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I just bought a nice Chinese Type 56 MN (at least I think that what it's called)

It's in original condition, not refurb'd, with matching numbers on the bolt, barrel, and magazine, 95%+ original blue, (some thinning) and the stock has the original lacquer-type finish. (again, some thinning). Afew dings and scraps, but nothing serious.
It has a very small import stamp under the barrel at the muzzle; Keng's.

Dated 1956, and with the number 26 below the date.

Is this a factory / arsenal ID number?
How many plants made this carbine for the Chinese?

I paid $150. Is this the going rate for Chinese Type 56's?
I haven't seen a matching one in a long time, so I popped for it.
 

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T53 factory 26

It's a T53. I think T56 is the SKS, but don't quote me on that.

26 is the arsenal number. Earlier ones were marked "296", but I've heard that maybe 296 was just renumbered to 26.
Correct, The factory (not "arsenal") originally marked "296" from about 1949 to 55 was (is) the wartime ex-Nationalist factory at Chungking(now Qiongqing). In 1956, the PLA renumbered all its facilities, and started a new Serialling system as well.
Factory 26 is Factory #2, in the Small Arms Manufacturing Group ("6")...ever since then, all PRC "small gun" factory codes end in "6", just as nearly all PLA Military ammo factories end in "1" (except for covert export supplies, which have nonconforming number codes).

regards, Doc AV
AV Ballistics.
 

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I think you did well at $150. Tough to find a T-53 with a matching bolt. 1956 seems to be a hard to find date as production seems to have tapered off that year to tool up for the T-56 carbine (SKS) and T-56 assault rifle (AK).
 

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$150 for a matching T-53 is a good buy in my opinion you do not see good ones very often. One of the local shops near me has one that is tagged Russian m44 for $150 and it is beat up. It's funny that they do not know the difference but have a 1943 M44 priced at $299 and they would only budge $10 because "Its rare."
 
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