Originally Posted by Werminator
My two cents... The AK is definitely known for its rugged reliability. Pour mud, snow, sand, whatever the hell you want in it and it should keep on ticking... Truth be told the SKS and the AK are extremely similiar (the AK was designed off of the SKS a mere 2.5 or 3 years after the SKS came out ~1944). Most SKS receivers seemed to be assembled with tighter tolerances than their AK counterparts which may be a bit more tempermental when you throw your rifle in a creek, drag it back up a hill, and then pour your coffee into it, but for almost anyone NOT WAGING WAR in a desert it should be more than adequate. The longer barrel lends itself to a good deal longer sighting radius. Longer sight radius makes it easier to be very accurate. Either gun would be a great choice, I was brought into this thread because I too am in the market for a SHTF weapon... I lean toward SKS for all those reasons and more...
They did see some action in ww2 northern Russian and did well, as for mud and sand they were used primarily by the vietcong, buried them in ground, dug them up when needed and they were very functional. I do like the accuracy and plenty rugged for my use. I put a tech-sight on mine and gained 10" of sight radius. It made a big difference.