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Old August 3, 2013, 11:29 AM   #1
cajun47
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sks vs. ak47

i have a russian sks. how does it stack up against the ak clones like romanian, polish, ect?

accuracy? reliability? durability?
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Old August 3, 2013, 11:38 AM   #2
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I've found that the SKS and AK to be very similar in reliability and durability over the years. Where the SKS shines is in accuracy. Every SKS I've owned has been a far more accurate rifle than the AK.

However, the SGL-21 I recently picked up is a very strong contender to be a more accurate AK than the remaining SKS's I have.

Both platforms have strengths as well as limitations due to the cartridge and design.

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Old August 3, 2013, 03:25 PM   #3
Boomer58cal
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What he said only meaner

You can definitely buy an AK that's better than a SKS but it will cost you two or three time as much. The problem with the SKS is 99.9% of them are used or well used. If you look hard enough you can find one that's like new. A good condition SKS's reliability is beyond reproach and are very accurate for a semi auto battle rifle. If you want to take advantage of the SKS's accuracy you really need to put a scope on it. My type 56 is dang close to a MOA rifle with cheap ammo. My average group is about three quarters of an inch wide and one and a half inches in the vertical. The vertical stringing is the cheap inconsistent ammo. That's why I've been collecting brass to handload.

The only AK's I've seen that will shoot that good were very expensive compared to a SKS. It did take me several years to find a SKS in that good of condition. With the AK You could just go buy a new one.

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Old August 3, 2013, 10:40 PM   #4
Fishbed77
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However, the SGL-21 I recently picked up is a very strong contender to be a more accurate AK than the remaining SKS's I have.
Indeed. The cold-hammer-forged Izhmash-made barrels of the Saigas and SGL-21s (which is essentially a very well-done Saiga conversion) are quite accurate. My converted Saiga is easily a 2-3 MOA rifle.
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Old August 3, 2013, 11:15 PM   #5
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Your Russian SKS wins in every category, with the exception of capacity. The SKS is a bit long and heavy for the caliber, but there's less recoil and it handles better IMO.
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Old August 4, 2013, 02:12 AM   #6
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In original configuration, they are overall about equal in all regards, except trigger design (the AK is better/much smoother/lighter) and capacity (AK obviously wins).
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Old August 4, 2013, 08:17 AM   #7
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Some people shoot different rifles better. Speaking for myself, I prefer a more standard rifle configuration like the SKS. I don't really care for pistol grips. That is a subjective preference that yields objective results, as I get better accuracy from a SKS, and enjoy the experience more to boot.
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Old August 4, 2013, 07:45 PM   #8
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I currently own a chinese SKS, love it. used to own a romanian AK clone... hated it, now it's past tense.

the SKS is more accurate.
the AK was a rust bucket and accumulated rust no matter what ammo I shot out of it, how I cleaned it or even how soon after I cleaned it. 2 months in the safe would leave cleaning patches brown.

the SKS and it's upgrades seem to foster my body's ergonomic profile much better than the AK ever could. I spent 3 years experimenting with different setups to try and get it comfortable to shoot... never succeeded.

personal experience with triggers has a nod going to the SKS. neither are on par with a good hunting rifle or target trigger for an AR15 but I bought a red star trigger kit for the AK, never have felt the need to upgrade the SKS trigger.

SKS feeds from stripper clips so if you are restricted to a single magazine per rifle the SKS can throw 100 rounds down range faster than the AK but the AK has the advantage of speed if you have multiple high capacity magazines. SKS does have high cap quick change mags for about the same price as AK mags which can level the playing field but they are very difficult to feed from strippers.

the SKS safety is easily actuated with the trigger finger without adjusting grip, AK safety is very large and it's field of motion covers half the right side of the receiver.

the SKS is easier to disassemble and re-assemble than the AK, I can field strip a stock SKS twice as fast as I ever could my AK and I had to clean that thing all the time because of the rust issues.

