Russian Izhmash Tiger Tigr России Ижмаш Тигр. Svd dragunov

Dragunov dot net - Russian Izhmash Dragunov SVD page.

7.62 mm Izhmash SVD

Caliber: 7.62mm x 54r

Operation: gas

Locking: rotating bolt

Feed: 10-round box magazine

Muzzle velocity: 830 m/s

Rate of fire: 30 rds/min

Firing mode: single shot semi-auto

Sights: fore, post; rear, U notch; adjustable 0 to 1200 m; Scope: 4x24 PSO-1M2

Weapon length: 1220 mm

Weapon Height: 230 mm

Weapon Width: 88 mm

Barrel Length: 620 mm (685mm w/ flash hider)

Weight w/ scope unloaded: 4.5 kg

Scope: 0.575kg

Russian SVD sniper kit from the Izhmash factory in Izhevsk. In addition to the five magazines and pouch, there is a cleaning kit with sectioned rods and a remote scope battery compartment plus an amber polarizing filter. Scope is standard PSO-1M2 4x24 power which is detachable via a side dovetail rail.

Fully accessorized modern SVD with 1P21 scope, updated polymer stock set, and S-1 bipod.

The sling is a standard Kalashnikov canvas type.

What the SVD is: A semi-automatic (one shot per pull of the trigger) rifle designed for reliable operation in extreme environments. Its main purpose is to extend the reach of an infrantryman beyond the limitations of their standard rifle's caliber and sighting system. Accurate aimed fire at fleeting targets is possible due to the 4 power scope's wide field of view and lead correction markings on the reticle. One-ragged-hole groups are not necessary with this type of rifle, though it is capable of excellent accuracy with proper ammunition.

What the SVD is not: A traditional sniper's rifle capable of extreme accuracy at great distances. Comparing the SVD to a Remington 700, Sako TRG, or similar rifle is like comparing a Jeep to a tank.

Typical dense Russian woods environment where long distance shooting is not common.


The Russian SVD (Snayperskaya Vintovka Dragunova) was intriduced in 1963 as a replacement to the Mosin Nagant M91/30 and SVT Tokarev sniper rifles. The designer, Evgeniy Dragunov, had the complex task of designing a sniper rifle that was both accurate and reliable in a wide variety of condtions. From Valery Shilin's excellent biographyof E. Dragunov, he describes the complicated task of obtaining this goal.

Since the Dragunov SVD is more expensive to manufacture than the ubiquitous Kalashnikov, only a few countries have been able to produce the rifle themselves.

The first version of the SVD-63 rifle featured laminated wood hand guards with 6 holes (3 on each side), lightening cuts on each side of the receiver, a ribbed receiver cover, and a PSO-1 scope with a built-in infra-red light detection screen.

The barrel twist on the earliest SVDs was 1:320mm or 1:12.5 inches. In the late 1970s the twist rate was changed to 1:240mm or about 1:9.5 inches to handle newer bullets.

Izhmash arsenal cartouche (arrow with fletching feathers in a triangle). Early SVDs had the receiver markings applied by hand with an engraving tool. Note the SVD from 1971 has a letter prefix and a 3 digit serial number (the last number is digitally obscured). From around 1973 the prefix became two letters and 3 numbers. At some point, probably around 1977 or 78, the serial numbers changed to five digits and no letter prefix.

The г (Г in Russian ciryllic) is an abbreviation of "год" (the Russian word for year) and just signifies the number is a date rather than a serial number.

An update to the SVD features black polyamid plastic hand guards with a ribbed gripping area.

This aided the soldier in keeping hold of the SVD while seated in a vehicle or helicopter with the muzzle pointed up.

The PSO-1 scope was replaced with the PSO-1M2 which deleted the obsolete infra-red detector.

After 1993 a new receiver was developed that eliminated the lightening cut out on the sides. This gave added strength to the receiver and allowed Izhmash to offer the SVD in more calibers.

A new black polyamid butt stock was also added that is more ergonomic and weather-resistant. Plus the built-in cheek pad eliminated the problem of lost or stolen pads during use.


