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Old 07-09-2017, 08:25 PM   #1
BorisBadenov
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Default SVT-40 Fun

We need more posts about SVTs!

Visited family in Virginia this past week for the holiday and we have a private range on my folks' property. Family from OH and NC also joined in the festivities. My uncle brought out his SVT-40 to let my other uncle shoot it. They had fun until the case of round 20 swelled in the chamber and locked the bolt. It took us a little while to realize that was the issue and a good whack with a rubber mallet on the bolt handle to unseize it. The ammo was Tula poly-coated white box 148gr and the gas ports set to #3.

So seeing my uncles shoot their SVT-40 that first day, for day #2 at the range, I just had to get mine out to play with. I also had a replica mag I wanted to try and see if it was as bad as I heard they were. And then I also thought I’d see if I could replicate the issue they had with the case swelling - to see if it was specific ammo related or just a fluke.

I tried all different types of ammo: different cases, light ball, heavy ball, FMJ, SP. I put about 200 rounds through it trying to gum it up. Not a single case swelled and jammed. My gas ports were also set to #3.

Only issues I had:

1. For rounds #11-20 I used my replica magazine. The 1st round, I had to finagle to make it load right and the 10th round stove-piped without going into the chamber and it actually popped my extractor out. Luckily, nothing was broken and I was able to put it back into place. I used the original mag for the rest of the day and to further test any cartridge swelling.

2. Only other issue I had was with round #3 on some softpoint ammo I had – that one round didn’t want to feed into the chamber. But all the others out of the box of 20 of them did fine.

Those were only issues I had. No swelling of cases. No locked bolt. Here are the ammo types I used (no particular order):

• Tula white box: 148gr FMJ, poly-coated cases
• Wolf Polyformance (also made by Tula): 148gr FMJ, poly-coated cases
• Wolf WPA (made by Barnaul): 174gr FMJ, poly-coated cases
• Wolf Gold (made in Serbia): 150gr FMJ, brass-cased
• MSF: 174gr FMJ, zinc-coated cases
• Silver Bear: 174gr FMJ, zinc-coated cases
• Brown Bear: 203gr SP, lacquer-coated cases

It was a 30 yd range. Groups were fist-sized while free standing.

So, the replica mag definitely needs looking at to see if it can be made to work reliably. But no matter what I did, I couldn't replicate my uncle's cartridge swell and bolt locking. I think it was just that round that did it to his.

Man, I love my SVT-40!


Last edited by BorisBadenov; 07-15-2017 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 07-09-2017, 08:33 PM   #2
majicmike
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I bought one a few months back but havent fired it yet
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Old 07-10-2017, 03:40 PM   #3
chilort
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I love my SVT-40. I occasionally pull a rifle out of the safe just to look at and my SVT-40 is out right now. I'd go shoot it too but we're in the process of moving and dang never everything is packed away including my cases of 54r and most of my cleaning supplies.

The SVT-40 has a fluted chamber. They should not experience case swelling unless those flutes are clogged up. The flutes are there to prevent this exact problem Sounds like the chamber needs a good cleaning. Look over the spent cases and you should be able to see lines of burnt powder/crud on the outside the case. No lines means there's a problem.
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Old 07-11-2017, 03:10 PM   #4
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One that's been on my list for some time. I've gotten dangerously close to bringing one home on a few occasions, but one just still hasn't made it to my safe.
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:02 PM   #5
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I have done a lot of shooting with hand loads in my SVT-40 with good results when I finally figured out the right seating depth and such. Used Privi bulk brass. It gets pretty beat up but keeps on working.
I have used two of the after market chicom made repro mags in mine. Both have worked fine but one did shear one of the lugs off and was replaced by Numrich where I got them from.
Never had any issues with Tula or Wolf but the accuracy was better with the hand loads.

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Old 07-11-2017, 11:47 PM   #6
cyberjad
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They are very fun guns, but have always been very frustrating, none of the three I have shot have worked very well. Still, there is something about them I just love. People love to talk to you about them at the range too.

Be careful firing heavy gr ammo through them, it's known to cause significant problems.
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Old 07-13-2017, 01:31 AM   #7
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mine has worked flawless with the original magazine I have a few repos that may need fitting... I sold it to a buddy years ago and was lucky enough to buy it back it was a little worse for ware but that was the cost of being stupid..
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Old 07-16-2017, 01:47 AM   #8
BorisBadenov
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chilort View Post
I love my SVT-40. I occasionally pull a rifle out of the safe just to look at and my SVT-40 is out right now. I'd go shoot it too but we're in the process of moving and dang never everything is packed away including my cases of 54r and most of my cleaning supplies.

The SVT-40 has a fluted chamber. They should not experience case swelling unless those flutes are clogged up. The flutes are there to prevent this exact problem Sounds like the chamber needs a good cleaning. Look over the spent cases and you should be able to see lines of burnt powder/crud on the outside the case. No lines means there's a problem.
I don't recall if the cases the flute marks or not. But I will remind my uncle to really clean out the chamber in case.
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Old 07-16-2017, 05:21 PM   #9
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I've had problems with the Czech lacquer coated cases sticking in one of my SVT40's so I only use copper washed steel cases, now. The only other time I had a stuck case was when I had the gas turned down too much - user error!

Heavy ball shoots great out of the SVT40 sniper I just sold. If you get too much gas to the bolt carrier with the heavy ball you can turn the gas down. Shouldn't cause any issues at all.
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:23 PM   #10
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I recently threw out my spent shell casings that I had in a display case as we're moving (and I can always make more spent shell casings). I know I had one in the cabinet that showed the fluting marks. I thought I had a picture too but just went through them and can't find it. The markings are pretty clear though.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoG5 View Post
I have done a lot of shooting with hand loads in my SVT-40 with good results when I finally figured out the right seating depth and such. Used Privi bulk brass. It gets pretty beat up but keeps on working.
I have used two of the after market chicom made repro mags in mine. Both have worked fine but one did shear one of the lugs off and was replaced by Numrich where I got them from.
Never had any issues with Tula or Wolf but the accuracy was better with the hand loads.

How many reloads are you getting roughly per case?

I reload for my Mosins with greatly improved accuracy over surplus ammo. For now after trying various Soviet, Bulgarian, Czech, Polish, DDR, and Chicom 54r, my SVT seems to shoot the best with nasty old Albanian.
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeepfan View Post
How many reloads are you getting roughly per case?

I reload for my Mosins with greatly improved accuracy over surplus ammo. For now after trying various Soviet, Bulgarian, Czech, Polish, DDR, and Chicom 54r, my SVT seems to shoot the best with nasty old Albanian.
Pic is of my current pet load. I developed it right after the one posted in my other message. The 150 grain SST bullet shoots even better than the 174 grain FMJHP I started with.
I get between ten to fifteen reloads. Really its the same attrition I see with my MAS 49 or PSL54-C and much better than all of my AKs I reload for.
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:15 PM   #13
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Good info Moto. Looks like next time I'm loading for my Mosins I'll start working up a load for my SVT. Thanks.
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