SVT-40 vs Mosin
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Thread: SVT-40 vs Mosin

  1. #1
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    Default SVT-40 vs Mosin

    Every once in a while I go to I remember.ru which is an amazing site if you are interested in history and WWII. The site is in Russian. There are hundreds of interviews with veterans where they describe their early life and their wartime experience.

    In every interview there is a question concerning small arms that these people used during the war. What I found amazing is thatvast majority of veterans disliked the SVT. In many cases they used the first opportunity to exchange it for a Mosin. The SVT is described as being unreliable and dirt-sensitive. Some exchanged them even before trying them in combat.

    At the same time, SVT was highly regarded by the Germans and the Finns, who found it reliable, accurate and fast.

    So what was the problem? Bad training? Reputation? I don't get it.Why would anyone rather fight with a bolt-action holding 5 rounds than with a semi-auto holding 10? Hell, even if the rifle did not reload one could treat it as a straight pull bolt action and still would have been faster with it than with a Mosin.

    Opinions?

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    SVT was not a soldier friendly weapon. Also like you said lack of training/maintenance had a lot to do with the dislike of the weapon.If ask me, I would rather be armed with a svt than 9130
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    The english version. http://english.iremember.ru/

    I would say technical savy of the end user. The Finns fixed a lot of the small problems with the reliable 91/30. With a semi-automatic those small problems affect the performance more. Filing and sanding a moving part here and there may totally change and unreliable system to a reliable one. The soviets could replace the soldier easier than the Finns.

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    Most armies (other than the U.S) main battle rifle was a bolt action.

    Even the U.S marines were using 1903's for some time.

    Bolt actions are, simple, reliable to a fault, and practically indestructible.


    Given the time period, I don't think the average soldier would have felt under armed with a bolt action rifle


    Whereas, semi-autos were, at best, finicky, difficult to maintain, etc. Therefore the opting for a bolt action piece.


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    Quote Originally Posted by wbrown View Post
    Most armies (other than the U.S) main battle rifle was a bolt action.

    Even the U.S marines were using 1903's for some time.

    Bolt actions are, simple, reliable to a fault, and practically indestructible.


    Given the time period, I don't think the average soldier would have felt under armed with a bolt action rifle


    Whereas, semi-autos were, at best, finicky, difficult to maintain, etc. Therefore the opting for a bolt action piece.


    Wendell
    +1,

    There are many reason most countries still produced bolts even though the technology and design was there for semiautos. WW2 for example when semi-auto was introduced it was being used and issued as secondary/aux weapon; the united States being the exception of course. Just because most problems of a bolt action could be solved by the average solider. The avg semi-auto rifle with its corrosive gas system and complicated design (US being the exception) was a whole different animal. The mentality - stick to what works.

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    Soviet brass has very little regard for individual infantrymen, as such they weren't properly trained in neither tactics or equipment operation/maintenance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spaxspore View Post
    +1,

    There are many reason most countries still produced bolts even though the technology and design was there for semiautos. WW2 for example when semi-auto was introduced it was being used and issued as secondary/aux weapon; the united States being the exception of course. Just because most problems of a bolt action could be solved by the average solider. The avg semi-auto rifle with its corrosive gas system and complicated design (US being the exception) was a whole different animal. The mentality - stick to what works.

    Spaxs hit the nail on the head here...
    My wife and daughter love their semi-autos, only because they don't have to clean and maintane them.
    I hate semi-autos.
    When it's -2 degrees F, and the dogs are going nuts about something out there, wolf, coyote, cougar, bobcat, lynx, skunk (pick one) I'm going out there with something I know is going to work no matter what.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Montana Bearbait View Post
    Spaxs hit the nail on the head here...
    My wife and daughter love their semi-autos, only because they don't have to clean and maintane them.
    I hate semi-autos.
    When it's -2 degrees F, and the dogs are going nuts about something out there, wolf, coyote, cougar, bobcat, lynx, skunk (pick one) I'm going out there with something I know is going to work no matter what.
    Good to see you back Montana! Its been to long. Good to see you posting once more. Cheers

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    The production angle must be considered.

