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Difference Between AK 47 and SKS

ak47-sksAK 47 vs SKS

AK 47 and SKS are both assault rifles, which have been widely used the world over.

Both the weapons are Russian made. AK 47 or Automatic Kalashnikov was designed by Mikhail T Kalashnikov. SKS or called as Samozaryadnyi Karabin sistemi Simonova was designed by Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov. SKS was the first to be designed in 1945 and the AK 47 came later in 1947.

When comparing the two assault rifles, while both are gas operated, the SKS is semi automatic. The SKS comes with wooden stock, short gas piston and tilting bolt. On the contrary AK 47 comes with selective fire and has an under folding metal shoulder stash.

The AK 47 has almost replaced SKS in combats. This is because of the ease with which AK 47 guns can be used.

There is also difference of the cartridges used in AK 47 and SKS. In SKS there is a limited number of bullets and are far lower to that of what can be placed in AK 47. Each SKS cartridge has just 10 bullets whereas AK 47 cartridges have about 30 bullets. This is another reason why soldiers prefer AK 47 instead of SKS as they will be able to save reloading time.

When talking of civilian use of these rifles, people are permitted to use SKS. On the other hand, AK 47 is not allowed to be used by individuals and is only meant for military purposes.

SKS was the first to be designed in 1945 and the AK 47 came later in 1947.
AK 47 or Automatic Kalashnikov was designed by Mikhail T Kalashnikov. SKS or called as Samozaryadnyi Karabin sistemi Simonova was designed by Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov.
The AK 47 has almost replaced SKS in combats. This is because of the ease with which AK 47 guns can be used.
In SKS there is a limited number of bullets and are far lower to that of what can be placed in AK 47. Each SKS cartridge has just 10 bullets whereas AK 47 cartridges have about 30 bullets.
Individuals are permitted to use SKS. On the other hand, AK 47 is not allowed to be used by individuals and is only meant for military purposes.

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  1. This article is misleading in many ways, and is clearly written by someone who has little to no (probably the latter) first hand experience with firearms.

    1) The entire first paragraph is full of sentiment and subjective rhetoric, which would be fine had the article not been entitled “Difference between the SKS and the AK-46.” You personal feelings about the use of either weapon, or of the maladies of the world, have no place in a supposedly technical article comparing two rifles.

    2) “The gas operation feature of the AK 47 makes it a lot easier to utilize by soldiers as compared to the SKS, which perhaps is one reason why the AK 47 replaced the SKS as the primary assault rifle used in combat.” First off, both are gas operated. Second, they were developed simultaneously (though commissioned at different times, ’46 for SKS, and ’49 for AK), to fulfill different roles in the Soviet military. The AK-47 was designed as a main battle rifle, while the SKS was designed to be used by supporting/non-front line troops.

    3) The author states that the SKS carries 10 rounds (which is true, unless the magazine is replaced with a 5, 20, 30,or 75round magazine), and that the AK-47 can fire 600 rpm, but never gives a magazine capacity (the author actually used the term ‘cartridge’ in place of magazine, which is incorrect…as the word cartridge would be synonomous wit the word ’round’) for the AK-47 (which is usually 30, but again, magizine size can vary).

    4) Not all AK-47’s are fully automatic. You can walk into just about any gun store in America and find a semiautomatic variation of an AK-47 that is available for sale for civilian use. These weapons, being semiautomatic, are no different in terms of operation than any gas operated hunting rifles offered by Browning, Ruger, Remmington, etc. In fact it is easier to find an AK variant than an SKS, due to the fact that SKS’s were (with the exception of some Chinese models) manufactured only for military use, and are sold as surplus, where many AK manufacturers produce their weapons explicitly for the civilian market, and are still in production today.

    • You are absolutely correct Nicky.Why in the world would someone with absolutely no knowledge of firearms try to provide info on said subject?
      Just the fact that he/she doesn’t understand the difference between the
      ” Rate of fire”,and the capacity of the “Magazine” says it all .

      “Sometimes it’s better to say nothing and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt”…..Samuel Clemens…aka..Mark Twain

    • 600 round mag! I want one!!, No, make that two!!!

    • The author is actually pretty accurate in his/her description. Some improper wording may be used, as it appears that english isn’t their first language, but their description is fundamentally correct either way. The only real mistake they made was with their claim that AK’s aren’t available to the public. That’s just a statement of ignorance.


    • Let’s not skip the fact that they wrote that both guns are assault rifles, when an assault rifle is by definition a select fire machine gun. The AK-47 COULD be an assault rifle but is not always, while the SKS could never be classified as an assault weapon.

