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Old 07-27-2012, 08:03 PM
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Default Reliability - AK-47 vs. SKS



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I've been a long time AR-15 person but have recently been forced to liquidate my AR assets for financial reasons. Yes I know, very bad move in the eyes of some but the simple fact of the matter is I had no choice. When bad things happen you have to do what it takes to survive, this time it meant selling several rifles.

Now I'm looking at replacing what I sold but I'm planning on ditching the AR platform and moving to the 7.62x39 since I can buy 2 for the price of one AR. I've had both over the years and have only ever had a couple of common issues with both my AK's and SKS's, nothing major.

Would anyone like to weigh in on the reliability of each? Which one do you consider more reliable in a long term/5000 round life, and why?
Old 07-27-2012, 08:50 PM
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Get a AK in 5.45...ammo is insanely cheap.
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:57 PM
sandline sandline is offline
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SKS vs AK leaves a big opening between the types of platform. Both are very reliable. The main difference is that one is an intermediate cartridge carbine and the other was designed to be an assault rifle for the same cartridge. The SKS is marginally more accurate but the AK uses detatchable hi-cap mags. That's the bottom line side-by-side in my book.

I would not feel badly armed with either within the usage they were designed for and have several of both.
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:00 PM
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They are both extremely effective rifles in the right hands. Honestly, get both and see which one you like, and the one you like less, give it to your SHTF buddy. If you're looking for a low price, get an SKS and learn how to use stripper clips. If you don't mind spending a little more get an SGL21 (meaning: don't go cheap on an AK or you'll regret it)

I prefer the AK because it has a detachable magazine, and my SGL21 is just as accurate as my SKS at 100yrds. I would say the farther out, the less accurate it gets, but not by much within reason and in comparison with the SKS.
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:20 PM
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The SKS is a great rifle for the money. (around $250-$300)
It can be brought up to AK standards on reliability with 20 rd Tapco mags and the right stock (Tapco T6) or modify the original stock.
Remember to abide by the 922r law, if you modify your imported rifle.
I am an AR man, however I need a few rifles to give to some family members if the SHTF.
I can't afford AR's for them, however for the price of one decent AR I can buy a few SKS's.
I looked at a few AK's, however the ones that are most reliable are starting to get a little pricey.

Heres a mod I did to the stock of an SKS. I have had zero failures so far.
http://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...d.php?t=247720

Cheap duckbill magazines of past and people not modifying there original stock or not using an after market stock gave the SKS a bad rap if one was wanting to ditch the original 10rd non removable mag for a removable magazine, this is no longer true with the new 20 rd Tapco duckbill magazines. The new Tapco Duckbill magazines are the Magpuls of the SKS's

Heres a $300 SKS with $88 in mods, The stock was $70 and the magazine was $18.
Keep in mind you will need about 5 - 10 Magazines.
I will put it up on reliability against an AK any day of the week with the Tapco 20Rd duckbill mag installed.
The SKS is the last of the affordable battle rifles, Get one and don't be disappointed

Old 07-27-2012, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMorden View Post
Get a AK in 5.45...ammo is insanely cheap.
But you can't find it everywhere !!! The 7.62 you can find even in Walgreens,5.45 you need to special order in a gun shop or wait for the gun show in your town. Just my 2 cents
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:28 PM
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How many parts are there in an AK 47?
How many parts are there in an SKS?
Compare the way the parts are built.
Then choose.
Old 07-27-2012, 09:53 PM
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I did have a Chinese Paratrooper SKS ($350). I also used Tapco 20 round mags and never had any issues with them($20 ea). It is in a Tapco T6 army digital ($100+). Tapco didnt make many army digital pattern stocks. The Para only has 14 922r parts, so the mags and stock equal 4 making it 922r compliant. I had to sell it unfortunately, but plan on another. The tapco t6 really changes the ergonomics.
Old 07-27-2012, 10:20 PM
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You'll never go back after mastering an SKS or an AK.
Old 07-28-2012, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rlyeh View Post
I did have a Chinese Paratrooper SKS ($350). I also used Tapco 20 round mags and never had any issues with them($20 ea). It is in a Tapco T6 army digital ($100+). Tapco didnt make many army digital pattern stocks. The Para only has 14 922r parts, so the mags and stock equal 4 making it 922r compliant. I had to sell it unfortunately, but plan on another. The tapco t6 really changes the ergonomics.
I thought all SKS's had 14 imported parts,except the Yugo SKS in which it had 15? The Tapco 20rd Mags count as 3 US parts and the Tapco T6 stock counts as 3 US parts. This brings you from 14 minus 6 to 8 imported parts,does it not? In which you are under the 10 or under 922r law, making you acceptable. Please correct me if I'm wrong.


