The Dragunov SVD is a gas-operated, semi-automatic rifle. It uses short-stroke gas piston, and gas chamber has a two-position manual gas regulator. The barrel is locked by a rotating bolt with three lugs. The receiver is machined from steel block. The safety is somewhat reminiscent in its appearance to that of Kalashnikov AK assault rifle, although internal design of the trigger unit is different, and there's no provisions for full automatic fire. The trigger unit is assembled on a separate removable base that also incorporates a trigger guard. The second, smaller lever, located on the right side of receiver behind the safety, is a receiver cover catch, and is sued to disassemble the gun. Standard furniture includes a skeletonized wooden butt and a removable wooden handguard. Late production models may feature polymer handguards and, sometimes, polymer skeletonized butt. The short SVD-S rifle is fitted with separate pistol grip, made of plastic, and a side-folding metallic butt. All SVD rifles are fitted with adjustable open sights, as well as proprietary side rail mount, which will accept telescopic or IR sights on quick-detachable mounts. Standard telescope sight is the 4X fixed magnification PSO-1 with range-finding reticle. SVD rifles also are issued with carrying sling, cleaning kit and other accessories. A standard AK-type bayonet can be installed on the barrel.

The Dragunov SVD was not designed as a "standard" sniper rifle in its Western meaning of the term. In fact, the main role of the SVD in the Soviet / Russian Army is to extend effective range of fire of every infantry squad up to about 600 meters and to provide special fire support. The SVD is a lightweight and quite accurate (for it's class) rifle, capable of semi-auto fire. The first request for new sniper rifle was issued in 1958. In 1963 the SVD (Snaiperskaya Vintovka Dragunova, or Dragunov Sniper Rifle) was accepted by the Soviet Military. The SVD can use any kind of standard 7.62x54R ammo, but the primary round is specially developed for a SVD sniper-grade cartridge with steel-core bullet. Every infantry squad in the Russian (Soviet) army had one man with a SVD. A SVD rifle is extremely reliable in all conditions, and designed for heavy use. It has backup adjustable iron sights as a standard option, as well as a bayonet mount (standard AK-47 bayonet type). The atest modernization SVDs incorporate rugged polymer stock. Also, for mounted and airborne troops, a special variant was developed with a folding buttsock and shortened barrel (590 mm). A new flash hider/muzzle brake was also installed.

Dragunov SVD








  • Many people think the Dragunov SVD resembles the Kalashnikov series of rifles.