The Humble yet Increasingly Collectible SKS Rifle: A History
By Chris Eger
With its origin in WWII and Cold War production history, the SKS can be a thing of beauty. (Photo: Guns.com)
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A common question posed is, “Who made the SKS?” The answer to that question is curious and contains some unexpected twists and turns. When it comes to Soviet small arms used in World War II, the quick and common answers are typically 7.62x54R-caliber rifles like the iconic Mosin-Nagant M91/30 and SVT-40, alongside the ever-present PPSh-41 and PPS-43 submachine guns chambered in pistol-caliber 7.62x25mm. This is understandable as wartime figures say that the Motherland was able to pony up a staggering 18 million of those weapons alone during the conflict. However other arguably man-portable weapons also appeared in the hands of Stalin’s “frontoviks” to include the PTRS-41 anti-tank gun.
This thing. (Photo: Vitaly V. Kuzmin/Wiki Commons)
The outsized elephant gun sprang from the mind of one Sergei Simonov and the rifle’s designation, in typical Russian fashion, includes his name (Protivo Tankovoye Ruzh’yo Simonova= Simonov’s Anti-Tank Gun) in its title. The downright chunky five-shot semi-automatic was chambered in 14.5x114mm — a round a good bit larger than John Browning’s vaunted .50-caliber BMG. Weighing in at 46-pounds, the PTRS-41 was