SVD Rifle Factory Torture Testing

The reliability requirements for military firearms are perhaps the highest. Ideally, they must be able to perform flawlessly in any climatic condition found on the planet. And that’s why military torture tests are conducted – to ensure particular weapon system’s capabilities and find out the weaknesses. The SVD rifle is one of those military weapons with legendary reliability. Here is how it passes torture testing in Russian company TsNII Toch Mash.

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In that company’s premises there are various testing stations called “climatic chambers”, which simulate various climatic conditions. They are designed to simulate tropical rain, arctic cold, desert storm, high humidity, quick temperature changes and even frost and dew. Besides the climatic chambers, there are also several special stations including salt fog cabinet, vibration testing station and a test station that simulates dragging the gun on various surfaces.

The guns are held in each station for a certain period of time then immediately tested by shooting a magazine or two of ammunition. For various guns, there are different requirements. In the case of SVD, the requirement is that it must shoot all the ammunition without a single malfunction. For some tests (e.g. rain test) the testing employee enters the chamber and conducts the shooting test not interrupting the climate simulation. The magazines and ammunition are also placed with the gun into the test chambers.

In the video below you can see the rain test and an extreme cold testing during which they freeze the rifle down to -50°C (-58°F).

Hrachya H

Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying design, technology and history of guns and ammunition. His knowledge of Russian allows him to translate and make Russian/Soviet/Combloc small arms related information available for the English speaking audience.
Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at


  • Maxim Popenker

    to make it clear; TSNII TochMash (Central Scientific and Research institue for precision machine building) is the Russian official T&E facility for small arms.
    SVD rifles are produced in Izhevsk by “Kalashnikov” concern, and TSNII TochMash tests these (and all other) military rifles to ensure that they are performing as required, with existing and new ammunition, scopes and other gear.

    • a_xuli_ëpta

      It’s TsNII not TSNII because the first two letters symbolise a translation of the letter ц into latin alphabet, hence the capital S is not just wrong but confusing.

      • Muri

        Tovarishch Maxim can be forgiven since he’s a living legend in the business!

    • Giolli Joker

      Will you by chance be at IDEX in Abu Dhabi?

      • Maxim Popenker

        me personally – no, unfortunately

        • Giolli Joker

          Oh, that’s a pity!
          I’m planning to have a one-day visit and possibly to take some photos for TFB as I did in 2015. The Russian part of the exhibition was possibly the coolest and most interesting to me, plenty of firearms old and new including some gems that I was not expecting.
          Any suggestion on things to check?

  • MPWS

    How about to speak on subject instead of tackling Maxim? What is an equivalent rifle in US service which can come close to SVD?

    • Major Tom

      In active service? The closest equivalents are the Mk 14 EBR, Mk 18 SCAR-H (in DMR configuration), the new M110A1 (aka G28) CSASS, and a couple of other M14/AR conversions/builds.

      If the Cold War went hot in the 1970s and 1980s it would’ve been SVD’s vs M21’s.

      • Joshua

        The M110A1 hasn’t even seen field trials yet.

        Bit premature to call it as good as the SVD.

        Also the DMR SCAR is type classified as the Mk-20.

        And the M14 is no where near as good as the SVD.

        • Uniform223

          What about the M21 or M25? I always wanted someone to do a non scientific head to head with a SR-25 against an DVD.

          • Anonymoose

            Buy a couple of each and drag them behind your truck and tell me how that works out for you.

          • CommonSense23

            The M21couldn’t even be jumped without losing zero it was such a piece of crap. Much less have any maintenance performed by a SOF level operator other than running a a bore cleaner thru it.
            And a SR25 is going to crush a SVD for a variety of reasons. Its essentially a accurized version of the most accurate battle rifle around. So you got the accuracy benefits, the reliability benefits, and the ergos of the AR.

          • iksnilol

            But you dont got the balance or weight of the SVD. SR-25 is a porker in comparison.

          • Joshua

            Every rifle entered to the CSASS competition weighed under 9lbs.

            Even the KAC entrant.

          • iksnilol

            I was looking at the M110 SASS, waaay heavier.

          • Joshua

            The SASS was a product of the Army. Even KAC wasn’t happy with the rifle, but it met the requirements set by the Army and some of them were just absolutely retarded.

            It’s why SOCOM has moved on to the M110K1.

            Weighs under 9lbs and had far better durability and reliability than the base M110.

          • Uniform223

            I heard the M110 had some early “teething” problems because of quality control and the lack of spare parts but I haven’t heard anything recent about the M110 having the same problems.

          • Joshua

            The M110 is an ok rifle, but it has it’s flaws…however every single one of them are at the core a Army requirement.

            It’s why SOCOM buys the K1 upgrade kits that only reuse the lower receiver and pistol grip.

            The main issue with the M110 is the bolt life, it’s only around 10,000 rounds where as the M110K1 is pushing 15,000-20,000 rounds.

            Plus the M110 is arounda 2.5MOA gun, and the K1 is closer to .95-1.15moa.

          • Uniform223

            Why the US Army didn’t get the K1 is beyond me…

      • CommonSense23

        The MK18 is a 10inch upper on a M4A1 lower. The MK20 is the DMR/sniper version of the SCAR.

      • polan

        Rather weird U.S has not been able to settle on a SVD equivalent. I guess it makes sense though since russia invented the DMR role and designed a rifle to go with it, the west+ is still playing catchup.
        I would argue the solution was settled by Australia, a heavier barrelled 16 inch HK417 in 2010, vindicated by U.S adopting a similar version G28 to replace the M110.
        I bet though that once Australia develops a 7.62x51mm upper for their F90, they’ll replace their HK417s with it. The main reason being that a DMR needs to use a suppressor more to conceal their location, and that really weighs and slows down the rifle.

        • Joshua

          The HK entrant was not the best performing entrant, however it passed all requirements and had the best accessories package.

          It’s literally the XM9 trials again.

          • palan

            I think theruggedness of the AR-15 design seems to be the main problem with it as a DMR platform, HK solved this by using a steel upper on the HK417 DMR G28. A steel upper is extremely unusual for the AR-15 platform is it not?

            Perhaps the training may be to blame for this deficiency. The DMRs may treat their weapons no differently than a grunts, when they should be treating them like a sniper treats their weapon, with extra tlc. I’m reminded of a picture where this us sof guy is using his M14 EBR as crutch of sorts. Ruining it’s accuracy no doubt.

          • Joshua

            The CSASS entrant created by H&K USA had to use a aluminum receiver in order to meet the weight requirements.

        • iksnilol

          All the western equivalents are so heavy in comparison.

      • MPWS

        I was thinking that EBR would come close…. although a bit on heavy side and I do not know it it has same effective range. As far as M110, perhaps yes. I thought original SR was good piece of kit.

  • Uniform223

    Que Russian Firearm fan boys spouting superiority because of torture tests…

  • lama

    they forgot the most important testing chamber, the idiot chamber.

  • Allah isnt la