AR, AK, or SKS?


Feb 29, 2008
DFW area.....Wylie.
I am thinking about buying my first rifle. I have plenty of pistols and am also a pistol hunter. I am thinking about getting a rifle for plinking, target shooting (non-competitive), and hog hunting (typically 100-250 pound pigs at less than 100 yards). I have only shot rifles a few times and don't know much about them.

I want a semi-auto rifle. I want to be able to do some target shooting, so I don't want something that has special ammo. I am looking for something that is flexible....hunting & target shooting.

I have considered the Benelli R-1, as it looks like a good rifle. I don't want to rule anything out, so I am exploring the AR, AK, and SKS choices. Like I said, I don't know much about them.....besides the SKS's seem to be an old design, the AK's are what our troops are facing, and the AR's are semi-auto versions of our military rifles??? I like the idea of using a military style rifle because of their higher capacities for ammo and the ability to accept lights and such.

What do you guys think? Can I get a Cliff Notes version of pros & cons of these rifles? Is there something else I should consider?

I am planning to budget approx $1000. I don't mind spending more if their benefits justify the additional expense......and I don't mind spending less if I can get a decent shooter.

The floor is have my ears [err, eyes, in this case].


Active Member
Apr 19, 2008
Leon Valley, TX
Handle them all and see what you like better. What you like and what someone recommends may not be the same.

My recommendation would be for an AK-74 variant. Great for plinking/target shooting as it is currently one of the lowest cost rifle round (5.45x39) on the market and it is relatively accurate. I don't have experience with this caliber and hunting but I do believe it would be sufficient. I've read it works well on humans.

YouTube - M16 A1 (5.56mm) vs. AK-74 (5.45mm) [ Test Fire ]

At your price range, you could pick up the rifle and several thousand rounds of ammunition. That is always a plus in my book.


Mar 4, 2008
I have all and the AR is my favorite as I can upgrade and add all kinds of accessories.But the AK shoots cheaper ammo and is easier to strip and clean.If you decide to get a sks then try to get one with a milled reciever as it is a better quality rifle.The Yugo AKs are really nice and are a step up from the Romanian AKs,my next AK is going to be a Polish tantal in 5.45x39.Sorry I cannot choose one but all these rifles are a good choice.


Active Member
Feb 22, 2008
Austin, TX
The AK and SKS are not going to be as accurate as the AR, but they shoot a round that is better for hunting. Not saying you couldn't take a 150-200lb pig with a .223, but the 7.62x39 is a better choice for most game. The task of cleaning an AR is a daunting one if you are not familiar with rifles. The SKS and AK are fairly simple, the AK being the simplest to strip down and clean. My Yugo SKS was nearly impossible to get the trigger group into if I took it out, it required a lot of force. You don't have to clean it often if you don't shoot corrossive ammunition.

As far as the 5.45x39 AKs, I would stay away from them as hunting rifles. I don't know of any soft-tip ammunition for them, and there is no chance of reloading for them in the forseable future.

My pick would be an SKS, it's a little harder to take down than the AK but much less so than the AR. It's in the middle of the other two for accuracy, but it shoots a potent round that should do for most hunting around here.


Active Member
Jun 17, 2008
You supposed to clean an AK :confused:

Well one of these days I'll look into it. Anyhow, what about an AR chambered in a .308 or 7.62X39?


Jun 17, 2008
Houston, TX
Shopping between an AR and an AK/SKS is really comparing apples and oranges. The AR is a much more versital design as you can swap uppers to switch between diferent barrel lengths or calibers. The AK/SKS is designed to be a dirt cheap battle rifle for the communist hordes. Because of the differences in the quality of ammo, the 7.62x39 will be much cheaper to purchase. The .223 / 5.56x45 ammo will be more expensive and more accurate and it is reloadable of you care to do so. The AR will also allow you to buy a .22LR conversion kit and save a ton of money on ammo, but still shoot bigger stuff when you want to.

As for the hunting aspect, either will work well with good ammo. In .223, I recommend the Winchester Power Point 64 gr soft point ammo. It will drop a hog or whitetail inside 100 yards with no problem.


Feb 29, 2008
DFW area.....Wylie.
From what I have read so far, I think I would like to get an AR (for the versatility and accuracy). I see that most of them are .223, is it common to see them in .308? I would probably prefer .308 and I really like the idea of an interchangeable barrel that I could plink .22LR when desired.

What are some of the 'better' brands? Any recommendations?

Enron Exec

Apr 23, 2008
Behind 16 rnds of 9x19mm
The two major 308 AR manufactures are Armalite and DPMS. Id go with the former if u want resale value, but both are good performers.

On the downside, 308 ARs are kinda heavy for hunting IMO, but that s could just be me.

Generally, you wont be able to swap between 308 and 223 uppers on an AR lower.

IMO, and everyone is gonna have a diff one, the best AR manufactures are Noveske, LMT, and then Colt. The differences are somewhat minor in that 95% of most owners wont be able to tell the difference. I love my budget Eagle Arms Armalite, never a hickup in over 2k rnds with over 8 diff kinds of ammo.


Active Member
Jul 20, 2008
Another option is to get a 223 Ar of your liking then buy differient uppers for it in the various calibres you are interested in. You can get uppers in 7.62x39 so you can shoot cheaper milsurp stuff, there are also some in 5.45 if you want to go for cheaper surplus, then for hunting you can swap out for one in 6.8 SPC, or varmit in 204 Ruger, and the list just goes on and on.

Nice thing is since all the sights/scopes/optics/etc are attachde to the upper, you can easiely create a library of sorts of weapons. Only limiting factor is the lower and how you have the stock on it set up. And even now that is getting to the point where you can get several nice adjustable ones that are good for carry and bench shooting.

Not sure if I'll make it to the DFW shoot, but if I'm there I'll have two or three ARs with me, my HK91 and and M1A. The HK91 is weight wise close to a .308 AR. You can try them out and see which you like better.

Or I can maybe meet you some time out at Garland and let you try them out.



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