Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanks, but no thanks

Dear Guy at the Gun Store,

Yes, I know you saw me looking at that SKS, and just knew that I'd be better served with an AR-15.  Yes, I know that an internal 10 round magazine just isn't going to cut it against hordes of looters and such. And yeah, I know I can't reload the steel-cased ammunition the SKS shoots.  And yeah, I know that the AR platform is one of the finest infantry rifles ever used.  And I know I should take your advice because you're in the Guard, and you grew up around guns.

But son, listen up:

I was messing around with AR platform rifles while you were trying to figure out how to balance on a bicycle with training wheels.  I've shot M-16-A1's and A-2's, and even messed around with an M-4 once or twice.  I've carried that style of rifle over mountains and rivers, across deserts, and through jungles.  I've spent more time than I care to think about scrubbing, wiping, scraping, and lubricating AR's in one form or another.

I used to teach men and women your age how to shoot M-16's with better technique than "Point it generally downrange and pull the trigger".  Please don't equate your basic training experience with my knowledge of the gun, how to shoot it, and its capabilities.

Now, I know that the AR platform has pretty much been perfected, and a modern example of this design fed good ammunition, kept reasonably clean, and using magazines in good working order will work pretty well under all but the worst conditions.  I also know that a well trained marksman with an AR-15 can blow the balls off a gnat at 300 meters.  I'm also not going to poopoo the 5.56 bullet it fires.  Yeah, it's no .308 or .30-06, but I wouldn't volunteer to get shot with it either.

You see, I don't like AR's for a couple of reasons.  First one is psychological:  I spent way too much time dealing with malfunctions of all types and trying to keep the thing clean to relish the thought of actually owning one.  Second is physical.  It's just not comfortable to me.  You see, I'm a freak with big hands and large arms.  Holding an M-16 to my shoulder just never felt right to me.  And if I'm not comfortable, I'm not going to shoot as often as I ought to with the gun, and I won't enjoy it as much.

And finally, I've just become enamored with older rifles such as the SKS, Mosin-Nagant, and M-1 Garand.  Nothing against the AR-15, which can be a very slick looking gun, but I just like walnut and beech furniture on my guns nowadays.

So I'm going to take the Matthew Quigley approach to this gun type:  I can shoot it, just don't have much use for it.

But please, I didn't mean to offend you when I told you I wasn't interested in the AR.  If that's what you like, be my guest.  What works for me might not work for you, and I'll be the last to try to discourage you from shooting a gun that you like and you can shoot well.  I've just lost interest in the AR-15 for my own use.   But don't let my prejudices against a technology lead you to believe that I'm a Fudd and don't think your platform of choice is any less valid than mine.

Have a good one, and again, thanks for the advice,



Weer'd Beard said...

If you haven't bought an SKS now, do it. They aren't making any more and you'll kick yourself later!

DaddyBear said...

I know. I wish I could find a 59/66 that doesn't have the gas valve assembly bored out during re-arsenaling. It's a pain in the butt to keep replacing stainless steel o-rings to keep it from leaking.

45er said...

Agreed with Weer'd. I have a Norinco that I've had for going on 20 years. Also, I have an AR and I love it, but I can shoot that SKS with stripper clips like no one's business. No one should undersell the SKS in the hands of someone that has a reasonable understanding of how to use it.

TinCan Assassin said...

Hear hear. I lugged an M16A2 around Afghanistan, and shoot it regularly enough for the Guard. I want an SKS too. Just gotta get the scratch.

And you can reload 7.62x39. You just gotta get reloadable ammo. Winchester makes some. So does S&B. And I've even heard tell of people shooting cast bullets out of an SKS.

WV: yadman- the guy who mows your lawn in Massachusetts

Old NFO said...

Meh, I'm the other side of that coin, just don't care for the SKS/AK platform, shot em, been shot at by em, and no love lost. I prefer an accurate weapon (M-1 Carbines aside), and have an AR platform since it 'fits' me... But your point is well made, too many times the younger gun store guys think the know all.

DaddyBear said...

Honestly, his points were all good, but I think I ran into the opposite of a Fudd with this guy. He was so far to the other side that he pretty much looked down on anything that wasn't a modern sporting rifle like the AR.

I regret selling my Yugo SKS a couple of years ago. It was reasonably accurate at the ranges I want to shoot, but I just couldn't get it to work properly in semi. The gas valve had been cleaned with a router bit when it was re-arsenaled, so I couldn't get it to seal. It made for a great straight pull bolt action, though.

NFO, I think you made the right point that I couldn't articulate: Shoot what fits you and you enjoy.

But I'll never tell someone to not get an AR if they want one. I freely admit that the AR is a great gun for plinking, defense, or hunting. It's just not for me.

Duke said...

I do like the SKS as far as being rugged. I have a Yugo, not the prettiest gun but it functions well.

Anonymous said...

My SKS is sick...goes "click" no "boom"..
Firing pin is fine, not sure what the problem is yet. Have torn it apart cleaned and all that good stuff..Trigger assembly seems fine...But have some suspicions about that..

Other then that enjoy it much...when I can get it away from my boys to shoot the dang thing!!!

AR Platform? I am just a poor white boy!!!!??
SKS! Mosin! That be me!!
And I have one of them there Tapco 20 round clips for my SKS....slick..

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