• If you enjoy the forum please consider supporting it by signing up for a NES Membership  The benefits pay for the membership many times over.

Options for a poor man's Dragunov?

Rating - 100%
8   0   0
Joined
Mar 14, 2020
Messages
14
Likes
11
I know I'm not the only guy out there who always wanted an SVD, but isn't a Saudi oil prince. I was thinking of getting a VEPR in 7.62x54R or .308 then get the appropriate furniture + optics to make it look like the rifle I'll never own. Has anyone else ever had success doing something like this? Would actual SVD or PSL furniture fit one?

I know the PSL exists, but I feel like for the quality rifle it's not worth the $2000 asking price most people are listing it for. What are your thoughts?
 

C. Stockwell

NES Member
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
5,163
Likes
10,172
Location
NH
*Zastava M91 - including optics, around $3000

Zastava Arms M91 Rifle for SALE - AtlanticFirearms.com

*PSL - new batches have just came in, around $2200

Romanian PSL-54 Rifle-Century Arms RI3324N - AtlanticFirearms.com

*x54r or .308 Veprs do take some SVD furniture like the buttstocks but do a lot of research into this - around $2000. Zenitco is coming out with a new line of Vepr furniture specifically for the "big bore" guns

*Zastava M76 or M77 - depending on if you buy a parts kit or a whole gun, parts kits + receivers are around $2000 not including gunsmithing to put the kit together

Or just buy a SVD. When you add up the amount of useless crap people buy, from coffee to snowmobiles to boats, you can find places to cut costs and save money. Or sell some other guns, maybe making up the cash difference. Anything is possible if you really want something, just takes dedication and effort.

Whether a gun is "worth it" to you is up to you. All of the alternatives are going to be a minimum of $2000. I've handled a new M91 and it was cool, but not cool enough for me to buy at this time. All of these guns aren't as accurate as modern DMRs, like say a SR-25. The optics are garbage in comparison to modern optics but its just really cool to look through them and see that iconic reticle. RobSki on AK Operators Union was able to get 1MOA with a PSL, with handloads, but he's been to US Army sniper schools. Compare that to modern DMRs where 1MOA is the bare minimum for accuracy.

I've owned a x54r Vepr and it was great fun but it'd take a lot of work to get one into a DMR - remember, these were designed as hunting guns. I'd go with a new set of Zenitco furniture (probably a grand there, including a dust cover scope mount), a KNS adjustable gas piston for use with a suppressor, maybe swap out the muzzle device, and a modern optic. Note that I said DMR, not a SVD clone.

I would say your best option right now for a completed, off-the-shelf, non-kit gun SVD clone would be the Zastava M91 at $3000 or so.
 

TTA89

NES Member
Rating - 100%
8   0   0
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Messages
564
Likes
510
Location
New Hampshire
Just for reference, I paid $1826 plus shipping for a 54R Vepr in May plus another $90 bucks for spare mags. If you want a "Dragunov" style looking rifle I'd just order the PSL from Atlantic.

P.S. Boats and Snowmobile are not useless. :cool:vepr.jpg
 
Last edited:

btnh6668

NES Member
Rating - 100%
17   0   0
Joined
Nov 27, 2008
Messages
1,470
Likes
640
Location
Southcoast
I always regretted selling my PSL. I really liked it but as others have said don't expect fantastic accuracy. I have two vepr 54r which i love but i do still miss my psl. I have zero experience with the m91 but if stockwell recommends it, then i would take his word for it.
 

Frizzle Fry

NES Member
Rating - 100%
27   0   0
Joined
Nov 24, 2011
Messages
4,094
Likes
4,123
Location
GONE
there are no options, you either get the real deal (which isn't that spectacular for what it is) or LARP with an AK in 54r.

also $2000 is like $700 now.

This. The only "real" SVDs to make to the US were Russian, or Chinese made with borrowed specs and tooling.

Literally everything else is basically a scaled up AKM of one kind or another... which the SVD is not.

PSL is not bad, and M91 is a really nice rifle, if you're looking to scratch the 7.62x54R itch with a combloc vibe.


