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Any SVD Shooters here?

Recent (2014) SVD-S-like Tigr in .308

On the range, shootout vs. the other side of the curtain:

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Original stock with SAG optics mount and a S&B PMII 3-20x (yes, I know, it's too much scope for this gun, but that was just to test accuracy):
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Later config: SAG chassis + stock
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In practice, it's a roughly 2-minute rifle, totally surpriseless, reliable and comfortable.
 
We did a fam course with the SVD years ago.
It's a very good rifle.
Lots of hype and propaganda about it over the years, but the basic setup and function is well thought out.
I would love to have one.
 
I used one for a while. Wasn't overly impressed with the results I got using the ammo I had available. AR10 or SR25 was preferred. BUT, you definitely couldn't beat the cool factor.
Looks short?
Or is it just the angle
 
Sorry to potentially hijack the thread :)

Testing the market if anyone is interested in a product. As many of you know SVD LOP is extremely short, and you need between 25 - 30mm of LOP to make both a good cheek weld for proper PSO/POSP scope alignment.

I have designed and started manufacture of a SVD compatible mount (2-piece) (28mm LOP addition), allowing you to reuse original screws and holes (i.e. completely reversible), while getting both an extended LOP and a semi-hard "rubber" buttpad.
It also provides for a solid mount, not a "rubber" extender many of you use today :)

[Please make sure you have the channel pictured in the wood photo, I have tested the product on 2 SVD stocks and it fit, however as you know, Russian manufacture is not exactly "precise" so minor fitting may be required.

The price will be $60 shipped, will need about 1 week lead time to ship if anyone wants one.

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I wouldn't need that, as I swapped all my SVDs over to polymer stocks, but with all the new SVD owners thanks to the HD-18s coming in you might get some bites if you post over on the AK Forum and AK Files.
 
Well, might as well necropost this to add a few things about these if anyone is interested.

As pretty much everyone in this thread has realized, they can be decently accurate rifles with the vast majority shooting 1-2MOA, usually 1-1.5 MOA with 7N1 or decent ammuntion. During the cold war Izhevsk produced like 5-7000 a month, though some years they got into the double digits with em production wise, so doin the math from 1963-1989 thats a shitload of rifles made.

The contentious point I will make since it runs counter to literally all the fudd lore about soviet sniping posted on the internet for the past 30 years by "experts" is the following.

During the Cold war, the M21 system with M118 SB was pretty much the same level of accuracy, depending on the rifle/ammo used, and M118SB got worse with time. So do we think of this rifle as a DMR as well? Similarly US sniper training was pretty variable during pretty much the entire cold war with no organized central school till 1987. And of course US officers figuring out what to actually do with snipers or use them effectively is the stuff of bad legends generally speaking. So do we call US snipers "DMR's" for the bulk of the cold war?

Because if you look at the history of Soviet sniping which goes back to the 1930's with a continuous history, you pretty quickly realize the whole "poorly" trained conscript fudd lore is basically mostly wrong. The soviets had shitloads of very well experienced snipers in WW2 (that helped set the criteria for the SVD), and unlike the US they didn't abandon sniping post WW2, rather they refined it. Soviet sniper training however was pretty varied and low level (i.e. no centralized school till the very late 80's), very much like what the US ended up with post Vietnam through the 70's. If you look at the "good" soviet formations like the VDV, or GFSG, they ran roughly month long training schools for their snipers. Moreover if you look at the actual soviet manuals from WW2 they cover nearly the same exact skills the US VN manuals cover, literally everything from range estimation using various optical devices and "milling", field craft (soviets liked sniper capes vs full ghillie suits). Additionally, the 18 year old conscript thing is partly true, but lacks context, most of the 18 year olds handed an SVD (after passing tests) after their basic training had typically been shooting in DOSSAF (like soviet paramilitary boy scouts) for literal years through their childhood and a good many were actually competition level shooters. Similarly the soviet junior and mid level leaders pretty much had a bunch of snipers in their formations, and did actually know how to use and deploy them for scouting and reconnaissance, with the primary variable being "how good" the unit actually was. But very similarly to US doctrine they were also largely used on the offense and defense as part of infantry divisions.
 
Yup. It also depended on which Soviet Socialist Republic they lived in. The Russian school system with shooting clubs produced good shooters, who performed better than their peers when they went through the 2-week crucible evaluations at the beginning of entry-level conscript training. This is all based on interviews and research I did over many years, with access to several Russian SSR Snipers who went through the training during the Soviet Times.

