The SVD with a Red Dot Optic (2-Gun Match)

This isn’t exactly a “forgotten” weapon, but it is a very cool one, and one we have been unable to pry out of Karl’s hands. In the recent May 2-Gun Action Challenge Match, Karl opted to shoot his NDM-86 (a .308 Dragunov) with a zero-magnification red dot optic.

The notion is that men issued SVD rifles were fully integrated into squads, and would have been expected to participate in non-sniper type activities, including close combat actions. In that situation, the shooter would remove the PSO optic and stow it in his web gear, and use the rifle with iron sights. We have good close-combat optics today that didn’t exist in the 60s, and so today’s SVD shooter can opt to swap between a magnified and a non-magnified optic for this sort of mission change. The question is, how well would an SVD actually work in a close-quarters type of situation?


  1. [from half-way across the field]

    “Everybody’s dead now, Karl, from being scared! You win! COME OUT!”

    SVD wins against K98 any day, but I doubt the taunt would draw anyone out of a good designated-marksman’s position in field…

  2. Try a Midwestern mount. By far IMO places the optics directly over the barrel as well as 1/4 inch above the dust cover of an AK, Vepr, PSL or Draganov.
    Try placing a 7x magnifier behind your red dot. It really increases your score in three gun matches.

    • 3-Gun is really a fundamentally different type of competition than this style of 2-gun match, and I think 7x would be a lot more magnification than I would want for this match. If I did want that much magnification, I think I would probably opt for a fixed or variable power telescope instead of a red dot with magnifier.

    • I really dislike magnifiers behind red dots and that wouldn’t be appropriate for 2G-ACM anyways, as Ian stated.

      I am shooting this same SVD in a match on 7/4 which will be a more traditional 3 gun rifle type course of fire.

      My plan is to us a 6x42M PRO (Mil dot Russian scope) and to flip the cheek riser out of the way for irons in “Heavy Metal Scope” category.

      We’ll see how that goes…

        • Because the point of this particular video was to “modernize” the rifle with a modern accessory as it’s possible to do so?

          • That’s your prerogative Karl. I have some limited exposure to red-dot and I like it. But still, feel that with open sight have more review.

  3. I know the purpose of this video is the SVD, but what about having a more matching pistol for next 2-guns matches?

    TT33 are not that bad !
    (and old ammo surplus seems cheap too)

    • The T33 is an excellent pistol and we actually did a video about that specifically which we have not released yet. The point of this video, as you said, was specifically the SVD.

  4. Is this the Tiger dressed-up version or original Drag? I spotted plastic fore-guard, if I am right.

    • No, it is not a Tigr, it’s a NDM-86 SVD which has had its wood replaced with more modern polymer furniture for durability and better usability.

      The polymer buttstock has a permanently attached check pad which can be merely turned away to decrease height or locked in place towards the shooter to increase height. The original wood furniture has a removable pad which snaps on with a clip and thus is much less dynamic in regards to removal and installation as necessary.

      • That makes sense. The wooden furniture for dragon was known by its unease of manufacture and apparently its availability as spare was limited; plastic in comparison is a snap.

  5. Karl, you mention getting an adjustable regulator from Russia – what site did you get it from? Thx.

  6. What a great test of the dual role concept. What camouflage pattern is the smock Karl was wearing? It looks really neat!

  7. I thought I saw something about Stechkins being dusted off, and given wire stocks, as side arms for designated marksmen back in the 80s?

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