The Chinese version of the SVD is called the Type-79 sniper's rifle, later updated to the Type-85. It has design features similar to the earliest variation of the Russian SVD-63, though it is not an exact copy. Differences include shiny black finish, slanted trigger guard, laminated wood stock parts are more orange tinted.

Iran manufactures a copy of the Chinese Dragunov called the Nakhjir sniper rifle in 7.62x54R.


Poland attempted to update their aging Russian SVD rifles during a military modernization trial program. Their model SWD was upgraded with a heavier barrel, variable magnification scope, and detachable bipod. The SWD-M (M=modern) rifle did not survive the change to NATO standardization in Poland's military and this program was suspended.

SVDK 9mm Dragunov СВДК

There was a variation of the SVD chambered in 9.3x64mm cartridge. After testing began around 2006 it was never officially adopted into the Russian military.

The SVDK uses a rimless 9.3 x 64 mm Brenneke cartridge also known as 7N33 in Russia.

This rifle had a much larger bottom receiver portion to fit the longer 9mm magazine. Scope dovetail rail was shorter.


A variant of the Tiger hunting rifle called the Tigr-9 were manufactured briefly. The production has ceased on these due to high manufacturing costs and low demand. Unlike the military SVDK, the receiver was not modified with the larger area around the magazine well.

SVD in use

This Russian sniper demonstrates the proper aiming position of the SVD. Note the support hand is holding the magazine and not the hand guards. The sling is allowed to hang free so it does not induce pressure on the barrel.

A magazine hold also eliminates the upward pressure of the hand guards against the barrel, which interferes with barrel harmonics. This is also why a bipod can not be effectively mounted below the hand guards. (Photo by RomanS of

Note how much bolt bounce is present. Recoil is stout on these light rifles.

A soldier stationed in Iraq emailed this photo of a personal trophy liberated in the field. This Russian SVD has seen heavy use.

Note the modified Romanian ten round PSL magazine inserted instead of the proper Russian version.

The built-in optics dovetail rail on the SVD allows the use of a wide variety of day and night optical sights.

The SVD on the bottom features a 1PN58 night vision scope.

Dragunov SVD sniper rifle (Russia)

Dragunov SVD Sniper Rifle

Dragunov SVD Sniper Rifle

Dragunov SVD Sniper Rifle, with modern polymer stock

Dragunov SVDS Folding Stock Sniper Rifle

Modified SVDM sniper rifle, with 1P88 telescope sight and bipod

Foreign SVD clones and look-alikes: top to bottom Al Kadesih rifle (Iraq), Type 85 rifle (China) and FPK rifle (Romania). Note that only two former rifles are true clones of SVD; the latter one, FPK in fact is a modified Kalashnikov AK rifle restyled to look like SVD and chambered for 7,62x54R.

PSO-1 telescoping sight aiming reticle with built-in range finding scale on the left (assuming standing man height of 1.7m)


Caliber 7.62x54R
Operation gas operated, short stroke, rotating bolt; semi-automatic
Length (with stock folded), mm 1225 1135 (875) 1135 (875)
Barrel Length, mm 620 565 565
Weight, w/o ammunityion and scope, kg 3,9 4,5 5,3
Magazine capacity, rounds 10


The Dragunov SVD sniper rifle was not designed as a “standard” sniper rifle in the Western meaning of the term. In fact, the main role of the SVD rifle in the Soviet / Russian Army is to extend the effective range of fire of every infantry squad out to about 600-800 meters and to provide specialised fire support. The SVD is a lightweight and highly reliable rifle, capable of rapid and accurate semi-automatic fire.

Dragunov SVD sniper rifles were created to meet Soviet army requirements that were issued in 1958. It was tested against several rivals during official trials, and won. In 1963 the new 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 its primary round is a specially developed 7N1 sniper-grade cartridge with steel-core bullet. Every infantry squad in the Russian (Soviet) army had one man armed with an SVD rifle. It is also widely used by various Special Forces in Russia and abroad, as well as by specialized police SWAT-type units.

