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View Poll Results: Best bang for the buck: Chinese SKS or Saiga .223?
Saiga .223 19 38.00%
Chinese SKS 21 42.00%
Something else 10 20.00%
Voters: 50. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 29, 2010, 07:56 PM   #1
jamesbondmcm
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Chinese SKS v. Saiga .223?

I'm looking to get an inexpensive rifle and was wondering if anyone had any input. I'm stuck. I've owned a both Chinese SKS and a Saiga before, but the Saiga was in 7.62 Soviet. They were both great rifles and I wish I hadn't gotten rid of them . . .

The purpose is mostly for going to the range, but also for personal protection. Accuracy is important (I will need to mount a scope due to bad eyes), but reliability and durability are more so. Weight and size are also a consideration. For the sake of this poll, let's just say a Saiga costs about $75 more than an SKS.

What do you all think? Thanks for your help.
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Old June 29, 2010, 09:21 PM   #2
spanishjames
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Other: Saiga 7.62x39

I like the Saiga in 7.62x39. They are brand new, Russian made work horses. Ammo is inexpensive, and plentiful, and you can modify them if you wish. SureFire magazines are available in higher capacities than the 10 rounder it comes with, they cost more than standard AK mags, but they work well.
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Old June 29, 2010, 11:39 PM   #3
kymasabe
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I've owned lots of AK's and lots of Saiga's that I've converted back to an AK look. I've also had my fair share of SKS's. I think you need to decide what the priority is of the gun, then you can decide which one is for you.

Range gun: Either one will work for range gun, both are fun to shoot. Personally, I hate stock Saiga's, they're ugly, the triggers suck, so for me, I'd have to add at least $200 to the price of a Saiga for a clean conversion.
Home defense: I'd rather clear my house with the carbine length AK than the rifle length SKS.
Scope Mount: The Saiga has the nice mount on the side of the receiver. Lots of scope mount options for you there or get the dog-leg scope rail and rear peep sight from Texas Weapon Systems. http://texasweaponsystems.com/
The only scope mount I'd put on an SKS is the Choate scope mount, would probably go with Tech-Sights instead.
Mags: if your going with a .223 Saiga, look into the mag-well adaptor at Magnolia State Armory. I believe they'll allow you to use a stock AR/M16 mag in the Saiga.
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Old June 30, 2010, 12:12 AM   #4
Ignition Override
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Inside a house, a bright light is needed to reveal a family member (fiance, daughter or son) sneaking in a dark hallway on the wrong night or time; family members have been killed due to acute paranoia with no common sense.

So whether it is a Saiga or SKS is not the real issue at home, whereas identification can save a family member.

Having both a 7.62x39 and .223 rifle, I sold the .223 because it did less damage to the target at a short distance and did not impress me as much.

Last edited by Ignition Override; June 30, 2010 at 12:19 AM.
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Old June 30, 2010, 01:05 AM   #5
chris in va
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Question is, can you hold the rifle *and* a flashlight *and* a phone at the same time? My point, might be better to just use a handgun for SD.
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Old June 30, 2010, 08:57 AM   #6
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Mossberg 500 tactical is one of the best HD weapons.
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Old June 30, 2010, 02:52 PM   #7
Bamashooter
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personally i would choose anything over a chinese sks. i dont like them. never have, never will. :barf:
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Old June 30, 2010, 03:38 PM   #8
Eagle Vision
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I would be apprehensive about using 7.62x39 as my hd gun. I don't know what your situation is, but over penetration would be a major concern for me using that caliber. I'd go with the Saiga personally.
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Old June 30, 2010, 04:00 PM   #9
DanThaMan1776
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Well chris.. no I can't. What I CAN do is take the smarter route for HD by using a carbine instead of a pistol. I'd rather fend off the BG and then call the police (or get a family member to call while I F*** the BG up) instead of use the firearm with a quarter of the power of the carbine so I can call the police at the same time. As for the flashlight.. throw it on the rail of my AR
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Old June 30, 2010, 04:16 PM   #10
sc928porsche
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The siaga like the ak, has a removable magazine. The sks does not, but it can be converted to accept one. Its similar to comparing the actions between the M1 Garand, and the M14.

Since I prefer having a detachable magazine, I would go with the siaga without the problems of conversion.
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Old June 30, 2010, 04:21 PM   #11
Eagle Vision
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Well, since Dan and Chris opened the topic up. I would my rather use my AK 74 than my Glock .45 in a HD situation. Why? Because I trust my rifle to drop someone in their tracks. But, I'm still apprehensive about it.

Over penetration is a concern for me using long-guns for hd. But, I would like to hear some opinions concerning long-gun vs handgun for hd. I have thought about it a lot.
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Old June 30, 2010, 04:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Well, since Dan and Chris opened the topic up. I would my rather use my AK 74 than my Glock .45 in a HD situation. Why? Because I trust my rifle to drop someone in their tracks. But, I'm still apprehensive about it.

Over penetration is a concern for me using long-guns for hd. But, I would like to hear some opinions concerning long-gun vs handgun for hd. I have thought about it a lot.
I don't know why you would choose a rifle caliber over a battle proven pistol and caliber????
That AK-74 round will have more penetration than the .45 will, and penetration is something you DON'T want in HD. That's why shotguns are highly recommended for HD purposes.

