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Old September 27, 2006, 12:03 AM   #1
9guy
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SKS vs AK?

I've been thinking about getting an SKS as a project gun, but was wondering how they stack up to the AK.

Which one is more reliable? Any other input?

I think I can buy and mod the SKS for about 1/2 of what I could buy an AK for. Would I be wasting my time/money?

Probable SKS Mods:
  1. Synthetic stock - folding or collapsible
  2. Barrel cut - removal of grenade launcher and bayonet
  3. Optics - probably add red-dot scope
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Old September 27, 2006, 12:06 AM   #2
Rangefinder
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Have both, like both for different reasons. But the SKS just doesn't quite measure up to my AK.
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Old September 27, 2006, 12:27 AM   #3
roscoe
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They are both good. The SKSs are all kind of the same - interms of reliability and accuracy, and they only come in one caliber. They are all military surplus.

AK variants are generally civilian arms, and come in 7.62x39, .223, 5.45x39, and .308 at least. And there is a wide variety of quality and accuracy. I have a Saiga in .223 and it is very accurate for an AK, but comes with a sporter stock and small mags.

I also have a SKS that has a TechSight peep sight that has made it a pretty accurate rifle. There is also a trigger mod available that makes a difference. I like both rifles and both were worth their low cost.

Other than the more accurate AKs like the Saiga, the SKSs are considered a bit more accurate.

Be aware of 922 violations when putting a folding stock on an SKS or AK.
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Old September 27, 2006, 12:36 AM   #4
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The SKS tends to be a tad more accurate and certainly cheaper but you have to be careful to alter them and keep them compliant with US laws, which means switching out a number of parts, so you might want to find a good Chinese SKS thats preban.

A good synthetic stock thats been bedded should really help with the accuracy. A collapsable buttstock would be nice on one, since I need the extra length while my wife arms are considerably shorter. If anything I could do with the default buttstock being a couple of inches longer. I been looking at something like this, though need to do more research on the best stocks out there since I read bad things about the ati ones and so on.



I doubt its really worth altering a Yugo so no worries about the grenade launcher and sight, though I seen the bayonet and lug cut off the rifle and it can help lighten the rifle up considerably. I seen some people mount a bipod to the bayonet lug too. You might also want to find one of the civilian sold chinese SKS "paratrooper" carbines. They are considerably shorter and handier, don't have the bayonet and a few other nice features.

For sights I recommend you stick on a tech-sight. This will give you a peep sight with adjustable windage and elevation (TS200) or windage and an M16a1 style peep that allows you to adjust it to all the funky target ones you can get for the ar15 platform. That will really increase your accuracy. If you going for a scope or laser sight try and find a side mount that will work on the SKS. Plenty around. Other types tend to not be worth the money you pay for them.

Fixing the trigger group helps to smooth it out. You can get new springs or there people out there who will alter the pull and clean it up for you for a nominal fee. Well worth it, as its a pain in the rear to do.

I also recommend fitting in a spring on the firing pin to push it back. This allows you to pretty much elimate slamfires and allows you to use boxer primed US ammo.
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Old September 27, 2006, 12:38 AM   #5
9guy
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I went to a gun show recently, and one vendor had several Saiga AK's, which were pretty nice. The guy working the booth told me they would not accept standard AK mags. Is that true?
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Old September 27, 2006, 01:00 AM   #6
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Yep, not without modification to the mag or rifle. That is easier for some calibers than others. Go to the Saiga forum:

http://forum.saiga-12.com/

Supposedly higher-capacity mags for Saigas are in the pipeline.

I removed the bayonet lug and grenade launcher for a friend to make his Yugo SKS CA compliant - took about 20 minutes. The only nuisance was having to get something to cover the threads. I bought a muzzle break at Survivor's SKS board for $10. That made the rifle a bit more compact, and lighter.

My SKS is Chinese, and it is pretty compact and handy.
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Old September 27, 2006, 01:22 AM   #7
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Well, I got rid of my SKS's...

And only have AK47's at the moment.

Here's the differences that I have noticed through my experience with both weapon systems.

1.) The SKS was always intended to be a service rifle and NOT a Machinegun like the AK47 was.

2.) Most SKS have fixed 10 round magazines that can be emptied from the bottom of the assy. ALL AK's come with external magazines.

3.) The SKS is a finer quality weapon than the AK47 is. It's entire reciever is completely covered by it's stock. All the SKS recievers are forged units and apart from the top cover, no other sheet metal is used on the SKS.

4.) The SKS has a simple but effective trigger block safety where as the AK incooperates a Slide block safety.

5.) The SKS shoots a little smoother than an AK47 due to it's heavier steel parts. Recoil isn't felt as strong in the SKS.

