SKS in Combat

Discussion in 'SKS' started by Jesse, Mar 19, 2002.

How do you rate the SKS in combat?

  1. 10

    10 vote(s)
  2. 9

    15 vote(s)
  3. 8

    45 vote(s)
  4. 7

    61 vote(s)
  5. 6

    23 vote(s)
  6. 5

    16 vote(s)
  7. 4

    9 vote(s)
  8. 3

    4 vote(s)
  9. 2

    1 vote(s)
  10. 1

    3 vote(s)
  1. Jesse

    Jesse Tradehawker LLC / / Jn 17:17 Forum Contributor

    Ok guys,
    I've always wanted to know more about the SKS's performance and history in combat. I'd like anyone who has firsthand experience, reliable testimony, or historical data from credible research concerning the SKS's performance in combat. Please be specific, since this will enhance the thread's contents and serve as a really good reference for those who may own and respect the SKS, but know little of its combat origins.
    What I need in each post are:

    1)How you obtained this knowledge

    2)How reliable was the SKS (loading,feeding)

    3)How did the SKS compare against other rifles

    4)How did the user load/execute in combat for speed

    5)How was accuracy and penetration

    6)Did the SKS perform in averse conditions

    7)On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate the SKS
    (rate in Poll)

    8)Be sure to include all specifics possible

    This should make an interesting thread...

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  2. Gyrene

    Gyrene Guest

    Jesse - I think most who have faced the SKS in combat, or used them in combat know all too well how effective they are, and don't want to talk about it!
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  3. Zardoz

    Zardoz Guest

    I gave it a 4, because while it is extremely reliable. this is due to loose tolerances in manufacture, which also mean "iffy" accuracy. This makes it unsuited for long-range engagements, leaving short to medium range. Unfortunately, it's low-capacity fixed magazine kills it's usefulness here, as well. At 0-300M, things happen fast, and the SKS just doesn't have the magazine capacity or ability to reload quickly enough to justify it's use as a general issue weapon. It's reliability is really the only thing it has going for it. I formed my opinion through military experience, shooting all kinds of weaponry, from a .45 to an 8-inch howitzer.
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  4. BattleRifleG3

    BattleRifleG3 G&G Evangelist

    As far as mag capacity is concerned, remember, it was designed in WWII, when the Garand's semi-auto action and 8 round clip made it the supreme weapon. It was designed to compete in a WWII type of battle, not WWIII.
    Also, as far as asking who's used the SKS in combat... I think most of them would be on the other side.
  5. MangesMade

    MangesMade G&G Newbie

    BattlerifleG3, I second that!!!!! Oil Well, some people like it for a hunting rifle?
    jerry likes this.
  6. Calvin

    Calvin G&G Evangelist

    I met a truck driver who has half of a forearm because of an SKS in Vietnam. He was shot when his fire base was overrun by the VC, and at about 50 yards. He said that he uses one for home/farm defense, as he knows what it can do.
    As far as the range goes, it was originally designed for the combat ranges of the period, which was 200-400 meters. Also, the SKS was designed for urban warfare, where the weapon had to be as light as possible for manouverability. The cartridge is intermediate, so it will never be a sniper weapon. And, as far as reloading is concerned, it may be slow, but there was more than one troop firing at a time in battle. I think it's an underrated weapon. It just got overshadowed by the AK.
  7. BattleRifleG3

    BattleRifleG3 G&G Evangelist

    The Short Lived Semi

    Semi-autos had barely had their glory by the time select fire came in force. The M1 Garand is probably the most respected semi auto of all time, with the SKS in second. The M1 just came soon enough to be known as the main US weapon of WWII. The SKS came too late in the war to be as well known. Then everyone switched to select fire and the SKS got passed on to the poor guys. I think the SKS would definitely stand out in a battle with bolt action rifles and submachineguns, like the M1 Garand did, though the Garand was just plain more powerful and accurate, and suited to the guys who used it.
    My SKS sits right next to my M1 in the rack. Kind of like a little brother. Though the SKS was mainly used against us by the Viet Cong, I try to see it more as a Nazi crusher, which it was designed for. I think of my Norinco paratrooper as a trophy of the Cold War.
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  8. Gyrene

    Gyrene Guest

    All I can say is that the aimed shot is the one that hits, spray and pray will empty your pack load quickly, and select fire is not nearly as good as the aimed shot.

