SKS History

SKS History: The Birth of the Legendary Firearm

In 1945, a Soviet weapons designer named Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov designed one of the most influential weapons in firearms history. Named the Samozaryadnyj Karabin sistemy Simonova, this semi-automatic rifle has been arguably considered one of the fathers of all modern semi-automatic rifles made by one of the fathers of all modern semi-automatic rifles. This marked the official start of SKS history, as well as the beginning of all modern rifles to come.

SKS History

SKS History


During the course of World War II, it was not long until the Russian soldiers realized that the standard rifles, like the Mosin-Nagant, were just too cumbersome and recoil-y and yet their bullets can be made to work on a medium-sized machine-gun in close-range combat with at least a hundred-meter range. That was when Russia, Germany, and the United States of America have simultaneously decided to participate in the race to develop their very own semi-automatic rifle. The Germans ended up producing the Maschinenkarabiner, or the machine-carbine, while the United States made the 0.30 Carbine and the M1. In 1945, a number of the prototype weapons made by Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov were tested against the Germans. These were later known as the SKS.

The SKS was legitimately mass-produced in the Soviet Army in 1949. The main dealers were the Tula Armory, which produced the unit from 1949 to 1955, and the Izhevsk Mechanical plant, which had the unit on sale from 1953 to 1954. Looking at the number of years, why did the Russians phase out the unit early?

In all honesty, even though the SKS was flawlessly produced, but it did not fulfill the high expectations of the Russians. A similar design named the Kalashnikov masked the importance of the SKS due to the following reasons: first of all, it was selective-fire unlike the SKS; secondly, it could amazingly carry three times the magazine capacity compared to that of the SKS; and lastly, it was lighter than the SKS. Truth be told, the SKS was only actually produced to “fill the gap” in the Soviet’s firearm production. The operating mechanism and the manufacturing techniques were actually redirected to the monster that made the most impact in firearm history.

Ironically, this became the most important event in SKS history. The SKS actually paved the way to the creation of the AK-47, which is considered one of the most popular and most dependable assault rifles in world history. During the time that the SKS was adopted by the Soviet Army, the Russians were actually testing the AK-47 behind-the-scenes, so that when it wasn’t effective, they could fallback to the SKS.

Even at the inception of the AK-47 into the hall of fame, SKS history has continued to live on. At this day and age, many armies in the third-world countries still consider this gun a reliable weapon in their own fights. But most importantly, even today the ceremonial Russian guards called during very notable commemorations still make use of this unit in order to honor its significance in weapons history.

One Response to “SKS History”

  1. Jerry Proctor says:

    I have two SKS rifles, one used and one new, and both in excellent shape. I disassemble them at intervals to clean and lubricate them, and it is apparent from close inspection that the SKS is a quality rifle upon which a great deal of skilled manufacture was expended.

    Both are in as-issued condition with no additional claptrap such as paratrooper stocks or pistol grips. Because of the vagaries of international trade I suspect both are of Chinese origin. They came in after Nixon’s ping pong diplomacy, after which China flooded this country with old Mauser 98s captured from the Germans in Russia during WWII.

    Your history has been helpful. I always suspected that the SKS was the inspiration for Kalashnikov’s AK-47. But in TV interviews Kalashnikov took total credit for his rifle and did not mention Simonov’s contribution.

Leave a Reply