BREAKING: Kalashnikov Concern Introduces New SVK Semiautomatic Designated Marksman’s Rifle

As part of Kalashnikov Concern’s new product rollout for the Russian government’s ARMY 2016 military technology conference, the company has announced a new designated marksman’s rifle, named the SVK. Earlier this year, an article in showed off a Kalashnikov Concern design called “SK-16”, but an anonymous source told TFB that development of that rifle has ceased, due to problems with the design, and the new SVK will be taking its place. The SVK uses similar receiver architecture to the Kalashnikov Concern MA, also announced this week, with a steel upper receiver spine supporting a Picatinny-type rail and providing a guide rod for the operating group, as well as rigidity for the whole firearm. The rest of the receiver is made of polymer (aluminum on the prototypes), and contains the fire control group and the magazine housing.

160906_svk1 160906_svk2 7_361c81dd

The SVK is being introduced in two calibers, 7.62x54mmR and 7.62x51mm NATO, and rifles chambered for the former will use standard SVD magazines. According to the KC press release, the rifle uses a short-stroke gas piston, three-lug rotating bolt, and has a gas regulator with a provision for suppressed operation, all of which sounds very Dragunov.


Image source:


Kalashnikov’s press release states that the SVK was developed at the request of Russian special operations forces, which isn’t a surprise since the demand for a modern designated marksman’s rifle is apparently so great that Russian SF have been seen using foreign rifles like the HK417.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Major Tom

    So when can I expect to see these on the market? 2020?

    • Doom

      Trump Gets elected, Maybe. Hillary, lol, never. They are made by Kalashnikov concern which Obama banned by EO. THANKS OBAMA! mother ******…

  • Martin Grønsdal

    Why do they often show one side of a weapon, never the other? Is this some kind of illness?

    ‘Here is a brand new toy, but you may only look at the right side of it!’

    • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

      Darn you I was completely satisfied with the article until I read your comment.

    • If it’s any help, the left side appears briefly in this video:

      • Martin Grønsdal

        thanks: I wasn’t criticising your article, but I don’t get why manufactorers sometimes show one side. Once I spent 10 min on google to find the opposite photo of the ST Kinetics smg 😉

    • Jim C

      The left side is top secret.

  • Major Tom

    Also one more thing, War Is Boring has an article covering the same thing but says this can accept 20 round mags in 7.62x54R. Confirm? Deny? WIB is talking about the .308 version?

    https://warisboring. com/kalashnikov-reveals-a-replacement-for-its-famed-sniper-rifle-71f455fb605c#.n4hr82cdv

    • Tritro29

      War is Boring has indeed a very idiotic piece on this…”Yeah the SVK has a mechanism similar to the SCAR” while being based on a system designed in the 70’s…They should have gone safe and say AR-18 or T2 rifle…but no. They had to be fooled by the FDE livery.

    • Here’s what the press release says:

      The SVK compact semi-automatic sniper rifle is being developed for two of the most common military rifle cartridges, the 7.62×51 NATO and 7.62x54R.

      The rifle is fed from detachable box magazines with standard (10 rounds) or high (15 and 20 rounds) capacities. The 7.62x54R version, utilizes magazines compatible with the Dragunov SVD sniper rifle.

  • Vitor Roma

    Triangular bolts are sexy and robust. I approve.

  • iksnilol

    What have they done to the Dragunov? I mean, I like it and all, but I hope there’s a retro version with a skeleton stock.

    • roguetechie

      I like the dragunov MA based guns. My hope is they will actually be produced and that when they are the significant savings in manufacturing costs will be passed onto the customers.

      The basic MA design represents a Russian equivalent to the AR15 as far as being capable of using modern manufacturing technology to drive costs down and keep them down.

      That, to me, is the exciting part. Something like this really could be a viable challenger to the commodity grade AR15 and AR10 market.

  • `bull

    hmm… couldnt this one also be based on the MA mentioned in another article today?

    • Tritro29

      It is based on the MA mechanism. Kalashnikov is (almost) ditching the original system.

