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SKS rifle

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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The SKS (Samozaryadny Karabin sistemy Simonova, Self-loading Carbine of (the) Simonov system) rifle is a Soviet semi-automatic rifle designed in 1945 by Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov. It was a widely exported weapon, with many foreign copies including the Chinese Type 56 Carbine. Most variants of the SKS have been widely exported onto civilian markets as military surplus rifles. This has lead to the development of an aftermarket for accessories for SKS rifles, namely with replacement stocks and magazines.

Note: Whereas the Russian SKS rifle can appear in any of the world's battlegrounds, the Chinese SKS should really only appear in places where there was a lot of military aid from the People's Republic of China. Most of the SKS rifles seen in movies about the Vietnam war are Chinese Type 56 carbines, but the presence of original Russian Type 45 Carbines are not historically implausible. The Soviet Union supplied ComBloc weapons in every hemisphere where there was a Marxist/communist presence.

Soviet/Russian Official Models


SKS - 7.62x39mm
OP-SKS - 7.62x39mm

The Russian SKS has a milled receiver and a blade bayonet. The rifles were issued with hardwood or laminated stocks.

The OP-SKS is a Russian civilian variant of the SKS converted into hunting rifles. OP stands for охотничье-промысловый, okhotnich'ye promyslovyy, meaning "commercial hunting". They feature a prefitted dovetail mount for scopes.


(1945 - Present)

  • Type: Rifle
  • Caliber: 7.62x39mm
  • Weight: 8.5 lbs (3.9 kg)
  • Length: 40.2 in (102.1 cm)
  • Barrel length: 20.5 in (52.1 cm)
  • Muzzle velocity: 2,411 ft/s (735 m/s)
  • Capacity: 10-round fixed magazine. Norinco export SKS models tend to be able to use detachable AK magazines, and other detachable aftermarket magazines of various capacities exist.
  • Fire Modes: Semi-Auto

The SKS rifle and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:


Title Actor Character Note Date
Maksim Perepelitsa Soviet soldiers 1955
Gloomy Morning (Khmuroe utro) White Army soldiers Heavily anachronistic 1959
The Spy Who came in from the Cold East German Border guards 1965
The Air Seller (Prodavetz vozdukha) Bayley's Guards 1968
The Green Berets Mounted on a display board 1968
Listen on the Other Side (Daisny tserguudee sonsotsgoo!) Mongolian soldier 1971
And on the Pacific... (I na Tikhom Okeane...) Soviet soldiers 1974
Don't Cry, Girl (Ne plach, devchonka) Oleg Sologub Pvt. Andrey Vorobey 1977
Coming Home Jon Voight Luke Martin minus wood furniture 1978
In Flight are the Night Witches (V nebe 'Nochnye vedmy') Soviet marines 1981
The Dogs of War A Zangaran soldier 1981
Octopussy Soviet soldiers 1983
Kamal Khan's guards
Year of the Dragon A soldier 1985
Coordinates of Death (Koordinaty smerti) Viet Cong guerrillas 1985
Rambo III Afghan villagers 1988
Red Heat Soviet soldiers 1988
The Siege of Firebase Gloria A Vietcong sniper 1989
Toy Soldiers Colombian soldiers 1991
Robocop 3 A resistance fighter 1993
The Quest Dobbs' men and Turks 1996
Deserter (Dezertir) Viktor Demertash Murab Without folding bayonet 1997
Brigands and cult fighters
Ricochet (Rikoshet) A criminal OP-SKS 1997
The Peacemaker A Russian soldier 1997
Composition for Victory Day (Sochinenie ko Dnyu Pobedy) Honor guards 1998
American Beauty Inside Frank's gun cabinet 1998
Blues Brothers 2000 Militiamen With synthetic stock 1998
Three Kings Shia rebels 1999
Arlington Road Hunter Burkes Hutch Parsons without underfolding bayonet 1999
The Mission Keiji Sato Assassin with Choate Dragunov stock and scope 1999
We Were Soldiers NVA soldiers 2002
Detention A terrorist 2003
Tears of the Sun Nigerian rebels and refugees 2003
Stealth Tajik terrorists 2005
The Battle of Long Tan Vietcong with underfolding bayonet 2006
The Good Shepherd Soviet soldiers 2006
Tins (Konservy) Aleksey Serebryakov Usoltsev (Solyonyy) OP-SKS 2007
Wild Field (Dikoe pole) Aleksandr Arefyev Bandit 2008
Tropic Thunder Flying Dragon rebels 2008
The Book of Eli Carnegie's thug w/detachable magazine 2010
The Golden Mean (Zolotoe sechenie) Royal Cambodian guardian 2010
The Debt Extras East German Border Guards 2010
Sam Worthington Young David
71: Into the Fire Student soldiers 2010
North Korean soldiers
Home (Dom) Vladimir Epifantsev Pashka Shamanov OP-SKS hunting carbine 2011
Ivan Dobronravov Andrey Shamanov
Sergey Garmash Viktor Shamanov
Largo Winch II Burmese freedom fighters 2011
Machine Gun Preacher Ikagene Mogotusi Sniper 2011
Quagmire (Kuta) Georgiy Bessonov Andrey OP-SKS 2012
Vladislav Portnyagin Sasha
Nikolay Soldatov Pyotr Osipovich
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared American and Soviet soldiers 2013
Pawnshop (Lombard) Denis Nikiforov Mark 2013
The Fugitive (Kyuryuyoiekh) Georgiy Bessonov Barmaley OP-SKS 2014
Yevgeniy Pivovarov Yakov
Julustan Semyonov Misha
Dmitrii Davydov Hunter 1
Ivan Neustroyev Hunter 2
22 Minutes (22 minuty) Somali Pirates 2014
Into the Forest Michael Eklund Stan 2015
Mad Max: Fury Road Charlize Theron Furiosa 2015
Zoë Kravitz Toast the Knowing
Red Billabong James Straiton Jason 2016
The Death of Stalin Red Army soldiers 2017
NKVD soldiers
Onoda: 10,000 Nights in the Jungle Filipino Hunters and soldiers 2021
Jemuel Satumba A Hunter