It must be noted that several countries produced SVD copies or look-alikes. Of those, the “true” clones (rifles that have similar internal design) are Iraqi Al Kadesih (also known as Al Kadesiah) rifle and Chinese Type 85 (in 7,62x54R) and NDM-86 (in 7.62x54R and also 7.62x51mm NATO). Others, such as Romanian Romak FPK or Yugoslavian Zastava M76, are only look-alikes as their internal design is different and usually based on Kalashnikov AK assault rifle. Russia also produces a civilian version of the SVD, known as “Tigr” (Tiger), in 7,62x54R and 7,62x51mm NATO (.308 Win). This rifle usually  has a shorter barrel, although it is available in several different versions. An older hunting version of the SVD, the “Medved” (Bear) is no longer produced and is quite scarce.

Changes in tactical rquirements brought up several modified versions of the venerable Dragunov sniper rifle. First came the SVDS folding-stock sniper rifle. Designed for Airborne and other specialised troops, SVDS features a shorter barrel and side-folding shoulder stock.

Later on, a Modified SVDM sniper rifle came into existence. Based on the SVDS, it features a thicker and heavier barrel which delivers better accuracy, improved ergonomics, adjustable side-folding shoulder stock, and, last but not least, the integrated Picatinny rail pinned to the redesigned top cover. This allows use of modern day and night optics. Standard day-time optics for the SVDM is a variable power 1P88-4 (1П88-4) telescope sight. The SVDM rifle also can be used with a detachable bipod, and, for special operations, with quick-detachable sound suppressor. Iron sights are redesigned, with simplified rear sight and new front sight located above the gas block.

The Dragunov sniper rifle (SVD) is a gas-operated, semi-automatic weapon. It utilises a short-stroke gas piston located above the barrel, and the 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 a steel block. The safety is somewhat reminiscent in its appearance to that of the Kalashnikov AK-47/AKM assault rifle, although the internal design of the trigger unit is different, and there’s no provision 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 the receiver behind the safety, is a receiver cover catch, which is used to disassemble the gun. Standard furniture includes a skeletonized wooden butt and a removable wooden handguard. Late production models feature polymer handguards and polymer skeletonized butt. The short SVDS rifle is fitted with a separate pistol grip, made of plastic, and a side-folding metallic butt. All SVD type rifles are equipped with adjustable ironsights as a back-up measure. SVD and SVDS rifles have proprietary side rail mount on the receiver, which will accept telescopic or IR sights on quick-detachable mounts. Standard telescope sight for SVD and SVDS is the 4X fixed magnification PSO-1 with range-finding reticle.



Freefloat Chassis upgrade kit for Dragunov platform by Sureshot Armament Group (SAG)

SVDS rifle with SAG Freefloat chassis installed


The SVD Dragunov Freefloat chassis was developed by Russian shooter and designer Valentin Vlasenko and is being currently manufactured by SAG. The chassis consists of a monolythic upper, lower handguard and steel barrel nut. The chassis freefloats the barrel, eliminating POI shift and allows the use of modern day riflescopes and all variety of NV \ Thermal Adapters which will stay in place during gun disassembly\reassembly for cleaning. The Monolythic upper provides the user with 470mm of top MIL-STD-1913 rail and keymod \ M-LOK interface on the 3, 9 and 6 o’clock.

The chassis can be installed by the user in the armory of the unit or in the workshop. Once installed it adds just 200-250 grams to the weight of the rifle. The design is patented. At the present time SVD and SVDS rifles equipped with this chassis are being field-tested by Russian FSB and SSO units.


SAG Civilian Tigr carbine with shortened 15,7″ barrel, upgraded with chassis, adjustable gasblock, AR pistol grip and buffer tube adapter.

