Author Topic: M21 Vietnam Bring-back  (Read 174 times)

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Online Phosphorus32

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M21 Vietnam Bring-back
« on: June 09, 2021, 11:02:02 PM »
A nice No "9 series", early 1964 production (?), Chinese M21 SKS. Augmented with a Viet Cong pith helmet that I picked up a half year ago at a militaria/gun shop in the Idaho panhandle.

The M21 is matching. The EP'd number on the gas tube presumably wore away. It definitely has that jungle patina, but it's not pitted, and I only found a few spots of surface rust below the wood. The bore is beautiful, thanks to the chrome plating. Came with a similarly patinated cleaning kit and a nice dirty sweat-stained sling.















































PITH HELMET












Offline Bob_The_Student

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Re: M21 Vietnam Bring-back
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2021, 04:54:07 AM »
Another beauty. Love the patina, perfect, in my opinion. Wood looks to be in real nice shape also. Somebody's been quite busy on the auction lines...

Online lowell66dart

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Re: M21 Vietnam Bring-back
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2021, 07:30:32 AM »
Wow. I have a Vietnam vet that I helped out recently. He has no computer skills and was looking for a high end pistol. I found it for him and he meets weekly with other vets. When I told him about SKS bringbacks he said he would start asking around for me. Got my fingers crossed, my legs crossed….
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Online carls sks

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Re: M21 Vietnam Bring-back
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2021, 09:15:32 AM »
nice find, those just go together.  -----> how do you know when its a Vietnam bring-back?
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Online Phosphorus32

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Re: M21 Vietnam Bring-back
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2021, 10:25:24 AM »
Another beauty. Love the patina, perfect, in my opinion. Wood looks to be in real nice shape also. Somebody's been quite busy on the auction lines...

Thanks Bob! The more I look at this rifle, the more I like it. Could the vet have put a coat of BLO on it? Maybe. But I think it may have been one of the oil-finish guns to begin with, or the shellac wore off and the VC/NVA owner oiled it with whatever he could find. The dents and dings don't have any shine. Overall it was very well cared for given the lack of any pitting and excellent internals, despite the heavy jungle patina indicating a long service life in a hot and humid environment.

Online Phosphorus32

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Re: M21 Vietnam Bring-back
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2021, 10:31:13 AM »
Wow. I have a Vietnam vet that I helped out recently. He has no computer skills and was looking for a high end pistol. I found it for him and he meets weekly with other vets. When I told him about SKS bringbacks he said he would start asking around for me. Got my fingers crossed, my legs crossed….

Very cool! Good for you.

Look for no import marks, have the jungle patina (or occasionally not for pristine cache guns), correct era of production, and best of all if they have legitimate DD603s. Tokarev pistols are the most common followed closely by Type 56s and Type 53s. SKSs from Russia, NK, NV, DDR, and Romania as well. Besides those, I have a MAS36. I don't have any with papers, so to be cautious, they all are somewhere in the range of likely to highly probable bring-backs.

Online Phosphorus32

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Re: M21 Vietnam Bring-back
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2021, 10:37:47 AM »
nice find, those just go together.  -----> how do you know when its a Vietnam bring-back?

Thanks Carl!

The M21s have 5 variations, a couple of which are very late production with an arsenal mark in addition to the M21. The "No" M21s, like this one, have no import marks, are from early 1960s Jianshe production based on the long-barrel-lug, blade bayonet and side swivel. This seems consistent with the 8 series and 9 series being 8th and 9th year of production in 1963 and early 1964. All of the "No" M21s have six digit serial numbers, with a first digit 8 or 9 being the only ones observed.

Online lowell66dart

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Re: M21 Vietnam Bring-back
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2021, 12:56:44 PM »
Thanks for the info. Gotta put this somewhere safe.
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Online lowell66dart

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Re: M21 Vietnam Bring-back
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2021, 03:31:32 PM »
The questions and answers about Vietnam bringbacks got me to thinking. A few months ago I tracked down a Veteran who had a rifle. Went and met him one day and about a week later went back and this time he offered to show me the rifle. He comes out with a Mosin in rough shape that he personally picked up in a rice paddy and I think he has paperwork for. Before I saw the rifle he was calling it an SKS. I told him what I knew and took some pics and told him I would see what I could find out about it. He then mentions a couple more rifles and brings out another Mosin he bought for parts and a rough SKS. I took a picture of the serial number of the SKS but to be honest I was so disappointed I didn't think to look for import marks. Here is the serial number. Am I right in thinking this would be in the range of Vietnam era rifles. I do know he did get the rifle from another Veteran so that's got me going now.

