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Gun Toting Boeing Driver
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Aha, you've fallen for one three classic blunders.

The SKS has 30 round magazines available (of various degrees of reliability), and the SKS-M and SKS-S series use AK mags, and conversions are available to use these mags reliably in any SKS. Several companies make T-6 style stocks, optics and mounts are available, the bayonet is already there, you can sling it multiple ways (especially with one of the optional Tacti-cool stocks), there are less parts to break, and most of those can be fixed with JB weld or plumber's putty in a pinch. Should you leave the stock as-is, you have a place to store your cleaning kit, and a handy bashing weapon as well. If you have a Yugo you also have the ability to launch NATO and Soviet pattern grenades, and a gas system that can be completely disengaged to turn the rifle into a bolt gun should there be a failure with the gas system. Also, the SKS can be quickly topped off, reloaded with strippers only fractionally slower than a mag.

Maintenance:
You are out in the wilderness trying to survive. You've been using cheap ammo for weeks, it has rained for days, you've been running and/or fighting just as long, and you desperately need to thoroughly clean your gun. Would you rather that you had the SKS or the AR?

SKS - A hank of knotted rope, an unfired bullet, some pee, and maybe some of that leftover grease from your last meal is all you need. Luckily, you won't have to resort to that because there is a handy cleaning kit, complete with oil, in the stock of your rifle.

AR - Did you remember to bring a cleaning kit, CLP and maybe a dental pick for the AR? Did you remember to bring a totally different set of cleaning supplies and lubricants because you wandered into one extreme condition or environment or another? what about the silk pillow or the blankie to tuck it in?

Ammo:
Is the bullet weight of the ammo you salvaged optimal for your AR? Can you hit anything with it with the twist rate you chose? Can your extractor handle steel-cased? Does your rifle have an adjustable gas system to handle weak or overly hot ammo? If you had to load your own ammo (and you somehow have primers and re loadable cases), did the developers of your weapon ever test it with black powder or cast lead bullets?
The SKS answers these questions with, "Blyin, I eat anything, eject anything, and all substitute options were tested for Balkan Сволочь who make gun with rock and anvil."

Weather:
Was your platform avoided at all costs, for as long as possible, by such agencies as the Canadian Mounties because it was unreliable in extreme cold and at altitude? Can you fire it while wearing thick gloves. Do you have the special lube required for use in extreme cold conditions or altitude? Did highly humid jungle and island countries drop the platform and it's close relatives in favor of something using a short-stroke gas system?
If you are talking about the AR/M-16/M-4 platform, you might have answered yes to all of these.
If you are talking SKS, well does Uncle Ivan have what you are looking for. It already comes with short stroke system, a trigger guard big enough for babushka's oven mitt, and was tested in the harshest climates in world by illiterate conscripts with little to no maintenance (on either the guns or the conscripts).

SCENARIO; Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have plenty of ammo, but only one magazine or stripper clip:
AR - Sucks to be you. After your 30, I guess you better run and hide before you can refill your mag.
SKS - You can top off the mag easily, no stripper clip or mag required. The stripper itself can be loaded in seconds, and while moving, and while not actually even looking at what you are doing. With practice you don't even need to use both hands.

SCENARIO; My rifle was run over by a truck:
AR - "Hey look, I found a piece!"
SKS - "I better wrap this crack in the stock with some bailing wire."

SCENARIO; My rifle finally broke, but luckily I found one very similar in an abandoned house. The barrel is clear, it is in the caliber I am carrying, and on very quick inspection it seems functional.
AR - Whoops, the Fudd who built mine bought cheap parts, all my pins have wandered out, and I am screwed.
SKS - the Albanian peasants who hammered this one out with hand tools, put a signature under the stock, cheeky devils. Good thing the Romanian and Albanian ones are some of the best built, despite having some of the crudest facilities and cheapest manufacturing.

SCENARIO; WOLVERINES!
AR - Too bad the invaders destroyed all the available ammo.
SKS - Man, do they really just leave this ammo lying around? I can't carry anymore.

SCENARIO; madness and loneliness have driven you to speak to your rifle as if it were a person, it speaks back including a funny accent.
SKS - (In sexy Russian accent) "Tonight we hunt moose and squirrel, yes? Then you give Ilya bath in moose fat. Ilya make bang bang for weeks after."
AR - (In New Jersey accent) "Why don't you ever take me anywhere noice? Before the apocalypse you would show me awf to owl yer friends and brag about me, and buy me nice accessories. You don't even buy me the fancy CLP erl no moah. I bet you like that nice HK that shot at you yesterday better than me. And don't think I didn't see you oying that sexy Jewish rifle. When is the last time you bought a new rail system for me? Why do you keep bringing home that PMC ammo, you know it makes me gassy and I have trouble stabilizing it. Why did you lose my silk pillow? I'm going to jam now, and don't you even think about hitting forward assist. I coulda been carried through the wastelands by a doctah."

SCENARIO; My gas system died in the middle of a firefight:
SKS (Yugo version only) - no problem, I'll flip this switch, and, oh look a bolt action. (other versions) No problem, I'll remove the op rod and have a bolt action.
AR - Drop the gun and run boy. We don't have time to fix this.

Usage:
AR - never been adopted militarily, and its military relatives have been dropped by most of the countries that carried them, unless we count Central and South American drug lords as militaries.
SKS - Still used by actual militaries on five of the seven continents.


