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Old 06-19-2006, 11:18 AM   #1
juha_teuvonnen
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Default Is Dragunov SVD importable?

Hi All,
Let's say I have located a secret stash of SVDs, manufactured in the former USSR. I have read that there was a treaty between Russia and USA, which prevents SVDs from being exported from Russia to USA. However I am in luck, because the rifles were stashed outside of the borders of the former USSR, so the Russian government does not have a say when it comes to exporting these guns.

Question: Is it possible to import SVD, either as a whole or as a parts kit (I would hate to cut up a perfectly good milled receiver, ...) ? Is there a list of importable/non-importable weapons?
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Old 06-19-2006, 12:17 PM   #2
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I think you need to hire a lawyer to help you out there.
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Old 06-19-2006, 01:13 PM   #3
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save your money on attorney fee, the barrel has to be de-milled, and the receiver de-milled.......so it's a moot point........ about the only thing I see that is worth anything to be importatbe, would be the stock set, gas regulator,, front sight/flash hider combo, for those folks that have TIGRs and want to upgrade it......but there is a very limited amount of people that would be interested in buying it......it will probably end up costing you more then what it's worth.
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Old 06-19-2006, 03:17 PM   #4
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First, be sure to follow the laws of the United States to the letter. Now that the disclaimer is out of the way:

Drug laws in the United States are very, very serious. We have the Coast Guard, local marine patrols, drug-sniffing dogs at airports and every cargo port. We have CIA/NSA/Darpa/DEA surveillance via satellite, FLIR night helicopter runs, AWACS flights over areas of coastline. We have CIA operatives in deep cover in foreign countries and DEA and local cops undercover domestically. We have DARE education in our schools. And yet: any sixth-grader can either sell you some pot or at least tell you who can. There is even a drug problem in American prisons!

So, with strenuous drug laws and huge amounts spent on interdiction worldwide, any grade-schooler or prisoner can get drugs that originally came from outside the country. Where there's a will and a market, there's a way.

So what's the point? Well, you figure it out.
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Old 06-19-2006, 04:54 PM   #5
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Thanks a lot for your replies.

I gues the bayonet lug wold have to be removed, but how do you de-mil the receiver, cut it in 3 pieces "per BATF regs"?

BTW, are TIGRs still being imported? If so, this is indeed a moot point.
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Old 06-19-2006, 05:09 PM   #6
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TIGRs haven't been imported since 94.......as for de-milled the receiver, either torched cut, in three place, or like all AK kits, they just don't ship the receiver, all that is left is the stubs at the front and rear trunion, and the part where the trigger guard attaches to.....the rest doesn't even ship to you. I know that when you buy a FAL parts kit for some unknnown reason they send you parts of the torched receiver......why they do that, I have no idea, it just adds weight to the shipping, and gets tossed anyways.

I believe that I have read that for demilling the barrel a hole of equal size or larger as the diameter of the bore has to drilled into the chamber....

it's still a moot point to import it, for a couple of big reasons......someone has to make a SVD receiver, those are milled receivers, and the scope mount is milled as part of the receiver, now where you would get the blueprints for a SVD receiver....I have no clue, the other big thing is the barrel, somebody has to make the barrel for them, in .311 diameter for 7.62x54r, or for .308 caliber, and finially US parts, the trigger group for a SVD is totally different then a AK, so you are going to also have to make some US parts for someone to legally assemble the weapon....so unless you have something or someone in the works that will be able to mill a receiver, AND make the barrel, AND US parts, and price it to within reasonable $ amount.....it simply is not worth the bother to do the paperwork, fees etc....

but hey, if you feel that there is a market for those few parts that will be untouched, go for it. I wouldn't know how you would go about getting the import certificate, or where the demilling takes place......but if you energetic enough to wade through the burecratic maze, on both sides of the ocean, give it a try.
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Old 06-19-2006, 05:41 PM   #7
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Why is the SVD not importable and the PSL is?
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Old 06-19-2006, 05:54 PM   #8
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good question
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Old 06-19-2006, 06:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engr
Why is the SVD not importable and the PSL is?

