Curious Balkan boom stick: The Albanian SKS (VIDEOS)
By Chris Eger
A Soviet Russian-designed weapon with its roots in WWII, the Chinese helped tiny Albania roll their own SKS rifles in the 1960s and 70s after they both stopped talking to Moscow. Eric and Chad with IV8888 touch on this oddball 7.62x39mm carbine in the above video.
Designed by Russian weapons engineer Sergei Simonov, the SKS-45 was beta-tested by the Soviets in the last days of the push against Berlin. With the kinks worked out by 1949, the 10-round semi-auto was adopted by the Russkis– briefly– until the much better (and select-fire) AK47 was put into production. However, in the interest of helping the international Communist community, the Kremlin spread the knowledge of how to build the more dated SKS design to their newfound allies in Red China, Romania, Poland, Yugoslavia, and East Germany.
With the tiny country of Albania, under the regime of Marxist dictator Enver Hoxha, on the outs with the Soviets by the 1960s, he turned to one of the few friends he had left and, from behind the Bamboo Curtain, China helped get the ball rolling on the Albanian SKS. After all, what is a man with as many as 750,000 bunkers for a population of 3 million to