SKS have their drawbacks just like every other platform but I think that they are much superior to the AK and where they fall short of my expectations their aftermarket products do much more to correct these issues than they do with the AK.
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Old August 5, 2013, 07:59 AM   #9
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tahunua,
It's a shame your opinion of the AK is based on a lower-quality variant.
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Old August 5, 2013, 09:00 AM   #10
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Considering I was shooting with tired old eyes over iron sights with cheap steel-cased ammo, my AK with a Tapco G2 trigger group does OK I think -



However, if I saw an SKS locally for a good price I would very likely jump on it.
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Old August 5, 2013, 09:39 AM   #11
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tahunua,
It's a shame your opinion of the AK is based on a lower-quality variant.
perhaps but the OP did specifically ask about those lower quality clones specifically in comparison to an SKS where I also have the cheaper, most mass produced clone of the SKS so I feel it's a pretty apt comparison. things like the canted sight post and inability to feed from milsurp mags were also serious dislikes about the AK but since those are problems that seem specific to WASRs and are a luck of the draw occurrence I did not mention them.

however I have played with saigas in the LGS, they still have the same ergos, lack of ability to mount standard eye relief scopes and many things that I dislike about the AK that is not unique to 'inferior AK models".
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Old August 5, 2013, 11:07 AM   #12
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however I have played with saigas in the LGS, they still have the same ergos, lack of ability to mount standard eye relief scopes and many things that I dislike about the AK that is not unique to 'inferior AK models".
Indeed, the ergos of the AK are something you will never find universal agreement on. It's possible to adapt to the "Warsaw-length" stock, but many will prefer the longer "NATO-length" stocks. I agree with you about the ergos of the safety, though there are remedies to this (such as the pricy Krebs safety). There are plenty of inexpensive pistol grip options as well to replace the poorly-designed standard AK grip (I prefer the US Palm AK Battlegrip).

The stock trigger of a Saiga is terrible. There is no other way to put it. However, when buying a stock Saiga, a proper 922(R) AK conversion is a de facto decision for most folks. The inexpensive Tapco G2 trigger used by many is a few notches above the quality of most SKS triggers in my personal experience.

You are incorrect about the inability to mount mount standard eye relief scopes to an AK. There are many options available - you just need to find a mount/optic that is low enough. Not as easy to scope as an AR, of course. But few things are.

As far as the issue of rust goes that you had with your Romanian clone (which I assume must have had a non-chrome-lined barrel?), one will not have these issues with a Saiga, which has a very high-quality chrome-lined cold hammer-forged barrel, and the rifle is protected by parkerization covered by a very durable (if ugly) painted/baked finish.

Last edited by Fishbed77; August 5, 2013 at 11:14 AM.
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Old August 5, 2013, 01:08 PM   #13
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Re: sks vs. ak47

I had an SKS 20 some years ago. Composite stock with pointy bayonett. It was pretty accurate, worked all the time but was freaking butt ugly. Fun to shoot and made me fall in love with the 7.62x39 round. I wanted an Ak but couldnt afford one, I was in highschool. Picked this SKS up for $190 back around 1993. Sold it after a year or so, was heading off to college Fall of 95'.


Just last December, I bought an Arsenal SLR-101S AK47 variant. Its beautifull machined, as accurate or more than that SKS I had and you can change mags easier. I like the looks of the AK better but the SKS was darn accurate rugged and reliable.

Last edited by Aaron1100us; August 5, 2013 at 01:15 PM.
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Old August 5, 2013, 04:46 PM   #14
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I prefer the SKS for several reasons, many which I'm sure money and parts would address. Stock length is uncomfortably short for me on AK's, and one of my favorite aspects of the SKS is where the safety is positioned, way more natural than the AK for me. I also like the last round bolt hold open on the SKS, kinda schnazzy from a 1945 design isn't it? I've never had the opportunity to handle an AK with a milled receiver, but compared to the stamped AK's the SKS at least has the appearance of much more sturdy. The way I look at it the SKS was designed as a semiautomatic rifle whereas the AK was designed for select fire, when you take that away from the AK it loses a lot of its benefits. Just an opinion subject to error.
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Old August 5, 2013, 09:20 PM   #15
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You are incorrect about the inability to mount mount standard eye relief scopes to an AK. There are many options available - you just need to find a mount/optic that is low enough. Not as easy to scope as an AR, of course. But few things are.