    Regardless of function issues and soldier preference, the Soviets lost vast amounts of equipment in the early stages. They needed to replace an enormous amount of small arms, and fast. The SVT was much more complicated and time consuming and expensive to produce than a Mosin. For self loading they went with the cheap, easy to make ppsh.

    Simple as that, it really didn't matter what they liked or disliked

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    I understand the production difficulties. But I was talking about soldiers' preference. I guess training had a lot to do with it. Professional soldiers were mostly lost in the first stages of the invasion. They were largely armed with SVTs and trained in proper operation of that rifle. I read an interview with a border guard and his squad was armed with SVTs and DPs. They put up hell of a fight but were eventually flanked and had to withdraw. People like that rarely complain about reliability of their semi-auto rifles. Later conscripts did not have time nor proper instruction to operate SVTs and were just issued them and thrown into battle. Thus they had problems with the rifles and this created a stigma that SVTs were unreliable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by batjka View Post
    Every once in a while I go to I remember.ru which is an amazing site if you are interested in history and WWII. The site is in Russian. There are hundreds of interviews with veterans where they describe their early life and their wartime experience.

    In every interview there is a question concerning small arms that these people used during the war. What I found amazing is thatvast majority of veterans disliked the SVT. In many cases they used the first opportunity to exchange it for a Mosin. The SVT is described as being unreliable and dirt-sensitive. Some exchanged them even before trying them in combat.

    At the same time, SVT was highly regarded by the Germans and the Finns, who found it reliable, accurate and fast.

    So what was the problem? Bad training? Reputation? I don't get it.Why would anyone rather fight with a bolt-action holding 5 rounds than with a semi-auto holding 10? Hell, even if the rifle did not reload one could treat it as a straight pull bolt action and still would have been faster with it than with a Mosin.

    Opinions?
    Soviets did not train their beloved soldiers in most cases (after war started), in some cases there were grabbing just "liberated" men and throwing them into battles with no uniform and almost without arms and were not enlisting them to lower battle casualties (dead unaccounted civilian is not a battle loss). That was the only reason. As you mention and I could elaborate - trained soldiers highly regarded SVT, that's true for German, Finnish armies and national insurgents in Baltic states and Ukraine.

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    Please do elaborate. I am interested in more info.

    A relative of mine has an SVT-38 with all accessories and someday it will probably be mine. So I would like to find out as much as possible.

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    Elaborate on what exactly? How to handle SVT-40 properly? The best thing is to read original manual, but I don't know if translations exist.

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    Funny how opinions change thread to thread. In this one people, I think correctly, explain how the 91/30 was preferred because the SVT was complicated, unreliable, difficult to maintain and expensive to produce.
    In the SVT versus Garand thread, people were trying to say the SVT was a superior weapon to the Garand. Following that logic, they would now have to argue that the 91/30 was a superior Main Battle Rifle to the Garand.

    Most of the primary participants in the slaughter we call WWll excelled at some particular piece of armament:
    The Germans had the best squad automatic weapon, the MG-42
    The Russians the best all around battle tank, the T-34
    The Americans the best battle rifle, the Garand, and the best strategic bomber, the B-17 and long range fighter the P-51.

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    Elaborate on use of SVTs by German and Finnish armies where they highly praised them.

    As far as the manuals, I have no issues in reading the originals.

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    The preference of the bolt action versus the semi-auto could also be a matter of how comfortable the soldiers felt with new technology . . . as when they were civilians, what was their "standards-of-living"?. A considerable amount of them, prior to taking up arms, lived in places that did not even have indoor plumbing or electricity. Whereas we live with advanced technology that was unimaginable 70 years ago.

    Think back to our ancestors (in modern societies), such as grandparents, that were comfortable using a typewriter, but were afraid of using a personal computer for word-processing. The typewriter and PC have the commonality of the QWERTY keyboard, and that's where it ended. Whereas today's grandkids can handle word-processing chores as easy as making a phone call.

