The SKS, or the Samozaryadnyj Karabin sistemy Simonova, is a historical semi-automatic rifle made by Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov for the Russian Army during the World War II in 1945. It was also arguably considered the most influential rifle, paving the way for many modern rifles to come. However, since its discovery, many SKS variants were made in order to make use of its innovative mechanism. So what were they?
Of course, the original variants were the Russian SKS variants mass-produced from 1949 to 1951. The early models were the spike-style bayonet SKS styles, which were made on 1949. The squared-off gas block was usually seen in the 1950’s, which has a 90 degree gas block angle. The 45 degree angle gas block was used on the second gas block type. The third gas block production series had rounded inward gas blocks. The Soviet Honor Guard makes use of this kind of SKS, which features parts that are made of chrome and a wood stock that has a lighter color.
The Chinese also had a variant of the SKS in their country. In the year 1956, the original SKS was modified by the Chinese. The minor tweaks addressed by these people were the missing milling on the bolt carrier, the lack of a partially- or fully-stamped receiver, and the addition of varying kinds of thumb rests on the gun. The country was known for making continuous revisions on the product. For the guns with serial numbers of nine million and below, they possess a folding bayonet that has a Russian-style blade. These were called the Type 56 carbines. Those guns with serial numbers higher than nine million feature a folding bayonet that has a spike. The earlier guns were referred to as Sino-Soviet guns, which meant that they were made in China. The Chinese Honor Guard also makes use of chrome-made issues of these guns. The Chinese also have made other similar SKS rifles. The Type 68 rifles had a stamped sheet-steel receiver. The upgraded form of Type 68 is called the Type 81, which is capable of burst fire with three rounds. Some of these feature a folding stock. The SKK, or the Type 84, is a semi-automatic-only rifle capable of accepting AK-47 magazines.
The Polish variant is called the ksS, or the karabin samopowtarzkalnv Simonowa. These models were still used by members of the Polish Army, the Polish Air Force, the Polish Navy, and honor guards of the Polish Police in their ceremonial services.
The Yugoslavian models were also popular. The PAP M59 was nicknamed the Papovka. The PAP M59/66 model was the rifle that had a grenade launcher. The Zastava Arms LKP-66 was a hunting model that had no bayonet or stock. The Albanian July 10 Rifle was an SKS variant that had an AK-47 feel, featuring a hand guard and a longer stock.
There are other less popular SKS variants in countries like Germany, North Korea, Vietnam and Albania . Whatever the case, the SKS has remained one of the most influential rifles of all time.