Title Actor Character Note/Episode Date
The War Game East German soldiers 1965
Soviet soldiers
Heart of Bonivur (Serdtse Bonivura) Soviet guards of honor Seen in documentary footage 1969
Doctor Who John Levene Platoon Under Leader John Benton / "Inferno" 1970
David Simeon Pvt. Latimer
Republican Security Forces
Born by Revolution: The Last Meeting (Rozhdyonnaya revolyutsiey: Poslednyaya vstrecha) Soviet honor guards 1977
Confrontation (Protivostoyanie) Soviet and East German soldiers Documentary footage 1985
Tour of Duty VC and NVA units . 1987-1990
China Beach VC and NVA units . 1988-1991
The Unit Chechen terrorists/ "In Loco Parentis" (S2E20) 2007
The Company Hungarian freedom fighters and governmental forces 2007
Iris Seung Hyun Choi Vick Choate stock 2009
Tae-hee Kim Choi Seung-hee
IRIS snipers
Missing Russian soldier "Rain on the Evil and on the Good" (S1E10) 2012
Ash (Pepel) Aleksandr Lazarev (III) "Pepel"'s henchman 2013
The Jackal (Shakal) Seen in the Militsiya armoury 2016
The Crown Egyptian Army episode: "Misadventure" (S02E01) 2017
Fear the Walking Dead - Season 5 Rubén Blades Daniel Salazar "The Hurt That Will Happen" (S5E02), "Skidmark" (S5E04) 2019
Katran Militsiya honor guards 2020
Spy City East German police and militia 2020

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Vietcong 2003
Conflict: Vietnam 2004
Project Reality With & without bayonet 2005
Vietcong 2 2005
Elite Warriors Vietnam 2005
The Stalin Subway 2005
Insurgency: Modern Infantry Combat 2007
7.62 High Calibre various models w/ various attachments 2008
Karma Online 2011
Project Reality: Vietnam 2012
State of Decay "SKS" without bayonet 2013
Survarium Izhmash SKS Paratrooper Sporter 2013
Contract Wars 2014
Squad 2015
Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades "SKS Classic" Classic version has bayonet. 2016
Escape from Tarkov Simonov SKS 7.62x39 carbine Suppressors and compensators, ATI Monte Carlo, TAPCO Intrafuse and Fab Defence UAS stocks, rails for sights, flashlights and lasers, 10-round internal box mag and 20, 35 or 75-round detachable mags without bayonet 2016
Simonov OP-SKS 7.62x39 carbine (Hunting Rifle Version) Dovetail mount for sights, suppressors and compensators, ATI Monte Carlo, TAPCO Intrafuse and Fab Defence UAS stocks, rails for sights, flashlights and lasers, 10-round internal box mag and 20, 35 or 75-round detachable mags without bayonet
Rising Storm 2: Vietnam "SKS-45" 2017
Vigor 2018
State of Decay 2 2018
Cruelty Squad "ZKZ Transactional Rifle" 2021
Far Cry 6 2021
Military Conflict: Vietnam 2022


