SKS Trumps AK

The AK is the epitome of the sexy/scary “assault rifle” genre. With its sinister angles and scythe-like Magazine, the weapon just oozes danger and coolness. In contrast, the SKS is an ungainly, plain-Jane looking lump. You could even say that the SKS (Samozaryadni Karabin Simonova or Simonov’s Self-loading Carbine) is the AK-47’s ugly older sister. While it’s undboutedly true that the AK has a cool factor that is unmatched in the shooting world, an objective comparison reveals that, at least for the civilian shooter in America, the SKS is actually the better rifle.

Take construction, for example.  Although there are a few (and expensive) milled-receiver AKs in the US, the vast, vast majority of Kalashnikovs in civilian hands have a stamped, sheet metal receiver. Cheap to build, but not really high quality. Worse yet, the AKs (even the milled-receiver versions) have a tinny, cheap, stamped upper cover – you know, the part you put your cheek against when you shoot.

The result is a rifle that is adequate for Red Army conscripts and peasant revolutionaries, but feels flimsy and uncomfortable. In contrast, every SKS has a forged, milled steel receiver and receiver cover, solid pieces all.

The safety is another huge difference. Not only is the AK safety a crude, ungainly, noisy nightmare copied from a turn-of-the-century Remington rifle, Kalashnikov put it on the wrong side of the receiver! Perhaps it was the brainchild of a surly Commie conscript carrying a rifle without a safety mechanism that could be seen from a hundred meters by his commanding officer. Or heard all the way across the Kremlin courtyard, where it scared the Borscht out of the armaments minister.

Again, the SKS with its easy-to-use ambidextrous trigger-guard safety (similar to the one used on the M1 Garand) wins the contest here.

Another factor that favors the SKS for civilian shooters: the magazine. Armies, of course, like to give their soldiers lots of magazines that can be changed out quickly so as to keep them shooting (they call this “firepower.”) Civilian shooters, by contrast, are generally more interested in hitting their targets than they are in putting up a wall of lead to keep the enemy’s head down.

The SKS’s 10-round fixed magazine is more than adequate for most shooters. It’s also more rugged than the AK’s, which is made of a very heavy stamping of steel (by contrast to the AKs plastic or light metal stamped magazines). Best of all, the SKS’s magazine can be “recharged” with the use of cheap, widely available “stripper clips.”

For the cost of one AK magazine, you can buy a whole pocket full  of SKS stripper clips

In fact, reloading the SKS with stripper clips is easy. The SKS will conveniently lock the bolt open on an empty magazine. This prepares the weapon to accept another load of ammo and tells the shooter he needs to reload. By contrast, the AK has no bolt hold open. Unless you’re counting rounds or using the last-round-is-a-tracer trick, the only way you know you’re out of ammo is when you pull the trigger and hear a dull “click” instead of a robust “bang!” When you’re fighting off Zombies, that can be downright embarrassing.

The SKS’s longer sight radius (the distance between the front and rear sight) make it easier to shoot more accurately. The lack of a long, wobbly magazine makes the SKS easier to set on a sandbag or other improvised rest – again, improving accuracy.

The more you think about it, the more the SKS looks like a superior rifle. So why did the Russians and their allies ditch it in favor of the AK? Firepower.

The military version of the AK, of course, fires both semi- and fully-automatic. This gives the AK the military utility of a light machine gun. The AK is also cheaper to build, on account of its prevalence of el-cheapo stamped metal parts. So generals can have more of ‘em. And finally, the AK is shorter and lighter; our average 14-year-old “freedom fighter” can handle the weapon more easily (if a lot less accurately) than an SKS.

Of course, none of these factors apply to the US civilian market. We can’t get the fully auto versions without an expensive and cumbersome Class 3 license. Most American adults have no problem handling a full sized SKS (in fact, most of us have to add longer stocks anyway because even the factory SKS stock is designed for those of diminutive stature.)

“Firepower” isn’t really a consideration when you don’t command brigades, and don’t have to pay for your own ammo. Besides, you can buy extended magazines for the SKS, should you feel an overwhelming need to send a lot of lead downrange.