Complexity:
Number of parts including all pins, springs and googaws on AR, +/- 111
Number of parts on SKS including same, +/- 67

Track Record:
Wars won with SKS, multiple
Wars won with AR, 0
I'll stack my Daniel Defense M4 reliability as superior up against the SKS on all counts--including in the mud/snow/sand. It'll run fine dry, but I've lubed it with EWL which works in any conditions (and for a loooooong time) too. And AR parts are MUCH more available (especially to me) as is the simplicity of working on it myself (with tons of multiple interchangeable parts--the parts haven't failed to begin with on the Daniel though). AND having multiple pre-loaded PMAGS -- again preferring those to the dropped in the mud stripper clips -- means that I can go through ALOT of ammo before having to reload even one. Yeppir, it's 1/7 twist rate gives me dime groups with the gold dots at 100 yards also.

AND it'll actually hit something at 500 yards even with a relatively low magnification ACOG on it.

I've never had the gas system on any of my front line ARs fail.

It's accent is more like a soft spoken Georgia woman though.
 

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I'll stack my Daniel Defense M4 reliability as superior up against the SKS on all counts--including in the mud/snow/sand. It'll run fine dry, but I've lubed it with EWL which works in any conditions (and for a loooooong time) too. And AR parts are MUCH more available (especially to me) as is the simplicity of working on it myself (with tons of multiple interchangeable parts--the parts haven't failed to begin with on the Daniel though). AND having multiple pre-loaded PMAGS -- again preferring those to the dropped in the mud stripper clips -- means that I can go through ALOT of ammo before having to reload even one. Yeppir, it's 1/7 twist rate gives me dime groups with the gold dots at 100 yards also.

AND it'll actually hit something at 500 yards even with a relatively low magnification ACOG on it.

I've never had the gas system on any of my front line ARs fail.

It's accent is more like a soft spoken Georgia woman though.
What I am hearing is, "In my perfect domestic conditions, with access to parts and tools that I will not have to salvage, fight someone else over, or carry with me - and which will add to my overall pack weight if I do carry them, and with all the nice tools and things I have at my home, and with my life not depending on it, and with really good quality, properly-stored ammo, my AR works great in 'all conditions'."

This is SHTF we're talking about. Since it is unspecific SHTF, we mostly have What-Ifisms to argue, but what parts availability will you be relying on? We had international sniffles for seven months and everything became unobtainable, unavailable, or very slow to arrive after ordering, and ammo all but dried up.

Five years into a real apocalypse, where are these "available" parts? Where are the Gold Dots you are talking about? How will you have access to them? Say all you have left is some salvaged steel-cased Baikal. How does your rifle run on that? How many spare extractors have you collected? Do you have something to scour the steel case lacquer out of your chamber before you have to start beating the forward assist every shot just to stay alive?

What if the apocalypse in question was environmental or nuclear, and we have a volcanic or nuclear winter where there is little sunlight, and it never gets much above 50 degrees?. The Canadian government couldn't get these things to reliably run in the arctic, but now everything is arctic. Will your rifle run when a first world nation couldn't get theirs to reliably operate?

On the other hand, what if we're talking Mad Max desert wasteland? The U.S. Army had to triple the number of armorers in Afghanistan to deal with that country's fine sand causing problems. Field report after field report talks about the system's problems with fine sand (https://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/the-usas-m4-carbine-controversy-03289/). And both the Army and the Marine Corps have begged for short-stroke uppers (Army Preps for Sandstorm Test of M4) because of this problem. This is exactly the change that Singapore, Korea, Germany, France, the Philippines, Ukraine, New Zealand, Taiwan, Israel, Japan, Lithuania, and dozens of other countries have made to their system. Your Daniel Defense, without the aid of armorers and proper tools, will somehow be able to deal with a problem that dozens of militaries gave up on? Of the 80 countries we sent AR-type rifles to, 74 have either replaced them altogether for mainline service, or started building/buying a version with a different upper not based on direct impingement. Most of the rest are currently using the weapons we gave them against us.

What if this is the Democrat apocalypse? All scary black weapons, parts and accessories have been taken off the market by force and turned into a 500-foot tall statue of George Floyd. The weasel Republicans "save the day" by adding a grandfather clause to those already out there, but now these guns are as expensive and hard to buy, sell and trade as any other Class III. Where do you get parts five years after everything has collapsed, and who knows how many years after panic buyers and collectors bought up the last of the stock?

If you have to be mobile, are you just going to carry all your tools and parts all the time in case there is the, as you say, unlikely, event that you have a problem, or does food, medicine and survival gear take precedent?

On top of that, why would you need an AR that shoots 500 yards in a SHTF situation? At that range the projectile has already dumped most of its energy. A miss or a hit that didn't take someone out of the fight, or might not instantly take down prey, would only alert an enemy of your presence, and would be an unnecessary risk if they did not already know exactly where you were. It would largely be a waste of ammo if they did know where you were, and you were trying to engage at that distance rather than widen the gap between yourself and them, or choose a better ambush position where every shot would count. Conversely, if it was you and your group hunting the enemy, you have either alerted the enemy that you are coming, or wasted time where you could have been closing that gap.

The exercise was stock-standard AR in 5.56 or .223, vs stock-standard SKS in 7.62x39. Military personnel might try to engage the enemy at 500 meters, but they also have a supply line and a whole bunch of other guys behind them.

