Century International Arms came across a small cache of Norinco SKS carbines that have been in the States for quite some time, collecting dust and waiting for someone to come scoop them up. Their importation was banned in 1994, and the only reason these rifles never found a home is because they’re not the prettiest. But as the supply of SKS rifles is beginning to run dry, it’s their inner beauty that’s going to shine.
These Type 56 carbines, as they are officially designated, are described as having stocks in poor condition. They’re fixer-uppers but the steel is all in good condition as they were packed away carefully, artfully slathered in Cosmoline. These rifles are early enough imports that they still have the blade bayonet, as opposed to the spike that’s much more common.
From Century’s Facebook page, “It took us nearly 20 years, but we found a cache of these rifles unaffected by the import restrictions imposed in the ’90s. These are early production guns and came to us covered in preservative. Some of the stocks aren’t so pretty, but they’re functional and the metal is in really good condition. This is a relatively small lot—so do not hesitate! Condition: Good, Cracked Stock.”
Norinco’s SKS rifles are considered to be some of the better-quality options, perhaps a notch below Russian and Yugoslavian SKSes, but less expensive and without a doubt worth the money.
These will have an MSRP of $320 and are likely to sell for $250 or less. SKS rifles have become a hot commodity of late, with prices rising and availability becoming more and more spotty. We don’t think this is your last chance to get a Type 56, but it is a good opportunity. The fact that they come with a rare bayonet is a good reason to pick one up alone. They also have machined trigger guards, not stamped.
A cracked stock is a simple fix and there is more than aftermarket support in the U.S. to replace it entirely, if you want, with wood, laminate, polymer or even bullpup stocks.
So if you’ve been looking for a good deal on an SKS or have a project in mind and need a good base rifle to build on, start looking for these Type 56 carbines. They’re terrific all-purpose rifles that are reliable, accurate enough and will last forever. Chambered for 7.62x39mm cartridges, these will fire every imaginable kind of ammo you come across, from new, American-made hunting ammo to old Soviet surplus.
They’re not going to be around for long, so act fast.