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Very good questions.

1. Unless you want to shoot corrosive ammo, I'd go for a Yugo (in fact I did). You may a fraction of the price of a Russian for one of the same quality. Pay a little more and get an unissued one. You have your pickins with the Yugos more than Russians. You're not kidding about the bayonets... I have the most beautiful, smooth, clean bayonet in the world.

2. As far as 16" barrels and AK mags go, you have ones with short barrels and standard mags, short barrels and AK mags, and long barrels with AK mags. I believe paratrooper only applies to 16" barrels, and the "D" or "M" models to AK mags. I have one with a 16" barrel and thumbhole stock using AK mags. Post ban, so no bayonet.

Chances are a dealer or seller will know about as much as you did before asking the question, but will not approach it with as much modesty, so buyer beware.

3. I believe the Chinese did make commercial versions of the SKS. I think all stamped receiver versions are commercial, as are AK mag and paratrooper models. You'll pay more for a milled norinco than a stamped one. Another reason I advocate the Yugo, being milled and the least expensive.

Now are you looking for a fine military specimen or something to adapt?
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