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Old February 20, 2013, 11:48 PM   #1
Join Date: February 20, 2013
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SKS or AK what to look for

Hey all, new here so let me introduce myself. I'm interesting in purchasing an SKS or AK 47 preferably in new or like new condition. I'd like to know what to look for and what to stay away from. I'd also like to get some advice on the best way, or place to acquire one.

I've seen several on the gunbroker and guns america websites but I'm a little reluctant to buy online though this may be my only option at this point. Thanks for any advice or info anyone can provide.
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Old February 21, 2013, 01:30 AM   #2
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Price limit? Features you want? Purpose? Your question is far to broad.
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Old February 21, 2013, 02:21 AM   #3
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I prefer the SKS over the AK. I have shot both and I own a SKS. The AK I shot was a full on russian AK-47 with the selector switch. I got to shoot it in both semi and full auto.

I like the SKS because of the longer barrel. I use mine for deer and hog hunting. It also serves as a back up to my 12 ga for HD.

If you just want one as a range toy get an AK. If you are going to hunt the get an SKS.

Check out survivors SKS forum for a lot more details on what to look for in either platform.
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Old February 21, 2013, 03:15 AM   #4
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Wanting one for hunting/home defense. Price limit, I'm thinking about 500 to 600 dollars depending on the condition and accessories. I'd like to get on that takes AK mags or at lest comes with a few Tapco 20 or 30 round mags.
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Old February 21, 2013, 12:19 PM   #5
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I can speak for sks a bit. There are Russian, Romanian, Yugo and Chinese aka norinco sks rifles. All but the Yugo have chrome lined barrels which is nice and only the Yugoslav have the grenade launcher on them.

Be prepared to pay a premium for Russian and Romanian sks. In the current market $500. I have seen norinco a go for $275-400 in my area and Yugo about the same.

Also consider the norinco sks M or D model which will take regular ak magazines. I would avoid the duck billed mags for sks, they are usually a pain in the butt to change out if you can find a one that is reliable. Good hunting!
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Old February 21, 2013, 09:20 PM   #6
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If you convert an SKS to use detachable magazines you will need to make it 922R compliant. The Norinco may be the way to go here since it was designed for factory AK mags. I think in general the SKS is regarded as being a bit more accurate than the AK. I have a Yugo SKS which will shoot 3-4" groups @100yds with iron sights, that's about as good as I can expect with irons.

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Old February 22, 2013, 01:12 AM   #7
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You will find opinions all over the place and I'm sure everyones experience will be different from the next person's.
I have the Romanian version of the AK and couldn't be happier with it. I have had no problems with loose fitting mags or bent front sights. These may have been issues at one time or another with certain runs of these?
Most current sks imports are yugos only. I bought one a couple years ago and quickly tired of it. Using surplus ammo, which only makes sense with a surplus firearm, the gas valve, unique to the yugo, requires lots of attention to keep corrosion at bay. The odd grenade launching stuff is interesting, but not very practical.
I sold it after aquiring the Chinese version sks and find that one more to my liking. It feeds anything I put in it, is a lot trimmer platform to use and while I retain the option of putting all the stock, number matching original pieces back on it, have been more than satisfied with a full-on Tapco conversion kit.
Unlike many who report issues with the duck bill mags, I've found them to be reliable and easy to use. I believe I can change mags just as fast with the sks as the ak. The only downside I've found with the duck-bill mags is they are a little hard to store, with the odd shaped duck-bill wanting to stick out of the top of the mag pouch.
There is a guy over on the sks survivor's board that offers a special mag pouch for them. I haven't tried one.
Best advice is get one of each. Good luck on finding reasonable priced ammo for now.
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Old February 22, 2013, 01:24 AM   #8
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$500 - $600 AK's do not exist in the post Sandy Hook EBR economy. Bud's (one of the supposed good guys) is pimping out bottom of the barrel Century Wasr's for $1200. Wasr's are a $400 rifle. That's triple. Same as $700 Bushmaster .223's are selling for over $2k "while supplies last."