I once had, in my store, an M59/66 SKS that had come off the assembly line in 1968, appeared to have all original and matching parts, had fought in the Bosnian/Serb/Croat wars and been treated rough. It might even have fought in Angola. Who knows? It definitely fought in Yugoslavia, though.
It had the Serbian Orthodox cross crudely carved into the stock, had had that defaced, and had had a crudely painted red checkerboard painted over it (Bosnian faction). It did not appear to have been cleaned in years. I cleaned it with some Sea Foam, and it functioned flawlessly after three hours of removing thick black gunk and rust (it still cycled and ejected cases before I even cleaned it). As bad as the bore and gas tube looked, I suspect most of the ammo that went through it was corrosive Soviet garbage.

50 years from now, what are the odds the same could be said about a Daniel Defense AR after it had fought on more than one side of a conflict, in adverse weather conditions, with a lack of supplies or proper maintenance, that still appears to have all its original parts, and that spent its life shooting corrosive, probably steel-cased ammo, and being carried and maintained by poorly-trained militia partisans, AND that still functions flawlessly?

There are hundreds of SKS rifles similar to what I described in collections just here in America, and tens of thousands still being used throughout the world. Often in regions adjacent to those very ones that are dropping the AR/M-16/M-4 platform.

Heck, find an M-16 from the Vietnam era that went through likewise conditions, used by untrained peons in second and third world countries for at least a decade and without a major rearsenal at some point. Then fire just a few hundred highly corrosive rounds of ammo through it, and leave it uncleaned in an un-airconditioned warehouse for just two years. If it still functions flawlessly after even that light brush with poor maintenance and corrosive ammo, I will concede the point. But wait, the M-16s from 50 years ago wouldn't even reliably cycle the Winchester ammo they were supplied with. I can't imagine what they would do with Soviet-esque ammo. Heck, even many of the modern ARs struggle with steel cases, and the modern East-bloc stuff doesn't even use corrosive primers or powder.

The thing is, one of the platforms we are talking about is a civilian darling with a military version that is being phased out world wide because it doesn't function reliably in half the world, and requires more maintenance than similar guns - even those of the same basic design in all except gas system. The other one is not only still being issued, not only is it still a parade and guard rifle in several countries that have phased it out for mainline service, not only can it be encountered on all but one continent, but it was only phased out at all because the design was a stop-gap design to begin with to fill a role between the SVT-40 and the AK.

One soldiers on by choice, despite the fact it was never meant to go as far as it did, and the other has soldiered on despite the fact it has been complained about by soldiers since day one, and that the Army, the Marines and 74 countries have wanted to change or do away with the platform for decades, and have had their requests ignored because someone was getting rich.

I was once told by a veteran of the Yugoslavian wars that you should, if you have a choice, take your favorite gun in a SHTF, and always make sure you have plenty of ammo ready to go. Then you plan around that weapon's weaknesses and strengths, and hope you don't get stuck in a situation that favors its weaknesses. Surprisingly, he might have agreed with you.

The rifle he was most comfortable with was the SKS. He hated the AK because it was not accurate enough to kill rats for dinner, and he hated the Mauser he was issued once because he got caught in an abandoned school, in a firefight with enemies with semi-autos and full-autos, and he had never felt so ill-equipped in his life. I asked what he would carry if SHTF here in America, and he said an AR.

His reasoning there was entirely based on the amount of ammo he could carry, and how light and handy the rifle was. He said if the SKS and its ammo were lighter, he would have chosen the SKS.
 

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Why would you even worry about flipping the gas valve or removing an op rod on an sks? Just pull the handle and carry on. Of course, AR's will do that too, especially side pull versions.
On an SKS, the most common cause of failure to the gas system is that the weld gave loose on the tube because the gun got too hot. You remove the op rod to keep the hot gases from partially cycling the action and then blasting your support hand with gas on the return. Jams and burnt hands are no bueno. On the Yugo you flip a switch, and gas doesn't even enter the tube.

If you don't care about aesthetics, you can repair that weld with plumber's putty or JB weld, and it will be good as new in a few hours.

The second most common problem relates to the tube getting gunked up with corrosive powder residue. You remove the op rod in this scenario for the same reason a doctor might remove a blood clot. The rod might be actively working against you, you might do real damage to your rifle if you leave it there, and sometimes the overpressure will cycle a previously stopped rod, but violently, and you will no longer be able to re-close the bolt.

Taking out the op rod was the SOP laid out in Russian and East German manuals.
 

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At 73 if the brown stuff does hit the fan I probably wont be around long enough to worry about it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
 
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If I am firing an sks and it stops up, I won’t be worrying about fixing it at that moment. If it burns your hands. Find an alternate hold.
I don't think you understand.

Imagine you are driving on the highway and your brakes will randomly lock hard, then release (the op rod halfway engaging and then randomly letting go). They begin making a horrendous steam whistle sound (gasses escaping from a now widening crack in the gas tube thanks to the part reciprocating and causing moments of high pressure) every time this happens, you won't be able to change gears because your shifter has become unbearably hot (your sight is cherry red and cannot be touched). Then your steering wheel, which you are holding with a pair of tongs to protect your hands (a different grip), erupts into flames and locks everything permanently in this position until your car just decides to stop working until you can do a major overhaul.

Or...you can pull over to the side of the road, take the floor mat off of the top of your brake pedal, and carry on with only a momentary loss of time, and no major, permanent damage.

The Russians didn't give a rip about their soldiers, so if they put something in a manual as SOP, it was to protect the gun, not the hand.
 

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Gun Toting Boeing Driver
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What I am hearing is, "In my perfect domestic conditions, with access to parts and tools that I will not have to salvage, fight someone else over, or carry with me - and which will add to my overall pack weight if I do carry them, and with all the nice tools and things I have at my home, and with my life not depending on it, and with really good quality, properly-stored ammo, my AR works great in 'all conditions'."
I think if that's what you're hearing, a visit to the audiologist might well be in order :) .

