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SKS Instruction Manual

Careless use of any firearm can be dangerous. The warnings and instructions in this manual should be read thoroughly so that you might fully understand how to properly use your SKS rifle.

Accidental discharge can occur from careless handling and could cause serious injury, death or damage to property.


Use only 7.62x39mm ammunition in your SKS rifle. Never attempt to use ammunition of any other caliber in your gun. Use only new manufactured ammunition that is of high quality and in good condition.

Never use remanufactured or hand loaded (reloaded) ammunition or ammunition that is faulty, incorrect or non-standard, as both the manufacturer and the importer of this firearm specifically disclaim responsibility for any damage or injury whatsoever occurring in connection with or as the result of the use of such ammunition with this firearm.
History of the SKS
The concept of the assault rifle began with the Soviets in the early 1900's. Later, during World War I, Vladimir Federov introduced the Federov 1916 Automatic Rifle, which fired a 6.5x50.5 SR Japanese cartridge. At this time this cartridge was thought to be the best for use in rapid firing rifles. These guns were used toward the end of the 1914-18 war and the Russo-Finnish war of 1939-40.

During world war II the Russians were needed for the "Avtomat" increased, and they adopted use of a 7.62x39mm cartridge. The weapon created by S.G. Simonov to fire this cartridge was the SKS-45 (Samozaryadni Karabin Simonova) a self loading carbine, which was scaled down version of the 14.5x111.8mm PRTS anti- tank rifle. The SKS-45 was easy to field strip and maintain and was quite popular.

At the same time, M.T. Kalashnikov was working on designing a series of small arms, which would also use the 7.62x39mm cartridge. He was successful, and developed one of the best known military weapons of our time, the AK-47 (Avtomat Kalashnikova) in 1947.

The AK-47 was the prototype for many subsequent versions, and the Chinese manufactured SKS Type 56 rifle is a direct derivative of Kalashnikov's design. At the conclusion of World War II, the People's Republic of China inherited many of these Soviet weapons from the Japanese (The Japanese had seized them in Manchuria.).

During the Chinese civil war, the PRC began making this equipment, and by wars end were well on their way to standardizing production of these Soviet-type small arms.

In recent years, the PRC has been producing the 7.62x39mm Type 68, the 7.62x 39mm Type 67, the 7.62x25mm Type 64, and the SKS Type 56 with the distinguishing folding bayonet.

The SKS-56 was encountered frequently during the Vietnam war.

As a military weapon, the SKS rifle is only used by frontier forces, however it remains ever popular with American sportsman as a hunting weapon, and as always with collectors and firearms enthusiasts.

Specifications of the SKS Type 56:

Caliber:        7.62 x 39mm
Weight:     8.4lbs (approx.)
Length:     40.20 inches
Barrel:    20.5 inches, 4 groove, R.H. Twist
Muzzle Velocity:     2.410 f.p.s.
Magazine:    10-round fixed box
Aiming range:  0.621 mile or 1 kilometer

The SKS rifle consists of 11 main parts.

figure 1

1. Recoil Spring Assembly
2. Receiver Cover
3. Receiver
4. Bolt
5. Gas Tube/Handgaurd Assembly
6. Bayonet
7. Stock
8. Trigger Group
9. Magazine
10. Barrel
11. Cleaning Rod

The Basic SKS Accessories.

figure 2

1. Cleaning Rod Head
2. Drift
3. Brush
4. Oil Can
5. Accessory Case
6. Muzzle cap
7. Gasport Cleaning Tool
8. Clip

Operating the SKS:

1. Flip the safety to the "ON" position. (figure 3)
2. Pull charging handle on bolt carrier back until the action locks open.
3. Load with either single rounds or stripper clips. (figure4). Again remain conscious of muzzle position.
4. Pull charging handle back and let the bolt carrier fly forward to chamber the first round.
5. The rifle is now loaded.

1. Aim rifle down range.
2. Release the safety.
3. Place the finger inside trigger guard on the trigger.
4. Pull the trigger. Instruction for after firing (ALWAYS REMAIN CONSCIOUS OF MUZZLE POSITION!!)
    When the gun is fired, gas pressure is extracted from the spent cartridges, and they are ejected. New rounds are then
    automatically fed until all rounds are gone, or the shooter stops firing.
    When finished firing, lock back the bolt and always engage the safety before unloading unused shells.

1. If bolt was locked back, rifle should be unloaded.
2. Visually inspect the magazine and chamber to confirm that gun is empty.
3. If unsure whether empty, immediately place the safety in the "ON" position.
4. Release the magazine cover by pulling back the magazine cover latch.(figure5)
5. Any unexpended rounds will now be freed from the magazine.
6. Now, lock the magazine cover back in place.
7. Next, pull back the charging handle to the rear and extract and eject the live round in the chamber. The bolt stop will automatically lock the bolt carrier back. (figure6)
8. Again visually inspect the weapon.

SKS Disassembly and Assembly

Instructions for Disassembly/Assembly

1. Take out all the accessories. With a finger, press in on the cover of the accessory chamber on the butt plate and take the case for accessories out of the stock.(figure7) Open the case and take out the accessories.
2. To remove the cleaning rod: Swing the bayonet outward from the muzzle of the rifle and remove the cleaning rod. Then, fold the bayonet back down to a "march position".
3. To remove receiver cover and recoil spring assembly: Hold the small of the stock with your left hand, pressing with your thumb on the rear of the receiver cover (figure8); Rotate with the right hand the receiver cover retaining pin arm upward to its vertical position and pull the pin out to the right as far as possible. (figure9) Allow receiver cover to move backward 1/2" and remove by sliding to rear.(figure10) Remove the recoil spring from the rear of the bolt carrier. (figure11) (Be certain to reinstall recoil spring with C Clip end forward.)
4. To remove the bolt: Pull the bolt back as far as it will go, and remove entire assembly.(figure12) When reinstalling bolt, be certain magazine cover is not latched.
5. To remove Gas tube/Handguard Assembly: Use a pin punch to pry the lever located on the right of rear sight base into the position where the camming surface located at the front is completely vertical. (figure13) CAUTION: Further movement will allow operating rod and spring to escape.
6. Now remove the Gas tube/Handguard assembly, raise the handguard assembly and rock it slowly from side to side until it can be pulled away from the gas block.(figure14)
7. The gas piston can now be pulled out of the gas tube/Handguard assembly. NOTE: The seven steps listed are sufficient to field-strip the rifle for cleaning and regular maintenance.


