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Old August 8, 2013, 07:23 PM   #26
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The sks's short stroke piston is also lighter than the ak's is but the increase in reciprocating mass is only a disadvantage in terms of recoil. The Tokarev SVT 40 absolutely has more recoil than the sks and the design had it's own flaws, no question. There's several reasons the svt's military service was short lived.
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Old August 9, 2013, 03:54 AM   #27
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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.
I mostly agree with Tahunua's points, probably except for disassembly. I find that disassembling an AK is easier than a SKS because the AK has one large top cover that comes off very easily, and then the rest of the internals are easy to remove also. The piston and bolt is one piece, compared to the SKS that has a separate piston inside the gas tube.

I think for a fair AK vs SKS comparo you need to have a decent version of both.

A nice SKS will not compare to an ugly cheap AK47, and vice versa. I own a near mint Norinco SKS with a very nice stock kit, and also a Draco AK47. I would say they basically even in almost every aspect except accuracy (naturally) because the SKS has a longer barrel and sight radius.

But a good AK and SKS should be about even granted they have the same capacity. Funny thing, I first owned an AK but always wanted a SKS. Now that I bought the SKS recently, I'm surprised I didn't buy them backwards -- SKS first then AK47.

Now a very nice top of the line AK47 like an Arsenal SLR-95 or SAM7R is vastly superior to most SKS, if not all of them. Of course it costs more as well.
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Old August 9, 2013, 09:23 AM   #28
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dissembly was never really the issue... it was getting everything back in it's proper spot that was the major malfunction. the AKs rotating rounded bolt with square BCG and trying to get into the rectangular ramps was a freaking pain for me, (I didn't excel at that little ball with thhe shapes cut out when I was little) at least with the SKS it's all squared to some degree. you do have a point with the separate piston and if a person really wants to nit pick you could argue that a field strip for an SKS would require complete disassembly into it's major components but I can say from experience I can strip an SKS all the way down to removing the stock, handguard/gas tube, and trigger group much faster than I could on an AK

also in my defense, the OP was asking about quality SKS compared to cheap AK clones... mine falls a little short in both categories though. mine was a beat to hell chicom with less than 25% finish left, dried out, shrunken stock with someone's name carved in it that rattled and wobbled around the gun and rotten handguard... needless to say... one could argue that neither of the rifles in question that I've owned were the best of either model.
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
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Old August 9, 2013, 12:24 PM   #29
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I think the standard 10 round magazine for the SKS, is more reliable than any removable extra capacity magazines for the SKS.
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Old August 9, 2013, 01:43 PM   #30
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Having owned and/or shot multiple variants of both, I have to say that I prefer the AK. While the SKS is a fine rifle, it quickly loses its appeal to me when I start looking at modifying it from its stock configuration particularly when it comes to detatchable magazines. Aftermarket SKS mags can often have reliability issues and even when you get one that works well, I've found them to be slow and awkward to change. That still wouldn't be so much of a problem for me since it doesn't take all that long to zip in two or three stripper clips, but >10 round magazines on an SKS also, IMHO, screw up the balance of the gun.

Now, to be fair, I've not tried an SKS with one of the aftermarket pistol-grip stocks as those may help somewhat (though I rather doubt it due to how far forward of the trigger the magazine is located), but I've never been able to get past the look or rather cheap feel of most aftermarket SKS stocks.

As for the AK, a lot depends on which variant you get. In my experience, the GP-75, Mak-90, and Saiga is typically of higher quality than the WASR which seems to be the lowest-priced variant these days. I cannot attest to any difference in mechanical accuracy between an AK and SKS because I've never treated either like a target rifle, but for quick snap-shooting I've not found one to be appreciably better than the other. I've also never found the AK's ergonomics, while certainly not the best in the world, to be particularly problematic. Even though I'm a pretty big guy (6'4"), I've never found the Warsaw-length stock to be an issue. Finally, while the safety might not seem as ergonomic as that of the SKS, I've never had any trouble manipulating it with the first finger of my shooting hand and I do find it easier to use when wearing heavy gloves.
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Old August 9, 2013, 02:26 PM   #31
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Now if the AK in question is a select fire then I'd choose the AK over an SKS.
But in the world I'm living in getting an auto AK is too much money for my bank account.
SKS and AK that are semi auto I'm taking the SKS, especially if its a Russian made SKS!
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Old August 12, 2013, 12:30 AM   #32
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I chose an SKS because of better ergonomics than AKs I've handled, and in March '08, a guy wanted to sell his near-mint Chinese for $200.

With the typically shorter magazine, ammo probably lasts longer, the barrel does not get as hot/worn as what often happens in AK bores.
Youtube videos seem to support this comparison. It's human nature.

The bolt hold-open (BHO) feature in every SKS is also an advantage.
The other major benefit? SKS prices were fairly stable during last winter's gun panic, and might be during the Next.

The primary question might be, how much 7.62x39 ammo will You already have (stored up) during the next human herd stampede? For some of us, having heaps of ammo is much more important than which of these rifles to own.

Last edited by Ignition Override; August 12, 2013 at 12:49 AM.
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Old August 12, 2013, 02:14 PM   #33
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Quoting Ignition Override
The primary question might be, how much 7.62x39 ammo will You already have (stored up) during the next human herd stampede? For some of us, having heaps of ammo is much more important than which of these riflesto own.
Amen to that brother!

Pick the one that suits you best, buy lots of ammo and shoot the heck out of it.

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Old August 12, 2013, 10:51 PM   #34
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10mm4ever says:
The Tokarev SVT 40 absolutely has more recoil than the sks and the design had it's own flaws, no question.
I'll have to disagree with you on this statement. It should by all measures recoil more, but for some odd reason when I shoot them side by side, I don't perceive as much recoil as I do with the SKS. I think the muzzle brake ameliorates the recoil impulse to where it is more of a gentle shove than a snappy kick.

Probably if you had some sort of scale or deflection measuring device the SVT would indicate more recoil, but it doesn't seem to move from the target or exhibit muzzle jump nearly as much as does the SKS when I shoot it, IME.

Maybe my Czech silvertip ammo is weak or something.
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Old August 12, 2013, 11:17 PM   #35
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I bought a Norinco SKS back in the early 90s when they were going for under $90, took it home and soaked it in kerosene to get all the packing grease off. It came with a bandolier, cleaning kit in the butt, triangular bayonet, and a canvas sling-the usual.
Took it to the range and was cutting 3 inch groups with open sights. A friend told me to scope it so I did my homework and got an oversized receiver cover with the scope mount. Bore sighted and took it back to the range. 3 inch groups consistently, so I took the scope off and sold it.

Having said all that, it was a fun rifle, not particularly accurate, but not bad as cheap autoloaders go. Was easy to clean, ammo was very cheap back then so I never reloaded for it. Wouldn't think twice about taking a deer with it as I think that for a brush rifle, it would do pretty good.

A lot of folks complain about the weight of it, but to me, the weight is between the hands and I really didn't notice it being an issue.

The stock fit me pretty well, and Im a 6 footer. What I liked about it as a hunting weapon is the safety is a lot quieter.
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