Romanian M56 SKS Carbine.
Romanian M56 SKS, all were made at the Cugir Factory in Romania, this same factory started metal production in 1799. It was the first metal works in Transylvania. It was set up by the Austro-Hungarians and produced very high quality materials, also it fed the demand for material and was also exported elsewhere. The first true Romanian designed weapon was the Orița 9mm submachine gun, it was designed in 1941. In more modern times, they produced a Mosin M-44, the PSL-54c, many commercial and military grade Ak variants, like the md.63 to the WASR, as well as handguns, such as the Romanian TT-33 Tokarev. The Romanians are also noted as refurbing many types of Mausers, the Czech Vz24 in particular is a very commonly found Romanian contract/rebuild rifle.
The factory stamp is very close to the Izhevsk symbol, it differs in that the arrow in the triangle has no fletchings and the arrow is attached to the bottom of the triangle. The Russian Izhevsk symbol has a fletched arrow inside of the triangle, it's slightly shorter and is not attached. Manufacturing dates range from 1957 on to 1960, so 4 years total production. It has been previously estimated the Romanian SKS production to be around 500,000, but such a high number with 4 years total production is a pretty staggering amount. The realistic estimated number that seems more plausible may actually be around 77k +/- 20k, this number is based of estimates of known serial prefixes and serial numbers. And during the time these were imported, only a small percentage came to our shores. So when compared with a Russian, Yugoslavian and Chinese, these rifles are not all that common.
Cugir Factory stamp
All of the main markings will be found on the receivers left side, just above the wood line. The serial number follows a 2 letter suffix, up to a 4 digit pattern, such as AB11, BC123 or CD2222. Following the serial is typically a dash. The year of manufacture is next, in the 195x/196x format. There are examples of undated rifles as well, either these are pre 1957, or the very last production 1960 rifles. And after the serial, dash and date, is the factory stamp, the Cugir triangle. The barrel in front of the stock/handguard, usually on the right side will contain the import stamp.
Example of the serial, year and factory markings, AB1234 - 1958 /I\
Other marks, proof stamps, Q & A inspection stamps, and various other marks can also be found, on and around the barrel lug area, under the wood line etc. Stock stamps such as serial on the left butt stock, and other smaller stamps can also be found. At the back of the receiver on the wood, a <C> stamp, a (o) circle in a circle, and what looks to be a spoked wheel are often found.
Other stock markings
Stock serial, left side of butt stock
Markings at the rear of the receiver, these are not always present
Finger grip stamps right is stamped with what looks like MNBSCP
Right side, /115\ with an F above it, an M in the left corner and an A in the right corner, another mark some have, some don't. It can also commonly be seen in front of the serial number on the receiver, shown above. This mark can also be found on the barrel lug
/FMA 115\ mark clearly stamped and shown on a Romanian Ak mag rib (Photo provided by: Worm)
These rifles are like the Chinese, Russians, as well as the rest, all of the same common parts are serialized. An un-matching Romanian is a very common find, some can be found with the elctro-pencil type matching system, a fully stamped matching rifle is fairly uncommon, but it does happen. The metal work is typically a very deep blue/almost black bluing. Stocks are beech and have a dark shellac finish, rough stocks or well used are typically found. They use the long lug design barrel. Some of the smaller differences are a Chinese style gas tube latch and the rear sight has an "I" stamp.
Like a Russian, the bore is chrome plated, they used a blade bayonet, and parts are easily swappable between them. As general warning, some fitting maybe required, it may not be required, this is due to possible slight tolerance differences between countries. The quality, fit & finish, they in my book are hand in hand with any other SKS you can find.
Examples of a total match serialed rifle to randomness of Romanian serial numbers, and they can be found anywhere in between
Total match 1957, all stamped major parts, like other models, gas tube, piston, and rear sight are electro-penciled
Complete total mismatch 1960, NOTE: the Yugoslavian bolt that was installed. No penciled marks on gas tube, piston or rear sight
Late Russian/Early Chinese style gas tube lever
Rear sight blade, "I" marked, NOTE: Font differences
First import stamps used
Later import, Newer dot matrix mark
This is an example of where a stock was serialized on both sides of the butt stock. In this rare instance, both serials are matching, and in an even rarer instance, the stock matches the receiver, see 1958 receiver serial above. Who or when it was serialized with the larger different font, is unknown, it could be a possible refurb, field repair stamping or even a slight chance of another countries use, Romanian volunteers that fought in Moldova during the Transnistria War that broke out in Nov 1990, one may never know. Romania provided military support to Moldova by supplying weaponry, ammunition and armed vehicles. This style serial stamp has also been found on refurbs, but typically it's a stock to receiver force match. Also, in this instance, notice the lack of the typical shellac finish on the wood
Romanian sling, the four slings shown above at the top of this posting are generally accepted as the correct Romanian SKS sling. These can a difficult and/or a challenging item to find. They can also typically be found on the Romanian M44 Mosin, the sling may be in use with leather dog collars, or it (Mosin M44 sling) could just have sewn loops at the end set up for dog collars. Some will have no markings, some could have just a date stamp, while others will be stamped PRODUS U.S. FLASARA ROSIE. There is two other stamps as well, a circle with AMEALATOR ART. TEHNICE, and a number in an inner circle, and once last stamp, it's also a circle with what is thought to be a date in the center
This post will be updated and populated with information as time moves forward.