taking into account that there is a import ban, of military firearms, or military style fireams from mother russia, that is one reason why SVDs from russia are not comming in, or the commerical TIGRs ......and given the fact that no intact military receiver is allowed to be imported, now it's the barrels for those weapons, that are deemed "non-sporter purpose" that is the other nail in the coffin...the PSLs that you see for sale, are commerically produced rifles for the American market......now I would suppose that if you can talk the folks who make the romanian rifle to produce a commerically made SVD, and OK that with the ATF....that might work.....but given the workmanship that factory does, I wouldn't want it.
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Old 06-19-2006, 06:31 PM   #10
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So the FPK barrels are still importable? And they are current production for civilian sale to the US? Why then, do they seem to be old production demilled rifles? and have ground-down bayonut lugs, which indicates to me that they were originally military rifles.
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Old 06-19-2006, 06:37 PM   #11
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http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/user/wb...et_imports.txt
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Old 06-19-2006, 06:58 PM   #12
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too bad theres no american company willing to copy the SVD like the chinese did.
id buy the shit outta one of those.
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Old 06-19-2006, 08:13 PM   #13
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Maybe things have changed recently. I found this on dragunov.net: http://www.dragunov.net/faq.htm#14 Click the link in #14 for the letter from the Firearms Technology Branch.

It says that the BATF has ruled the Dragunov as particularly suitable for sporting purposes. Looks like someone might be able to convince the US Customs or ATF that the SVD is a semi-auto, not full-auto and they can come in.
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Old 06-19-2006, 08:39 PM   #14
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The Russian SVD won't be able to come in because it's a Russian firearm. Russia made an agreement with the US back when the Soviet Union collapsed that said the US couldn't import most Russian weapons. This was to keep poor Russian soldiers who were suddenly in financial troubles from selling their weapons or accessories... at least to the United States.

What I don't know is why/if the Romanian PSL/FPK barrels are still being imported? 16r40 said that the current imports are being made commercially for export to the US, but like I mentioned, those kits seem to be military production(ground-down bayonet lugs)...

Anybody...?
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Old 06-19-2006, 09:23 PM   #15
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In this case, juha_teuvonnen might have a point. He claims the SVD's are not in Russia. The treaty was with Russia prohibiting Russia from exporting. But that does not cover weapons already outside Russia.

Maybe juha_teuvonnen has a legal basis.
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Old 06-19-2006, 09:43 PM   #16
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I think the agreement between the Russians and Clinton was to prevent the illegal sale of Russian arms to the US. The idea was to ban the importation into the US, therefore decreasing the demand and making it less tempting for the Russians and ex-Russians to sell their equipment. That would make the ban on the US side.
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Old 06-20-2006, 08:59 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 16r40
I know that when you buy a FAL parts kit for some unknnown reason they send you parts of the torched receiver......why they do that, I have no idea, it just adds weight to the shipping, and gets tossed anyways.
You can legally take the old receiver parts and reweld them to make a "new" receiver. You can also use it as a guide to build a completely new one. I think the reason they are shipped is that they are shipped via container and the weight thing is not as much of and issue as having to dispose of them on there own.
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Old 06-20-2006, 09:44 AM   #18
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Since the military trade agreement, no chinese or russian svds for us anymore, however, I don't see why a US version can't be built legally barring of coures the difficulties in getting the correct dimensions. I don't know of any countries that built real dragunovs but if one did, then really there shouldn't be any federal law or ATF ruling saying they can't be imported.

What did the Polish and Hungarians use? Perhaps they have a solution for us.
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Old 06-21-2006, 01:38 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Accurizer
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/user/wb...et_imports.txt

On this basis, the State Department advised the Department of the Treasury that Treasury should exercise the authority delegated to it under Section 38 of the AECA by denying applications to import firearms and ammunition located or manufactured in Russia or previously manufactured in the Soviet Union that would be inconsistent with the Agreement.
I don't understand the "previously manufactured in Soviet Union" part. I am not a lawyer, but on what grounds are the soviet weapons prohibited from import? The agreement between US and Russia has nothing to do with import from countries other than Russia. So the way I read it is, "no Russian/Soviet weapons, other than the ones listed in appendix A are importable FROM RUSSIA".

I guess there's no way to settle this without a lawyer and possibly a lawsuit. Besides, I take it the president has authority to ban any import, so should one win the lawsuit, all it takes is a presiden'ts signature to make said imports illegal all over again.

Given the current prices, building SVDs in the US should not only be feasible, but also provide for a healthy profit margin. As for barrels - the same guys who build barrels for AK and ROMAK will gladly provide us with "civilian" barrels for this project, so will many local manufacturers. My only concern is the number of people who will buy SVD for a $800-$1000. It may be small enough for this to become impractical.