    So I can imagine that a semi-auto rifle in Russia 70 years ago would be looked upon as advanced technology that not everyone would be comfortable with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by batjka View Post
    Elaborate on use of SVTs by German and Finnish armies where they highly praised them.

    As far as the manuals, I have no issues in reading the originals.
    Oh, well. It just known fact from memoirs, from lot pictures of German and Finnish soldiers carrying it in battles (not just posing). Unfortunately I can't elaborate further.
    Finnish soldiers:
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    German soldiers:
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    Germans had skilled field armorers with every regiment who could help with keeping the SVTs going. Also, Germans early on had the leisure of a bit more free time to keep things clean, being the attackers rather than the attackees.

    I think the average German soldier had more fondness and skill at small mechanical items and precision maintenance than the average Soviet, but that it just based on my perhaps prejudicial view that Germans really like precision mechanical stuff. (Mercedes, BMWs, Lugers and Mausers come quickly to mind, but German clockmakers also were pretty sharp.)

    Not only were Mosins a whole lot easier to keep clean and reliable (one jam might mean your life), they were more accurate and easy to fix even in horrible conditions. An experienced Russian trooper with a stripper clip could load a Mosin very quickly, while a mud-filled SVT mag was hopeless. I think that mostly the Russians used stripper clips in SVTs, so they were loaded at the same speed as a Mosin.

    It's just that if you left an SVT dirty for a few days in the snow, darkness, cold and muck, it didn't work anymore, while a Mosin shook it off like a muddy old dog and went on shooting straight and reliably. Grab a few parts off a damaged one in a ditch and you practically had a new rifle.

    That's why my SVT doesn't get shot much and my Mosins do - the cleaning is a pain, even in perfect conditions.

    Quote Originally Posted by batjka View Post
    Every once in a while I go to I remember.ru which is an amazing site if you are interested in history and WWII. The site is in Russian. There are hundreds of interviews with veterans where they describe their early life and their wartime experience.

    In every interview there is a question concerning small arms that these people used during the war. What I found amazing is thatvast majority of veterans disliked the SVT. In many cases they used the first opportunity to exchange it for a Mosin. The SVT is described as being unreliable and dirt-sensitive. Some exchanged them even before trying them in combat.

    At the same time, SVT was highly regarded by the Germans and the Finns, who found it reliable, accurate and fast.

    So what was the problem? Bad training? Reputation? I don't get it.Why would anyone rather fight with a bolt-action holding 5 rounds than with a semi-auto holding 10? Hell, even if the rifle did not reload one could treat it as a straight pull bolt action and still would have been faster with it than with a Mosin.

    Opinions?

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    "lived in places that did not even have indoor plumbing or electricity."

    That was also true of most of rural America in 1936 when the Garand was adopted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Horilka View Post
    Oh, well. It just known fact from memoirs, from lot pictures of German and Finnish soldiers carrying it in battles (not just posing). Unfortunately I can't elaborate further.
    Finnish soldiers:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	tumblr_myodexOiGm1rc7erjo1_500.jpg 
Views:	87 
Size:	66.3 KB 
ID:	736884

    German soldiers:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IngOZWz.jpg 
Views:	74 
Size:	80.6 KB 
ID:	736885
    I would have to disagree that one picture of each country represents "lot pictures" (sic) The photo of the lone German with the SVT is the same one that is posted over and over, hardly seems overwhelming evidence that the SVT was "highly praised" by the Germans. I would think more likely it was just that the Germans early in the war had no semi-auto rifle available to them, so they made limited use of the SVT despite its poor reliability just because it was all that was available.

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    Running perfectly with a skilled operator in clean, dry and reasonable conditions on a bright sunny day in Arizona, an SVT is probably a better rifle than a Garand.
    Running in the slime and mud and snow of a Stalingrad or Moscow winter ditch at -20 degrees F in Eastern Front winter darkness, where you've been pinned down in frozen sludge for three days without sleep or a chance to even get hot food, a Mosin is a better weapon than an SVT or a Garand.
    It's all relative.

