Great stuff as usual
Edit, 7/1/13: A new specimen is added to this post. Thanks for scrolling down!
I was browsing through the vault the other day, and decided to pull out a little known SKS variant out of the racks, and take some new pics.
The gun is what is referred to as the "Egyptian Contract" by collectors here in the US, though there is no specific documentation available that defines the actual contract. Many SKS's can be found in the Middle East with Arabic markings from nearly every country of manufacture. But this thread will focus on the Chinese guns. A few years ago, I collected data from both Gunboards and Survivor's SKS Boards and documented twenty-six known examples owned by members. All are originally manufactured at the Jianshe factory /26\, and most all from the years of 1965 and 1968. The serial numbers range from 9,029,424 to 9,052,339 in 1965, suggesting a possible approximate 23,000 units. Serials from 1968 range from 12,218,6XX to 12,244,990 or about 26,000 possible units.
Mine is a 1968 model, and the factory/serial is pictured below. Exported by Norinco, and imported by CAI ST ALB VT.
Two very prominent usual features of the Egyptian Contract are the deep blued (not painted) bolt carrier, and the laminated stock, which was made in Russia, with inletting to fit both a blade or a spike bayonet. Mine has the spike, but I've inserted a spare blade in one pic to show the inletting feature.
A typical painted Arabic marking on the buttstock. (Photo, courtesy of Tex of Gunboards)
The stock on mine is most definitely a Russian arctic birch laminate, with 45 to 47 cross-grained laminate layers, wrist crossbolt, "diver's down" refurb stamp on right buttstock, and BBQ paint on the Russian buttstock plate.
Layers, next to Russian stock (on right)
Cross-grained arctic birch lamination, and rear crossbolt.
Russian refurb stamp on right buttstock (sanded and refinished, but still visible)
Buttplate comparison to Russian Refurb (left), Egyptian Contract (center), Russian non-refurb (right)
More pics of the matching metal numbers (bolt itself matches, but not shown), Cyrillic lettered rear sight leaf, non-lightening cut bolt carrier.
a). Both the deeply blued bolt, and the double inletted Russian laminated stock are NOT always present in these serial ranges. Bolts in the white, and single inletted hardwood stocks do appear on these guns, but they can show other features that connect them to the Middle East. The two most common related features are 1). The painted Arabic markings on the buttstock, and 2). A stock refinish that employs a VERY gritty and dark colored shellac. This refinish is commonly thought to have been performed at the Maadi Arsenal in Egypt (again, I can find no definitive documentation in relation to the rearsenal process of the SKS). Along with the gritty finish, other action parts have also shown replacement/scrubbing/refinishing to match, further suggesting that a rearsenal process has taken place outside of China, and most likely at Maadi.
b). Mine is CAI import marked from Norinco (established in 1980), suggesting that the gun was never delivered to the Middle East from China, and was subsequently exported to the U.S. in the 1980's or early 1990's. A very few others also show the Norinco stamp. Most show just the CAI stamp, and may have been imported from Kuwait, as confirmed through correspondence between Prince50 of Survivor's SKS and Century Arms.
c). A few Chinese guns have been found outside of the above common serial number ranges, and years of manufacture. They don't necessarily exhibit the Russian laminate stock or blued bolt, but have either the gritty shellac and/or Arabic markings. No specific "batch" of these odd appearing Chinese guns can be determined by serial number ranges or specific years. These are not usually import marked, suggesting that they are possible bringbacks from the Middle East, and from various possible countries (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel). Again, Russian and other country's guns are also found from the region with the gritty shellac and/or painted marks.
d). A few (not many) common Chinese imports have also surfaced in the above serial ranges, with no Egyptian Contract features at all. These have all been arsenal refinished with scrubbed numbers on metal parts other than the receiver, and are fitted with chu wood replacement stocks.
Disclaimer: The above post contains information gathered from the internet, and may be subject to my own interpretation and/or erroneous information. Accept this post's conclusions at your own risk! Any further commentary/documentation is always welcome. Thanks for looking and reading.
Last edited by martin08; 07-23-2013 at 06:10 AM.