P.S. I would love to play with SVD with different barrel configurations. Many years ago I played with SVD-S (a folding stock and a shorter but heavier barrel). Surprising as it may sound, it shot better than SVD due to heavier barrel.
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Old 06-21-2006, 06:03 AM   #20
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Hey juha, you may import several dozen SVD's, but only if one of them 'falls off the truck' in front of my house! LOL.

I agree with you, the wording notes that the Russians will not export SVD's. This is different from saying that "SVD's, no matter where originally manufactured, are specifically banned from import."

Frankly, I'm very happy with my PSL's. They do the same thing as an SVD, are just as accurate, the parts are proven reliable, and if an internal part breaks, there are millions of AK-replacement parts out there that will work. Kinda hard to justify the rarified prices SVD's are going for, unless you're wealthy or 'must have' an SVD.

That said, again, if one fell off the truck, or they were priced comparably to a PSL, I'd get one.
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Old 06-21-2006, 04:58 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Accurizer
Hey juha, you may import several dozen SVD's, but only if one of them 'falls off the truck' in front of my house! LOL.

Frankly, I'm very happy with my PSL's. They do the same thing as an SVD, are just as accurate, the parts are proven reliable, and if an internal part breaks, there are millions of AK-replacement parts out there that will work. Kinda hard to justify the rarified prices SVD's are going for, unless you're wealthy or 'must have' an SVD.
I have never shot a PSL, but I have heared that they are less accurate. I don't know whether these claims are actually true. When it comes to PSL, what ammo did you use, and what results did you achieve? With SVD, if you use russian sniper ammo (7N14 was specifically designed for SVD), an SVD is supposed to shoot 2 MOA or better, and many will shoot better than 2 MOA. If you shoot russian 7N1 ammo you will get 2 MOA or slightly better. If you shoot surplus 7.62x54R (mosin-nagant ammo) you may, and most likely will, get something like 3-4 MOA. Most russian 7.62x39 semi-autos (AK, SKS) will shoot 4 MOA too

What MOA did you get with PSL, and what ammo did you use? I am not trying to put down PSLs or anything, I am genuinely interested.

I have never seen russian 7N1 or 7N14 for sale in the US which defeats the purpose of owning an SVD. Other ammo in this caliber is available, but here are the caveats:

You should ever use russian "Extra" ammo in SVD/Tigr. It's a better-quality russian ammo intended for bolt-action rifles only! Never shoot russian machine gun rounds (makerd with something that looks like III, russian letter "Sh") in SVD, the load is too hot. You can shoot suplus Mosin ammo, but the accuracy will suffer.
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Old 06-21-2006, 05:45 PM   #22
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I have shot a lot of 7N1 through my PSL's with very good results. Groups are always in the 1 to 1.5 moa range. After installing a heavy buffer and a small recoil spring compressor, I have and still do shoot Wolf Extra Match through my PSL's with very very good results. Less than 1moa and less, is typical. Lately I've found that by pulling Czech 'bxn' projectiles and reloading them into Prvi brass and 45.5 grains of 4895, I can get just as good, and occasionally a bit better than Wolf Extra Match. I'm still having fun cooking up the perfect load here.

SVD owners and fancieurs can claim their favorite rifle is the original. Granted. And that the PSL and the others are poseurs and copies. Again, granted. However, just because the PSL is late to the dance doesn't mean she can't swing just as well. LOL. With the right ammo and shooting technique, the PSL will drill small holes in targets with the best of them.
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Old 06-22-2006, 06:21 AM   #23
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The SVD has some design features that seem to favor it over the PSL. The separate (floating?) gas piston rod and the forged receiver. These are the two features that I have seen identified as why the SVD is inherently a more accurate rifle. This may be true however some designs have been made to perform better than the optimal layout, the one example that comes to mind is the Porche 911 with its rear engine design which is the worst layout for a sports car with it mass hanging out the rear.
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Old 06-22-2006, 07:51 AM   #24
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This may come down to the classic American "Ford vs. Chevy" argument that will never be settled.

Agreed, the lower mass SVD internals create less inertia during firing which theoretically contribute to accuracy, so does the inherent stiffness of a milled receiver. Were that of utmost importance, the two HB FAL's (one Australian, one Israeli) in my safe would be accurate. They aren't.