6.) The SKS is NOT a "poor man's AK" or whatever other stupid description is out there. It doesn't share any parts with the AK except Magazines in some models and bayonets and spikes.

7.) The only stable way to mount a scope on an SKS is to mount the optic "Scout" style using a Ultimak mount.
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Old September 27, 2006, 02:08 AM   #8
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I really like my AK more. The SKS is marginally more accurate but that is really the only advantage it has. It is probably about as durable as the AK and maybe almost as reliable, and has a more riflelike feeling to it, which I actually enjoy. I call my Yugo with TechSights a poor man's M14, which might be stretching it a bit, but it does have a solid rifle feeling. But the SKS is very hard to mount optics to. Ultimak doesn't make a mount for the SKS rifle. I've seen mounts that attempt to put a scope mount on the upper handgaurd but suspect this would be about as useful as the top cover mounts in terms of zero shifting. There is a mount that puts a Picitanny rail on the rear sight assembly but the best way to mount an optic on an SKS is probably just to drill and tap the receiver and either go with a fixed Choate or quick detach Russian unit similar to those found on many AKs. Most aftermarket magazines for the SKS are crap. Some work but usually require fitting. Though the TechSights do a really good job, and stripper clips are pretty fast, these two faults alone are enough to make me favor the AK. Then there is the weird laws regarding the SKS.

The SKS is the quinessential truck gun IMO, but mine will always be more of a plinker/beater rifle to me, where as my AK is my current defensive long arm as well as the firearm I'd pick up first if all societal order went to crap.
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Old September 27, 2006, 08:56 AM   #9
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I own both and think the SKS is superior when both are in "civilian" trim. Without select-fire capability for the AK, you have to consider them both on the basis of semiauto 7.62 X 39 rifles. IME, the SKS is somewhat more accurate, just as reliable as the AK, and easier to shoot from prone. The only advantage for the AK is greater magazine capacity; something I find of little benefit in a semiauto-only piece. The SKS can be loaded very quickly from stripper clips, if you want to take the time to practice a bit. It is easier to properly mount optics on an AK, but only if you have one of the AK's with the sight rail on the side of the receiver. Not all AK's have it. Neither my Maadi MISR nor my Yugo underfolder had it, for example.
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Old September 27, 2006, 09:51 AM   #10
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I dunno. I like my SKS just fine. It seems to me its just better looking and shoots just the same as my WASR 10 AK. Its all in the operator. Its true about the fact that you have to fit or adjust or cut the feed lips of the magazines to make the cartriges feed in right and not get jammed on the back of the breech. Sometimes though, you get a lemon that the gas piston is too small and it doesnt work quite right. Mine, I had to smooth out the bolt cuz it would eject, chamber a new round but not quite make it in recocking it so I had to eject the fresh round to cock it. I think I have fixed it but I still need to go test it. Maybe later today. Heres a pic of mine with a couple of 'new' mags that I didn't get to try last time. Not the shooter but it sure made for a camera shooting day.



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Old September 27, 2006, 11:18 AM   #11
roscoe
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One plus for the SKS is that you can mount the Tech-Sight; there is no real equivalent for the AK. That in itself makes it a bit easier to be accurate.
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Old September 27, 2006, 06:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
The only stable way to mount a scope on an SKS is to mount the optic "Scout" style using a Ultimak mount
Hmm, I wasn't aware that Ultimak was making SKS mounts. All I knew of were AK, Mini-14, and M1 Carbine.

Edit: Just visited their site: No mention of SKS, but they have added an M1A/M14 mount.
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Old September 27, 2006, 08:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
All the SKS recievers are forged
I have never seen a "forged" peice of anything on an European SKS, the parts are milled or if you prefer "machined"........ Just look, you'll see the mill cuts everywhere......

I love my Yugo, I bought a "new" one to tune up and see what I could get out of it and for the $300 I have in the rifle, new parts and elbow grease, I'm pretty happy.