Title Character Notes Date
Upotte!! 2012

SVS-53 / SKS-30 / SKS-31

SVS-53 - 7.62x54mmR
SKS-30 - 7.62x54mmR
SKS-31 - 7.62x54mmR


(1941 - prototype)

  • Type: Rifle
  • Caliber: 7.62x54mmR
  • Capacity: 5 / 10-round
  • Fire Modes: Semi-Auto

The SVS-53 / SKS-30 / SKS-31 and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Enlisted SKS-31 2021

Foreign & Custom Models

Type 56 Carbine

Type 56 Carbine - 7.62x39mm

The Type 56 Carbine (not to be confused with the Type 56 assault rifle) is the Chinese version of the SKS. In Chinese, it is named Type 56 Semi-Automatic Rifle (Chinese: 56式半自动步枪). The rifle is manufactured by a wide variety of Chinese state factories; the primary manufacturer is Factory 296, now known as Chongqing Jianshe Group.

Early Type 56 rifles are very similar to the Russian SKS-45, with a milled trigger group, blade bayonet, and long lug threaded barrel. Later Type 56s have a stamped sheet metal trigger group, short lug threaded or pressed and pinned barrel and a spike bayonet (a.k.a. a "pig sticker") much like the Type 56 assault rifle. The later versions, like many imported SKS rifles, have the infamous 'orange cratewood' stocks, probably the lowest quality wood in any mass produced rifle, save for the last ditch Arisaka Type 99 rifles at the end of WW2. Many SKS rifles during the Vietnam War were issued with reddish plastic stocks, because of the incidents of 'wood rot' in the humid SE Asian jungles.


Title Actor Character Note Date
Mad Max: Fury Road Charlize Theron Imperator Furiosa 2015
Tom Hardy Max Rockatansky
Zoe Kravitz Toast
White Soldier Việt Minh soldiers 2014
Brothers Taliban militants 2009
Rescue Dawn Laotian militia leader 2007
Sniper 3 Sniper With scope 2004
Belly of the Beast Abu Karaf men 2003
Rules of Engagement NVA soldiers 2000
Red Corner Chinese PAP officer 1997
Dead Presidents NVA soldiers 1995
Open Fire A terrorist 1994
Flight of the Intruder NVA soldiers 1991
Born on the Fourth of July NVA soldiers 1989
The Iron Triangle Vietcong fighters 1989
Hamburger Hill NVA soldiers 1987
Platoon NVA soldiers 1986
The Annihilators Viet Cong fighter 1985
Uncommon Valor NVA soldiers 1983
Dark of the Sun Jim Brown Sgt. Ruffo 1968
Dark of the Sun Peter Carsten Capt. Henlein 1968


Title Actor Character Note/Episode Date
M*A*S*H Mako North Korean soldier The Best of Enemies (S9E01)11-17-1980 1980
Lost Evangeline Lilly Kate Austen . 2004-2010
Lost Terry O'Quinn John Locke . 2004-2010
Lost Andrew Divoff Mikhail Bakunin . 2004-2010

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Battlefield: Vietnam 2004


SKS-D (Norinco-branded) - 7.62x39mm

The SKS-D is a version of the Chinese SKS imported into USA that are capable of using detachable AK magazines. They come in either standard length or "paratrooper" length (16.5") barrels (such barrels were never actually used by the Chinese military, and were only found on American imports), though some sources say they only come in standard length. While multiple Chinese export SKS models can use AK magazines, the SKS-D is one of the earliest to enter US. The SKS-D is a "pre-ban" model with a bayonet lug and removable spike bayonet and a standard military-style stock.

Due to recycling old parts, some SKS-D models still have stripper clip guides, even though they cannot use stripper clips at all due to not having a bolt hold open.

