Chinese SKS with Puzzling Serial Number
Some years back I obtained a pristine, unfired example of a Type 56 Chinese SKS. The rifle had been owned by a rural-community militia leader who had stashed scores of guns and large quantities of ammo in a disused cistern on his sprawling agricultural property. I'm told the SKSes were bought in a large lot by the now-deceased prepper. That individual's son later inherited the lot and it was he who sold me the rifle (along with accessories and a thousand rounds of Chinese ammo). The seller, a trustworthy gentleman whom I've known for many years, told me that like most of the stored rifles, this SKS had spent somewhere between 30 and 40 years inside a sealed PVC tube in that cistern.
I wasn't in need of another SKS but the price was compelling. Incidentally the ammo was uniquely packaged in a surplus US missile cylinder which was also tightly sealed.
The rifle has obviously never been fired. All serials match. It has no signs of wear of any kind and is perfectly intact. It has traces of cosmolene in various crevices. It has a rubber shoulder pad which I have not seen on any other SKS.
More recently I decided to check out the rifle's story to whatever degree I could. I wanted to know its date and place of manufacture, that sort of thing. And I encountered a puzzle. The serial number can't be correlated to any data I can find anywhere as regards number ranges of Chinese manufactured SKSes. I may not have looked in the right places, but I did a lot of looking. Here for instance: http://chinesesks.weebly.com/dating-the-chinese-sks.html
For instance by most accounts, Chinese SKSes numbered over 9 million have the spike bayonet. This rifle has the spike but is numbered just over 1.1 million. The bayonet serves to date the manufacture from 1964 onwards. There is a notable absence of any markings that might identify the Chinese manufacturer.
Furthermore the markings on the rifle identify an importer that I couldn't get much info about. "JPE POMONA CA" The entity did exist but useful details have eluded me. The address and its near neighbors turned up other mostly-former importers of Chinese goods as I recall.
There are no other markings than those pictured, aside from the usual full and partial serial numbers (all matching) in the usual places.
My speculation is that this was among the very early SKSes to be imported into the US, and that it was made in one of the lesser-known or smaller-volume Chinese factories.
Maybe someone here can assist in a better identification. Maybe not. Maybe others appreciate a mystery. :-)
This rifle may shortly be going up for sale. Which is a large part of my renewed interest in its history. I want to be able to accurately represent it to its prospective buyers.
This discussion has been closed.