughed at my bringing "that piece of junk" SKS out on the range and even the instructor sneered at it. When I shot it better in the drills than most of the AR armed folks the LEOs suddenly got interested in the SKS. Most had not considered them much of a threat before. Most wanted to atleast learn how to safe them as it occurred to them they might need too some day. One of the assistant instructors took the oportunity to explain "It ain't the tool, it's the carpenter" and pointed out that I had been out shooting most of them with the AR-180 anyway.

    I just want folks to understand that as weird as it may seem that if you were to offer me free of charge (so price is no object) that I would pick a factory made AR15 TODAY over an SKS.

    There I said it. Some of you are no doubt reaching for the smelling salts before continuing to read.

    Mostly folks have already 'splained .....ergonomics.....ability to accessorize to your specific taste.....ability to choose non standard calibers (hey SKS fans, guess what? ARs can be had in 7.62x39 M43 as well as .223/5.56).

    Down here in the South East BOATLOADS of White tail and Pigs fall DRT to .223 every year.

    Now I would not feel uncomfortable with an SKS, I said I like mine, but if I was telling someone else with little or no semi auto rifle experience what to get I would have a hard time recommending an SKS over an AR if the money were available.

    What ever one gets it is the training and attitude that make it work or not.....that carpenter analogy again.

    -kBob
     
  19. highpower

    highpower Member

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    I think it is somewhat of a ludicrous comparison. The AR is a more modern design and and has tremendous modularity and ergonomics going for it. Now that the prices of even common, commercial variants of the SKS are $350 and up and a decent AR can be had for around $500, the choice is simple. Hands down, the AR would be a better choice.

    But, gun owners are not necessarily logical or practical. I have several Russian SKS's and eight AR's. I like them both and won't get rid of either. The SKS is a great range toy and I shoot mine out in the desert at varying ranges and in my hands, for offhand shooting, they have in essence the same practical accuracy as an AR or any other rifle.

    Now if you are a wanna be operator and you like to hang a bunch of accessories on your rifle to impress others at the range when you sit down at a bench and put holes in a piece of paper then the AR is going to win that competition hands down.

    As a practical home defense weapon, I see it as being a matter of what you are comfortable using. Unless you are in a firefight, magazine capacity isn't as big an issue as portability and ease of use. A 20" barreled rifle with lights, lasers, a front grip and rails everywhere is going to be a PIA to maneuver inside a house, as is a full length SKS. Shorter barrels will always give you greater maneuverability. Noise is also a factor as an AR is going to do permanent damage to your hearing if you have to fire it inside, as will a SKS. However, .223 bullets are known to fragment easily when they hit walls, so technically they may be "safer" for those in adjoining rooms over a 7.62x39 which will have more penetration.

    Over all I would have to give my nod to the AR as a home defense gun. After a lot of thinking about what would work the best for me, I have settled on this little carbine. I feel that it provides the best compromise between portability, firepower and the ability to reach out to longer ranges. I use a twenty round magazine as I find them to be much less awkward than the thirty rounders.

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Coyote3855

    Coyote3855 Member

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    Own both, like both. Would be happy with either in any defense situation I can realistically imagine in my personal situation and location.

    Differences in opinion are what make horse races interesting. If I had to pick just one, it would be my AR.
     
  21. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    Hmmmmm.... pretty sure the AR was designed in the late 50's.

    The SKS was a great 60 dollar gun. Sold all mine during the AWB and haven't missed em..
     
  22. bang_bang

    bang_bang Member

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    Tarosean, how much has the AR platform evolved since then? With customization to fit a persons needs with barrel lengths, calibers, piston or DI, rails, sights, etc it's like Legos for adults. From 1945 to 1955, firearms changed and evolved to introduce the AK-47, FN FAL, the 7.62x51 round, M14, and finally the AR design in 7.62. The AR platform might be an older design, it's evolved into a mighty machine far from the original design.
     
  23. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    The objective with either rifle is ultimately to enable you to 1) kill someone else before they have a chance to kill you, and 2) put meat on the table in a survial situation. It seems either is fuly capable of meeting those objectives so the choice comes down to 1) which rifle do you have, and 2) do you have enough ammunition for it?
     
  24. gsbuickman

    gsbuickman Member

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    you can also remove the gas block from an SKS, then you can pull the connecting rod and piston from it for cleaning by using a bullet tip to lift up the takedown or release lever in about 5 Seconds. The only thing you would need a punch for is to change the hand cover on the Block, then again I'm betting you could use the firing pin to change the handguard although I've never tried it. Other than that the block itself is also interchangeable
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016
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  25. roscoe

    roscoe Member

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    Nowadays, if you live in CA, the SKS is the preferable home-defense gun. I can reload with a stripper slip pretty fast. Bullet button - whaaat?

    Also - for butt-stroking the invaders, not to mention fixing the bayonet for the final charge, the SKS gets my vote! Finally, regards durability - when Skynet takes over and AR parts are wearing out and unavailable, my Norinco will still be shooting at those metal monsters!!!
     
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