    Quote Originally Posted by runner View Post
    Funny how opinions change thread to thread. In this one people, I think correctly, explain how the 91/30 was preferred because the SVT was complicated, unreliable, difficult to maintain and expensive to produce.
    In the SVT versus Garand thread, people were trying to say the SVT was a superior weapon to the Garand. Following that logic, they would now have to argue that the 91/30 was a superior Main Battle Rifle to the Garand.

    Most of the primary participants in the slaughter we call WWll excelled at some particular piece of armament:
    The Germans had the best squad automatic weapon, the MG-42
    The Russians the best all around battle tank, the T-34
    The Americans the best battle rifle, the Garand, and the best strategic bomber, the B-17 and long range fighter the P-51.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalin's Ghost View Post
    Germans had skilled field armorers with every regiment who could help with keeping the SVTs going. Also, Germans early on had the leisure of a bit more free time to keep things clean, being the attackers rather than the attackees.

    I think the average German soldier had more fondness and skill at small mechanical items and precision maintenance than the average Soviet, but that it just based on my perhaps prejudicial view that Germans really like precision mechanical stuff. (Mercedes, BMWs, Lugers and Mausers come quickly to mind, but German clockmakers also were pretty sharp.)

    Not only were Mosins a whole lot easier to keep clean and reliable (one jam might mean your life), they were more accurate and easy to fix even in horrible conditions. An experienced Russian trooper with a stripper clip could load a Mosin very quickly, while a mud-filled SVT mag was hopeless. I think that mostly the Russians used stripper clips in SVTs, so they were loaded at the same speed as a Mosin.

    It's just that if you left an SVT dirty for a few days in the snow, darkness, cold and muck, it didn't work anymore, while a Mosin shook it off like a muddy old dog and went on shooting straight and reliably. Grab a few parts off a damaged one in a ditch and you practically had a new rifle.

    That's why my SVT doesn't get shot much and my Mosins do - the cleaning is a pain, even in perfect conditions.
    absolutely Same is true with mp40. Not as bad as svt but don't like mud or dirt.
    Last edited by armenjs; 01-08-2014 at 07:33 PM.
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    I will toss this out as well: Soviet battle preference had their soldiers forcing close combat with the enemy. When going man-to-man in a close-quarter trench-fight, the German advantage in artillery, machine guns, and superior training dissolved. The SVT-40 is far too delicate to use as a pike or a club in a trench battle, and too difficult to maintain afterwords. The Mosin-Nagant is a fine weapon for head-smashing and bayonet poking.

    The Germans and Finns preferred to fight a different kind of battle of finesse and maneuver where they were better served by a semi-auto rifle, fired from a distance, at massed and charging, infantry. The Germans, in particular, tried to avoid a trench fight or night infantry battles, two things the Soviets were damn good at.

    It kind of irks me to hear people talking about the Soviets as being some sort of ignorant cavemen. The Soviet soldiers, while somewhat less literate than the Americans, the difference in education levels was not as drastic as you might think. They were as capable of operating a semi-automatic weapon as they were at building and fighting the best tanks of the war. There was a time, early in the war, where the Soviets were throwing any warm body in front of the advancing German Army, but you have to remember, that by the end of the war, the Germans were doing the same thing with old men and 13 year old boys..... When, the enemy is in your backyard, you do what you have to do. In the end, it all worked out for the Soviets, not the German Supermen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spaxspore View Post
    Good to see you back Montana! Its been to long. Good to see you posting once more. Cheers
    Thanks Spaxs...
    Hey do you have any of those copywrited, outstanding woodplie background photos that would apply to this thread?
    If so I'd sure like to see them!

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    sadly i do not own a SVT 40

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    The Germans could also use SVT's on an opportunistic basis, for as long as they worked or otherwise convenient, and them abandon them when no longer useful.

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    I think some of the SVT reliability complaints stem from dirty magazines. Gunk inside the mag causes a lot of failure to feed

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    The Germans liked the SVT40 enough that they were turning up in North Africa along with German language manuals.

