Type: Semi-automatic rifle
Weight: ~3.85 kg (8.5 lb)
Length: 1,120 mm (44 in)
Barrel length: 558.8 mm (22.00 in)
Capacity: 10 rds
Developed just in time to see the end of World War II, the SKS was a Soviet designed rifle which entered service just in time to be replaced by the AK47. However, the SKS would not simply disappear into obscurity. While the rifle was used as secondary issue by the Soviets as well as sent overseas to arm any pro-communist movement around the world, the SKS was also an import weapon of other Communist states with several building their own variants. One notable variant is the M59/66 issued by Yugoslavia.
The SKS in Yugoslavia starts with the M59, essentially a copy of the Soviet design with the elimination of chrome lining in the barrel. In the 1960s, the design was fitted with a launcher for 22mm rifle grenades and a gas-cutoff. The gas-cutoff allowed the weapon to be loaded with blank rounds in order to launch rifle grenades without having to worry about live cartridges being chambered from the magazine. The addition of a flip-up tritium night sight resulted in the M59/66A1.
The M59/66 and M59/66A1 would see combat throughout the various conflicts in the Balkans as Yugoslavia fell apart. Nowadays the rifle is a popular weapon in the United States as many were imported as surplus. The initial cheap price made the rifle popular with hunters and those looking for an affordable defensive rifle. However, a dwindling supply and a steady demand combined with more affordable AK and AR pattern rifles have seen the M59/66 and M59/66A1 being purchased more by collectors instead.
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2 years, 11 months ago
28 Jun 2016 23:27 CEST
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