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The SKS is a Soviet semi-automatic rifle chambered for the 7.62x39mm round, designed in 1945 by Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov. SKS is an acronym for Samozaryadnyj Karabin sistemy Simonova, 1945 (Russian: Самозарядный карабин системы Симонова, 1945; Self-loading Carbine of (the) Simonov system, 1945), or SKS 45. The Soviets rather quickly phased the SKS carbine out of first-line service, replacing it with the AK-47, but it remained in second-line service for decades afterwards. It remains a ceremonial arm today. It was widely exported and produced by the former Eastern Bloc nations, as well as China, where it was designated the "Type 56", East Germany as the "Karabiner S" and in North Korea as the "Type 63". It is today popular on the civilian surplus market in many countries. The SKS was one of the first weapons chambered for the 7.62x39mm M43 round later used in the AK-47 and RPD.
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