Factually, my DDM4 is more reliable, more accurate, better trigger, more reliable under abused conditions (meaning cold, rain, ice, snow, sand, muck, whatever), lighter, has more capacity, faster to reload with any of the many PMAGs I have at the ready, easier to work on, better sighted, more versatile, simpler and more commonly available parts, better fitting, wayyyy better to shoot, and has more firepower than my SKS (yes, I do have one).

I CAN put steel cased commonly available .223 through its barrel. I choose not to because it's a VERY good barrel and the bi-metal bullet takes its toll (probably not so much with an SKS, then again if I've run through 5000 rounds in my quest I've shown a remarkable degree of survivability). 5.56 or .223 is as available to me as any other caliber would be anywhere I might be or wind up; there are no better or worse supply issues with 7.62x39 anywhere I might wind up.

And if we're comparing primitive rifles, despite its Rube Goldberg internals, I'd prefer either of my M1s to my SKS. In fact, if there IS a primitive rifle in the running for a SHTF role competing with my DDM4, my M1 is it.

FWIW, our apocalypse is happening right now, and these things tend to originate and go in directions NO ONE would ever have thunk of. Or for that matter CAN thunk of. One can only have a toolkit, some friends, and a good attitude.
 

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not sure we can convince PHD to think differently, just as much as he cant convince me that it would make sense to try and use a com block firearm in the US, for long term shtf scenarios.

to each their own, there isnt really a right or wrong answer.

when the sks eventually breaks down or wears out, everything has a breaking point dont pretend its impervious, good luck finding parts for it, or fixing it without tools. AR-15's are so ubiquitous in the us, there will be a lot of parts around to find, and if you do find them, you can replace almost any part on an ar with simple tools.

Ammo, at this point i would bet that there is more .223/ 5.56 in the us than there is x39. better odds of finding some to use if you run out. while bullet weight an design play a role in accuracy, its not like its going to be enough to completely make it useless, within a few hundred yards, a few moa shift isnt a deal breaker. also, its not like every x39 is exactly the same either. IN GENERAL, i'd bet any good AR bee more accurate than a regular SKS to begin with.. so theres that.

Not sure why heat was ever a consideration, all guns get hot. both the sks and the ar have handguards.... neither are full auto, aim better shoot less?

the reference to the Canadian Mounties avoiding the ar due its reliability issues in severe cold.. is a non issue. we are not in the frozen north, and if you are, just run it alittle dry..

"If you don't care about aesthetics, you can repair that weld with plumber's putty or JB weld, and it will be good as new in a few hours." you really think that if the original steel weld was not enough to hold, that plumbers putty or jb weld is going to? seems optimistic to me.

never heard of an ar-15 gas block weld breaking, there isnt a weld, if the pins walk out you can just put anther pin in, its little steel rod..

arguing that an SKS getting run over by a truck would absolutely continue running with no issues is optimistic. I have seen both an ar and an sks be run over, guess what, they both worked, neither were in pieces, but i wouldnt bet on either one surviving unscathed.

im sure there are more things to compare or argue over. but come on guys, we all know that training and preparation are more important than any gun.
 

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I don't think you understand.

Imagine you are driving on the highway and your brakes will randomly lock hard, then release (the op rod halfway engaging and then randomly letting go). They begin making a horrendous steam whistle sound (gasses escaping from a now widening crack in the gas tube thanks to the part reciprocating and causing moments of high pressure) every time this happens, you won't be able to change gears because your shifter has become unbearably hot (your sight is cherry red and cannot be touched). Then your steering wheel, which you are holding with a pair of tongs to protect your hands (a different grip), erupts into flames and locks everything permanently in this position until your car just decides to stop working until you can do a major overhaul.

Or...you can pull over to the side of the road, take the floor mat off of the top of your brake pedal, and carry on with only a momentary loss of time, and no major, permanent damage.

The Russians didn't give a rip about their soldiers, so if they put something in a manual as SOP, it was to protect the gun, not the hand.
So, you heard that this happened to some Yugoslavian dude once, ad now you think it plagues every SKS known to man
Wanna buy a bridge, cheap?
 

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"In my perfect domestic conditions, with access to parts and tools that I will not have to salvage, fight someone else over, or carry with me - and which will add to my overall pack weight if I do carry them,"

arent you kinda dismissing the fact that the SKS is heavier than the AR in the first place? ar+ some spare pats = SKS with no spare parts.

the average sks is 8.5lbs while the average ar is 7.5lbs or so, that leaves approx an entire pound for spares/ tools at an equivalent weight.

or, more ammo, 7.62x39 is already heavier than 5.56, so either your carrying less rounds, or more weight. the AR's ammo advantage is even greater if you consider that you can carry the rifle+ some ammo and still be the same weight as an SKS with NO AMMO.
 

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arent you kinda dismissing the fact that the SKS is heavier than the AR in the first place? ar+ some spare pats = SKS with no spare parts.

the average sks is 8.5lbs while the average ar is 7.5lbs or so, that leaves approx an entire pound for spares/ tools at an equivalent weight.
If weight is that important, just carry a ream of paper, and make paper airplanes to do strafing runs on the bad guys. Weight is a factor, not THE factor.
 

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If weight is that important, just carry a ream of paper, and make paper airplanes to do strafing runs on the bad guys. Weight is a factor, not THE factor.
REV, I was quoting and responding to PHD, it just took me 3 edits to get it right.