Why no domestic manufacturers have started making Dragunovs is beyond me. Name your price, wickedly popular, seems a no-brainer.
 

C. Stockwell

NES Member
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
5,163
Likes
10,172
Location
NH
This. The only "real" SVDs to make to the US were Russian, or Chinese made with borrowed specs and tooling.

Literally everything else is basically a scaled up AKM of one kind or another... which the SVD is not.

PSL is not bad, and M91 is a really nice rifle, if you're looking to scratch the 7.62x54R itch with a combloc vibe.


Why no domestic manufacturers have started making Dragunovs is beyond me. Name your price, wickedly popular, seems a no-brainer.

There have been FEG SVDs that came in this year, around 100, but it was a group buy that caused an internet kerfuffle by not going as planned. Its also possible that a Polish SVD got into the US somehow.

US manufacturers like Century and Riley can't even make a reliable AK that doesn't explode, so I don't yet think that a US manufacturer can make a good SVD. PSA makes a non-explodey AK that's unreliable. KUSA seems to do the best job. Century tried to build Zastava M76s from parts kits on US-made receivers but those guns suffer from really bad reliability, like failures to feed. There are better receivers made by Tortort these days, but that involves buying a kit, then a receiver, then hiring a builder.

Most former CommBloc countries have moved away from the SVD as a DMR. The Russians have a bunch of modernized versions. Poland is working on developing a 7.62 NATO version of their MSBS Grot rifle. Romania and Yugoslavia obviously had their own designs. So, there's no incentive for say FB Radom or WBP or Arsenal to start selling them to us.
 

C. Stockwell

NES Member
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
5,163
Likes
10,172
Location
NH
Because the market really isn’t that big. And the “the ammo is cheap” argument is gone. It would probably saturate in well under 100 guns lol.

I wouldn't say 100 guns because the recent FEG batch was literally around 100 guns and if anything it spurred more interest.

I think modern, commercial SVD production could happen if there was a niche, small manufacturer who knew what they were doing, but that isn't anyone in the US in 2021. FB Radom would fit the bill, but like I said, they're moving away from CommBloc gun sales.

A lot of niche US builders get into this game via parts kits, like how Rifle Dynamics uses mostly Romanian parts. And I've never seen cheap or even expensive SVD parts kits. Absent parts kits, I can't see someone in the US building SVDs.
 

hedgehound

NES Member
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
Joined
Oct 2, 2008
Messages
853
Likes
1,417
there are no options, you either get the real deal (which isn't that spectacular for what it is) or LARP with an AK in 54r.

also $2000 is like $700 now.

There were some Tigers imported, in SVD furniture. Almost real deal, differences: Shorter barrel, different twist, no gas regulator.
Boris is right, SVD is not exactly sniper rifle, in the sense of precision.
 
Last edited:

paul73

NES Member
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Oct 30, 2020
Messages
3,674
Likes
4,180
Location
MA
There were some Tigers imported, in SVD furniture. Almost real deal, differences: Shorter barrel, different twist, no gas regulator.
Boris is right, SVD is not exactly sniper rifle, in the sense of prevision.
SVD is effective against body armor and helmets. It is a practical battle weapon, with a usual mil spec spread of quality- some may be decent, but most barrels will be crap.
It is as far from a Gucci quality 1000yds rifle as it can possibly be. A mass produced true weapon of war, if you manage to get a real one.

But the PKM is much more popular.
 

hedgehound

NES Member
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
Joined
Oct 2, 2008
Messages
853
Likes
1,417
SVD is effective against body armor and helmets. It is a practical battle weapon, with a usual mil spec spread of quality- some may be decent, but most barrels will be crap.
It is as far from a Gucci quality 1000yds rifle as it can possibly be. A mass produced true weapon of war, if you manage to get a real one.
With 4x yellow scope, mediocre precision (2 - 3 MOA) with 7Н1 round, 10 round mag - whatever.

The only advantage is a powerful round.

As a collectible item - yes, a weapon of one very powerful (sometime ago) army.

PKM (ПКМ) is a good weapon!
 
