The SVA (Самозарядная Винтовка Александрова), or Alexandrov's Self-loading Rifle, is a semi-automatic (later automatic) rifle that was made by Alexandrov Design Bureau.
During World War II, the Red Army were using rather unreliable, jam-prone rifles that were no match for rival German weaponry. One person who noticed this was Major General Gennady Alexandrov, who was known for his role in the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942 to 1943. During the Battle, he hated the SVT-40's and the M91/30's because of the former's unreliability and the latter's sluggishness. When he returned to his home, he started to think of a new rifle, and therefore, the roots of the SVA started. He got to work on his new rifle, and despite the fact that there were delayments and problems during the middle of designing it, the final product emerged in early 1945, and became known as the SVA. He showed his design to the Red Army, only to find out that he had two rivals - Viktor Halitov's M43 and Sergey Simonov's SKS. The Red Army told him that they would compare the two rifles and see which was the better one, and the better one would be used in the Red Army. Ultimately, it was the SKS that won, but later, in 1948, he changed his magazine design from a 10-round detachable magazine to a 30-round magazine that is also used on the AK-47 and made it fully-automatic instead of semi-automatic (he basically made it into a modernized Fedorov Avtomat). This version also entered testing by the Soviet Army, but this time against Viktor Halitov's VSP 1946 and Mikhail Kalashnikov's AK-47 (Gee, I wonder who won). During testing, the weapon was deemed impractical, especially when compared to Halitov's VSP and Kalashnikov's AK, due to its nearly uncontrollable recoil also prone to jamming (it was less complex to maintain when compared to the VSP, however). Although his weapon was a success in other countries (North Korea, China, North Vietnam), Alexandrov went to work designing a new rifle that would replace the SVA rifle entirely starting in 1955, and in 1958, the AA-55 was introduced. Two years later, production of the SVA stopped.
- Barrel is 22 inches long.
- Chambered for the 7.62x39mm M43 round; the pre-1948 models were fed via a 10-round detachable box magazine, while the later post-1948 models were fed via a 30-round detachable magazine that is also shared on the AK-47.
- Designed in 1943, produced from 1945 to 1950 (pre-1948) and from 1948 to 1960 (post-1948).
- Effective range is around 400 meters.
- Gas operated.
- The pre-1948 variants were semi-automatic, but the post-1948 variants were fully-automatic, with the rate of fire being 545 RPM.
- 3 million were produced.
- Weighs 8.9 pounds (unloaded)
- Price is around $1,400 for one (it's either this or an M1 Garand for similar price)