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Online Phosphorus32

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Development of the SKS-45
« on: June 10, 2015, 10:04:36 AM »
The SKS-45, the one that started it all! 

SKS-45 is an abbreviation for the full Russian name, Samozaryadnyj Karabin sistemy Simonova 1945 (or in Cyrillic: Самозарядный карабин системы Симонова, 1945; CKC-45).  In translation, this means Self-loading carbine of the system Simonov, (model of) 1945.



Simonov and Other Russian Small Arms Designers

Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov is the weapons designer we have to thank for this robust semi-automatic carbine, so it seems appropriate to consider his life and career.  He was born to a peasant family some 200 km east of Moscow in 1894 and he lived until 1986, which is a remarkable feat when you consider that the heart of his career coincided with Stalin's, who instigated incessant, capricious purges that targeted various groups for persecution or elimination, and also served to stock the labor force of the Gulag.  Simonov began his career as a blacksmith at the age of 16, during the late Tsarist era.  He apparently exhibited a mechanical aptitude as he soon became a metal worker in a machine plant and then took additional technical course work, eventually landing in a facility that produced the Fedorov automatic rifle.  By the ripe old age of 28, during the early Soviet era, he was a master gunsmith working under the tutelage of two of the premier weapons designers of WWI and the early inter-war eras, Vladimir Fyodorov and Vasily Degtyaryov.  The Fedorov Avtomat M/1916, automatic rifle, designed by Fyodorov, fired the 6.5x50mm Japanese cartridge and bears some cosmetic resemblance to the SKS. Degtyaryov's most famous design was the DP light machine gun (Pulemyot Degtyaryova Pekhotny), with its distinctive top mounted drum, which fired the 7.62x54R cartridge.



Simonov's main competitor in small arms design during the 1930's was Fedor Vasilevich Tokarev. Simonov designed and eventually fielded the AVS-36 select-fire rifle that chambered the 7.62x54R cartridge.  This reportedly was difficult to control in full automatic fire, given the powerful cartridge and the relatively lightweight hand held nature of the AVS-36, akin to firing a light-weighted BAR. It was also reportedly prone to fouling with dirt due to an open area in the receiver cover to accommodate the fore/aft cycling of the bolt handle. Undoubtedly these experiences influenced his later design of the SKS.  The vented handguard, receiver cover, bolt and bolt carrier are very similar in appearance to the SKS.  Another lesson learned no doubt, the retaining pin for the receiver cover of the AVS-36 was removable, whereas the SKSs was designed to stay in the receiver after release of the cover and recoil spring. Only about 35,000-65,000 AVS-36s (depending on the source of the estimates) were ever produced; small numbers by Russian standards. It is estimated that fewer than a dozen exist in the US, likely imported from Finland years before the GCA. Simonov also designed the successfully deployed PTRS-41 semi-automatic anti-tank rifle chambered in 14.5x114mm (.57 cal). Meanwhile, during the 30’s, Tokarev was at work on his semi-automatic SVT-38 and then SVT-40 designs, which obviously emerged as the winners in production numbers at an estimated 1.7 million (plus 0.5 million of the AVT automatic version of the SVT).





M43, 7.62x39mm Cartridge

Enter the M43, 7.62x39mm cartridge of 1943.  The standard pistol and sub-machine gun cartridge of the 1930's and early 1940's was the 7.62x25mm, and of course the standard rifle and medium machine gun cartridge was the famed 7.62x54R.  The former had an effective range of 200-300m maximum in the submachine guns like the PPSh-41 (Pistolet-Pulemyot Shpagina, 1941) and PPs-43 (Pistolet-pulemyot Sudaeva, 1943).  The latter cartridge had reach out and touch someone range and accuracy of nearly 1000m (or greater in the right hands), that was more important to the tactics of the 19th century and WWI.  Of course the 7.62x54R was heavy and relatively difficult to control in a light weight automatic or semi-automatic weapon.  This issue was clearly demonstrated with the AVS-36, and to a lesser extent with the SVT-38/40 lineage of semi-automatic rifles, that also suffered from breakdowns from the battering bestowed by the powerful cartridge.  The submachine guns, machine pistols, and Sturmgewehr (storm rifle) assault rifles in the armories of various armies of WWII proved to be of great utility for concentrated-fire shock troop tactics, high mobility infantry-supported armor tactics, and urban fighting.  These represented the most frequently employed battlefield tactics in the age of Guderian's Blitzkrieg (lightning warfare). The M43 cartridge, with its .310-311 diameter 123gr spitzer bullet and larger case, produced more knockdown power and greater range than the 7.62x25mm with its 86gr round nosed bullet, and seemed well suited to employment under modern battlefield tactics.



