Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Thinking Outside the Box - The M59/66

Well, here is the mystery present that was inside the box mentioned in the post, "Whatever Could It Be?"
It be this.

An M59/66 Yugoslavian version of the SKS.
An interesting story about how it ended up under the tree.

It went something like this.

Mrs. jimmyb: Honey, I feel bad, I only got you one present for Christmas. You need to tell me something you want.

jimmyb: I don't need anything, honey. I'm fine. :)

Mrs. jimmyb: You need to tell me, you got more than one present for me. So think of something.

jimmyb: Uhhhhh...did I mention I bought a rifle a week or two ago?

Mrs. jimmyb: You bought a rifle and didn't tell me?

jimmyb: Well, it was really cheap at Dunham's, and I just kind of forgot.

Mrs. jimmyb: Well, ok then. Then that's your present, I guess.
(*Editors note: She said this nicely, not snottily*)

jimmyb: Sweeeeet.

This was indeed a Dunham's purchase and the price was right. Cheap!!
As it is basically an SKS type rifle, it shoots the ubiquitous and (relatively) inexpensive 7.62x39mm round. The M59/66 has a fixed magazine with a 10 round capacity.
It also has a bayonet (folding, and not readily removable), as well as grenade launcher on the end of the barrel that looks like a flash-suppressor.

All the serial numbers (receiver, magazine, stock, bolt, etc) match, and everything not readily visible is covered in cosmoline, which means a complete disassemble/cleaning session before live-fire time at the range. You can see a little of the cosmoline on the end of the bayonet in the above picture.

The metal is in quite good shape and the wood is in good shape, as well..

If one actually had grenades (stoopid federal laws!) they would fit in the end of the barrel on the launcher, and would be fired by a blank that looks like the one below.

There is also a flip up sight for the grenade-launcher shown next.

The grenade sight can only be raised after the gas shutoff valve to the gas tube is moved to the proper position. This prevents the pressure from the grenade launching blank from being wasted going back through the gas tube to cycle the bolt.

Additionally, one would never want to try to launch a grenade with an actual round (i.e. one containing a bullet), as that would be quite ugly, I am sure.

There are several types of grenades (illumination, smoke, explosive, anti-tank, etc.) that can be used with this system, none of them available at Dunham's. :(

Also, if your gun fires one shot, and then does not cycle the bolt, then your problem is either a damaged gas tube/system (which does occur in these occasionally) or the shut-off valve is in the wrong position.

Gas shutoff valve:

One downside of the 59/66 is the lack of a chrome-lined barrel. This could definitely could be an issue on long missions where infrequent cleaning is the norm. However, for a range rifle and a SHTF weapon, it is cheap, reliable and fairly accurate (from what I have read).
Range test will be sometime in the future. After the de-cosmo-ing.

Because of the grenade launcher (and bayonet, maybe?, this rifle is considered evil in Kalifornistan, just FYI.