http://www.tapco.com/products/sks/in...&productId=204
Quote from Tapcos website on there 20rd Mag.
We’ve designed our SKS Detachable Magazines with serious shooters in mind. The mag body, made of high strength composite, has horizontal grooves cut into it for an enhanced gripping surface. We’ve used the highest quality interior components and incorporated a metal floorplate so you can expect maximum strength from this magazine. That, plus the fact that this mag is made in the U.S.A. so it counts for three compliance parts, you could say we’ve really thought of everything. Counts as 3 U.S. 922r Compliant Parts.


http://www.tapco.com/products/sks/in...&productId=176
Quote from Tapcos website on their stock.
Antiques are made to be hung up on the wall or shoved into a display case, not to be taken out to the range and used on a daily basis. It’s time to bring your antique SKS into the modern day with the INTRAFUSEŽ SKS Stock System. This system gives you a 6 position adjustable T6™ stock, so it will accommodate any sized shooter, a SAW Style Pistol Grip for greater comfort and control, and an upper handguard rail for adding accessories. Our stock system works on most SKS models and is made of the highest strength composite. So, if you’re ready to leave your original wooden stock in a museum somewhere and transform your SKS into a 21st century tactical weapon, purchase the INTRAFUSEŽ SKS Stock System today. Counts as 3 U.S. 922r Compliant Parts.
Old 07-28-2012, 06:32 AM
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Both rifles, the SKS and the AK family of rifles, are decent firearms for troubled times. As has been said, the SKS is a little more accurate than the AK but both are very reliable. I like to think of the SKS as the Soviet Union's version of our good old M-1 Garand rifle. The SKS and M-1 both load from the top and both are good and reliable firearms. If I had to choose between and SKS or AK, I'd probably take the AK because of the ability to change to higher capacity magazines in a short amount of time. In the time it takes to load a 10 round stripper clip of ammo, with an AK I can load a 20, 30 or even 40 round magazine in the same amount of time. So, AK for me but I sure wouldn't feel bad with an SKS in my hands either.
Old 07-28-2012, 11:19 AM
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Rockyriver,

Check out L E Schwartz on sksboards. He had a really great post about his interaction with the batfe. A lot of great info. When I upgraded my sks the tapco stock and mags were 2 each if I remember correctly. I was so happy I didnt need more parts to make it 922r compliant. Apparently the tapco product count changed for some reason. Anyway, Schwartz still seems active on sks questions. All I can say is if you are concerned about anything, write the batfe for clarification. Tell them what you WANT to do. Never tell them what you have done, if anything. You dont want to inadvertantly admit to breaking the law.

http://www.sksboards.com/smf/index.php?topic=27678.0
Old 07-28-2012, 12:20 PM
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I believe the advantage goes to the AK, but building an AR, and buying a decent AK are about the same price so not really sure where you plan to save. If you have .233 ammo still laying around I would definitely look at building an AR. If not and you are dead set on AK spend the $600-700 for good quality one.
Old 07-31-2012, 07:11 PM
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I'd go for another AR-15.

The most important thing is to know how to use what you got. You are well versed in the AR over any other gun.

Fractions of a second count. They all are not the same. What you have practiced with adds up to lower response times.