Great stuff as usual
Russian rear sight
Very interesting and cool stuff, this is what makes this board great.
David Ben Uzi
What about the cleaning rod?
Now, to add. If you have a pic of your own Egyptian Contract SKS, feel free to add to this thread. The more, the merrier!
Some pic's of my two. They were bought in 1991 and 1996. Both are Century imports with the import markings on the barrel of each rifle. Both came with cleaning rods. I've also seen these rifles with laminated hand guards as well as hard wood hand guards. Mine just happen to both have laminated hand guards. It's interesting to notice the differences in the bolt carriers, barrel collars and the rear sight bases on my two rifles. They show some of the differences between different years of manufacture in the Chinese triangle 26 rifles.
Last edited by JIMMY C; 08-27-2012 at 08:36 PM.
I never met a gun I didn't like!
Dogs are better people than most people.
Here's how my '65 /26\ Egyptian Contract (top) compares to a '50 Russian (bottom)
1965 /26\ SN in 9 million range, all matching, with dark black blue on metal including bolt
Chinese handguard, dark black blue bolt
Blade bayonet cut
CAI Import stamp
SKS 762x39 NORINCO stamp
No serial number on EC stock
Last edited by Sgt Frank Rock; 09-04-2012 at 02:07 PM.
Here's a '67 /26\ Paratrooper sporting a Chinese Egyptian contract stock that was recut for a spike bayonet
Last edited by Sgt Frank Rock; 08-31-2012 at 08:24 PM.
I think I have one its a Arsenal 26 1965 thats all numbers matching except stock which is unumbered that is CAI import marked on the barrel with Russian replacement pattern laminate stock. bolt is not blued though but the rifle has a good deal of field wear patina very similar to my 2 Vietnam brinbacks so it was clearly used in the field for a while and bolt carrier looks like it has remnants of bluing left,and no aditional cut for a spike. Rifle has all the early Chinese SKS features,blade bayonet,lightning cut in carrier,early type rear site with Russian distance marker. Mine falls very close to the serial number range for a 1965,its serial is 9,0595** ,7000 above matin08 survey range is close to the accepted serial number range and is the stock finish consistent with the typical Egypt contract?
Last edited by Russian Spetznaz; 09-04-2012 at 02:41 AM.
Interesting configuration for speculation, Russian Spetznaz. The Soviet stock is quite evident, however missing the extra bayonet cut and the typical amber shellac of the refurbished Chinese imports, or the gritty brown shellac of the Middle Eastern examples. The serial number also indicates that it is VERY close to those with more prominent Egyptian Contract features.
The lack of the bluing on the bolt carrier would suggest that it was never blued, as the patina shows what would be typical for an "in the white" carrier. To reiterate, not all guns had the blued bolt, either. Most, but not all.
Though it would be possible that this gun was originally built for the contract, it's tough to tell for sure. But it isn't 100% certain that it was "not" an Egyptian Contract build.
Maybe to help - Does it have the "Norinco" stamp on the import mark, suggesting that it was still in China after the inception of Norinco in 1980?
Thank you for posting, this variant was totally unknown to me! Now I have another SKS variant quest.
Throwing in pic of my Egyptian Type 56
The Soviets not only supplied Egypt with the machine tools and training to build such rifles (and later the Kalashnikov and other weapons technology), they built them the mighty Aswan Dam to supply the electric power for the factories and stopped the flooding of the Nile.
The Russkies didn't get much back out of the incredibly expensive project, though -the Egyptians were supposed to supply grain and cotton to the USSR as well as give the Soviet way a Cold War foothold in the Middle East, but not much ever came out of it and I don't think Nasser ever made good on the huge debts Egypt owed Moscow for the Aswan Dam loans.
Egypt's relative prosperity after defeat by Israel is built in part on the wealth and infrastructure made possible by nearly limitless hydroelectric power and flood control for agriculture, plus Soviet training in metallurgy and machine work. The Soviets sent teams of
educational diplomats, usually college professors in technical areas like steel tech, to train locals in modern manufacturing. This was a complete flop in areas like Algeria but succeeded well in Egypt where huge areas got electricity for the first time and learned advanced manufacturing to make Egypt much more self-reliant.
