Hungarian Weapons - Simonov SKS Carbine
Made by Fémáru Fegyver és Gépgyár (FÉG), Budapest, 1954-56?
Quantity: 1000-5000 (by different sources)
10-round staggered row non-detachable stripper clip loaded box magazine
Gas operated, Semiatomatic
1020mm [40.2"] overall, 4.0kg [8.8 lbs]
520mm [20.5"] barrel
Tangent sight graduated to 1000 meters
Muzzle velocity 757 m/sec
A small quantity of high quality copy of the Soviet SKS carbine was manufactured during the 1950's. The SKS (SzKSz in Hungarian) was never officially accepted by the Military. After trials between the SKS and AK, cca. 1955-57, the Army chose the AK-55 Kalashnikov fully automatic weapon instead of the semi-automatic SKS.
I am aware that there are "well informed collectors" in the US and elswhere, who deny the existence of Hungarian made SKS carbines. (A few years ago
they also denied the existence of the Albanian SKS's :). Just read on.
After the trials the SKS carbines remained in service by an unknown element (reportedly a "rifle-corps") of the military at least for several years. An instruction manual was written in 1961 for Hungarian infantry firearms, which included the SKS. (Uszta Gyula altbgy [Lt. Gen.]: "Lőelmélet alapjai a gyalogsági lőfegyverekhez", printed by the Honvédelmi Minisztérium [Ministry of Defence]). Another Hungarian SKS army manual was dated 1966.
Well known gun book writer WHB Smith refers to the Hungarian made SKS carbines in couple of his books written during the 1960's. [Small Arms of the World, 9th ed, 1969, page 456, 10th ed, 1975, page 456] and [The Book of Rifles, 3rd ed, 1965, page 291].
Eventually the SKS carbines ended up with the Díszőrség [Palace Guards] for parade purposes, where they are still in service. This photo shows the Guards getting ready for G.W. Bush's visit to Hungary, in June 2006. (Click on the photo for a larger image). Observe the unique redish colored SKS stocks on the photo. Compare the stock color to other typical 1950's Hungarian manufactured redish colored stocks, for example: the sniper rifle stock on 48.M Rifle page or to the AK-55 stock. Apparently the redish colored stocks were made in Hungary only 1953-1965.
Some "deniers" claim that these SKS carbines are Soviet made, with Hungarian replacement stocks. Ok then explain: During the 1950's the Soviets were still manufacturing SKS's (until 1956) and were replacing the M44 with the SKS & AK carbines in their own army, why would they also, unselfishly, supply their recent enemy, Hungary, with the then modern SKS? Also, the few years old SKS's would not have need Hungarian replacement stocks. After the 1956 Hungarian Revolution it is seriously doubtful that the Soviets supplied guns to the "rebel" nation. During the early 1960's Hungary supplied herself with enough AK's, that they did not need the hand-me-down SKS's from the Soviets and by 1965 Hungary sold her own hand-me-down 48.M's (M44 Mosins) to Romania.
There is a theory that these SKS's are Soviet made with Hungarian stock, just like the Polish SKS's are Soviet made with Polish stocks. The problem with this parallel is historical. Poland was part of the Allies like the USSR, however Hungary was on the Axis side, and historically vehemently anti-Russian. Hungary's anti-Russian stance was obvious 11 years after the end of WW2, during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. So again: why would the USSR supply its most anti-Russian "ally" with then modern weapons?
A final thought: Hungary is proudly producing firearms for her own armed forces for over a century, (and for export too), so the "deniers" should explain: Why would the post-socialist Hungarian Army parade in front of the US President with discarded SKS's made by their most hated enemy, the Russians, when they have a choice to pick from so many different genuine Hungarian made weapons? Similarly, can you imagine US or UK soldiers parade with Nazi marked German 98k's to honor a visiting president?
Please submit any Hungarian SKS related information and photos to the author on the main page.