By Bob Walsh
The Gun of the Week this time around is SKS-45 Carine.
This weapon saw very limited actual use in WW II. It was designed by Sergi Gavrilovich Simonov.
The Russians (and most everybody else) concluded that the older battle rifles were overly powerful. They were effective at 800-1,000 yards where most actual fighting took place at 350 yards or less. A smaller, lighter weapon firing a shorter, less powerful cartridge would have some significant advantages. This weapon was chambered for the 7.62 X 39, also known as the .30 caliber Russian short.
They were general issue by 1949 and stayed in limited use well into the 1960s, long after it was officially supplanted by the AK-47. They are in fact still in use by some honor guard personnel.
The standard weapon features a ten round magazine which can be loaded with either stripper clips or loose rounds. It has an integral bayonet which folds back under the barrel. Early rifles used a spike bayonet, later ones used a blade bayonet.
They were manufactured in many Communist countries. The Russian ones had chromed bores to resist the ravages of corrosive primers. Some of the other ones, notably the Yugoslav variants, did not necessarily have this feature.
These weapons were used extensively against us in Vietnam, and our soldiers often carried them in preference to the early M-16, which were rightly considered to be unreliable.
There were a few gazillion of these import from Communist China. They were often complete crap, with pressed in barrels, stamped small parts and stocks that looked like they were whittled by a drunk from a pine 2X4 with as dull knife.
I actually had one of these for some years, a very good Russian military produced piece that appeared to have gone straight into civil defense storage without ever being issued. It even had a nice piece of wood on it. I got it for a song when the Russians dumped them out of civil defense stocks back in the 1990s. I eventually sold it because I hardly ever shot it. I am now sorry I did. With the bad press that the Kalashnikov has gotten of late having a good SKS might have come in handy.