By the way, 3 weelin geezer, where did you find that drum?? I swear by the original 10 round box on my Yugo, it just keeps tickin,, but that's a real eye opener... Does it ever jam up inside the mag? Please post or P.M. me with info about where one of those can be had, I can't wait to try one out..
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Old September 27, 2006, 08:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
I have never seen a "forged" peice of anything on an European SKS, the parts are milled or if you prefer "machined"........ Just look, you'll see the mill cuts everywhere
From what, then, are they milled? Forgings, one suspects.
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Old September 27, 2006, 08:42 PM   #15
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Hey bennn, you've just got to be lucky on finding drums...there used to be a couple on the net. I picked one up on ebay for 120, thinking that I'd payed too much...then I keep seeing them at gunshows for 180+ and I'm thinkingthat I did alright (Plus the seller sold me the rest of his ak mags at 5 bucks a pop. Looking back I think I made off like a bandit)
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Old September 27, 2006, 08:49 PM   #16
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3 weelin geezer, where did you find that drum, I have been looking everywhere for ages for a SKS drum!!!!!
OK, now back to the thread, Personally, I understand where you are coming from with a comparison with an AK and SKS, but it really is an endless comparison, since everyone is opinionated, but then, opinions are not a bad thing, just have a feel for each rifle and see which one you like better. With the mods you are planning on doing to an SKS, it is ok, such thing as Stock mod, maybe magazine mods, maybe optics. But the barrel cut etc is just not on my alley, if you are looking to get a shorter version of an SKS, just get a Paratrooper version, don't waste the time or money to cut the barrel off. Plus, it is illegal to mod a rifle out like that if I haven't mistaken. As far as to cut off the bayonet and granade launcher, all those parts are removable without any cutting. Mostly just screws. You can completely strip down an SKS with just a screwdriver and a punch if even that. As far as accuracy, the SKS is a ted bit more accurate then the AK, if you are looking for a shorter rfle, I would go with an underfold AK. As far as magazines for the SKS, never go with any freaken polymere ones, they will fail you like no other. always go for the metal ones even for the extra few bucks. As far as to sum it up. You will find many things for an AK that you cannot find for a SKS, vice versa. As far as reliability, both are well know to be very reliable, the AK can be a little on the dirtier side and still function just fine, and the SKS, you might want to keep it well oiled, but thats really with any gun. To me, there is no such thing as a waste with an SKS, I love both my AK (Pistol grip, no stock) and my SKS (ATI folding stock with scope and bayonet). AK is louder then the SKS, trigger pull for the SKS is smoother(oil the trigger) but some SKS does have a rugged trigger, so check it out before you buy it. For the price, it really isn't much difference, because the mods you are planning on spending on the SKS is not much cheaper then an AK, maybe a hundred bucks. With all the mods you are planning on doing, you should maybe lean towards an AK since you are planning to cut barrel. If not, a SKS is cheaper, and for the price you pay, an SKS is a great rifle. So sit down and think about it. A Romanian AK with underfold is about $450 at the shows, and the mod you are planning to do is going to add up to about $350, lets say $200 for the SKS and $50 for the stock, $40 for the gastube (trust me, just order an all black Zytel gas tube, the stock gastube is a bitch to replace the handguard) Lets say the scope mount and scope will run you about another $70, no including mags you might buy (SKS mags are way higher then AK mags for its popularity difference) Thats about as much as an AK, so just think about it, both are great rifles. GOOD LUCK!!!
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Old September 27, 2006, 09:07 PM   #17
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Quote:
One plus for the SKS is that you can mount the Tech-Sight; there is no real equivalent for the AK. That in itself makes it a bit easier to be accurate.
While it is true that TechSights do rock and I love them, even they can't compare to a decent red dot optic. The AK allows you to easy mount and remove a red dot sight without loss of zero in seconds. And the Mojo ghost rings are a dramatic improvement over the standard sights, though not as good as the TechSights. In addition to the sidemount plate, an AK can also have optics mounted though an Ultimak rail or through any number of quad rail set ups from Krebs, TDI, B&T, and Surefire.

Quote:
he only advantage for the AK is greater magazine capacity; something I find of little benefit in a semiauto-only piece.
Magazine capacity is a distinct advantage regardless of whether automatic fire capability is retained. Even in the military, semi-auto rules the day, with automatic fire being reserved for select weapons (usually two SAWs per squad) or certain very specific conditions. Accurate and sustainable fire is effective. But this requires a respectible mag capacity. You have to reload most SKSs three times in the time it takes an AK to go through its standard magazine. There is no way even stripper clips can claim to be three times faster than reloading an AK. This allows the AK to keep a distinct advantage in firepower.
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Old September 27, 2006, 09:21 PM   #18
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Quote:
This allows the AK to keep a distinct advantage in firepower
Firepower, as they say, means hitting your target. IME, especially from prone, this is more easily accomplished with the SKS. As I said, I've owned both. The semiauto AK has nothing in particular to offer the civilian shooter over an SKS beyond ammo capacity. That is of little consequence under virtually any circumstances where the civilian-owned rifle is at all likely to be used. I refuse to get involved in which is better for "Mad Max" or "Night of the Living Dead" or other TEOTWAWKI scenarios.
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Old September 27, 2006, 09:39 PM   #19
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Joe,Joe,Joe,,,

Joe Demko, Touche`... I like you. I can't wait to get into friendly debates with you about,,, well.... I mean it man, I like you already, I've only been on this site for a few weeks, and guys like you are why I'm here...

