AR, AK, SKS? What to do? - Page 2
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Old 09-07-2008, 12:14 AM   #11
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Good points made by all of the above. It all comes down to what an "assault rifle" is in your mind. Are you looking for something more along the lines of a battle rifle or urban combat/close quarters type of weapon? Do you want something that is basically a "lead" hose, or something that will also be accurate? What about weight of the weapon? Some assault rifles, such as FAL's, H&K's, typically your main battle rifles can get hefty (down right PORKY), but then again it's all in what the user hangs all over it, too. What about length...what length of barrel do you have in mind? Caliber? Configuration? Wood -vs- Poly stock? Capacity? etc, etc, etc.

Not trying to confuse your original question, just bringing out a few more that you have to ask yourself, too. Cost of the weapon itself will vary greatly. As some have pointed out, you can pick up an SKS fairly cheap, whereas an AR will run you anywhere from $600 and up. Cost of ammunition is also a consideration, due to the ongoing war(s), it seems that any of the popular ammunition has gone through the roof. No different than what the oil companies are doing I guess. At least the ammo companies don't raise their prices due to the threat of a hurricane, or threat that (insert name of country here) may think about doing something drastic some time soon

As for the weapon platforms themselves...ease of maintenance is kind of subjective, in that the more familiar you are with that particular weapon, the easier and quicker maintenance/cleaning/assembly/disassembly seems to get. As for the weapons themselves, without a doubt, the AK is probably the simplest and one of the most reliable designs in current assault weapons, and has been for a long time (going on 60 years and millions of units made and in use). No, it is not the most accurate of assault weapons, but depending on the user, it can be very effective. One could say, that most of today's assault weapons have borrowed from the AK design in one way or another. And interesting to note, quite a few of todays operators, spec ops, even some infantry folks, tend to favor the AK design over the current US issue weapon (M4). Why? Maybe personal preference, maybe reliability, maybe knock-down/penetration, maybe it just matched their outfit for that day. Who knows...they do.

As for the M4/AR designs, nothing wrong with them, either. They can be very reliable weapons, too. But...they can also be more temperamental and more susceptible to failure due to environmental issues (dust, mud, sand, etc) than the AK. But if you keep it clean, it should, and in most cases, will work. Where the AR has a MAJOR advantage over any of the other designs, you can easily modify it to almost any need you might have, change the looks, handling, ergonomics, optics platforms, lights, lasers, grenade launchers, barrel/uppers, calibers, etc, etc, etc....YOURSELF! This gives you the ability to turn the gun into a variety of different weapons, simply by swapping/adding/removing parts - a TRANSFORMER It does have it's faults, as quite a few past and present armed forces will tell you. Keep any (working) weapon maintained, and it will function as it was designed to do. But you also want a weapon to be able to stop the threat. With the ability to easily change calibers, this problem can be fixed, too. Or...get the next size up in AR's...the .308 platform.

That opens up another whole arena in assault rifles, too. That being the FAL's, H&K roller-block designs, M1A/M14 platforms, Steyr Aug, etc, etc, etc.

The easy fix...get one of each. Except for the Aug, I almost do have one of each (several of certain types). But if I had to pick one, based on the threat of not being able to get any of them again...I might have to pick the AR. Simply because there are more parts available right now, so you could stock up on replacement parts, add-ons, etc. and not worry about it down the road. The others are a little harder to find replacement parts for, and usually more expensive, except for the AK/SKS's out there. Ammo is a toss for the most part. Maintenance, like I said, gets easier with practice. Cost...initial cost will be higher. It's all in whether or not the other pros/cons justify the difference to your wallet or not.

Good luck with your choice, and hopefully one of us can help with anymore questions you might have.

Slo

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Old 09-09-2008, 09:20 PM   #12
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Hmmm if I couldn't shoot any better than that I wouldn't want my face on a video. First off who wears dark shades in a dark shooting range,jerks the trigger like your setting the hook on a large mouth bass. Evidently neither one of those guys had any training to amount to anything with either weapon. Granted the AR is a more accurate platform,but that guy shooting it sure wouldn't make it on my rifle promo video. The AK guy who knows where his sights were set or if he even used them.

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Old 09-27-2008, 05:47 AM   #13
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Still being a bit of a novice at all of this (despite my age), I just want to tell all of you how interesting and objective your descriptions are. This is the best such thread I've seen (although lacking in experience and can't judge anything), including 'Fireramsforums', 'THR', 'Thefiringline', 'Perfectunion', 'Warrifles' and 'SKSboards', although the other threads are also very informative. Too many owners on most discussions get defensive about their choices, or use a bit of personal ridicule.

