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The SKS (Russian: Самозарядный карабин системы Симонова, romanized: Samozaryadny Karabin sistemy Simonova, 1945, self-loading carbine of (the) Simonov system, 1945) is a semi-automatic rifle designed by Soviet small arms designer Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov in 1945. The SKS was first produced in the Soviet Union but later widely exported and manufactured by various nations. Its distinguishing characteristics include a permanently attached folding bayonet and a hinged, fixed magazine. As the SKS lacked select-fire capability and its magazine was limited to ten rounds, it was rendered obsolete in the Soviet Armed Forces by the introduction of the AK-47 in the 1950s. Nevertheless, SKS carbines continued to see service with the Soviet Border Troops, Internal Troops, and second-line and reserve army units for decades.
The SKS was manufactured at Tula Arsenal from 1945 to 1958, and at the Izhevsk Arsenal from 1953 to 1954, resulting in a total Soviet production of about 2.7 million. Throughout the Cold War, millions of additional SKS carbines and their derivatives were also manufactured under license in the People's Republic of China, as well as a number of countries allied with the Eastern Bloc. The SKS was exported in vast quantities and found favour with insurgent forces around the world as a light, handy weapon which was adequate for guerrilla warfare despite its conventional limitations. Beginning in 1988, millions were also sold on the civilian market in North America, where they remain popular as hunting and sporting rifles.