[ This guest post was written by Chuckyzord ]
Down here in the Philippines, the flavor in which firearms come in aren’t very varied unless your pockets run deep. What some folks overseas might take for granted as being commonplace are a downright rarity here. For example, the SKS, or more specifically the Chinese clone Type 56 carbine. While Norinco does sell many of their guns here including AKs, they refuse to import the Type 56 probably for some oddball marketing reason and that leaves me in a tight spot because I absolutely LOVE the SKS. So I decided that if I can’t have one, I’ll try my best in making one or, at the very least, an airsoft replica which I’d be able to use and appreciate just the same.
The obvious problem I ran through first is the fact that no decent replica of the SKS exists commercially and I can’t borrow parts from available guns that might seem close enough a fit. Not having an actual SKS to measure was also a big problem as all measurements had to be scaled from different photographs, with some dimensions tweaked a little (mostly width) to fit the needed internal components. To make matters worse, I was going for a specific build of SKS, one that is period correct and could have been used at the time of the Vietnam war in the 60s. The only airsoft parts I was able to use are the major internal components needed to make it go “bang” which is the electric gearbox, barrel, and feeding mechanism all from an airsoft M14. The externals had to be made almost completely out of scratch save for the couple of real SKS parts, the rear sight and butt plate, which I threw in out of vanity. With limited access to power tools, I had little choice of materials. Most of the components, including the receiver, bolt, sight block and trigger guard, were sculpted out of PVC plastic. Parts that would require more durability, like the magazine cover, top cover, and various pins and latches, were made out of sheet metal or steel pipe. Using a lot of plastic also helped in keeping the weight down to 2.5kg (unloaded), which is good because I intend to run with it in my arms, not have it end up hanging on a wall.
It took longer than I had originally anticipated with on-and-off work taking six months and clocking roughly over a hundred work hours. I think that the end result was well worth the effort and if I had no choice but to go through all of that again just to get my SKS, I’d jump on my workbench and get right at it in a heartbeat.