AK47 vs SKS: Difference and Comparison

An assault rifle refers to any of the median-range, magazine-fed military rifles. They can be set on automatic or semiautomatic firing.

AK 47 and SKS are two Russian assault rifles designed post World War 2 and are widely used worldwide. These were created for the firing of the same median cartridge.

The round is 7.62 x 39mm and is a powerful operative man-stopper. The round works outstandingly well in both AK 47 and SKS.

The two rifles have mostly nothing in common except the round and date of design.  If we compare both rifles, we understand their strengths and weaknesses, which helps us to know them better.

Both rifles are semi-automatic and recoil-operated, and they can work well in unfavorable conditions as they are created just to keep shooting. Basically, both are dependable in every situation.

Key Takeaways

  1. AK47 is a gas-operated, selective-fire assault rifle with a detachable box magazine developed by Mikhail Kalashnikov.
  2. SKS is a semi-automatic carbine designed by Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov, featuring a fixed, internal magazine.
  3. Both rifles originated in the Soviet Union but differ in design, firing mechanism, and magazine capacity.

AK47 vs. SKS

The AK-47 is a selective-fire assault rifle designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It is known for its reliability and simplicity of operation. The SKS is a semi-automatic rifle designed in the Soviet Union in 1943, chambered for the 7.62×39mm round.

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Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonAK47SKS
Designed byMikhail T Kalashnikov designed AK 47.Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov designed SKS.
Designed inAK 47 was designed in the year 1947.SKS was designed in the year 1945.
ReliabilityMore reliable.Less reliable.
Number of bulletsThe cartridges of AK 47 can have 30 bullets.The cartridges of SKS can have 10 bullets.
UsageNormal individuals cannot use AK 47. They can be used for military purposes only.SKS can be used by individuals also.


What is AK47?

AK-47 is also known as Kalashnikov Model 1947. It is an assault rifle that is widely used all over the world as a shoulder weapon.  

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It is considered the standard infantry gun for 106 countries. ‘Avtomat Kalashnikova’ is what AK stands for; in Russian, it means “automatic Kalashnikov.”

It was designed by Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov in 1947. He was a tank commander in World War 2 in the Red Army.

He made the first real mid-range infantry rifle known as StG 44. The assault rifle of the Soviet Army was AK- 47 in 1949.

When the AK-47 is set in a fully automatic setting, it can fire 600 rounds per minute. It is considered one of the most destructive weapons ever built.

It has more kill count than nuclear weapons. AK-47 guns may be inexpensive in some places around the world.

However, it can be expensive in places away from the production centers. Since it is available worldwide and is durable, AK 47 is considered a great weapon for military purposes, terrorists, or even other illegal organizations.


What is SKS?

The SKS is also known as Samozaryadny Karabin sistemy Simonova. It was designed by Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov in 1945.

It was designed interim between a typical assault rifle and a sniper rifle. It is a semi-automatic rifle having a cartridge of 10 bullets.

Because of its limited bullets number of 10, it was not used much in the Soviet Military. However, it is still a dependable, versatile, and high-powered weapon.

The SKS has the same 7.62×39-millimeter cartridge as the AK 47.


Main Differences Between AK47 and SKS

  1. AK 47 was created by Mikhail T Kalashnikov in 1947, whereas SKS was created by Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov in 1945.
  2. Each cartridge of AK 47 can hold about 30 bullets. On the other hand, in SKS, the number of bullets is limited, and the cartridge can hold only 10 bullets.  This can be measured as three times better.
  3. AK 47 is mainly used for military purposes, and normal individuals are prohibited from using it. SKS can be used for military purposes as well as by normal individuals.
  4. AK 47 is more reliable than SKS because of its great loose design.
  5. In combats, AK 47 has mostly replaced SKS.
  6. The SKS rifle has better accuracy as compared to the AK 47as. SKS has a longer sight radius, and it is easy to target. This is so because SKS has a 20 inches long barrel whereas AK 47 has a 16 inches long barrel.
  7. The safety in SKS is much better than in AK 47, as in the SKS rifle, it is located in the trigger guard. On the other hand, AK 47 has a huge piece of steel that slips up or down.
  8. AK 47 is easier to use and clean than SKS, as it can be cleaned easily by breaking up the parts.
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Difference Between AK47 and SKS

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Ej23CwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA4&dq=AK47+and+SKS&ots=lSwX5ICU1H&sig=kVY3hM_OR1NpBkRS04e0Sptx9bA
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0196064496700628

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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25 thoughts on “AK47 vs SKS: Difference and Comparison”

  1. I’m struggling to see the relevance of delving into technical specifics of these rifles. This level of detail may not be suitable for all readers.

    • I understand your point, Mknight. While the technical details may not interest some, they hold value for enthusiasts and researchers.

  2. This article provides a comprehensive comparison of AK-47 and SKS. The historical and technical details are extremely valuable.

  3. The article provides an in-depth understanding of the AK-47 and SKS. The technical delineations are indeed thought-provoking.

  4. The analytical breakdown of the AK-47 and SKS provides a comprehensive perspective on these rifles’ design and functionality.

  5. An exhaustive analysis of the AK-47 and SKS rifles. The detailed comparison truly enlightens readers about the nuances of these iconic firearms.

  6. An intriguing exploration of the AK-47 and SKS rifles. The historical context and operational differences are compelling.

  7. An insightful analysis of the AK-47 and SKS rifles. I appreciate the nuanced comparison to understand their respective strengths and limitations.


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