SVD (rifle)

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(Redirected from Dragunov sniper rifle)
SVD
SVD Dragunov.jpg
Rifle with a wooden handguard/gas tube cover and skeletonized stock used before the change to synthetic black furniture
TypeMarksman rifle
Sniper rifle
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
In service1963–present
Used bySee Users
WarsSee Conflicts
Production history
DesignerYevgeny Dragunov
Designed1958–1963
Manufacturer
Produced1963–present[1]
VariantsSee Variants
Specifications
Mass
  • 4.30 kg (9.48 lb) (with scope and unloaded magazine)[1]
  • 4.68 kg (10.3 lb) (SVDS)
  • 4.40 kg (9.7 lb) (SVU)
  • 5.30 kg (11.7 lb) (SVDM)
  • 5.02 kg (11.1 lb) (SWD-M)
Length
  • 1,225 mm (48.2 in) (SVD)[1]
  • 1,135 mm (44.7 in) stock extended / 875 mm (34.4 in) stock folded (SVDS)
  • 900 mm (35.4 in) (SVU)
  • 1,155 mm (45.5 in) stock extended / 875 mm (34.4 in) stock folded (SVDM)
  • 1,135 mm (44.7 in) (SWD-M)
Barrel length
  • 620 mm (24.4 in) (SVD, SWD-M)[1]
  • 565 mm (22.2 in) (SVDS)
  • 600 mm (23.6 in) (SVU)
  • 550 mm (21.7 in) (SVDM)

Cartridge7.62×54mmR[1]
ActionGas-operated, rotating bolt
Rate of fireSemi-automatic
Muzzle velocity
  • 830 m/s (2,723 ft/s) (SVD)
  • 810 m/s (2,657.5 ft/s) (SVDS)
  • 800 m/s (2,624.7 ft/s) (SVU)
Effective firing range800 m (875 yd)
Feed system10-round detachable box magazine
20-round detachable (SVDA) box magazine[1]
SightsPSO-1 telescopic sight, 1PN51/1PN58 night vision sights and iron sights with an adjustable rear notch sight

The SVD (Russian: Сна́йперская Винто́вка систе́мы Драгуно́ва образца́ 1963 года, romanizedSnáyperskaya Vintóvka sistém'y Dragunóva obraz'tsá 1963 goda, lit.'Sniper Rifle, System of Dragunov, Model of the Year 1963'), GRAU index 6V1, is a semi-automatic marksman rifle chambered in the fully-powered 7.62×54mmR cartridge, developed in the Soviet Union. The SVD was designed to serve a squad support role to provide precise long-range engagement capabilities to ordinary troops following the Warsaw Pact adoption of the 7.62×39mm intermediate cartridge and assault rifles as standard infantry weapon systems. At the time, NATO used battle rifles chambered in 7.62×51mm NATO as standard infantry weapon systems and had not yet adopted an intermediate cartridge and assault rifle of their own, allowing them to outrange their Warsaw Pact counterparts.

It was developed through 1958–1963 and selected as the winner of a contest that included three competing groups of designers, led by Sergei Simonov (prototype rejected in April 1960), Aleksandr Konstantinov, and Yevgeny Dragunov. Extensive field testing of the rifles conducted in a wide range of environmental conditions (Konstantinov's competing 2B-W-10 prototype was simpler and cheaper but tested less accurate, durable and reliable) resulted in Dragunov's proposal being accepted into service in July 1963.[2] An initial pre-production batch consisting of 200 rifles was assembled for evaluation purposes, and from 1964 serial production was carried out by Izhmash, later called Kalashnikov Concern.

Since then, the SVD has become the standard squad support weapon of several countries, including those of the former Warsaw Pact. China produced a copy of the SVD through reverse-engineered samples captured during the Sino-Vietnamese War as the Type 79 and 85.[3] Iran also produced a clone, the Nakhjir 3, which was a direct copy of the Chinese Type 79.

Design

The SVD bears a number of cosmetic similarities to the AK family of rifles but these similarities are for the purpose of standardizing manual of arms. This has occasionally lead to misidentification of the SVD as an AK variant, and vice versa.

