There's a lot of variables to consider. Different versions of the F-86 have different performance capabilities. For example the F-86F has twice the engine thrust of the F-86A, possibly to address/match the MiG-15's better rate of climb.Originally Posted by sze_j86
From the "bullets" point of view, the F-86A's guns are better suited for dogfight than the MiG-15. The MiG-15's guns were intended to engage large bombers, so they were larger and had slower rate of fire.
For comparison, the F-86A was armed with 6 x 12.7 mm (.50 cal) machineguns. Each gun carried 267 rounds of ammunition and had 1,100 rounds/min rate of fire.
The MiG-15 was armed with 2 x 23mm NR-23 guns and 1 x 37mm N-37 guns. The 23mm guns had 650 rounds/min rate of fire, and the N-37 had 400 rounds/min rate of fire. However the Russians were quite stingy with ammo and only equipped 80 rounds per gun on the 23mm, and 40 rounds on the 37mm.
From ammuntion comparison point of view, although the MiG-15 had bigger and more powerful guns, they were slower and only carried a total of 200 rounds. The F-86 carried about 1,600 rounds of .50 cal ammo.
On flight performance, here's a blurb from another web site:
On paper, the F-86A and the MiG-15 were well matched. The Sabre was somewhat underpowered and the MiG-15 could outclimb it. The Soviet aircraft also was more heavily armed, with two 23-millimeter and one 37-millimeter cannon. The MiG's cannon had a low rate of fire, but it only took a few hits from them to kill a Sabre, while the F-86 six 12.7-millimeter guns lacked hitting power (*). One Soviet MiG-15 pilot who fought in Korea described them contemptuously as "pea-shooters", and USAF pilots reported expending all their ammunition on a MiG, only to watch it fly away. Soviet pilots felt that their machine was more rugged, and believed that many of their aircraft that were credited as "kills" by the Americans actually returned to base and were able to fly again.
On the plus side, the F-86 was well built, and turned and rolled better than the MiG. Its radar gunsight was much superior to the MiG's eyeball gunsight, and if its guns were of relatively small caliber, they were accurate, well focused, and had a high rate of fire.
Sabre pilots also had excellent visibility, sitting high up in a prominent bubble canopy, while MiG pilots sat deeper in their machines. This did give the MiG pilots an advantage of greater protection in air combat, but at the cost of inferior visibility, compounded by the fact that parts of the MiG-15's canopy were prone to fogging.
The MiG-15 had a number of aerodynamic vices. When Chuck Yeager, who evaluated a captured MiG-15, later chatted with a Soviet MiG-bureau engineer during a visit to the USSR, the Soviet engineer was incredulous that Yeager had actually dived in the thing. Unlike the Sabre, the MiG-15 was prone to spins, and recovering from them was difficult.
The MiG's cockpit ergonomics were also inferior. In particular, Soviet pilots were unhappy that there was only one ejection lever. If they were wounded in one arm, they would have to reach across with the other to eject, which put them in a posture that made an ejection injury very possible.
Sabres performed better at low altitudes, MiGs at high. For this reason, fights tended to be brief, since the adversaries would quickly seek the ground where they had the most advantage. The Sabre had been designed primarily for the air superiority role, while the MiG-15 had been designed primarily as a high-altitude bomber destroyer. Each was very well suited to the mission for which it had been specifically designed.
The close balance between the F-86 and the MiG-15 meant that the critical factor in the air battle was pilot training and skill. While there were many skilled Soviet pilots, the Soviets were hampered by the decision to rotate entire units through combat, meaning each new unit had to learn the game all over again. The Americans were in general experienced, and rotated individuals into combat with the help of those that knew the game.
(*) Note: to address the firepower issue on the 12.7mm guns, USAF used armor-piercing incendiary ammo containing magnesium. This made the shots more powerful, but caused poor peformance at high altitude engagements.
Since this IS a Chinese military forum, I'd also add that by the time the ROCAF was using them, they had a leg up on the PLAAF because by then the F-86's were armed with sidewinders.