Last edited by Stalin's Ghost; 09-11-2012 at 03:24 PM.
I just took possession of what appears to be a 1968 Egyptian contract SKS. It has all the identifying characteristic except for one, the s/n. It is a little low. My s/n is 12,218,XXX. Everything I have read states that the s/n for the '68 Egyptian contract SKS starts at 12,221,0XX. Any thoughts?
The serial number range was established from known examples that were gathered in 2010. Although these specific variants have been known for many years, the detailed serial number blocks are a relatively new detail. Yours may have just expanded the known range by a few thousand units.
Pics, if you can! Thanks.
Thanks, will post pictures in a few days.
Adding to the topic above, I recently acquired another Chinese Type-56 Carbine with some interesting features. The Jianshe Arsenal /26\ SKS, with original matching serial number 9048960, fits nicely within the general serial number range of the 1965 production guns. Yet, it does not exhibit the features of the Russian laminated stock, nor the typical blued bolt carrier.
However, this example bears the painted Arabic numeral rack numbers that are sometimes found on the Egyptian Contract specimens. A yellow painted number "1" appears on the left buttstock, and white painted "1 | 2" marks appear on the right buttstock.
The gun, itself, is in non-refurbished condition, and exhibits much field wear and appropriate patina. It has the Chinese chu wood stock that is inletted only for the blade bayonet. As a big bonus, it also came with a well worn, soiled and sweat stained Romanian leather sling.
It is CAI marked on the barrel, and was likely imported in roughly the same time frame (mid to late 1980's) as my Soviet-made example that is posted here;
Another peculiar feature is found in the buttstock trap, which has a decayed and broken return spring for the cleaning kit door. A small piece of blue colored wax-type paper or tape is caught under the buttplate itself. I will likely not remove the buttplate to investigate, as it is quite deteriorated across the top, and I don't want to damage it any further.
This is an example of a gun that should be kept in the same condition as it is found. Not many of these former Egyptian-owned SKS's show up on the market. I feel very privileged to place this very uncommon specimen with all my other SKS's that were issued and carried in conflict regions.
Some more pics, and thanks for looking.
I also can confirm that my 1965 Arsenal 26 SKS pictured above has worn traces of bluing on the bolt carrier and since its serial number is very close to the established serial number range collected from known examples in 2010 can it be concluded that my 1965 Arsenal 26 SKS is most likely also Egyptian contract?
The patina on yours matches up well with the one that I recently picked up. And your Russian stock is pretty good evidence, though it looks to have a much newer finish on the wood than would be expected for the rest of the gun. Refinished stateside?
Out of curiosity, are there any previous numbers on the left side buttstock? Most, if not all, of the Russian stocks on both Chinese and Russian examples from the region don't have any numbers on the left side buttstock.
Last edited by martin08; 07-02-2013 at 08:38 AM.
Stock is unumbered on it,no traces of sanded numbers either.
There is an absence of serial numbers on the buttstock on Egyptian Contract guns with the Russian laminated stocks.
Wow Matt! Was just talking about this SKS, last weekend. I used to own this rifle, back in the '80s. As did a friend, and I believe my brother. We traded it back and fourth for a couple years. Always regretted letting it get away. If it ever comes up for sale, please let me know.
Before starting any serious collection: Spend your first thousand dollars on reference material. It's money in the bank.
A couple of questions:
1. Did it have the Romanian sling when it was in your possession?
2. Any idea if the blue tape/paper might have been introduced stateside? The buttplate screws don't appear to have been tampered with for a very long time.
Well, I guess it's three questions. Did you folks fire it? And then, four. Did you originally purchase it in LA?
No sling, no blue paper/tape. My friend, "enhanced" the yellow paint. It was barely visible. Yes, was purchased locally. But, we can't remember by whom, or from where. When it left our hands, it turned up about a year later in Lafayette. Then several years later, it returned to Alexandria. However, at $400.00, I didn't want it back, that bad. (About 18 years ago) Yes, we shot the snot out of it. It'll shoot a sub 2" group, at 100 yards.
Before starting any serious collection: Spend your first thousand dollars on reference material. It's money in the bank.