Classic Army SVD is a full metal AEG replica of 7,62 x 54 mm Dragunov sniper rifle, with both stock and frontgrip made of black ABS.
Снайперская Винтовка Драгунова (Original Dragunov name in Russian) , is a semi-automatic weapon, running with 7,62 x 54mm R [7N1] type ammunition.
In the late 50's, Red Army had announced a tender for a new sniper rifle, which would have the old and outdated Mosin replaced. In 1961, two concepts were accepted for tests: one project by Alexander Konstantinov and the other by Evgeny Dragunov. The date of taking SVD into service, in some sources is given as 1961, in others as 1963, but most likely 1963 is more real.
Rifle operates by exhausting some ammount of gas, through an outlet on the side of a barrel. The movement of a trigger hammer is slightly shorter than a slider which limits an improper weight balance while taking a shot, so therefore improves accuracy. The rifle has a two position gas regulator settings. While operating, after the barrel breech is being locked by a breech slider rotation (left) three locking lugs go into recesses in the breech chamber. Trigger is based on a cocking-type mechanism, with fully covered trigger with a separate spring. There are two safety mechanism: one manual and one automatic. It is usually equipped with PSO-1 optical sight with four time magnification.
Early production series of Dragunov had also a bayonet latch, but this solution was abbandoned in later versions. They were instead equipped with a bipod latch. SVD has a 10 rounds magazine, and muzzle velocity is 830 m/s.
Later there were a coupple of modified versions available: SVD-S with a detachable wooden stock, SVD-S with metal side-folding stock, SVU bull-pup and SVU-A bull-pup with a full automatic fire mode. Polish Army modified version, named SWD-M, had a thicker barrel and in standard was equipped with bipod and optical sight LD-6 (six time magnification).
Replica is packed in most common type of the box: styrofoam emboss inside, with CA logo and thick cardboard cover. Box design is simple: all white with black overprints. On the sides you may find some SVD pictures. As for the logos, you may find three companies involved in the project: Classic Army (producer), Iżmasz (real gun producer) and Danish Action Sport Games which has a licence to Dragunovname and the design. So wrapping is simple but aesthetic, it protects the replica well and bears essential informations.
Replica fits tight in the box, as well as the magazine and accessories. No part should freely move while being transported. In the box except for a replica itself, there is one low cap magazine, ramrod, short tube loading kit and manual.
Manual written in English is clear and aesthetic. Schemes regarding maintanance and construction are clear and depicted with details (except maybe for one mistake in HU regulation).
While opening the box we've heard some rattle from inside. Tested replica, which came out of a surprise, had its foresight point and foresight cover detached, freely moving about the box. It might be due to quick assemble while screwing muzzle point onto its base. There was no regulation tool along with the replica, and AK type tools we had were too short to put it back on, we tackled this with some small pincers.
Replica is not that heavy, as it is lighter than the original one, but 3300g feels good enough. After mounting an optical sight, it feels a bit better.
Metal and plastic material used in CA SVD, both have a smooth surface. Plastic parts are black (lead) mat colour. Metal parts are black, glossy. In general parts are well matched, except maybe for round muzzle cover, which tends to play on its basis. It was also neccessary to screw on the muzzle basis and flash hider. Apart from this minor issues, CA sets the standard we would be glad to see in any other replica.
Plastic parts quality is very good. There is no typical squeaky sound while putting on some pressure. Stock is without any regulation, for some just perfect, for some - too short.
Cheek rest dimensions and shape are different from the original one. It's placement and setting is also a bit different.
Replica feels very solid. Size, especially the lenght makes a good impression. I would risk a thesis that there is no person who would not be, at least, just a bit impressed by SVD rifle (including its replica). So just to have it in your hands is fun. It is also well balanced, even though the barrel lenght, balance does not drag towards the front.
Pulling the breech slide and then releasing it gives a nice metal rattle sound. Its spring is quite hard.
|Original SVD||CA SVD replica|
|Weight (w-out mag)||4300g||3300g|
Replica looks good. It resembles real gun well - apart from black foregrip and stock, because black equivalents in real SVD have a different shape. Foregrip and stock in CA replica are copies of wooden ones. As you may see above replica is slightly lighter than a real SVD, but lenght makes it feel good (it doesn't give an instant feeling it's too light). After mounting scope it is even better.
Most of the metal parts are made of aluminium, those made of steel are indicated on the photo with small magnets: breech chamber upper cover, trigger cover, fire selector lever, stock foot, cheek rest buckle, magazine body. Every pin and screw is also made of steel.
Sights are well made with a good care for details.
Marks on the rearsight are painted in red. In tested replica, rearsight was well matched, there was no play on sides and adjustment switch worked properly.
Gas tube elbow-mounting is fixed on the outer barrel with two allen screws (on the bottom).
Gas tube is a short dummy pipe, it goes just a bit over frontgrip fitting.