Additionally, for what it's worth, I have a milled-reciever Bulgarian AK and a stamped Romanian AK, and the Romanian is slightly more accurate.

The inline turn bolt design in the SVD and AK seem to be important for accuracy, same as the design of the AR/M-16 series. The FAL has a 'drop bolt' which seems to harm accuracy and is notoriously difficult to fine tune. While on the subject of internals, this is where I'd give the nod for reliability to the PSL. The AK design reliability, simplicity and ease of repair is legendary.

What it seems to come down to is consistency of ammunition, and the barrel. Even the crown of the barrel is important. If it is not concentric, or there is a nick in one of the lands, it will throw the bullet off just as it's leaving the muzzle.

The question is whether the assembly-line workers at the SVD plant are better trained and more skilled, with better equipment and metallurgy than their counterparts in Romania. One would think so. Then again, Russian military equipment is renowned for higher rates of failure and alcoholism in Russia is rampant.

Let's say on a 100 point scale, I'll give the SVD a few points over the PSL "just because".
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Old 06-22-2006, 11:31 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Accurizer
The question is whether the assembly-line workers at the SVD plant are better trained and more skilled, with better equipment and metallurgy than their counterparts in Romania. One would think so. Then again, Russian military equipment is renowned for higher rates of failure and alcoholism in Russia is rampant.
I respectfully disagree with the "higher rates of failure" when it comes to russian military firearms. While a lot of russian military machinery indeed has a pathetic reliability record (trucks, APCs, ... vehicles in general) the firearms tend to be very reliable. I have been to Izhevskii zavod on multiple occasions, and the only time russian workers actually touch the AKs is at the time of assembly. Everything that has to do with producing the parts is completely automated, and functions with little to none human intervention. Consequently the quality of russian labor has little to do with the quality of the parts, and one can build a well-functioning AK even when hungover and blindfolded, provided you've been building them for the past 20 years or so.

This is not to say that PSL is manufacturing is in any way inferior to that of Izhevsk. IIRC they got a license from Russia, so all the technology was transfered, not reverse-engineered. They are probably at just as good as the russian stuff.

If your PSL consistently shoots under 1MOA - it's an excellent rifle. Now, all the russian SVD/TIGR manuals that i have read (and russian is my first language) explicitly prohibit the use of commercial "Extra" ammunition. This does not mean that your SVD will self-destruct after the first round of "Extra", on the contrary all russian military firearms are built so that they can withstand firing 1 round with double the load of gunpowder without blowing up and injuring the shooter. But, if you shoot a lot of "Extra" in SVD, eventually it will fail. I don't know what the PSL manufacturers say about using "Extra" in their rifles. Now, given that PSL is based on a machine gun receiver, it should make it an inherntly strong weapon. If you can shoot "Extra" in PSL without any unpleasant consequences - PSL IMHO is a better rifle, simply because "Extra" is better ammo than both 7N1 and 7N14. I hate to say it, especially because SVD used to be my issue weapon while in the service in Russia, but if the PSL manufacturer guarantees that it will survive "Extra" - it's a better rifle. Now, I have never shot the Lapua and Norma in SVD, and I have never seen any manufacturer's recomendations with regards to these either. They are most likely more expensive than russian Extra, so provided PSL can survive Extra, PSL is a better buy anyway. I suspect that "Extra" will beat the crap out of PSL though, much like it does with SVD.

P.S. When it comes to accuracy, it's not just the weapon, it's the combination of the weapon and the round that makes all the difference in the world...

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Old 07-01-2006, 11:35 PM   #26
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What we need here is a "sporterised" version of the Tigr-Dragunov... I believe that would be importable from Russia... Much like the Saiga rifles. Then we could convert the sporterised Tigers back to how they should be, much like a Saiga conversion. I was really hoping that when RAA got rolling, they would import a Saiga in cal. 7.62x54...Now that would be fun.
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Old 07-02-2006, 09:00 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juha_teuvonnen
(and russian is my first language)
juha;

In grad school I had an older friend who was born in Novosibirsk, Siberia in 1963. Listening to him tell stories of what life was like there was very, very sobering. He told of how people in his neighborhood would sometimes disappear in the middle of the night, taken away by the NKVD, later the Komitet. I use the word sobering as a spring-point to say that on a visit to Germany, he asked me to look up friends who had emigrated there. These were very nice people. Gracious, warm, accomodating and would give the shirt off their backs. Unfortunately they were all dreadful alcoholics, and it was like there was a dark veil of depression behind their eyes, even though they could be smiling at the time.