As far as the issue of rust goes that you had with your Romanian clone (which I assume must have had a non-chrome-lined barrel?), one will not have these issues with a Saiga, which has a very high-quality chrome-lined cold hammer-forged barrel, and the rifle is protected by parkerization covered by a very durable (if ugly) painted/baked finish.
the sight height was the biggest obstacle with mine, I just couldn't find a way to mount it low enough to get a cheek weld instead of a chin weld.

and actually it was the chrome lined barrel and that was the only area that didn't rust... most of it was inside the receiver and particularly heavy on the recoil spring and trigger group.

as for the SKS having longer stock? I am confused, my SKS had a LOP of 13.50, the ramline stock upgraded it to 14.25 but that's still too short for me... one thing about the AK is that the aftermarket side folder I had for it(which I believe was about standard AK stock length) had a much longer LOP.
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Old August 5, 2013, 09:27 PM   #16
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as for the SKS having longer stock? I am confused, my SKS had a LOP of 13.50, the ramline stock upgraded it to 14.25 but that's still too short for me... one thing about the AK is that the aftermarket side folder I had for it(which I believe was about standard AK stock length) had a much longer LO
Was referring to Warsaw versus NATO AK stocks.
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Old August 5, 2013, 09:29 PM   #17
tahunua001
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oh, not you fishbed that last part was referencing a different member that claimed that the AK stock is shorter than the SKS stock.
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Old August 5, 2013, 09:32 PM   #18
ttarp
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Perhaps I just find the more traditional rifle stock more natural than the AK's pistol grip, I've never measured them, just like my SKS's stock better.
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Old August 6, 2013, 06:45 AM   #19
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Thread veer: "On."

As an aside... when I shoot the SVT40 side by side with the SKS, the SKS is heavier and has a bit sharper recoil than the SVT 40. Go figger? I like them both, but prefer the SVT40 as it balances better, recoil is "smoother," and you can reach out and touch something at a bit further distance with the SVT40.

Like a lot of you I have read all the internet lore on these two designs as I could find. How Simonev built a better rifle, but Tokarev brown nosed Stalin and his design was adopted. How after the war, the Simonev bureau got the nod for the SKS as a goodwill gesture. -Heck, some of it may even be true. But there is nothing wrong with the Tokarev rifle, it is a fantastic design for its time and the technology embodied in that rifle carries forward to today's military rifles.

Thread veer: "Off."

My experience with the 7.62 Kalashnikov is one of awkwardness. While I believe everyone who wants one should be legally able to buy one, I just can't really find a use for it other than plinking. It isn't well suited for shooting from a bench. It isn't well suited for shooting from supported positions, as the sling acts directly on the barrel as soon as you tighten it up. The Kalashnikov works great when firing unsupported from your hind legs, which, near as I can tell is what it is designed to do. For my informal plinking/shooting the SKS is just more versatile when compared to the Kalashnikov. Again... better than either is the SVT40, IMO.

Last edited by stubbicatt; August 6, 2013 at 06:59 AM.
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Old August 6, 2013, 09:42 AM   #20
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stubbi, shutup about the SVT40! you're making me want one
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Old August 8, 2013, 03:30 AM   #21
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After having shot both an AK-47 and an SKS I bought an SKS. My SKS is a chinese type 56. I can usually keep it with 2-3 moa at 100 yards. Plenty good enough for the hunting that I do with it. That and I don't ever hear " Are you really going to shoot deer with that?" Or "Just how many shots do you need for a deer?"

I think the SKS is the better of the two designs. For hunting and such the SKS is what you need. If you want to be tacticool then maybe an AK.
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Old August 8, 2013, 09:28 AM   #22
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That and I don't ever hear " Are you really going to shoot deer with that?" Or "Just how many shots do you need for a deer?"
I've been hearing that my whole life, from my 243 to 9mm carbine... seems like nothing I carry is sufficient for deer, someday I'll cave and start showing the deer the respect they deserve and start hunting them with my 300 WTBY MAG.
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Old August 8, 2013, 12:53 PM   #23
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Yep. A .22 Won't kill a squirrel anymore, a 30-30 is useless for deer and a 300 Win Mag will just **** a bear off.

I'm amazed at how tough animals have become in the last 20 years.

You gotta watch out for those Jackalopes too, I hear they're wearing plate armor nowadays.

Boomer

P.S. Sorry I had to get that out of my system.
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Old August 8, 2013, 03:41 PM   #24
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Yep. A .22 Won't kill a squirrel anymore, a 30-30 is useless for deer and a 300 Win Mag will just **** a bear off.

I'm amazed at how tough animals have become in the last 20 years.
And yet, my .243 has never met a whitetail it couldn't take down cleanly and humanely.

The 30-30 has probably taken more deer than any other caliber in history, and the 7.62x39mm has similar ballistics. It will do the job just fine if you are taking reasonable shots.
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Old August 8, 2013, 04:22 PM   #25
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Usually...a SKS is more accurate than AK-47 clones, due to the short piston design of the SKS --- compared to the long piston design of the AK-47's.
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