should i buy an SKS, AK-47 or AR-15 rifle?

the cheaper the better, but not if it is total garbage. The purpose of owning one for me is to have a assault rifle before they are illegal. i want something that can pack a punch when the world goes to crap so i can defend my family. yes, the purpose would be to kill, so go somewhere else hippies, this is a hypothetical situation i would like to be prepared for if it ever happens.

51 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The AK-47 is “simply” the best weapon for “firepower on a budget”.

    This quote is coming from a person who prefers the AR family of weapons. Being a respected gun enthusiast, three friends recently asked me for advice on this very same question. Here is the advice I gave them regarding these two types of rifles and their decision:


    The AR platform is versatile and can be modified as your skill set, purpose or budget change. Although, the principle design of the AR rifles are the same as its original inception (1950s), they have been substantially improved over the years and so has the ammunition. There is a myriad of choices today regarding AR’s from calibers, barrels, gas operation or piston and etc. making the decision about the AR platform as complicated as choosing between an AK and AR type rifle. Nevertheless, I suspect the question you want answered is what are the comparative advantages of these two rifles and how much will they cost?

    First time buyers looking for an AR should purchase a “QUALITY” AR-15 from a reputable manufacture chambered in 5.56 NATO. You should expect to pay upward of $800. Purchasing a low quality AR or building an AR from a kit for a "first-time buyer" will spell disaster and cost you money later. The benefits you get from purchasing a completed rifle are the MFG warranty and assurance of a properly configured and functioning rifle (which you can later modify). I can guarantee that any owner of a quality built AR will tell you without regrets that it is well worth the additional cash. If you don’t have the money for a quality AR DON’T buy one!

    The benefits of the AR-15 are well known. They are lighter ergonomic rifles that are modular, accurate & precise with low recoil. In addition the 5.56 NATO round has a flatter trajectory which enables less experienced shooters to hit their targets with less compensation for bullet drop. At the range this means you will have a competitive advantage in hitting smaller or further targets than a counter-part with an AK-47. In a firefight, this translates to quicker shot succession with an advantage of hitting a partially concealed adversary (which should be expected). After all, putting lead on your target first is what wins a firefight not ballistic superiority. Lastly, with “tender-loving-care” the AR-15 is just as reliable and dependable as the AK-47.

    AK-47 RIFLES

    Where the AR-15 has finesse, the AK-47 makes up the difference with its sheer simplicity, ruggedness and affordability. Despite, the accuracy and recoil disadvantages, the AK-47 will still deliver lead on the target almost as fast as the AR-15. The reason is that most firefight scenarios happen within the effective range of the AK-47. (This will be especially true for home defense or SHTF situations.)

    The AK-47 also has a significant ballistic advantage over the AR-15 (at the cost of slightly increased recoil). The advantage is the 7.62x39mm round which can penetrate soft-to-medium barriers with less deflection than the 5.56. This is important in an urban environment as you may be required to shoot at adversaries in vehicles, behind brush, fences and etc. Basically, in close range firefights between the AK-47 and AR-15 you will be on equal terms with the "trump card" being training & marksmanship skills. However, the greater the distance the greater the advantage will be for an adversary armed with an AR-15.

    Nevertheless, the biggest advantage the AK-47 has is that the ammunition, magazines and rifle are significantly cheaper than a “quality” AR. (A year ago a good AK could be purchased for about $250 - $300 now they are around $450 - $600 due to a spike in demand based on the election). Despite the spike in price I don’t think there are many firearms that can compare to the amount of firepower per dollar that the AK delivers.

    In conclusion what did my three friends decide on? Two purchased AKs and the other an AR-15. All three are happy with their decisions.

    What is my choice for a go-to rifle? That would be my AR-10 which is chambered for 7.62 x 51mm NATO and set me back just over $3,500 for my configuration. (Sticker shock is the price you pay for quality optics!)

    BTW: I didn’t mention the SKS because you said you didn’t want junk (although they are cheap avoid the temptation!). The AK is unquestionably the superior rifle compared to the SKS.

    • Newman5 years agoReport

      this junk ak47 available for terrorist all over the world , military wont get any competitive edge over enemy , i prefer india must go with ak 15 or m16 , but it is expensive , i dont know they can afford

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  • 3 years ago


    Source(s): Nice Woodworking Plans
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  • 1 decade ago

    Depends. An ar15 is generally more expensive than an ak47. And ak quality depends on the country. For instance everyone who owns a bulgarian ak usually loves them. The Romanian WASR-10 is the cheapest you can get and quality varies. You usually get mixed reviews on them. Plus there are so many other countries that make them: Russia, China, Yugoslavia, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Finland, America (yes there are companies that make all American part ak variants) I think I'm missing some. You also have to take into account the make. The sks is more accurate but doesn't have a detachable magazine. I would get all three and start pouring money into ammo. But first get an ak and then a stripped ar receiver as it will be a bit easier getting partd than the entire rifle. AR Uppers won't don't count as a firearm.

    Source(s): "Bitter"
    • Billy5 years agoReport

      An SKS isn't a piece of junk. It's a solid rifle and is fun to buid on. It's accuracy of 7.62×39 is better than AK47. BTW, take a moment to Google image "SKS Bullpup" than take a moment slap yourself in face, because that beaut!

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  • Anonymous
    3 years ago


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  • 6 years ago

    I've shot the M-16A2, M-16A3, M-4A2, AK-47, and i own an SKS and an AK-74. If you want affordability, reliability, ease of use, simple maintenance, and firepower, you should go with the AK-47. If you want accuracy, customization, light weight, controllable fire, and have the money you should go with the AR.

