Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • A lot of interesting pictures.

  • SpudGun

    Wow, those are some really great pictures. Not sure how well I’d shoot buried in snow.

    I am curious about the rubber scope eye relief thingy – I’m wondering if this is stop people accidentally freezing the metal scopes to their eyeballs or if it’s to reduce glare from snow?

    • Mobious

      They’re pretty standard regardless of weather, aids the user in bringing the scope to the right distance from the eye quicker, and yes glare and distractions in general can be reduced as well. And also prevents the scope from ramming into one’s eye as is, the rubber softens the impact.

    • Cymond

      I bought an aftermarket rubber eyepiece for a scope a few years ago. I mainly intended it as a tacticool show piece to emulate the SVD look, but found it to be a surprisingly practical piece of kit. I just set my eye against the rubber and it gives me have perfect eye relief. I just bought a few more for my future rifle builds.

      It has the advantage/disadvantage of blocking stray images from peripheral vision. This lets me focus on the scope, and makes the image look brighter & clearer by comparison. However, it also gives me tunnel vision.

      Anyone wanting to try this can get one for the low price of $6 at Deal Extreme (search 81737 and 82488). You can also find the same items on eBay if you search around long enough.

      • SpudGun

        Thanks for the answers dudes.

  • Nielsen

    Those SVDs don’t seem all too precise. At a mere 100 meters, there sure are a lot of taped up holes outside the centre. Or perhaps the shooters are just shaking in the cold 🙂

    • W

      the SVD or Russian snipers are not intended to be precise. they are merely there to extend the range of motor-rifle and airborne infantry units. Russia is fielding a few new precision sniper rifles though.

      • Lance

        SVDs are the standard long range rifle of the Russian army only the SpetzNaz have SVS bolt action sniper rifles which are based on the British Accuracy international sniper rifle.

      • Benjamin

        It’s SpetsNaz, not SpetzNaz

      • W

        Spetsnaz is a shortened, western umbrella term from the Latin spelling of:

        “Voyska specialnogo naznacheniya” or Spetsnaz. since it is in Russian, a Slavic language in Cyrillic, arguing over the Latin spelling is stupid. It is as disingenious as arguing over the english spelling of “Muslim” or “Mohammed”

    • Jerk Jiggler

      That’s why it’s called school…

  • Alex-mac

    Who are these super psychologists? How can they be qualified to guide individual snipers in their training and judge their level of commitment? Are they sniper instructors as well as psychologists?

    • jdun1911

      I assume these Russian’s psychologists have the same roles as their US counterpart. We use psychologists to determine if our snipers in training are capable of taking a human life while in school.

      One of my customer kid went to Marine Sniper school and he failed it. The reason what he told me was they determine that he has doubts taking another human life for a second. He did great in everything but his kid couldn’t pull the trigger when it counted the most. That’s what he told me anyway.

  • Lance

    Alot of cool SVD and AK-74M pics. I like there newer digi camo looks almost like East German rain camo.

    • W

      agreed. its the Russian military. There are at least 20 different patterns in service 🙂 (I dare somebody to try and make a complete comprehensive guide to all of them).

  • Shooter

    ~4 MOA from a semi-supported prone position is rather mediocre performance, all things considering. Some of that’s going to be due to the SVD’s inherent accuracy, and some due to their choice of firing position. It’s interesting to note the way they handle their rifles during the obstacle course and medical exercises: muzzles dropped into the snow, and aimed AKs that are being sighted over rather than properly brought up to the shoulder.

    Overall I have the feeling this is some sort of National Guard training unit rather than the elite of the elite.

    • jdun1911

      The Russian military training are pretty poor. From what people have told me it one hazing after another.

      The Russian’s NCO are poor and their commission officers is no better. A good military is base on good leadership and the Russian do not have that.

