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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have read much information on the great "assult rifle debate" AK-47 VS. M-16/AR-15/M-4.
Due to my modest pocketbook, I am pretty much forced to go the AK/SKS route. But I can't find any information on any comparisons between the SKS and the AK-47. True they are very simalar, but which one is the better all around rifle. (Myself I do not care much for the term "assult rifle" as if one class of fire arm is less deadly than another).
I am leaning twards the SKS. Simply because it seams to be the less expensive of the two, and because I am sold on the .30cal round. Money being no object I would opt for a Rugger Mini 30, but that is another story. But in doing my shopping it seams that there are more "toys" out there to dress up a SKS than there are for the AK-47. Is this because the AK needs no more improvement as is, or is the SKS a much more versitile rifle? Or is it you need to make many modifications because the SKS needs them. I have a few co workers who swear by the SKS, one eaven boasted to me that he hardly ever cleaned his.
I am looking for a decent, inexpencive, simi-auto .30cal rifle, is the SKS a good option, or should I start looking for other rifles. I will be looking for a rifle at an upcomming gunshow this weekend.
 

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Each have distinct advantages, the SKS is not a so-called "assault rifle" where the AK is. They both come from a variety of nations and that just makes them even harder to choose. For cost and usability, the SKS is the better of the two. They both fire the venerable 7.62x39 round (the AK also comes in other calibers, 5.45x39 & 5.56x45) so that is a moot point however i think the SKS is better of the two for reaching and touching someone.
My advice would be start with the SKS and either trade up to the AK or keep the SKS and buy an AK to keep it company.
 

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Welcome to the forums! I hope you're able to discuss what you need and keep coming back after you've bought what you plan to.

Originally posted by azguy
But in doing my shopping it seams that there are more "toys" out there to dress up a SKS than there are for the AK-47. Is this because the AK needs no more improvement as is, or is the SKS a much more versitile rifle?
The former is correct. Most "toys" give the SKS features of the AK, but don't do so as well. Add up the costs of accessorizing an SKS into an AK and you might as well buy an AK. You'll have a better gun for doing so. Also there are very complex laws that ultimately make it hard to modernize an SKS legally and very easy to accidentally make one illegal.


Originally posted by azguy

I have a few co workers who swear by the SKS, one even boasted to me that he hardly ever cleaned his.
The AK is even better with that. If that's why they like the SKS, they've never tried an AK.


Originally posted by azguy
Money being no object I would opt for a Ruger Mini 30, but that is another story.
NO!!! They are not reliable and very inaccurate. AKs are not known for their accuracy, but most AKs will do far better than a Mini-30 for far less money. Magazines cost far more for the Mini-30 as well.



The biggest question is what do you plan to do with it? If loading 10 rounds at a time through stripper clips is fine, if you plan to shoot at a conservative rate (ie not shove in clip after clip and empty it as fast as you can... slightly slower is fine), if you like the ergonomics of a classic one-piece full length stock, if you want to legally have a bayonet, if you don't mind using only compact scopes, if you prefer a smooth action and heavier rifle over a lighter rifle with a looser and more violent action, and if $150 is far more comfortable a price for you than $350-400, get a Yugoslavian SKS. Think of it as a less powerful slightly more advanced M1 Garand, because that was what it was designed to fight alongside.

If you must use a scope longer than compact, if you want to use 20, 30, 40 round magazines, if you want the lighter of the two choices, if you want a pistol grip, if you want to fire as fast as you can pull the trigger, and most importantly if you want to buy new, buy an AK.

However, an AK isn't an AK. You have Chinese Norincos, Romanian SARs, Romanian low capacity WASRs converted to hi-capacity, Sporterized Saigas converted to military configuration with military mags, Egyptian Maadis, Bulgarian milled receiver versions, Heavy Russian VEPRs based on the RPK whose accuracy rivals the AR-15...


There's a bit of time before the weekend, so please ask as many questions as you have and share your ideas. Hopefully you can learn what options are out there so that if the gun show doesn't have the best deal, you can find it by other means.
 

