During World War II , the Soviet Union captured millions of Mauser Karabiner 98k rifles and re-furbished them in various arms factories in the late 1940s and early 1950s. These rifles were originally stored in the event of future hostilities with the Western democracies. These rifles, referred to by collectors as RC ("Russian Capture") Mausers, can be identified by a crude "X" stamp on the left side of the receiver, the dull, thick reblueing and mismatched parts and electro-pencil serial numbers on smaller parts. The Soviet arsenals made no effort to match the rifle's original parts by serial number when reassembling them, and some parts (the cleaning rod, sight hood, and locking screws) were deemed unnecessary and melted down for scrap metal.
The SKS is a self-loading rifle that fires the intermediate power round, which is also used in the AK-47. The original SKS has been produced in many nations with ties to the USSR. The copies are generally similar to the original SKS and may differ in minor specifications.
SKS : Original Soviet model.
Type 56 : Chinese production model. Later evolved into the Type 63.
M59 : Yugoslav production model. Later evolved into the M59/66.
Type 56 : Vietnamese production model.
Type 63 : North Korean production model.
The SKS is a gas-operated, tilting bolt, self-loading semi-automatic carbine. It is designed by Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov in 1944 and adopted by the Soviet Army in 1945 as the standard infantry rifle. However, it only remained in that position for two years. In 1947, the AK-47 replaced the SKS as the standard infantry rifle of the Soviet Army. However, it enjoyed much use as a second-line service infantry rifle. Many countries from Asia to Europe had created variations of the SKS carbine such as the Chinese Norinco Type 56 Carbine to the East German Karabiner S.