The Chinese Type 53 Carbine is one of the more interesting of the Model 1944 Carbine clones; however, the Type 53 has never been sought out on a wide scale by Mosin Nagant collectors. The main reason for this folly is the false notion that the Type 53 is of inferior quality when compared to its counterparts. Nothing could be further from the truth, but this very common opinion still seems to dominate collectors circles. The quality in manufacture of the Type 53 is quite high and the Type 53's place in history rivals any of the Model 1944's. In fact the combat use of the Type 53 may well be greater than any of the M44's. This article will be a brief introduction into the history and production of these little known and misunderstood carbines.
中国53式卡宾枪 （按：老美把步骑枪叫卡宾枪）比起M1944莫辛納甘卡宾枪和其克隆枪族来得更有趣味。但是，53式从来没有大规模地引起莫辛纳甘收藏家们的注意，造成这种愚蠢行为的主要起因是大家普遍有种错误概念，就是53式的质量比不上同类型的竞争者，这毫无疑问是误解。可惜，这种误解仍然主宰收藏界。事实上，53式的制造质量相当高，在历史上的地位凌驾其他M1944枪族，而且53式在实战上的大量运用 （按：指的是越南战场）都是其它M1944枪族无法比拟的。本文将简要介绍53式鲜为人知和被人误解的历史和生产过程。
In the early 1950's the People's Republic of China decided there was a need to develop a carbine for issue to the People's Army. The Chinese looked to their new friends to the North, the Soviet Union, for assistance in the matter. As the doctrine of the "Human Wave" was shared by both nations, a bayonet would be an essential item on any carbine to be issued. The Soviet Union of course offered the Model 1944 Carbine as a logical solution . The Soviets were in production of the SKS at the time, but they did not want to share this new development with the Chinese. It is thought that Soviet machinery was sent to China for commencement of Type 53 production. The facts also seem to suggest this was also done in Eastern Europe as the Model 1944 Carbine production also began in Poland, Hungary, and Romania during the same time frame. The movement of the Soviet machinery allowed the Chinese to produce the Type 53 independently, which was important to both Chinese national pride and the self-sufficiency of China. This also allowed the Soviets to aid their Chinese ally without giving away a large amount of weapons technology.
早在50年代初，中华人民共和国已经认识到必需为人民解放军配置制式卡宾枪。中国期待他们北方的新朋友，苏联，能在这方面提供援助。基于“人海战术”是两国家共同的战术原则，配套的刺刀是任何新型卡宾枪的基本配置。当然，苏联提供了一个合理的解决方案， 那就是M1944卡宾枪。苏联人当时正在生产新型的的SKS （按：中国后来沿用为56半），但他们不希望与中方共享新的技术发展。后来据说苏联的生产线被搬到中国并开始了53式的生产。同时，苏联的机器也运到了东欧的波兰，匈牙利和罗马尼亚，这标志了M1944枪族的诞生。引入苏联的生产线后，中国得以独立自主的生产53式，这不但增加了中国的民族自豪感还使得中国能够自立更生。并且也让苏联在援助中国盟友的后，无需泄露大量的新型武器技术资料。
Chinese production of the carbine began in 1953 and the designation of this new carbine was the Type 53 . The early proofs on the barrel shank of the Type 53 will have both Chinese characters and the number 26 or 296. The Chinese characters translate to " 53 Year Type " and the 26 or 296 are the stamping of the State Factory at Chongqing. In many later production Type 53's the Chinese characters are not present but it is not known why the characters were dropped. The shank proofs also became larger in 1960 but again the reason for this action is not entirely clear.
