Gun Toting Boeing Driver
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.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.
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?
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."
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.
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.
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.
Number of parts including all pins, springs and googaws on AR, +/- 111
Number of parts on SKS including same, +/- 67
Wars won with SKS, multiple
Wars won with AR, 0
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.