He brought up the point of weight, so fine lets consider weight!

fact is it does matter, though I might take your route and slightly modify it, just bring an extra roll of TP, you can either use it, trade it, burn it w/e.. but hey if SHTF, a roll of tp would probably be worth more than anything!
 

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I think if that's what you're hearing, a visit to the audiologist might well be in order :) .

Factually, my DDM4 is more reliable, more accurate, better trigger, more reliable under abused conditions, lighter, has more capacity, faster to reload with any of the many PMAGs I have at the ready, easier to work on, better sighted, more versatile, simpler and more commonly available parts, better fitting, wayyyy better to shoot, and has more firepower than my SKS (yes, I do have one).

And if we're comparing primitive rifles, despite its Rube Goldberg internals, I'd prefer either of my M1s to my SKS. In fact, if there IS a primitive rifle in the running for a SHTF role competing with my DDM4, my M1 is it.
Maybe I do need to get my ears checked because I just heard you say, "I love overly complicated designs with too many parts, too many small things to break, and gas systems that come with more problems than their contemporaries, that were adopted by the military for financial reasons, and that have to have special ammo because they won't eat just any ammo, but that are surprisingly accurate for semi-autos."

Factually, how many wars has your DDM4 survived? How many nations adopted it or ones exactly like it, specifically, as a main battle rifle? How many firefights have you personally fought with it and/or that you have proof someone else did. How do you know it is more reliable in battlefield conditions, and in a EOTW scenario that might throw caustic rain, freezing temperatures, extreme heat, dust and sand, and more? How many decades has your personal rifle been in use? How many users has the average one survived? Has the DDM4, or really the AR-15/M-16/M-4 been in continual production for more than 75 years with no major changes to the basic design in the last 60 - and those to customize if for certain country's needs/capabilities, or has it pretty much been continually tweaked because of tens of thousands of major end-user complaints from servicemen around the world?

In martial arts there is a concept called "pressure testing" where people spar to see what works. Thanks to the concept of MMA, people can now easily see if their method works under the pressure of someone else's method. If the martial art in question is generally crap, this is where it falls apart. If a martial art can remain virtually unchanged from the time of its development, works within its own confines, and is viable against the confines of another style's tactics, it is considered viable.
A civilian AR is basically McDojoTaekwondo. The current M4 would then be like Teukgong Moosool. The former is not properly pressure tested in practice, everything is nice, and safe, and padded, and clean. It is likely to perform accordingly in a dirty, unpredictable and nasty world, but who knows, Bajillionth-degree-ultra-totally-black belt Sensei Dave might turn into John Wick on the battlefield because his bigger brother is halfway decent in a fight.

The SKS began life as a military weapon, designed around a specific caliber, around a known winner of a gas system that is the most common in use today, and around tried and true principles that themselves had been pressure-tested. The SKS is Okinawan Karate. It comes from a long line of pressure-tested techniques, has been, itself, pressure tested, and shows up in an earlier, but direct lineage to the AR/Korean martial arts. It is more simple, less flashy, and less likely to be used by a middle-aged suburban housewife.

The SKS was designed by someone who had done nothing but study firearms since childhood, and plied this art through more than one war. He began building guns in a factory as a child around 10 years old. Then he was taken under the wing of Fyodorev - one of the greatest machine gun designers of all time. By 18 he was in firearms design. By 30 he was considered one of the best firearms designers Russia ever produced.

Stoner was a genius, no doubt, but his design was a gun from the perspective of aircraft design. It was innovative, creative, and has taken decades of improvement to get to the level it is today. If we had had this SKS vs. Stoner design argument 30, 40, or 50 years ago, anyone familiar with both platforms would more than likely have taken my side without a second thought. In Vietnam, many people DID actively trade their issued guns for SKS and AK rifles.

Imagine, as a pilot, me trying to make the argument that we should build an airplane using the principles of firearms design. Imagine that the head of this program was not actually that familiar with airplanes, though he had years in firearms design. Then imagine that he somehow, despite all odds, makes a really good fighter plane - though a bit unconventional. He shows this design, and a few others, to the government and points out one that it is the worst of the lot. It is powered by a system that virtually no other country uses, and while that system makes the plane more controllable, there are many drawbacks. Now imagine the government f-s up royally and chooses this gun, the crappiest thing this guy has designed in his short time as an airplane designer. They could have had the X-63 fighter/bomber/stealth plane designed by him, or the iX-18 "Widowmaker" that had all the best elements of his new ideas and conventional operation and could be built by monkeys on a peanut budget, but no.
The government chooses the one that the designer himself likes the least. The plane is sent half-baked into the field. There are a lot of complaints by pilots, especially early on when they sent the wrong fuel. Pilots commonly ditched their planes and went out of their way to steal enemy MiGs. The complaints continued long after numerous other improvements were made because the plane sucked in certain weather, at certain altitudes, when being piloted by savages, or if the fuel was substandard. The government has already sunk its money into this project for the next several decades, so that's what we get. Improvements are made so that fewer pilots fall from the sky in the middle of a fight, and the plane eventually gets a degree of acceptance.

Now, let's demilitarize that weird plane, put a smaller engine in it, attach a bunch of extra weight to it, improve the controls, completely defang it as a weapon, make it longer for legal reasons, or make it shorter and put a wonky tail fin on it for other legal reasons, and try to sell it as a civilian version.

Now, lets pretend the two of us were arguing that that civilian version of said plane, designed by a non-plane designer, derided by the majority of pilots using it over the decades, completely demilitarized, was better than an obsolete, but still viable, ACTUAL war plane.