    I personally do not think that they are in the same class as the Garand.
    Last edited by srinde; 01-08-2014 at 08:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spaxspore View Post
    sadly i do not own a SVT 40
    No worries SUN will shine in a few weeks. I got my first one from our friend in GB, and the other one took a lots of convincing!
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    Our US forces have done that with Kalashnikov's fine and reliable products for a long time, as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jungles View Post
    The Germans could also use SVT's on an opportunistic basis, for as long as they worked or otherwise convenient, and them abandon them when no longer useful.

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    +1.

    The Russian and Ukrainian literacy rate in 1941 was equal to our own. Now it is a whole lot higher, with app. 98% literacy for both Ukraine and Russia and much, much higher test scores in math, science and physics at the high school level. In addition, the Russian love of literature and poetry far surpasses our own among students, who read most English and American literary classics in translation and are more familiar with our writers than many US students are. Back in Stalin's day, ordinary Russian students read Jack London, Shakespeare and Conan Doyle in translation along with most of the Russian classics like Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.

    Try "War and Peace" on a typical US student these days! (No, that doesn't mean the Soviet system was great and Stalin was a wonderful guy, just that Russians got a good education and were not just ignorant fools incapable of reading a rifle manual or following simple instructions as some have tried to claim with their "peasant army" nonsense.)

    My daughter just spent a semester as a student at Moscow University, where most American freshman couldn't even begin to do the work even if it was in English. My wife, a product of Soviet education, just got straight "A"s in 16 individual college classes in the US, even though English is her second language.

    (Soviet infantry squad tactics by the middle of the war were pretty well standardized and very successful - lay down a heavy field of fire with PPSH-41s and Mosins to keep the enemy's head down, then advance a light field gun or armor to destroy his position. It was similar to our "hedgerow" tactics in France, but had the advantage of hundreds of very quick and light fieldpieces advancing rapidly with the troops, often pulled by hand if there wasn't room for the famous Studebakers that we gave the Soviets. These light artillerymen were the guys with the M38s strapped neatly across their backs that you see wheeling their guns through the streets of Berlin under fire.)

    While US propaganda once liked to portray Soviet soldiers as illiterate plowboys, the Soviet Union was a vast expanse of very different republics ranging from wild mountain ranges to factories in big cities to vast agricultural districts. Sounds similar to the US, and was, with some very different ethnic groups in the mix as well, all perfectly capable of learning to use a rifle successfully, as they proved.
    Quote Originally Posted by SA1911a1 View Post
    I will toss this out as well: Soviet battle preference had their soldiers forcing close combat with the enemy. When going man-to-man in a close-quarter trench-fight, the German advantage in artillery, machine guns, and superior training dissolved. The SVT-40 is far too delicate to use as a pike or a club in a trench battle, and too difficult to maintain afterwords. The Mosin-Nagant is a fine weapon for head-smashing and bayonet poking.

    The Germans and Finns preferred to fight a different kind of battle of finesse and maneuver where they were better served by a semi-auto rifle, fired from a distance, at massed and charging, infantry. The Germans, in particular, tried to avoid a trench fight or night infantry battles, two things the Soviets were damn good at.

    It kind of irks me to hear people talking about the Soviets as being some sort of ignorant cavemen. The Soviet soldiers, while somewhat less literate than the Americans, the difference in education levels was not as drastic as you might think. They were as capable of operating a semi-automatic weapon as they were at building and fighting the best tanks of the war. There was a time, early in the war, where the Soviets were throwing any warm body in front of the advancing German Army, but you have to remember, that by the end of the war, the Germans were doing the same thing with old men and 13 year old boys..... When, the enemy is in your backyard, you do what you have to do. In the end, it all worked out for the Soviets, not the German Supermen.
    Last edited by Stalin's Ghost; 01-08-2014 at 08:25 PM.

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    The SVT was accepted into German service along with the earlier 38 and sniper variants. Yes it was because they had no self loading rifle available at the time of the invasion but they liked it well enough for it to be used by them throughout the war.

    Finnish soldiers prized the rifles for its firepower and the depots went as far as making spare parts and mods to improve the reliability.

