Opinion on SVT "Sniper" Reproduction Scope and Mount
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Thread: Opinion on SVT "Sniper" Reproduction Scope and Mount

  1. #1
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    Default Opinion on SVT "Sniper" Reproduction Scope and Mount

    The rifle itself, if legitimate, fills two slots for SVTs for me. It's a '41 Tula and a sniper with what appears to be a legitimate "notch". The scope, scope mount and cover are clearly marked as reproductions. What's a reasonable price? Something north of $1,500 wouldn't be too outrageous, but what about more than $2,000?

    Opinions gents, please.

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    I know of one with repro scope and mount. Price about $3000.

    Typically, a rifle with a verified real sniper notch will add quite a premium. I have seem most of them sale between $1200-2000 for the rifle alone. With the current economy, hard to say what the current market value is.

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    The repro scopes and mounts are currently available for $450 plus shipping.

    The rifle appears to be a Russian refurb in an AVT stock, plumb bolt and electropenciled numbers to match. Given the availability of the scope and mount sets, it looks like it will take $1,750 or more just to get the rifle.

    Since most of the SVTs that change hands on Gunbroker are $750 to $1,000, that's greater than 100% premium for the sniper.

    Any further thoughts?

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    Most of the SVT "snipers" I see at auction have a questionable notch, so are not worth a big premium to me or most serious collectors unless documented authentic by VIc or similar suitable authority. A number of real snipers are available in Canada but not many here.
    That said, the notches, real, fake or questionable, sure seem to add value at auction with about any sort of scope and mount, hence the "no notch pictures" policy on this board.
    New non-factory sniper notches could theoretically have been added by Red Army field armouries, Leningrad Tula armourers during the long siege or most likely about anybody with a Dremel and some cold blue in the last twenty years or so, so they are not all "fakes," but it's tough to figure a value.
    I have a decent Numrich replica SVT mount which cost about $150 (these can be polished and reblued to look more authentic) and several real Progress SVT scopes matching my SVT date I've hunted down in the $250 range. Accumounts sells a replica combo for about $500, so that is an idea of what a replica mount and scope costs, and, as said above, Sarco has replica mounts, too.
    Good SVTs sell for $800-1000 but when fitted with a replica scope and mount and a questionable notch they sometimes sell for a lot more than the "sum of the parts," perhaps wrongly. A real SVT sniper with authentic matching numbered mount and scope is probably worth well north of $3000. It's just awful tough to tell fakes in auction pictures and descriptions -we have found a few on the board here. Caution and "Caveat Emptor..."

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    I think Stalin's Ghost hits on exactly what I was thinking. Have you had an expert verify that? Or, are you experienced enough with them to determine that it's legitimate? I'm not an expert on SVT snipers, by any means, so I'm very cautious about them. I do know that on this particular rifle I would be getting an opinion from Vic and/or one or two other people, as it looks suspicious to me.

    John

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    I look for SVT snipers at all times. I have 3, had another. I can assure you, real rifles with real notches are not an easy find. They do bring a premium and the chances of finding one that somebody has no clue that it is special is slim to none.

    That said, real SVT mounts, if what Molosky's says is correct, are more rare than a totally original matching untouched Sauer HT. If somebody can show me an original mount on a rifle, I would pay way north of $3000 for the whole. If the mount matched the rifle and was the real deal, I bet twice that would hardly touch it. I have never even heard of one, much less seen one.

