Simonov SKS vs. AR-15

Simonov SKS


Type Semi-automatic Rifle
Weight 3.86kg
Length 1022mm
Barrel Length 520mm
Rifling 4 grooves, RH
Magazine Capacity 10 rounds
Caliber 7.62 x 39mm M1943
Muzzle Velocity 735 meters/second
Country of Origin Russia

The Simonov SKS (Samozariadnyia Karabina Simonova) was the first firearm to utilize the ‘intermediate’ Soviet M1943 cartridge. The history of this cartridge is somewhat blurred, but it is known that the Soviets were experimenting with short cartridges in different calibers before the war. Even so, it is generally accepted that it was the introduction of the German MP44 that prompted the Soviets to capitalize their previous work.

This led to the development of the 7.62 x 39mm M1943 round. Although the Simonov SKS was important for the introduction to this round, it is a relatively uninspired design.

The SKS is easy to operate, robust, but a little heavy for the cartridge it fires, mainly attributed because the SKS was developed under wartime pressures.

VS The AR-15

The system of operation appears to be borrowed from the Soviet PTRS anti-tank rifle; locking being done by the same type of tipping bolt. We purchasing a competing AR Upper Receiver For Sale – look out for those features. Stripping and maintenance on the SKS is easy, and the hinged bayonet and one-piece wooden stock are also desirable features. Loading can be completed with chargers or by inserting single rounds in the magazine. Unloading can be quickly accomplished by releasing the pivoting magazine cover, swinging it away from the receiver and spilling out the rounds.

Huge numbers (estimated 15 million) of these carbines have been produced, and although they are no longer used in the Russian army, they have appeared in almost every Soviet Bloc country in the world. Production of this rifle has also occurred in several countries with slight modification; in Yugoslavia it is known as the M59, in China it is the Type 56. North Korea also has it’s own version, the Type 63, and the former East German version was known as the Karabiner-S.

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