I agree, the AR does make more sense for the "just in case" rifle here. I almost bought one the other day, a LGS had a S&W-made carbine version for $500 with some kind of mall ninja sighting device bolted on top of it. Unlike x39, .223 ammo is everywhere now, but I already have a good stash of Norinco 7.62x39 silver box stuff, even though I haven't had anything in this caliber for years. So, while I was doing some reading on the AR somebody bought it.... As far as SKS goes, I prefer the Chinese version with milled TG and spike bayonet. Long ago, when I was into the Russian firearms and SKS could be had for around two bills, I had plenty of them to compare one against the other. On average I found the Chinese to be more accurate, slimmer, lighter and it didn't have that annoying habit of doubling the shots that the Russians seem to have (yes, I always cleaned the FP channel). Nowadays, you'd be lucky to find a good SKS for under $600, but I'd still buy one over an AR. I just don't like a free-floating bolt handle. I used to be into FN-FAL rifles and gave up on them for that very reason.