SVT-40 file photo

Tokarev SVT-40 Rifle

Country of OriginRussia
TypeRifle
Caliber7.620 mm
Capacity10 rounds
Length1,226 mm
Barrel Length610 mm
Weight3.850 kg
Range500 m
Muzzle Velocity840 m/s

Contributor: C. Peter Chen

The "Samozaryadnaya Vintovka Tokareva, Obrazets 1940 goda" (Tokarev Self-loading Rifle, Model 1940), or Tokarev SVT-40 for short, was a semi-automatic rifle design that developed from the SVT-38 semi-automatic rifles. Experience from the Winter War with Finland concluded that the SVT-38 rifles were too long and cumbersome, and they were too complex to maintain in combat conditions; some soldiers even complained that ammunition magazines would fall off at times. Production of the SVT-38 design halted in 1940 after about 160,000 were built.

In Jul 1940, the SVT-40 design entered production at Tula, Russia in attempt to address SVT-38 weapons' issues. The production was later expanded to the Ishevsk Arsenal and the Kovrov Arsenal. The SVT-40 semi-automatic rifles were lighter, the ammunition magazines were modified, and the overall construction was simplified slightly to streamline production. By the end of 1940, 70,000 of them were available, and in 1941, over one million examples were built. Although they were effective weapons, the older Mosin-Nagant rifles were easier to use and the PPSh-41 submachine guns were cheaper to manufacture, thus SVT-40 semi-automatic rifles slowly fell out of Russian favor. In 1942, production of these semi-automatic rifles ceased at the Ishevsk Arsenal, and overall production dropped to only 264,000 in 1942. The production ceased altogether in Jan 1945; about 1.5 million SVT-40 semi-automatic rifles were built between 1940 and 1945. A small number of them were built as fully-automatic weapons and they were designated AVT-40, while some others were meant to be used as sniper rifles; both of these variant designs were disappointing.

During WW2, Finnish and German forces also used SVT-40 semi-automatic rifles on a smaller scale, all from captured examples. Finland captured 4,000 SVT-38 weapons during the Winter War and over 15,000 SVT-40 weapons during the Continuation War, while the German Army operated hundreds of thousands of captured SVT-40 semi-automatic weapons under the designation of SIG.259(r). German use of the weapon was so significant that the Germany Army actually published an operating manual for them.

The Russian Army generally stopped using SVT-40 semi-automatic rifles as soon as SKS and AK-47 designs came into production, and by 1955 they were all retired from service; the majority of Russian-operated SVT-40 semi-automatic rifles were placed in storage until the 1990s. The Finnish Army retired its last SVT-40 weapon in 1958, selling 7,500 of them into the civilian market largely in the United States.

Source: Wikipedia.

Photographs

Soviet infantry charging with SVT-40 rifles, Eastern Europe, 1941Czech sniper Marie Ljalková posing with SVT-40 sniper rifle, date unknown




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Visitor Submitted Comments

  1. Anonymous says:
    18 Jan 2009 10:22:35 PM

    I enjoy reading all articles and information on WW2 weapons, especially the Russian and Swiss rifles. I have a Mosin-Nagant M91/30 7.62X54R infantry rifle, a M1911 Schmidt-Rubin M1911 7.5X55 straight-pull rifle, and a
    Simonov SKS 7.62X39 semi-auto. Looking for Tokarev SVT40 or SKT40 7.62X54 Rifles. Appreciate any info as to where I can get them. Thanks WH
  2. Anonymous says:
    29 Nov 2009 11:58:46 AM

    http://www.bold-action.com/
    There located in Netherlands not sure if this is any help to you.

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Tokarev SVT-40 Rifle Photo Gallery
Soviet infantry charging with SVT-40 rifles, Eastern Europe, 1941
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