A Comparison Between the SKS and the Kel-Tec SUB-2000

How would they compare in a TEOTWAWKI situation?

This is the Kel-Tec SUB-2000 (9mm) Carbine

This is the SKS Carbine (7.62x39 Caliber)
Comparing the SKS to the Kel-Tec SUB-2000
Cartridge 7.62x39 9mm
Ammo Cost $30 per 100 $17 per 100 (FMJ)
Ammo Power 124 grains/2300 fps 115 grains/1400 fps
Capacity 10 (or 20 with
Tapco mag)
10-30 round mags
Accuracy 2-6 inches at 100 yards 2-6 inches at 100 yards
Pistol Grip no, however aftermarket
polymer stocks are available
Made by Eastern Europe Nations
and China
Made in USA
Sales Price $150--$250 Approximately $300
Warranty None Lifetime
Weight 9 pounds 4 pounds
Length 40 inches 17" folded
29.5" unfolded
Sights notch and post and
other sights are available
peep sight and post
Stock Furniture Wood or aftermarket polymer Polymer only
Reliability Excellent Excellent
Online information Forums and websites Forums and websites
Collectibility Yes, many variations Not collectible YET
Legality If you modify it,
watch out for BATFE!
Make modifications
all you like
Appearance Standard Mil-surp Modern Hi-Tech

Summary: The SKS is a historic Russian (and later made in other countries) weapon that has seen combat on the battlefields of the world. The 7.62x39 bullet flies much faster than the 9mm bullet, but with rising ammo costs has become twice as expensive to shoot. The SKS is rugged, but if a part DOES need to be replaced, you will be on your own to order a new part from the internet, and install it yourself. The built-in ten round magazine, loaded from above via stripper clips, is considered quite reliable; but after market large cap "duck bill" mags are considered sub-standard, except for the Tapco 20-rounder.

The Kel-Tec SUB-2000 9mm carbine is also a rugged firearm, and operates reliably. If a part DOES break you may send it in to the manufacturer for a cost-free fix or rebuild, or parts may be sent to you for home repair. The Kel-Tec warranty is considered to be as good or better than any other firearm warranty, and it applies for a lifetime to the original owner. The 9mm cartridge is less powerful than the 7.62x39, however it is STILL an adequate cartridge for self defense or shooting predators, and it is half the price to shoot. A typical 9mm bullet fired from a carbine (115 grains at 1400 fps) will be three or four times more powerful that the typical .22 caliber rifle bullet (40 grains at 1100 fps), so it's nothing to sneer at.

Neither carbine is a "tack driver," but both are accurate enough for effective firing at distances of up to 100 yards. At ranges over 100 yards, the 7.62x39 will definitely retain its velocity better than any 9mm round; and at the 200 yard range hits harder than a 30-30 hunting rifle, due to the better aerodynamics of the bullet. The SKS will likely still be "minute of man" accurate at 200 yards, with a flatter trajectory than a 9mm bullet.

If you are attracted by the historical aspect of firearms, then the SKS will suit you better than the SUB-2000. There are many varieties of SKS available for collectors. They are classifed "Curio or Relic" by the federal BATFE. On the other hand, if you just want a practical knock-about carbine that will last a lifetime, be cheap to shoot, and will cost nothing for repairs, you can't beat the SUB-2000. The pistol grip and shorter length of the SUB-2000 may also make it easier to handle, and thus a better "in the home" defense rifle than the SKS. The SUB-2000 will also be quicker to reload. Note also, if you require just a little more fire-power, the 40SW caliber Kel-Tec SUB-2000 carbine may be purchased for the same price.

The SUB-2000 has two additional advantages over the SKS:

First, the SUB-2000 is obviously MUCH more portable. Its weight is less than half of the weight of the SKS. If you will be carrying your carbine very far, the lighter weight will be much appreciated. The ability of the SUB-2000 to fold up into a 16" x 7" package makes it remarkably easy to carry in a brief case or something similar. It is HANDY.

Second, the magazines of the SUB-2000 are interchangeable with many models of semi-auto pistols, including GLOCK, Beretta and Smith and Wesson.

In an out-in-the-woods rough-and-tumble survival situation the SKS would undoubtedly be a more durable firearm than the SUB-2000. An SKS is all wood and steel and rugged. Stripper clips are smaller and lighter than magazines, and can handle abuse a bit better. You can carry a few more stripper clips than you can magazines, and stripper clips are MUCH cheaper. The bayonet and solid wood stock means that the SKS can be used in hand to hand combat.

However, the Kel-Tec SUB-2000 would shine in an urban survival setting. An SKS is a very long gun, and it's not well suited to "close quarters combat." If you're looking for a brush-cutting, deer-sniping type of gun, the SKS is the one. But for short-range urban combat, especially indoors, the SUB-2000 will be more deployable. The SKS must be reloaded after ten shots. You may use 17 round flush fit magazines in the SUB-2000, or even 30 round magazines.

For more information about the Kel-Tec SUB-2000, try this compendium page.

For more information about the SKS, and other military surplus rifles, CLICK HERE.