Cleaning the SKS:

Make a safe examination of the rifle to be certain it is not loaded before cleaning.
To clean, begin with the rifle field Stripped.

Instruction for Cleaning the rifle
1. Attach the bore brush to the cleaning rod.
2. Saturate the bore brush with gun solvent and push though the length of barrel.(figure15) If using corrosive primer, this step is very important to remove the corrosive residue from the barrel of your rifle.
3. Make at least 10 passes though the barrel from the muzzle end. The cap of the accessory tube can be used to protect the crown of the muzzle from damage during cleaning. Use a cleaning jag or slotted tip and push a clean dry patch through the bore. Alternate this procedure with wet and dry patches until patches come out clean.
4. Dry the bore with a clean patch, and then again apply a thin coat of oil to the bore with a final oil soaked patch.
5. While cleaning the bore, you should also give the chamber area a thorough brushing as well. Use the same technique with the patches, alternating wet and dry until the chamber is clean. Do not leave oil residue in the chamber.
6. Clean the bolt, bolt carrier, piston, recoil spring and receiver. A toothbrush can be used effectively for cleaning these parts. Wipe them dry, and then coat the bearing surfaces of the bolt and bolt carrier with a thin coat of grease. Do not pour oil into the receiver indiscriminately.
7. Clean the gas port block area.(figure16) Remove the gas piston from the handguard and gas cylinder assembly, and clean thoroughly with solvent. Remove all carbon fouling, Dry with a clean rag, then apply a light coat of oil. (gas port cleaning tool is normally not included in basic cleaning kits, but it is available from SKS parts dealer.)


Removing the trigger mechanism and magazine

1. Place the safety in the "ON" position.
2. Release box magazine cover.
3. Use a pin punch to strike the trigger mechanism retaining button at the rear of trigger bow.(figure17)
4. Once released, the trigger assembly can be pulled back from the stock assembly.
5. With the trigger mechanism removed, and the bolt locked in the open position, the magazine can be taken out of the stock by simultaneously pulling the magazine down and to the rear.(figure18)
When reinstalling magazine be certain front of magazine is engaged in lug on receiver.


Removing Receiver and Barrel Assembly From the Stock:

(Prior to start, remove trigger mechanism/magazine.)1. Extend bayonet.
2. Lay gun on padded table upside down.
3. With right hand hold rear of receiver assembly tightly against table with screwdriver or punch. With left hand, lift up firmly on stock separating the two pieces. (figure19)
NOTE: Crossbolt removal is not required or recommended.


Sight Adjustment:


Using a front sight elevation tool, insert the forked end of the tool into the top of the front sight hood.
Engage the tool into the flats of the front sight post.
Turn the tool counter clockwise to lower the bullets point of impact on the target.
To raise the point of impact turn the tool clockwise.


Using a small mallet and brass punch, or an after market windage adjustment tool, windage can be adjusted by drifting the front sight seat, in the direction desired.
From the perspective of a sight picture, move the front sight seat in the opposite direction you want your point of impact to shift. For example, to move the group on the target to the left, drift the front sight seat to the right.

The rear sight is an open notch type which is adjustable for elevation from 100 meters to 1000 meters(110-1100 yards). There is also an all purpose "battle" setting on the sight ladder, set for 300 meters(330 yards). This is attained by moving the elevation slide to the rear of the ladder as far as it will go.

Mounting the Bayonet:

Begin by sliding the bayonet handle and the bayonet spring over the tang of the spike bayonet.
Push downward on the handle until the slot for attaching the bayonet screw is exposed.
Hold the bayonet carefully in this position with the muzzle ring facing the muzzle of the rifle and insert the bayonet pin with a screwdriver of proper size.

Parts Legend

figure 20
          Exploded view of SKS 56
1. Piston
2. Handguard and gas cylinder
3. Piston extension
4. Piston return spring
5. Front sight
6. Front sight seat
7. Handguard catch
8. Bayonet screw
9. Bayonet assembly
10. Hold open latch pin
11. Hold open latch spring
12. Hold open latch
13. Receiver and Barrel
14. Takedown latch
15. Trigger guard latch
16. Latch pin
17. Rear housing
18. Bolt carrier
19. Bolt
20. Firing pin retainer
21. Firing pin
22. Extractor spring
23. Extractor
24. Recoil spring
25. Spring retainer
26. Large spring guide
27. Small spring guide
28. Stock assembly
29. Trigger guard spring
30. Magazine
31. Magazine follower
32. Follower spring
33. Hinge pin
34. Magazine cover
35. Cover latch
36. Latch spring and sear spring
37. Sear
38. Latch stop pin
39. Trigger guard
40. Disconnector hinge assembly
41. Trigger pin
42. Safety catch
43. Safety catch spring
44. Trigger
45. Safety catch pin
46. Trigger bar
47. Trigger bar pin
48. Trigger spring
49. Disconnector
50. Rebound Disconnector
51. Hammer
52. Hammer strut pin
53. Hammer strut
54. Hammer spring
55. Cleaning rod
56. Buttplate Assembly

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