中国新型卡宾枪的生产始于1953年，所以定名为53式。要验明正身，首先看看枪管上是否刻有“五三年式“的汉字和26/269的数目字。 汉字＂五三年式＂换成英语就是“53 Year Type”, 而２６／２６９是重庆兵工厂的标识。后来的产品不知为何把中间“年”这个的汉字给拿掉了（按，５３，５４年出厂的都刻为五三年式，５５年后的刻为五三式）。到了１９６０年后，型号的５３印记不知为什么就消失无踪了。
The production numbers of the Type 53 Carbine are unknown at this point and it is doubtful they will be known in the near future. The closed nature of China and icy relations with the West have and will prevent the release of this information. It is assumed that the production numbers are rather high as the production run did not end until 1960 or 1961. In his fine book, The Mosin Nagant Rifle, Terence Lapin raises the possibility these were produced after 1961 and in fact I do know of one confirmed Vietnam bringback dated 1961. This carbine had been "jungle" modified in a number of regards and even had an SKS bayonet attached. While this does prove that production was later than 1960 it does not prove when the production came to an end.
The Chinese did not use the large number of stamps on the carbine's metal as their Soviet allies; however, the Chinese more than made up for this with the large number of proofs that appear on most Type 53 stocks. It is not uncommon to have ten or more various stamps on these stocks. The wood used on these stocks is not the high quality as that used in the Soviet carbines; however, the wood on the Type 53 is quite solid and competent. The Chinese utilized a local wood that is known as CHU-wood. The CHU-wood was put to use as it was quite effective in standing up to so called "Jungle Rot." The wood was quite proficient in resisting moisture, so was a perfect choice for the environment of Asia. The finish of the Chinese stocks are similar to the M44 clones made in Romania and Hungary, which is a heavy varnish or shellac in most cases. 。。。。
Some of the other differences that are noticeable in the Type 53 from the Russian M44 are the bayonet and the cleaning rod. Although the Type 53 bayonet is almost identical to the second variation Soviet bayonet, in many cases there are inspectors proofs marking found. This is not the case with the M44's made in the Soviet Union but is common on the M44 clones produced in Hungary. It is interesting to note that there are verified Type 53's with no bayonet. These carbines without bayonets have even been observed with the bayonet assembly filed down or even removed in some cases. It is unknown why this was done or who did it. This bayonet removal does seem to go against the "Human Wave" doctrine of the People's Army. The cleaning rod of the Type 53 is a 1/2 inch shorter than those from the Soviet Union. There is also a slight difference in the way the cleaning rod is screwed into the carbine stock. The cleaning rod further differs in that the head is plain while the Soviet made rods are not. Many Type 53's found in the US have cleaning rods that are correct for the Soviet M44 but this was probably done at the importer. It is also possible that the cleaning rods of damaged Russian M44's in Chinese stockpiles were fitted on Type 53's when the need arose.
53与俄造的一些明显差异是刺刀和通条。虽然53刺刀几乎与第二款的苏联刺刀相同，但在许多时候，能看到品质核查人员的证明标记。这在苏联造并不多见，可是在匈牙利产的M１９４４克隆是常见的情况。但有趣的是，有的53型不带刺刀。还有的甚至连刺刀座都去掉了。目前还不清楚为什么这样做，或者谁做的 （按，应该是越共游击队，对大部分时间呆在地洞里的人来说，刺刀用处不大)。拿掉刺刀似乎有违人民军队的“人海战术”。53通条比苏联的短了1 / 2英寸。还有就是通条拧进枪身的方式也略有不同。再细一点的不同处，５３通条头部是平的，而苏制则不是。在美国的５３有好多是用的苏式的，但这很可能是进口商干的。这也可能是在市场有需要时，商家把损坏的俄造枪上的通条换到５３上的。
There is doubt as to whether the Type 53 saw any action or issue in the Korean War. It is possible that the Type 53 saw use but it is doubtful, as the initial production of the Type 53 was quite close to the end of the conflict. If there was indeed any use it would have been on a VERY limited scale. There were M44's in combat in Korea but it is assumed by most they were Russian M44 carbines supplied to the People's Army by the Soviets. It is clear that the Type 53 saw extensive use in the Vietnam War, as the Chinese supplied these carbines in large numbers to their follow communists in North Vietnam. These carbines were in turn given to the Viet Cong. There was such wide use of the Chinese carbine in Vietnam that many of the Type 53's seen in the US are GI bring-backs. There are rumors that some of these carbines were scoped with a turned down bolt, but it is likely that the M91/30 sniper rifle was mistaken for this "sniper carbine". The Mosin Nagant sniper rifle was prevalent in its own right in Vietnam, with the Hungarian manufactured model being encountered in large numbers as GI bring-backs. The Chinese also sent the Type 53 to allies in Cambodia and other areas in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam era.
