#2 Son had decided some time ago that the SKS was his favorite rifle. Besides, it's on The List, so Santa got hisself busy.
The Samozaryadnyj Karabin sistemy Simonova Type 56 (Самозарядный карабин системы Симонова) was Sergei Simonov's most famous design. It's a semiautomatic gas operated (you can see the gas tube above the barrel in the picture here) carbine length rifle chambered for the same short 7.62x39mm round used in the AK-47 (shown here between the full sized .303 British and .45 ACP).
#2 Son took to the reduced recoil like a fish to water. The integral, folding bayonet didn't hurt, either.
The Magazine holds ten rounds, and so you might have problems if you leave the United States of America for such communist controlled places like New Jersey or Massachusetts. I'm told that the magazines can be modified to only hold five rounds. I've also seen after market drum magazines that hold 75 rounds, which sounds like a lot more fun. Be prepared to pay a significant percentage of the rifle's purchase price to get one of those.
While these were manufactured all over the Warsaw Pact bloc and beyond (East Germany, Yugoslavia, Red China*), this one is Russian, from (I think) 1950. I'm told that Russian manufacture means that this can be treated as a Curio and Relic by the BATFeieio. If you get interested in this, you should definitely check into this on your own, because I Am Not A Lawyer (nor do I play one on TV).
Strangely, this rifle has a stamp that says "Made in Russia" (in English). I'm not sure what to make about that, except that it was perhaps remanufactured in the early 1990s for import to the USA.
The ammo is cheap as chips. The guy I bought the rifle from had ten boxes of NORINCO for $4.99/20 each. While I'm fairly open minded on Red China* in general, NORINCO is the People's Liberation Army, and therefore the adversary; needless to say, I won't be getting any more (it was an all-or-nothing deal with the rifle). I rounded this out with some Tula for not much more, so now #2 Son has 300 rounds for this baby. By way of comparison, I paid $18/20 for .303 Brit, and thought I got a good deal. Shooting this is as easy on your wallet as on your shoulder.
It was a ring-style front sight and a flip up rear sight. It's graduated to further out than is likely to be realistic (perhaps the triumph of optimism over sobriety), but this was designed for shooting to 300 meters or so.
So, let's sum up the benefits: it's inexpensive, easy to shoot, inexpensive to shoot, and still gives the vapors to the Usual Suspects. Actually, it would make a decent SHTF rifle, too. #2 Son is pretty happy with Gunnie Santa.
* I only say "Red China" to annoy the Usual Suspects.