After World War 2 ended the Soviet Union
needed a new and more up-to-date rifle to rifle to replace the 59-year-old series of Mosin-Nagant Bolt-Action Rifles
and the older semi-automatic Tokarev SVT-40. The new rifle needed to be semi-automatic and able to fire the new M1943 Cartridge
(7.62 x 39 mm), because the 7.62 x 54R round fired by the Mosin-Nagant's and the SVT-40. A Soviet Weapon's Designer by the
name of Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov thought he had the answer to the Red Army's problem, he would design and present the Samozaryadniy
Karabin sistemi Simonova, the SKS. The SKS would be Russia's answer to the U.S. M-1 Carbine. The SKS was approved and served
as the standard issue rifle of Soviet forces from 1949 to 1955. But the SKS seen action before that in 1945 a very limited
number of Simonov's rifles were used against Nazi forces of the frontlines of World War II. But even thought Simonov's rifle
was approved in 1949 as the Red Army's main battle rifle, it's life was short-lived, it was quickly replaced by Mikail Kalishnikov's
Select-fire AK-47 assault rifles, Russia's equivelant to the U.S. M-16. But one thing the SKS did accomplish was showing
the Soviet's that the Gas operated system was worthy of service and far more superior than the bolt-action system of the Mosin's.
The SKS was mainly produced at the Tula and Izvesk Arsenals. But the SKS was not completely out-of-date yet, with the Warsaw
Pact came the rights to manufacture war goods, including the SKS Carbine. Yugoslavia, China, Albania, Romania, East Germany,
North Korea, and Vietnam all recieved Soviet rights and assistance in the making of the SKS-45 Carbine as it was called in
Russia. Overall Russia, China, Yugoslavia, Romania, Albania, Poland, North Korea, Vietnam, and East Germany all produced atleast
one variant of the SKS. Today only Russia, Romania, Albania, China, and North Korea use the SKS militarily, mostly just for
ceremonial events such as military parades.
The SKS of The Yugoslav Federation:
The former Soviet
satellite nation of Yugoslavia was one of six countries that the U.S.S.R. gave exclusive total rights of the SKS rifle to
as part of the BLOC formation treaties of Communist Asian and Communist European countries. The SKS rifle became unimportant
to almost all of the BLOC nations, and the only nation that was still using the SKS when the Soviet Union came to an unexpected
end was Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia first produced the M59 SKS Carbine which was similiar to the original Soviet Siminov SKS 45.
They then added a blade style bayonet, a flip-up ladder grenade sight, and a NATO specification .22mm grenade launcher on
the end of the barrel that was similiar in appearence to a muzzle break or flash supressor, they then made their final design
basic, they added a titanium night sighting system to the M59/66 SKS making it the M59/66A1 SKS. The Yugoslavian SKS' are
some of the cheapest SKS' around, as well as the best next to the Russian SKS'. The main difference in the Yugo SKS' and the
other models is that due to Yugoslavia's chromium shortages, the M59, M59/66, and M59/66A1/A2 are all without a chrome lined
barrel! That is obviously not a major issue because the Yugoslavian SKS has seen action in the recent African and Middle-Eastern
conflicts that the UN and U.S. have perticipated in. The Yugoslavian SKS', all three versions, are a popular rifle among Military
Surplus Collectors and Arms Collectors alike.
is the only SKS that is not a true carbine due to the added length of the .22 mm NATO Grenade Launcher, I recently bought
it at a local pawnshop. It is all original and complete. I recently bought a 30 round Polymer Magazine for it. Below is a
information table for the Yugoslavian M59/66 A1 SKS.