Last edited:

paul73

NES Member
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Oct 30, 2020
Messages
3,674
Likes
4,180
Location
MA
With 4x yellow scope, mediocre precision (2 - 3 MOA) with 7Н1 round, 10 round mag - whatever.

The only advantage is a powerful round.

As a collectible item - yes, a weapon of one very powerful (sometime ago) army.
Its advantages are many. It is cheap, reproducible easily and rarely breaks. It was made for a real army that is made out of 17-18 yr old conscripts who cannot shoot properly anyway. Quantity that wins over quality, in a long war.
 

Mountain

NES Member
Rating - 100%
21   0   0
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
14,452
Likes
15,393
I think the VEPR makes a good enough approximate substitute. There are a couple of SVD style furniture makers with attractive options for the VEPR but I don't have the motivation to spend the dough- certainly not $445.

VEPR_SVD_SET_L_RR.jpeg


My VEPR is enough fun as is & same caliber. It also features AK-like simplicity so I feed it anything & if corrosive it's easy to clean up.
 

btnh6668

NES Member
Rating - 100%
17   0   0
Joined
Nov 27, 2008
Messages
1,470
Likes
640
Location
Southcoast
I think the VEPR makes a good enough approximate substitute. There are a couple of SVD style furniture makers with attractive options for the VEPR but I don't have the motivation to spend the dough- certainly not $445.

VEPR_SVD_SET_L_RR.jpeg


My VEPR is enough fun as is & same caliber. It also features AK-like simplicity so I feed it anything & if corrosive it's easy to clean up.
Same boat. Been wanting a stock set like this for mine but just can't justify that cost right now.
 
Rating - 100%
8   0   0
Joined
Mar 14, 2020
Messages
14
Likes
11
domestic manufacturers have started making Dragunovs is beyond me. Name your price, wickedly popular, seems a no-brainer.

Didnt PSA say a year ago they planned on trying to release their version of an SVD? May of heard wrong but an American made SVD in a caliber like 308 or 6.5CM would sound pretty sick.
 

drgrant

Moderator
NES Member
Rating - 100%
61   0   0
Joined
Mar 21, 2006
Messages
78,529
Likes
57,332
Didnt PSA say a year ago they planned on trying to release their version of an SVD? May of heard wrong but an American made SVD in a caliber like 308 or 6.5CM would sound pretty sick.

PSA making an SVD? [rofl]

View: https://youtu.be/FkMWsO_-X7Y

A couple of things that's the hardest I've laughed so far this weekend but I also hope that they actually follow through for once. PSA loves to have delusions of grandeur at shot show but after that it usually ends up turning into nothing.
 

C. Stockwell

NES Member
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
5,163
Likes
10,172
Location
NH
Didnt PSA say a year ago they planned on trying to release their version of an SVD? May of heard wrong but an American made SVD in a caliber like 308 or 6.5CM would sound pretty sick.

PSA making an SVD? [rofl]

A couple of things that's the hardest I've laughed so far this weekend but I also hope that they actually follow through for once. PSA loves to have delusions of grandeur at shot show but after that it usually ends up turning into nothing.

PSA did make a 100-series 74 "clone" and its widely been regarded as junk. The people who do like them are usually the ones praising PSA's customer service, meaning they had to send theirs back to PSA for work. Meaning, they do not have the capability to make a good SVD clone here in the US.

Also, a SVD in 6.5CM would be... impractical... because the SVD itself only has a fixed 4x scope with a reticle designed around 7.62x54r. The guns were never designed to be sub-MOA 1000+ yard precision rifles by modern standards. The optics technology doesn't allow that.
 

heron163

NES Member
Rating - 100%
9   0   0
Joined
Jan 3, 2006
Messages
893
Likes
356
I kind of did that with my VEPR - I hared the stock ergo's when it came to cheek weld. It is a blast to shoot and I have quite a bit pf 7.62 x 54 rr. You won't be getting any more of the furniture sets from Ironwood unfortunately (RIP Matt)

2KSxFOP.jpg
 
Top Bottom