As the People's Republic of China began production of their own version of the SKS, the Type 53 lost some of its importance as a direct issue weapon. The Chinese found themselves in much the same position the Soviets did in the early 1950's, as the People's Republic had become a major power in its own right. The People's Republic of China now needed to supply arms to the countries that were under their yoke. The Chinese did not want to supply these countries with the SKS , so the People's Republic began to export the Type 53. The Chinese started their major arms supply operation with the Type 53. This operation grew into the massive endeavor that has made the People's Republic one of the largest arms dealers in the world.
There were many areas that received Type 53's over the years. One of these areas was the continent of Africa, where Angola in particular became a major receiver of these carbines. The Chinese have flooded large areas of Africa with these carbines and it is still not uncommon to see the Type 53 in the various African conflicts of today. The Chinese have also exported these carbines to Central and South America. It is in Peru that the Shining Path rebels have benefited from this "generosity" from Communist China. The Type 53 has also shown up in the recent fighting in the former Yugoslavia, where the Kosovo Liberation Army has put a number of these carbines into service. There are a number of M44's and M44 clones in this conflict but the Type 53 may well be the most common encountered. There has also been reports of US Marines encountering the Type 53 in Grenada. If this rumor is true the likely supplier would have been Cuba, who has received support from Communist China for many years.。。。
有报道说，多年来，53出现在许多不同地区。包括非洲大陆，特别是安哥拉成为这些卡宾枪的主要用户。非洲大部分地区充斥着中国人的卡宾枪，到了今天还不时能经常看到５３的身影出现在非洲的各种冲突中。中国还出口这些卡宾枪到中美洲和南美洲。例如在秘鲁的“光辉大道“ 游击队，就曾得益于中国的“慷慨”捐助。（按，好像是越南运过去的旧货吧？不过老美习惯了什么都往中国头上推） 53在前南斯拉夫最近的战斗中也出现过，科索沃解放军就在战斗中投入了大量的５３。这场冲突中出现了许多M１９４４和它的克隆，但５３可能是出现得最多的 （按：近水楼台东欧的不用，用中国的。 是不是有点儿奇怪？）。有报道说美国海军陆战队在格林纳达也遇到过53。如果这个传闻是真的话，最有可能的供应商将是古巴，他们多年来收到了很多中国的支援品。（按：中国换回了不少古巴糖）。。。
While the Type 53 has never really caught on in the collecting circles, there is no fault that can be found in the carbine itself. The Type 53 will hold its own in quality with most of the M44 clones, with the possible exception of the Polish M44. The Russian M44 and the Type 53 are also very close in overall quality, but the Soviet made carbines may be a bit better in overall fit and finish. Many US collectors have made the comparison of the Type 53 to the Chinese made SKS and the MAK 90's v.s. the Soviet made versions of these weapons. While the Soviet made versions may be a bit better overall, the Chinese made rifles/carbines are made to hold up to the rigors of warfare. There may indeed be a drop off in finish but the Type 53 is no slouch either. If one can find a Type 53 in VG or better condition, one will see little difference when compared to the other M44's. The trick may well be to find a Type 53 in VG or better condition, as many of these have seen a lot of use. This use is a testament to their durability and quality.
The overall accuracy of the Type 53 is in line with the other M44's on the market. Some are excellent shooters while some are truly horrible. This is not just the case with the Type 53 but all the M44 carbines ( really all surplus firearms in general ). Because of this it is impossible to make blanket statements on accuracy. Maybe the buyer will get lucky and get a "tack-driver" and maybe the buyer won't. The Type 53, like all the M44's, are fun to shoot IF one can tolerate a rather heavy amount of recoil.
The Type 53 may well be the best bargain of the M44 Carbine types on the collector's market, as in most case $100 is the high end of price. It is indeed a lot of carbine for the money and really belongs in any Mosin Nagant collection. The black-eye that it has received in many circles is undeserved and this can work to the collector's advantage。。。.