The bottom line: for the kinds of things a civilian shooter needs a rifle to do, the SKS is not only adequate, it’s superior to the AK. In every measurable category. Rather than seeing the SKS as a poor man’s alternative to the AK, we should see it for what it is: the smart shooter’s choice for a robust, reliable, and economical centerfire semi-auto rifle.

33 Responses to SKS Trumps AK

  1. avatarJohn D says:

    Well, I have both, and enjoy and would count on either in a time of need, I've just got to say: if you are getting a "cheek weld" on either of these rifles, you have a very strange body configuration, or a very strange holding technique- on both rifles, cheek weld is on the top over.

    As to magazines, my Soviet SKS has a simple, sheet-metal stamped magazine- works fine! Plastic magazines, of Soviet or Bulgarian manufacture are extremely robust and reliable. For metal, Hungarian(available with last-round hold-open),Romanian and Chinese are bullet-proof. Any high-cap mags for the SKS are an "iffy" compromise- I'll take a 40-round Bulgarian in my AKM over that any day>

  2. Like John D above I have both an SKS and an AK-47 and believe they are both great rifles.

    But I must inquire how you are resting your cheek on the dust cover of an AK? You must have a very long neck because when I bring my AK up to shoulder the closest I can bring my head to the dust cover is to put my nose on the end of the button that holds the cover on.

    I do agree on a bit of the article but disagree with most of it. First you're dead on when talking about the safeties. The safety of the AK is poorly placed and hard to access (compared to most military rifles at least).

    Although it is true that the SKS receiver is stronger being it's not stamped sheet metal I haven't seen too many failures with stamped AK receivers so I'm really impartial on this. The one advantage of using stamped sheet metal receives on the AK (besides cost) is weight. But I find both rifles to be plenty light enough for all day shooting.

    As for the sight radius both rifles require work here. The rear sight of both rifles is in front of the bolt greatly shortening the distance between the front and rear sight. Needless to say both rifles have a poor sight radius compared to something like an M1 Garand or M-14. But that's find considering the SKS and AK-47 were more designed as rifles to be used in closer distances whereas the American battle rifles were designed with the idea of engaging targets at much greater distances (neither philosophy is right or wrong really).

    Also I prefer the the detachable AK magazine to the SKS fixed magazine. The magazine is statistically the part that will most likely fail on a rifle. It's just physics since the magazine spring is moving up and down with every round loaded or fired. If the magazine on an AK fails it's not a big deal you rock it out and put a fresh one in. If the magazine on the SKS fails you at best have a single shot rifle and at worst have a paper weight. And as John D said above there are some tough AK magazines out there (seriously I haven't seen a Bulgarian waffle magazine break yet even when running them over with a truck).

    Finally a 10-round magazine is plenty for some things but not for others. For instance a 10-round fixed magazine is just fine if you're at the range shooting targets but is a HUGE disadvantage if you're in a three-gun competition (a common civilian sport). Likewise if you're in an Appleseed events having a detachable magazine is good for the test because you're expected to do reloads and it is faster to swap magazines than it is to reload via a stripper clip (mostly because stripper clips need to be aligned with the guide whereas magazines have a lot more give and fall into place so long as you're close).

    The bottom line is the SKS is better than the AK for specific use cases (at the range target shooting) while the AK is superior to the SKS for other use cases (more active shooting sports).

    • avatarMartin Albright says:

      John & Chris: Thanks for your comments. As for my cheek weld, on both rifles it's behind the top cover but close enough to the top cover that I don't want a cheap part to fail and send the bolt carrier into my face. IMO the SKS is superior not only because the top cover is more robust, but because it is held in place very positively with a large diameter metal rotating pin, whereas the AK has a small button that engages the back of the frame. And no, I've never seen that little button fail, but when comparing the two, I simply prefer the more rugged construction of the SKS.

      If the magazine on an AK fails it’s not a big deal you rock it out and put a fresh one in. If the magazine on the SKS fails you at best have a single shot rifle and at worst have a paper weight.