During a basic rifle marksmanship evaluation in the crucible, they had to shoot the AK-74 on AUTO at 3 different targets at 75m, 100m, and 150m if I recall, but with a limited round count in the magazine so that you had to really keep the burst to maybe 3rds, otherwise you would run out of ammo for the 150m.

The shooters who passed that test were then handed an SVD, given a quick class on its reticle, and then asked to shoot with it under the supervision of the Sniper Committee Officer or Warrant Officer. If you performed to whatever standard he was looking for, you then went into Sniper training for your conscription and that was your duty position.

Other conscripts would be assigned as riflemen, APC drivers, machine gunners, etc. and you all went through conscription together, but split off into your specific duty position training 3 days out of the week, then everyone did details and common tasks for 2 days of the week like peeling potatoes, sweeping, uniform maintenance, and basic soldiering tasks.

So guys assigned as Snipers would spend their 6 months of initial conscript training in a Sniper training course, along with their basic training with all the others. All the skills would come together in a massive culmination exercise as a battle group, in what we would call combined arms exercises or CALFEXs.

One of the key differences with the Soviets was that they had officers to handle Radio work and call for indirect fire. In the US and NATO, this is bread and butter for enlisted Infantry and Scout Snipers, but done by Fire Support Officers in the Russian system.

iu


In their assigned units, it depended on where they were if they would get good training or deploy. In the Russian system, it is very nepotistic, so Generals are Generals because their fathers were Generals, same with Colonels, who measure their status in being able to sit around and drink with each other and see who could hold their alcohol the best.

That culture trickled down through the ranks and is nothing like how things are done in the US. Over the past 120 years, the Russian system of military service went from basically a life-long professional cadre of officers and NCOs (Warrant Officers, Sergeant Majors, Sergeants, Corporals) who trained longer-term conscripts (Lance Corporals and Privates), to a system under the Soviets where they kept reducing the mandated commitment years for conscripts.

This trend of cutting conscript time continued throughout the Soviet Union and even under Putin, which has atrophied the institutional knowledge of soldiering to where they were a well-trained force with alcoholism in the Tsarist times, to a poorly-trained gaggle of drunks now who have to learn the same lessons the hard way over and over again.

Their Soviet-era Sniper Training program was imported from the Germans in the 1930s, then heavily-utilized in what they call The Great Patriotic War. They purposely made the SVD lightweight like the SVT-38/40 so you could fight with it and maneuver, then employ more well-aimed fire as part of the direct fire support element, usually working with the PKM gunners. They could have made it more precise, at the expense of heavier weight and limited production numbers, which they didn’t want. This is why SVDs aren’t known for being super accurate.
 
Well, similarly I've talked to a fair number of soviet era snipers and the part you have there is generally correct. I think the biggest thing is that there was a fair amount of variability in the soviet system and soviet army. If you were in GFSG, or VDV or some other decent unit, then you were pretty much trained as, and utilized as an actual sniper. If you were off somewhere in some category C division guarding the khazakstan border, then yeah the barely trained designated rifleman was also likely true. At least till like 84 and then 87 when they started centralizing the schools more as a result of "varied results" in Afghanistan. Also of note the 91/30 was utilized by those same cat C divisions in the first year or so of the afghan war. As for radio use, it depends, you are correct in terms of calling for fires they basically used junior officers for that. But snipers when scouting would typically have personal radios like the R-126 or R-107's at times, again there was a fair amount of variability in what they did use in the field and their actual mission. Also at by some accounts (because I specifically asked them about this) snipers would sometimes have a arty spotter come along or work with them as well.

IDK on the origins of the actual sniper training being German, its possible since thats where they did get their optical plants from. However I find it unlikely. Comparing period Soviet sniper training pamphlets and manuals and German ones from the same era, the German stuff is far simpler and nowhere near as sophisticated in terms of the training compared to the Russians. This largely tracks as for the most part sniping under the Nazis was pretty much an afterthought in the early stages of the war and they suffered dearly at the hands of soviet snipers early on. Similarly if you look at WW2 sniper equipment, the German optics were absolutely inferior to the soviet PE, PEM, and PU optics in terms of actual usability (I have tried/used both) until the Germans copied the PU scope ala the Zf4 later in the war.