    My call on why the rifle was not liked by the Soviet soldiers- training and familiarity with the rifle that was more then 3 days and off you went.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalin's Ghost View Post
    +1.
    Russian and Ukrainian literacy in 1941 was equal to our own. Now it is a whole lot higher, with app. 98% literacy for both Ukraine and Russia and much, much higher test scores in math, science and physics at the high school level.
    My daughter just spent a semester as a student at Moscow University, where most American freshman couldn't even begin to do the work even if it was in English.

    (Soviet infantry squad tactics by the middle of the war were pretty well standardized and very successful - lay down a heavy field of fire with PPSH-41s and Mosins to keep the enemy's head down, then advance a light field gun or armor to destroy his position. It was similar to our "hedgerow" tactics in France, but had the advantage of hundreds of very quick and light fieldpieces advancing rapidly with the troops, often pulled by hand if there wasn't room for the famous Studebakers that we gave the Soviets. These light artillerymen were the guys with the M38s strapped neatly across their backs that you see wheeling their guns through the streets of Berlin under fire.)

    While US propaganda once liked to portray Soviet soldiers as illiterate plowboys, the Soviet Union was a vast expanse of very different republics ranging from wild mountain ranges to factories in big cities to vast agricultural districts. Sounds similar to the US, and was, with some very different ethnic groups in the mix as well, all perfectly capable of learning to use a rifle successfully, as they proved.
    I have to disagree with the first sentence. Maybe.....in January 1941 but by January 1942 conscripts from all over dropped that to a very low number. The manuals from 1941 were pictograms that required NO reading.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horilka View Post
    The best thing is to read original manual, but I don't know if translations exist.
    Well, there is/was this one.
    http://www.mosinnagant.net/the%20mos...ge-One-Svt.asp
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalin's Ghost View Post
    Running perfectly with a skilled operator in clean, dry and reasonable conditions on a bright sunny day in Arizona, an SVT is probably a better rifle than a Garand..
    First, in regard to opinions that the soldiers didn't receive proper training on the SVT. I just have some difficulity believing that the SVT's were just handed out with out some training. How much time would it take to train a soldier on the rifle and I believe the average Russian soldier was more then capable of learning how to field strip and maintain the SVT in a matter of a few hours. And a few more hours learning how to shoot it. I think the real problem was it just had some issues of reliability that the 91/30 didn't have and when your life is on the line, you want a rifle you can depend on.


    Just curious, can you give me some examples on how the SVT is a probably a better rifle then the Garand? Ray

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    Quote Originally Posted by clayshooter2 View Post
    Any way to get photocopy of this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RayG_Wisconsin View Post
    First, in regard to opinions that the soldiers didn't receive proper training on the SVT. I just have some difficulity believing that the SVT's were just handed out with out some training. How much time would it take to train a soldier on the rifle and I believe the average Russian soldier was more then capable of learning how to field strip and maintain the SVT in a matter of a few hours. And a few more hours learning how to shoot it. I think the real problem was it just had some issues of reliability that the 91/30 didn't have and when your life is on the line, you want a rifle you can depend on.


    Just curious, can you give me some examples on how the SVT is a probably a better rifle then the Garand? Ray
    Some Soviet veterans speak of liberating villages and just tossing weapons (even ppsh) to able civillians, forcing them to fight along

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    Quote Originally Posted by kujuak View Post
    Any way to get photocopy of this?
    You would have to ask Vic. I was just linking his page for those who were not aware of the translated manual.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vic View Post
    Finnish soldiers prized the rifles for its firepower and the depots went as far as making spare parts and mods to improve the reliability.
    Might be good to note, that Finnish military did not start repairing SVT-38 and SVT-40 rifles until 1950's, even if thousands of rifles out of about 20,000 captured broke down during the war. Also - wasn't the main mod to improve reliability adding making a larger gas vent hole? - if so, according Palokangas it happened in 1950's and as far as known may have been likely related to standard issue ammunition (with heavy D166 bullet and brass case) working poorly in these rifles (*). Finnish sources do no seem to mention locally manufactured spare parts for these rifles - can you tell more?

