AI4FR Virtual Militaria Items Tour 

Russian Items

 

This SKS is a Russian semi-automatic carbine, designed in 1945 by Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov. It is formally known as the Samozaryadniy Karabin sistemi Simonova(Self-loading Carbine, Simonov's system 1945), or SKS 45. It was originally planned to serve as the new standard issue weapon for the Soviet military forces, alongside Mikhail Kalashnikov's new AK-47 design and was set to replace the Mosin-Nagant series of bolt-action rifles and carbines that had been in service since 1891 and chambered for the expensive 7.62 x 54 mm round. 

As mass production of AK-47 rifles increased, the SKS carbine was soon phased out of first line service. The carbine was quickly replaced entirely by the AK-47, but remained in second-line service for decades afterwards, and remains a ceremonial arm even today. The SKS was widely exported and produced by the former Eastern Bloc nations, as well as China, where it was designated the "Type 56" (and, in modified form, the "Type 68"), East Germany as the "Karabiner S" and in North Korea as the "Type 63". It is popular today on the civilian surplus market in many countries. The SKS is chambered for the 7.62 x 39 mm round, an intermediate cartridge which went on to be used in the Kalashnikov-series weapon. 

From the photograph on the right we can tell that this SKS was manufactured in 1951 at the Tula arsenal. If one looks closely, under the Tula arsenal marking(Star) a box with a diagonal line through it can be seen. This indicates that this SKS has been arsenal refurbished some time in its history.  

The photograph on the left is a view of the side of this SKS. Here we can see the bolt with the round handle on it as well as the trigger and magazine assembly. The picture on the right shows us a view of the barrel. Above it is the gas chamber that is needed to cycle the bolt. Below the barrel we can see the fold out bayonet in the closed position.

  

  

The picture on the left is a view of the rear of the stock. Here we can see the rifle talking to us again. We can see the Tula manufacturers mark as well as where the old serial numbers have been stamped out and a new set applied. This tells us that this stock has also been arsenal refurbished like the barrel and receiver and that at one time the stock was actually on a different SKS.

The picture on the right is of the buttplate. The large round hole in the center is for a cleaning kit. The latch is spring loaded to keep it shut. To remove the cleaning kit , all one needs to do is to simply push in on the round cover. During the Viet-Nam war, this cleaning kit compartment was used as a booby trap and filled with explosives.

  

Resource:

The SKS Carbine by Steve Kehaya and Joe Poyer

The Mosin Nagant rifle by Terence W. Lapin

The standard directory of proof marks by Gerhard Wirnsberger

Official guide to gunmarks by Robert Balderson  

Handbook of military rifle marks 1866-1950 by Richard Hoffman & Noel Schott  

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