      Ah, but what causes a magazine to fail? It's not the spring that causes most mag failures, it's bending the feed lips. And what causes bending the feed lips? Dropping the magazine or otherwise damaging those fragile lips. But, observe: The SKS feed lips are inside the magazine well, in a place where they are almost impossible to damage. So while it's true that you can replace a damaged or malfunctioning magazine more easily on an AK, it's also true that because of the design of the SKS it's virtually impossible to damage the magazine in the first place.

  3. avatarJohn D says:

    Hello Martin- The top cover on the Ak does not hold the bolt carrier in place at all- in fact, the "button" holding the top cover on is at the back of the recoil spring lug, nesting in a slot at the rear of the receiver- you can fire the ak all day long without the top cover, although the reciprocation of the bolt and carrier would be very distracting- for ultimate safety in a shoulder-fired weapon, a Mauser 98 would be hard to beat(see, now you have every reason to acquire more guns-heh!) And by the way, Thanks for one of the best gun blogs out there!

  4. avatarAce says:

    I had to stop reading when it said that the sheet metal top cover is where you put your cheek when you shoot it. How dumb can you be?

  5. avatarCarl says:

    your opening a big can of worms my friend…=) I think ak enthuasists are gonna be butt hurt. To me it doesnt matter, I cant get an ak in canada anyways. I have to settle with an sks. Ten rounds for me is plenty. but our darn government had to make us pin the mag to 5 rounds. Well at least its cheap in canada. In a self-fish way, I am Kind of glad that the US has an import ban on norinco, cause we get there goodies here in canada for such cheap price. $199 for a brand new non refurbished sks! and $300 for a new m14.

  6. avatarCarl says:

    also, I like the heft of the sks, feels like a solid battle rifle you can depend your life on in SHTF WROL situation. I would take a sks out in SHTF situation any day. Because, I dont have to worry about taking bulky heavy magazines, and like you said damaging their feed lips. You can carry so much more ammo in stripper clips. Besides in SHTF situation, you might be carrying so much other gear, such as tents, knives, matches, sleeping bags, tarps, whatever…I think ten rounds is more than enough to deal with anyone trying to mug you in SHTF situation. Because face it, not much people in canada besides the police and army own guns. And a shot from the sks is pretty intimitdating. In the US, I would consider taking an ak47 especially in an urban area, because there are so much guns in the US. And I want the extra 20 rnds of firepower. But I am very comfortable with my sks here in canada. I keep it well greased and cleaned under my bed with a cheapo canvas bandolier and some extra ammo in SHTF backpack. The best spent $199 in my life. Offers so much security for so little. I dont own any other firearm, because I dont need too. I dont hunt or shoot competively, so the SKS is good enough for me.

  7. avatarCarl says:

    I considered buying a vz 58 (cezch answer to the ak-47) which has a 30 round magazine and is generally pretty similar to the ak. But the magazines were so heavy and expensive. And especially cause they are all pinned to 5 rnds. My sks doesnt loose out at all, especially the fact that I can get 5 sks for one vs 58. I considered getting a m14, but it was so much more heavier and the rnds and mags were so expensive and offers nothing more than the sks. I dont need to snipe somebody out to 800 yards in a shtf situation. I would expect any confrontations to be close range.

  8. avatarsinn 1 says:

    Ok first things first, you speak about safety on the AK. I don’t think so, how about those lovely free floating firing pins on the SKS. So if i were an SKS owner i would definitely change the pin out quick. Unless you like being shot by your own weapon, if it gets dropped. Furthermore I will take my 30 round mag over any stripped clip ever. Don’t forget those sweet 100 round drum mags. The only thing in my opinion that the SKS has is range. Then again I also happen to have a M4 as well, so to me its a moot point. My next rifle and probably last for a while is going to be a Styer Aug.

    • avatarSkaine says:

      Most AR-15′s have free floating firing pins, and if you don’t trust them, get a return spring.

      I did that just to be safe and it cost me like 10$ to do, so its a poor argument.

      Mind you, if your weapon is clean, you will never have that issue, I fired over 1000 rounds threw both my SKS’s before I decided to get a return spring. And I didn’t have any issues.

  9. avatarVengine says:

    The feed lips on an ak mag is about 2mm thick you will not bend them dropping it and you can get mag followers that hold the bolt after the last round. I use the magazine as a perch so no sandbags needed. The safety has never been a problem yet I keep the thing pointed in a safe direction. That’s not saying thers anything wrong with the ak or sks.