Given a choice between a MiG 21 with all the military bells and whistles, engine, weapons and avionics it was originally designed with, or this hypothetical, stripped down, civilian-only plane with the avionics of a Cessna, powered by a much slower engine, with only a semi auto gun as weaponry, based on a fighter that has been a punchline for pilots for decades - which do you choose?

Do you go for the obsolete Soviet plane that has been battle-tested and is still being used militarily decades after its creation, or the one that has never been used militarily, sort of looks like one that has been, but is an even less capable version of it. If it helps, this civilian version is made by a company called Artie's Advanced Avionics, and is considered one of the best versions of this particular model, it is four times (five if you don't mind a minor blemish in the upholstery underneath the seat) the cost of nearly identical ones that you can get from a company called Palm Tree, Ltd, and it probably will fall out of the sky 10-ish% less than that version if you ever made an attempt to use it in combat conditions.
 

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So, you heard that this happened to some Yugoslavian dude once, ad now you think it plagues every SKS known to man
Wanna buy a bridge, cheap?
Dude, what are you talking about? The post you quoted doesn't even mention any of the words you used.

I am the one supporting the SKS. The gas tube issue is ridiculously rare, but it is an issue that should be addressed immediately if encountered or you will only make it worse. You are the one saying to ignore the hot gas escaping in every direction, exacerbating the problem, and making the gun harder to use when the situation has already gone from bad to worse.

If your oil light comes on and the temp gauge on your car jumps into the red, you don't change your driving position, move into the fast lane, and stomp on the gas. That's all I'm saying.
 

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Maybe I do need to get my ears checked because I just heard you say, "I love overly complicated designs with too many parts, too many small things to break, and gas systems that come with more problems than their contemporaries, that were adopted by the military for financial reasons, and that have to have special ammo because they won't eat just any ammo, but that are surprisingly accurate for semi-autos."

Factually, how many wars has your DDM4 survived? How many nations adopted it or ones exactly like it, specifically, as a main battle rifle? How many firefights have you personally fought with it and/or that you have proof someone else did. How do you know it is more reliable in battlefield conditions, and in a EOTW scenario that might throw caustic rain, freezing temperatures, extreme heat, dust and sand, and more? How many decades has your personal rifle been in use? How many users has the average one survived? Has the DDM4, or really the AR-15/M-16/M-4 been in continual production for more than 75 years with no major changes to the basic design in the last 60 - and those to customize if for certain country's needs/capabilities, or has it pretty much been continually tweaked because of tens of thousands of major end-user complaints from servicemen around the world?

Your making alot ot statements there in that first paragraph that you are equating to fact, but are actually your oppinion.

"Too many parts, small parts that break" what number of parts is the acceptable number? let me guess, its exactly however many parts make up the SKS...

"Gas system with more problems than there contemporaries"
HUH? Please dont tell me your referring to the age old very first issued models, which had problems that were due more to the powder used than the gas system itself. the ar has proven it self to be a reliable and robust system. also, the AR was a pretty revolutionary design and didnt actually have many comparative contemporaries when it was introduced.

"Adopted for financial reasons"
every thing the military has ever procured has been at least partially dictated by cost....

"have to have special ammo"
Please, tell me what this special ammo is as ive never heard of it. I use pretty much any .223 or 5.56 can find. do i prefer brass sure but that doesnt mean its a requirement.

"but that are surprisingly accurate for semi-autos"
that has in fact been confirmed after decades of use.

"how many wars has your DDM4 survived?"
well, the basic operating design has been around for... idk about 60 years and examples of the m-16 can be found in pretty much every conflict since it was introduced.

"How many nations adopted it or ones exactly like it, specifically, as a main battle rifle?"
MANY nations have adopted AR variants. Now, your usage of the term "battle rifle" is misleading, perhaps purposefully, perhaps not, but neither the AR or the SKS are BATTLE RIFLES. that would be the m-14 and PSL versions of the respective nations, firing full sized not intermediate cartridges.

"How many firefights have you personally fought with it and/or that you have proof someone else did."
lol really? and you per the SKS?

"How many decades has your personal rifle been in use?"
this is about AR vs SKS. the AR variant has been fielded in pretty much every operating condition by many nations, for about 6 decades.

"has the DDM4, or really the AR-15/M-16/M-4 been in continual production for more than 75 years with no major changes to the basic design in the last 60"
The only reason the SKS hasnt been significantly changed in its lifetime is because it was outright replaced by better weapons, ala the AK. THe AR has been continuously updated and has remained a competitive service rifle for nearly 60 years because there hasnt been a better vialbe alterenative, or they would have adopted that.. The only nations, if any, that still field the SKS are few and the only reason they do so is because they cant afford newer, better weapons.

"and those to customize if for certain country's needs/capabilities"
due to its competitive characteristics, Its actually worth upgrading and customizing the AR platform as opposed to adapting a new platform, as many nations did when going from sks to ak.

"or has it pretty much been continually tweaked because of tens of thousands of major end-user complaints from servicemen around the world?""
Sure, no soldier ever complained about the SKS, at least the AR actually improved over time.


Seriously, I get the AK is better than the AR argument, but the SKS is an outdated relic. I love my Mosin Nagant, but also realize its an antiquated design.

You tell, me, If the SKS is so great, why did Russia transition to the AK?
 

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Dude, what are you talking about? The post you quoted doesn't even mention any of the words you used.

I am the one supporting the SKS. The gas tube issue is ridiculously rare, but it is an issue that should be addressed immediately if encountered or you will only make it worse. You are the one saying to ignore the hot gas escaping in every direction, exacerbating the problem, and making the gun harder to use when the situation has already gone from bad to worse.