    That said, the SKS will definitely do the job, at ranges out to 400 - 500 meters. (The claim is that now days we should plan our combat within 300 meters, not 400 to 500 yards as we planned for WWII.) The SKS reloads very quickly, with its' 10 round stripper clips, you might lose a couple of shots as compared to a magazine reload.

    As far as accuracy, I have said it before, I have chased a coffee cup with 10 shots standing, at 150 yards hitting it every shot, and that is good enough to hit a head or the center of a human on the go. In combat, you don't get much better than that, except with a real high power rifle.

    A friend tried the same with a select fire AK-47, and hit 3 out of 10 shots (I tried the AK and hit 2 out of 10 shots). The same was tried with a M16 3 round burst and again 3 hits out of 10 shots, on the same cup. Some of these misses with the AK-47 and M16, were as far as 10 feet. I again took the SKS and hit 9 out of 10 more. The accuracy edge lies with the aimed shot, and semi-auto(SKS, AK-47, or AR-15) will always be more accurate than a 3 round burst or full auto.

    The M1 Garand has it all over these lightweight medium power 7.62 x 39, 2.45 x 39, 5.56 x 45 cartridges, because the .30-06 can break down barricades, punch through light armor, and make a very bad day for someone inside, when the medium power cartridges will dent and rattle the barricades or light armor, while the enemy sits safe and tight. Very few light armored vehicles that we see are safe from the .30-06 with AP, and many of them are not safe from a 165 grain soft point .30-06, all the way out to 800 yards or more.

    The .308 (7.62 x 51) is not quite as good as the .30-06, but will still be almost as effective out to 550 to 600 yrds. This is why the Special Ops guys want the M14, for its' hitting power.

    Give me a rifle with a Walnut stock for combat!!!
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  9. BattleRifleG3

    BattleRifleG3 G&G Evangelist

    Gyrene, I agree with you 100%, especially about the AP .30-06. I plan to do a demonstration some time of "Why everyone needs a full powered rifle", where I'll stick a target on the other side of a tree, shoot with my SKS, shoot with a .223, then blast through with my HK-91 and M1 Garand.
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  10. Gyrene

    Gyrene Guest

    BattleRifleG3 - Your demonstration will open more than a few eyes, I am sure. I have never doubted the accuracy of any bolt or semi-auto, and I do not doubt the ability of the medium power rifles to kill or wound severely, but they will only do that when there is no protection for the enemy.

    Reminds me of the Iraqi tanks being placed in berms made of sand to protect them from direct fire of the American tanks. The Iraqui's found out very quickly that their tanks were not a good place to be near at any time because our 120mm shots were going through the berms and then blowing up the Iraqui tanks. Shear power overcoming a barricade.

    Sorry about the misnumbering, I had intended to write 5.45 x 39, not 2.45 x 39, sometimes the brain signal goes to the wrong finger.

    "The M1 Garand has it all over these lightweight medium power 7.62 x 39, 2.45 x 39, 5.56 x 45 cartridges, because the .30-06 can break down barricades, punch through light armor, . . ."

    My apologies to all, but I think you knew what cartridge I was referring to.

    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one." - Jesus, Luke 22:36
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  11. Sutro

    Sutro Guest

    My understanding is that the 7.62X39 round was the product of Russian experience during WWII with the Germans resulting in a revision of combat philosophy from aimed long-distance fire to short distance suppressive fire. Basic premise being that most combat is at less than 300 yards and that the average infrantryman can't shoot worth a **** in the heat of combat anyway. Same general philosophy led to our development of the M-16. This was continuation of revision of combat philosophy that began during WWI (note that Springfields have a cutoff so that you can fire them single-shot and keep the magazine in reserve).

    As far as its worth in battle goes, seems to me that the Commies held us to stalemate in Korea and whipped us in Vietnam, and the SKS was a common weapon in both.

    That said, myself I'd prefer a full-power .30 weapon like a FAL or M-14 for myself. But I'd arm the peasants with intermediate-power weapons.
    jerry likes this.
  12. Gyrene

    Gyrene Guest

    Sutro - Your understanding about the Russian effort to determine the most effective cartridge is the generally accepted explanation, and no doubt correct.

    Marines are not your average infantryman. To a Marine, shooting is a way of life; EVERY Marine is a rifleman, and EVERY Marine, including the Commandant of the Marine Corps, has to qualify at least once every year (in peacetime), and everyday in combat. It was out to 500 yards, and now to 600 meters (656 yards)

    In Korea, may GOD BLESS ALL OF THOSE MEN WHO FOUGHT THERE!!! The 1st Marine Division went into the Chosen Reservoir with about 14,000 Marines, including some small U. S. Army Units, some British Royal Marines, some Greeks, Some Turks, and a few nondescript others, and due to the weather, sporadic air support. A Marine Division of the time was made up of about 19,000 when at full strength.