    • Thank you Nicky. I was so frustrated when I read this highly inaccurate article. I was simply curious as to whether the gas operation could be different in the SKS as to the AR. But, this was certainly the wrong article to read. Shame on the pretend expert.


    • Thank you for this comment. Sadly, most will read the article and get more ignorant instead of reading the comments or facts. Soldiers using SKS and AR

    • I love it when someone with actual knowledge of a weapon makes a book worm look well uneducated. Excellent critique sir. And thank you for your service.

  2. You come off as a know it all liberal jerk when you post things like this in an article. If you are a friend of the firearms community you would be careful not to slur or stereotype a weapon to please the radical, ultra-liberal, anti-gun crowd (gungrabbers). The sks has never been an assault rifle, because it never has had a select-fire capability. Now there is a gun the Chinese made that looks similar to an sks that does have this ability, but I really doubt more than a few could have made it into the U.S.A. through legal means. Fully automatic weapons that are not owned by police departments or the military (etc.) are fairly out of reach of the average U.S. citizen unless they have the cash to buy one from the black market and wish to break the law (most (anti)gun laws are actually unconstitutional) or buy a registered one that was manufactured before 1984. Don’t get me wrong…I do not wish convicted felons to own any thing that is considered a firearm or ever was, but when members of the gun enthusiest crowd make faux paux about the realities of a gun or certain guns they condemn all gun enthusiests. The sks does not even fit the definition of assault weapon in Commiefornia (the most anti-gun state in the USA) unless it is converted to take akm magazines or ‘high capacity’ magazines or has a detachable magazine or grenade launching muzzle device on the end of the barrel. The only exception to the magazine alteration would be to have a device known in short form slang as a bullet button on such an sks, and I have never seen one yet for the sks. Another violation would be the conversion of any firearm (i.e. sks) to have a selectfire capability, or full auto capability. If I am correct open bolt operation firearms are also illegal to own and manufacture in the U.S.A. (according to statutory law, not constitutional) unless you meet the correct BATFE qualifications (most likely a tax paying, registered weapons designer/manufacturer or law enforcement agency/office) Alas, congress has delegated rights to unelected beareaucracies that they never had the right to, as well as to the President, and Presidents have agressively used and sought these unconstitutional permissions of power from the congress. Even if you alter your sks to use akm magazines or if they were altered by anyone else (i.e. Norinco) you cannot own them in CA without meeting the requirements of registration (registration only allowed to those who registered them by a certain date and if the gun was in the state at that time (if you wanna keep it legal do not bring that ‘assault’ sks out of state and then back in!)) So fuzzy-headed liberals should keep there noses out of the GOA and NRA’s bases and things should work out okay. The increase of anti-gun laws only hurts the law abiding and the scary black rifles and other weapons the liberals or other types of fascists hate so much are not that difficult to build anyways (even the ammunition), so they best leave it alone or commit political suicide. Anyone with a hacksaw and the right materials can build an open-bolt submachine gun or machine pistol. Black markets would spring up overnight (figuratively) selling cheap and shoddy as well as relatively cheap and high quality ‘assault’ weapons to those with the cash (then all H E double hocky sticks might break loose). So the invisible hand of the free market can help keep things peaceful, because no one is more equal than another. 🙂 [On another note altering a legal semi-automatic (registered(by state standards where applicable) or unregistered semi-automatic SKS could result in federal jail time if code 922r is not complied with in doing so. Norinco’s might be exempt from such compliance.)

    • Drew, PLEASE do yourself a favor,before you continue to link “liberals” to fascists,PLEASE. I understand that today the label “fascist” has lost muck of it’s venom,but I digress.
      Once upon a time I was a HARDCORE LIBERAL DEMOCRAT,until I learned that the system(not ONLY the U.S. BUT the entire world IS controlled by very few people..
      If I own a football/basketball team I can determine who will win a particular game.HOWEVER,IF I OWN THE ENTIRE LEAGUE(ALL of the teams in an organization) I HAVE THE POWER TO DETERMINE WHICH TEAM COULD WIN EVERY SINGLE GAME!
      The people I spoke of DO OWN EVERY TEAM,AS WELL AS ALL THE PROPERTIES ON THE MONOPOLY BOARD!! These people have the politicians in THEIR pockets,for the simple fact that there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING A POLITICIAN WILL NOT DO FOR THE ALMIGHTY (I SHOULD ADD FIAT)DOLLAR..

    • thank you sir,very well said.

  3. Wow, this article has so many glaring mistakes, the author should be ashamed of themself.

    1: Any weapon can be used to defend or terrorize, stating that as the opening to this article is just foolish.

