Simonov SKS-45

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Simonov SKS-45
Soviet SKS with knife bayonet
general information
Civil name: Simonov
self-loading carbine
Military designation: 56-A-231 ( GRAY index )
Country of operation: Soviet Union, China, Poland, North Korea, North Vietnam
Developer / Manufacturer: Sergei Gawrilowitsch Simonow ,
Tulski Oruscheiny Sawod (TOS)
Development year: 1944
Manufacturer country: Soviet Union
Production time: 1945 to 1968
Weapon Category: Self-loading rifle
Overall length: 1020 mm
Weight: (unloaded) 3.75 kg
Barrel length : 474 mm
Technical specifications
Caliber : 7.62 × 39 mm
Possible magazine fillings : 10 cartridges
Ammunition supply : fixed box magazine , loading strip
Cadence : 40 rounds / min
Fire types: Single fire
Number of trains : 4th
Twist : Right
Visor : Rear sight and front sight
Closure : Tilt block closure
Charging principle: Gas pressure charger
Lists on the subject

The Simonow SKS ( Russian СКС-45, Самозарядный Карабин Симонова , Samosarjadnij Karabin Simonowa , in German: Self-loading Karabiner Simonow ) is a Soviet self-loading carbine .


Sergei Gavrilowitsch Simonow was a Soviet weapons developer who worked on self-loading rifles even before World War II . His designs were not very successful at first, instead the rifles of his colleague Fyodor Vasilyevich Tokarev were preferred. Its models SWT-38 and SWT-40 were adopted into the equipment of the armed forces. The aim was still to replace the aging Mosin-Nagant infantry rifle as the standard weapon of the Red Army . When more compact ammunition became available with the short M43 cartridge , a whole family of weapons in this caliber was to be developed - a multi-loading carbine, a self-loading carbine, an assault rifle and a light machine gun . The multi-loading carbine never got beyond the drawing board, Mikhail Timofejewitsch Kalashnikov won the competition for the new assault rifle with the AK-47 and Degtyaryov's RPD was introduced as a light machine gun .

Simonow won the competition for the self-loading carabiner. His design, developed since 1944, was convincing: the weapon was solid and robust. As with all weapons of the Red Army, special emphasis was placed on ease of use and reliability; The carbine was also convincing here. In June 1944, a pilot series was used in troop trials during World War II. After eradicating teething troubles, it was introduced into the Soviet armed forces in 1949 in parallel with the AK-47. As Kalashnikovs became increasingly available, the SKS slowly ousted them from the front line. With troops not in the front row, however, he remained in service for a relatively long time - in some cases until the 1990s.


The SKS is a gas pressure charger with pulse gas piston with a short stroke. The gas piston has its own closing spring and is designed similar to that of the AWS-36 . The bolt housing is milled from the solid and houses the bolt, the recoil spring, the trigger unit with hammer and the magazine slot. The magazine is a permanently installed, two-row, ten-shot box magazine that can be loaded with individual cartridges or loading strips, as the gas linkage and the bolt carrier are not permanently connected to one another. For reloading, the weapon has a slide catch that keeps the slide in the rear position when the magazine is empty. Guide lips for the loading strips are incorporated into the front of the lock. The magazine bottom could be folded down for cleaning or emptying the magazine. The tilting block lock locked at the bottom of the lock housing. The SKS has a sash safety which is located on the right of the trigger guard . The weapon is secured in the front position; the lever must be turned back to unlock.

The SKS has a one-piece wooden shaft with a wooden heat protection over the gas pipe. A sliding visor with a U-rear sight above the barrel holder serves as a sight, the front sight sits in a raised front sight on the muzzle. The bayonet mount is located between the grain carrier and the gas sampling block. The folding bayonet is permanently connected to the weapon and cannot be removed without tools. If it is not used, it is folded back and the point sunk into the fore-end. Soviet SKS had a knife bayonet, and some of the licensed weapons also used square bayonets.

Compared to the AK-47, the projectiles have a higher muzzle velocity (735 vs. 715 m / s) due to the longer barrel (474 ​​vs. 415 mm ), which leads to a slightly flatter flight path and greater range.


The carbine, like many other Soviet armaments, was passed on to allied nations. In the arsenal of the NVA the weapon was carried as an S carbine . Other countries, for example China and the former Yugoslavia, first produced identical copies under license, but later independent models based on the SKS. The number of all SKS manufactured worldwide is estimated at around 15 million. Today it is only used as a representative weapon in honor guards of the Russian army and parade weapon of the Chinese People's Liberation Army .


  • Albania: rifle “10. July ” , externally recognizable by the fore-end and handguard pulled forward until gas is drawn off
  • China: Type 56 carbine
  • GDR: Karabiner S
  • Yugoslavia: Zastava M59 / 66
  • North Korea: Type 63 carbine

User states


  • Günter Wollert, Reiner Lidschun, Wilfried Copenhagen : small arms . (1945-1985). In: Illustrated encyclopedia of rifles from around the world . 5th edition. tape 1 + 2 . Brandenburgisches Verlagshaus, Berlin 1988, ISBN 3-89488-057-0 , weapons, p. 408, 409 .

Web links

Commons : SKS  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h i j k l Maxim Popenker: SKS Simonov. In: Modern Firearms., accessed January 31, 2019 .
  2. Günter Wollert, Reiner Lidschun, Wilfried Copenhagen: small arms . (1945-1985). In: Illustrated encyclopedia of rifles from around the world . 5th edition. tape 1 + 2 . Brandenburgisches Verlagshaus, Berlin 1988, ISBN 3-89488-057-0 , weapons, p. 408 .