Collectors and gun historians, rejoice: the Molot Arms company offers the KO-SVT, a modern-day replica of the 7,62x54R caliber rifle designed by Fedor Tokarev for the Soviet Army
The SVT rifle, engineered by Fedor Vasilievich Tokarev, was first introduced in service with the Soviet Red Army in 1938, then modified in 1940. It was meant to become the new service rifle for the Soviet Army, but World War II disrupted those plans; nonetheless, over 1.500.000 SVT-40s were built and issued to Soviet troops engaged against the Nazi Werhrmacht; although technically complex, it inspired German technicians who would later went on to design the G43 rifle.
Chambered for the 7,62x54R cartridge of Mosin-Nagant fame – currently used on many GPMGs and designated marksman rifles such as the Dragunov SVD – the SVT-40 semi-automatic rifle also proved to be a solid performer, particularly when fitted with a 3,5x PU scope, and as such it was often issued to Red Army snipers.
Today, discerning gun collectors and militaria enthusiasts have one more reason to rejoice. The Russian-based Molot Arms company – mostly known to the international shooters' community for its modern line of Vepr hunting, sport shooting and tactical rifles, carbines, and shotguns – is offering the KO-SVT, a faithful modern-day replica of the wartime Tokarev SVT-40 design.
Just like the originals, the Molot KO-SVT semi-automatic rifles chamber the 7,62x54R cartridge and feed through a detachable 10-rounds magazine. The working system is also the same: a tilting bolt actuated by a short-stroke gas piston.
The Molot KO-SVT is built following the original project, which means that the exact same materials (and sometimes even the exact same manufacturing procedures!) are used. It is 1,21 mt / 47.6" long overall, and its 628mm / 24.7" barrel sports four right handed grooves with a 1:9.4" pitch; the overall weight ranges between 3,9 kg / 8.6 lbs unloaded to 4,3 kg / 9.4 lbs with a fully loaded magazine.
Controls and sights are all a faithful reproduction of the original: the safety catch is located within the trigger guard, the cocking handle is only on the right side, and the rear sight is adjustable. The Molot KO-SVT will also accept 3.5x PU scopes, which makes it viable for hunting and shooting competitions as well.
The Molot KO-SVT semi-automatic rifle is currently available on the Russian civilian market at an average street price of circa 19,000 Roubles – that's less than 285 Euros or 317 U.S. Dollars at the current change rate.
As of today, the Molot KO-SVT is not available for export, but we at GUNSweek.com are certainly looking forward to see it hit the shelves of gun shops in the West very soon. Given the rarity of the original SVT-40 and the appeal it still has among shooters and collectors, it would definitely enjoy a huge success – particularly if price can be kept low.
The KO-SVT is not the only modern replica of classic Red Army service firearms currently being manufactured by Molot. Outside of the mainstream, modern Vepr line of hunting and tactical rifles or shotguns, Molot also offers a line of modern-day variants of the Mosin-Nagant 1891/30 rifle in both a carbine and sniper version, as well as a line of newly-manufactured Simonov SKS carbines.