Aftermath Dragunov SVD-S Sniper Rifle review by Booligan
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Basic Gun Information
Aftermath Airsoft has recently released a new sniper rifle onto the arsoft scene, the Dragunov SVD-S. Now, spring powered SVDs are nothing new, with A&K, ATOZ, King Arms, etc all having standard SVD models available for years, but thus far, the SVD-S with the shorter barrel and side folding stock has thus far been relatively unseen. Aftermath has bucked that trend, and released their SVD-S, using a firing system that's pretty much the same as the A&K, but with some slight changes. I will discuss all of the various aspects of this unique sniper rifle in this review!
I obtained this sniper rifle through Pyramyd Air, who has it available HERE, priced at $139.95. From what I've been able to see, they are the only ones who have it in stock. It arrived a few days after ordering safe and sound using FedEx shipping. Currently, they only have the version with the clear plastic furniture in stock, but I would anticipate the all black version to show up eventually.
EDIT: The black model has arrived: http://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Aftermath_Dragunov_Airsoft_Sniper_Rifle_Black/2436
Basic Gun Information:
The Aftermath SVD-S is a straight pull bolt action sniper rifle modeled after the folding stock, paratrooper version of the SVD. The gun utilizes a side folding stock, that folds to the right side of the receiver, and also has a slightly shorter barrel and handguard compared to the full size SVD. It is made entirely out of metal, aside from the plastic furniture, making it a full metal replica. It is listed as being licensed through Izhmash, which Aftermath holds the licensing rights to, but there are no Izhmash specific trademarks on the gun.
Aftermath put together a nice package to hold the gun, with full color images of the gun held within and details about the gun itself. Inside the cardboard box you will find a high density foam liner to keep everything safe during shipping.
Along with the gun itself, Aftermath included a single plastic hi-capacity magazine, as well as a manual showing the proper operations of the gun. It's a pretty basic package, but being a spring powered gun, there's not really too much to include with it, like a battery or charger.
Weight: 6 lbs
Sight Radius: 20"
As mentioned before, this is a full metal replica, with the exception of the polymer furniture. It is fairly front heavy, due to the long metal outer barrel, but it is a fairly easy gun to point and shoot. Cocking the gun is another story, as it has a short cocking handle that you can only grasp with two fingers, making it hard to pull back with the stock spring. Higher powered springs are pretty much out of the question, but there is a CO2 powered bolt available. Frankly, I'd rather have an unrealistic, but larger bolt handle for ease of use, but I can't seem to find one on the market.
From this point on, click on the thumbnails to view full size photos
In keeping with my normal review format, I will start with the stock, which as you can see is a skeletonized design with an integrated cheek rest, and a side folding layout. The cheek rest props your head up at a good height when using side mounted optics, but puts you too high to use the iron sights. It can be rotated all the way to the right to get lower, allowing you to use the iron sights without problems. The folding function is simple, requiring you to push the button on the right side of the receiver, and rotate the stock to the right, locking it onto the receiver using the latch on the top of the butt assembly. There is a slight wobble in the stock, like pretty much all side folding AK stocks, but it can be largely corrected by sticking some velcro on the inside of the hinge to close the gap.
Metal butt pad
Cheek rest folded to the side to allow the use of iron sights
Stock folding button
Locked onto the right side of the receiver
The receiver itself is made entirely of metal, and is a correct design for the SVD model that it is replicating. It has all of the controls located on the right side of the receiver, including the safety lever, top cover locking lever, and stock release button. At the bottom, you will find the trigger and magazine release, both of which are made of metal. On the left side of the receiver, you will find the mount for AK type scope mounts or dedicated AK optics. I threw on a Cyma AK mount which fit on with no issues.
Receiver, right side
Receiver, left side
Safety switch engaged
Safety turned off
Bolt cover locking lever
Moving forward on the receiver, you will find the bolt, which in my opinion, is the biggest downfall to the gun. It is true to the design of the SVD, however, the real SVD is semiautomatic, and only requires you to cock it once before firing the whole magazine. With this gun, you must pull the bolt back with each shot, directly pulling against the force of the spring with each shot using a very small bolt handle. Upon cocking it, releasing the bolt allows a small spring to return the bolt back to the front.
