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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been a handgun guy for a while now. Recently decided to get a good, inexpensive general purpose survival type rifle. While I would love a Colt AR-15 or Ruger Mini 14/30, I am more in the AK or SKS price range right now. I am familar with both but leaing towards the SKS. Outside of the 10 shot clip(which seems fine for my purpose) versus 30 round box magazine, is there any reason one is better than the other?
 

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People will debate this until they get shot ny one. The SKS is fine, but frankly outdated, not that it makes it less of a weapon. I would recommend a 5.45x39 as the ballistics and wounding capability are better then 5.56 by just a bit. Honestly I think the AK has more value, more training is done with it, and it is probably a better balance between the two versus job use. Especially with all the addons if you want all the bells and whistles. All are pretty good, although I think the AK has the best value, just not by much.
 

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Well I have shot both, including the AK-74, I prefer to stick with 7.62x39 or .223 due to its pouplairty and low price. I do realize that as a battle rifle the SKS is outdated but I like the price and the stripper clip system. I am intrested in how it stacks up to the AK in terms of durbility and accuracy.
 

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I know the sks is just as reliable as the ak 47. I personally have shot both and prefer the sks over the ak-47 any day of the week. I get a kick over the stripper clip loading and I like it better than the magazine fed ak 47. Also the sks is more accurate than the ak. Don't forget that they are cheaper as well! This makes me favor the sks over the ak 47!

But the ak 47 is still a good platform, magazine fed is a good thing. But as a civilian I like the idea of only being able to shoot only ten rounds. The insurgents who got splattered in Iraq are the ones who fought too long! With only ten rounds you know you can break contact without overexposing yourself. Fire your quick ten shots and get the heck out of there!

(Although I am looking for 45 round mags for my ak 74, so I guess Im a hypocrite of what I say, dang...)
 

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Well I have shot both, including the AK-74, I prefer to stick with 7.62x39 or .223 due to its pouplairty and low price. I do realize that as a battle rifle the SKS is outdated but I like the price and the stripper clip system. I am intrested in how it stacks up to the AK in terms of durbility and accuracy.
Little better accuracy with an SKS but for me the better accuracy its not enough to be noticed or hailed as a better rifle in that regard.
both are built like a tank
 

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With SKS prices what they are the cost advantage between an SKS and AK is nearly gone. 7.62x39 is available pretty much anywhere, where 5.45 is cheaper but not near as widely available.

I have both the SKS is excellent rifle, the 10 rnd clip keeps you from burning up to much ammo. You can get stocks, higher cap detachable mags and other stuff for them, but a rifle a new collapsing pistol grip stock and your real close to buying an AK. The detachable mags in SKS don't work so well as AKs. Some brands of mag work fine others won't. And they are not nearly as available as AK mags, plus you have that duck bill sticking out. You also need to mod the bolt or get the right model rifle to be able to remove mags with the bolt forward. The bolt hold open is a nice feature, but I suppose a requirement with it being stripper fed.

My SKS is about as stock as they get no mags, no scope mount (like they are even worth it), no pistol grip stock. It works fine as is. I guess it comes down to how much cash you have OP. An AK well your going to need mags, so another 100$ on top of the rifle. For the price of an AK with mags you can get an SKS and a 1000 rnds of ammo. A couple dozen stripper clips are 20$ your ready to go.
 

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I know the sks is just as reliable as the ak 47. I personally have shot both and prefer the sks over the ak-47 any day of the week. I get a kick over the stripper clip loading and I like it better than the magazine fed ak 47. Also the sks is more accurate than the ak. Don't forget that they are cheaper as well! This makes me favor the sks over the ak 47!
I feel the same way. I much prefer the SKS over the AK. To me, the SKS that takes AK mags is the perfect compromise. Though I don't see the strippers as a negative. They're lighter than box mags, so you can carry more ammo. And they're a lot cheaper, so you can actually afford to have a bunch of them.
 

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I have a Norinco SKS that I've "upgraded" (and am 922R compliant). With upgraded sights, and detachable magazines (I am using Tapco 20 round mags) I feel that the SKS can hold its own against an AK any day of the week. What it REALLY comes down to is which platform you feel the most comfortable shooting, and which one best addresses your style of shooting. You may like the AK over the SKS, but the real question is which one puts more rounds on target when you're shooting. I dont think you'll ever really find anyone who says one is better than the other.
 

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Been a handgun guy for a while now. Recently decided to get a good, inexpensive general purpose survival type rifle. While I would love a Colt AR-15 or Ruger Mini 14/30, I am more in the AK or SKS price range right now. I am familar with both but leaing towards the SKS. Outside of the 10 shot clip(which seems fine for my purpose) versus 30 round box magazine, is there any reason one is better than the other?
You can't go wrong with either! Get both! :)

I personally prefer the SKS, but that's just me. You're not going to get hurt either way.
 