  10. avatarTaylor says:

    I’ve owned both.don’t have a AKMN any more.swaped it out for a m16a2 ar15…

  11. avatarfanboi says:

    1) The safety on an SKS is adjacent to the trigger, and can actually cause an accidental discharge under stressful situations
    2) The ease of maintenance on an AK is far greater, and AKs have far less failures in battle
    3) The SKS was never designed to accept a high-cap magazine, and the rifles are not made for continuous fire like an AK
    4) Milled AKs are actually NOT better than stamped, as the milled receivers can get stress fractures
    5) The SKS is not able to be fired filthy and fill of mud, while an AK can fire with dirt, mud, blood, sand, and even TWINKIES lodged in the receiver (google it)
    6) The AK is far lighter, easier to work on, and is in use in over 60 countries
    7) The SKS is a Curio and should it fail in a SHTF scenario, you have nothing more thank a nice club
    8) AK-47 is far superior in almost all respects to the SKS and its variants, which is why you see VERY few soldiers on CNN wielding an SKS these days
    9) In Nam, when dirty M16s were failing, US troops grabbed the VC’s AKs, and used them with no cleaning or maintenance

    I own AR-15s, AKs, and SKSs. If I were ever running for my life and needed a rifle, a Krink AK or folding AK would be what I grabbed first, along with a few drum mags filled with steel-core Norinco ammo.

    • avatarMBR says:

      Having owned and shot both quite a bit, I feel compelled to comment on fanboi’s posting:

      “1) The safety on an SKS is adjacent to the trigger, and can actually cause an accidental discharge under stressful situations.” How so? Unless an SKS is missing the spring that holds the safety up?

      “2) The ease of maintenance on an AK is far greater, and AKs have far less failures in battle.” Compared to what? Neither the AK or the SKS is known for breaking much.

      “3) The SKS was never designed to accept a high-cap magazine, and the rifles are not made for continuous fire like an AK.” True, but irrelevant. And I need to point out that your semi-auto AK was not made for “continuous fire” either.

      “4) Milled AKs are actually NOT better than stamped, as the milled receivers can get stress fractures.” Possible, but not likely. Any receiver that is poorly heat treated can develop stress cracks. There are lots of rifles with milled receivers that do not crack, and some of them (like the M-1 Garand) have been around a lot longer than any milled AK. The stamped AK receiver was developed to lighten the gun and speed up/simplify production, not prevent cracks.

      “5) The SKS is not able to be fired filthy and fill of mud, while an AK can fire with dirt, mud, blood, sand, and even TWINKIES lodged in the receiver (google it).” Bullshit. I’ve seen AK’s jam plenty of times. No, I’ve never had one in combat, but I’ve been there when we captured Jihad Joes with their AK’s jammed because their magazines were so full of sand and other crap that the magazine follower was stuck halfway up. I HAVE seen AK’s jam during 3-gun competitions and the like. And the “twinkie test” is so unbelievably stupid it’s not even worth bringing up, but I guess the lesson learned there is that you shouldn’t jam pastry into your magazine well…..

      “6) The AK is far lighter, easier to work on, and is in use in over 60 countries.” Lighter than what? Easier to work on than what? An SKS? An SKS typically weighs in around 8 lbs. An AK with a loaded mag runs around 10. “In use in over 60 countries” is misleading, too.

      “7) The SKS is a Curio and should it fail in a SHTF scenario, you have nothing more thank a nice club.” So will every other rifle around.

      “8) AK-47 is far superior in almost all respects to the SKS and its variants, which is why you see VERY few soldiers on CNN wielding an SKS these days.” Which has NOTHING to do with how many soldiers “wield an SKS” these days…..soldiers typically don’t have a choice about what they are issued when they go into battle.

      “9) In Nam, when dirty M16s were failing, US troops grabbed the VC’s AKs, and used them with no cleaning or maintenance.” Again irrelevant, and again, misleading. Special Forces, SEALS, and LRRP types had their own protocols in this respect, but for the rest of the U.S. forces, it just didn’t happen as much as is thought. Google “Project Eldest Son” and you’ll see why.

