Tokarev SVT-40 (10/14)

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Common knowledge amongst the firearms community is that the standard issue infantry rifle of the Soviet Union during World War II was the Mosin Nagant in 7.62x54r. It was, but another common rifle used in World War II by the Soviets that is often overlooked is the Tokarev SVT-40, also chambered for 7.62x54r. In the 1930s, the United States had adopted the M1 Garand semi-automatic as its main rifle, and the Soviet Union realized that it needed to modernize its army as well and began finding a replacement semi-automatic rifle to succeed the Mosin Nagant, in use since the 1890s. The SVT-38 was developed by TOkarev and issued to Soviet forces in the Finnish War in 1940, but the 38 developed a reputation for being heavy, clunky, and unreliable. The upgraded SVT-40 was developed and nearly a million of the rifles were made and issued to Soviet troops. It was intended to replace the Mosin Nagant, but the Axis invasion in 1941 disrupted further production. For the sake of simplicity and to get rifles quickly to the front kine, the Soviet Union resorted to mass producing the Mosin Nagant as their main rifle. Still, over a million and a half units of the SVT-40 ended up seeing service in the war. In the 1990s many SVT-40s were sold on the American market as surplus rifles.

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Written by Nicholas