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Depending on how tall you are, your arm length, a number of sks users end up having to add a butt plate to get a comfortable length of pull with the weapon.

AK-47's generally come in two stock lengths, the Warsaw being the shorter, the NATO length being, I believe subject to correction, about 1.25 inches or so longer.

Worth it to "shoulder" both weapons as part of your decision making so you know what you're getting into. Of course if you use collapsible stock you get the variability "built in" to the stock, with standard furniture on it, not so much. Luck in your selection, it'll be fun.
 

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After owning both, I have to say that the SKS is a better built firearm, slightly more accurate, quite a bit heavier, but all in all, I wouldn't turn either one down. They're both great guns, both have their strong points, and their weak points, and as far as I'm concerned the +/- points even out between the two.

I was planning on buying a Yugo SKS, but I got a screaming deal on an AK that I couldn't pass up......
 

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Either will do the job. Practice and train with whatever you choose... practicing is more important than the choice of rifle.

Az
 

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I have both and love both. Accuracy for me with them is about the same at most respectable distances.

If I have to take one...its the AK hands down.


AK-47:
Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang
bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang
bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang

SKS:
Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang


But I would not turn my nose up at either one of them. Great guns...find a way to get them both.
 

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They are both reliable in their original configurations, I don't think owners of either will bring that into serious question.

7.62x39 is a great choice of cartridge for survival no matter what platform you're shooting it from, and although it is ballistically inferior to the 5.45x39, I far prefer it over it's counterpart due to availability, variety, and stopping power. Additionally, the 7.62x39 doesn't lose velocity as quickly as most cartridges, particularly those shooting lighter, faster bullets, from shorter barrels. This may or may not be a benefit to you, but as you will see below, it is a huge consideration for me.

I also disagree that the SKS is more accurate than an AK, because that depends on so many factors it's foolish to make a generalized assumption like that (ammunition, shooter's preferences, build quality, country of manufacture, age and condition of the barrel and crown, rigidity of the receiver, etc.). I own six SKS and three AK variants and have owned and used many, many more in the past. Of the rifles I currently own, one of my SKS and one of my 7.62 AKs are capable of shooting sub-3" groups at 100 yards off a bench with Golden Tiger, and others that won't hold a 6" group with the same ammo. As for their practical accuracy, they're about the same in their original forms. From this small sample of the unbelievably vast numbers of these things in circulation, it's clear that accuracy cannot be compared by type but rather by the individual firearm.

.....A 3-shot group off-hand at 50 yards with my modified Norinco SKS set up for pig hunting
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As for which rifle is "better" for you, there is no correct answer to that. It depends on what your primary intended use is, and here's what it comes down to (in my opinion, of course):

If you are looking for a handy, reliable woods gun or a general-purpose rifle and live in a rural area, stick with the SKS. It is heavier and longer (comparing an unmolested Norinco Type 56 to an unmolested WASR-10), but the traditional stock layout and fixed magazine reduce the profile of the gun making it more "streamlined" for lack of a better term. I'd FAR rather carry an SKS long distances or through brush than an AK. The longer sight radius is also a plus, and can be extended even further with quality, aftermarket sights. There are also a number of different 16" barreled versions of the SKS floating around. I have one and love it.

.....You can see here how compact a 16" SKS is
.....


The AK is a battle rifle through-and-through. Just as I would not want an AK as a woods gun, I wouldn't want to go to war with an SKS. If you don't stomp through the woods frequently and/or your BOL is in an urban area, the AK is for you. Ergonomics isn't usually something you'll hear an AK owner boasting about, but go jump in or out of a car or clear a hallway with an SKS (or any traditionally laid-out rifle) and then do the same with an AK... The AK will suddenly feel like a nimble, futuristic firearm in comparison. This is before we even consider things like magazine capacity, field stripping, parts availability and customization, all of which nod in favor of the AK. So, if your concern is primarily home defense or if fighting off a human is a more likely scenario than hunting animals in your hypothetical survival situation, the choice is easily the AK.

.....Size comparisons of my 11.5" (plus brake) AK SBR, 16" "paratrooper" SKS, and 20.5" (plus brake) SKS
.....


In a nutshell, they are similar on paper, but fill two totally different niches. If you can afford to, get both. If not, narrow down your realistic intended uses and pick the one that fits that best. And if you can find one, I think the 16" SKS carbines are a great compromise between the two.
 
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