The Mosin Nagant is a bolt-action military rifle dating back to the late 1800s. It was designed in 1891 and remained in service with the Russian military for over half a century. I am not a fan. It was not until the closing years of World War II that Russia decided to put an end to production of the Mosin-Nagant in favor of a new rifle chambered for their 7.62x39mm cartridge, which was developed in 1943. That rifle was the SKS, also known as the Samozaryadnyj Karabin sistemy Simonova, or “self-loading carbine system by Simonov,” named after its designer Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov. It was a marked improvement over the Mosin-Nagant.
The standard SKS is a semi-automatic rifle with a gas-operated short-stroke piston system. It also features a top-loaded, 10-round internal magazine that is best loaded using stripper clips. As noted, it was designed to fire the 7.62x39mm cartridge. The thinking behind the replacement of the Mosin-Nagant was as follows. In addition to being long, heavy, bolt-action rifles, the Mosin-Nagant was designed to fire the 7.62x54R cartridge. This cartridge is a superb cartridge for firearms designed with an effective range in excess of 2000m. However, in the Mosin-Nagant, it caused excess recoil. Coupled with the fact that most military firefights take place within a much shorter range, the decision was made to pursue a new firearm designed to fire a less powerful cartridge. Though it was only in service briefly, it was replaced by a worthy firearm – the iconic AK-47. Today, the SKS is one of the most popular firearms on the surplus market.
Rather than buying a complete SKS on the civilian surplus market, take this opportunity to build your own – start with our Yugoslavian SKS barrel. As noted, this barrel is an original factory SKS barrel for the M59/66 produced in the 1960s and 1970s. The barrel measures 22 inches in overall length and may or may not include a chrome-lined bore. Prior to 1970, Yugoslavia had the means to produce chrome and nickel but no method to apply the material to the bore of a rifle. It was not until after 1970 that the Kragujevac factory began production of chrome-lined barrels for the SKS. Regardless, these barrels have been stored in corrosion-resistant paper and are free from corrosion and pitting. However, this does mean that they will need to be thoroughly cleaned and sand blasted prior to applying a finish and mounting. Additionally, this barrel has not had a gas port drilled into it. Typically, that is completed after the installation of the barrel. As I said, this project will truly be a build from the ground on. Finally, you will notice a threaded end on the barrel for the attachment of a 22mm grenade launcher and other muzzle devices.
Whether you are building an SKS or need a replacement barrel, the Yugoslavian SKS barrel is sure to serve you well for years to come.