The name SKS-D was actually not an official name (the rifles lack unique markings), but was coined by American dealers in order to differentiate these models from fixed magazine models, with D standing for "Detachable".


Title Actor Character Note Date
RoboCop 3 Resistance fighter 1993
The Condemned Prison guard 2006


Title Character Note Date
Boondocks, The Para barrel, drum magazine, no bayonet - seen in Ed III's weapon cache 2005-

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Insurgency SKS w/ various attachments 20-round magazines, short barrel, no bayonet 2014
Insurgency: Sandstorm SKS w/ various attachments 20-round magazines, unusable bayonet 2014
Into the Radius VR "SKS" w/ various attachments 10 or 30-round AKM magazines, could mount bayonet in earlier versions of the game 2020

SKS Sporter

SKS Sporter (Norinco-branded) with thumbhole stock and 10-round magazine - 7.62x39mm
SKS Sporter (Norinco-branded) with thumbhole stock and 10-round magazine - 7.62x39mm

The SKS Sporter is a post-ban model of Norinco's export SKS rifles. They have a "paratrooper" length barrel with no bayonets and most have a thick thumbhole stock (earlier Sporters are reported to have military-styled stocks). The rifle was imported for only a few years before it was banned.

Norinco exported many other models of post-ban SKS rifles, such as the SKS-M or the SKS-63. The post-ban SKS rifles generally feature either a thumbhole stock or a Monte Carlo stock. The difference between the models if often minor and inconsistently reported. The SKS Sporter can be identified with its unique side sling loop and its corresponding lack of a bottom sling loop.


Title Actor Character Note Date
The Rundown Rosario Dawson Mariana 2003
Curse of the Komodo Ted Monte Hanson 2004


Title Actor Character Note/Episode Date
The Unit Indonesian rebel "200th Hour" (S1E03) 2006

Zastava M59/66

Zastava M59/66 - 7.62x39mm

Zastava Arms of Yugoslavia produced their own SKS rifles since 1959. The earliest model, PAP M59 (PAP stood for "Polu-automatska puška"; Semi-automatic rifle), was nearly identical to the Russian SKS. The second model, M59/66, produced from 1967 to 1989, featured a distinctive 22mm rifle grenade launcher at the end of the barrel. Many M59 rifles were converted to M59/66 during refurbishment. Another variant known as the M59/66A1 is identical to the M59/66 but featured night sights.


Title Actor Character Note Date
Savior Militiamen 1998
No Man's Land Serbian and Bosnian 2001
The Hunted Serbian soldier 2003
The Good Shepherd Soviet soldiers 2006


Title Actor Character Note/Episode Date
Situation Critical Serb Soldiers "Downed Pilot" (S01E05) 2007

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Jagged Alliance: Back in Action SKS w/ bayonet and grenade launcher 2012
World of Guns: Gun Disassembly SKS M59/66 w/ bayonet and PU scope incorrectly a Soviet Union weapon 2014
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare SKS various optional attachments w/ polymer chassis and detachable magazines; added in Season 3 2019

SKS in Tapco Intrafuse Stock System

Yugoslavian M59/66 SKS with aftermarket Tapco Intrafuse Stock System furniture - 7.62x39mm
Chinese SKS with aftermarket Tapco Intrafuse Stock System furniture - 7.62x39mm

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Battlefield Play4Free With 20-round magazine and PSO-1 scope 2011
Battlefield 3 With detachable 20-round magazine and optional PKS-07 scope 2011
Battlefield 4 With detachable 20-round magazine 2013
Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades "SKS Modern" With detachable 20-round magazine 2016
Playerunknown's Battlegrounds SKS various sights, muzzle devices and magazines With detachable 10/20-round magazines 2017

Custom Bullpup SKS

Custom Bullpup SKS - 7.62x39mm

A Russian-made custom bullpup SKS model.


Title Actor Character Note Date
Hooked (Na Igre) Sergey Chirkov Vampire 2009
Pavel Priluchnyy Doc
Hooked 2. Next Level (Na Igre 2. Novyy Uroven) Sergey Chirkov Vampire 2010
Pavel Priluchnyy Doc
Nightingale the Robber (Solovey-Razboynik) Igor Jijikine Agent N7 2012

See Also

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