Flash hider is a one part with a muzzle base. It is fixed on the outer barrel with single allen screw, which goes through a bayonet latch. Unfortunately it is impossible to mount a real SVD bayonet, but it might be possible if a part of the latch would be filed a bit.
Fire mode selector acts as a safety lever, it works only on two settings: safe, semi. It works smooth, with a click on both settings.
When dummy breech is pulled back, we get access to hop up adjustments. Rotating it upwards takes down HU, while rotating it downwards, adds more HU spin (manual described it the other way round).
ABS frontrgip is very similar to original wooden one. There are just minimal differences. It is not possible to mount original wooden paddings out of the box, but it should not be too difficult - it seems that only front and rear part of the original wooden frontgrip would have to be filed a bit. Below photo comparison of replica plastic paddings and original wooden ones.
Frontgrip have no other reinforcements or pins because it needs some space for battery. Wires pulled into the foregrip have one fuse and are ended with mini connector.
Frontgrip paddings fit very tight and it is difficult to dissasemble and assemble them if front fitting lever would be not properly set. To release the lever itself it needs some pressure but it opens smoothly. It would tend to block itself when mandrel would not fit exactly in the cut in, on the outer barrel. It is important to set the front fitting so the mandrel could fit precisely. Otherwise you might damage the surface of the outer barrel.
Stock has no sideways play. Even though its surface is smooth, it is not affecting the characteristic of the pistol grip.
As we have mentioned CA SVD cheek rest is different to the original SVD. The original when mounted was on the upper left side, which allowed to rest a cheek in stable position, to aim using optical sight.
Replica's cheek rest is located on the top of the stock, so therefore is useless, especially while using optical sights. What is more, it is smaller and has a different shape.
Wooden part is neither alike the orignal and it is painted in black. Buckle is made of wire which is keeping it stable, but again - does not resemble the orignal one.
If one would like to mount the original SVD cheek rest, it is not possible out of the box, since the stock is two wide at the mounting part. It would either require to file some plastic there, either to add some thick wire ("U" shape) at the end of the original buckle to extend it.
Producer recommends mini type battery, and for more power it would be necessary to use special "V" shape battery. Such a cells connection should make it possible to fit it in the front grip. Indeed to fit stick battery or even mini is a bit difficult, as space is limited by the fuse. Stick battery wouldn't fit unless you would remove the fuse. Battery space is one of the major issues of this replica. It might be solved by using a LiPo type battery. We have tested it with small cells King Arms Lipo battery, similar to stick but of rectangular shape and lenght of only 120mm. Such a battery fits perfectly and the fuse may stay.
Replica has no marks except for one white inscription with serial number starting with "SVD".
Mag is made of steel and plastic. Body is made of steel and its spring is very hard. It's well matched, no play or squeeky sounds here.
It is a 40BBs low cap. It feeds pellets very well. Color: glossy black.
It fits tight in the socket and minimal play on the sides is almost unnoticable, it does not affect the usage.
Mag release lever has no play at all, unwanted release of the mag is rather impossible.
To start, take out upper cover of the breech chamber. To do that release a lever located a bit behind the safety selector.
After removing the cover you see a slide and the upper part of the gearbox.
Slide moves on the rail located on the edge of the breech chamber.
Slide has no metallic or silver color, it's just mat aluminium.
To dismantle front of the replica, pull down the lever on the right side of the frontgrip metal fitting, then remove the lever. Next push the fitting forward and take out the paddings.
Outer barrel is mounted in yoke at the front of the body. To remove - unscrew it.
To remove a gearbox out of the body, first thread the wires through a rectangular hole in the front of the body (yoke).
First disconnect connectors to detach wires with a fuse and battery connector - those would not go through the hole. Observation: connectors are protected with transparent rubber isolation - it assures that they would not disconnect by an accident.
Engine is mounted horizontally.
To remove the gearbox, first remove two pins: a smaller one (below the trigger, a bit to the front) and a bigger one (just over the mag release lever).
Next unscrew the safety lever cross-type screw, you may remove the lever now. Then unscrew a screw of the trigger cover.
To remove a gearbox, slide it up with a small angle. At this moment, we may also take out the lower body part, to take out GB completely.
To take out stock, remove two screws on the back of the breech chamber, which you may see after taking out upper cover. Most of the screws used in assembling the SVD are Allen type, so are those. To take out the stock, first slide out a gearbox a bit.
GB is not standard, because engine socket is an integral part with the GB body
This solution makes it difficult to regulate engine, as it is covered by a stock. So to make some adjustments either dismantle almost whole replica, then slide out the GB, either (not as the manual follows) remove the stock by force.
Trigger is mounted in the back of the gearbox with one pin.
Contact cube though is in the front of the gearbox. To operate, piston action moves a lever placed on the upper right side of the GB.
To dismantle a gearbox, before you remove screws keeping both sides of gearbox together, first take out trigger (one pin), and then remove semicilcular plate from the cut in. Gearbox body is not too thick.
7mm ball bearings.