      • I wouldn’t say they are ditching it, but it’s accurate to suggest they aren’t afraid to do something else.

        • Tritro29

          They also aren’t afraid to look into their treasure chest…;-).

          • Patriot Gunner

            What makes the MA system better?

          • roguetechie

            For one, it’s purposely designed specifically to allow you to build almost the entire gun out of reinforced polymer. Unlike the g36 and xm8 though, it entirely sidesteps wandering POI in very hot environments or at high round count compressed time interval situations.

            It’s also designed in a way that should make the forces from firing the rifles much more linear without the twisting or bending moments intrinsic to the Kalashnikov action.

          • Patriot Gunner

            I did some further research into the gun, the original one designed by Dragunov and I don’t see anything inherent to the design that would sidestep the wandering POI shift that the G36 allegedly had. The design is pretty interesting, where the bolt rides inside the top, like an upper. It’s funny to see the Russians developing weapons which have been accepted in the West for a long time. It’s a little saddening actually, I don’t want to see every gun look like a bubba’d AR.

            It is definitely designed in a way where the recoil forces are more linear which would prevent the twisting or bending seen in AK’s, but my question is so what? The AK was never designed with precision in mind, all that twisting and bending really has no affect on the gun itself.

          • Tritro29

            The bolt in this case doesn’t ride, it slides…otherwise you could also say that the AK was already driving the bolt through the gas tube. With the MA, the bolt is lighter and also is slotted into the funnel. There’s no shake, the bolt can be lighter and basically it also can ease the backstroke issue you had with the AK piston pushing hard the bolt carrier to the actual receiver. This helps directly with the alleged looseing of material that the G36 was experiencing. All accuracy imparting parts in this are “locked” together. On the same axis. All steel. This is the first HUGE difference from both typical AK system and G36.

            It’s basically the PPSH idea evolved…

            AK’s were not designed with accuracy in mind (that’s a bit false but OK) but Dragunov’s were. Because this isn’t an AK. It’s an AD.

            So yeah, try and picture this. There were other designers in Soviet times than Mike the K.

          • Patriot Gunner

            I’m sure the lighter bolt greatly reduces recoil but I have to wonder what it does to reliability. The bolt carrier mass ratio must be terrible. Having a tighter tolerance and less clearance gun can be a benefit to accuracy, but again I question the reliability especially in the brutal Russian winters. There is also the issue with bent rods and peened bolts on short stroke systems with prolonged full auto fire. The amount of care and attention into heat treating and material selection is of utmost importance. It can be done, it just costs more time and money when it comes to mass production, but then again the receivers are mostly polymer so I’m sure they’re saving some coin there. What I’m trying to emphasize is that even though this may be a great system I have a hard time finding what the benefits, if any, are over a standard AK. IMHO, they could have still kept the long stroke action and integrated it to the MA system and that would have solved the problems I stated, but what the hell do I know? I guess time will tell if this becomes a viable alternative, but it does make you think that if the MA system is so much better, why didn’t they just adopt it when Dragunov invented it?

          • Tritro29

            Reliability? It’s being used to fire 5.45 it doesn’t need to be a heavy SOB like the SVD, which is still as light as it gets despite firing 7.62R.

            REliability regarding the AK-12 was due to attempts to lighten the piston and dust cover structurally and also have a new type of barrel process. This failed because unexpected friction in the barrel.

            I don’t understant you here, recievers were polymer and bakelite back then, but the actual issue regarding the G36 alleged POI shift was that the barrel was resting on a polymer trunion. This isn’t the case with the MA.

            Why integrate a “long stroke action” on a rifle that is built to mitigate the long stroke action’s issues regarding harmonics and recoil?

            The MA wasn’t accepted because the GRAU back then didn’t wanted to incur the wrath of senile old men who were after a symbol.

            The problem with the Soviet weapons industry is that it was plagued by non-sense guided by political choices. Even today, the AK-12 is being held up by their connections with the MO, not because they were able to replicate the A545 capabilities on every level.

            However the MA is really a step forward as the design is a true innovation and should have (as the AEK 971/973) been adopted back when we could adopt it.