SKS-45 Design and Production

Of course the M43 needed a firearm to take advantage of it and a carbine competition was held to accompany the development of the M43 cartridge.  In this case, Simonov's winning design was the SKS-45!  A trial pre-production run was made and it was field tested by troops of the 1st Byelorussian Front in the Spring of 1944 to very favorable reviews (as reported by Bolotin in his book "Soviet Rifled Weapons").  The end of WWII saw the production of the new carbine set aside, while the Soviet Union sought to recover from the devastating loss of life, industry and agriculture wrought by WWII.  Presumably there was also a surplus of serviceable weapons for the scaled back Russian military in this post WWII era, before the Cold War emerged and warmed up. 



In 1949, the USSR began full production of the SKS and continued to produce it through 1958.  Monetchikov, in his book "History of Russian Automatics", cites a production figure of 2.7 million for the SKS-45. Clearly, this number pales in comparison to the estimated 36 million Mosin family bolt action rifles that preceded the SKS-45, and the estimated 75 million AK-47 select-fire assault rifles that succeeded it.  Mikhail Kalashnikov’s famous AK-47 began full production just two years after the SKS-45, and this undoubtedly led to the short production run and relatively low numbers of the latter.  From 1949-58, SKS-45s were made under full production mode at Tula.  From 1949-55, Tula origin was clearly designated by an arrow inside a star on the top of the receiver cover and the left side of the buttstock.  From 1956-58, "the letter series" of Tula SKSs were produced.  They do not have a star on top of the receiver cover but have a small star after the serial number on the side of the receiver.  They also have a Cyrillic letter Д, И or К following the serial number. From 1953-54, SKS-45s were also made at Izhevsk, as designated by an arrow inside a triangle on the top of the receiver cover and the left side of the buttstock.  This means the lower numbers of Izhevsk manufactured SKSs bring a significant premium in the US marketplace.



Production and Use of the SKS by Other Countries

Many other countries made licensed copies of the SKS-45 in the thousands to millions, depending on the country, and details of these models can be found on other pages.  The Chinese Type 56 Carbine is most significant in terms of production numbers and service history with the Peoples Liberation Army and countries sponsored by China.  The former Yugoslavia made the M59 and M59/66, Romania the M56, Albania  the Type 561, East Germany the Karabiner S, North Korea the Type 63, and North Vietnam may have made a few thousand in the early 60s.  The North Vietnamese production of the SKS remains an area of disagreement, where the alternative position is that they merely property stamped Chinese Type 56s with their "star".  The fact that these "starred" SKSs once resided in and were used by North Vietnam is not in dispute. The SKS was widely exported and used by those countries that produced it, including but not limited to the USSR. It has seen worldwide use in various countries supported by one of the communist countries, and saw combat use in various proxy wars during the Cold War.

Aside: the Czechoslovakian government was allowed to field their own semi-automatic carbine design, the VZ-52, as an alternative to the SKS. This rifle also incorporated a (side-folding) bayonet and was initially chambered in the unique 7.62x45mm cartridge.  In 1957, the Soviets, who now exerted greater control over the Czechoslovakian government, insisted on adoption of the Warsaw Pact standard 7.62x39mm cartridge and the VZ-52/57 was born.  This latter variant had a short production life, as the VZ-58 (the Czech answer to the AK-47) began production just one year later, in 1958.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 03:57:30 PM by Phosphorus32 »

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Re: Development of the SKS-45
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2015, 11:18:51 AM »
Superb work!   

This will be the first complete page on the Russian sks guide.   thumb1
      
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Offline CARBINE

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Re: Development of the SKS-45
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2015, 11:43:08 AM »
Wow!! Much needed page, me likey.....Nice work!  clap1
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Offline Dannyboy53

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Re: Development of the SKS-45
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2015, 12:34:55 PM »
Awesome Phosphorus, a very impressive write up! Thank you for taking the time to do this very informative work. I learned some things here I have not seen on the web.

 clap1 clap1 clap1 clap1




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Re: Development of the SKS-45
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2015, 01:39:19 PM »
I had asked P32 if he wanted to have a go at doing this for both here and the Russian ske guide.  I believe there is a right man for every job and it appears I have chosen wisely. 

