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The SVT-40 was a semi-automatic rifle that was used by the Soviet Union during World War II.

Description

The SVT-40 fires the 7.62x54mmR Cartridge and it uses a 10 round box magazine. The weight of the SVT was 3.85 kilograms when loaded.[1] It also had a barrel length of 625 mm and a total length of 122.6 cm. The SVT-40 had an effective range of approximately 800 meters. It also had a gas-operated firing system and the muzzle velocity was 840 meters per second. The rate of fire of the SVT-40 is about 25 rounds per minute.

The SVT-40 is not as rugged as other weapons since it was made to be more light weight and this can effect the gun dramatically in combat.[2] Still, reliability was relatively good. The iron sights on the SVT-40 were set to fixed and consisted of a front post and open rear sights. Among the attachments was the M1940 bayonet.

Variant

There were only two variants of the SVT-40, the AVT-40 and the SKT-40. Each saw very limited production and were somewhat experimental. The AVT-40 had the capability for fully automatic fire while the SKT-40 was meant to be a carbine.[3]

History

The SVT-40 was similar to its predecessor, the SVT-38. The latter received a lot of negative comments about it because it was not very reliable, and that the magazine had a tendency to fall out of the chamber. The newer SVT-40 proved more effective than the SVT-38 and received mostly positive reviews. However, during the start of the Great Patriotic War, many SVT-40s fell into the hands of Germans. Production of the SVT-40 continued, but was mostly replaced by the Mosin Nagant because it was much easier to mass-produce.
SVT-40-2

Red Army soldiers charging with SVT-40s

By 1942, there were already very little SVT-40s produced, but production was officially ceased in January 1945.

Soldiers usually liked the SVT-40 despite its many inefficiencies. During World War II, some SVT-40s had a scope mounted for sniping. The SVT-40 was still used in very small numbers by the Viet Cong and also saw minor use by Cuban Revolutionaries, although other rifles like the AK-47 and SKS-45 replaced it with the Viet Cong and Khmer Rouge. The SVT-40 is still in service with the North Korean People's Armed Forces.

German Use

The SVT-40 saw some use with Finnish and German forces as thousands were captured during the German invasion known as Operation Barbarossa. These rifles were designated Selbstladegewehr 259(r) while captured SVT-38 rifles were designated Selbstladegewehr 258(r).[3]

References

  1. http://world.guns.ru/rifle/autoloading-rifles/rus/tokarev-svt-3-svt-40-e.html
  2. http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/tokarev_m1940/index.html
  3. 3.0 3.1 http://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/detail.asp?smallarms_id=427

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