The Snayperskaya Vintovka Dragunova or the Dragunov SVD is a soviet semi-automatic sniper rifle. It fired the 7.62×54mmR cartridge and was effective up to 1,300 m. Other nations now use it, including China, North Korea, Iran, and Afghanistan.
The Dragunov sniper rifle (formally Russian: Снайперская винтовка Драгунова, Snayperskaya Vintovka Dragunova (SVD), literally "Dragunov's sniper rifle") is a semi-automatic sniper rifle/designated marksman rifle chambered in 7.62x54mmR and developed in the Soviet Union.
The Dragunov was designed as a squad support weapon, since according to Soviet and Soviet-derived military doctrines the long-range engagement ability was lost to ordinary troops when submachine guns and assault rifles (which are optimized for close-range and medium-range, rapid-fire combat) were adopted. For that reason it was originally named "Полуавтоматическая винтовка Драгунова" Dragunov's Semi-automatic Rifle.It was selected as the winner of a contest that included three competing designs: the first was a rifle designed by Sergei Simonov (known as the SSV-58), the second design, a prototype designated 2B-W10 by Alexander Konstantinov, and the third rifle, the SVD-137, a design submitted by Yevgeny Dragunov. Extensive field testing of the rifles conducted in a wide range of environmental conditions resulted in Dragunov’s proposal being accepted into service in 1963. An initial pre-production batch consisting of 200 rifles was assembled for evaluation purposes, and from 1964 serial production was carried out by Izhmash.
Since then, the Dragunov has become the standard squad support weapon of several countries, including those of the former Warsaw Pact. Licensed production of the rifle was established in China (Type 79 and Type 85) and Iran (as a direct copy of the Chinese Type 79).