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    If memory serves, about 57,000 "real" snipers were produced. Do the math, about one in twenty guns will have an original notch...not all that rare, really. Unrefurbed, with a notch...that's another story. And with matching mount? Unheard of. In my experience, original mounts are much more rare than authentically notched guns, so even if you find one with a real notch, good luck finding a mount. What made a gun a "sniper" in the first place is probably long lost, as these have all been through the refurb process, where parts were force-matched willy-nilly. Of the 3 factors that made for exceptional accuracy in an SVT, barrel condition could have deteriorated over time, or the gun could even have been re-barrelled upon rework...the action is almost certainly not in its original stock, and bedding seems to be the most significant factor where accuracy is concerned. Lastly, having original matching bolt, gas system, and trigger parts, also got thrown out the window during refurb. I have a "real" sniper, I also have an original mount and scope...I was patient in finding these, and did not pay a premium. As a collector, they are nice to have, but as a shooter, the "real" sniper can't touch my 1940 Izhevsk with its repro mount, or my 1941 Tula with possibly "field expedient" notch of unknown origin, which came with an original scope and mount. Because the notch was apparently cut to match the particular mount, the fit is precise, and the rig is a real screamer when it comes to accuracy, and consistency. The "real" notches, on the other hand, are way oversized for the locking key in the mount, and it is not uncommon to see evidence of hammering at the aft edge of the notch. Tightening of the set screw in the mount is not possible with the scope attached, making removal and rezeroing a nuisance, and also risking marking up the back of the receiver. For these reasons, I shoot my "real" sniper without a scope...and this way, I can show off its real notch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drazil View Post
    If memory serves, about 57,000 "real" snipers were produced. Do the math, about one in twenty guns will have an original notch...not all that rare, really. Unrefurbed, with a notch...that's another story. And with matching mount? Unheard of. In my experience, original mounts are much more rare than authentically notched guns, so even if you find one with a real notch, good luck finding a mount. What made a gun a "sniper" in the first place is probably long lost, as these have all been through the refurb process, where parts were force-matched willy-nilly. Of the 3 factors that made for exceptional accuracy in an SVT, barrel condition could have deteriorated over time, or the gun could even have been re-barrelled upon rework...the action is almost certainly not in its original stock, and bedding seems to be the most significant factor where accuracy is concerned. Lastly, having original matching bolt, gas system, and trigger parts, also got thrown out the window during refurb. I have a "real" sniper, I also have an original mount and scope...I was patient in finding these, and did not pay a premium. As a collector, they are nice to have, but as a shooter, the "real" sniper can't touch my 1940 Izhevsk with its repro mount, or my 1941 Tula with possibly "field expedient" notch of unknown origin, which came with an original scope and mount. Because the notch was apparently cut to match the particular mount, the fit is precise, and the rig is a real screamer when it comes to accuracy, and consistency. The "real" notches, on the other hand, are way oversized for the locking key in the mount, and it is not uncommon to see evidence of hammering at the aft edge of the notch. Tightening of the set screw in the mount is not possible with the scope attached, making removal and rezeroing a nuisance, and also risking marking up the back of the receiver. For these reasons, I shoot my "real" sniper without a scope...and this way, I can show off its real notch.
    Can we see some good pictures of the real mount please. The Finnbear mounts have been called into question. The only original mount pictures we have seen posted here were posted from Russia.

    I see numbers of about 55,000 original notched snipers, with the highest number I can find is 55,910. I can not find any numbers consistent on known total SVT40 production, but the lowest number I can find is 1.6 million(I think Wikipedia gave 5.7 million, which really seeems odd). That would be about 1 in 30 vs 1 in 20. Also, looks like only somewhere near 40,000 SVT's imported to US total per Vic's estimate and 37,682 was the number a poster says to have gotten from BATFE. That can give an estimate of aboout 1360 SVT original notched sniper receivers in the US based on those numbers.

    I too would assume that the originals were tested and approved as snipers before they were notched and scoped. As a result, the refurbed rifles we may get lucky to find will not likely have near factory sniper accuracy. The four I have fired sure did not seem to have stellar accuracy, even if the bore looked new. Of course, as mentioned, finding an original and matching would be like winning the lottery statistically speaking. As a result, a original notched refurb is about as good as it will get for the vast majority of us.

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    The 1.6 million production figure includes the approximately 150,000 SVT-38s, so we're down to roughly 1.45 million SVT-40s. Of these 1.45 million, most of rifles from 1942 onward don't even have rails, so I don't include them in the possible sniper pool, so, along with the un-railed 1941s, now we're down to maybe 1.15 million. Using the 55,000 sniper number, that's about 1 in 20.91 with factory notches.

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    1 in 20.9?
    That assumes that real sniper rifles survived the war at the same ratio that they were manufactured.
    Since I assume that all trained snipers with new SVTs went to the front, the number of real sniper SVTs that made it through the whole war may be proportionately less than regular SVTs, as regular SVTS didn't always go straight to the worst combat as snipers probably did and may not have stayed continuously in combat, as snipers did. Trained snipers fought until they were badly wounded or killed, all the way to Berlin, and, sadly, most died. The death rate among the woman snipers is horrifying and men did little better.
    Just a cheap guess that more sniper rifles than non-snipers proportionately were destroyed or captured, as the survival rate of the snipers themselves at the front was pretty low and they probably damaged or lost a lot of rifles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drazil View Post
    The 1.6 million production figure includes the approximately 150,000 SVT-38s, so we're down to roughly 1.45 million SVT-40s. Of these 1.45 million, most of rifles from 1942 onward don't even have rails, so I don't include them in the possible sniper pool, so, along with the un-railed 1941s, now we're down to maybe 1.15 million. Using the 55,000 sniper number, that's about 1 in 20.91 with factory notches.

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    I wasn't considering survival rate, just raw numbers. With actual numbers of SVTs in America at perhaps 40,000 out of 1.4+ million, the proportional representation of the various variants could be skewed quite radically. With all the secrecy we'll probably never know.