    (*) Finnish-language manual (which seems to be almost direct translation from Soviet one) for these rifles is also post-war. It does mention that ammunition with light bullets and should be used, but it remains uncertain if correct ammunition was issued for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalin's Ghost View Post
    Running perfectly with a skilled operator in clean, dry and reasonable conditions on a bright sunny day in Arizona, an SVT is probably a better rifle than a Garand.
    Running in the slime and mud and snow of a Stalingrad or Moscow winter ditch at -20 degrees F in Eastern Front winter darkness, where you've been pinned down in frozen sludge for three days without sleep or a chance to even get hot food, a Mosin is a better weapon than an SVT or a Garand.
    It's all relative.
    I would respectfully disagree with your assessment. The Garand performed very well in Korea, in conditions not unlike those found in winter time Russia. One of the Garands strengths was its ability to reliability function in temperature extremes from the tropics to near arctic conditions, and it did it with no need for an adjustable gas system.

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    You are right, Vic.
    I said Russia and Ukraine were literate- Chechens and Tatars and who knows what from the Soviet boonies were pretty shaky in Russian. Not much Russian read in the wilds of Tajekestan, but they showed up to fight. Lots of languages and lots of new recruits and no proof that they didn't know how to shoot or clean rifles. After all, Alvin York did OK for us and he was a little short on the book learnin'.
    It is interesting to look at the vastly varied heritage in the pertraits of Heroes of the Soviet Union books.
    Last edited by Stalin's Ghost; 01-09-2014 at 12:12 AM.

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    I never said Soviet soldiers didn't get training with SVTs. It's the guy shooting in the "contest" who didn't have much time to get very good with it but he still beat the Garand on one important leg.

    Field stripping an SVT-40 is a pain compared to most rifles - I have one and it is not a job to do on a dark and stormy night in a hole.

    A Garand, to me at least, is not a handy or comfortable rifle in action. It is heavy and not particularly well balanced, while an SVT is elegant and balanced. I believe a skilled SVT operator could load and fire faster than a Garand, but would like to see the "contest" run again. For me,the Garand feels clunky and unnatural, while an SVT points easily. It holds more rounds and a true magazine should be faster than clips to a truly trained operator with good mags. That means to me that it could hit more targets faster than the Garand, assuming a perfect, clear, no dirt day like I mentioned.

    Obviously an SVT is not reliable compared to a Garand in many extended real world combat conditions, but that is out of the question that I proposed, which was that on a perfect day with a skilled operator, an SVT would beat a Garand at hitting in a contest like the one shown on the video. The SVT almost won even in the hands of a beginner with it, failing because he kept jamming from bad mags and perhaps a faulty gas setting.

    That sure doesn't mean an SVT is a battle rifle I would choose for the real world!

    (Neither would many Red Army troopers and it flopped due to cost of production, difficult maintenance and a problem with accuracy for snipers.)

    I just meant that I could make up conditions where it would beat a Garand, all else equal. I'm sure that Garand owners could make up conditions where the Garand would easily beat the SVT, like in reliability for 500 rounds without cleaning, just to start!
    Last edited by Stalin's Ghost; 01-09-2014 at 12:15 AM.

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    Here´s few more photos of Finnish soldiers with SVT-40s. The rifle was indeed very liked by the Finns.


    Knight of the Mannerheim Cross liutenant Niilo Korhonen with his trusted men and his SVT-40.



    Corporal Toivo Potka who destroyed 24 enemy soldiers during three days during the battle of Tuulos with his SVT-40.



    Tired troops at Rukajärvi.





    Patrol leader reporting.



    Cleaning the rifle.



    Fallen Soviet soldier.






    Heavily armed patrol three days after the Winter War ended. (AVS-36, L-S m/26 and SVT-38)




    Bonus. Rifle that was not seen everyday at the front lines I should think.


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    Is that an SVT carbine on the right? I'm on a small screen and can't tell.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    No. It is SVT-38. It just looks short compared to other rifles there.

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