The SKS, or the Samozaryadnyj Karabin sistemy Simonova, is one of the most influential semi-automatic rifles made in history all thanks to a very innovative Soviet weapons designer named Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov. This 1945 classic has been numerously copied and adopted by many countries and companies all around the globe due to its mechanism and innovation. But what is in the SKS design that has provoked many people to relive this legendary gun?
An ordinary SKS made in Russia is a semi-automatic rifle that features a fixed magazine containing ten rounds, which is reloaded from the rifle’s top by either physically placing the bullets inside one round at a time or by utilizing a stripper clip that holds ten rounds. The stripper clips are normally disposable in military issues. The SKS can even be reloaded and reused many times if it is necessary.
Referring to the mechanism of the SKS, this rifle is a weapon that is operated with gas. It works by utilizing gas pressure that pushes against a gas piston rod and a spring-loaded operating rod. The tilting bolt locking system is a helpful feature that maintains the accuracy of this rifle. The SKS also boasts a higher muzzle velocity when compared to the AK-47, a revolutionary assault rifle in its time and also a direct descendant of the SKS, due to the fact that it has a noticeably longer barrel.
In some variants, the SKS design has been modified to accept and recognize the detachable magazines of the AK-47, although this wasn’t successful most of the time. This was due to the fact that a military rifle like the SKS makes use of a fixed magazine that is often prone to feed jams when modified to accept detachable magazines. This feat was actually attempted by Norinco and has succeeded in creating numerous SKS models that accept the detachable magazines of the AK-47. For these models to accept drum magazines, their wood stock must be taken off.
Most SKS variants have a free-floating firing pin inside the bolt of the gun, whereas some earlier Russian SKS models had spring-loaded pins. Due to the intricacy of this design, it must be imperative that the user take caution in cleaning the gun by making sure that the firing pin refrains from fix in the forward direction inside the bolt. When this is not prevented, an accidental slamfire is known to occur, which is an unrestrained high-rate firing that would empty the magazine as the bolt is released.
Some variants feature a chrome-lined variant so that the SKS can tolerate huge amounts of punishment from heat and corrosion. This can help in cleaning the gun, although it can also decrease the accuracy of the gun. Meanwhile, almost all variants feature the distinctive bayonet attachment at the belly of the barrel, which can be a spike or a blade. Most rifles also include a cleaning kit inside the trapdoor in the butt of the stock.
Due to the mentioned features, the SKS design has been favored and copied by many due to its effectiveness and reliability.