History of the
The SKS was to designed and
produced as a service firearm that would have a limited lifespan
between 2 rifles but utilized a reliable operating mechanism design.
This rifle was a less radical "just in case" for the AK-47's
Initially fielded in early 1945 against the Germans, the SKS was not
adopted officially by the Soviet Army till 1949 and was produced by
the Tula Armory until 1955. The quality of the early Soviet carbines
was quite high as compared to some later manufacturers.
Almost as soon as the SKS was brought into service, it was made
obsolete for Soviet purposes by the new AK-47 by Kalashnikov.
Advantages over the SKS were the selective-fire option, a rifle that
was lighter, had more magazine capacity, not to mention that it was
less labor-intensive to manufacture. The next few years saw the SKS
carbines acting in non-infantry and ceremonial roles until about
1990. The SKS rifle and its many copies still can be found today in
use by various third-world militias and insurgent groups as well as
in civilian use especially in Canada and the US.
The SKS remains popular and is
also used by several African, Asian, and Middle Eastern armies, as
well as guerrillas in Bosnia, Somalia and throughout Africa and
One major reason that the design became so prolific is that during
the Cold War the Soviet Union shared design and production details
with its allies. This shared information resulted in SKS
rifles being manufactured by the Soviet Union, China, Yugoslavia,
Albania, North Korea, Vietnam, and East Germany, Romania and Poland
and with several variations.
Numbers | Serial Number Lookup and dating an SKS Rifle
The first thing that needs to be done is to
examine the Rifle for and Asian or Cyrillic markings, in an effort
to identify the county of origin. Please know that some rifles
do not have any markings, but many Russian, Chinese and Korean
Albanian SKS Rifles
SKS has a dash at the end of the serial number followed by two
numbers. These 2 numbers are the last 2 of the year
Romanian SKS Rifles
SKS rifles check the end of the serial number, there is a dash
followed by four numbers, this is the year produced.
Chinese SKS Rifles
|| To get
the year of manufacture, add the first digit in the serial
number to 1956.
German SKS Rifles
two numbers at the beginning of a German SKS serial number, it
is the date of manufacture.
Russian SKS Rifles
four-digit number underneath the stamped star, it is the year