If any of you Russian gurus would like to take on a section of the Russian sks guide, please let me know via pm.    Russian SKS Guide - Home
      
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Re: Development of the SKS-45
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2015, 04:17:21 PM »
Thanks for all the kind responses everyone!  I did my best at fact checking but corrections are welcome. Thanks to LC and RM for suggestions prior to posting and afterwards.

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Re: Development of the SKS-45
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2015, 05:31:18 PM »
I had asked P32 if he wanted to have a go at doing this for both here and the Russian ske guide.  I believe there is a right man for every job and it appears I have chosen wisely. 

If any of you Russian gurus would like to take on a section of the Russian sks guide, please let me know via pm.    Russian SKS Guide - Home

Phosphorus out did himself with this one! The Russian home page photo is absolutely great, I can hardly wait to see the rest of it.  vroomvroom Lots of good things have been shaking loose, headway has been made with the Chinese and other guns. The work you guys have put into this site to make it what it is (and will be) in such a short time is extraordinary...thanks to each of you!

 clap1 clap1 clap1 clap1 clap1

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Re: Development of the SKS-45
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2015, 10:19:52 PM »
      
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Re: Development of the SKS-45
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2015, 12:19:00 AM »
More info on the topic….sorry kinda broken grammar because I had to make the Russian translation.  I think I have about a 1st grade intellect when it comes to understanding Russian.

Simonov Sergey G. (1894-1986) - Soviet designer of small arms, the Hero of Socialist Labor (1954), Honored Inventor of the RSFSR (1964).  From 1910 he worked as a mechanic at various factories, since 1918 - a gunsmith at mechanic-machine gun factory, since 1922 master, then foreman. Since 1929 - head of the assembly shop, the designer; Head of experimental workshop. Inventive activity SG Simon started in 1922-1923 years. to design machine gun and automatic rifle. In 1926-1936 gg.  He worked on the 15-round rifle adopted by the Soviet Army in 1936 (ABC-36). In 1941 he developed a 14.5-mm anti-tank self-loading rifle (PTSD), which in August of the same year, received by the Soviet Army.  PTSD can successfully fight the enemy medium tanks in 1941-1943.  It was one of the best anti-tank guns and 15 mm caliber period of the 2nd World War.  In 1945 has been adopted SKS (SCS-45).

Simon made a great contribution to the development of small automatic weapons.  For the creation of anti-tank rifle and carbine twice awarded the USSR State Prize.  He was awarded two Orders of Lenin, Order of October Revolution, Order of Kutuzov 2nd degree, Order of the Patriotic War, 1 st degree, the Labor Red Banner, Red Star and medals.

Automatic rifle Simonov sample of 1943 belongs to the class of automatic weapons, which device is based on the action of powder gases in the special parts.  Powder gases after passage of a bullet hole in the barrel of the gas acting on the movable portion and sending them back.  Chance of a single and automatic fire.

Trigger trigger mechanism for automatic weapons differed in that the trigger was fitted with neck designed when cocking the clutch on one side to sear and uncoupling the latter with the trigger.  Created after adopting in 1943 interim 7.62 mm cartridge (7,62h39 mm), designed NM Yelizarov and BV Semin.  Compared with rifle cartridge, intermediate cartridge was less powerful, but it takes into account the experience of small battle in which the range of use of these weapons did not exceed 200-300 m.  It is possible to facilitate small arms and opened up new perspectives in the design of automatic weapons.  Simonov carbine chambered for 1943 was based on his previous development of automatic and self-loading rifles, including ABC-36, operated by the Red Army in the initial period of the Great Patriotic War.

Basic data rifles and carbines SG Simonov sample of 1941-1943.
Of the cases "Trigger trigger mechanism for automatic weapons. 1941 "and" automatic carbine 1944 ". Text documents and photos.
1941, 1944
Branch RGANTD. F. P-1. Op. 50-5. D. L. 1017. 3.

Apparently combat tests took place with these rifles (SA and FA).  In one instance he called it SKS arr.1943 and in another instance, Automatic Rifle Simonov arr. 1943.  Looks to me like a 1944 7.62mm Experienced SKS and a 1945 7.62mm SKS Prototype depicted but possibly these are earlier variants of the the same/similar rifles?