Operating Mechanism

The barrel breech is locked through a rotating bolt (left rotation) and uses three locking lugs to engage corresponding locking recesses in the barrel extension. The rifle has a hammer-type striking mechanism and a manual lever safety selector. In addition to the trigger disconnect, the fire control mechanism has a second disconnector which does not allow the hammer to fall until the bolt has been closed, similar to a sear in a select-fire weapon. However, the SVD was only designed for semi-automatic fire. The firing pin in the SVD is not retained, i.e. "free-floating", and it is therefore possible for accidental discharge to occur as the bolt pushes an unfired cartridge into the chamber, should there be an obstruction in the firing pin channel resulting from poor maintenance or extreme cold.

The firearm is operated by a short-stroke gas piston system with a two-position gas regulator. The gas regulator can be set with the help of the rim of a cartridge. Position #1 leaves a gas escape port opened, whereas position #2 closes the gas escape port and directs extra gas to the piston, increasing the recoil velocity of the gas-piston system and is used for resolving reliability issues which arise from fouling in the gas port/action, extreme cold, high altitude, or using under-powered ammunition.

The rifle is fed from a detachable curved box magazine with a 10-round capacity and the cartridges are double-stacked in a staggered zigzag pattern. After discharging the last cartridge from the magazine, the bolt carrier and bolt are held back on a bolt catch that is released by pulling the cocking handle to the rear.

The rifle's receiver is machined to improve precision by adding torsional strength.

Barrel

The barrel profile is relatively thin to save weight. Its bore is chrome-lined for increased corrosion resistance and features four right-hand grooves. Originally, the twist rate was 320 mm (1:12.6 in), as it had been designed for use with heavier civilian ammunition. In 1975 the twist rate was increased to the standard 240 mm (1:9.4 in), which reduced the precision with the 7N1 sniper cartridge by 19% but allowed for the use of standard "light" ball steel core LPS Gzh (57-N-323S), as well as its variations (incendiary, tracer, armor-piercing) with acceptable precision.[4] The front part of the barrel features the front sight assembly and a bayonet lug. The muzzle is equipped with a permanently affixed long-slotted flash hider.

In order to pass inspections at the factory, these rifles must not produce more than a 0.7 MOA median deviation from the expected point of impact in three 10-shot groups using 7N1 (approximately 3 MOA).

Ammunition

To enable the desired precision of the SVD, new "sniper" ammunition, designated 7N1, was designed by V. M. Sabelnikov, P. P. Sazonov and V. M. Dvorianinov in 1966 to meet the new standards. 7N1 sniper cartridges should not produce more than 1.24 MOA extreme vertical spread with 240 mm twist rate barrels and no more than 1.04 MOA extreme vertical spread with 320 mm twist rate barrels in a 5-shot group. The precision requirements demanded of the SVD with 7N1 is similar to the American M24 Sniper Weapon System with M118SB cartridges (1.18 MOA extreme vertical spread) and the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System with M118LR ammunition (1.27 MOA extreme vertical spread).

7N1 differed from the standard LPS Gzh (57-N-323S) cartridge in its use of finely extruded propellant and a modified projectile containing a void inside of the jacket at the tip which improved terminal ballistics and a bimetal lead and mild steel core. With standard 57-N-323S cartridges, the precision of the SVD is reduced to 2.21 MOA extreme vertical spread. This ammunition was later replaced by 7N14 in 1999, which replaced the mild steel penetrator with a hardened steel penetrator in response to the development of infantry body armor.

Sights

PSO-1's unique reticle. The rangefinder is in the lower left, chevrons for distances beyond 1,000 m (1,094 yd) are found in the middle, and stadia marks for windage to the left and right of the center reticule. The reticle is illuminated by a small battery-powered lamp.

The rifle features adjustable iron sights with a sliding tangent rear sight, graduated from 100 to 1,200 m (109 to 1,312 yd) in 100 m (109 yd) increments. The iron sights can be used with or without the standard issue optical sight in place. This is possible because the scope mount

does not block the area between the front and rear sights.

