In this article we will take a look at the Norinco SKK. The history, the unique features and why they are so rare.
At the end of the second world war, particularly in 1945, the Soviet Union developed the SKS semi-automatic rifle, which was chambered in the smaller 7.62x39mm caliber compared to the Semi-Auto battle rifles of the time like the SVT-40. The SKS was adopted by the Soviet Union and developed in many countries that were part of the Warsaw pact, however, in Russia, the production did not last long, since the AK-47 was developed.
Most countries also decreased the production of the SKS for the AK. However, China was one of the countries that continued production for a very long time. Before Sino-Soviet relations became rough, China had procured licenses for the legal production of SKS rifles, along with many other soviet arms. The production was handled by state-owned factories, which later came under the control of Norinco in the late 1980s.
China developed many variants of the SKS. Most of them are very popular and quite common. The SKK is one of the rarest variants developed by Norinco. The SKK or as it was called in china, the Type 84, was developed for the US market, with some unique features.
Firstly, it fed on detachable magazines, compared to the internal 10-round mags on the original Type 56 SKS. Secondly, they have a bolt hold open pin modified into the bolt. Which allows the bolt to be opened with the detachable magazines.
The SKK fed on AK mags, however, they did need to be slightly modified. So that they could sit higher in the receiver and provide a better feed angle for the operating system of the SKS platform. The SKK also had the shorter, 16-inch paratrooper barrel.
The question is, why are they so unique? Well, the import of these rifles started in February of 1989. Now, 1989 is a year most firearms know about because that is when the Assault weapons ban was proposed and imposed by the Bush administration. The SKK rifles were imported by a company named Navy Arms. They had only imported a small number of them. Some say 400 to 800 before the ban was imposed in June of that year.
The ban prohibited many features that were prominent in the SKK, like the bayonet, and detachable mags. Therefore, imports had to be stopped. The few rifles that did make it into the US before the ban started to gain a lot of value over time.
So, if you are a collector of Soviet-designed firearms, the SKK could be an incredible addition to your collection. However, for simple use, either at the range or as a hunting rifle, there are many more affordable variants of the SKS available in the market. There are many imported from Russia and other Warsaw pact countries, and a lot of Chinese Type 56s as well. So, if you are thinking about buying something similar to the Norinco SKK, you can check them out here. We did find a listing for an actual SKK, but not sure how easy it is to get weapons from Australia. Here is another SKK for sale.
Credit – 3 Gun Tactical for feature image.