You may believe the AK-47 to be the ‘world’s most reliable assault weapon’ or maybe the United States produced M-16? How about the Famas by Nexter from France? Many styles of assault weaponry – such as the bullpup – are headed into a large heap of controversy with the new years to come. The way society depicts strict gun laws, only knowledge is power! Today we’ll be discussing the differences, both pros and cons, of the soviet SKS and the American AR-15.
The American made, late 1950’s designed AR-15, or M16 (adopted by the U.S. military under that name) is a lightweight, accurate, and long-ranged assault rifle. “The AR-15 was designed by Armalite [L. James Sullivan, Robert Fremont, and Eugene Stoner of the Fairchild Armalite corporation] to meet the US Army requirement for a new assault rifle, chambered for a new intermediate cartridge. It was adopted by the US Army as the M16 and became a standard issue infantry weapon.”1 As the standard infantry weapon, the AR-15 became very common and was loved amongst our boys in camouflage. This 5.56mm design was based on the heavier, AR-10 model, which both the AR-10 & 15 model rights were sold from ArmaLite to Colt in 1959. It wasn’t until late 1963 that Colt starting selling the semi-automatic version of the M-16, and trademarked the term “AR15 or AR-15” as to skyrocket in the firearm industry.
- Lightweight (due to its’ Aircraft-grade 7075-T6 forged aluminum receiver, the AR-15 weighed only up to 6 lbs with a standard empty clip)
- Accurate (it’s high-velocity lightweight 5.56x45mm or .223 round can travel distances up to 4-5 miles at optimum angle of elevation (~40 degrees))
- Rail-system offers extreme customizability
- Possible Jam/Malfunction due to Gas-Operating system
- Light bullet weight (over-penetration through walls/persons)
The Soviet, semi-automatic carbine was first designed in 1943, as the acronym SKS was short for Samozaryadnyj Karabin sistemy Simonova. Producer, Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov was short to see that the AK-47 would provide dominance for russian firepower in the 1950’s, during the beginning of the Cold War. The SKS fell flat to be rebuilt time and time again. “1949 was the first year production and had black-spike type of bayonet on the early version. Rebuilt 1949’s had a blade type of bayonet replacing the spike. Most of the replacement bayonets were a silver finish but a black blade did exist. Most other characteristics are the same for 1949-1950 except for the gas block. Starting in 1950 several variations can be found in regards to markings and different types of latches. 1951 saw the introduction of a chrome lined barrel and late in the year a change in the bolt design. 1952 was a transition year where the trigger group, bayonet lug and adapter and the rear sight base underwent some changes. 1953 to 1956 encountered basically no changes in design. The Tula star on the receiver was believed to be used late in 1955 or early on in 1956.”2 The 10-round internal box magazine on the SKS can be reloaded via ‘stripper clip’ or by hand. The SKS has been prone to variation for several years after production, including the Chinese, and German models respectively.
- Large round (7.62x39mm)
- Reliable in original state
- Quickly replaced by the AK-47 in Russian Infantry
- Not inherently accurate
- Short stock
1 ”Top 10 Assault Rifles” http://www.military-today.com/firearms/top_10_assault_rifles.htm
2 “Yooper John’s SKS Pages” http://www.yooperj.com/SKS.htm