Factory /26\, 10 mil
PTL INT'L ATL GA
We had a decent discussion about it here.
M08.. I was trying more or less to get the overall consensus of the markings.. figuring what all markings there are, which rifles they are on, who imported them, maybe who exported them. And while there is good discussion... no one really decided to gather all the info and see what marks exists or what info is tied to other info such as factory or import stamps...
Interesting.. your example "B" has a broken stamp, while mine with the "B" does not seem to show the defect.
I've read/seen at some time or another in a multitude of various places the following reasons across the interweb for these oddball stamps:
A duplicate serial in China, a duplicate serial found in the US by the importer-- I don't buy this one.. unless... the original rifle was destroyed and remade, reusing the destroyed serial over... 25 million serials, and they duplicated serials..
A refurb mark.. each letter indicates a different refurb shop
A condition grade stamp or like an armory grading scale... could be done by the exporter or importer
A marking indicating a certain level of refurb was done.. A=1 replaced part, B=2 replaced parts
Even as an assignment ID for usage in China.. like A=security, B=police, etc...
The exporter used a letter suffix to designate which state side importer they were to be shipped too
And a few other reasons.... these are the ones that seem most logical and common all in the same ball park..some other reasons given were, well.. were out in the way left field....somewhere between the parking lot and porta-potties
Also.... one thing I have noticed.. in the little bit I looked into these letter marks..... it seems to follow spike bayonets.. the earlier bladed rifles must either be few and far between or they didn't get them.
Again....on duplicate serials, this is one I almost didn't add above.. your rifle for instance.. is a /26\ 10million.. if this serial were duplicated.. when, where and which factory would have duplicated that serial, how may other factories were up, running and producing these in 1965.. Thus far in the SKS Guide.. granted we don't know all the serials..nor have we access to every serial.. but, the serial range for 1965 /26\ 10million is 10,000,001 to "at least" 10,294,099, so that leaves a minimum of at least 700,000 other free serials to use.
Much like stoned_oli /26\ 11million.. which other factory made an 11million SKS. For /26\ 1966 the 11million series... 11,000,001 to at least 11,525,570 (This S/N range seems excessively long…something is going on here we don't fully understand!).... there is another 400,000+ of free serials to use.
So, there is at worst case, just between those 2 ranges, the above 10 and 11 million series alone, there is about a million free numbers to used by another factory. Thats even after giving almost 175,000 back for missed, already existing, unknown to us 10 and 11 million serials in those 2 ranges.
My most logical thought on duplicate serials...ok.... maybe it's an Ak, a Tokarev, or some other Chinese imported firearm at the time that shares a serial with the SKS.. but, I feel I'm even grasping at that... because...... Type 53 Mosins do overlap and quite possibly duplicate serials with the 2-6million SKSs, there is an example of 2 different rifles with the same serial ranges... and the 2-6 million SKSs typically do not have a suffix/prefix added that I've seen..nor do the imported Type 53s have suffix/prefix letters. And one could bleed that over into other arms and serial numbers.... for example.....Russia, how many Russian SKSs quite possibly share a serial number with a Mosin, a SVT-40, an AVT, AVS, TT-33, Nagant revolver or a PPSh-41..
Manufactures duplicate and reuse serials.... for instance... my 1908 Colt 25acp.. serial 231607....feel free to enter my serial here...https://www.colt.com/Customer-Services/Serial-Number-Lookup
That little handgun shares that very same serial with, it was even duplicated that same year:
OFFICERS MODEL SPECIAL
POLICE POSITIVE .32 & POLICE POSITIVE TARGET
POLICE POSITIVE .38
POLICE POSITIVE SPECIAL & DETECTIVE SPECIAL
NEW SERVICE & SHOOTING MASTER & 19171919
1908 HAMMERLESS .25
My little Colt 25acp..
MODEL 1911 MILITARY
1903 HAMMERLESS .32
"NEW ARMY & NAVY MODELS 1892,94,95,96,1901 & 03"
SINGLE ACTION ARMY & BISLEY REVOLVERS
1849 POCKET (.36 CALIBER)