The Soviet Union has always been a leader in the utilization of trained marksmen in their armed forces, they began a dedicated program in the 20's to develope equipment & tactics & they have actually been using what we today term "designated marksmen" since the 30's! The major difference between their system & that of the West is that the Soviets issued scope equipped rifles to every infantry squad & integrated their tactical use into all facets of Soviet infantry operations since the beginning. This album shows the major Soviet sniper rifles issued from the 30's thru the dissolution of the the Soviet Union in the 90's.
Album by willyp. Photos by willyp. 1 - 32 of 32 Total. 12519 Visits.
Soviet snipers rifles 1934-1992 The basic "line" of Soviet snipers rifles are shown in this pic, all are chambered for the Soviet cartridge originally designed in 1891 for the Mosin-Nagant (& subsequently updated/modernized in 1908). They are from top to bottom: 1) Mosin 91/30 Tula 1935, hex receiver, over bore mount w/4x PE scope (the early scopes had an adjustable focus ring), PE/PEM are not official Soviet designations but have been "adopted" by collectors 2) Mosin 91/30 Tula 1937, round receiver w/overbore mount & PEM 4x scope (no adjustable focus) 3) Mosin 91/30 Tula 1939, round receiver side mount PEM scope 4) Tokarev SVT40, utilizing a centered mount which slid on receiver rails & the 2.5x SVT40 scope. The forerunner of this rifle the SVT38 was also equipped w/the rails & is reported to have seen limited use as a snipers rifle between 1939-41. 5) Mosin 91/30 Tula 1944, round receiver, side mount w/2.5x scope PU, this scope was developed from the SVT40 scope. 6) Dragunov SVD, semi-auto snipers...
Soviet Snipers action left view The 3 Mosin rifles to the left were pre-war mfg, they were manufactured specifically as snipers rifles on seperate production runs & not "picked" regular infantry rifles. The SVT40 was the first attempt by the Soviets to field a semi-auto snipers rifle & was introduced in 1940 but failed to find favor & was removed from service early in 1942 The Mosin 91/30 PU was a wartime developement (1942) to replace the SVT40 & was an extremely effective platform, it remained in inventory w/the Soviets until the 1990's. The Dragunov SVD was a dedicated design for a Soviet snipers rifle, it was designed to use a specific round, the 7N1 (superceeded in the 90's by the 7N14) & is probably the most produced sniper rifle in history albeit one of the rarest rifles for a collector in the US!
Soviet Snipers left side actions A view of the left side of the actions of the line showing the comparisons.
Soviet Snipers left view The purpose for this album is to give readers a pictorial overview of the rifles & a direct comparison to each other, the individual rifles will be covered in seperate albums in greater detail in the future.
Mosin sniper rifles This pic shows the progression of the Mosin family from 1934-1942, all the rifles shown are original snipers rifles w/completely original scope & mount sets. The 2 top mount guns & the side mount PEM were captured by the Finns & are SA marked.
Mosins right action view
Mosins left action view
Mosins left side
1935 Tula hex recvr top mount PE
Tula hex 1935 top mount PE right action This rifle has the early (pre 1936) hex receiver, is Tula sniper proofed (CN on receiver) & is fitted w/the earlier scope (w/adjustable focus ring)
Tula hex 1935 top mount PE left action
Tula hex 1935 top mount PE left
Tula round recvr 1937 top mount PEM This rifle is a later (post 36) round receiver, is also Tula sniper proofed & is fitted w/the same type mount (except for the base which is for the round receiver) as the 35 shown earlier, it is also fitted w/the slightly later & simpler PEM scope, which is the same as the PE but omits the adjustable focus ring.
Tula round 1937 top mount PEM right action Compare the scope to the earlier PE
Tula round 1937 top mount PEM left action
Tula round 1937 top mount PEM left side
Tula round 1939 side mount PEM A different mount system than the previous two, this mount is on the left side of the receiver but uses the same scope as the 1937 PEM w/o the adjustable focus. This rifle is also Tula sniper proofed.
Tula round 1939 side mount PEM right action
Tula round 1939 side mount PEM Here is a good view of the side mount system as compared to the earlier top mounts.
Tula round 1939 side mount PEM left view
SVT40 1941 Ishevsk right view The Soviets worked on a semi-auto snipers rifle since the mid-30's, the first was the AVS36, this rifle was superceeded by the SVT38 which in turn was replaced by it's developement the SVT40. The SVT40 was found to not meet the requirements of a snipers rifle & was itself replaced in 1942 by the 91/30 PU
SVT40 1941 Ishevsk right action view Both the SVT38 & 40 had integral scope rails in their design, the rails alone did NOT indicate a genuine snipers rifle, sniper rifles also had a small notch at the top rear of the receiver which allowed a small "key" which can be seen here to slide through locking the mount in place on the receiver.
SVT40 1941 Ishevsk left action The scope for the SVT40 was a new simple design of lower magnification than the previous PE/PEM series, this along with their desire for a semi-auto snipers rifle is an indication of their different tactical concept of a snipers rifle versus that of the West.
SVT40 1941 Ishevsk left view The rifle shown is an original non-import, all matching & original snipers rifle w/original scope & mount.
Tula 1944 PU right side When the SVT40 was found to be "lacking" the Soviets went back to the venerable Mosin as their platform, utilizing a developement of the SVT40 scope in 1942. By western "standards" crude their performance was exceptional & utterly reliable & the rifle remained in service into the 90's!
Tula 1944 PU right action This rifle, I believe, is an as issued original rifle, it has the Tula sniper proofs, has the rifle number stamped on the mount (as was done when manufactured as opposed to the scope & rifle number being etched on during reworks), has the original Tula star & 1944 date stamped on the right buttstock.
Tula 1944 left action view. Here you can see the difference in the mount compared to the earlier 1939 PEM & the stamped number on the mount. Sharp eyed readers will note the note the scope but that is a discussion for a different time!
Tula 1944 PU left side
Dragunov SVD After a design competition involving a number of designs the SVD was adopted by the Soviets in 1964 & continues to be their standard issue sniper rifle until this day. Probably one of the most recognizeable & famous rifles there is.
Dragunov SVD right action The SVD is a semi-auto, 10rd rifle, lightweight (for a snipers rifle) & is very accurate up to 800 meters using the rounds it was designed for. It utilizes the PSO1 scope which has an illuminated reticle & a built in IR detector.
Dragunov SVD left action view The rifle illustrated is a 1984 Ishevsk military issue SVD. Also see the seperate album on the SVD for more details.