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Also have an idea of your budget. I myself have a converted Russian Sporter (called a Saiga) and a Yugoslav SKS. My Yugo was $130 and my Saiga costs totalled under $300 (but only because I did a bit of work myself).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
SKS Looks Good

The biggest drawback to me for the AK is that I am to understand that the AK is not too acurate beyond 100 yards. Can this be solved with a scope, and a muzzel break? Will a muzzel break and scope really improve an SKS's performance as well. I would rather go for a more accurate gun with a farther range, than one with a faster rate of fire, possibley used for hunting?

I am not done with my handgun colection, but this will be my first rifle. I used to be a gun snob ( I would only concider buying U.S. MADE firearms) but about 6 months ago I bought a PA-63 9x18 Makarov, I was so impresssed with it as a handgun, that I thought I should broden my horizons to the other Eastern European/Russian firearms. I have read good things about the Chinese variants as well.

From what I have read the Yugoslavian AK's and SKS's seam to be the best. Can you buy new AK's, and SKS's or are used ones the only ones avalible?

Is a SKS with a bayonett legal? Whats a good source to find out. I took the CCW course for AZ. But they did not cover longarms in the course, my only real longarm experiance is limmited to the M-16 I used while in the Army.

My plan was to find an inexpensive SKS and then get a stock, scope, and muzzel break. Slowlly building it up over time. Eventually traiding up to a good AK as well. If I got one and then discovered that I did not like it then I would just look for something else, or just go back to handguns.
 

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You should be able to find good used AK's at most gunshows and every once in awhile at a gunstore as a trade in.
 

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Ok, when you say accurate, it needs quantification. SKSs will do 3-4MOA, AKs range from the 6moa Romanians and stamped MAK-90s to the sub moa VEPR IIs. From what I've read, M16s are expected to do 4moa or better, but you may know better than I.

If you're not looking for a rapid fire blaster, SKS is great. One thing that helps accuracy is a wider site radius, which the SKS has over the AK. Adding a scope may or may not help, depending on your mount and the inherent accuracy of the gun, and of you. I would advise getting a nice Yugo SKS and not adding anything to it. Just find a good specimen. Try shooting with open sites and see from there if you want to use a scope. Since rounds are loaded and ejected vertically, you must use a compact scope. Muzzle brakes are pointless on an SKS. No they do not help accuracy and recoil is so mild that you really don't benefit from a reduction at all. The longer barrel and more finely tuned gas system on the SKS would give it the edge on range, but being the same cartridge, the differences aren't high.

You cannot find an SKS hot off the press. Your only chance to find a new one is if it has been preserved for decades. Yugo AKs are a similar deal, and fetch a high price being pre-ban. But you can get new Romanian, converted Russian, Bulgarian, and other new AKs hot off the press. SKSs do not have a detachable mag, so they are not affected by the 1994 ban. They are affected by stricter import laws, but a provision for Curios and Relics allows them to be imported and owned with a bayonet and grenade launcher (which actually does serve as a minor muzzle brake) if kept in original configuration.

Here are some ballpark prices:

Expect to pay from $120 to $150 for a Yugo SKS. There are many out there, so examine all and choose the best condition for your money.

Don't buy a single stack AK. Don't buy a Saiga unless you plan to convert it to P-grip, because the original triggers are tough. Buy nothing lower than a Romanian converted to hi-cap, which should cost between $280 and $320. SAR-1s, that have been built as hi-caps, will demand more now that they're not imported (a very recent development) say $350-400. For that price, consider a converted Saiga, whose quality (particularly accuracy) is usually better. Perhaps you'll find a new or used Norinco ($350-$425 stamped, $400-550 milled). Bulgarian milled ones start at maybe $500-550 for single stack conversions, then go over $600 for domestically manufactured milled ones. Russian VEPRs are a very different animal, but in my opinion are a better buy, generally $450used - $600 new.
 