But allow me a few moments, let's go back to that post that prompted my quote;
Quote:
All the SKS recievers are forged
and let me explain that what caught my eye were these two sentences;
Quote:
It's entire reciever is completely covered by it's stock. All the SKS recievers are forged units and apart from the top cover, no other sheet metal is used on the SKS.
Let me start at the end and work backwards,,
Quote:
no other sheet metal is used on the SKS.
what about some varients of the chinese SKS? There are "sheet metal" recievers out there... Not to mention the original mag box,,(that's not forged for sure...) and the handgaurd catch, and the reciever cover pin latch,,,all stamped sheetmetal..
and then;
Quote:
apart from the top cover, no other sheet metal is used on the SKS.
I believe that the reciever cover or ""top cover"" of every SKS I have ever handled is milled (from a Forging as you said),, but if there are stamped (sheet metal) covers out there I hope someone here will enlighten me.
And last (or, first if you prefer);
Quote:
It's entire reciever is completely covered by it's stock.
We both know what "entire" and "completely" mean,,,..
I would say check mate, but you foiled my last post with nine words,,
I hope my efforts since have not been wasted.......
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Old September 27, 2006, 09:52 PM   #20
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If you are looking at an SKS with the intent of replacing the stock look over at Century or SOG
They have cracked stock Yugo 59s (Not the 59/66s with the ugly GLs) for $99 and $115.

I don't like the folding stocks at all
my nieces husband had one on an SKS the effect was similar to the rubber pencil trick we did in elementary school. Made it difficult for follow up shots.

I bought the T6 stock for my GLed Yugo and didn't like the looks of it so I bought a Dragonov style, which made the old style receiver mounted scope mount not fit.

Take all these things into consideration before making your purchases
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Old September 27, 2006, 10:37 PM   #21
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Quote:
Firepower, as they say, means hitting your target. IME, especially from prone, this is more easily accomplished with the SKS. As I said, I've owned both. The semiauto AK has nothing in particular to offer the civilian shooter over an SKS beyond ammo capacity. That is of little consequence under virtually any circumstances where the civilian-owned rifle is at all likely to be used. I refuse to get involved in which is better for "Mad Max" or "Night of the Living Dead" or other TEOTWAWKI scenarios.
If you want to get completely anal, most situations in which a civilian is actually going to be called upon to use his rifle, aren't going to permit the prone position either.

I understand what you mean. I just feel the AK's ability to better accomidate higher capacity mags and optics gives it an advantage over the SKS. I don't dislike the SKS. In fact I like them very much. I currently own one of each and if I had the money, would own several more of each. But red dots are fun and so is shooting more than 10 times without reloading. So even without considering poopy fans, the AK is a great deal more fun to me.
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Old September 28, 2006, 12:30 AM   #22
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There is a lot to be said for being able to grab any AK mag and slap it into any other AK--and know it will work. The SKS fixed mag isn't so bad with strippers, but the detachables I've encountered are junk. All my AK mags are heavy-duty.
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Old September 28, 2006, 04:12 AM   #23
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While I like detachable mag weapons as much as anyone, the SKS, along with lever guns and revolvers, have one advantage. If your detachable mags become lost, damaged, or just empty, these guns still are capable of being loaded with individual rounds easier than most detachable mag semis.

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Old September 28, 2006, 05:50 AM   #24
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Best of both worlds!

Find an SKS-M...Shorter barrel (already, no "chopping" needed), and it takes AK mags, with utter reliabilty. Last I checked there were NIB ones on the auction sites for $400, roughly the cost of an AK. Possibly a good investment, as they're pretty scarce (I haven't seen on at a gunshow sinch I bought mune 5 years ago).

I prefer SKSs myself. I've found (YMMV) the SKSs to be quite (like twice as much, or half the group size) a bit more accurate than any AKs, I've seen/used/handled. But, note that I've only seen and shot the "standard" configuration...pistol gripped 7.62x39 variants.

I also like the "feel" of the SKS better, seems less "flimsy" but that may just be because they're heavier over all (which may also account for the somewhat better accuracy.

Quote:
3 weelin geezer, where did you find that drum, I have been looking everywhere for ages for a SKS drum!!!!!
I didn't even know there WAS such a thing, unless its an AK drum. We tried my buddies Chinese AK drum mag in my SKS-M, but it wouldn't fit without cnopping away chunks of the stock.
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Old September 28, 2006, 06:31 AM   #25
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Screw it.

Just get both.

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