The Soviet Jackhammer: Shooting an AVS-36

This rifle is lot #1019 at Morphy’s April 2019 auction.

Yesterday we looked at the history and mechanics of the Soviet AVS-36 battle rifle, and today we are taking it out to the range. As a light rifle firing full-power 7.62x54R ammunition, this is sure to be an exhilarating experience. I am curious to see how the muzzle brake performs, and if this rifle can be any better to handle and shoot than the M14…


  1. I would have never thought I will be able to see this – absolutely fascinating. Oh yes, that barrel is flexing like fishing rod, but the gun is surprisingly stable. Not so much in full-auto; as Ian states it is not realistic to be used that way anyway. Respect, Ian!

    • Here is SVT-40 for comparison
      As far as external dynamics, I cannot tell them apart. They were both relatively light and long. It is a tossup, save for different internals.

      Btw. I remember reading a novel (Za nami Moskva) relating to beginning of war and according to that (written by direct participant) semi-auto rifles were common occurrence in Red army at the time.

      • “were common occurrence”
        SVT-40 production according to
        July 1940 – 3416
        August 1940 – 8100
        September 1940 – 10700
        1941 (whole year) – 1031861 common + 34782 sniper
        [men enlisted into Red Army in 1941 were given minimal rifle training and proved to be not able to maintain complicated /in comparison to 3-line pattern 1891/ Tokarev rifle, hard decision was made to increase Mosin production at cost of Tokarev rifles]
        1942 (whole year) – 264148 common + 14210 sniper
        Later it was produced in smaller batches up until 1945.

          • “Ppsh the Daddy”
            I appreciate that you appreciate PPSh optimization for mass production, but it is sub-machine gun therefore having limited reach and even as sub-machine gun it did not full-filled all Soviets needs.

            “7.62x39mm is not good in full auto either”
            Still better than 7,62x54R cartridge in weapon of same mass and Rate-of-Fire.

            Fact in 1920s, for few year, 6,5×50 Arisaka cartridge was default Soviet Union rifle cartridge formally, but soon 7,62×54 R would come back to this position.

          • The PPSh was not chambered in 7.62x39mm, as that would have been absurdly uncontrollable at the rates of fire the PPSh was capable of. The PPSh was chambered in the 7.62x25mm Tokarev, which ensures that it’s quite controllable in full auto.

    • He wants to put some more bolts in that, that is the wiggley wobbley’ist gun I’ve ever seen; and i’ve attempted to fire a “past it” Romanian Akm in full auto, at… The general direction of a target at 100m.

  2. Hi low I am lost long Nigerian Prince, of refute similar or same as Princess Diazepam. Pleading be of you in gracious desire, to be in reciept of 10 to sum of 10 billion Zimbabwean yen; enter bank details here… There… And be so glad in praise. To save Princess Di.


    “Ok it was a bit retro sounding, but I thought I’d try to join in”

  3. But you lose “clout” at range; I’d bin the Ak, and do Sks, Drags, and Ppsh’s personally. Even spread, here! Three of these four of those, a pkm, and two of them.

  4. Assault rifles are so WW1, but the tech never allowed it. Scoped SKS, Drags, Ppsh’s, pkms… Bless it, lets move on.

  5. Apparently the Red Army learned the lessons faster than the US Army when it comes to full-auto rifles… SPAM ADS AGAIN! I HEREBY DECLARE WAR!!!! [Hoists Z-Flag]

    Guess which context I’m using for the Z-Flag?

  6. Could the AVS-36 have been turned into a squad light machine gun if given a bipod and a bigger magazine? I mean, just look at the Browning M1918 and the Colt R75A!

    • Bipods make auto guns, even in 5.56mm so much better “especially in bullpups, with longer barrels yet shorter overall length; marked difference”

      Em2 7.62×39 bipod, good scope; we’d drop loads before we had to bite them.

      • “bullpups(…)Em2 7.62×39 bipod”
        Keep in mind however that bullpup layout limits you to banana magazines only, which combined with length limitation mean limited capacity. This is more profound for 7,62×39 than 5,56×45 NATO cartridge as first one has bigger maximal diameter than second one.
        I can’t imagine how to bring together “bullpup” AND “high-capacity magazine” (like for example RPK 75-round) AND “human anatomy”, maybe you have some idea?

    • “bigger magazine”
      Chances for that are weak. Rimmed 7,62x54R cartridge created at lot of problems in box magazines. But most importantly Soviet Union have already light machine gun in form of DP, it did have own (minor) faults, but replacing it with hypothetical “heavy barrel AVS-36” was not viable solution under presented circumstances.

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