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Posted: 12/27/2002 11:38:54 AM EDT
I am looking for a simpler, more rugged alternative to the AR and Mini-14 style rifles. I have been considering the SKS because of its low cost, un-complicated operation and maintenance, and reputation as a tough, reliable rifle. I have no experience with AK style rifles but I have had other friends and shooters reccommend the AK as another possible alternative. I understand that both fire the same 7.62x39 cartridge with the AK having removeable magazines as opposed to a fixed internal. My questions are:

(1) How does the AK compare to the SKS in terms of ease of operation?

(2) How does the AK compare to the SKS in terms of cleaning and maintenance?

(3) In general, is teh AK design as tough and reliable as the SKS?

(4) Where can I find english AK manuals to download online?

Any help would be MUCH appreciated! Thanks!
Link Posted: 12/27/2002 12:11:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/27/2002 12:13:07 PM EDT by shotar]
to answer your questions, the AK is simpler than the SKS although both are easy to maintain. Cleaning is probably more complex on the sks as there are more moving parts. I could easily reccomend either. www.simonov.net probably has an online manual for the sks. For the AK its just probably not needed. There is no simpler semi auto mechanism that I'm aware of. Other than the trigger group the thing has like 3 moving parts. Get both. I generally clean my AK every 3000 rounds whether it needs it or not. I generally clean my SKS after each outing but the Yugos are not chrome lined.
Link Posted: 12/27/2002 12:26:46 PM EDT
I would agree with Shotar. The AK is a much simpler design to break down. The rifle tends to be about the same price to a little cheaper, and you don't have to reload as much with the hi-cap mags.

Both designs are more reliable than you will ever need them to be. The AK does have fewer moving parts as Shotar said. fewer moving parts = less chance of something going wrong.

As far as ease of operation, both are about the same, but I would have to lean toward the AK. If you have an AR and mini-14, it should not be an issue.
Link Posted: 12/27/2002 12:36:05 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/27/2002 1:35:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/27/2002 1:38:27 PM EDT by NewbieNobody]
Thanks a bunch for the help so far folks!

Are AK magazines and accessories readily available online? If so, where are the reputable sites?

Is there anything that I should *avoid* while shopping for an AK? Such as poor quality manufacturers, countries-of-origin to avoid, good and bad magazines, etc?
Link Posted: 12/27/2002 1:43:22 PM EDT
Get both !!

You can never have enough AKs!

KF
Link Posted: 12/27/2002 1:57:29 PM EDT
Here's a link to my secret stash of weapons manuals:

www.france-collection.com/manuals/AK47/lapagedessystêmesAKMain.html

There's quite a few AK manuals located there for you.

Krinkfreak
Link Posted: 12/27/2002 5:31:10 PM EDT
Only thing the SKS has going for it is the position of the safety and last shot hold open.

Most AK's are going to have a better trigger, especially Chinese guns. That is important for new shooters. Lots of magazine choices for AK's too from 5 to 100rds with a flick of that finger. Both are clean from the muzzle propositions, similar sight radius, similar aftermarket stocks/furniture options. Actually slight edge to the AK there. Take down of each involves an action cover, upper handguard, bolt carrier and bolt. SKS bolt can be reassembled incorrectly turning it in to a slam firing runaway machinegun, not a fun ride! SKS fire control group is unitized but no US ones are available and individual pieces are difficult to find. Also most need "fitting" (trial and error filing/grinding). Lots of individual AK spares available.


I would say the AK is better based on trigger, magazine and spares options.
Link Posted: 12/27/2002 5:52:47 PM EDT
www.tapco.com also is a good place for AK and SKS supplies.
Link Posted: 12/27/2002 5:56:03 PM EDT
Jesus how the hell do you assemble the bolt wrong. That would make a bad impression at the range if it slam-fired. I have a new unfired Russian SKS and the bolt was out when I got it. I don't want it to go boom the wrong way if I re-assembled it wrong.
Link Posted: 12/27/2002 6:09:45 PM EDT
In the past year, the cheapest I've seen an SKS at a gun show was $125 for a Romanian and $150 for a Yugo. The cheapest AK I've seen at a gun show was $325 for a Romanian SAR. For the difference in money, I'd buy an SKS, a bunch of ammo (about $45 per 500 rounds plus shipping), a bunch of stripper clips (you put the ammo on the stripper clip, then you can load all 10 rounds into the SKS quickly), and some replacement parts (www.tapco.com). I'd much rather have an AK, but if money is a problem, an SKS is the better buy.z
Link Posted: 12/27/2002 7:00:01 PM EDT
I would go with the AK since you can get hi-cap mags for cheap. I've seen really good AK 30 rounders for $6.95 each in a pack of 4. I think you'll get frustrated with the SKS faster. That said... if it came down to no gun or an SKS, I'd buy that SKS right off.
Link Posted: 12/28/2002 4:43:05 AM EDT
AK hands down.
You won't have problems with either, but with the AK you get high cap mags.
Also remember with Russian ammo of any sort,when it says non-corrosive,that really means not as corrosive.
The powder may not be corrosive, but the primers are.
Just keep her clean and you will have no problem.
Link Posted: 12/28/2002 5:40:35 AM EDT
WTF, the primers in Wolf are corrosive?
Link Posted: 12/28/2002 5:47:00 AM EDT
I have both configurations except longer barrel on my AK receiver than AK47. I like to pretend I can hit something with the 7.62X39 round. LOL

Big diffs are weight and acuracy. If you are a plinker and want to squeeze em off as fast as you can then AK is deffinately the way to go. If you like a little weight and better acuracy, then SKS. They're cheap enough so buy both. Although alot of guys have modified their SKS to accept larger mag, I know quite a few that have been miserable trying to do it too so I wouldn't recommend changing the first time out. Stripper clip feed on the SKS allows you to reload the five rounds quickly and is fine for the range.
Link Posted: 12/28/2002 5:53:57 AM EDT
Ok Im sold on the AK.

Now what are the best 30 round magazines and where can I find them online?

Thanks for all the help!
Link Posted: 12/28/2002 7:19:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Fuzzybunny:
Also remember with Russian ammo of any sort,when it says non-corrosive,that really means not as corrosive.
The powder may not be corrosive, but the primers are.



1) There is no such thing as more corrosive or less corrosive. it is either corrosive or not. its like being dead, either you are or you aren't.

2) No commercial Russian ammo is corrosive. Russian military ammo is corrosive, but not commercial.

Many report that the powder is "dirty", but that does not mean that it is corrosive.
Link Posted: 12/28/2002 1:24:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By HiramRanger:
Jesus how the hell do you assemble the bolt wrong. That would make a bad impression at the range if it slam-fired. I have a new unfired Russian SKS and the bolt was out when I got it. I don't want it to go boom the wrong way if I re-assembled it wrong.



The firing pin will install 180 degrees rotated (bottom is on top). This forces the pin all the way forward, protruding from its hole. Everytime it chambers a round the protruding pin will slamfire, trigger released or not.
Link Posted: 12/28/2002 2:53:30 PM EDT
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