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Difference Between SKS and AK-47

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The SKS and AK-47 are two weapons that have been used in battle for decades. They are both Soviet-made, but the difference between these two rifles is vast. The SKS is a rifle that was designed in 1944 while the AK-47 was created in 1947. Both these guns are known for their reliability, but there are some differences worth noting if you want to really find out what separates these two machines!

The SKS is a rile that was designed by Sergei Simonov for the Soviet Union. The AK-47, on the other hand, was designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov and first used in 1947. One of the major differences between these two rifles is that an SKS has more range than an AK-47 because it features a longer barrel.

What is an SKS?

An SKS is a rifle that was created in the Soviet Union and designed for shooting at close & medium range. It does not have to be reloaded as frequently because it can hold up to ten rounds of ammunition. In addition, this gun has been used by many countries throughout the world on account of its reliability and accuracy.

What is an AK-47?

The AK-47 stands for Avtomat Kalashnikova, which means automatic Kalashnikov in Russian. This weapon features a shorter barrel than an SKS and also comes with a folding stock so that it can more easily fit into a bag or backpack while being transported. Like an SKS, these weapons are also known for their reliability and accuracy when shooting at close range.

Differences Between An SKS & AK-47

Feed System

One of the major differences between an SKS and AK-47 is that an SKS holds a 10 round clip and an AK-47 holds 30 rounds. The capacity of an AK-47 can be further increased by as much as 70 rounds with the help of high-capacity magazines.


Another difference worth noting, however, is range as an SKS can shoot at long distances due to its size and design. This makes it perfect for hunting or outdoor shooting activities where targets are placed further away from you. On the other hand, an AK-47 features a shorter barrel which means less accuracy when shooting at faraway objects such as animals in the woods. However, these weapons both excel in close-range combat given their easy handling and weight (which varies depending on each model). 


Finally, price is another difference worth noting as an AK-47 tends to be cheaper than its counterpart due to larger demand and availability throughout the world. This makes it easier for countries to source and purchase them in bulk. An SKS, on the other hand, is generally more expensive due to low demand & scarce production.

Comparison Chart: SKS Vs AK-47

Year of design19441947
Weight3.85 Kg (8.5 lbs.)3.9 Kg (8.65 lbs.)
Barrel length520 mm415 mm
Firing Range400 meters350 meters
Magazine Size10 Rounds30 Rounds
Current Usage WorldwideLessMore
SightsUp to 1000 mUp to 800 m
No. of Variants LessMore

Similarities Between an SKS & AK-47

Other than their obvious origins from the Soviet Union, both these weapons are known for their reliability. Which is one of the main reasons they have been used by military forces throughout the world. This includes countries such as China, and North Korea who favor Soviet-based designs over other models. Not only that but both rifles can be easily disassembled to clean them or replace parts if necessary due to wear and tear after extensive use (which make take several years).

These two guns also feature a long barrel with strong rifling at its base making it easier to shoot straight if given proper training & practice before battle commences. Lastly, they both come equipped with iron sights that allow you to sight your targets while shooting accurately without any problems whatsoever.

Amazing Fact

Due to limited magazine rounds & the lack of select-fire ability the SKS was replaced by the AK-47 in the 1950s by the Soviet armed forces.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is SKS more accurate than AK?

Yes, an SKS is generally more accurate than its counterpart given that it has a longer barrel and can shoot at long distances. This makes it a perfect fit for any activity where the focus is more on far away targets rather than close range.

Is AK-47 automatic?

Based on the settings there are both fully & semi-automatic AK-47's in the market. Though for civilians the semi-automatic is sold more. In the US for example, fully automatic AK-47's are completely banned.

Does the SKS and AK-47 use the same ammo?

Yes, both rifles use the same caliber of ammunition (with sometimes a slight variation) and interchangeable magazines in some variants. The cartridge used for both is the same - a 7.62×39 mm round.

Is an SKS a sniper rifle?

No, an SKS is not a sniper but more of a marksman rifle. But can be used for hunting animals in the wild given its effective range when shooting. 

Is AK-47 better than SKS?

While both rifles are known to have their fair share of pros and cons, AK-47 tends to be favored more over SKS due to ease of use, better close-range performance & cheaper price.


These two rifles have many differences but share similar qualities such as accuracy and reliability in close-range combat situations. If range is more important with targets placed away from the shooter, then an SKS would be best suited for this shooting style. Whereas an AK-47 with supreme close-range performance may fit the bill since its shorter length makes it easier to carry when not being used. Either way, both of these weapons are known for their reliability which means that they should be able to get the job done no matter what shooting style is preferred!


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About the Author: Nicolas Seignette

Nicolas Seignette, who holds a scientific baccalaureate, began his studies in mathematics and computer science applied to human and social sciences (MIASHS). He then continued his university studies with a DEUST WMI (Webmaster and Internet professions) at the University of Limoges before finishing his course with a professional license specialized in the IT professions. On 10Differences, he is in charge of the research and the writing of the articles concerning technology, sciences and mathematics.
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