Tokarev SVT-40

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by kwhunter, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. kwhunter

    kwhunter G&G Newbie

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    I acquired recently a Kovrov made SVT-40. Good condition as arsenal refurbished, good stock but heavily contaminated with oil, probably cosmoline and other petroleum distilates.
    I stripped the finish (shellac, easily wiped out with methyl alcohol), cleaned and degreased the wood with paint stripper, mineral spirits and the heath gun; removed lots of oil but not all (60 years old gun). Oiled it with tung oil to prevent drying, and I'm thinking of putting back the shellac but not sure about it yet.
    The wood is very light coloured and light, probably beech (this is what I heard), or maybe birch?
    I think it had no shellac finish originally (look at the darkening on the grip and comb, as handled and aimed); I believe the shellac was put on after refurbishing.
    Anyone knows more on that?
    Some pics:

    as received in the mail:
    [​IMG]

    factory logo and year of manufacture on the receiver bridge:
    [​IMG]

    the stock after being stripped of shellac, degreased and oiled with 3 coats of tung oil:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I like it as it is, I like the patina on the stock; this was a combat rifle and most definitely saw action on the eastern front.
    I would like to restore it to the original condition, but... was the shellac factory applied or post war restoration? This is the question...
    Thanks.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
  2. Constantine1911

    Constantine1911 G&G Newbie

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  3. CopperniX

    CopperniX 34th Infantry Div.

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    I found this on http://www.surplusrifle.com/shooting/svt40/pdf/svt40rangereport.pdf and figured it might help the above quote is the author talking about the stock.
  4. kwhunter

    kwhunter G&G Newbie

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    Thanks Pfc, I knew that site.
    I can confirm what he said, i.e. the wood is very soft but it is not pine, that's for sure.
    Looks like some sort of early laminate, with layers of wood running along the axis of the gun; I know that later on they used a different grade of hardwood since on the AVT (automatic fire capable variant) the stock cracked at the grip; it was beefier as well, mainly in that area.
    The stock is very light due to the wood that was used, but there are two 3/4" holes drilled in the butt that run for about 7-8" and intersect toward the grip, so lead bars can be inserted to add weight and soften recoil.
    Nevertheless, the muzzle brake is very effective, reducing the muzzle jump as well (the slots are oriented rearward and about 60° on each side of the vertical plane), and coupled with the gas system make for less recoil than a bolt action MN.
  5. adamhgkb

    adamhgkb G&G Newbie

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    that is beautiful......i am especially jealous of the condition of your magazine! did you fire it yet? I had worlds of trouble getting mine in shooting shape
  6. Morgan

    Morgan G&G Newbie

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    Watch smoking round stripper bad times there! Great gun been lookng round fer one fer awhile now how long did you look?
  7. kwhunter

    kwhunter G&G Newbie

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    Here's more detail pics of the magazine; pinned to take only 5 rounds, legal requirement here upnorth:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    No, I did not fire it yet, too cold to shoot. It should work like a charm, everything is pristine; what happened to yours that it wouldn't fire?

    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
  8. kwhunter

    kwhunter G&G Newbie

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    Well, didn't look for too long, took awhile to decide to pull the trigger on it.
    There are quite a few for sale up here, around $450 or so. All arsenal refinished, forced matched parts, mixed parts but otherwise in good shape.
    Mine is made by the Kovrov arsenal, and picked it to be correct for that production year (stock, sling swivels, muzzle brake).

    [​IMG]

  9. cr107

    cr107 G&G Newbie

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    where did you find this??
  10. adamhgkb

    adamhgkb G&G Newbie

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    i know that tradex canada has them REAL cheap but it wouuld be a huge hassle for me to get one imported I am sure :(
  11. kwhunter

    kwhunter G&G Newbie

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    I found it at a gun store in Ontario.
    Many gun stores carry SVTs, apparently there was a large lot imported.
    But I doubt anyone would export a gun to the US, because of your import restrictions and red tape involved.
    I think they should be available in the US as well, the russians dumped a large lot on the market.
  12. Nakeena

