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· Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler
37,465 Posts
The SKS is a totally different rifle than the Dragunov. The true Russian Dragunov looks somewhat similar to a 'stretched' AK, but it's gas system is quite different, as well as being in a more powerful caliber. The Romanian and Chinese 'Dragunovs' aren't Drags at all - they are just built to resemble it.

The SKS in it's most common form uses the fixed ten-round magazine, loaded from the top by stripper clips. A good system actually, you can carry much more ammo and it's as quick to load with practice as a detachable magazine.
There is a Chinese-made version of the SKS, the Sporter, which uses AK magazines. It is especially designed for this, as simple mods to a regular SKS for AK mags is both illegal and often unsafe and unreliable. This AK-magged SKS costs more, but is highly sought after. It can be found in a sporting style stock or a thumbhole style.

Basically, if you want the higher firepower of the AK magazine, get an AK. The beauty of the SKS is it's generally better accuracy.

At this time, the main SKS variant you'll likely find is the Yugo, either the M59 that resembles the Russian gun, or the M59/66 with the added grenade-launcher. The plain rifle costs more, as many were modded into the G-L model. The 'experienced M59/66 is the cheapest available SKS now, often under a C-note! But beware of corroded gasvalves. The unissued M59/66 is still pretty cheap, around $150 or so. Excellent value!
Chinese rifles are the next most often seen, and can be quite good shooters. They have softer wood, and tend to feel lighter.
Russian and Romanian are getting scarcer these days. The oddball Albanians sold out early when they were imported - they are scarce as hens teeth now.

That's about it in a nutshell. Happy hunting! :)
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