      • avatargeekie says:

        I saw a youtube video, the guy pulls an SKS from a muddy puddle and starts firing it without issue. It looks like an SKS cant indeed fire with mud, grit, grime and dirt. That rifle he shot was still dripping mud goop when it was being fired.

        • avatarSpintz says:

          Completely agree. I prefer an SKS over a cheaply made, stamped AK any day. I’ve shot and currently own both. I promise you, the cheapest made Chinese SKS is superior to any AK out there. It just is by its nature a better crafted gun. Stamped sheet metal is cheap. Used for no other reason than to save cost and speed up production. AKs are good in that they will do their job. But not much more. An SKS, however, does it’s job and does it well. And it’s a pleasure to shoot. It holds its solidity through the worst of abuse. An AK will begin to fall apart after too much abuse. So, sorry AK owners. Your guns are fine. But if you’re looking for a rifle that will give you a lifetime relationship and never falter in its ability to perform, SKS is the way to go.

  12. avataracewolf says:

    I have owned 5 SKSs and I would like to add my two cents. A big secret is stripper clips can be loaded faster than mags. If you had a race to see who could shoot 100 rounds first having to load the strippers and mags as you shot, the strippers would be much faster. Had the SKS been produced a year earlier in time to see. lots of action in WW2, it would be a ledgen, if it could have shot full auto it would have maxerhistory. Today if you were to make a fully milled gun of that qualty it would cost more than an AK.

    • avatarJustice06rr says:

      Everyone is wrong…. AR15 trumps both of them! Hahahaha…

      Ok ok, both the SKS and AK47 are great rifles. The AR is just way sexier

      • avatarBR549 says:

        The problem with the AR15 is its technology. You don’t get something for nothing. There is ALWAYS a tradeoff. Sure, it’s the sweetest, lightest, smoothest thing in town; that is until the parts start to wear out, …….. and a lot more of their parts WILL wear out, and a lot faster than the SKS. The SKS is like an old Ford F-150, it would always work, but it wasn’t going anywhere all that fast.

  13. avatarnitrous_bob says:

    id like to see this mysterious “ambidextrious safety” on the SKS. on all 7 i own, its on the same side as my AK’s

    they are both fine rifles, which is why i own both.

    which would i grab in a situation ??? an AK of course.

    oh btw….. dont lump a WASR into “every” AK variant. my mags dont wobble at all, in fact the only gun known for mag wobble is the WASR

  14. avatarcpanel vps says:

    Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to produce a great article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot and don’t manage to get nearly anything done.|

  15. avatarLee says:

    Old article I know, but feel the need to point out the VZ-58 is a blend of these two platforms, and probably one of (if not the) most well thought out military rifle ever designed. Maybe I don’t have enough experience with the VZ, but that’s just my perception.

  16. avatarjuliany says:

    Hi all.
    To start, I’m in Canada. So no AK s here.
    So we have a huge number of surplus sks s coming in all the time, lucky us.
    They come quite inexpensive and well selected by our importers thankfully!
    I have a few, not to mention the ones I plan to purchase asap.
    Why??? I say why not.
    They eat cheap ammo, cost a fraction of an AK that I cannot have and can be turned in to some really cool rifle s if you are willing to spend some time and C$$$
    On an sks.
    I only go for the Russians.
    Never even shot a Chinese one.
    Just because!!!!
    The fact that we in Canada,
    are limited to 5 rounds per any self loading gun. The tapco mags are for looks only.
    They offer no benefit in the number of casing spiting out.
    They look good doh!
    I have nothing but good stuf to say all day about sks s.
    Buy and shoot one.
    You will love it.
    Vere accurate mostly. Chinese ones, I hear they are as well.
    Here at good old Canucks soils they go for about 200.00
    Any year refurbish from Mother Russia.
    I recommend any of the 50 s years.

    Have fun. Sks rules!