      • MrSatyre

        I’ve actually heard this numerous times directly from former Russian soldiers and seamen themselves. Economic factors from socialist and now open market western style democracy have only taught most of them that looking out for number one is the only real way to keep any sort of job which pays reasonably well and ensures a pension. Graft and cronyism are just a few of the side-effects used by most to supplement terrible pay, and the actual job of maintaining a strong fighting force gets left on the wayside, if remembered at all. They are very strong on theory, but having very little budget left over from corruption, theft of equipment, and equally abysmal maintenance funds and spare parts means very few troops actually get to put any of those theories into regular practice (very good for us, very bad for them). I have little doubt that if the Russians were to go to war with, say, China or the U.S., that they would have to relearn all the lessons from WW II, and be at a terrible disadvantage, regardless of their own excellent home-brewed technologies and manufacturing. The Chinese, on the other hand, have plenty of money (and probably plenty of corruption to balance things out) to keep their forces in fighting trim.

      • Lance

        While not as good on a one on one basis as American German and British solders Russian troops are far ahead of Chinese troops and weapons are much better than the PRC. Chinese troops are still tough but are used in mass wave attacks and are often not equipped with as much sufficient gear of other nations equip their solders.

      • W

        i actually agree with lance. Don’t forget that the Russian army is experienced. Conflicts in the 1st and 2nd Chechen Wars have taught the Russians valuable, if painful, lessons in 21st century, 4th generation warfare. Cold War massed artillery barrages, direct assaults, and armored muscle are marginally effective against elusive guerrillas seasoned by various jihads around the Near East. Russia also learned of their strengths and weaknesses during the 2008 war in Ossetia.

        China has yet to fight a modern war. they are still reliant on obsolete concepts and human wave assaults, which failed abysmally in Vietnam in 1979 and border clash over the Zhenbao Island in 1969 with the Soviets. They still haven’t grasped modern infantry techniques and MTOE that even the Vietnamese tailored excellently. They are rapidly fielding new technologies, though the PLA is still, largely, a World War II-era conceptual fighting force. Do not forget largely they lack a modern air force, navy, and anti-air missile systems, not to mention the production technology of such weaponry (the do not even have the technology to produce modern fighters or a dedicated attack helicopter).

    • Alex-mac

      Maybe it’s them zeroing their rifle at 100 yards? Standard operating procedure for russian sharpshooter/sniper.

      Also according to wiki “To comply to the standards the SVD rifle with 7N1 sniper cartridges may not produce more than 1.24 MOA extreme vertical spread with 240 mm twist rate barrels and no more than 1.04 MOA extreme vertical spread with 320 mm twist rate barrels.”

      So quite accurate for a DMR rifle, more accurate than the M14 at least.

  • Jason

    Second page, 15th picture down, perhaps some type of instrument? Almost looks like sight pictures on the right side of the lower one. Does anyone know what this might be?

  • Sean Ingram

    Hey I’ll give them and their rifles the benefit of the doubt; they kicked the Germans’ asses out of Stalingrad.

  • nph

    Boots they always forget to obscure the boots.

  • W

    People have a gross misunderstanding on the role of Soviet/Russian snipers versus western snipers.

    With the adoption of submachine guns in WWII, and the AK/RPK in post-WWII, the long range shooting ability (typically the 400-1000 meter bracket) was lost after the full powered 7.62x54R round was largely superseded in the infantryman’s individual weapon. The SVT40 and Mosin Nagant supplemented the PPSH41/PPS weaponry, increasing a infantry squad’s engagement range to 800 meters. The SVD was adopted to replace these weapons and fulfill the same needs for the Cold War Soviet military.

    In comparison, the Soviet/Russian sniper is a equivalent to a western designated marksman (a concept, to my dismay, that has been re-learned more than once) or “sharpshooter”. A historical role which integrates a soldier or two specifically adept at longer range shooting.

    western snipers serve in a different role: two-man teams operating comparatively independent of infantry units (which also changed somewhat, sometimes significantly, due to the needs of the US military during the War on Terrorism), observing/overwatch, heavily camouflaged, and, in some cases, calling in CAS or fire missions. Their weapons were tailored for these needs, being largely bolt action with a minimum standard of 1 MOA accuracy. Weapons may evolve (such as more accurate semi-automatics), though the need of 1 MOA still needs to be met.

    Comparing western snipers with Soviet-era/Russian ones is comparing apples and cranberries. Two completely different concepts.