Vietnam bring-back Chinese SKS
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Thread: Vietnam bring-back Chinese SKS

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    Vietnam bring-back Chinese SKS

    My first SKS.

    I picked this one up in late 1970 from the guy who brought it back a couple months earlier. He was in the 1st Cavalry (Airmobile) Division.


    No capture papers to go with it, unfortunately. He never mentioned any, and I was 13, almost 14, at the time and didn't know or think to ask. Didn't ask the details of how he came to acquire it either..... wish I had.

    I've never fired it. Didn't have any ammo for it and couldn't find any for quite a while. A few years later I had picked up a few more of these rifles and some bring-back ammo to go with them, but never did take this one out shooting. Back in the 1970's - early 1980's period, pretty much any ammo you found was stuff that someone brought back from 'Nam. If you were lucky, you could score a half-dozen or so rounds every now and then, a couple times over a several year period I was able to pick up 100 rounds, at $25 per 100 rounds. That was a lot of money back then, more than a day's wages as I recall.


    I had a pretty good size collection of Vietnam War relics back then, during the war and for several years after the stuff was everywhere and real cheap, no one had much interest in it, including the guys who were there and brought it back. I still have a few items, this is one of them.
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    Some more photos
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    Even though you don't have 'papers', the lack of import markings is a big plus. Interesting how uncommon ammo was then, but that was before the US developed any relations with Communist countries, so it makes sense.
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    Nice rifle, thanks for sharing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by esh21167 View Post
    Even though you don't have 'papers', the lack of import markings is a big plus. Interesting how uncommon ammo was then, but that was before the US developed any relations with Communist countries, so it makes sense.

    Yeah, in the 1970's and early 1980's, the only way you acquired an SKS was to bring it home from Vietnam or get it from someone who did, so even without the "war trophy" certificate and/or any backstory to go with it, the origin of any SKS you encountered was pretty easy to determine using this formula: SKS = Vietnam.

    Besides the 1960's and early 1970's dated Chinese 7.62X39 ammo that showed up in small and infrequent quantities, I did in the very early 1980's manage to acquire one box of Lapua, which I treasured like gold and never did fire any of it.

    Pretty much the same for Chinese and Soviet Mosin-Nagant M44 carbines, which, along with the SKS, were the most commonly encountered "bring-back" rifles.

    Back in that era 7.62X54r ammo for Mosins (any that weren't Vietnam bring-backs were almost always rifles imported from Spain and Finland in the 1950's-early 1960's) and SVT Tokarevs (which were all Finn captured rifles brought in in the 1950's and early 1960's) was also quite difficult to find, or was very expensive and very hard to find Norma.

    In the early 1980's I had a Finn captured SVT-40, several Vietnam Russian and Chinese M44 carbines, a 91/30 my grandfather captured in Russia in WW2, and some Spanish Civil War 91/30's including a very nicely sporterized one that had been professionally converted into an attractive and high-grade hunting rifle.

    Other than the Norma - which I hated to use in the SVT because it shredded the case necks - the only ammo I could find was either WW1 dated stuff that Remington made for the Russians before they cancelled that contract and then later for the U.S., or on very rare occasions rather "iffy" cruddy looking Russian stuff from the late 1920's - early 1930's period that must have come in from Spain in the early 1950's, or perhaps Finland.

    Then in the early to mid 1980's, a bunch of 7.62X54r ammo from the Middle East came in. This stuff had Arabic writing head-stamps and Arab writing on the boxes. It looked good, but was really poor shooting stuff with a lot of duds, mis-fires, etc. that made it more suitable for display in a collection than actual shooting.

    At one time there were no AK rifles to be had in the U.S. except an occasional Vietnam War Trophy (some legal, some not) which you couldn't have here in California anyhow, so other than an expensive and scarce Valmet or Galil (which aren't exact Comblock military pattern rifles), if you wanted something similar to an AK that shot the same ammo, an SKS was your only choice.

    I knew another SKS collector, in Huntington Beach, CA, who designed and was making in limited quantities (one at a time, by hand) a steel stock center section that made an SKS look more like an AK. It used the buttstock and fore-end from the SKS stock, and was very well made and good looking. Many of the bring-back SKS rifles available at the time had stocks that were cracked and/or broken at the thin areas along the sides under the receiver and there were no replacement stocks available, so this metal section was a good way to return a broken stock rifle to shootable condition, as well as giving it that cool AK appearance.


    Of course, all of this changed in the mid-1980's when all that stuff started flowing in from China. With the availability of affordable AK's the market for these SKS stock center sections kind of dried up and SKS replacement stocks were available. Still, I am rather surprised that no one else ever came up with some kind of kit like this to make an SKS look like an AK, especially those ones that used AK magazines. I would think that with all the cheap SKS rifles that were available in the later 1980's and early 1990's, that someone would have preferred something like this to all that cheap and nasty looking "tactical" stuff that was available for drooling moron Bubbas to ass up their rifles with.

