A Rare Look at the Soviet AVS-36 Automatic Rifle

    Before the famous Tokarev SVT-38 and -40 rifles of World War II, a Soviet engineer who would later become famous in the West for another of his designs developed a light weight select-fire infantry weapon in the standard full-power 7.62x54R caliber. That engineer was Simonov, and his AVS-36 was set in the mid-1930s to become the foundation of the future Soviet infantry rifle squad, supplanting the aging repeating bolt action Mosin M1891 rifle. A member over at Guns.ru posted pictures of his demilled AVS-36 to the forum, a few of which are presented below:

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    Like many rifles in its class (e.g., the US T20E2), the AVS-36 featured a large single-baffle muzzle brake to help control recoil in fully automatic fire. It turned out that the AVS-36 was too fragile for normal combat use, and instead of ordering the design to be perfected, the Red Army adopted the second place design, Tokarev’s AVT. The automatic variant, however, was put on the back-burner, while the semiautomatic SVT-38 was readied for production. Eventually, the improved SVT-40, however, would be withdrawn from production.

    Eventually, the concept of a full-power select-fire rifle faded from prominence. The degree of optimism that led to this concept being tried in both the United States and the USSR proved to be too much, and gradually the intermediate cartridge concept took prominence.

    H/T, Hognose at weaponsman.com.

    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. He can be reached via email at [email protected]


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