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SKS RIFLE (TC 9-56, SIMONOV TYPE 56) (Paperback)

When you absolutely, positively have to learn the SKS from one manual- accept no substitutes., April 11, 2011

Department of the Army TC (Training Circular) 9-56 “SKS Rifle, Simomov Type 56” was first released in October of 1969. It’s been over forty years since then, but like the SKS itself this manual is still relevant and useful. The title may be a bit confusing- I don’t know why it mentions the Type 56 specifically- but the manual itself focuses on the SKS as a whole and is highly informative. General information describes details of the weapon in general and specific variants among other models, such as the spike bayonet mounted on the Chinese Type 56 and the hole in the stock (one of two mounts of the sling) on the East German Karabiner-S. These variations ultimately change little about the weapon itself, but it is important to know which one you’re using. The original SKS, the Karabiner-S, the Yugoslavian M59/66 and its unique gas cutoff system are among the included pictures, with details noted about particular variations they have.

Operation- loading and unloading- as well as assembly and disassembly are discussed here in plenty of detail. I rather liked how it tells you when to stop with disassembly, noting after a point that “no further disassembly is necessary or desirable.” Accessories and general rifle malfunctions are also addressed, the latter in standard Army fashion. A set of possible Conditions are listed, each linked to a Cause and then to a Remedy. This won’t necessarily solve everything but it should certainly help. A table of technical data on the SKS is also listed- barrel length, rate of fire, practical range, etc.

Last in the manual are a handful of Army tasks for soldiers training to use the SKS. These were intended for them, but can be useful for anybody desiring to gain proficiency with the weapon. The tasks are such things as disassembling the SKS in 2 minutes and reassembling it in 4 minutes. Instructions are listed step-by-step and they are not difficult to follow.

There not many manuals around on operation of the SKS rifle. So far as I know there’s only two. This one, I can say with great confidence, is as good as any other available, and that includes any manuals that the Chinese, North Koreans, Russians, etc. released on their SKS’ themselves. The Army did a fine job in writing this manual, and I expect it will always be useful.


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