    2: AK-47 is an assault rifle, SKS is not. SKS is only semiautomatic, AK-47 is selective fire. Except for the AK models designed for civillian use, which are also semiautomatic only and therefore also not assault rifles. You could say the SKS is a battle rifle along with the semiauto-only AK.

    3: Talking about the stocks, in the picture in the article both have fixed wooden stocks. The AK typically has a pistol grip while the SKS does not, but both types are available for either weapon, although folding stocks are much more common for the AK.

    4: You really need to check a dictionary for cartridge, clip, magazine, and round. The cartridge is the metal piece around the gunpowder charge and bullet, collectively called a round. The SKS and AK use identical cartridges. The magazine is the structure that holds the rounds. The SKS has a fixed magazine, the AK uses replaceable magazines.

    5: Talking about legal ownership of these guns should be prefaced by location; gun ownership laws vary widely from place to place (remember, the majority of the world does not live in the US). Civillians are able to own an AK even in the US, it just requires much more paperwork and legal fees than an SKS.

  4. Yippee-my 2 old Remington 1100 shotguns and my Winchester ’63 rifle are “assault weapons”, no need to buy a 3rd SKS.

  5. rick – the sks is just a semi auto rifle in a old wooden military stock as apposed to any other wooden stock. as in the same catorgory as a old lee endfield.. not a assult rifle that i can see . it is but a peice of russian history.
    Now there are like the old lee enfields ingrated into canadian society. Used for hunting and targret practice.
    I have used them before. They take a round simular to a 3030.
    which is not a real big caliper.
    sks takes a fixed magazine withn few rounds and if it is modified it is canadian law that the clip is pinned to around 5 rounds same difference. These are now just hobby rifles, which are being sold in many stores including including larger chain store.
    These a not a AKA -47 , . Lot of comments are made by people who do not know much about the subject or never fired a rifle.
    I am closer to 60 than 50 and have a idea to what i am talking about. thank – you rick

  6. BLATANTLY UNTRUE is the statement that the AK and SKS are “assault rifles”. The author or authors of the article are either ignorant or grossly misinformed and/or don’t know what they’re talking about. The SKS is not an “assault rifle”! To qualify as such it must have select fire capability. Unlike the AK, the SKS was never intended nor designed with full auto capability. The German STURMGEWER 44 assault rifle was the first assault rifle. The SKS has more in common with the U S M1 Garand and the Soviet Tokarev battle rifle than the AK. Neither the SKS, the Garand or the Tokarev are SEMI AUTO ONLY rifles!

  7. correction, last sentence of comment: “the SKS, Garand and Tokarev are semi auto only rifles.

  8. this is adorable

  9. I bought a Chinese sks years ago and since it was designed for people with short arms I replaced the cheap wooden stock with a nice synthetic one. It has never jammed even using cheap ammo. It is also surprisingly accurate.
    I paid just over $100 for it and it has been fun to shoot. Of course, I would prefer to shoot a $1500 at 15 but for just having fun it is wonderful. It would also serve well for self defense at short distances

  10. Correction on previous post…..ar 15 not at 15

  11. The individual who wrote this needs to do more research. Both the AK and SKS came originally with wooden stocks. Both rifles are available for civilian use, the AK is available in a semi-automatic version similar to the ar15 vs M4 & M16. They both use the same cartridges and both have available high capacity magazines. The biggest difference is construction and design of the rifle action.

  12. So we’re all using the term “assault rifle”. To me this term was created by the media, anti gun and for political reasons. It’s a rifle plain and simple. Do they take a clip or a magazine ? I know this is petty. I could be wrong just adding my 2 cents.

  13. “When talking of civilian use of these rifles, people are permitted to use SKS. On the other hand, AK 47 is not allowed to be used by individuals and is only meant for military purposes.”
    What??? This is false
    Fact black bears are the best bears.

  14. Moby mentions that the aks projectile comes out and begins to flip end over end and sks comes out and continues to spiral this being said sks will penetrate a cars motor block while the ak will but usually takes a couple shots

  15. I have to SKS. Both of which were made for the Chinese military. big difference between the export version of the SKS and the military version is that the military version has a screw-on barrel. Well the export version has only a pressed on barrel. The Preston barrel allows a barrel to rise as it warms. Military version is a much better made weapon. It was used in Vietnam as a sniper weapon. The AK-47 and not lay claim to that because it was too loose and too inaccurate. The only good thing I can see about an AK-47 is that it shoots much faster.

  16. An AK is only an assault rifle if it has the ability to change between semi-auto and auto. An SKS is never an assault rifle. This is the worst “difference between” authorship that I’ve ever seen.

  17. There is no such thing as an assault rifle. If there were, then we would have assault cars, assault knives, assault pencils…….

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