SVD Dragunov: 50th Anniversary

This year represents the 50th anniversary of the SVD Dragunov rifle.  Introduced into the service of the Soviet Union army in 1963, this semi-automatic sniper rifle has proved itself a capable performer in the field.

SVD Dragunov
Mongolian armed forces soldiers teach U.S. Marines about the Dragunov SVD sniper rifle as part of Khaan Quest 2009 at the Five Hills Training Area in Mongolia Aug. 14, 2009. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Nathan McCord/Released)

Since 1964, the Dragunov has been made by Izhmash, a Russian arms and vehicle manufacturer.  To commemorate the 50th anniversary, Izhmash announced the modernized SVD will be completed later this year.  The modernized Dragunov will feature:

  • new barrel
  • Picatinny rail for optics
  • folding bi-pod
  • adjustable buttstock
  • improved accuracy

The Dragunov has been used by at least 30 different countries around the world.  While the United States has never officially used the SVD Dragunov, it has helped equip and train friendly countries with the rifle.  It was just one of these weapons that Staff Sergeant Clinton L. Romesha used on October 3, 2009 to help repel some 400 enemy fighters in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan.


CZ550 Urban Counter Sniper Rifle

There are many names in quality sniper rifles, and CZ now appears ready to add their name to the contenders. CZ was showing off their CZ 550 Urban Counter Sniper rifle at the 2012 SHOT Show. The rifle design showed a lot of promise, and the materials addressed many needs of tactical operators. If the CZ 550 is made with the same care and craftsmanship of the famous CZ-75 or the new CZ P-07 Duty pistols, this rifle should begin making a name for itself in short order.

CZ 550 Sniper Rifle

This area of firearms is not one to be entered lightly, as the competition is fierce. There are heavy hitters in the form of Remington, Savage, Accuracy International, H-S Precision, and G&A Precision. In the European market, and a lessor influence in America, there is Steyr. The Remington 700 is perhaps the cornerstone of all American sniper rifles dating back to the 1960’s, and still holds a commanding influence and market share.

CZ 550 Urban Counter Sniper Rifle

Chambered in .308 Winchester, perhaps the most widely used police sniper caliber in America, the CZ 550 looks to offer a few features to set it apart from some of the big names in this arena. At first glance the viewer immediately recognizes that this rifle is designed for compact carry and maneuvers. There seems to be a definite acknowledgment of Col. Jeff Cooper’s ideas and requirements for a scout rifle. This rifle is compact, . 30 caliber, and has a 10-round detachable magazine. The rifle comes with a olive green coated barrel, and a black stock with green paint looking splashes.


Heym SR21: Marine Corps Is Looking for a Few Good Rifles

heym_sr21_01aThe Marine Corps announced in August they are looking for a sniper rifle chambered in .300 Win Mag. One of the rifles the Corps may be looking at is the Heym USA’s SR21 sniper rifle.

Heym is known for high end double guns, both rifles and shotguns.  Peruse the Heym website and you will see many photos of dangerous game taken by their customers in Africa.  Interested in buying one of their guns?  MSRP is “contact us.”  I’m thinking that might be a touch out of my price range.  In fact, I would get in trouble with my wife if she knew I was even looking at their guns.

Heym’s standard SR21 can be seen on the Heym site.  The Marine Corps has the sniper version for T&E.  I’ve seen the standard SR21 in .300 Win Mag sell around $4000.

So why does the Marine Corps want a .300 Win Mag rifle?  The Corps wants to engage targets beyond 800 yards.  The problem?  Many of their snipers do not have the skills to reliably hit targets at 800 yards.