Bringing this back to the SVD though, if you look at it from an actual sniping perspective the SVD in 1963 was light years ahead of any Western sniper rifle simply due to the PSO-1 optic, which for its day and even 2 decades later was pretty much world class. Accuracy wise the SVD was absolutely on-par with the US Army M21 system of the same era. It really isn't until past 1989 or so (end of the cold war) that US sniping really became what we kind of think of it today, and same for the equipment and "modern" accuracy requirements (which still sucked in the 90's due to m118SB).

From a practical shooting perspective, during the cold war no one had LRF's or any other really fancy equipment for range determination*. So it was pretty critical to get good ranging information and get it quickly in many cases unless you had the luxury of time to use your ancillary equipment to make a range card. The other part of this is of course your "error budget" for long range shooting gets very very tight as your range starts exceeding 600 meters or so for any of the cold war cartridges, at longer ranges you need like a +/- 25meter accuracy, which at 1000 meters is like 2.5% error which lol well, good luck with almost any optical range finding system.

The PSO-1 was excellent at this out to say 600 meters with that choke range finder. Whereas aside from the US ART system which is clunky to use in comparison no one else had a built in rangefinding capability on their rifles. The other really good thing about the PSO-1 is that you actually have mil-marks for wind holds, as well as the "long range" marks that can easily be used for hold overs as well. The scope was also very repeatable, and the QD feature actually worked and returned to zero, which allowed snipers to quickly and easily transition to night optics as required. Compared to the ART system the PSO/SVD is just way easier and more practical to use.

*both US snipers of course and Soviet snipers had stuff like spotting scopes issued and available obviously, and milling is more accurate with those systems. Also I've talked to snipers that managed to "acquire" the small portable coincidence rangefinders used by soviet sappers/arty guys, and those things are really excellent bits of kit, very easy to use and quite compact/lightweight and perfectly complementary to SVD ranges.
 
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The Soviet sniper training program, at least by 1987 when their official manual was published, seems like it was fairly robust. A copy of it is available here

I assume prior to this FM being published that the Soviets were still operating off of some variation of the WW2 era "Training Snipers" manual, as I have yet to see a Soviet military sniping manual that was published between the 1960s and 1987 when the above FM came out.

I echo the comment of how ahead of it's time the PSO-1 was when it came out. The fact that it was developed in ~1958 makes it all the more remarkable given that it continues to see widespread battlefield use today. The Soviets also developed an interesting conceptual variation on the ART II pancratic scope in the early 1980s called the 1p21 "Minuta", which saw some use in Afghanistan and the first Chechen War. I've got several military-issue and civilian versions of this optic, which I generally consider superior to the US-used Redfield Autoranger, ART II and ART I in terms of ruggedness if nothing else (the American pancratic scopes were notoriously problematic in the humid climate of Southeast Asia). The 1p21 is still made and used in limited numbers but doesn't seem to enjoy much popularity among Russian troops.
 
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I used one for a while. Wasn't overly impressed with the results I got using the ammo I had available. AR10 or SR25 was preferred. BUT, you definitely couldn't beat the cool factor.
Great photo! That looks to be an Iraqi ON-M76 scope made for the Al Kadesiah rifle you've got on there. Those are rare as hens teeth but I imagine you used whatever was available and since they were cammed for 54r I imagine worked just as well as the original PSO-1 would have.
 
I've seen the 87 manual which as I understand was an attempt to standardize training amongst different Army groups/divisions etc. And mostly based on the "good" training schools like the GSFG one. As I said there seems to have been a fair bit of variability in the training. But GFSG in the early/mid 70's was running a month long training school, which seems to be about the same length as US sniper schools (also at divisional level at the time) in the 70's. The 87 manual has more details in some areas especially range determination than the WW2 manuals (they also have this but with more primitive equipment). But the fieldcraft and employment sections are similar. In general I think the oft repeated "its a DMR" statement initially came from ignorance of the topic, and has just been repeated over the years that now its taken as gospel. If you take a look at the 70's TC-23-14 and the soviet manuals there are way more similarities than actual differences in terms of skills/skill-sets/shooting capabilities. And from the rifle standpoint, as most people understand these days M118SB and the M21 system certainly weren't a 1MOA combination, likely closer to double that, which puts it firmly in SVD territory in terms of "accuracy". The later 90's systems like the M24 are different kettle of fish obviously.