If your oil light comes on and the temp gauge on your car jumps into the red, you don't change your driving position, move into the fast lane, and stomp on the gas. That's all I'm saying.
Actually, if I am in my car being chased by bad guys and what you describe happens. Yes I do exactly as you described.i sure dont pull over to let the car cool and add a couple quarts of oil
Dead isn't a good place to be.
By the way, applying aircraft techniques and technology advances to arms was pure genius. On par with the idea of using polymers
 

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Maybe I do need to get my ears checked because I just heard you say, "I love overly complicated designs with too many parts, too many small things to break, and gas systems that come with more problems than their contemporaries, that were adopted by the military for financial reasons, and that have to have special ammo because they won't eat just any ammo, but that are surprisingly accurate for semi-autos."

Factually, how many wars has your DDM4 survived? How many nations adopted it or ones exactly like it, specifically, as a main battle rifle? How many firefights have you personally fought with it and/or that you have proof someone else did. How do you know it is more reliable in battlefield conditions, and in a EOTW scenario that might throw caustic rain, freezing temperatures, extreme heat, dust and sand, and more? How many decades has your personal rifle been in use? How many users has the average one survived? Has the DDM4, or really the AR-15/M-16/M-4 been in continual production for more than 75 years with no major changes to the basic design in the last 60 - and those to customize if for certain country's needs/capabilities, or has it pretty much been continually tweaked because of tens of thousands of major end-user complaints from servicemen around the world?

In martial arts there is a concept called "pressure testing" where people spar to see what works. Thanks to the concept of MMA, people can now easily see if their method works under the pressure of someone else's method. If the martial art in question is generally crap, this is where it falls apart. If a martial art can remain virtually unchanged from the time of its development, works within its own confines, and is viable against the confines of another style's tactics, it is considered viable.
A civilian AR is basically McDojoTaekwondo. The current M4 would then be like Teukgong Moosool. The former is not properly pressure tested in practice, everything is nice, and safe, and padded, and clean. It is likely to perform accordingly in a dirty, unpredictable and nasty world, but who knows, Bajillionth-degree-ultra-totally-black belt Sensei Dave might turn into John Wick on the battlefield because his bigger brother is halfway decent in a fight.

The SKS began life as a military weapon, designed around a specific caliber, around a known winner of a gas system that is the most common in use today, and around tried and true principles that themselves had been pressure-tested. The SKS is Okinawan Karate. It comes from a long line of pressure-tested techniques, has been, itself, pressure tested, and shows up in an earlier, but direct lineage to the AR/Korean martial arts. It is more simple, less flashy, and less likely to be used by a middle-aged suburban housewife.

The SKS was designed by someone who had done nothing but study firearms since childhood, and plied this art through more than one war. He began building guns in a factory as a child around 10 years old. Then he was taken under the wing of Fyodorev - one of the greatest machine gun designers of all time. By 18 he was in firearms design. By 30 he was considered one of the best firearms designers Russia ever produced.

Stoner was a genius, no doubt, but his design was a gun from the perspective of aircraft design. It was innovative, creative, and has taken decades of improvement to get to the level it is today. If we had had this SKS vs. Stoner design argument 30, 40, or 50 years ago, anyone familiar with both platforms would more than likely have taken my side without a second thought. In Vietnam, many people DID actively trade their issued guns for SKS and AK rifles.

Imagine, as a pilot, me trying to make the argument that we should build an airplane using the principles of firearms design. Imagine that the head of this program was not actually that familiar with airplanes, though he had years in firearms design. Then imagine that he somehow, despite all odds, makes a really good fighter plane - though a bit unconventional. He shows this design, and a few others, to the government and points out that it is the worst of the lot. It is powered by a system that virtually no other country uses, and while that system makes the plane more controllable, there are many drawbacks. Now imagine the government f-s up royally and chooses the crappiest thing this guy has designed in his short time as an airplane designer. They could have had the X-63 fighter/bomber/stealth plane designed by him, or the iX-18 "Widowmaker" that had all the best elements of his new ideas and conventional operation and could be built by monkeys on a peanut budget, but no.
The government chooses the one that the designer himself likes the least. The plane is sent half-baked into the field. There are a lot of complaints by pilots, especially early on when they sent the wrong fuel. Pilots commonly ditched their planes and went out of their way to steal enemy MiGs. The complaints continued long after numerous other improvements were made because the plane sucked in certain weather, at certain altitudes, when being piloted by savages, or if the fuel was substandard. The government has already sunk its money into this project for the next several decades, so that's what we get. Improvements are made so that fewer pilots fall from the sky in the middle of a fight, and the plane eventually gets a degree of acceptance.

Now, let's demilitarize that weird plane, put a smaller engine in it, attach a bunch of extra weight to it, improve the controls, completely defang it as a weapon, make it longer for legal reasons, or make it shorter and put a wonky tail fin on it for other legal reasons, and try to sell it as a civilian version.

Now, lets pretend the two of us were arguing that that civilian version of said plane, designed by a non-plane designer, derided by the majority of pilots using it over the decades, completely demilitarized, was better than an obsolete, but still viable, ACTUAL war plane.

Given a choice between a MiG 21 with all the military bells and whistles, engine, weapons and avionics it was originally designed with, or this hypothetical, stripped down, civilian-only plane with the avionics of a Cessna, powered by a much slower engine, with only a semi auto gun as weaponry, based on a fighter that has been a punchline for pilots for decades - which do you choose?

