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  • Dragunov SVD Semi-Automatic Sniper Rifle

    The Dragunov SVD was the standard Warsaw Pact sniper rifle and is still in service today.

     Updated: 10/31/2016; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The Dragunov SVD sniper rifle is an automatic rifle based on the Kalashnikov rifle series. The weapon system was the standard sniper rifle issued to the Red Army and most Warsaw Pact nations during the cold war.

    The SVD utilizes the heavy and hard-hitting 7.62mm round, with sighting accomplished through a removable scope (designated as the PSO-1). Unlike the Kalashnikov rifles it copies, the SVD actually uses a lower-recoil system so as not to spoil the accuracy of a given shot. The rifle system as a whole is quite long (nearly 50 inches) and features a fixed stock. The Dragunov SVD is still a favorite of snipers in former satellite states such as Iraq, where it is being used in guerilla warfare. It has proven quite easy to fire (the low recoil system mentioned earlier makes it so) and is as accurate as the shooter is trained to be.

    There is also a sport rifle based on the military SVD known as the Medved (or "Bear") and is chambered to fire the 9x54R cartridge. Though over forty years old, the SVD can and will be found in some form or another all across the globe for decades to come.

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    Dragunov SVD Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1963
    Type: Semi-Automatic Sniper Rifle
    National Origin: Soviet Union
    Manufacturer(s): Izhmash - Soviet Union/Russia; Norinco - China; Zastava Arms - Serbia

    Design (Internal, Dimensions and Weights)

    Firing Action: Gas-Operated; Rotating Bolt
    Available Caliber(s): 7.62x54R Russian
    Ammunition Count / Feed: 10-Round Detachable Box Magazine
    Overall Length: 1,225 mm (48.23 inches)
    Barrel Length: 620 mm (24.41 inches)
    Weight (Empty): 9.50 lb (4.31 kg)
    Sighting Assist: Mechanically-adjusted iron sights (backup rear); sliding tangent rear; optional optics


    Muzzle Velocity: 2,723 feet/sec (830 m/sec)
    Typical Range: 4,265 feet (1,300 meters; 1,422 yards)

    Global Operators / Customers

    Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Bangladesh; Belarus; Bulgaria; Cambodia; China; Cuba; Czech Republic; Egypt; Ethiopia; Finland; Georgia; Hungary; India; Iran; Iraq; Kazakhstan; Lebanon; Republic of Macedonia; Moldova; Mongolia; Nicaragua; North Korea; Pakistan; Palestine; Poland; Russia; Serbia; Slovakia; Sudan; Soviet Union; Sri Lanka; Turkey; Uzbekistan; Ukraine; Venezuela; Vietnam; Yemen; Zimbabwe

    Model Variants

    SVD - Base Sniper Model Designation

    SVDS - Folding tubular metal stock; cone-shaped flash-hider; synthetic pistol grip; fixed cheekpiece; synthetic shoulder pad; revised barrel; improved gas cylinder.

    SVDSN - Night-Capable SVDS variant.

    SVDN - Night-Equipped SVD rifle; adaptable to several types of night optic telescopic sights.

    SVD Medved - Sport rifle

    SVU - Assault sniper rifle; shortened barrel; PSO-1 telescopic sight; bullpup layout; triple-baffle muzzle brake; improved recoil reduction; folding iron sights.

    SVU-A - Selective fire capability; based on the SVU model; 20-round magazine.

    SWD-M - Modernized SVD; heavier barrel; LD-6 (6x42) telescopic sight capable.

    "Nakhjir" - Iranian license-production copy of the SVD