When a buddy at work (no LEO or soldier background-he was a Navy pilot), who is on the Navy Rifle Team was asked (by me) whether he would prefer an AR-15 or Russian-desgined rifle for a dirty, dusty combat scenario, he said "Probably an AK-47". His response surprised me, as they use AR-15s at Camp Perry or Quantico matches etc.

Although this is heresy to many AR-15 owners, my only goal is to have relatively inexpensive fun and don't need an accurate rifle, but enjoy the heck out of having only military-styles guns (plus ancient Savage .22).

Used Mini 14, 30, two MN 44s but only one SKS.

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Old 10-14-2008, 03:17 AM   #14
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M14 M14 M14 M14 M14 M14
Are you feeling the sumliminalnis?
M14 M14 M14.......

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Old 10-14-2008, 05:27 PM   #15
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As stated above, different tools for different tasks. It may help to think of your "threat environment" as a series of concentric circles with you in the center. This metaphor won't cover all possible weapons but it may help you evaluate your individual needs. It has worked for me. All weapons referred to below are simply "as issued to common grunt" guns. It is a "given" that you can extend range by accurizing a weapon. Grunts don't get to do that in the field.

Always remember: "Your weapon was made by the lowest bidder"

The first ring covers 50 to 100 yards/meters. Weapons effective here are pistols and shotguns. Of course, weapons with longer ranges work here also, but we are talking about limits. If you have issues at 0 to 50 yds/m, you have some serious problems that even rocks and sticks will probably help cure.

Next ring is 100 to 200 yds/m. AKs, M1 Carbines, submachine guns are examples for this ring.

Third ring out from you is 200 to 400 yds/m. ARs, maybe SKS. I don't know about SKS as I've never owned or shot one.

Forth ring is 400 to 600 yrds. Maybe ARs, certainly M1 Garand, 30-06 A3 Springfield, M14, FAL, SMLE, ect (full sized battle rifle).

At 600 to 800 yrds/m probably the battle rifles, but the skill of the shooter becomes really critical. Bot action, scoped .308s probably are much more effective here.

800 to 1000 yrds/m is really scoped bolt action range. .308 probably, 300 Win Mag better.

1000+ yrds/m is what I think of .50 cal scoped sniper range.

The above are just "rules of thumb" I picked up decades ago. Maybe they are out of date, but they have worked as a rough guide for me.

All rules, guides, ect., have exceptions.......

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Old 10-16-2008, 12:09 PM   #16
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If you can find an AK-47 (quality) for $275-$400 as the O.P. stated in his post, then I'd go for it! I realize this thread has been around a couple of months, but those prices are really good just in the year 2008 alone!

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Old 10-23-2008, 06:16 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northwoods View Post
...Third ring out from you is 200 to 400 yds/m. ARs, maybe SKS. I don't know about SKS as I've never owned or shot one...
I could hit a target at 200 yards with my sks. Never tried 400 yards, though.
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Old 10-23-2008, 02:22 PM   #18
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janikphoto,

My comments above are just my opinions. They are mostly based on an extended live fire experiment the U.S. and French governments conducted in a small southeast asian country about 40 years ago. I didn't have an overall, or high level view of the parameters or structure of the experiment. My participation could most accurately be described as one of the white mice in the maze.

Those were the rough guidelines I noticed though. However, 40 years is a long time ago, and lots of technology has changed. So maybe they are not applicable anymore.

However, I did get a wonderful, graduate and post graduate level education in the practical application of guerrilla warfare covering all aspects and levels; i.e., social organization, political indoctrination, media manipulation, social control and military tactics and strategy (whether I wanted it or not).

I haven't had any opportunities to use that knowledge yet, but you never know when it might come in handy. The government, in their infinite wisdom and perfect knowledge, thought it was important for me to know (at age 17).

So, that's the basis for my 2 cents worth.

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Old 11-21-2008, 04:51 PM   #19
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I was faced with same decision and bought 2 dpms bull barreled ARs as not only are they VERY accurate for the money,I can almost instantly change uppers to suit almost any need within reason. I can actually varmit hunt with them as they are very practical,unlike most of the AK varients. IF I had the money,I would buy a highly accurate M1A. Yes,I realize I could have bought a new springfield armory M1A for the costs of the 2 ARs I bought,but then what would my best friend do for 1 then as the 2nd AR was for him. Also,you can easily convert an AR to .22LR to practice and get used to it as well as squirrel hunt with it.

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