Dragunov dot net - Izhmash Dragunov Tiger Hunting Rifle

The Izhmash factory arsenal in Izhevsk, Russia manufactures the Tigr (Tiger) rifle. This rifle is available in three main calibers, though only the 7.62x54R version was sold in the US. Special-order calibers are also available including a Tigr in .30-06. From Izhmash's web site:

"The Tigr self-loading hunting rifles are intended for big-and medium-size game hunting under various climatic conditions. The rifles are based on the venerable SVD Dragunov sniper rifle and differ in their improved accuracy of fire. "

7,62 mm Izhmash Tigr semi-automatic rifle

Cartridge: 7.62

Operation: gas

Locking: rotating bolt

Feed: 5 or 10-round box magazine

Muzzle velocity: 2723FPS, 830 m/s

Rate of fire: 650 rds/min

Firing mode: single shot semi-auto

Sights: fore, post; rear, U notch; adjustable 0 to 300 m; Scope 4 x 24

Weapon length: 43.3", 1100 mm

Barrel length: 20.86", 530 mm

Barrel twist: 4 grooves RH, 1:9.5", 240 mm

Weight without magazine: 8.6 lbs, 3.9 kg

Weight empty magazine: .5 lbs, 0.21 kg

PSO-1M2 Scope: 1.27 lbs, 0.575kg

Tigr variants

 Specifications "Tigr" "Tigr-308" "Tigr-9"
Calibre, mm 7.62 7.62 9
Cartridge 7.62x54R .308 Win(7.62x51) 9.3x64
Barrel length, inches 20.86 22.24 22.24
Rifle total length, inches 43.30 43.30 43.30
Rifle weight, empty magazine, pounds 8.6 8.7 8.7
Magazine capacity, rds. 5 or 10 10 5

The Tigr is offered in two barrel lengths (up to 24 inches) and various muzzle brake styles.

Cartridge designation Bullet weight, gr Muzzle velocity, fps Muzzle energy, J
7.62x54R 203 2362 approx 3600
.308Win (7.62x51) 150...180 2854...2624 approx 3700
9.3x64 247...293 2690...2559 approx 5800

You can also choose from 3 or 4 different butt stock styles.

In 1993-1994 Russian Dragunov Tiger rifles were imported into the U.S. from the Izhmash (sometimes stamped "Izhmach" on the receivers) factory by three different companies: Big Bear Arms of Dallas, Texas, B-West of Tucson, Arizona, and Century Arms International of Saint Albans, Vermont. The CAI imported Tigers have uniquely marked receivers with no Russian arsenal logos as can be seen at left.

The Tiger rifles imported into the US starting in 1993 had the improved flat-sided receiver without the "lightening cut" above the magazine. Tigers sold in Russia and elsewhere were still being sold with the older receiver in 1993.

Above is a Russian Tigr made in 1993. Note the lightening cut with "Made in Russia" in cyrillic and 7.62x53 caliber.

The unique markings of a B-West of Arizona imported Tiger.

"сделано в россии" means "Made in Russia"

"Izhmach" is from the original name of the arsenal "Izhevsk Machine-Building Plant"(Ижевский Машиностроительный Завод). At some point they changed the spelling from Izhmach to Izhmash (ИЖМАШ), which is closer to how the word is pronounced.

Still another version of Tiger markings.

The "тигр" under the safety lever is the word "TIGER" in Russian cyrillic.

Differences between the Military SVD and Tiger hunting rifle

 Specifications Military SVD Tiger
Barrel length - inches 24 20
Rear sight leaf marking - meters 1200 300
Adjustable gas system Yes No
Thumbhole butt stock Steel butt plate, detachable cheek pad. Rubber butt plate, no cheek pad
Front sight assembly Flash hider, bayo lug, hooded post Bare muzzle, blade sight
Magazine capacity, rds. 10 5
Front sling mount assembly Small loop for sling hook Wide loop for flat sling tab

The Tiger is basically a hunting rifle, though some dealers would rather you thought it a true sniper's rifle.

Shooting one of these is not unlike shooting a Mosin-Nagant M44; Huge muzzle flash and very strong recoil. These rifles are as light as an AK but fire the full-size 7.62x54R cartridge.

Some Tigers came with a hooded front sight though this is a rare variation. Most had an exposed blade which is held very tightly in place.

Your Izhmash Tiger should have come with these accessories which include spare 3 volt scope bulbs, rubber switch covers, scope polarizing filter, spare spring-loaded firing pin, oil bottle, some scope tools, and a Russian language manual for both the scope and the rifle.