  17. avatarStan says:

    Im sorry, Ak>sks period. There is a reason why the AK prevailed the sks…..I like my heavy my70 Yugo zastava….feels like an sks BUT it also feels like you are going to send that shell out with a bang. Not to mention you can reload it fairly quickly…and it doesn’t have as much kick to it as an SKS..and you got 30 rounds to burn through(I only have surplus steel Romy/east german mags). And if you are really feeling it you can try getting a full auto license and get that 3rd pin installed in your receiver to make it full auto…if you got $$ to you can tacticool and AK with sights and rails/handguards…not the sks

  18. avatarronnie says:

    I have no clue as to which is better, i merley seek to correct tons of misleading, wrong, and just plain ignorant information posted here. You can get detachable mags for an sks, you CAN customize it, the same way as an ak in fact. (in america, i know not of a single firearm that isn’t fully customizeable) And the ability to speed load those detachable magazines with stripper clips is a luxury not found in an ak. Most sks’s have foldable bayonets making them much more than clubs during an extremley rare malfunction. I do not, nor have i ever owned either rifle, but my brother owned an ak for 4 years in which time i shot often, had great fun and really enjoyed the rifle. Recently my cousin purchased an sks with a detachable 30 round mag, tactical quad rails, a pistol grip, and a side folding adjustable stock. I find that this rifle is heavier, more accurate, kicks harder, and feels more manly than an ak. Overall i can’t make a definitive choice over the two as they are both extrordinary designs that have stood the test of time. I simply wanted to point out how wrong most of you were about the sks.

  19. avatarJoseph says:

    Well done article, I agree with most points presented. When I chose my rifle I initially leaned toward the AK. After looking at several I couldn’t stand how poorly and cheaply they were made. I am sure they are dependable, as their reputation is solid, but for mymoney the SKS was a better deal. I like solid metal and old style wood stocks, a Yugo SKS cost me $155 when I bought it, at the time the cheapest AK I could find cost $350. The AK in that price range was also rough, the SKS looked unissued. If I could cheaply and legally own a full auto AK I would have one, but that is not the case.

    • avatarnitrous_bob says:

      sorry you got to the game late. i love the SKS, but i dont own any “UGLY” or “ROUGH” AK’s
      im certain you were looking at romanian garbage imported and unnassembled/reassembled/dremel’d out by century arms AKA the WASR10/63 (or worse). i base this on the fact that a much superior SKS was sold for $125 when i was first buying them…and now a nice un-refurb TULA is selling for $600
      yugos werent around then anyways…just chinese and russian

      if you find this…(or any other polytech to be “rough”…then i apologize…your NOT an AK by any means)

  20. avatarRicko says:

    I think this is a dumb argument. If you watch all these nerdy youtube videos they do stupid stuff like work the action 10 times just to safety check and if you watch them shoot they flinch for the recoil before they even fire the weapon. Most ppl have to edit in little txt boxes because they got their info wrong the first time. How about do a review on a gun (thats been done about oh..1500 times already) when you can get you shit right the first time. I prefer the sks. just an opinion (stan, fanboi, and sinn1), ALL humans are entitled to one and just because you own a firearm does not make you an expert/know it all about any and all firearms ever produced. Get the AK out of ur asses.

    It all depends on what the shooter makes of the weapon, Look at Vasily Zaytsev; killed 200+ germans in downtown stalingrad with a 5 shot fixed mag mosin and lived to tell the tail. Lets see you do that. Its really annoying to try and search for valuable information about a fire arm and instead find countless arguments about which gun is better when it is evident that you have no idea about what your talking about other than what other “youtubers” told ya in a crappy “review” video. Its always *whah, no detachable mags, or “boo-hoo, can’t get a good cheek weld” just shoot the damn thing and become efficient with it and quit your bitching. Try having a father as a gunsmith and a grandfather as a decorated vietnam vet who will tell you that in the nasty mud and thick jungles in vietnam, half of the vietcong were found with sks’s in their hands as well as a few mosin’s too.

    As far as the AR goes…great design, but i feel as though the gun will fall apart if someone even looks at it wrong. Besides, who wants an extremely expensive high powered .22 basically when you can have sks or ak and be way much more ahead of the game.

