Dragunov SVD Sniper Rifle (USSR/Russia)
Dragunov SVD wasdesigned not as a "standard" sniper rifle in its Western meaning of theterm. In fact, main role ofthe SVD in Soviet / Russian Army is to extend effective range of fireof every infantry squad up to about 600 meters and to provide specialfiresupport. SVD is a lightweight and quite accurate (for it's class)rifle, cabable of semi-auto fire. First request for new sniper riflewas issued in 1958. In 1963 SVD (SnaiperskayaVintovka Dragunova, orDragunov Sniper Rifle) was accepted by Soviet Military. SVD can use anykind of standard 7.62x54R ammo, but primary round is speciallydeveloped for SVD sniper-grade cartridge with steel-core bullet.Every infantry squad in the Russian (Soviet) army had one man with SVD.
It mustbe noted that several countries produced SVD copies or look-alikes. Ofthose, the "true" clones (rifles that have similar internal design) areIraqui Al Kadesih rifle and Chinese Type 85 (in 7,62x54R) and NDM-86(in 7,62x51 NATO). Others, such as Romanian Romak FPK or YugoslavianZastava M76, are only look-alikes as their internal design is differentand usually based on KalsshnikovAK assault rifle. Russia also produces a civilan version ofthe SVD, known as "Tigr" (Tiger), in 7,62x54R and 7,62x51 (.308 Win).This usually has shorter barrel, although it is available inseveral different versions. Older hunting version of the SVD, the"Medved" (Bear) is no longer produced and is quite scarce.
DragunovSVD is gas-operated, semi-automatic rifle. It uses short-stroke gaspiston, and gas chamber has a two-position manual gas regulator. Barrelis locked by rotating bolt with three lugs. Receiver is machined fromsteel block. The safety is somewhat reminiscent in its appearance tothat of Kalashnikov AKassault rifle, although internal design of thetrigger unit is different, and there's no provisions for full automaticfire. Trigger unit is assembled on a separate removable base that alsoincorporates a trigger guard. The second, smaller lever, located on theright side of receiver behind the safety, is a receiver cover catch,and is sued to disassemble the gun. Standard furniture includes askeletonized wooden butt and a removable wooden handguard. Lateproduction models may feature polymer handguards and, sometimes,polymer skeletonized butt. The short SVD-S rifle is fitted withseparate pistol grip, made of plastic, and a side-folding metallicbutt. All SVD rifles are fitted with adjustable open sights, as well asproprietary side rail mount, which will accept telescopic or IR sightson quick-detachable mounts. Standard telescope sight is the 4X fixedmagnification PSO-1 with range-finding reticle. SVD rifles also areissued with carrying sling, cleaning kit and other accessories. Astandard AK-typebayonet can be installed on the barrel.
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