April 14, 2009, 11:42 AM
I am hoping to learn which country of origin, date range, and any associated serial #'s or letters designate higher-quality SKS's. I've heard Romanian police issue models are good, but wouldn't know how to identify one or know what one would be worth.
Are there associated price ranges with the various countries of origin? I've read some have chrome-lined barrels and other marks of good manufacturing. Any information would be greatly appreciated!
April 14, 2009, 11:53 AM
I am partial to the Chicom Norinco's. Chrome lined barrels and they are lighter than the other sks's to me. If you can snag an M or D model they take AK mags so they won't come cheap, at least $400 for one of these I would think. For a regular unaltered norinco I would think $250 or more.
Yugo's in my area are going for $299 at this point. The last Yugo I bought was $269OTD.
The last Romanian in my area went for $229 but after I bought it within a month the shop was telling me it was worth at least $100 more already.
Sorry, don't know anything about the Russian models.
April 14, 2009, 11:54 AM
I am new to the SKS ,but am in love with it. From what I hear from everyone on THR, the Russian is by far the best. Romanian, Albanian...I have even heard the Norinco are up there too. Be carefull of Norinco after 67 they are stamped and pinned barrels (http://www.sksboards.com/smf/index.php?topic=33896.0)
Problem right now is cost. I paid $300 for a 58 Romy that was missing some extras (bayonet, cleaning rod) and was on good condition.
Hope this helps.
April 14, 2009, 03:54 PM
Are there engravings that show year and country of origin? There seems to be lots of knowledge out there but how do you tell what you're looking at?
April 14, 2009, 04:13 PM
Shamelessly plagiarized from www.surplusrifle.com.
Russian SKS m45
The AK-47 replaced the SKS as the primary soviet battle rifle in the mid 1950s. Large quantities of the Russian SKS were still manufactured, for export, all the way until the late 1960s, but the SKS is no longer an issue weapon to the Soviet Army.
Chinese Type 56 SKS
developed in the mid 1950s, a copy of the Russian SKS. Manufactured upon Soviet supplied equipment in Communist China.
Chinese Type 56s were in production from 1956-71. Rifles serial number 9,000,000 (1965) and higher had the spike bayonet fitted while those below 9,000,000 had the standard blade type bayonet. (contributed by Michael E. Kreca)
Romanian SKS called the Model 56 was in production in Cugir, Romania from 1956 to 1962
The Albanian SKS is now the rarest of all "imported" varieties of SKS found in the world, outside of the North Korean, East German, and Vietnamese models that were war "bring backs".
So, there were an estimated 16,950 produced. For unknown reasons the Albanians destroyed or gave away nearly two thirds of them and it is believed that only 5700 are left in the world today. There have been reports that US Government led efforts "encouraged" the Albanian government to collect and destroy over 130,000 Albanian small arms (their SKS included) during the mid to late 1990's. This may be why we see limited numbers of them in the world market today.
The obvious differences between the Albanian SKS and those from other countries are:
1) The extended length stock and the extended 3 vent upper handguard that extend all the way to the gas block. This photo shows the Albanian on the top and the Russian on the bottom.
2) The trapdoor butt plate has 2 doors rather than the normal one. This photo shows the Albanian on the left and the Russian on the right.
3) The Albanians use an AK style charging handle rather than the round style used by all other countries. This photo shows the Albanian style on the left and the Russian on the right.
4) The Albanian rear sling swivel is located on the left side of the butt stock as compared to the bottom of the butt stock on other models. This photo shows the Albanian on the top and a Russian on the bottom.
5) The 10 round fixed magazine on the Albanian has a slightly different bottom profile than those on other SKS's. The photo shows the Albanian on top and the Russian underneath.
Yugoslavia SKS M59/66A1
Yugoslavia SKS M59/66A1 manufactured by the Zastava Ordnance /Red Banner Works from 1967 to 1970.
The M59 is practically a carbon copy of the Russian SKS and, , was made at Red Banner from 1960-67. The 59/66 series was manufactured at Red Banner from 1967-70. Many M59s were converted to the 59/66 configuration during that time. Most of the 59s and 59/66s had beechwood stocks. Some Yugoslav 59s and 59/66s with teakwood stocks were made for export to Africa.
The main difference between other SKS rifles and the Yugoslav versions is that the bores of the Yugo versions were not chrome plated--Yugoslavia has no significant native chromium ore deposits, chromium was expensive to purchase and Yugoslavia's relationship with the USSR (a major chromium ore exporter) since 1948 was lukewarm at best. One reason Yugo SKS rifles (in fact all Yugoslav small arms seem "beefier") is because Yugoslav cartridges are much "hotter" loads than other similar "East Bloc" ammo, plus since Yugoslavia's manufacturing capacity was relatively limited, each weapon had to be more durable.
April 15, 2009, 12:49 AM
I own a norinco paratrooper as well as a yugo. I really like the yugo, it just seems built better to me, it has better sights, and the action is smoother. although it is probably like two pounds heavier. Either one is a good choice though. They are very underated rifles in my opinion. FYI I bought mine two and a half years ago... never been issued for 189.00 before tax.