It takes time to learn the sight picture with-in the blink of an eye. When your ears hear the different sound of the last shot, your body learned how to changed the magazine without thinking.

You're are starting that all over again with a new platform.
Old 07-31-2012, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailinghudson25 View Post
I'd go for another AR-15.

The most important thing is to know how to use what you got. You are well versed in the AR over any other gun.

Fractions of a second count. They all are not the same. What you have practiced with adds up to lower response times.

It takes time to learn the sight picture with-in the blink of an eye. When your ears hear the different sound of the last shot, your body learned how to changed the magazine without thinking.

You're are starting that all over again with a new platform.
I say have both the AR and the AK or SKS.
The main reason I see in a person wanting an AR and an AK is the avalibility of ammo for each.
In a SHTF situation you don't know what ammo will be avalible to you, having the 2 most popular guns for battles (The AK and AR) could give you an edge if ammo were found and you had a rifle to fire it.
What will be more rare or more expensive to shoot in the future 7.62X39 or 5.56?
Old 08-01-2012, 11:43 AM
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Well I have owned several ak rifles and several sks rifles. I still have the sks. I think its perfect for my needs and I do not feel the striper clips are a problem. I like being able to thumb rounds in or quick reloading with clips.

If you go sks get a norinco. Even if you have to wait to find one. They have a hard chrome lined bore which makes cleaning easier plus longer barrel service. Plus sks is so cheap you can still get 2 of them for the price of one ak. Only down side is they are harder to scope.

If going ak. Check out the AMD 65. Budsgunshop has them for $439. They also have chrome lined barrels and look pretty cool. Other then the amd I would go arsenal which will run you $800-900. The ak has a rail on the side which makes scoping easier.

Side note. 30 round mags are nice and fun, however they add weight and are bulky when carring. Besides that, eventually your mags will run empty in prolonged shooting situations. Its alot longer to reload a 30 round mag and stick it in your gun then to strip off 10 rounds at a time. I found online surplus sks pouches that go on a belt. They hold 3 stripper clips and the leather pouch costs $3 each. I have an Uncle Mikes duty belt lined with them, has 10 total.

Personaly I would get 2 sks and learn to use them. Total its 600 bucks on rifles that will sit in the corner collecting dust when not at the range waiting for a day you hope to never come.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:46 AM
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I would say the sks is more reliable than most ak's you can buy here. The sks is still for the most part a mil spec gun while the ak's are built from parts kits by questionable importers. Our ak's in this country are for the most part NOT the same gun that got the reputation for functioning after being buried in the sand for 3 years without cleaning first.
Old 09-15-2012, 09:20 PM
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SKS has better accuracy at longer range but without a lot of mods a low rate of fire . AK even in semi-auto can put a lot of rounds down range PDQ and be reloaded in a flash. With a little practice you can bump fire an AK from the shoulder with a rate close to full auto. It depends on your needs. The SKS would be great for that deer 250 to 300 yards out to fill your belly. An AK is great for taking out more sinister threats at 1 to 150 yards. A couple of good bumps from the AK might even send the threat back the way they came if only to get some Charmin.
Old 09-15-2012, 09:30 PM
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SKS has better accuracy at longer range but without a lot of mods a low rate of fire . AK even in semi-auto can put a lot of rounds down range PDQ and be reloaded in a flash. With a little practice you can bump fire an AK from the shoulder with a rate close to full auto. It depends on your needs. The SKS would be great for that deer 250 to 300 yards out to fill your belly. An AK is great for taking out more sinister threats at 1 to 150 yards. A couple of good bumps from the AK might even send the threat back the way they came if only to get some Charmin.
Old 09-16-2012, 05:01 AM
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As you're looking at low cost weapons for SHTF/general use due to low funds I'd say get an AK or SKS, whichever suits you best, get to a gun shop
And have a feel and look. And also pick up a Moisin Nagant, totally reliable bolt action battle rifle proven itself in many conflicts, fires the powerful (and very cheap) 7.62x54R. Pick a decent surplus one up for $100-120.
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