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Old April 27, 2016, 09:21 PM   #1
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Early Type 56 SKS Serial Numbers and Markings

Is this correct? I've read several differing accounts but from what I understand.

1) Sino-Soviet guns had a Tula marking and a low serial number (No factory stamping)
2) 1956- Early 1957 (Ghost Guns) Were seen as the first true Chinese SKS. Serial Numbers up to the early 200,000's but no factory stamping.
3) 1957 The Arsenal 26 marking begins to appear.
4) 1959-1960???? The letter guns appear prefixed with Latin letters.
This is the part where people seem to disagree......Some think that these are a variant of the Sino Soviet's and some think that they are just a new numbering system.

• Early to mid 1956: Soviet Sino Guns, S/N 0001 to ~2000.
• 1956 – to at latest, April 1957: Ghost Guns, S/N ~2000 to ~213,700.
• Early 1957: six digit /26\ marked guns, S/N ~213,700 to at least 348,996.
• Late 1957: 2 million /26\ marked guns, S/N ~2,350,000 to at least 2,422,810. There may be an overlap between the six-digit /26\ and these.
• 1958: 3 million /26\ marked guns, S/N ~3,000,001 to at least 3,234,000. First observation of the stock side sling swivel.
• 1959: Letter Prefix /26\ marked guns, S/N prefixes A to ~K, no L yet found. First observation of large (1/4” tall x ~1/4” wide) font.
• 1960?: Letter Prefix /26\ marked guns, S/N prefixes ~M to Y, no Q or Z yet found. These guns could theoretically be lumped with the 1959 letters, and 1960 could have been a very light Type 56 year. There is really no hard evidence pointing one way or the other, though I would lean towards major disruptions in Chinese Type 56 production as the Sino-Soviet split was entering full swing and China could no longer rely on easily getting barreled receivers supplied from the USSR. This also can give additional meaning to the Chinese ideograph markings seen on the 1961 built carbines as they were now fully Chinese built.
• 1961: 6 million /26\ marked guns, S/N ~6,000,001 to at least 6,015,612. First observation of the五六式 stamp.

Last edited by Rich_357; April 28, 2016 at 07:08 PM.
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Old April 27, 2016, 11:55 PM   #2
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I've never read anything about sino-soviets having tula markings. as far as I knew they had the same /26\ that most chinese sks have only they hadn't worked out a proper serial number schema yet so there's a few different serial number styles.
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the stuff people said I did-Albert Einstein
You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
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Old April 28, 2016, 07:06 PM   #3
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From what I've read, the TRUE Sino-Soviet SKS was made from 1955-1956. They were partially or fully built of Russian manufactured parts. The markings were less discriet than their Soviet counter parts but some of them appeared to have Russian stocks and quality control markings. The quality control markings apparently continued for a few years and then slowly faded away. This is what a Sino-Soviet receiver is supposed to look like. The serial numbers range from 1 into the 2000's. Note that there is no factory marking and the star off to the side.

The Ghosts were built from 1956 to early 1957. What I read stated that these were the first SKSs produced using purely Chinese made parts. They had a serial number, no factory marking and the Tula star was gone. Some of the quality control stamps exist on these guns. The serial numbers go to the low 200k range.

1957 introduced the Factory 26 stamping.
1958 Swing swivel moved from bottom of the stock to the side.
~1958, 1959, 1960 The letter guns came out.

Last edited by Rich_357; April 28, 2016 at 07:52 PM.
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