(Mfg in 1966 by Zavod Crevena Zastava in the former Yugoslavia)
(Click PIC to Enlarge)(Click PIC to Enlarge)
Rifling & Twist: ............ 4 groove, right hand, 1:10 twist
Barrel Length: .............. 20.375 in
Overall Length: ............ 1021mm (40.2 in)
Weight: ........................ 3.85 Kg (8 lbs, 8 oz)
Magazine Capacity: ...... 10 rounds
Qty Mfg: ...................... 52,169 produced between 1961 and 1967
Source: .... The SKS Carbine by S. Kehaya an J. Poyer, ISBN 1-882391-14-4, Serbian and Yugoslav Mausers by B. Bogdanovic, ISBN 1-882391-35-7
Poluatomaska Puska (PAP) M59 SKS Carbine
(28 picture virtual tour)
Note: Pics of rifle provided courtesy of Milsurps.com moderator Claven2.
During the Soviet era, the USSR took great pains to export technology and arms to fledgling communist governments and satellite states throughout Europe and the far east. Beginning with the introduction of the AK47 and the cessation of Soviet SKS45 production in 1956, the soviet Union began exporting both completed rifles and the tooling and knowledge to produce the SKS to these governments. Among the countries that would eventually produce the SKS, China began SKS production with Soviet assistance in 1956, Romania in 1957, Yugoslavia in 1961 and North Korea in 1963. (Note this is NOT a comprehensive list of countries to manufacture the SKS)
Although the first Yugoslavian-made SKS was produced in 1961, full production only began in 1964 at the Preduzece 44 plant, also known as the Zavod Crevena Zastava or Red Banner Works. 1961 saw the production of only 100 M59's and in 1962 and 1963 there was no production. Between 1964 and 1967 when production switched to the M59/66 SKS, an additional 52,069 rifles had been produced for a total of 52,169.
Yugoslavian SKS carbines do not bear a factory name or manufacturer's identification marking, but all were produced at Zastava. The primary difference between an M59 and the later-produced M59/66 is the lack of a grenade launcher spigot and an outward resemblance to the Soviet-produced SKS. All M59 carbines have the majority of parts stamped or etched with a part number and serialized parts generally include the receiver, bolt, bolt carrier, stock, dust cover*, magazine cover, and trigger guard*. (* using electropencil, otherwise numbers are applied by pantograph engraving)
Yugoslavian SKS carbines have the following primary differences from the Russian SKS45:
1) Stock woods are Elm, Beech or Teak (Russian guns wear either Birch or laminate wood)
2) Barrels are not chrome lined (Russian barrels are chrome lined starting in late 1953)
3) Late pattern triangular cross-section firing pin, not spring loaded (Russian firing pins vary in design depending on year of production)
4) Cleaning kit components are sometimes made of brass (Russian cleaning kit components are always made of steel)
6) Bayonet is sand blasted finish (russian bayonets can be either blasted matte or polished bright, depending on year of manufacture)
7) Location of serial numbers (for example the Yugo bolt carrier is numbered on the side while the Russian carrier is numbered on top)
Collector's Comments and Feedback:
1. The pictured rifle was imported to Canada by Marstar in either the late 1990's or early 2000's. Marstar was one of the first arms concerns to export large quantities of Yugoslav military surplus arms after the civil wars in that region. Most of Marstar's exports from Yugoslavia went to the United States, though a quantity comparable to market size was also delivered to Canada. Most of the M59's in presentable condition were part of the Marstar import activity, as well as a fair number of the M59/66 imports. Other companies did import M59's to the US market, but they were often worn issued examples, while the Marstar guns were usually new or refurbed with comparably less wear.
Canadian law, unfortunately, requires SKS magazines be limited to 5 rounds. Yugo SKS's will typically be encountered in Canada with the magazines limited one of two ways. Most had a piece of sheet metal epoxied into the dust cover, but near the end of sales the government determined this was not permanent enough and some were limited by the welding of a small rod to the follower arm. Both methods are typically well done and not observable when the rifle is disassembled. Later imports to Canada of Russian and Chinese SKS carbines had unsightly rivet-work or welding visible on the magazine cover itself and are arguably less desirable examples of the SKS as a result.
Date of manufacture of an M59 will typically be 1964, 1965, 1966 or 1967. Only 100 carbines were made in 1961 and collectors are unlikely to ever encounter one. These first 100 were serialized 1 through 100, but when production resumed in 1964 serial numbers re-started at 1, so it might not be possible to even identify a 1961-made carbine. Additionally, only 44 M59's were assembled in 1967, so this year is also difficult to locate. Look for a serial number between C-52035 and C-52079. All A and B serial prefix guns are from 1964 and C-prefix up to 34300 are 1964 as well. 1965 ended at C-41000 and 1966 ended at C-52025.
Finally, a non-refurb M59 is typically more desireable than a refurb rifle from a collection standpoint. The easiest way to detect a refurb is to look for serial numbers that have been electro-pencilled apart from those on the trigger group and dust cover, both of which are always electro-pencilled even on new production guns............ (Feedback by "Claven2")
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