Do you go for the obsolete Soviet plane that has been battle-tested and is still being used militarily decades after its creation, or the one that has never been used militarily, sort of looks like one that has been, but is an even less capable version of it. If it helps, this civilian version is made by a company called Artie's Advanced Avionics, and is considered one of the best versions of this particular model, it is four times (five if you don't mind a minor blemish in the upholstery underneath the seat) the cost of nearly identical ones that you can get from a company called Palm Tree, Ltd, and it probably will fall out of the sky 10-ish% less than that version if you ever made an attempt to use it in combat conditions.
Given that the majority of LE, military, and citizens use an M4 in a multipurpose role, I'd hardly say the design was half baked (and at present day it's the most common patrol rifle in use, period). It was a relatively revolutionary design, but then again so was the Garand. It was certainly fielded before being properly ops tested, but then again so were many airplanes (the A-26, P-38, and F-111 all come to mind which were sent into the field well before THEIR particular teething problems were worked out. It's just that there are alot more ARs than F-111s so when you have a latent defect the same percentage results in much higher numbers. This numbers game--with a bit of dishonest manipulation-- has been aptly exploited during the WuFlu).

The F-15 was not without its problems, nor was the F-15E which evolved from the F-15. They weren't as severe as the F-111, but the F-111 was a VERY complicated system compared with the other century series fighters of the day (and even the F-4)--using then state of the art terrain following radar, variable geometry, damper filtered flight controls (with analog computers), a capsule for ejection, engines which had spikes and translating cowls (later replaced by the simpler blow in doors ala the 737-200) for shock wave control/airflow augmentation at low speed, etc. Just like the AR some of this was the man-machine interface as well as latent defects in design (the F-111 was fielded without the crews really understanding exactly how the terrain following radar worked and its limitations resulting in the inevitable impacts with terrain). Ya....sometimes you have a revolutionary design which doesn't have many problems (ignoring the P-38 issues, Kelly Johnson had a hit with the phenomenally complex and capable SR-71 but then again during testing it was done in Dreamland where many testing crashes HAVE happened with really no one but the immediate family knowing about them). The Lockheed Electra would have two well-publicized crashes where it inexplicably came apart in mid-air due to a harmonic oscillation between propeller and airframe completely unknown to the designers (the old promo videos of the relatively revolutionary turboprop are worth watching). But once fixed, it was a very speedy, reliable, overpowered, and strong airplane which continues to serve as the P-3. Its death knell in civil service came not from design defects but from pure jets which would be faster than any propeller (707, DC-8).

There are many old guys who won't touch an AR. I get that--once you have a problem with something it ingrains deserved prejudice even when the problem is fixed and not there anymore. It's impossible to remove a taint caused by a bad personal experience (if you went to a restaurant that had bad service or bad food you're unlikely to go back even IF the entire place changes management, staff, and food vendors and becomes the best restaurant in the city). But the problems were largely (and relatively rapidly) fixed as the AR evolved into the M4 of today. Generational changes have resulted in the loss of the stigma AS the rifle/pistol evolved into one of the most reliable platforms on the planet. NO design is without fault or Achilles heel. It's a matter of a trade off of capability vs. detriments to design. When it comes to reliability, modern day ARs are simply as if not more reliable than any prior design. I've had more jams in my mini-14s than most of my quality ARs combined. Now there IS some variability between manufacturers and for those who roll their own components and parts--just like if a person homebuilt an airplane (it could be wonderful, it could be a death trap depending on how it was built and what it was built with).

Can a whole bunch of people do stupid things ? Of course. The WuFlu has demonstrated that in spades. We still have masked up people (going through some crazy ritual--mandated or not--thinking it has some marginal benefit which it does not). Whole areas are still 'locked down' with encumbrances to entry and exit. Crazy, inefficient, ineffective TSA-style barriers and procedures are used in daily life in some places still. People who shouldn't vax are getting the shot. There was no meaningful or coherent risk-assessment done; fear tactics and propaganda drove bumper sticker approaches. Rather than understand that the risk of an unmasked, unvaxed person out and about (whether it's you living life or anyone else) is less real personal risk than taking a single road trip from Texas to Utah, this huge paradigm of fear and threat was manufactured. Vax risks are most definitely there (albeit small acute risk from immediate effects, it goes beyond this in that latent risks are wholly unknown). Yet people who are healthy, young, and having zero real risk are taking the jab out of some marketing campaign rather than assessing THEIR best actions given the risk (perhaps with the added issue that for coronas, sometimes a vax can actually hinder your immunodevlopment for the NEXT corona that comes along--which certainly will--and that if you've had exposure and built immunity that the vax risks are wholly unnecessary as well as might hinder how YOUR immune system responds in the future). So yeah, the bandwagon approach CAN be irrational at times and needs to be watched. HOWEVER, the M4 was adopted by those having a choice not from this but from personal experiences of those using the tool once it evolved into a completely reliable platform. It does stuff other platforms don't and can't. People who HAD a choice started using it rather than legacy rifles, and were pleased by THEIR personal experience. Same as for me; I've Garands, an SKS, an AK, and M4s. My go-to PDW is either an M4 platform or a CZ scorpion depending on situation (the scorpion being limited to pistol ballistics which would present a problem in stopping power and longer shots). This is based on personal experience as well as experience of others (directly AND indirectly). While the legacy rifles are nice, they are very limited by weight, adjustability, optics, fit, capacity, maintenance (and maintenance availability), etc. So I have a wholly reliable rifle in the M4 which does things legacy rifles can't. And that's why I choose it.
 
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