The SVD was originally issued with a detachable PSO-1 optical sight (now PSO-1M2) which mounts to a Warsaw Pact rail on the left side of the receiver.[5] The PSO-1 sight enables area targets to be engaged at ranges upwards of 1,300 m (1,422 yd); effective ranges in combat situations have been stated at between 600 to 1,300 m (656 to 1,422 yd), depending on the nature of the target (point or area target) quality of ammunition and skill of the shooter.[6][7]

Several military issue alternative telescopic sights with varying levels of magnification and reticles are available for the SVD. Rifles designated SVDN come equipped with a night sight, such as the NSP-3, NSPU, PGN-1, NSPUM or the Polish passive PCS-5. Rifles designated SVDN-1 can use the passive night sight NSPU-3 (1PN51)[8] and rifles designated SVDN2 can use the passive night sight NSPUM (1PN58).[9]

Commercial non military issue mounts that attach to the Warsaw Pact rail mount can allow use of Picatinny rail-mounted optics.[10]

Stock

The original SVD had a birch plywood laminate two-piece handguard/gas tube cover and a skeletonized thumbhole stock equipped with a detachable cheek rest; the latter is removed when using iron sights. Beginning in the 80's, wooden parts were replaced with synthetic parts made of a black polymer – the handguard and gas tube cover are more or less identical in appearance, while the thumbhole stock is of a different shape.

Accessories

Russian PSO-1M2 military issue 4×24 telescopic sight with the Warsaw Pact rail mounting system.

A number of accessories are issued with the rifle, including a blade-type bayonet (AKM clipped point or the AK-74

spear point bayonet), four spare magazines, a leather or nylon sling, magazine pouch, cleaning kit and an accessory/maintenance kit for the telescopic sight. Also included is a cold weather battery case with a "shirt clip", with a permanently attached cord [approximately 24" long] ending with another battery case cap that has an extension to press against the internal contact in lieu of the battery to complete the circuit. Placing the external battery case into the shooters' clothing close to the body keeps it from freezing; using the clip ensures it remains in place. The clamp-style bipod attaches to machined-out reliefs near the front of the receiver, it literally grabs the two cut out areas and securely mounts with a large round sized head on the clamp bolt able to tightly attach the bipod. The legs are individually adjustable [as opposed to fixed length found on many rifles and LMG's] and can be folded and stowed in a forward position negating the need to remove the bipod before placing the rifle into the canvas carrying case. The two legs are held close together with a "J" shaped clamp attached to one leg and swung over the other leg. Original Soviet/Russian SVD bipods fetch a very high price when they rarely appear on the market.

Variants

SSV-58 – The prototype submitted to trials by Dragunov. The design lacked the fixed flash hider and bayonet lug which was added to the rifle prior to adoption. The rear sights were mounted to the dust cover and were aperture sights instead of the standard notch sight.

SVDN (6V1N) – A series of variants of the original SVD which were issued with various night vision optics.

V-70 – A prototype automatic rifle developed in 1968. It involved the development of a new bipod, a thicker and shorter barrel with a new muzzle device, and 15/20-round magazines. The detachable bipod designed for this project would be used in subsequent models of SVD.

Tiger – A civilian variant of the SVD, lacking a bayonet lug, first produced in the 1970s. Serial production for began in 1992.[11] For export into the United States, the sear which prevented out-of-battery discharge had to be removed to comply with the National Firearms Act. As of the writing of this article, Tiger rifles are available with shortened (520 mm) and full length (620 mm) barrels, different stocks (including an SVDS-style folding stock), and are chambered in 7.62×54mmR, .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield or 9.3×64mm Brenneke.

AF – A prototype automatic rifle developed in the mid 70's. The prototypes were chambered in 5.45x39mm and made compatible with AK-74 magazines (specifically, the 45-round magazine also compatible with the RPK-74).

SVD-S (6V3) – Attempts to reduce the length of the rifle for use by marines, mechanized infantry, and paratroopers began in 1978 by adding a folding buttstock and a separate pistol grip. Initially, preexisting stock designs were used (such as the one from the AKS-74), but ergonomic problems necessitated the design of a unique folding stock.

Russian-made SVD (top) and SVDS (shortened variant with folding stock) rifles featuring modern synthetic furniture

SVDG (6V1-10) – A smoothbore SVD with a 10mm bore developed alongside the modern intermediate cartridge program to use the experimental 3 mm APFSDS

projectile, originally designed for use in standard machine guns. The design was not implemented due to the poor terminal ballistics of the projectile and the complexity of the new weapon.

