I have had this SKS rifle for time and only now thought about posting it here.
This unfired SKS rifle was taken from a large cache of weapons near Hill 428 (later to be called Shakey's Hill) in June of 1970 by a platoon sergeant in B/5-12, 199th LIB during the Cambodian Incursion.
Because of the sheer volume of enemy supplies, weapons, equipment, etc. that were found by the 5-12th Infantry (and other units) during their nightmare in Cambodia, most members of the battalion were able to send home some sort of weapon or enemy capture.
This piece has never been fired and never will be. It is of Chinese manufacture, I believe, from the early to mid 1950's according to the information I have on the serial number.
"One of the most sought after and prized pieces of enemy equipment to find and send home was the Chinese or Russian version of the SKS semi-automatic rifle. Developed in 1945 at the end of World War II, the rifle was self-loading and held 10 rounds of 7.62x39 ammunition. A very accurate and reliable weapon, it also featured a foldable spike or blade bayonet that folded under the barrel when not in use. It was chambered to fire the same round as the world-famous and fully-automatic AK-47. Because the SKS was semi-automatic, it was legal for the soldier who captured the piece to process the rifle and send it home as a trophy, versus the AK-47 and other automatic weapons that were illegal to ship out of the war zone. For their two-month stay in Cambodia, most, if not all of the members of 5-12 sent an SKS rifle back home as a trophy. There were, however, a few unfortunate men that were denied this privilege. Many of the weapons were taken or stolen when the owner was preparing to leave Vietnam by various Air Force or rear-echelon personnel. These lowly non-combatants would tell the ready-to-go-home grunt that there was something wrong or missing with the paperwork or that the policies on taking home a rifle had been changed and it was now illegal to take the weapon out of the country. One member of the battalion remembers, “When caches were found, specifically those containing SKS rifles, the helicopter pilots from various aviation units would go nuts and come in over the company or battalion radio net and offer to by them then and there. It was crazy how people acted.'"
Robert J. Gouge, Raiding the Santuary: Redcatchers in Cambodia
Edited by 439th Signal Battalion, 20 November 2012 - 06:39 PM.