The PSL's I have, I built up from a kit of parts and an 80% receiver. The receiver is made by "Cold Steel Solutions", and based on how it drills, welds and blues, I'm sure it has a lot of chrome in it. This is one very, very stout receiver. In addition to the rivets, I also put a small line of weld with a MiG (this does not stand for Mikoyan Gurevich, LOL) welder under the rear trunnion as a kind of 'belt and suspender' insurance. But I don't think it's needed. As stated before, I think that even though the Wolf Extra propels a 200 grain projectile, it is loaded relatively mildly. I think the cautions against shooting heavier stuff might be against the really heavy hunting loads like the Barnaul or Sellier and Bellot which is known to be really hot, and meant to bring down a taiga bear.

Even with all of that, since I built the weapon, I am intimately familiar with it and so far every close look during an after-the-range cleaning session has shown no adverse affects.

Lastly, and this is to all of the lucky folks reading this who own SVD's, I was saying all in a kind of brotherly jest, the same way the NASCAR folks love to argue with each other regarding the superiority of Ford versus Chevy. :-)))

Cheers..

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Old 07-24-2006, 03:06 PM   #28
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A couple of points here about military weapons. IIRC the ban is on "assault weapons" wich have "high capacity" mags and originally were a select fire weapon with a pistol grip.
The SVD does not fall under any of those catagories, right?
The only magazines I have ever seen for it are 10 rounds, it only fires as a semi-auto, and the stock is that thumb-hole sort of looking thing.

That aside the other way to look is to the east and see if someone could import the SVD from India where they make their own version of the SVD. Last I looked we do not have any issues with importing Indian weapons.?.

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Old 07-24-2006, 09:47 PM   #29
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I remember reading somewhere that if a weapon had been possessed by another country for more that 5 years it was no longer considered to be from the originating country. Or then again, I could be having another senior moment?
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Old 05-29-2008, 06:04 PM   #30
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Why would the reciever have to be demilled?

WASR recievers don't.

Check with the ATF.
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:31 AM   #31
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ditto

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Old 06-01-2008, 12:03 PM   #32
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Nix on the import from India idea. I have a friend with two SVDs in India who attempted to do the Form 6 thing, and he was shut down. I suppose he could get sneaky or try to submit it again, but it's been tried and has failed.

Just FYI one is new and unfired, and another is as he put it "well used". I hope he manages to get them in some day, but for now it's a dead issue with him.


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Old 06-03-2008, 09:25 AM   #33
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Well, as one of the less than 100 people who bought one of the handful of Russian Dragunov SVDs that KBI imported back in 1994, I can tell you my firsthand experience with the rifle wasn't all I expected it to be. Now granted, I did not have access at the time to any 7N1 ammo, and yes, the surplus stuff was lousy in it. The ONLY thing I found that would shoot half-way decent groups was Norma ammo. But even then, I sold it not long after buying it because at the time, I was getting MUCH tighter groups out of my tricked-out Remington 700. It was a very cool rifle, and always drew a crowd when I went to the range with it. Looking back, if I had ANY idea back then what the value of them would skyrocket up to, I'd have never got rid of it. But as far as a shooter goes, there are FAR better performing rifles out there for the money.
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Old 06-04-2008, 01:33 AM   #34
us_dragunov
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Comparing your SVD with a "tricked-out Remington 700" is comparing apples to oranges. I think the SVD does very well for being a SEMI-AUTO rifle shooting a large cartridge like the 54R. There are probably a few out there that shoot better...but they don't do it and look as mean and evil as the SVD at the same time.

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Old 06-09-2008, 03:25 AM   #35
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A couple years ago, I sent an email to the ATF to ask them this. Unfortunatly, I deleted the response some time ago or I would post it here. In a nut shell, I brought up the fact that the svd never had any magazines produced that hold more than 10 rds. I also said that if that part were considered, then svd would easily be converted to be assault weapons ban compliant. The gentleman replied to the effect that he saw my point, but that there is a list of weapons importable from Russia and the svd was not on it. He also stated that at a future date and time they may reconsider that issue.
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