Racks are made of steel. Engine rack have four anti-reversal notches. Overlay of the piston rack, which is responsible for tappet delay (gear sector clip) is also made of steel.
Spring is of a regular turn.
Spring slide is a V.3 type, with bearings and it's plastic bushing set on a steel basis.
Cylinder and piston set, is extended. "0" type long cylinder, and reinforced long piston (with a bearings head) are same as those in CA25 replicas. Piston head is not standard (asymmetrical). Nozzle is sealed up - test prooved that piston & cylinder set is extremely leakproof.
Engine has no marks.
Contact tube is not typical.
While examining inner parts of gearbox we've noticed that engine rack rubs over the anti-reversal axle. It is noticeable. In our opinion it is a mechanism defect, casued by to close location of those parts in gearbox. First piston notch had also some worn-down rubs.
2. Hop up chamber and outer barrel
HU chamber is made of metal, and is cylindric. To adjust HU turn the blue nob made of aluminium.
HU chamber is dismantled by unscrewing its elements. It's a very simple construction. There is no typical distancer, but a short roller made of soft plastic. Distancer is set vertically.
Inner barrel is a typical stock one of 6.08mm diameter and 630mm lenght.
Replica likewise the original one is shooting only with a semi-automatic fire mode. First shots make a good impression. It works properly smoothly, and sound is correct. Accuracy is good, HU system works well- it does not tend to deregulate with time.
1. Muzzle velocity and energy
Tests were pursued with 0.2g BBs (Blaster BIO).
Measured muzzle velocity with 0.2g BB is 375fps, energy 1.3J
(Avarage of 367-387fps measured with Madbull chronometer)
Weight | fps | m/s | energy
0.2g | 375 | 114 | 1.3J
2. Accuracy and convergence on the distnce of 20 m and 25 m
Accuracy test was pursued on a silhouette target with a A4 size paper (210 × 297 mm). Distance set with a tape measure. Shots taken in series of 10. Tests taken place indoor (unfortunately we did not have a chance to test it on bigger distances).
20m distance, 10/10 shots in A4.
25m distance, 10/10 shots in A4.
3. Max and effective range
Effective range: 40 m. (Precision inner barrel is required to improve effectiveness.)
Max: 60 m.
Classic Army SVD, even though some minor drawbacks, is a really good replica. The look, reliable mechanism and matching of the outer parts are excellent.
Reconstructing, reneacting teams and every player who attach importance to realism, would be a bit put back with black plastic stock and frontgrip, but as it is true for every stock replica, also this one also may be tuned up - especially visually. Weight is not same with the original, but it is not that noticable regarding its size. It is also worth mentioning, that the market choice of semi-automatic (AEG) SVD replicas is almost none. CA SVD is a product which can easily compete with other sniper rifle replicas. For a number of people who would like to have Dragunov AEG replica, CA is also very competitive in price to his only rival available on the market.
It is of course a pity, that battery choice is so limited, but in the age of more and more popular LiPo batteries, also this problem is fairly easy to forget about.
Sniper rifle replicas are pretty rare if you look at the market supply, and what is more, a big part of the market is occupied by M16 and SR modifications. It is therefore worth complimenting, that there is another airsoft replica of SVD Dragunov which we would highly recommend to any Soviet and Russian weapons fan.
+ full metal
+ good care for details in resembling the original
+ outer parts very well matched
+ well balanced
+ finishing touch
+ piston & cylinder of excellent leakproof level
+ fairly easy to match the real wooden frontgrip paddings
- small battery space
- not well resembled cheek rest
- weight lower than an original
- problematic engine adjustment
- rack rubbing anti-reversal
Replica was tested thanks to courtesy of Classic Army distributor, Danish company: Action Sport Games:
WMasg Editors Team
VISUAL TUNE UP
1. Original SVD wooden paddings
It may be interesting for some players: original wooden paddings, may be mounted on CA SVD, after some adjustments.
Original SVD wooden paddings on the both sides have metal fittings which have to be removed. It would be probably the best to use a small chisel. It's a delicate work, as it might be easy to damage the wood beneath the fittings. Then file a bit the surface which is now revealed. It is just to shade it a bit, by filing down a paint or shading it a little more. If the front which goes inside the fittings would be too long in comparison to black plastic from replica, file the difference. Otherwise it would be impossible to put the front fitting in place and therefore it would be impossible to close the lever locking the frontgrip.
After such adjustments they fit so well like they were made for it.
2. Wooden stock
As original stock from SVD was never that easy to buy and recently it is even more difficult to get one, we decided that it won't hurt much to try out a stock made by G&H. We decided to get it without finishing - we planned to do it ourselves. This product is dedicated for spring cocking version of SVD and is a bit different from CA AEG, which bears some problems at the very beginning. Problems occured too troublesome so we gave up. G&H though, informed us that they are willing to make a CA SVD dedicated wooden stock if the customer would send the plastic one for the reference.
Original SVD photos:
Translation by Bukhart