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Kalashnikov (Dragunov) SVDM

Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) / Sniper Rifle [ 2018 ]

Optional Iron Front and Rear; Various Optics.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/20/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The SVDM is an all-modern evolution of the classic Soviet-era SVD semi-automatic sniper rifle. With the widely-accepted use of the "Designated Marksman" in platoon / squad arrangements, the weapon has been categorized as a "Designated Marksman Rifle" (DMR) in modern military-speak. It retains much of the form-and-function of the original - including its rifle-caliber chambering, gas operation, and semi-automatic internal action - but has been evolved by way of various tactical finishes including broadened accessories support.

The SVDM is an offshoot of the earlier SVDS which was a version of the SVD rifle reworked to better suit airborne troopers requiring a more compact, lighter weight solution. As such, the stock was redesigned in skeletal / tubular form as a weight-savings measure and this entire assembly could now fold over the rifle's body along a hinge for improved transport. A heavy-duty barrel assembly was also introduced while being capped by a new, shortened flash hider.

As with the SVD before it, the SVDS was chambered in the proven 7.62x54mmR full-power rifle cartridge. The SVDM continues this chambering and brings along with it all of the changes introduced with the SVDS model. It has a heavy-duty barrel assembly of 21.7" length (supporting a suppressor over the muzzle as needed) and a 1P88-4 telescopic sighting device as standard for daytime operations.

This incarnation of the classic SVD/SVDS rifle retains the general design lines save for it being completed in an all-black matte finish. The frame houses all pertinent operating functions including the charging handle and ejection port set to the right side. The magazine well is ahead of the more ergonomic pistol grip in the traditional way, accepting a curved, 10-round detachable form (the magazine release located just aft of the well). The pistol grip and trigger unit are set in their usual place with the trigger ring being oversized to accommodate a gloved hand. The forend is lightly slotted and shrouds most of the length of the gas assembly which sits over the barrel. The forward sight is positioned at the end of the gas cylinder and works in conjunction with a rear "iron" sighting device. The barrel protrudes a distance ahead and is capped by a slotted muzzle brake. A hinged, folding bipod (removable) can be affixed under the forend as a forward support.

At the rear of the frame is a skeletal, adjustable, and padded shoulder stock. As it is hinged, the assembly can be folded over the frame of the rifle for a more compact end-product (useful for when operating in confined spaces or for when "on-the-march"). Over the frame is a long-running section of Picatinny rail for the mounting of various optics, magnifiers, and aimers which can serve to enhance accuracy / precision at-range.

Overall length of the weapon system is 44.7" and this is brought down to 38.4" with the stock folded. Weight is 12lb.

Altogether, the SVDM can be a potent ranged weapon in the right hands. Changes have been implemented to make a Soviet-era product better suited to the rigors of the modern battlefield and broaden its tactical appeal.

The rifle entered service with Russian forces in June of 2018 and has been actively used by Russia in their ongoing invasion of neighboring Ukraine. Captured systems have been re-fielded by the Ukrainians in their valiant fight to defend home soil.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Service Year

Russia national flag graphic


Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) / Sniper Rifle

Rosoboronexport (Kalashnikov; Dragunov) - Russia
(View other Arms-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of Russia National flag of Ukraine Russia; Ukraine (captured)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Automatic Function
Features a mechanical function to automate the firing action.
Accuracy / Precision
Long-range accuracy / precision capable; suitable for sniping, particularly when equipped with sighting aids.
Special Forces
Qualities of this weapon have shown its value to Special Forces elements requiring a versatile, reliable solution for the rigors of special assignments.

Internal action allows release of single round per trigger pull, actuating a semi-automatic loading mechanism for successive shots.
An automatic, or pseudo-automatic, function is built into the system, allowing for repeat firing to be achieved.
Supports mounting of optics (scopes) to aid in accuracy for ranged fire.
Supports 'iron sights' allowing for inherent accuracy in ranged fire.
Aiming can be aided by use of a bipod support assembly, either as an integral part of design or option.
Design allows for user adjustability of certain components for customization.
Design offers mounting points for external, after-market hardware including laser aimers, flashlights, scopes, and grips.


Semi-Automatic; Gas-Operated; Rotating Bolt System.

One shot per trigger pull; self-loading or auto-loading action aided by internal mechanism; trigger management (and initial cocking) typically required by the operator; subsequent shots are aided by the unlocked / moved bolt.
Rotating Bolt
System utilizes internal mechanism to lock the breech or rear barrel assembly prior to firing.
Gas-operated system is featured, typically involving a gas cylinder and rear-driven piston directing energy to the bolt component.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)



Rounds / Feed

10-round Detachable Box Magazine.
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Muzzle Velocity
2,600 ft/sec
(792 m/sec)

SVDM - Base Series Designation.

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Images Gallery

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Image of the Kalashnikov (Dragunov) SVDM
Image from official Rosoboronexport marketing materials.

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