          • Patriot Gunner

            The heavier the bolt, the more reliable the operation (obviously there is a point of diminishing returns) regardless of what caliber. I run the heaviest bolt carrier group I can find in my AR and at this point its the Lantac BCG and reliability has been superb.

            Yes, you misunderstood. What I said was they are going to save money by going to a polymer receiver, saving money and simplifying manufacturing is a good thing. I have no qualms with polymer.

            What harmonic issues are their with a long stroke setup? Also, they could have used a method where the entire long stroke bolt carrier slides in the rail like a SCAR. The valmet is a great example for AK’s, the piston is not moving loosely within the gas tube, its got guides to remove all the slop and it works very well. And long stroke systems are inherently better for longer full auto bursts, no bent rods or peened bolt carriers.

            “The MA wasn’t accepted because the GRAU back then didn’t wanted to incur the wrath of senile old men who were after a symbol.” LOL that’s pretty funny.

            Again I’m not saying that this is a bad system, and time will tell how it will all turnout. I love the idea of the gun and actually think it’s pretty ingenious. And you can always add weight to the bolt carrier if reliability does become a concern. Overall I think this a positive direction for Russian small arms.

          • Tritro29

            It is the fact that the Bolt and Bolt carrier was that heavy that made the AK structurally flexible thus contributed to its perceived inaccuracy (along with ammunition). The lighter bolt with a third lug helps both keeping the felt recoil down, has proven itself with the SVD which is lighter than the SKS bolt albeit firing a more powerful cartridge.

            On the polymer, I have no personal preference towards polymer and would like the weapon to retain an aluminum body instead of the polymer.

            Why would they use a SCAR mechanism (that’s basically an AR-18/AK kind of thing) while the whole point of the MA was to have a lighter system that would be in the mean time very effective.and reliable.

            The RK series might be “great” but as I said, they don’t offer anything over any tightly manufactured AK, they only retain weight an milled receivers. The Galil went further but from a personal perspective I don’t see why we should retain a rifle that we know well enough to say it isn’t going forward without something new. That something now was basically higher quality, but it seems the MO is too cheap to buy it and the rifle isn’t well prepared for the roughness of terrain use.

            The MA was already better then, it can’t be worse today. Anyway, we have a proven system with the A545 so we’ll be covered…

          • roguetechie

            The wandering POI issue is solved by having the barrels securely mounted in a steel trunnion and the all steel “top cover” anchored directly into the trunnion sorta like the Ak RSB.

            it’s a very good design in a lot of very key areas and can hardly be called a bubba’ed M4 style gun, especially since it’s origins go back to the CAR15 era.

            I for one am glad that it doesn’t borrow the stylistics of the Kalashnikov system. It’s an interesting system in it’s own right that I believe has a very good chance of being successful on it’s own merits without having to be dressed up like an AK.

          • Patriot Gunner

            The bubba comment was in reference to the “new” AK-12.

          • roguetechie

            I really like the AK12 and the HK meets Kalashnikov vibe of the A545. And the AK12 stock is excellent, it also to my eye really fits the overall aesthetic and the lines of the gun while improving the actual functionality.

            I guess my point is that I see both good and bad in what the Russians are doing currently with small arms. But, honestly at least they’re trying to evolve and improve their small arms through both blue sky and more mundane minor upgrades and updates. I wish we saw more work like this going on in the west.

            However their AK74 upgrade package with M4 stocks made me sad other than the awesome muzzle brake and mini suppressor. The pistol grip which tried to address ergonomics and gave a location for stuff like gun oil and solvent was also good.

          • roguetechie

            I’d also really like to get ahold of a hybrid between their new switch barrel rpk15 and an AK12. for me that would be a nice gun to have.

            But honestly I’d happily take one of the new MA’s in 5.45 with a 16 inch barrel too.

          • Patriot Gunner

            Now that is an idea I’d love to see come to fruition.

          • Tritro29

            It a proven design by now, multiple rifles have used that kind of layout (and it’s not different from the Dragunov itself) like the whole AR-18 “bastard” family and unlike the AK-12 which needed tweaks and breaks because of very high standards of manufacturing, this one you can build from aluminium instead of polymer and have a very very good rifle.