    We, 14,000 men were surrounded by 8 ChiCom Divisions, and they had 12 ChiCom Divisions in Reserve, at the start of the Chosen Reservoir battle, there were somewhere around 160,000 Chinese Regular Professional Soldiers. We had to fight for our lives, and proceeded to walk out through some of the most terrible conditions, including constant enemy fire of those ChiCom Soldiers. When we reached Hungnam, the ChiCom Divisions had been reduced to the fact that several of their Divisions no longer existed, and ALL of them had been severely reduced in numbers. After that, it was the Washington D.C. Politicians who kept us from finishing what had been started.

    The SKS was used, but not in large numbers, it was very effective in close. We could and did pick them off with our Garands beyond their effective range quite readily. If the Politicians in Washington D.C. had supported the troops in Korea as they had supported the troops in WWII, there would be no North Korea, there would be only one Korea, and we may have had to take on the ChiComs, on their home territory, in the process. Once we went into Korea, the ChiComs were really afraid we might just go into China and Kick the Communists out.

    As to Viet Nam, may GOD BLESS ALL OF THOSE MEN WHO FOUGHT THERE TOO!!! It was again a case of the Politicians failing to support those they so freely sent into harms way. The soldiers, sailors, and Marines never lost a battle in Viet Nam, they lost everything in Washington D.C. None of the Politicians who caused so much misery should be able to hold his/her head upright.

    I have to add this: I don't trust McCain, keep in mind he was quite thoroughly brainwashed by the NVA, while a POW, and I believe it shows.
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  13. G3 & Gyrene, you guys have my number on this subject, to me these rifles have proved they are quite adequate in battle, time and again.
    Ohh and as for your tree test, i did that about a year ago, with my buddie's bushy AR15, my SAR1, then punched clean through with my Mauser Kar98k, evryone there was completly shocked, as they had been completely convinced that they're AR15's were vastly superior to my OLD, out dated Kar98 I proceeded to rub it in by saying that "my Kar wasn't so useless after all huh?"
    to this day i havn't caught any more crap about my preference for larger caliber, ful size rifles.
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  14. BattleRifleG3

    BattleRifleG3 G&G Evangelist

    Are you my long lost brother?
    jerry likes this.
  15. I once made some swinging targets out of some THICK steel to use for rifle shooting. My friend and I set them up at 100 yards. He took the first shots with a 30.30 and those targets were swinging like crazy. I shot next with my German Kar98 with some homeloads and nothin happened. Another shot and...nothing. I could not believe I was missing the target. After 5 rounds I went to inspect the target. There were 5 little holes that were punched so neat and clean they looked like they had been cut with a laser. The bullets had punched through so fast that the target didnt even move!
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  16. BattleRifleG3

    BattleRifleG3 G&G Evangelist

    I set up an antiquated hard drive and shot it with a variety of weapons. My friend took a shot with his .30-06, and it looked like it had been drilled.
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  17. Jesse

    Jesse Tradehawker LLC / / Jn 17:17 Forum Contributor

    Thanks guys, I'd also like some input from anyone with SKS bringback stories from Korea or Vietnam.

    jerry likes this.
  18. Jesse

    Jesse Tradehawker LLC / / Jn 17:17 Forum Contributor

    I'd like to re-launch this poll...
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  19. NRAJOE

    NRAJOE YOU TALKIN' TO ME!? Forum Contributor

    My Yugo is big and clunky...but if it was all I had it could work.
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  20. Indy

    Indy G&G Newbie

    I rated the SKS a 7 due to the design and ease of manufactuing. The weapon is accurate, durable and efficient. The drawbacks are: fixed magazine, short sight radius(even if it's still a killer), lack of sufficient power at extremly long range, mushy trigger, and etc. I know stripper clips increases the reloading speed, but it's hard to duplicate removable magazines. The sight radius and ammunition while effective at short ranges they lack in extremes. However, it's inception came from the German influence toward the end of WWII, where house to house fighting proved a full size infantry weapon to large. Of course, it adapted well to the jungles of Vietnam. I know most of my comments duplicate the previous ones, but I only re-inforce their thoughts. My last time in Vietnam, 1969, I had an opportunity to bring back an SKS, but after a gigantic paperwork hassle I left it.

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