Tiger package as offered in the US. This one has the military polymer SVD butt stock and hand guards installed and an extra 10 round magazine.

A high mounted scope and no cheek raiser means you have a "chin weld" instead of a cheek weld. This position gives more percieved recoil because your chin does not help absorb the recoil like your cheek would.

Many owners have replaced the commercial stock set with a military SVD stock which has a cheek pad and vented hand guards.

B-West of Tucson, Arizona import mark.

The chrome chamber of the Tiger.

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Rear latch lever. Rotate down and back to remove the cover.

The late type 2 variation receiver cover has no indents at the rear like on the Chinese version.

The Tiger was imported with the military style PSO-1M2 scope manufactured in Belarus. These Zenith-Belomo factory scopes are rarely offered for commercial sale and are similar in quality to the current NPZ-manufactured PSO-1 scopes from Russia.

The rifle shoots the Wolf 7.62x54R 154 grain FMJ ammunition well at 100 yards. Muzzle flash is massive with this ammo.

Heavier bullets are safe to use in this rifle. See here for more info.

March 1995 CDNN sale ad. Note for an extra $100 you could opt for the military stock.

Original 1996 J&G Sales dealer ad showing $799.95 price.

California Armory Inc. Tiger 7.62x54r

The "California Armory Tiger" that was imported in the early 1990's came in with all the military features, including buttstock, flash supressor (removed from barrel), rear sight leaf, etc. However they have the shorter 20" barrel and no adjustable gas system. The barrel diameter and length is identical to the regular Tiger and is not based on the shorter SVDS barrel.

The military sight leaf marked to 1200 Meters.

The rifles are numbered as if they are a limited production run of 1000 but importation was cut off before all 1000 arrived. There are actually only about 700 of these Tiger rifles that were imported by California Armory, Inc of San Bruno, California USA. This is the second most rare Dragunov variant in the U.S., behind the KBI imported SVDs of which only 100 came in.

The flash supressor/bayonet lug assembly was not originally attached to the rifle but was included in the box. Most owners or retailers put these on the rifles because the assembly also has the front sight on it and you couldn't use the iron sights without it.

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There has been a recent ruling by the BATFE that verifies flash hiders are legal to mount on these guns. Click here to read the letter on this ruling.

Izhmash Tigr rifles as offered in other countries

The Izhmash Tigr-03 model with the monte carlo butt stock. The trigger is modified so it is easier to reach with this style stock.

This model is offered with long and short barrels.

Though it looks like an SVDS, this is a commercial Tigr in 7.62x54R with folding buttstock.

All commercial Tigers sold in Russia feature a special chamber design that has a "step" machined into the chamber. This results in the fired cases being marked with an indented ring around the neck, which aides in forensic criminal investigation. Rifling twist rate is now 1:320 mm or about 1:12.5" compared to the 1:240 mm (1:9.5") in Tigers made until the early 1990s.

"VTB" on the forum had this to say about Tigr barrels:

"Tigers in some batches of production were made without threads - the barrel was just inserted into the heated receiver. 1992-1993 tigers are fine. 2015-2016 are too. But in 1998-2008 they are without threads. You can check if the barrel is threaded if you look at the barrel chamber area. The threads can be clearly seen there (in the area where bolt charging handle is located when the bolt is closed)"

The latest variation of the Izhmash Tiger available in New Zealand at Gun City.

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This variation is being offered with the longer 620mm barrel (24 inches) and wood stocks. No flash supressor/muzzle brake is included.

An optional 1P21 variable power scope is shown mounted.

Both stock styles are offered.

Notice the simplified smooth receiver cover.

This receiver cover is made from thicker metal as the previous ribbed version and increases the strength of the action.

Tigr owned by "Bas" in New Zealand.

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Izhmash Tiger as sold in Spain

Notice the difference in flash hiders.