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Well, this really should of been posted in the AK-47 section, but no big deal. Yugo SKS's have dropped to $89-99 bucks in Ex.Cond, must of been too many imported. A new stamped SAR-1 can be had for $350...prices soon to go higher as they are no longer being imported for now. Mine:


And then my milled Bulgarian Arsenal AK that has been milled out into a hi-cap with all the correct parts added to be compliant (good parts, not Century junk) $600 with tax:


There is no problem with buying a low cap for just fun plinking, just stock up on 10 round mags because the ammo goes quick. A gun shop has one for $250 with a red dot scope that I might buy just for giggles...looks fun...good luck. :)
 

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Note that those prices NRAJOE quoted for Yugo SKSs are probably dealer cost. You can get them at those prices if you are willing to get a C&R FFL collector's lisence. Otherwise you pay a dealer's transfer fee or markup to the prices I listed. I would strongly suggest starting with an SKS and just keeping it even if you add more. You'll like the SKS as is (trust me, you can't improve it with goodies, maybe a scope if you really have to) and if you later get an AK you'll still like the SKS enough to give it some attention. It took me a long time to warm up to AKs, but the SKS caught on pretty quick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What is MOA

Thanks to all who answered my thread. I do have one question though? What does MOA mean? I could not figure what it stood for.
 

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I have both...a chinease sks and Romain AK....both feed and function very well...jams are not a problem with them.....I heard the arguement of stripper clips vs magazines....and that sks can be fitted with 30 rounders (Have one for mine)....I think the inaccuricy of the AK/SKS is blown out of proportion....now min dont shoot sub moa...but I think that has more to do with MY shooting....and knowing I have 29 more rounds to play with....that I dont realy sit down and try super hard to shoot it like I do a bolt action rifle from the bench.....add in surpluss ammo and I think the rifles get a bad rap for the target shooters. ARs/M16 are more accurate...but the US Ammo and other peep type sights on an AR help the rifle......I scoped my SKS...scope was full size and bumped my glasses so took it off....but IT seemed to shoot as well as I was trying....come on how many of you all do the whole relax aim breath and squease thing with an ak???? I know Im usaly blasting.

Both are great rifles for the $$$$ I belive the ARs are over priced...but that me.
As for a "Red Dawn" senero 1 if it comes down to everyone in the USA learnign to eat chinese food with sticks or ME and my rifle destroying the invadeing Army...after they beat the milatary..police etc....then we got problems....AK vs tank and ak loses....as for ammo...in that situation you can allways "upgrade" useing the weapons from your dead enemy.
 

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What I actually paid. (I have no FFL of any kind).

1952 Tula (Russian) SKS: $300 Proabably a little high even for an excellent grade rifle. The deal did include a lot of extras.

Yugo SKS: $99. This would probably be considered somewhere between "very good" and "excellent." I haven't shot it much yet, but it was well worth the $99. Biggest disadvantage is the lack of 100% parts comaptability.

Romanian SKS: $149. This rifle appeared to be unissued, but I doubt it! IMHO, this was the best buy of the bunch. It is almost as accurate as my Russian, and the Romanians are identical to the Russians from a parts comaptability standpoint.

Romanian SAR-1 #1: $299. This was a package deal that included four 30-round magazines. I bought this right before 9/11; prices shot up quite a bit for nearly a year shortly thereafter.

SAR-1 #2: $339. This one only came with one 5-rounder and one 40-rounder. I bought this one right after I learned that they would no longer be imported.


Any of these rifles are more reliable and accurate than the Ruger Mini-30s that I have tried. I would honestly recommend a Romanian SKS as a first 7.62x39 rifle.
 

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Originally posted by Doglips
...if it comes down to everyone in the USA learnign to eat chinese food with sticks or ME and my rifle destroying the invadeing Army...
I for one would rather eat Chinese food peaceably with a fork like I do currently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I got the AK-47 instead

There was not much of a selection at the gun show, so I ended up with the AK-47. I bought it retail, same day at my local gun store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It is a Romanian SAR-1 AK-47. New from the factory. It has a stamped reciver I think. It came with a scope mounting rail/bar on the left side of the reciver. It is supposed to take a scope mount from which you can attach any type of scope; at least that is what the guy at the gun store said. It also came with a green nylon shoulder strap, adjustable. It came with a 10 round magazine and a 30 round mag. It has a natural wood stock and berrel hand guards, with a black synthetic pistol grip. It came with the cleaning kit. I still have not figured out what some of the tools are used for. There is a standard nylon bore brush, but there is also a tappered flattened screwdriver bit looking thing whick I guess is used for front sight adjustment. There is a neidel point looking thing I have no idea what it is for, and also a threaded peice which I think is a bore plunger but it is loke one I have never seen. I will post some pics when I get a chance. I got all sorts of camping gear and guns to clean.
 
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