In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Yevgeny Dragunov’s birthday, Kalashnikov Media published a series of videos and articles about this ingenious designer’s life and career. In this installment of The Rimfire Report, we’ll take a look at one of the lesser-known firearms designed by Yevgeny Dragunov – the TSV-1 (ТСВ-1) rimfire rifle.
The TSV-1 was designed in the late ’60s, after the adoption of SVD. It is a magazine-fed semi-auto rifle chambered in .22 LR. As you can see, externally, it looks really similar to the SVD and the reason is that this rifle was designed to be an initial training and weapons familiarization firearm for Soviet snipers. That’s why it is made to resemble and feel like an SVD as much as possible to allow not only learn the shooting fundamentals but also get familiar with the general shape and ergonomics of the rifle that the students would eventually be issued. In fact, TSV stands for Training Sniper Rifle (Тренировочная Снайперская Винтовка).
The TSV-1 rifle is fed from a single stack 10-round magazine similar to the one used in Margolin pistol. The magazine release lever is located behind the magazine well. The barrel length is 300 millimeters (about 12″) long, however, in order to make the gun look like an SVD, they installed an extension tube on the actual barrel.
The bolt and recoil spring of this rifle are captured inside the miniature upper receiver. When field stripping the rifle, these parts come out as an assembly which then can be further disassembled. Using a screwdriver, one can also detach the stock and the barrel as well as remove the trigger mechanism assembly. In the video published by Kalashnikov Media, Sergey Gorbunov, chief engineer at Kalashnikov Concern, shows the disassembly process of TSV-1 rifle.
A small batch of these rifles was built and offered to the Soviet military and a paramilitary sports organization called DOSAAF (ДОСААФ, Volunteer Society for Cooperation with the Army, Aviation, and Navy). Unfortunately, these rifles were rejected because presumably, the military didn’t see a need for large-scale sniper training and a dedicated rifle for that purpose. The snipers were simply selected from the regular active personnel who excelled in marksmanship.
Images by Kalashnikov Media