            It was already a better rifle 40 years ago than the AKs74U. Get the proper length of barrel and barrel twist for the new gen 5.45 and you’re basically looking at a Russian counterpart to the current generation of Western assault rifles. Only this one was designed way back. A bit like the AR-15 rise to stardom today.

          • Patriot Gunner

            Yeah it’s no surprise that Dragunov preferred the short stroke piston layout. Everything that I’ve read, seen and heard about the AK-12 never indicated in the slightest way that the AK-12 had to have “very high manufacturing standards.” I thought that it was the logical evolution of the AK platform and still think it has great potential. It fixed all the ergo issues with the standard AK. Plus, it looks amazing.

            Even though these new rifles show a lot of potential the question I should have asked is, what do these offer that the standard AK doesn’t? (in terms of performance, not ergos)

          • Tritro29

            The AK-12 according to CK was the first infantry gun that was throroughly “accurized” and thought as a rifle that would go beyond the Abakan benchmarks (that weren’t all that stellar to begin with). “Laser” built whole parts being 3D printed, very tight tolerances. Having seen the second proto- the rifle was really very different from the AK74M I had when I served. It was like night and day. Off course I’ve been on the right side of quite some quality rifles. Oberland’s SR’s are something amazing and as I’ve worked for them I think I’m rather able to tell a quality gun from a run of the mill AK.

            Now what happens when you use average, or garbage fuel on a very expensive tight-lipped car? Well you’re going to run into troubles.

            Well basically the AK-12, beyond its own idiosyncrasies, was also plagued by Russian Army ammo. All the cutting edge effort poured into that great rifle was blasted away by using military ammo. Sometimes older than the guys who designed the rifle.

            Now what do the rifles fielded for Ratnik offer? A new paradigm. Compatibility with western/foreign designed optics and support tools (lasers, IR, GPS tools). If you look at the A545 they use a DQ system for the sling that I think first showed up on a US manufacturer’s site about the AK. MAC (Military Arms Channel) even presented it.

            Then better accurized rifles. Both benefited from new techniques in forging and also better stampings. Although the AK-12 used techniques that the AEK was using 10 years ago. Ironically ZID stampings for the A545 were really close to the H&K thermoforming molds. This means that somehow before the bad blood of Crimea, German machines have been bought by Degtaryov. In the case of the A545 a new, monobloc, better suited Ironsight. Sure it sounds like conceding that mauser sights aren’t that good, but it’s more complex. Mauser sight biggest issue so far is the mobility of the mechanism. Sometimes it flips over and you are forced to fold it back. At least, with the new drum, you don’t need to worry about it.

          • Patriot Gunner

            Years ago I had some pre-WW2 Russian surplus ammo, it was laughably bad so yeah using crap ammo already stacks the deck against the AK-12. Thanks for the insight regarding the AK-12. It’ll be a real shame if they shelf that design and let it collect dust.

      • inquisit

        What is the MA mechanism?

        • Tritro29

          MA means Malogabaritnij Avtomat. Small Format Automatic (Rifle). Micro-Automatic (Rifle) in a more reciprocating translation.

          It consisted on a two part receiver with the dust cover being a rail in which a shrunk down Dragunov bolt carrier would slide connected to a short gas piston, with a super simple trigger unit that was movable like the SVD.

          It looked something akin the AR-18 did with a travelling bolt carrier. Only the bolt and bolt carrier were 100% Dragunov.

          This rifle was designed for the Modern Program which aimed to have a Micro Automatic rifle. It was using bakelite and PVC (although the PVC model was very stiff) it was lighter than the AKs74U only, like with many such better designs, the GRAU wanted nothing to do with new designs…even (especially) when they were better than the shake and bake AK.

  • Blue Centurion

    Welcome to the 21st Century! The display reads “SVD M”

    • Tritro29

      The SVD-M is the rifle sitting on the shelf on the rear with the birdcage style flash hider.