On the additional optics, yeah they made several additional ones during the 80's to include the higher mag versions of the PSO-1 and then the 3-9 ART copy. I honestly don't have a high opinion of either the ART-1 or 2 I have. They do work, but are clunky to use and prone to various problems that the PSO-1 just doesn't suffer from, its a much better thought out system IMO. Then again the ART system is still better than what everyone else in the west was using in the 60's-80's for the most part.

On a related note I haven't been able to find much on sniping either in the Yugoslav or Romanian armies, and I've wondered what the differences if any were. The Yugos obviously had sniper grade 8mm for the M76, but I can't find any information on the PSL using a specific sniper cartridge one way or the other. Maybe someone here knows.
 
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I've seen the 87 manual which as I understand was an attempt to standardize training amongst different Army groups/divisions etc. And mostly based on the "good" training schools like the GSFG one. As I said there seems to have been a fair bit of variability in the training. But GFSG in the early/mid 70's was running a month long training school, which seems to be about the same length as US sniper schools (also at divisional level at the time) in the 70's. The 87 manual has more details in some areas especially range determination than the WW2 manuals (they also have this but with more primitive equipment). But the fieldcraft and employment sections are similar. In general I think the oft repeated "its a DMR" statement initially came from ignorance of the topic, and has just been repeated over the years that now its taken as gospel. If you take a look at the 70's TC-23-14 and the soviet manuals there are way more similarities than actual differences in terms of skills/skill-sets/shooting capabilities. And from the rifle standpoint, as most people understand these days M118SB and the M21 system certainly weren't a 1MOA combination, likely closer to double that, which puts it firmly in SVD territory in terms of "accuracy". The later 90's systems like the M24 are different kettle of fish obviously.

On the additional optics, yeah they made several additional ones during the 80's to include the higher mag versions of the PSO-1 and then the 3-9 ART copy. I honestly don't have a high opinion of either the ART-1 or 2 I have. They do work, but are clunky to use and prone to various problems that the PSO-1 just doesn't suffer from, its a much better thought out system IMO. Then again the ART system is still better than what everyone else in the west was using in the 60's-80's for the most part.

On a related note I haven't been able to find much on sniping either in the Yugoslav or Romanian armies, and I've wondered what the differences if any were. The Yugos obviously had sniper grade 8mm for the M76, but I can't find any information on the PSL using a specific sniper cartridge one way or the other. Maybe someone here knows.

In all my travels and collecting I've only ever seen one rather battered Romanian military issue copy of the PSL manual (it's owned by another collector who got it when he was working with the Romanians in Afghanistan). My recollection is that it specifies use of light ball ammunition but makes no mention of any specialized sniper cartridge.
 
Yeah, Romania seems to be the odd guy out when it comes to combloc sniping, but then again, Ceausescu pretty much split from the Warpac back in 68 when he supported the Czechs in their revolt. Hence the development of the PSL in the first place AFAIK. Seems a bit weird they would hamstring themselves by using standard ball, even if it was generally good ammo otherwise. I'm half guessing they had something better but that its just not known.
 
Yeah, Romania seems to be the odd guy out when it comes to combloc sniping, but then again, Ceausescu pretty much split from the Warpac back in 68 when he supported the Czechs in their revolt. Hence the development of the PSL in the first place AFAIK. Seems a bit weird they would hamstring themselves by using standard ball, even if it was generally good ammo otherwise. I'm half guessing they had something better but that its just not known.
All the Romanian “snipers” I worked with when I was in the military just had regular light ball for their PSLs so far as I can recall.
 
What is the best source for ammo in the US for the SVD?
Honestly, roll your own with 174gr SMKs or the 200gr Lapua D166. PPU and S&B have had batches with thin primers that don't play well in the semi auto action of the SVD. I had pierced primers with some of the S&B Match and when I went to deprime some of the PPU Match and 150gr soft point ammo to swap in CCI 34s, the universal decapping pin just punched a hole right through the bottom of a couple of the live primers.
 
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I just wish somebody had a supply of reasonably priced authentic Russian SVDs in the USA, they're fascinating vintage DMRs and I wouldn't mind picking one up.
 
I just wish somebody had a supply of reasonably priced authentic Russian SVDs in the USA, they're fascinating vintage DMRs and I wouldn't mind picking one up.
Yeah, its pretty fucked. I was on the original pre-MAC list when they were to be in the like 3-5 range, which is frankly the upper end of what they are worth IMO. But well, we all know how that shitshow went. Missed out on the B&T ones too apparently, but there it was like 7k.
 
