Finding an AR-15 at an affordable price can be quite a chore. In fact, just finding an AR-15 can be difficult. There is a serious run on guns as a result of Barack Obama's re-election and pledges of more gun control by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV).
Thus, for Americans looking for their first AR-15 but having difficulty obtaining it, here's a question -- Why not look at an AK-47 or an SKS as a viable option?
Although much maligned by the mainstream media for no reason other than it was malign-able, the AK-47 is a remarkably dependable rifle which was first developed by the Soviets in the late 1940s. Created for military use at that time, variants of it are produced and used by military's around the world, including forces within the Islamic world.
Civilian versions of the gun are just like civilian variants of the AR-15 in that they are semi-automatic -- NOT FULL AUTO -- and they can be used in conjunction with magazines that come in various configurations: 10 round mags, 15 round mags, 30 round mags, etc.
Although the recoil of an AK-47 is slightly greater than that of the AR-15, it is by no means significant enough to keep the gun from being enjoyed by males and females, and even children who shoot the gun under adult supervision.
The other good news about an AK-47 -- you can get one for less than half of what you'd pay for an AR-15 right now.
Now for the SKS.
Vietnam Veterans can tell you about SKS rifles. They were cheaper guns produced by the communist world and used by North Vietnamese soldiers and the Viet Cong. And by cheap I do not mean junky. Rather, I mean an SKS is a no frills rifle that will shoot every time you pull the trigger. Whether you're pulling the trigger after the gun has been covered in mud, dropped in the snow, or simply not cleaned for years, the gun is notoriously reliable.
Like AK-47s, civilian versions of SKS rifles can take magazines in various configurations and the recoil of the gun is more than bearable.
This is a gun that a father and son can take out to the mountains or the range on a Sunday afternoon and make some memories by shooting up cans and targets, or coyotes and rabbits (in states where shooting coyotes and rabbits with such a gun is legal).
The good news - an SKS is only 2/3 the price of an AK-47. The bad news, finding one has become increasingly difficult.
Like the AR-15, ammo for the AK-47 and SKS can be purchased in bulk from various distributors online. It is not the same ammo an AR-15 shoots, but the prices for it in bulk are very similar.
However, readers should note that the ammo for all three guns is getting as hard to find as the guns themselves.