    When I was doing marksman eval at basic, I used the M-16A2, I shot a 35/50 with 7 jams, I was shooting right handed even when my right eye had horrible vision and I wasn't able to shoot 5 of those 7 jams. When I did my second marksman eval, I used the M-16A3 and shot 38/50 with 1 jam. Again, I was shooting right handed. For my third marksman eval I was shooting the M-4A2 and hit a 68/70 shooting left handed with no malfunctions. Even when we got to let loose on the targets at the end, I ran 5 full mags through it on burst without any problem and put 130 of those rounds in the silhouette at 25m.

    On the other hand, I've shot 2 different AK-47s, the owner of one told me that he has never cleaned his since purchase, neither had any malfunctions as expected even when we ran though more than 500 rounds on the dirty one and ~300 on the cleaner one. Since my grandfather gave me the SKS, I've only had a feeder jam once. My AK-74 has operated flawlessly even if I've ran a total of 3 tuna cans(1 tuna can is 1080 rounds) through it. In the shop we've done a price comparison with the AR side of the shop. they were spending $1000+ on their ARs and I spent $800 on my AK. Granted mine is more reliable by its construction alone, but the high end ARs like Adams Arms ARs can be as reliable as AKs, but will run you up to $1600 for the upper alone. My '74 with all the attachments and furniture modification has put to a total of about $1200 which is about the price of a mid-good grade AR.

    The reason I would prefer the AK family over the AR is, lets say civilization has melted down and you end up having to survive off the land and protect your area. Cleaning kits aren't readily available and you inevitably end up having to get your rifle dirty. That's where the AK thrives, it's more than easy to maintain and disassemble, you can abuse it beyond any other rifles breaking point and it will still operate, most AK parts that aren't relevant to the round size whether they are from the AK-47 or 74 are interchangeable, and AKs have more variants than ARs, ex. the VEPRs are marksman style AKs.

    If you want the accuracy of an AR and the ease and reliability of the AK, do what I did and go for the AK-74. The 5.45x39 may not have the stopping power of the AK-47, but it has the perks of both ARs and AKs. Plus the 5.45x39 has slightly better ballistics than the .223. Since I've bought my '74, I've never felt like I didn't get my moneys worth out of it.

    Source(s): I've shot all three type rifles and own 2 of those types.
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  • DJ
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Semi-auto civilian AK-47s and AR-15s are NOT "Assault Rifles" by definition. While they look the same and take some of the same parts, a semi-auto version will not fire in fully automatic mode which is a required feature of a true assault rifle.

    The SKS is not and has never been an assault rifle. It is only a semi-auto carbine with the same functionality as a semi-auto hunting rifle.

    The difference between these three rifles is great, whith the biggest being price. An SKS can be had for about $250, an AK for $500 and an AR you are looking at $750 up.

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  • 5 years ago

    You first have to decide what you want it for. Do you want accuracy or dependability? AK will fire almost anything you feed it as long as it's 7.62. AR is a more popular choice due to the wide range of things you can do with it, they also tend to be more accurate and have better distance. Think about what you are using it for and start from there. I wouldn't go SKS at all. Some feel that AR tend to have lee reliability, but use good parts put money in to it and don't cheap your way through it and you won't have issues.

    Source(s): I have one cheap AR that I'm upgrading and one that I'm building from scratch. I have put many rounds down range with SKS's and AK's.
    • You shot 50 targets in BCT?..... nope

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  • 1 decade ago

    Obviously the best choice would be to get all three of the rifles you've mentioned.

    Can't go wrong with any of them, if you just want a military-style rifle to throw in the closet.

    Obviously the AR-15 clones will cost the most and be the most accurate.

    The AK clones will be midpoint in cost, and are very reliable.

    The SKS, while being ugly, is also very reliable, relatively cheap, and accurate enough to deer hunt with. I've shot two deer with them, and both deer went right down. Nice for deer hunting when you're hunting in a sloppy, muddy rainy environment and you don't want to drag the expensive rifles through the mud.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If you want quality and accuracy go AR15, if you want economy and ruggedness, go for the AK, if you want economy and, well, more economy, go for the SKS. The SKS really shouldn't be included alongside the AK and AR. It was intended to be a battle rifle, not an assault rifle. Although you can dress up an SKS with fancy stocks and high capacity magazines, they are not what I'd call reliable additions to the gun. These additions are more for playing around than for serious use.

    Assault Rifles


    I think We ALL KNOW BY NOW that semi automatics are not "Assault rifles" - and damn the media for confusing the issue yadda yadda, yadda. However the full auto counterparts of the AR and the AK ARE considered "assault rifles" and in CASUAL CONVERSATION between PRO-GUN parties I believe that refering to the semi-auto versions as such is easier than using much longer terminology which ends up requiring further un-necessary explaination, and involves an experienced gun person telling a "new recruit" that they're WRONG, and that they DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT is counterproductive to our cause and recruitment of future "experts". Do you want to firmly convince the PRO-GUN newbie that to be an expert you also have to be a stickler for terminology AMONG FRIENDS and a reactive jerk?

    A HOUSE DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF SHALL FALL. To have that happen under the pretext of "proper useage of terminology" is the worst sort of folly, guys.

    Source(s): 31 years firearms experience
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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    should i buy an SKS, AK-47 or AR-15 rifle?

    the cheaper the better, but not if it is total garbage. The purpose of owning one for me is to have a assault rifle before they are illegal. i want something that can pack a punch when the world goes to crap so i can defend my family. yes, the purpose would be to kill, so go somewhere else hippies,...

    Source(s): buy sks ak 47 ar 15 rifle:
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