Russian Military Snipers to Receive Upgraded Dragunov Rifle

The Russian military will issue a new weapon to its intelligence and special forces units, replacing the Dragunov (SVD) sniper rifle with its latest version, Izvestia revealed.

The new SVDM rifle is not only more accurate than its fabled predecessor but also allows the attachment of “different sights, a silencer, and additional equipment.” The first consignment of the rifle has already been delivered to troops of the southern military district, the outlet revealed, citing a source.

The rifle is the outcome of a Russian military effort to modernize its “time-tested” weapons. Developers have used upgraded materials to manufacture the gun for better ergonomics, and its thicker and heavier barrel provides better accuracy.


According to manufacturer the Kalashnikov Group, the SVDM has an “effective muzzle brake/flash suppressor,” which increases the rifle’s accuracy and balance. Additionally, “the weapon’s handguard and pistol grip are made of polymer. The folding buttstock features an adjustable backplate and cheek rest.” 

The 5.3-kg (11.3-lb) weapon comes with a Picatinny rail, a mounting platform to install accessories. These optional attachments include optical and night sights, a silencer, an extra mechanical sight, and a mount for folding bipods, allowing the user to quickly adjust the weapon according to their requirements. The older gun models require the user to disassemble the gun to attach an accessory, a more time-consuming process.

Russian military developers are also working on another sniper rifle, the Chuvakin, which uses two different rounds — the 7.62×54 mm with a rim and a NATO 7.62×51 mm rifle cartridge. Developers claim that the gun can destroy a target in one shot from a distance of a kilometer (0.62 miles).

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