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Yeah, its pretty fucked. I was on the original pre-MAC list when they were to be in the like 3-5 range, which is frankly the upper end of what they are worth IMO. But well, we all know how that shitshow went. Missed out on the B&T ones too apparently, but there it was like 7k.
Got a link that explains what went down or cliff notes? Thought he was a fairly solid dude... admittedly never had any business transaction experience with him tho..
 
I am working through a contact to verify a supply of "SVD" rifles from a friendly country with no import restrictions. The contact says he can get them readily and I am waiting for his verification that they are not PSLs but rather an SVD variant. I already have the importer in pocket so that is GTG. Marketing is also taken care of through another contact. All I am waiting on is variant confirmation, price, and then we start the ATF and DOS paperwork.

I will post updates as it goes.
 
Got a link that explains what went down or cliff notes? Thought he was a fairly solid dude... admittedly never had any business transaction experience with him tho..
Long story short, there was a dude on the AK Forum (PRDUBI) who claimed to be working at/with FEG in Hungary to make SVDs out of leftover Soviet/Russian parts and some new components. Folks put their names on a list, but no money changed hands and there was nothing more than a dude on the internet saying it would happen.

Fast forward over a year later to the first batch of ~100 "HD-18s" coming into the US and Copper Customs (CC) got them all from Trident. Mac/CC tried to auction a few off via Gunbroker "in order to let the market decide the value" and dudes from "the list" on the AK Forum went ballistic. The GB auctions were spammed with bids, getting the rifles priced up to 1 million dollars and beyond. Mac/CC eventually pulled the GB auctions, since they were never going to get honest bids, and CC listed the rifles for sale on their site at more than double the 3k that PRDUBI said they would cost. Another guy on the AK Forum/AK Files Forum got in touch with CC and passed along contact info for some of us on "the list" that were still interested in an HD-18. CC sold them for a couple hundred bucks less to "list" members via direct sale links. That's how I got mine. The second batch of ~100 came in with far less fanfare and current world events means FEG probably won't be "making" any more HD-18s.
 
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I am working through a contact to verify a supply of "SVD" rifles from a friendly country with no import restrictions. The contact says he can get them readily and I am waiting for his verification that they are not PSLs but rather an SVD variant. I already have the importer in pocket so that is GTG. Marketing is also taken care of through another contact. All I am waiting on is variant confirmation, price, and then we start the ATF and DOS paperwork.

I will post updates as it goes.
I hope it works out. If they are "Bulgarian" ((10)) marked rifles I strongly suspect (based on recent experience with ATF) that the Firearms Technology Branch will rule that they are remarked Russian rifles and deny import.
 
Well, similarly I've talked to a fair number of soviet era snipers and the part you have there is generally correct. I think the biggest thing is that there was a fair amount of variability in the soviet system and soviet army. If you were in GFSG, or VDV or some other decent unit, then you were pretty much trained as, and utilized as an actual sniper. If you were off somewhere in some category C division guarding the khazakstan border, then yeah the barely trained designated rifleman was also likely true. At least till like 84 and then 87 when they started centralizing the schools more as a result of "varied results" in Afghanistan. Also of note the 91/30 was utilized by those same cat C divisions in the first year or so of the afghan war. As for radio use, it depends, you are correct in terms of calling for fires they basically used junior officers for that. But snipers when scouting would typically have personal radios like the R-126 or R-107's at times, again there was a fair amount of variability in what they did use in the field and their actual mission. Also at by some accounts (because I specifically asked them about this) snipers would sometimes have a arty spotter come along or work with them as well.

IDK on the origins of the actual sniper training being German, its possible since thats where they did get their optical plants from. However I find it unlikely. Comparing period Soviet sniper training pamphlets and manuals and German ones from the same era, the German stuff is far simpler and nowhere near as sophisticated in terms of the training compared to the Russians. This largely tracks as for the most part sniping under the Nazis was pretty much an afterthought in the early stages of the war and they suffered dearly at the hands of soviet snipers early on. Similarly if you look at WW2 sniper equipment, the German optics were absolutely inferior to the soviet PE, PEM, and PU optics in terms of actual usability (I have tried/used both) until the Germans copied the PU scope ala the Zf4 later in the war.

