One rifle that isn’t really forgotten at all but still interesting and historically significant is the Samozaryadnyj Karabin Simonova – the SKS. Predating the AK by several years, the SKS was a staple weapon in many national military forces for many years, and was one of the most affordable self-loading military surplus rifles available in the US for many more years. We have a few Russian-language manuals for the SKS, which are interesting to browse through but of rather limited utility unless you happen to read Russian.
Well, if you have an SKS and want to really learn more about maintaining and repairing it, Allegheny Arsenal has a pair of East German manuals now available translated into English. One is an Operator’s Manual covering maintenance, disassembly. and troubleshooting and the other is a very detailed Armorer’s Manual, which gets into areas as detailed as how to properly temper replacement springs, how to headspace the bolt, and with a number of dimensioned technical drawings for making replacement parts. Check ’em out!