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    Yes, what they shipped over to us and to Canada could be in all sorts of mixes. The importers probably never kept track in any way 9r cared. About 15 years ago i saw a good SVT-38 (not 40!) sniper notched at a gun store for $185, thought "what a weird gun" and bought another Remington. Live and learn...
    Quote Originally Posted by Drazil View Post
    I wasn't considering survival rate, just raw numbers. With actual numbers of SVTs in America at perhaps 40,000 out of 1.4+ million, the proportional representation of the various variants could be skewed quite radically. With all the secrecy we'll probably never know.

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    Survival rates for snipers Vs infantrymen might not correlate very strongly to survival of the weapons themselves. So many factors involved that overall the rate of survival for the rifles may be roughly equivalent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drazil View Post
    The 1.6 million production figure includes the approximately 150,000 SVT-38s, so we're down to roughly 1.45 million SVT-40s. Of these 1.45 million, most of rifles from 1942 onward don't even have rails, so I don't include them in the possible sniper pool, so, along with the un-railed 1941s, now we're down to maybe 1.15 million. Using the 55,000 sniper number, that's about 1 in 20.91 with factory notches.
    The rifles without rails were part of the 40,000 or so imported, and part of the total production from which the imports were selected, so just dropping them cause you want to makes for fairly meaningless statistics.

    I have looked at hundreds of SVT's at gun shows and have came across one legit notched sniper, and the seller knew what it was. The percentage in the real world seems even lower than one in thirty.

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    So you're saying there are notched rifles without rails?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drazil View Post
    So you're saying there are notched rifles without rails?
    The percentage of rifles with an original sniper receiver is equal to 55,000 divided by the total production. That is the number that will be the best questimate of the number of rifles with original sniper receivers that were imported in the approx 40,000 that came into the US since rifles with and without rails were imported at random.

    Your number relates to how many rifles with rails also have an original factory sniper notch. It is not the percentage of total SVT production that became a sniper.

    We would still love to see your real mount. Like you said, they are much more rare than the rifles. The number of original SVT mounts in the US must be extremely low.

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    Seeing as the original mounts are even more rare than the notched guns, the last thing I want to do is post photos of an original mount, lest some forger attempts to copy. I think I'll stick with the board policy regarding the notch...if someone has a mount they think may be authentic, they can E-Mail some PICs and I will happily give an opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drazil View Post
    Seeing as the original mounts are even more rare than the notched guns, the last thing I want to do is post photos of an original mount, lest some forger attempts to copy. I think I'll stick with the board policy regarding the notch...if someone has a mount they think may be authentic, they can E-Mail some PICs and I will happily give an opinion.
    There are quite a few pictures of the mounts posted from Russia in the tread on this forum a while back. The markings varied quite a bit. There were many other details posted. If there was a cat in the bag on the mounts, it is already pretty much out now. Making a fake notch is not too hard. Making a fake mount is a totally different animal. It is possible, but would be very costly and time consuming. It would be easier and less expensive to go to Russia or Finland and find one. Hopefully you do not have a Finnbear mount, since these mounts that we all thought were original, are now in question. There is no gunboards policy regarding posting pictures of the mounts, but your motivation and concerns are noble and thanks for offering future opinions.
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    Here's link to what is said to be an original mount and scope. I have several original scopes but have never seen an original mount.
    http://claus.espeholt.dk/svt40.html

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    I'd put production at about 1-38 as snipers. What's here would be as debated to be much higher a ratio. I'd say several hundred guns at best. There are 3 versions of the notch used in 1940,1941 and late 41 with the final and most prevalent notch shape and size. If I saw a gun notched that had hammering done on the area I certainly would not be a buyer. There are some things to look for that will give you an edge but there is no set concrete thing with the skill of somebody who wants to deceive to make it 100%. W\There is no board rule here to not post the pictures of them but more like a gentelmans agreement. The last time we had this discussion many years back it only took a matter of weeks before Gunbroker was swimming in "original SVT snipers" for sale full of cold blue and rat tail markings. Thge same happened at SOG when the got wise to what some of the guns they had were and they jumped from 399 to 799 overnight including the ones they "helped" along.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalin's Ghost View Post
    Here's link to what is said to be an original mount and scope. I have several original scopes but have never seen an original mount.
    http://claus.espeholt.dk/svt40.html
    If you want a can post pics of original mounts.

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    Vic, Thanks for weighing in. From my experience even the one in 30 I had guestimated was too high. Your numbers makes more sense, and a few hundred at most also seems right. Thanks for the additional information, as well, which I had in my memory but I had better write it down.

    Part of the original question was, I think, how much of a premium for a refurb with an original sniper receiver. In my experience it typically is about 100% on average with $1200 being minimum and $2500 plus being max. The individual who wants one, and the seller of a given rifle, will ultimately decide.

    Thanks for the link SG. I have seen that one before. A little detail on that one but not much. That link discusses the markings but these Finnbear mounts I pictured have plenty of markings, which the link stresses, and are of much better quality than the usual repros.

