Tell me of the SVT


November 11, 2003, 05:12 PM
I've searched the net and found a great deal of confusing and conflicting info on the Soviet SVT-40 semi auto rifle an its relatives. Some say it was a horrible mistake, others say it was fine once the initial problems were resolved?

Being a big fan of the 7.62x54R and having a ton of it around, I'm thinking of getting one of the SVT's I've seen around town. What should I look for? Should I bother at all? What kind of accuracy can I expect?

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son of a gun
November 11, 2003, 05:30 PM
How much are the ones around town going for ?

November 11, 2003, 05:48 PM
They're fine rifles, and most of them are surprisingly accurate, given their condition today after use with corrosive ammo (the Russians were leaders in the hammer-forged rifling field, and both the MN 91/30s and the Tokarevs are known for being good shooters even when the bore looks like a sewer-pipe). It wouldn't surprise me if at least some of the early problems with the SVT were related to improper lubricant use in temperature extremes (which is what eventually killed the AVS, Simonov'scompeting design), but unless you're doing your shooting in -60 weather, you shouldn't have a problem. The Russians even made a full-auto version of the SVT, called the AVT, and some of those have doubtless found their way over here without their owners knowing what they are (at one point, the Russians were "converting" AVTs to semi-auto simply by dropping in a new lockwork part, and shipping them over; take that part out, and you're back to rock and roll). The one thing you might not like about the SVT is the way it beats up brass (if you're a reloader).

Bill Hook
November 11, 2003, 05:59 PM
I've heard that they aren't MOA shooters, but they can get close and that they can beat themselves up, particularly if you don't have the gas valve adjusted properly.

I'm not in any rush to buy one, but I seem to see them for $500-$700. Of course, there are variations, like Russian and Finn reworks, which are lower on the price spectrum than an as-issued gun.

November 11, 2003, 06:09 PM
Thanks for the input! Locally they're ranging between $400 and $600 depending on condition. Wasn't there an earlier model? The SVT 37(??)? Which is better?

son of a gun
November 11, 2003, 06:35 PM
Wasn't there an earlier model? The SVT 37(??)?


I saw some mint SVT 40's about 4 years back for $199.00, but I opted for Mosin Nagant m44 since my collection lacked bolt actions. I wish I could find a deal like again.

Bill Hook
November 11, 2003, 06:39 PM

That looks like an SVT-40.

The 38 had a shorter barrel shroud and I believe the cleaning rod inleted on the side of the stock.


son of a gun
November 11, 2003, 06:44 PM
I thought that would confuse things svt38 was the answer to the svt 37 quote.:confused: I LIKE SVT40's looks better.

November 11, 2003, 07:37 PM
The SVT40 was intended to be an improved SVT36/38 that was used in the war against the Finns. Compared to other semi-autos the operating rod is a little too slender and the stock is no where near as sturdy as say an M1 Garand or FN49. The gas system is easy to ajust (1.7 setting) and it has built in rails for scope mounting. As a sniper rifle it tended to hit high on the first round due to the handguard design. It did go into production with the intention of being Russia's MBR but became a victim of the German's invasion in June '41. Shortly thereafter all weapons were standarized for mass production and the adoption of the SVT40 as the MBR was cancelled, it took too many skilled manhours to produce. IIRC production continued thru most of 1942 with most SVT's being issued to NCO's. There was a slective fire version and the SVT36 and SVT38 (highly collectable)preceeded the SVT40. It appears that the Russians were quite pleased with the SVT40 and its one of the very few semi-auto MBR's that would operate in extreme climate conditions without special lubricants.

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