SAVE YOUR MONEY. You will be raped, sir.
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Old February 22, 2013, 01:47 AM   #9
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seen veprs around on armslist and the like for around a grand, not bad considering the problem of the 1200 dollar out of spec wobbly magazine having wasr's. now, finding ammo for a 308 is another story. no, the thing doesnt come with high cap mags, but with the current price of AR and AK mags, im just fine shelling out fifty bucks for aftermarket twenty rounders. i don't know what your preference is but i spent a long time looking and i definitely came out on top with the vepr, semi auto tack driver for a grand even? in this market, i'll take it.

that being said, only problem i have with the sks is the magazine. i like truly detachable. all Ak owners however envy the bolt-hold-open. thats nifty.

my 2cents
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Old February 22, 2013, 09:46 AM   #10
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SKS "D" or "M" better than any AK
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Old February 23, 2013, 05:44 AM   #11
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Something else I thought of AK versus SKS. The Century AK comes with the Tapco G2 trigger which is practically a sniper's trigger in my book. The SKS triggers vary a bit from awful to "almost acceptable". The trigger group on the SKS is kind of funky, but there's a guy on the Survivors SKS forum that tunes them up for $65. I'm saving my nickels and dimes and will be sending him mine soon.
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Old February 24, 2013, 10:58 AM   #12
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To each his own. i used to like class III stuff, and shot many many thousands of rounds back before Reagan signed the 86 GCA.

Now, I get a blast out of shooting fewer rounds, and have grown to really like the old "standard" (non pistol grip) type of stocks. I also like not having to buy magazines, not that I wouldn't already have several mags for any rifle I would use at this point.

I like my Russian SKS immensely, and had Bill Springfield do a trigger group on it. Heck, I can shoot maybe 40 or 50 rounds of the inexpensive Russian imported ammo through it and really enjoy it.

The 7.62 AK has never really got on well with me, though I really like the AK74, especially on "auto." That brake just tames the muzzle of that rifle like nobody's business.

Get what appeals to you.
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Old February 24, 2013, 03:30 PM   #13
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The sks triggers can be easily tweaked.
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Old February 24, 2013, 04:55 PM   #14
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my experience is based on 2 romanian AK47s and a single chinese SKS, I've shot others but these are just the ones I've built personal impressions from.

in my experience, unless you are willing to spend more than $1,000 there are no good AKs out there. of the rommies that I've dealt with(one was mine, the other my brothers) one of them had canted front sights and neither was capable of reliably feeding with steel magazines. we had to use the more expensive, clunkier, bulkier plastic magazines from Promag or tapco.

another prominent problem with the AKs was chronic rust build up, it didn't matter what ammo we fired from them, cleaning techniques or how arid we kept them in storage. they just rusted non stop, a major factor that helped me convince me to sell mine. the old adage that it is easier to clean, maintain, repair an AK than an AR15 is complete and utter horse manure propagated by people that have never attempted to clean the 2 side by side, I cleaned my AK at least once every time I got to come home on leave and have only cleaned my AR15 twice in the 5 years I've owned it. I can guarantee you that if I had to, I could strip and reassemble my AR15s in less than a minute, at my best I think I accomplished a full field strip and reassembly in 3 minutes on my AK. another major issue was a complete inability to adapt the design to accommodate optics comfortably. I played around for 3 years to get my wasr to a setup that I could use in a practical manner while still being somewhat comfortable but every attempt from paracord stock wraps to handguard mounted red dots failed miserably. I finally sold mine. my brother sold his just this last month because there was nothing that his AK could do that his ar15 in 7.62x39 couldn't do better.

now enter cheap chinese SKS. I bought it in december with the stock heavily beat up and poorly fitted and the entire gun had more grease than an old ford tractor. I've cleaned it a few times and am still finding cosmoline. the design is much simpler and way easier to get back together. I have found it very easy to adapt several parts to make it suit my personal tastes and needs better. I replaced the horrible combloc leaf sights(same as the mosin nagant and AK47) with a rear mounted aperture sight which greatly improves sight picture and ease of accuracy. the stock change is so simple that even a caveman could do it, I have a new stock on the way with M4 stock and pistol grip and am dubbing it the poor mans evil black rifle.

another final thing I would like to point out is the accuracy. with decent ammo the best I could have hoped for was to hit a 8x8 steel target at 70 yards with the AKs. with the SKS that same 8x8 is easier to hit at 200 yards from sandbags.

I heavily recommend the SKS over the AK, the SKSM that you want that takes AK mags will cost a little more and be a little harder to find but should still fall inside the $500 budget you've alloted yourself. 4
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