Tokarev FV Swivel bayonet. Application materials for the invention.
1928
No. 14650.
scheme.
Branch RGANTD. F. P-1. Op. 15. D. L. 8219. 4.



Letter: SG Simonova in the military department of the Committee for Inventions Supreme Economic Council with objections about his refusal to grant a patent for the invention "Shotgun gun." Application materials for the invention.
1928
Branch RGANTD. F. P-1. Op. 15. D. L. 5150. 10 10ob.



REF: Russian State Archive of Scientific and Technical Documentation

Here is the picture of much debate.  Many believe this photo was taken in the Battle of Berlin in 1945, while others believe this is a post war photo.  Regardless, we know the SKS wasn’t adopted until 1949 and that’s when full production commenced.  So assuming the photo is a WWII photo, this would mean the SKS in the photo is one of the pre-production prototypes.  We know the Simonov carbine was sent to the 1st Belorussian Front in 1944, as well as the Central Officer courses (Shot).  Some references and also claim it was sent to the 3rd Belorussian in April 1945.  I'm fairly knowledgeable in this area but by no means an expert, so I'll leave this here for the resident experts to ascertain if the SKS depicted is an early prototype?  The photo doesn't show a whole lot but maybe enough for the experts to chew on.



REF: War Album, multiple sources.

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Re: Development of the SKS-45
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2015, 05:45:54 PM »
I am curious where OP found the photo of the 1944 Prototype? Thank you very much in advance.

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Re: Development of the SKS-45
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2015, 07:42:24 PM »
Interweb.

I want a Simonov ABC-36.

      
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Re: Development of the SKS-45
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2015, 08:02:47 PM »




      
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Re: Development of the SKS-45
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2015, 08:48:27 PM »
Found an interesting reference on Russian interweb talking about a 49 'SKSa' that Americans have not seen.  lol

Note the bayo attachment....

http://popgun.ru/viewtopic.php?f=171&t=191480&start=350




      
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Re: Development of the SKS-45
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2015, 08:53:17 PM »
Also...  this page shows a rifle said to be the sks prototype...  not sure if its accurate.


???????????? ??????? ???????? ? ?????????? ?????? ?? ?????? ??????? ?????




      
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Re: Development of the SKS-45
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2015, 09:25:37 PM »
Several references to the one Bunker showed as a model 1944 and IS Simonov.
      
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Re: Development of the SKS-45
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2015, 10:03:48 PM »
Thank you very much, sir! The reason why I asked the question is because I found in the Russian Book 'History of the Russian Machine Gun' (История  Русского  Автомата, По  Монетчиков  С. Б.), Chapter 15, there's a picture of SKS 1944, which looks more like the '49 I have (but the stock is bit different).

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Re: Development of the SKS-45
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2015, 10:22:22 PM »
The one in the OP is the same gun as Bunker posted....  just has a slightly shorter barrel shroud. Im sure in prototype mode there were likely a few variations.     thumb1
      
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Re: Development of the SKS-45
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2015, 01:55:21 PM »
Thank you sir! I don't know why the rifle shown in the pictures has 'SKS 36' on it. Interesting, I re-read the SKS portion in ‘Soviet Small Arms’ by D. N. Bolotin, Moscow 1990 (Советское стрелковое оружие.  Д. Н. Болотин.). According to the picture on Page 92, the rifle is more likely a Kalashnikov Self-loading Carbine System Model 1944 Year.

Found an interesting reference on Russian interweb talking about a 49 'SKSa' that Americans have not seen.  lol

Note the bayo attachment....

http://popgun.ru/viewtopic.php?f=171&t=191480&start=350






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Re: Development of the SKS-45
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2015, 02:19:54 PM »
Sir, after some research, I found out this is not an SKS prototype, it is actually an early Kalashnikov Self-loading Carbine 1945 year. The picture is from a book entitled 'Kalashnikov Arms' by Alexei Nedelin, 1997

Kalashnikov Arms: Alexei Nedelin: Amazon.com: Books



Also...  this page shows a rifle said to be the sks prototype...  not sure if its accurate.


???????????? ??????? ???????? ? ?????????? ?????? ?? ?????? ??????? ?????


« Last Edit: November 01, 2015, 02:29:36 PM by pcke2000 »

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Re: Development of the SKS-45
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2015, 02:55:22 PM »
Probably so... I recall that to be the case from years ago, but either the book is wrong, or the web page it wrong.  Someone is wrong.  Lol.   Need a pic of rotating bolt on that critter.

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