The Albanian SKS is the rarest of the major adoptees of the SKS rifle (Russia, China, Romania, Yugoslavia, Albania), and has a handful of interested details that differ from all other examples of the SKS rifle. The gun came about as the result of Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha’s pivot from Soviet to Chinese alliance in the 1960s. Mao granted Albania a license to produce the Type 56 SKS in 1962, and the country would produce between 15,000 and 20,000 or the rifles by 1978.
Mechanically, the Albanian version is identical to the Chinese Type 56. It differs in a few aesthetic details, however:
– Longer stock and handguards, completely covering the gas tube
– Hook shaped bolt handle
– Curved profile to the magazine body
– Two trapdoors in the buttstock
– Slightly shorter spike bayonet
These may not be hugely important details, but the give the Albanian SKS a different (and I think better) look than the other variations. In addition to the dated examples between 1967 and 1978 (less 1972-75, when no production took place), there are also a batch of undated examples. These may be the early year or years of production, but this is not known for sure.
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