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Tokarev SVT-40



Overview


SVT-40

Right side view of SVT-40 self-loading rifle.

Source: Drake00 - © GNU Attribution Share Alike license

Origin
Soviet Union
Type
Self-loading rifle
Entered service
1940
Status
Obsolete
Development
Early 1930's - 1938
SVT-38
1939
SVT-40
Developer
Fedor Tokarev
Production
1939 - 1945
Producers
Soviet Union - Tula arsenal
Soviet Union - Izhmash
Number produced
About 150.000 SVT-38
About 1.4 million SVT-40
51.000 SVT-40 PU
Designations
SVT-40 / Samozaryadnaya Vintovka Tokareva, obrazets 1940 goda
Russian for "Tokarev self-loading rifle, model of 1940".
Sveta
Russian nickname
Selbstladegewehr 258(r)
Nazi German index for captured SVT-38
Selbstladegewehr 259(r)
Nazi German index for captured SVT-40
Notable users
Soviet Union
Nazi Germany
Finland

Description


Introduction

The SVT-40 is a World War 2 era self-loading rifle of Soviet origin. Fedor Tokarev developed this rifle with the intention of it becoming the new standard issue rifle of the Soviet Union. It was used in large quantities during World War 2, but was never as ubiquitous as the Mosin-Nagant bolt-action rifle in Soviet service.

Design

The SVT-40 is a gas operated rifle with a short stroke-piston and a tilting bolt. The gas system is adjustable. The wooden stock features a traditional rifle grip.

Firepower

The SVT-40 uses the 7.62x54mm Russian cartridge from a 10 round magazine. The magazine is detachable, but the rifle can also be reloaded using 5 round stripper clips. The main feature of the SVT-40 is that it is a semi-automatic rifle. Despite the various minor issues this made the SVT-40 more combat effective than the bolt-action Mosin-Nagant. The AVT-40 is a select-fire variant with a cyclic rate of fire of 750 rpm.

Users

The main user of the SVT-40 was the USSR. Although intended to become the primary service rifle, it wasn't nearly as common as the Mosin-Nagant. The SVT-40 was often issued to specialist units, such as naval infantry and shock troops. Captured weapons were used by Finland and Nazi Germany. After World War 2 the SVT-40 was put in storage and replaced with the SKS. During the early stages of the Cold War various Soviet allies also received SVT-40 rifles.

Details


SVT-38

Left and right side view of SVT-38 self-loading rifle.

Source: Armémuseum - © Public domain

Overview of variants of the SVT-40

SVT-38
Original series production model introduced in 1938.
SVT-40
Improved production model and most common variant. Compared to the SVT-38 it is shorter and features a larger metal shroud at the front.
SVT-40 PU
An SVT-40 fitted with PU 3.5x scope. This setup was rather similar to the M1891/30 PU sniper rifle. However, this proved to be less accurate and had difficulties retaining zero. Production of the sniper variant was stopped in 1942.
AVT-40
Select-fire variant of the SVT-40. This was intended to be used as a light machine gun. The cyclic rate of fire is about 750 rpm. Combined with the significant recoil this made the AVT-40 impractical and was considered a failure.
Facts SVT-40
General
Origin
Soviet Union
Type
Self-loading rifle
Caliber
Caliber
7.62x54mm Russian
Magazine
10 round detachable box
Barrel length
625 mm
Rifling
4 grooves, right hand twist
Muzzle velocity
830 - 840 m/s
Operation
Action
Gas operated, short stroke gas piston
Locking
Tilting bolt
Fire selector
0 - 1
Rate of fire
Semi-automatic
Dimensions
Stock type
Fixed
Length
1.226 m
Weight
3.85 kg empty
Sights
Type
Iron sights, post front and notch rear
Sight radius
577 mm

Media