    Nakeena G&G Newbie

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    My father recently gave me a rifle like this with 2 mags. He bought it like 10 years ago and it was still in a box from a local store in the area. He said he had not fired it. I ran some cleaner through the bore, which looks good, and tried shooting it and the first few shots went fine but along about the 5th or 6th shot the next round trying to load would become stuck most of the way into the chamber. It seemed like it was glued in or something to the point I would have to use a rod to to tap it back out. Lacquered steel cases or brass cases both seemed to stick equally once the rifle was warmed up a bit. When the rifle is cold rounds seem to slip in and out easily enough though they sometimes feel as if they are trying to stick a little. Any thoughts on the cause? I am a little nervous having to tap the rounds out though the guy at range said it was okay to do. I don't think I will try shooting it again until this is figured out.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  13. adamhgkb

    adamhgkb G&G Newbie

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    tradex said they would but it wouldnt be easy..........yes you can find them BUT THEY ARE VERY RARE at atleast 800 and thats cheap
  14. adamhgkb

    adamhgkb G&G Newbie

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    had the exact same problem with mine....most likely the headspaceing may have some issues. BUT if you adjust the gas piston to have more pressure it should work fine. Thats what my gunsmith friend ended up doing to mine
  15. Nakeena

    Nakeena G&G Newbie

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    Thanks, I will see if someone around here can check that for me.
  16. kwhunter

    kwhunter G&G Newbie

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    I believe the headspace has nothing to do with the problem.
    I checked on my gun which I haven't fired yet, and there is plenty of clearance for the cartridge in the chamber.
    However, I noticed that the bore and the chamber were black oxidized too during refurbishing, which is odd at best, but considering the large volume of reworked rifles it is somehow excusable. Therefore, upon firing as the case expands it get seized in the chamber and cannot be extracted; that shouldn't be caused by the barrel heating as it expands, but most likely is due to the increased friction between the hot rough, black oxidized chamber wall and the case.
    Please also note that the neck of the chamber is fluted to let gases bleed back into the chamber and help cooling the case for extraction; upon firing the neck expands and is formed around the flutes and that adds even more friction.
    A solution is to open up the gas regulator, to allow more pressure on the piston and momentum on the bolt; one better solution would be, and I shall do that before firing the rifle, cleaning up the oxide and polishing the chamber.
    Also bear in mind that these were combat rifles extensively used and proven on the Eastern front; the malfunction as described is most definitely not a design or manufacturing flaw but due to the rework process and can be corrected.

    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  17. Iron_Colonel

    Iron_Colonel G&G Newbie

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    Sure looks like a beauty. Nice find on that one. You'll have to let us know how it shoots :)
  18. kwhunter

    kwhunter G&G Newbie

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    Ok, here's what I did on my gun based on your description of the problem:
    I tried different solvents and polishing paste to remove the oxide from the chamber walls with very little succes.
    Therefore, i plugged the chamber end of the barrel, including the fluted neck of the chamber and using an old wire brush and led shot, I cast a lap pouring molted led in the chamber with the brush inserted; before casting the lap I removed the bronze wires leaving only the twisted steel wire in place.
    Using two grades of diamond compound I lapped or more properly said honed the chamber, starting with 8-12 microns paste and finishing with the finer 0-2 microns. The whole process removed probably 2-3 microns from the chamber, a very insignificant change in dimensions.
    The result can be seen in the 2nd picture: a shiny, metal in white chamber with a smooth wall, as it should be.
    Now I have to prove it in the field, temperature permitting; but I believe that was the reason for the case getting stuck after firing.

    The chamber as originally reworked by the russians, as black as the rest of the barrel:

    [​IMG]

    The chamber after my little touch-up, nice smooth and shiny:

    [​IMG]

    The lap

    [​IMG]

    And the diamond compound used

    [​IMG]


  19. lonewolf21

    lonewolf21 G&G Newbie

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    svt 40

    Hi just found westrifle.com they have SVT coming check them out. They also have SKS and Mosin
  20. franchi

    franchi G&G Newbie

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    i shot a STV40 for the first time today. it was amazing!! the gas system really tames the recoil of the 54r. the guy that owns it also has a carbine version of the STV
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