15 December 2015

Tula vs Zastava

In the blue corner, we have a 1970 made Zastava Poluautomatska puška M59/66A1 or Yugo SKS.  The Serbian Yugoslavian rifle tips the scales at 9.8 lb. with a folded length of 44", extended length of 51-9/16".

In the red corner, we have a 1952 made Tula Samozaryadnyj Karabin sistemy Simonova 1945 or SKS.  The Russian Soviet rifle tips the scales at 8.7 lb. with a folded length of 40-1/16", extended length of 49-7/16".

The Tula has been refurbished at some point, as can be seen by looking at the blackened bolt carrier (and the arsenal remanufacturing mark).

The first surprise for my comparison was they have the same length of pull!

This is despite the Yugo having a 9/16" thick rubber butt pad instead of just plain steel.  The Soviet gun has a red stained and lacquered arctic birch stock; the Yugo an oiled beech stock.  This is another source of extra weight on the M59/66A1, beech is more dense than birch.

The next surprise was the Yugo having a shorter cleaning rod.

This is despite the Yugo having a longer barrel if you include the length of the grenade launcher.

All of the real difference is out front.

The gas pistons are identical, but the gas cylinder of the Yugo sits on the gas block differently.  The Yugo's front sight is a little closer to the rear to give more room to thread for the grenade launcher.  It's hard to see, but the Soviet rifle's bayonet pivot is slightly farther forward.

Despite having a shorter bayonet...

The way the bayonet locks forward is different as well.  The Soviet gun has a ring that fully surrounds the muzzle, the Yugo has a hook that mates with a ring well back from the muzzle.

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