Bringing this back to the SVD though, if you look at it from an actual sniping perspective the SVD in 1963 was light years ahead of any Western sniper rifle simply due to the PSO-1 optic, which for its day and even 2 decades later was pretty much world class. Accuracy wise the SVD was absolutely on-par with the US Army M21 system of the same era. It really isn't until past 1989 or so (end of the cold war) that US sniping really became what we kind of think of it today, and same for the equipment and "modern" accuracy requirements (which still sucked in the 90's due to m118SB).

From a practical shooting perspective, during the cold war no one had LRF's or any other really fancy equipment for range determination*. So it was pretty critical to get good ranging information and get it quickly in many cases unless you had the luxury of time to use your ancillary equipment to make a range card. The other part of this is of course your "error budget" for long range shooting gets very very tight as your range starts exceeding 600 meters or so for any of the cold war cartridges, at longer ranges you need like a +/- 25meter accuracy, which at 1000 meters is like 2.5% error which lol well, good luck with almost any optical range finding system.

The PSO-1 was excellent at this out to say 600 meters with that choke range finder. Whereas aside from the US ART system which is clunky to use in comparison no one else had a built in rangefinding capability on their rifles. The other really good thing about the PSO-1 is that you actually have mil-marks for wind holds, as well as the "long range" marks that can easily be used for hold overs as well. The scope was also very repeatable, and the QD feature actually worked and returned to zero, which allowed snipers to quickly and easily transition to night optics as required. Compared to the ART system the PSO/SVD is just way easier and more practical to use.

*both US snipers of course and Soviet snipers had stuff like spotting scopes issued and available obviously, and milling is more accurate with those systems. Also I've talked to snipers that managed to "acquire" the small portable coincidence rangefinders used by soviet sappers/arty guys, and those things are really excellent bits of kit, very easy to use and quite compact/lightweight and perfectly complementary to SVD ranges.
Great post. It’s also important to distinguish between guys who were in Motorized Infantry Regiments in the line, Regimental Scouts/Reconnaissance, Sptesnaz GRU Brigades, and KGB Alpha units. There are also major differences in which Soviet Socialist Republic they were from, or if they were in Group of Soviet Forces in Germany.

The main guys I lived with and/or interviewed were conscripted in the mid-late 1980s, hence the AK-74 test even in the Crucible as a standard already, well after the AKM had been replaced/relegated to Reserves. One was an Afghan War vet who described his whole conscription, training, and their basic operational concepts and actions in Afghanistan. Their Afghan posture was basically like a LRS mission, but focused on interdiction of supplies and weapons coming in from the Pakistani border. There’s a great book I have meant for Spetsnaz GRU War vets called Spetsnaz GRU f Afghanistanye 1979-1989:

iu


For the 1920s Russian-German military exchanges, I don’t have any firsthand accounts but my understanding was the Germans shared their program with the Russians. There are German Sniper Training videos that have surfaced from early WWII or prior that show almost the same exact blocks of instruction and practical exercises you would see at Bragg, Benning, or Waterloo Lines Warminster in the 1980s-2000s. The German Sniper program of the 1920s-1930s was an evolution from their lessons-learned in The Great War, with a lot of cooperation with the USSR because both were isolated from the world politically at the time. That led them to form the Rapollo Treaty of April 1922. The Russian Civil War was still going on and Germany was restricted on what they could develop, so they saw the USSR as a black area free from observers where they could do things that were banned by the Treaty of Versailles.

Agreed on the PSO-1. I would like to be able to offer some commentary on how well the ART-I and ART-II compare, but the ones in our arms rooms were always broken (part of our M21 BII in the 1990s). We had them in 2 of the 3 Recon Platoons I was in, but we never even mounted them since they were unserviceable. The PSO-1 is very intuitive and user-friendly, seems to hold up well enough to be serviceable over all these years. Crude and unsightly by Western eyes on the outside, but does the job when you get behind it. I find the lower power useful for being able to spot your own hits or misses.

For US LRF units, AN/GVS-5 existed in 1980. AN/PVS-6 MELIOS development began in 1983, but weren’t fielded until after the Soviet Collapse began, so I agree about reticle-based ranging errors and would actually pull the threshold back to 400-450m when ranging man-sized targets, which are almost always partial-exposures anyway. We had MELIOS in LRSC and my 3rd Recon Platoon. That sucker would laze out to 5000m. I think priority went to FOs and TOW gunners in Mech units and I’ll have to check my old SOTIC manuals to see if GVS-5 was in use by Group back in the 1980s.

iu


Do you have any pics of the portable Soviet Coincidence RangeFinders?
 
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