Sergei Simonov file photo [27925]

Sergei Simonov

Given NameSergei
Born9 Apr 1894
Died6 May 1986


ww2dbaseAfter leaving elementary school Sergei Gavrilovitch Simonov (1894-1986) took employment as a blacksmith in a foundry. Later he became a locksmith, and in 1915 attended technical school. In 1917 he assisted Vladimir Federov (sometimes spelled Fyodorov) in making the first Avtomat rifles. After the Revolution Simonov studied at Moscow Polytechnic and in 1924 went to work in Tula Arsenal. By 1926 he was in charge of quality control, and in 1927 he went into the design department as Federov's assistant.

ww2dbaseIn the early 1930s Simonov began work on a semi-automatic rifle, the AVS-36 but although adopted by the Soviet Army in 1936 it failed to stand up to the rigours of service life and would be withdrawn from service during 1941. Simonov then turned his attention to the development of the PTRS anti-tank rifle which entered service in 1941. This, too, was a gas-operated weapon but it was far too complex for the job it was being asked to do and proved to be less robust, heavier, and more cumbersome than the simple bolt action 14.5-millimeter PTRD anti-tank rifle designed by Vasily Degtyarev. As a result relatively few of these weapons were manufactured.

ww2dbaseSimonov's last design, in 1943, was the SKS semi-automatic carbine firing the 7.62-millimeter short M43 cartridge, the first Soviet weapon developed for this round. This weapon entered service in 1949 and, despite being a particularly inspired design was made in vast numbers during 1950s.

ww2dbaseSource: Ian V. Hogg, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Firearms (Quarto Ltd, 1978)

Last Major Revision: Sep 2018

Sergei Simonov Timeline

9 Apr 1894 Sergei Simonov was born in Fedotovo, Russia.
6 May 1986 Sergei Simonov passed away.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
18 Sep 2018 07:50:45 AM

So what do you think would have been the SKS's future if it had been been a particularly uninspired design?

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