Dragunov dot net - Russian SVU and OC-03 Dragunov bullpup sniper rifle

Russian SVU and OTS-03 - Full Auto Dragunov Bullpup Sniper СВУ СВУ-АС ОЦ-03

7.62 mm Izhmash SVU SVU-A SVU-AS

Caliber: 7.62mm x 54r

Operation: gas

Locking: rotating bolt

Feed: 10-round box magazine (20 -SVU-A)

Muzzle velocity: 830 m/s

Rate of fire: 30 rds/min (650rds/min SVU-A)

Firing mode: single shot semi-auto

Sights: fore, post; rear,apurture; adjustable 0 to 1200 m; Scope: 4x24 PSO-1M2

Weapon length: 870 mm

Weapon Height: 230 mm

Weapon Width: 88 mm

Barrel Length: 520 mm

Weight w/ scope unloaded: 4.4 kg

Scope: 0.575kg

Bullpup version of the Izhmash SVD

In 1975 the need arose to have a much shorter designated marksman rifle based on the SVD that would easily fit in cars and APCs. Using the British EM-2 rifle as inspiration L.V. Bondarev, working for the Central Design Bureau of Sporting and Hunting Guns, TSKIB SOO Tula (Центральное конструкторское исследовательское бюро спортивно-охотничьего оружия ЦКИБ СОО) , designed a modified version of the SVD rifle into a bullpup configuration called the OC-03 (ОЦ-03). This abbreviated version of the Dragunov rifle was found to be difficult to shoot comfortably with such a short barrel. Ultimately it was not accepted for development.

In 1991 the OC-03 was resurrected at the request of the Russian Interior Ministry who asked for the added features of a silencer and flash hider added to the barrel to aid in accuracy and concealment. By 1993 after extensive testing the OTS-03 was created . "OTS" translates in Russian to "Obrazets TsKIB" — product of the TsKIB.

In 1995 certain customers from the Interior Ministry asked for a version of the OTS-03 that was capable of burst fire. This new rifle was called the OTS-03A or SVU-A (Sniper Rifle Short - Automatic). The automatic feature was to be used in emergencies only. The barrel was also shortened by 100mm for even better balance and more maneuverability.The sound suppressor silencer is designed with a muzzle brake that helps control the rifle on full-auto. Another variation of this rifle is the SVU-AS (OTS-O3AS) which has a bipod.

OC-03 sniper rifle. This is a semi-auto only version. The latest OC-03 has a scope rail on top of the hand guards and no iron sights. The bipod mounts to a rail under the hand guards.

7,62мм снайперская винтовка ОЦ-03 OC 03. Optics are also mounted on top of the hand guards or on the side rail.

OC-03 sniper rifle with bipod that is clamped on to the hand guards. The barrel is longer than the SVU-A giving accuracy as good as the SVD..

SVU-A full auto sniper rifle. It features a short barrel, folding iron sights, and a side rail to mount the scope. No bipod on this version.

SVU-A selector settings. Safe, Auto, Semi.

SVU rifle with PSO-1 scope. Expected accuracy for this version is 8cm (about 3 inches) at 50 meters with standard ammunition.

The trigger bar connecting rod is visible along this side of the receiver. There is no easy way to connect the forward mounted trigger to the hammer and sear at the rear.

The butt stock has spring tension against the rear of the receiver and will absorb some recoil.

SVU with 1PN93-3 night vision optic. The bipod extends far forward of the receiver giving a steady platform for prone shooting.

The SVU has a second safety lever outside the trigger housing which can be used with the trigger finger.

SVU scope mount plate on side of barrel. SVD hand guards are modified to fit around the rail. Photos by "Photoshooter" Karden.

Rear SVU iron sight flips up or down and is adjustable for elevation (range) only.

SVU muzzle threads and folding front sight.

SVU three-chambered silencer opening. This supressor is not intended to completely silence the rifle since the soldier would not be using subsonic ammunition. Its main purpose is to quiet and diffuse the noise enough to make detection by the enemy difficult.

SVU muzzle brake on end of silencer is capable of reducing recoil by about 40%.

On May 6, 2013 Izhmash released details of their updated bullpup Dragunov design called the VS-121.

This rifle appears to have a free floated hand guard with a heavy barrel with threaded muzzle.

"BC-121" is translates to VS-121.

The designer of the VS-121 rifle holding a press conference on the release of this newest bullpup design.