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Dragunov Receivers and Parts

SVD spare parts

NDM86 receiver dovetail scope rail

The SVD receiver is milled from solid steel making the receiver more rigid than a rifle with a bent sheet metal receiver. The scope side dovetail rail is actually part of the receiver and is created during the milling process. The butt stock is attached to the rear of the receiver with two bolts, one that passes through the pistol grip from the bottom and one that screws in from the top into a hole in the front of the stock.

NDM-86 receiver

The right and left side of a stripped NDM-86 receiver. The hole is for the safetly lever.

NDM-86 import mark BTC

The import mark on this .308 NDM-86 is for Briklee Trading Co. in South El Monte, California. They are now out of business. A former customer described it as a very impressive place filled with many curios & relics, more like a museum than a gunshop. Incidentally, BTC imported over 50,000 Chinese Type-56 AK's, mainly MAK-90's and over 100,000 Chinese SKS's. BTC is the sole creator of the "Paratrooper" SKS with the cut-down 16" barrel, the modification of which was performed here in the US.

NDM-86 bolt hold open

The bottom of the receiver looking through the mag well. The bolt hold open catch is visible. This spring-loaded part locks the bolt back after the last round has been fired.

NDM-86 .308 magazine opening

Chinese NDM-86 with 7.62x51 mag well cut for box-type magazine. This mag well is a unique shape among Dragunov rifles which means you can only use the proprietary Chinese steel .308 magazines in this receiver. Russian Izhmash Tigr-308 magazines will not work.

ndm-86 with GBE L.A. CA import mark

The Chinese and older Russian military SVD receivers also have internal lightening cuts as well as the external cuts on the outside. Russian receivers produced after the early 1990's only have the internal cuts and are designated "Type 2". More info about these cuts can be found here.

Receiver lightening cuts

These lightening cuts lighten the weight of the milled receiver making the rifle slightly more comfortable to carry for extended periods. In the field every little bit helps! Since 1993 production of Russian Dragunov receivers are completely flat on the outside (bottom receiver) which provides extra regidity to allow the use of more powerful calibers.

Trigger group

Unlike Kalashnikov rifles, the Dragunov is designed with a removable trigger assembly. This two-stage trigger is very light for a combat rifle and allows the user to get the most precision out of the semi-automatic rifle.

SVD triggers

The Russian Tiger trigger group (left) is not the same as the Chinese trigger group (right) . Though the Russian trigger assembly will fit a Chinese rifle the reverse might not be true. Due to the differences noted above, the Chinese trigger (pictured is from the .308 version) will lock in to the Russian receiver but the extra lever on top will prevent the bolt carrier from moving back. This lever might not be present in the 7.62x54R version of the Norinco NDM-86, check yours to be sure. The Tiger group above has has the magazine release lever removed to comply with detachable magazine laws.

Chinese and Russian trigger assemblies

Also note the Chinese trigger housing (bottom) is longer than the Russian one. Note the extra safety lever in the bottom trigger group.

Russian SVD Trigger Group

Russian military trigger group from captured SVD in Iraq. Looking from the top you can see the 2-stage trigger assembly. It is quite different from the Kalashnikov design. Also notice the safety sear at the top right of the assembly. This is not present on the commercial Tiger models imported to the US.

Russian SVD Trigger Group

There is a rumor that the safety sear had to be removed on Dragunov Tiger before they could be imported to the US because it was considered a class 3 part.

Though the US government might classify the sear (#6 in the diagram) in the same category as machine gun parts, the Dragunov is not capable of firing full-auto. The sear is actually an added safety device designed to prevent the possibility of the rifle firing a bullet before the bolt is locked into battery.

Bolt and Carrier

Russian bolt carrier

Russian military Dragunov bolt and carrier from a 1973 SVD. Note the hammer block tail at the back.

Izhmash Tiger bolt carrier

The Izhmash Tiger bolt is lightened on the side and more material is added at the rear eliminating the "tail".

Dragunov bolt carriers

On the Russian Tiger bolt carrier (right) there is a lug (see arrow) that is not present on the Chinese carrier (left). This lug is what interfers with the trigger assembly parts on the Chinese NDM-86 and prevents it from moving over the trigger parts.

NDM-86 bolt carrier

The bolt carrier on this Chinese NDM-86 and Russian military SVD sniper rifle has a hammer block designed into it.

NDM-86 bolt stop

If the cartridge does not get fully chambered, the bolt carrier does not allow the hammer to contact the firing pin. This safety feature is designed to reduce the possibility of firing the cartridge out of battery, which could result in catastrophic damage to the rifle and possibly the shooter.

Hammer stop

Above shows the bolt locked into battery ready to fire. The hammer has un-obstructed contact with the rear of the bolt and the firing pin.

Tiger bolt safety

On the Izhmash Tiger bolt carrier the tail portion is eliminated and the entire rear of the carrier is a hammer block. The above position is ready to fire with the bolt locking lugs fully engaged and cartridge chambered.

Bolt locking safety open

In this state the Tiger bolt locking lugs are not engaged in battery and the carrier is preventing the hammer to make contact with the firing pin.

Bolt face from Legion Tiger

The bolt head is designed with three locking lugs for additional strength over the typical two lug design of the Kalashnikov rifles.

.308 bolt head.308 bolt face

Chinese 7.62x51/.308 bolt face is not as wide as the 7.62x54R version.

SVD bolts

The Chinese and Russian bolt are almost identical and might be interchangeable but care must be taken to ensure the bolt is properly headspaced to the rifle. Note the Russian bolt at the bottom has shallow inletting on the shaft for debris to collect during firing. The Russian Tiger bolt has a spring-loaded firing pin due to the expectation of the owner using commercial hunting ammunition.

Firing pins

The top firing pin is from a Russian Tiger. It is designed to use a spring that is held in place by the little tabs on the rear. It is slightly longer than the Chinese pin. The pin on the bottom is for a Chinese NDM-86 and has been modified by CDNN by drilling a small hole and hooking a spring into it. This is not considered a reliable modification.

Firing pin springs

The top pin shows the Russian spring and retaining sleeve. The bottom pin is from a .308 NDM-86 and has been modified by CDNN. The Russian firing pins are slightly longer than the Chinese versions and must be filed (on the rear flat part) very carefully before using in a Chinese gun or pierced primers may result.

Tiger rifle bolt and firing pin

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