East German SKS: The rarely seen and sought-after Karabiner S (VIDEO)

Bridging the gap from the World War II-era guns and locally-made AKs, Communist East Germany cranked out a pretty neat SKS model.

When WWII ended, Germany had millions of Mauser bolt-action rifles and more modern StG44 assault rifles left in the country. However, by the time the Soviets set up their occupied part of the former Reich as East Germany and formed the appropriately proletarian Nationale Volksarmee in 1956, modern small arms had evolved a good bit. With the Soviets working at the time to go worldwide with the Kalashnikov, the East Germans soon started cranking out their own excellent MPi-K models of the AK in the 1960s. However, before that happened, the Karabiner S, Germany’s own version of the SKS-45, was made.

Distinctive due to its Mauser-style sling slot cut into the stock, blondish wood and lack of a cleaning rod, the German Simonov is easy to spot and ended up being used in ceremonial units as well as given away as foreign aid to needy countries in the Communist sphere of influence– notably North Vietnam. This makes them among the most collectible SKS models in the West.

Ian McCollum with Forgotten Weapons covers the type in the above video.

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