    • avatarBR549 says:

      I wholeheartedly agree, particularly about the AR. Sure, it’s lighter (sometimes up to 60%) and one can have 35% more shots per pound of ammo carried, as opposed to the 7.62×39. The SKS’s design could very well have been around the near inexhaustible supply of warm bodies to step up to the plate to fire it, whereas in the US, we at least gave the illusion of having more appreciation (one would hope) for our own troops as individuals. Hard to say, but will we ever really know about which rifle was the better one in the long run?

      I used to have a Hobie Cat 16′ sailboat years ago. Having sailed for many many years, I had it all tricked out. It was a “high performance” craft, for sure, and it was light, but in the end, after 10 years of hard running, it was spent. All those tiny pieces just continued to wear out along with the big ones. It got to the point that it would have been cheaper to just get a new boat rather than try to rely on the old one by replacing a few worn parts. Meanwhile, there were other boats on bay that had been built 50 -100 years ago and they lasted FAR longer than the flash in the pan Hobie Cat. Those other vessels were built to be more rugged and their performance specs weren’t blown so far out of whack just because one part was starting to malfunction.

      Same thing with the SKS. I think it had been designed so that anyone new could just pick it up and continue the battle. In the long run, in a long term SHTF scenario, I think the SKS will outlast the AR simply out of durability. I never said it was pretty (although mine is looking rather sweet) but it’ll be around a lot longer than I, and I have both the AR and the SKS.

      My two cents.

  21. avatarGary says:

    I love my sks I run it with folding stock and detachable mags over 1000 rounds and no only one failure so far (a FTF caused by cheap Tula) to me this is a good fun range gun that I trust I don’t own an am but from my experience they are also great guns the stocks are a bit uncomfortable for me but reliability is great.Now as far as talking shtf and having to trust your life to your rifle I wouldn’t think twice about what I grab it would be my colt 6920 much more accurate just as reliable and easier to carry more ammo IMHO it is superior in almost all aspects.

  22. avatarRazor says:

    You are a bunch of fools. First the Sks saftey is not ambi! Im a lefty, its a bitch. Also if a stamped sheet metal AK receiver can handle full auto, my milled reciever SKS would also. It has a chrome lined bore. The rest is actually better than the AK. The SKS was cheap, thats why folks are ignorant about em, they cost more than and AK to make, yet are cheaper, although now, there are way more cheap stamped ak’s than SKS’s! The 7.63×39 round was first made and chambered for the SKS and as usual, it was made stronger than actually required. So, go play your video games….kids

  23. avatarEvan says:

    The sks may be a better RIFLE, but the AK is a better WEAPON.

  24. avatarMichael Kell says:

    I have nothing against the AK 47,nor do I promote the SKS. However I keep reading your SHTF remarks ….So, I’d like to put in my two cents… When it does hit the fan Its gonna be unlike anything most of us has ever seen. When it comes most all you macho boys will be the first to die. After the first few hours, or perhaps days most of the fire fights will be over, and most all those macho guys will be covered with flies rotting away. The people who will most likely survive will be those who can make every shot count from as far away as possible. Oh, but thats not macho is it? No, Its called smart, and smart people will live longer then you macho men… Accuracy is more important then how fast you fill the air with lead. Bullets that doesn’t hit anyone doesn’t kill anyone, and after their shot their gone. One well aimed shot is all it takes. Also, when it hits the fan, It’ll be here, where you’r at, NOT some fantasy land your picturing in your head…you wont be magically transported to some jungle, or desert, or range. You wont be coming back to try again, and again. It wont be a game…Your survival and your families survival will depend on how well think. How well you shoot, and what you shoot. Also, how few shots you have to make. Your ammo will be precious. It wont be lying around, so smart people wont waist it. You wont be carrying three or four rifles. Or not long anyway. You might carry two. A good semi auto rifle, and a good pump shotgun. You will want what shoots the most common ammo available, or be willing to carry a lot of ammo. You want a simple, high caliber, reliable, and accurate semi automatic long range rifle that kills rather then simply wound what you shoot, a good pump shot gun, a pistol, and a good knife. So maybe an SKS would do, but your AKs and (AR15s (what a joke)) are NOT what your gonna need when it does hit the fan… But then someone has to be macho…

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