Type 79/85 – A Chinese variant of the SVD. Although the design is nearly identical to the original SVD, some parts are not interchangeable, as the dimensions are slightly different from Soviet production rifles. A small quantity were also chambered in .308 winchester for export. Exported rifles are often referred to as the NDM-86 or EM-351.

Al-Kadesih – An Iraqi variant of the SVD, not to be confused with the Tabuk rifle. Although the design is very similar to the SVD, many parts are not interchangeable due to its unique dimensions and design characteristics. For example, the receiver is not milled and is slightly longer than that of the SVD, and the barrel is pinned to the receiver instead of being threaded. The rifle is also issued magazines with an ornamental palm tree relief.[13][14]

TKB-0172 – An early bullpup design of the SVD developed by the Tula Sporting and Hunting Weapons Design Bureau in the 80's. This rifle also had a significantly shortened barrel to reduce length.

SSV-6 (6V1-6) – Chambered in the experimental 6mm cartridge developed in the 80's. The weapon was not adopted due to the poor effectiveness of the cartridge.

OTs-03 SVU – A variant of the TKB-0172 which began serial production in 1991 for the MVD. The rifle was also equipped with an improved muzzle brake as well as a rear aperture sight, much like the original SVD prototype. Many were not new production rifles, but instead, retrofitted SVDs. A select-fire variant (OTs-03A(S) SVU-A) was also produced in small quantities to serve as an automatic rifle, but the automatic fire capability was later removed from the design. The original shortened barrel was also later replaced with a full-length barrel in the design.

SVDK (6V9) – An experimental Russian variant chambered for the 9.3×64mm 7N33 cartridge, based on the civilian Tigr design.

SWD-M – A modernized Polish variant of the SVD adopted in 1998 which uses a heavy barrel, bipod (mounted to the forearm) and LD-6 (6×42) telescopic sight.

CS/LR19 or NSG-85 – A modernized Chinese variant of the Type 85 adopted by the PLA in 2014

Russian SVDM sniper rifle

SVDM – A modernized variant of the SVDS which entered service in 2018.[15] Compared to its predecessor, the SVDM was notably designed with a thicker (and 550 mm long) barrel, new furniture, and a picatinny rail mount on the dust cover. The variable power 1P88-4 (1П88-4) telescopic sight is used as the standard day optic. The SVDM rifle can be used with a detachable bipod, and with a quick-detachable suppressor. The iron sight line features a simplified rear sight element and a new front sight element located above the gas block. The SVDM has a length of 1,135 mm (44.7 in) (975 mm (38.4 in) with the stock folded) and weighs 5.3 kg (12 lb).[16]

Doctrine

The SVD was used by designated marksmen deployed in the Soviet Army at the basic motorized infantry rifle platoon level.[17] For this purpose, the rifle was designed to be much lighter than more conventional precision rifles, making it better suited for use by infantry, and the rifle is autoloading in order to prioritize volume of fire over precision. It was thought that a relatively small number of marksmen armed with 7.62×54mmR fully powered cartridge chambered arms could assist conventional troops armed with 7.62×39mm intermediate cartridge chambered arms by suppressing/harassing valuable targets and assets (such as officers, radio operators, vehicle crews, other marksmen, machine gun teams, anti-tank warfare teams, etc.) with greater precision and at much greater ranges.[18]

Once the rifle had been produced in sufficient numbers, every infantry platoon of Warsaw Pact troops included at least one SVD-equipped marksman. In the German Democratic Republic arsenals, there were almost 2,000.[19] The marksmen were often chosen from personnel who displayed exceptional rifle marksmanship while members of DOSAAF. Such marksmen were estimated to have a 50% probability of hitting a standing, man-sized target at 800 m (875 yd), and an 80% probability of hitting a standing, man-sized target at 500 m (547 yd). For distances not exceeding 200 m (219 yd) the probability was estimated to be well above 90%. To attain this level of accuracy the sniper could not engage more than two such targets per minute.[20]

Users

Former users

Conflicts

See also

References

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External links

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