For instance, say there is an armed threat in your house, and you have the AK with you, if the bad-guy is smart, he'll be able to disarm you and break an arm by simply manipulating the end of your barrel with a quick "twist". How do i know this? Hmmmm...let's see, oh yeah, i take Combat Hapkido, and i was taught how easily a rifle can be turned into your worst nightmare if the bad-guy grabs the end of your barrel-if they know what they're doing.

Now a shotgun with a standard stock is a different story, since it lacks a pistol grip, it would be much harder for a bad guy to dis-arm you, being that the leverage points are remarkably less.

Handgun:
Perfect for HD if you choose the right caliber. They're small, powerful, concealable, and the risks of over-penetration are much less. Plus a caliber like the .45 loaded with hollow points is about as deadly as you can get with close range.
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Old June 30, 2010, 04:57 PM   #13
pelo801
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if it's mostly a range gun. the saiga all the way. if it's for home defence, the saiga, then convert. a pistol grip, and a tele/folding stock will be easier inside. and then the front handguard options open things up to lights, laser, vert fore grip, etc. and the saiga will still be fun, even if you don't have the money to convert right away. plus the saiga will be brand new and the sks never will. and opticsplanet.com has the side rail mount for $35.
http://www.opticsplanet.net/leapers-...s-mnt-973.html
http://www.opticsplanet.net/leapers-...r-mnt-978.html
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Old June 30, 2010, 05:46 PM   #14
jamesbondmcm
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I actually already have a couple pistols (Ruger P95 and Tanfoglio Compact .40 SW), and I kept my UTG side-mount and 6x32 scope from my last Saiga, so keep that in mind.

Also, cost is the biggest consideration of all, as I just graduated college. The SKS is pretty much good to go as it is (maybe another stock, so I can cram it in my armpit and still fire comfortably in case of CQB), but the Saiga would need the stock (maybe) and new magazines, which are kind of expensive. So maybe the Saiga is closer to being $100-$150 more than the SKS. Y'all think it's still worth it?
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Old June 30, 2010, 06:47 PM   #15
DE Shooter
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5.45....AK74 or saiga

I've had and shot both. If you mean most shooting (cheapest ammo) is "Best" bang for buck, I suggest getting a saiga ~$350 or a Bulg AK74 ~$400 in 5.45x39. Right now, that is the cheapest spam can ammo I can find. If it has to be either or .223 or SKS...take the saiga .223, you'll have alot more fun with it. I enjoy 7.62x54r cheap spam can ammo too...but rifle is bolt...Mosin Nagant...the milsurp 7.62x54r semi is $$$.
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Old July 3, 2010, 05:37 AM   #16
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I might be the SKS king of N.H. owning many Chinese and Russian models. I also own the Saiga 223 and have to say it is a great shooter and 100% reliable and prefer it over the SKS, but those SKS rifles sure are fun to shoot.
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Old July 3, 2010, 03:33 PM   #17
2afreedom
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I think you really have a question of caliber here. Both the SKS and the Saiga will make reliable and effective HD rifles. Of course if you like the Saiga but want the 7.62x39 round they make those too.

I like the 7.62x39 round. I think it's a great all around HD/general use rifle in RURAL areas. I would not want to use it on a crowded residential street or in an apartment complex-the .223 would be a better round for that application. With that said both rounds are excellent for social work and you shouldn't feel undergunned with either one. The 7.62 round can usually be bought cheaper than .223 by $100-$150 per thousand rounds (comparing Russian steel cased ammo here). If you are ever going to hunt with your rifle you should be able to take deer-sized game with the 7.62x39 and good soft point hunting ammo which is not something I would want to try with .223. Yes people hunt deer with .223 but for hunting I prefer the larger bullet.

As far as the rifles go I would think the AK platform (Saiga) might be better indoors since it is shorter (about 34 inches) than the SKS (about 40 inches). The SKS will be about a half pound lighter than the AK when both rifles are unloaded. Both weapons are going to be super reliable and easy to maintain. Both have adequate ammo capacity in their stock configuration with either the fixed ten round magazine on the SKS or the detachable ten round Saiga magazine. Some people will argue you have a huge advantage with detachable magazines but for anything short of all out war I would feel fine with ten rounds in the SKS. As you mentioned earlier there is less than a hundred dollar difference in the prices of these two guns so that shouldn't be a huge factor for you. Accuracy should also be about the same with both rifles.

I would strongly encourage you to shoot both guns. It should soon become apparent which you will like better. It's almost like picking a pair of shoes or a recliner-one will just "feel" better than the other. Good luck.
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Old July 14, 2010, 12:06 AM   #18
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THe choice is clear- Saiga. Since you mentioned that you need to scope your new rifle. SKS is not easy to put scope on, unless you drill the receiver. Don't bother w/ dust cover mount, which will not stay zero. Saiga is easier as it has the side rail. Cost of ammo shouldn't be that much difference now between the two calibers. I just got a 1000rds of Tula .223 from Cabelas for $195 shipped. The Saiga .223 is also pretty accurate for an AK w/ heavier barrel.
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