Russia’s New Generation Sniper Rifle SVCh based on Dragunov Model – Will It Be a Winner?

  • 2020 is the 100th anniversary of Evgeniy Dragunov.
  • Russia has completed a new generation rifle, the SVCh.
  • The new rifle is expected to be used by the Russian army in 2021.

Next year is the 100 year anniversary of the Evgeniy Dragunov, born February 20, 1920 into the family of the famous weapons makers of Czarist Russia. He served in the Soviet army during World War II. After the war was over, he started designing weapons and by 1950 his first successful design was put into mass production. Dragunov designed five more weapons, which ended up being utilized by the Soviet Army.

The Dragunov sniper rifle gave him international recognition, which the Red Army started using in 1963. He died on the August 4, 1991 and in 1998 was posthumously given one of Russia’s highest honors. In 2011, he was awarded honorary citizen of his hometown of Izhevsk.

The Dragunov Sniper Rifle Specifications: 

Model: Snayperskaya Vintovka Dragunova (SVD)

Caliber: 7.62x54mm Rimmed.

Barrel Length: 24″ (610mm)

Twist: 1:10″ RH, 4 Grooves.

Magazine: 10 round detachable box magazine.

Weight: 9.5lb (4.31kg) empty with telescope.

Overall Length: 48.2 in (1225 mm)

Russia has just announced the completion of a new generation Sniper Rifle SVCh based on the Dragunov Sniper Rifle. The JSC Kalashnikov Concern designed the new weapon. The Kalashnikov Concern is named after legendary Mikhail Kolashnikov and its headquarters is located in the city of Izhevsk. Kalashnikov was a Soviet designer, who created the AK-47, officially known as the Avtomat Kalashnikova, a gas-operated, 7.62×39mm assault rifle.

Mikhail Kalashnikov

The new Sniper Rifle will be semiautomatic. However, that could be considered as a law, as being semiautomatic can affect precision during use.

Additionally, the design includes structural elements that are installed on a solid upper tire rigidly connected to the barrel. There are three calibers available: 7.62х54R, 7.62х51 (NATO classification .308 Win), and .338 Lapua Magnum. The length of the SVCH is 995 to 1,015 mm. The barrel is identical to SVD and holds 10 bullets. There are advanced versions of the barrel able to hold 15 or 20 bullets and the weight is 4,2 kg, hence it is lighter than the SVD.  The prototype was completed in 2018 and Russian President Vladimir Putin was seen showcasing the weapon himself.

Image Source: Larue tactical

The rifle has Picatinny rail (also known as a MIL-STD-1913 rail or STANAG 2324 rail), a military standard rail interface system that provides a mounting platform for firearm accessories. It was originally used for mounting scopes atop the receivers of larger caliber rifles. Once established, its use expanded to also attach other accessories such as: iron sights, tactical lights, laser aiming modules, night vision devices, reflex sights, foregrips, bipods, slings and bayonets.

Thus far, the Rifle has not been tested in combat zones. Russia plans to have SVCH in production by 2021 and the Russian military will be supplied with the new weapon by the end of 2021 replacing the SVD. The results of its capabilities remain to be seen.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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