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Online Phosphorus32

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Re: M21 Vietnam Bring-back
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2021, 05:48:14 PM »
The questions and answers about Vietnam bringbacks got me to thinking. A few months ago I tracked down a Veteran who had a rifle. Went and met him one day and about a week later went back and this time he offered to show me the rifle. He comes out with a Mosin in rough shape that he personally picked up in a rice paddy and I think he has paperwork for. Before I saw the rifle he was calling it an SKS. I told him what I knew and took some pics and told him I would see what I could find out about it. He then mentions a couple more rifles and brings out another Mosin he bought for parts and a rough SKS. I took a picture of the serial number of the SKS but to be honest I was so disappointed I didn't think to look for import marks. Here is the serial number. Am I right in thinking this would be in the range of Vietnam era rifles. I do know he did get the rifle from another Veteran so that's got me going now.


That's a 7th year Type 56, so 1962, and certainly in the range (prior to 1973). Most of the 7th year Jianshe SKSs came into the US via Albania ca. 2014 in the TGI import batch, so if this one doesn't have an import mark it'd be a probable Vietnam bring-back.

Do you have pics of the Mosin?

Offline running-man

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Re: M21 Vietnam Bring-back
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2021, 05:52:27 PM »
Year 7 /26\ guns (1962) are certainly in the correct range for VN usage. 

You more often find year 10, 11, 12, & 13 (1965, 1966, 1967, & 1968) guns as they were 'fresh' off the line and likely to be shipped out as direct clandestine aid to the PAVN (NVA & VC). 

Ghost guns, letter series /26\, year 2 & 3 /26\, Romanian, and Yugoslavian VN bringbacks are few and far between.  They exist (well maybe not a Yuogslavian bringback, I've honestly never seen one and debate exists as to whether Yugoslavia sent aid or not), but not many of them.
      

Online lowell66dart

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Re: M21 Vietnam Bring-back
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2021, 05:57:26 PM »
I am going to go see the guy that owned it originally and see what he says.

Here's the Mosin pics. Not very good pics, sorry.










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Offline Larry D.

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Re: M21 Vietnam Bring-back
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2021, 06:42:31 PM »
Kinda digging that one, Lowell.
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Re: M21 Vietnam Bring-back
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2021, 06:58:40 PM »
He won’t part with the Mosins. He wants to shadowbox it or something but he didn’t seem attached to the SKS so we will see.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2021, 02:52:00 PM by lowell66dart »
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Online Phosphorus32

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Re: M21 Vietnam Bring-back
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2021, 08:13:46 PM »
He won’t part with the Mosins. He wants to shawdonox it or something but he didn’t seem attached to the SKS so we will see.

Yeah, those Type 53s are cool. A lot of the 1960 letter series Type 53s that are in the US were brought back from Vietnam. There are some out there that came in with the direct imports from China but not a lot.

Online lowell66dart

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Re: M21 Vietnam Bring-back
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2021, 03:02:55 PM »
I tracked down the Vet who brought back the SKS today. He said he bought it from a guy stationed on the base he was at in Vietnam. There never was any paperwork on this rifle. He said he brought it home on a plane. Then somehow on the last leg of the trip the rifle got lost by the airline. Weeks later he got a phone call from the local post office and they said thy had a rifle with his address on it. He confirmed that he sold it to a coworker and that guy still has it.

Left and went to try and get more pictures of the SKS but they are remodeling and the gun safe is jammed in and can't be accessed right now. We had a good talk and I told him a little that I knew about his Mosin. He showed me a flag and and some other things. I made him a trade offer because I don't think cash will work. He didn't say yes but he didn't say no either. If if was easy it wouldn't be fun!
« Last Edit: June 11, 2021, 03:22:25 PM by lowell66dart »
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Offline Justin Hell

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Re: M21 Vietnam Bring-back
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2021, 01:10:23 AM »
Just how far back does the D rear sight leaf date?

Offline running-man

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Re: M21 Vietnam Bring-back
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2021, 02:54:57 PM »
These M21 No guns in the 800k and 900k range are the earliest I know of.  Other Arsenals have them of course, but in the post year 10 era.
      

Offline Direct Connection

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Re: M21 Vietnam Bring-back
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2021, 10:14:21 PM »
nice find, those just go together.  -----> how do you know when its a Vietnam bring-back?

Thanks Carl!

The M21s have 5 variations, a couple of which are very late production with an arsenal mark in addition to the M21. The "No" M21s, like this one, have no import marks, are from early 1960s Jianshe production based on the long-barrel-lug, blade bayonet and side swivel. This seems consistent with the 8 series and 9 series being 8th and 9th year of production in 1963 and early 1964. All of the "No" M21s have six digit serial numbers, with a first digit 8 or 9 being the only ones observed.

Learn something new everyday.. Great find. How does that thing end up in Idaho ? OMG Or was that the all matching Helmet ? chuckles1 Good stuff Phos. Keep em coming. Beautiful Rifle.
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