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Saiga vs SKS

This is a discussion on Saiga vs SKS within the AK-47 Talk forums, part of the Long Gun Talk category; (both chambered in 7.62) I've read that most people prefer the Saiga for its detatchable mag, and mod ability to take true AK mags. People ...


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Old 03-25-2010, 08:44 AM   #1
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Saiga vs SKS

(both chambered in 7.62) I've read that most people prefer the Saiga for its detatchable mag, and mod ability to take true AK mags. People also said the SKS was a bit more accurate and better to shoot. My guess is quality is almost identical on both.

I also read that an SKS-D has detatchable mags. Anyone know how hard this is to find?

Overall what would people on here pick and why? How are the breakdowns on each/maintanence? As far as I can tell the SKS is a lot cheaper, but I didn't find any SKS-D's.

On a side note, what does everyone prefer, .308 or 7.62 for the Saiga? I'm guessing the .308 is more readily available, possilbe cheaper, how are the balistics on each?
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:17 AM   #2
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Saiga vs. SKS:
A saiga is simply an AK pattern rifle ("AK" from here on out) with a "sporter" stock. What you're really asking is AK vs SKS. If removeable mags are important to you, get the Saiga. Original "D" model SKS's are hard to find and demand a premium price. SKS's that are converted to removeable mags tend to be very hit and miss on mag function, usually miss. Any accuracy edge the SKS may have is very small and not enough to make a buying decision over. Since the Saiga will have a mounting rail for a scope, you'll likely get better practical accuracy from a scoped Saiga than an unscoped SKS. SKS scope mounts pretty universally suck and don't work well. Saiga's can easily be converted to the more standard AK look and a better trigger group installed if you prefer. Your Saiga will be a brand new firearm, produced by Izhmash in Russia in the same factory that has been producing AK47s for decades. Your SKS will be a used (probably well used) rifle produced in any number of countries who-knows-how-many years ago and the quality of its build will be an unknown.

7.62x39mm vs .308:
7.62 is much cheaper, but you'll have more choice in high quality rounds for .308. If you want a plinker/fun gun that's also usefull for defense and hunting, get 7.62. 7.62x39 is ballistically very similar to .30-30 in performace and softpoint 7.62 does well for hunting. If you want it primarily for hunting, .308 will have and edge in both accuracy and range. Since there are more high quality choices in .308, you can better dial in your gun/cartridge combination to get the best possible accuracy. If you hand load, .308 is the hands down winner. Unless you do hand load, your .308 ammo will cost you considerably more.
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:30 AM   #3
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Very informative, thank you.

I was leaning towards the Saiga anyway because I could get it brand spanking new, and I like it when I control maintenance. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing a better deal.
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:39 AM   #4
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though similar...they're two completely different platforms. If you want an AKM and like the siaga or plan on converting to AKM specs....go with the Siaga. If you want a classic SKS...than get an SKS. The SKS is a great rifle and you can find many in unissued condition....I picked up a Chicom Norinco SKS in the fall still coated in cosmo for 200 cash. I prefer SKS with standard fixed box magazines and not a fan of the AK style mags.
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:54 PM   #5
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My Saiga 7.62x39 outshoots my two friend's SKS's. The SKS feels "Nicer" to shoot because it feels like it weighs like 20% more. Shooting the same round it's just easier on the recoil. But if 7.62x39 is "Too much recoil" you should probably be shooting .22 LR =P
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Old 03-25-2010, 05:24 PM   #6
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saiga has my vote
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Old 03-25-2010, 05:49 PM   #7
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Very different rifles. You need both. Then you need an AK-74, then a Mosin, then.....
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Old 03-25-2010, 06:19 PM   #8
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Deffinately need both! Sks and ak are very fun guns to shoot, very easy to shoot and both make great additions to any collection.

7.62x39 is plentiful, fairly easy to get for a very good price and is easily found in bulk cases. Great round to have a few thousand of sitting around..
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Old 03-25-2010, 07:27 PM   #9
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I like the detachable mag for the reason that you can have 10 rounds just as easily ready as 30. Besides, the banana clip looks bad@$$. I have to find a fixed pistol grip stock for it, the adjustable ones make it an "Assault Weapon" though....such BS.

I guess I may have to get an SKS, after the Saiga, for the history of it....I was looking for maybe an older war gun, possibly bolt action though. We'll see, there's plenty of gunshows to go to...
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:02 PM   #10
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get a SKS, shoot it, enjoy it, buy more! i kinda fell in love with it. bought a handful of em. the AK is also a great tool, just a different setup though.
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