  • Nick

    Could the 7.62 NATO variation be aimed at the American civilian market? Or is it because of the units using the 417?

    • Doom

      On account KC products are banned from import Id say no about it being targeted at the US.

      • SoulInvictus

        I’m not up on these things, what is the reason for not being imported?
        Too scary, too Russiany, some other similar logic?

        • jonp

          Obama stopped import of some Russian arms to teach those Russians there was a price to pay for invading The Crimea. That it was through banning scary rifles was a coincidence

          • Orpheus Epiphanes

            Yeah, he really stuck it to them 0_o

        • Doom

          Real Reason is because Obama doesnt like guns, Alleged reason is because Russia was playing around in Ukraine, you know, like how we have been playing in the middle east for the last 1.5 decades. Meanwhile we lifted sanctions on Iran who isnt exactly our best buddy and gave them billions of dollars to do whatever they want with.

    • John Wisch

      NATO Contract Builds

  • LazyReader

    No coffee maker Awwww

  • Gus Butts

    Kalashnikov Concern has been BUSY these past few years, hot diggity damn.

    • Doom

      and none of it gets to come to us. I want that new pistol they came out with. so sexy looking.

      • Max Glazer


        • Doom

          unfff, yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssss. PL 14!

  • Sasquatch

    Ok when is this bad boy being imported and what is the price?!?

  • Riot

    Welcome to Izhmash! Where we change our name to Kalashnikov Concern then build all Dragunovs.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    I hope Trump and Putin become best friends. It’s entirely for selfish reason. Because I want one of these!

    • Doom

      I just want an SVT, SKS, and SVD, is that so much to ask?

      • Jim C

        Not at all.

      • Harry’s Holsters

        Not in the least!

  • A 54R SCAR. Hmmm…I’d buy it.

  • TW

    That’s looks like a fine weapon. Looks like it could be a nice replacement for the DVD.

    • iksnilol

      I thought that’d be BlueRay.

  • This is impressive for sure! And I agree with a commenter below. I want to see the other side too!

  • Seamus Bradley


  • disqus_PDmXLtTxJj

    How many Ukrainians have they murdered testing the weapon?

  • disqus_PDmXLtTxJj

    Why would anyone want to fire a rimmed round in a modern rifle?

    • Sean

      Well, they used to be dirt cheap.

    • mazkact

      Longest continuous service with a major power of any rifle cartridge, it must do something right.They have plenty light ball in storage, may as well use them.

    • iksnilol

      More reliable extraction.

  • Igniz

    Someone complained “Where is the other side picture?”
    That’s for you.

    • Gus Butts

      If I give you my personal email, can you flood my inbox with lewd pictures of sexy guns?

    • JJP14201

      Sexy time

    • Jim C


  • LazyReader

    Wish Springfield would moderninze the M1A that way.

  • LazyReader

    We beat them to the punch by a decade

    • Tritro29

      So Accepting the Garand in service years after Degtaryov, Tokarev and Shpagin had designed their AV’s, is beating us to the punch…OK. With all due respect the only thing i envy the Americans for was the BAR. That thing would have done major damage in our design ideology. Alas it wasn’t to be so.

    • Hahahahahah, oh man.

      Wait, you’re serious.

  • Patriot Gunner

    Great pic!

  • Eric B.

    OK, as one who participates in long range rifle competitions I gotta ask, IS THIS RIFLE AT LEAST MOA ACCURATE ?
    To paraphrase a famous gun writer, “The only interesting rifles are accurate rifles.”

    There is no LOP stock adjustment but it does have a long Picatinny-type rail for adding, as shown, night vision optics and some other modern features like an adjustable cheekpiece.

    Also, what quality is the issued Russian scope? Is it at least as good as, say, my Bushnell Tactical ERS 3.5 – 21 X 50? What are its features? (i.e reticle type, zoom range, parallax (target focus) adjustability, lenses fully multicoated, etc.??)

    • Orpheus Epiphanes

      It clearly *does* have a LOP adjustment, look at the pictures again and you’ll see the stocks in different positions

  • Les

    Reminds me of a FAL.