Dating an albanian
That is why this dating of the Chinese weapons is so difficult, Did you notice NO Chinese characters!! Dates of manufacturer are not known for sure but it is roughly the late 50's into the early 60's. The Arsenal is usually marked on the top of the receiver cover and all the pictures I have seen have the same stamping.
That is why I am led to believe the first 2 digits have something to do with the year.
It is believed that the M21 marked Chinese guns followed the Star 1 guns into North Viet Nam.
These three North Vietnam guns have the same Arsenal marking signifying from left to right 1963 manufacture, 1964 manufactures and 1965 manufacture. They made a newer one that should not be confused with the early ones. We don't know of an accurate way of dating these other than using features.
I would tend to believe these would be either prior to 1967 or after 1979 with the latter being the most reasonable.These are ALL from my personal observations and not from any books.I will try to explain the dating system for the SKS rifle.These characters translated to Type 56, the model designation of the Chinese SKS were found on later SKS's. There is much current discussion going on as to the accuracy of this method.These guns were referred to as a Type 56 Carbine by the Chinese. The way you figure this out is by adding the first digit to the year 1956. some are stating that the 1 million series starts in 1958 and moves forward from there, your guess is as good as mine as to which is 100% accurate.
1967- 980 1968- 570 1969- 2800 1970- 2980 1971- 2620 1976- 160 1977- 660 1978- 4960 1979- 800 Undated- 420 Current opinion is that the undated models MAY be rifles produced in either 1975 or 1980, but this has yet to be proven. For unknown reasons the Albanians destroyed or gave away nearly two thirds of them and it is believed that only 5700 are left in the world today.