    Molosky. Please post any and all you have. I know we have the old thread, but it is hard to find. One thing any fakers of the mounts will not get right is the quality of the mount and the quality of the metal. The markings they can replicate, but so many other details will be extremely hard to get right. Definitely original examples in the US are few and far between. I have yet to get one in hand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike radford View Post
    Molosky. Please post any and all you have.
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    pics:
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    Looking at the PICs posted so far, well, things just seem to be getting murkier. The mount from Claus' site does not look like mine, but I believe that mount has been altered. The aft, lower 1/8" x 3/8" on the Clause mount looks to have been chopped off. Mine does look more like the Finn Bear mounts, especially as far as markings go, so that may be what I have, though there are 2 distinct differences which I will attempt to photograph. My mount is rougher and blue-er. Molosky's mount is more polished and black.

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    Thanks Molosky. Great pictures. The angle of one cut for the retainer pin in picture one is really interesting. There must be some variations as this one is unique. The ends of the forks in a couple pictures are a little different than I remembered. Very interesting.

    Drazil, I do not know of a mount in the US that does not look like my Finnbear mounts. That is what I am trying to flush out. As far as I know all the Finnbear mounts are exactly the same on the underside with regards to markings, see my three.

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    Here is a PIC of the only notable differences I can see between my mount and the 3 posted Finnbears. In the curved section, just aft of where the rails end, there are crude vertical broach marks which are not evident on any of the other mounts illustrated. Also, the aft wall of my mount is flat where the notch is cut for the takedown latch...on the other illustrated mounts, there is a distinct "L" shape. Otherwise, my mount is very similar to these Finnbear mounts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drazil View Post
    Here is a PIC of the only notable differences I can see between my mount and the 3 posted Finnbears. In the curved section, just aft of where the rails end, there are crude vertical broach marks which are not evident on any of the other mounts illustrated. Also, the aft wall of my mount is flat where the notch is cut for the takedown latch...on the other illustrated mounts, there is a distinct "L" shape. Otherwise, my mount is very similar to these Finnbear mounts.
    It looks like the number nearest the rear is a 10. That seems to be a common characteristic of the Finnbear mounts. I do not see that in any of Molosky's pictures now, or before. I hope yours is original but at this point I am concerned for all of us. A bunch of us have these mounts and they are much more authentic looking, and of better qualilty, than the common reproductions.

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    wink2 SVTs snipers V 91/30s

    There was a recruiting poster in Russia of Lydia, can't remember last name, the top female sniper holding the new SVT sniper rifle. After the picture was taken she put it down and went back to work with her 91/30.
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    Great pictures Molosky. Thank you very much. I do recall noting that there were at least 2 ways to number the back of the mount. One with very block and large letters and one with prefix included and smaller numbers. The proof on the right rear of the mount does not appear universal either, or am I missing it on a couple of the mounts? It also appears that the end of the forks taper down in height toward the muzzle more than on any of the repros. Good stuff.

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    Thanks very much for the pictures, Molosky.
    Now all I need is a few friends in Finland and Russia to start looking...all I have is the el-cheapo replica mount, but I have some good original scopes.
    The markings on your mounts are interesting-I have to blow up the pictures to see them all.
    Zaitsev actually used an SVT on at least one occasion and commented on its firepower, but went back to his PU Mosin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vic View Post
    I'd put production at about 1-38 as snipers. What's here would be as debated to be much higher a ratio. I'd say several hundred guns at best. There are 3 versions of the notch used in 1940,1941 and late 41 with the final and most prevalent notch shape and size. If I saw a gun notched that had hammering done on the area I certainly would not be a buyer. There are some things to look for that will give you an edge but there is no set concrete thing with the skill of somebody who wants to deceive to make it 100%. W\There is no board rule here to not post the pictures of them but more like a gentelmans agreement. The last time we had this discussion many years back it only took a matter of weeks before Gunbroker was swimming in "original SVT snipers" for sale full of cold blue and rat tail markings. Thge same happened at SOG when the got wise to what some of the guns they had were and they jumped from 399 to 799 overnight including the ones they "helped" along.
    No svt snipers made in 42?

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    I have an SVT40 and love to shoot it. It came with what I believe is a sniper scope mount. My SVT has the grooves in the receiver but I don't use a scope. If it is further than I can hit with Iron's, I'm using another gun. So with that said, I've got this mount. There is no serial number on it so I assume it to be a reproduction. Has a matte finish. Has the wedge pin, both scope tube clamping screws and the rear screw that goes to receiver top.

    I have no idea what it is worth but I'm tired of seeing it stare at me from the kitchen table. I suspect someone doing vintage sniper competition would love to have this. Just the mount, no scope. What is it worth. Make me a reasonable offer for it and I'll send it your way. Pictures on request. e-mail motorcycle_dan(at)yahoo(dot)com

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