    Of course the influx of stuff from China also took care of the ammo shortages for Comblock calibers.
    Last edited by Marcus; 06-16-2019 at 02:28 PM.
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    Here's a link to couple that BR7.62 has for sale here:

    https://www.theakforum.net/forums/42...ml#post2899045



    They sure look to me a lot like my bring-back and others I've seen or owned.

    I wonder if BR has any more information and/or history on them.

    Compared to those beaters from Albania that Classic Firearms is selling for around the same price, these are quite a deal. And with the serial numbers being that close, if they are Vietnam bring-backs, they probably came together out of an NVA or VC weapons cache.
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    Great looking rifle OP. I bought my 1st one in 1980 from I guy I was stationed with at Ft. Carson. He liberated a cache of weapons in Cambodia, but lost the paperwork. It looks just like yours probably was never fired until I got it. He wanted a new fishing boat and wasn't into guns. I gave him $200 and never looked back. He thought he got over on me. I still have it. It's going to my granddaughter when I'm gone.
    Back in 1980 the local gunshop in Colorado Springs was selling 7.62x39 for $1.00 a round until I found Lapua at the local gunshow. Boy I miss those days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Some more photos
    What is that notch in the stock where the “6” is? Nice piece. My first SKS came out of a skid full of cosmoline packed compartments. Tricked it out with a Fiberforce pistol grip stock, scope with correct mount, multiple detachable duckbill 30’s and a flash suppressor that I pinned on. This was so long ago that I sold it with a thumbhole stock MAK 90 for $250, for both! Mistake.
    Big thanks to Moses1986, 10Gauge, Pookie, NFA ARMS, Duck Durbin and everyone that served this country.

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    It's a factory repair that was done when the stock was originally made. Probably a knot hole or other defect in the wood that was repaired by inletting it and putting this little filler patch piece in.



    Some more photos, serial numbers and receiver markings:
    Attached Images
    Last edited by Marcus; 07-02-2019 at 08:40 PM.
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    Marcus, does your rifle have this mark?
    Doughnut Mark.jpg
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    It does. Any idea what it means? Seems to me I've seen that concentric circle marking on Mosins too.
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    Last edited by Marcus; 07-02-2019 at 08:35 PM.
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    I have no idea, but do see these marks on Vietnam bring back SKS rifles.
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    The concentric 0's is an accuracy proof/ acceptance mark found on Mosin Nagant and SKS rifles.

    According to the historians on Gunboards and the 7.62x54r sites.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Pretty much the same for Chinese and Soviet Mosin-Nagant M44 carbines, which, along with the SKS, were the most commonly encountered "bring-back" rifles.

    Back in that era 7.62X54r ammo for Mosins (any that weren't Vietnam bring-backs were almost always rifles imported from Spain and Finland in the 1950's-early 1960's) and SVT Tokarevs (which were all Finn captured rifles brought in in the 1950's and early 1960's) was also quite difficult to find, or was very expensive and very hard to find Norma.
    My father was a Lieutenant and forward observer in Vietnam. He chose a Russian M44 when the contents of a weapons cache was divvied up. He said that the higher ranking officers got the pistols. He had the rifle for about twenty years and never fired it. When I got in to guns, he decided to have a friend check it out. My father thought it was an SKS, but his friend informed him that it was a Russian M44 with a laminated stock. He then said that I could shoot it. The only 7.62x54R ammo that I could find was Norma. I remember that box of 20rds cost me over $30. This was around 1989. I shot it and have since reloaded the cases several times. The really cool thing about this particular M44 is that it came with a Chinese grenade launcher that's patterned after a M1 Garand grenade launcher, except that it's opposite. There's some sort of circular disk on the stock that was used to determine the angle of launch. I'm told that the grenade launcher is worth more than the rifle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bret View Post
    My father was a Lieutenant and forward observer in Vietnam. He chose a Russian M44 when the contents of a weapons cache was divvied up. He said that the higher ranking officers got the pistols. He had the rifle for about twenty years and never fired it. When I got in to guns, he decided to have a friend check it out. My father thought it was an SKS, but his friend informed him that it was a Russian M44 with a laminated stock. He then said that I could shoot it. The only 7.62x54R ammo that I could find was Norma. I remember that box of 20rds cost me over $30. This was around 1989. I shot it and have since reloaded the cases several times. The really cool thing about this particular M44 is that it came with a Chinese grenade launcher that's patterned after a M1 Garand grenade launcher, except that it's opposite. There's some sort of circular disk on the stock that was used to determine the angle of launch. I'm told that the grenade launcher is worth more than the rifle.
    very cool story, would love to see some pictures of the rifle.
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