The clear polymer pistol grip is slightly more vertical than a normal AK grip, but is true to form for the SVD-S. I find it much more comfortable than the thumbhole stock found on the standard SVD in my use. It is attached to the receiver using a single long screw that goes deep into the receiver. It has a slightly textured finish that actually helps if feel like a high quality piece.
The handguard is made of the same clear textured polymer as the pistol grip. It is comfortable to hold, without any uncomfortable seam lines or casting defects. It is a two piece design, able to be split in two for removal. In has a slight amount of wobble, a mm or so in each direction, but it can be tightened up using the hex screw at the front of the handguard cap.
The outer barrel is made of metal, and is terminated in an orange plastic front sight and flashhider assembly. The front assembly is glued and pinned in place, so I don't know what lies beneath it if you were to manage to remove it. My guess is that it is likely not threaded. The barrel has zero wobble, but seemed to be canted down a degree or so in relation to the receiver. I was able to slightly bend it back into place to straighten everything out, with the bend happening in the front of the receiver itself, and not in the barrel.
Front sight pinned in place
Aiming this replica can be accomplished using the iron sights, which are adjustable for elevation, or by the use of a side mounted scope mount or AK specific optic. The iron sights are very basic, like a standard AK but with a fully hooded front post. The front sight is molded in with the flashhider, and made out of orange plastic, but the orange front post is highly visible.
Side scope mount
There are a few trademarks on the gun, mainly on the upper bolt cover, including an Aftermath logo, some Dragunov wording, and a warning label on the right side of the lower receiver. The trademarks appear to be laser engraved for durability.
The included magazine is unfortunately made of plastic, and is also a hi-cap design, which is an odd choice for a sniper rifle. It holds about 200 rounds, and has a standard bottom mounted winding wheel. My understanding is that it should be compatible with the A&K metal 80 round midcaps, so there are other magazine options available. Take care when loading the magazine to avoid breaking the feed nozzle.
Chrono results using Matrix .20g BBs, shot through a Madbull V1 chrono, after a 100 round break in period:
High FPS: 438.2
Low FPS: 432.2
Average FPS: 435.9
Chrono results using Echo 1 .28g BBs, shot through a Madbull V1 chrono are as follows:
High FPS: 386.8
Low FPS: 381.7
Average FPS: 382.5
As far as accuracy and range goes, from a bench rested position using iron sights, I was able to put my shots onto a torso sized target at 175', using Echo 1 .28g BBs, with the deviation being mainly side to side at that range. The hop-up puts enough spin to keep the .28s floating out there, but the BB pretty much runs out of steam at that range, so without more power, that's most likely the max range.
This gun has VERY basic internals, which is good for durability. With few parts, there's little to go wrong. The piston is made of metal, and has a 90 degree sear lip around the entire body. The cylinder is metal, and the trigger sear is directly connected to the trigger unit, leading to a slightly heavy trigger pull, but a very direct feel.
Piston cocked back
Metal air nozzle
The hop-up differs from the A&K SVD in that it is adjustable by a body mounted rotary dial, instead of a hex screw. This makes adjustment very easy, as you don't have to pull the whole bolt cover off to tweak the hop-up.
Thusfar, my only planned modification was to paint the plastic furniture black to make it look a little bit more realistic. Internally, it's shooting just as hot as I want it to, if anything I may downgrade the spring for easier bolt pull. It's not that it's hard to pull back strength wise, but the tiny bolt handle just plain hurts your hand with extended use. I may try to manufacture a larger handle of some sort to make it easier.
Nice and compact...ish
One of the only SVD-S replicas out there
Full metal internals and externals
Decent performance out of the box
Easily adjustable hop-up
Includes iron sights and side rail for mounting optics
Utilizes standard AEG springs so increased/decreased power is a piece of cake
Includes cheek rest with multiple settings
Slight stock wobble
Barrel was slightly canted down on my model
Included magazine is plastic and a hi-cap
Bolt pull is unpleasant
Only comes with clear plastic furniture at this point
I've long wanted one of the spring powered SVDs, but the standard models are kind of plain looking. Now that the SVD-S is available, there is another, more unique option available to players who are interested in Soviet style precision weaponry. Currently, Pyramyd Air is the only retailer carrying it, so if this sounds like its the gun for you, head on over to their website and pick one up today!
Many thanks again to Pyramyd Air, and of course, Airsoft Retreat!