A&K SVD Sniper rifle Review
The rifle was supplied from www.acmgear.com I had been speaking to them about if they planned on getting the A&K SVD into stock and they said they had just received one as a test sample and could send it out with my next order. I made the order but as it was a large item and the other items were too big to fit in with the rifle, they said they would send the other items separately if I paid the EMS fee on this parcel. I thought this was a nice gesture.
The Item was shipped in the plain cardboard box that the rifle manufacturer supplies the rifle in. It seems that over the last few years due to government crackdowns, there are fewer manufacturers making fancy designs on their boxes.
The Item was shipped via Hong Kong EMS speed service. I tracked its process from shipment until the door. Excluding the weekend it was 3 days to get here, though customs and into my house.
Upon opening the box, I was shocked at the rifle; I had heard some reports that the build qualities on these rifles were poor. I have to say this blew my idea on the rifle right out of the water. The plastic furniture has a nice texture to it and the metal receiver seems to be very well machined/cast.
Cocking the rifle you notice the blue metal hop and piston. The cocking of the rifle is very stiff so I’m going to need to get some padded gloves otherwise I will end up with blistered fingers after a few hundred shots with this rifle.
The rifle cannot be cocked when in safe which is a nice feature as you cannot even accidentally cock the rifle.
The package includes:
1X SVD Sniper Rifle
1X Low cap magazine
1x Front sight Adjustment key
The construction of the rifle is fantastic for a Chinese clone. The stock and hand guard have the texture of fibre reinforced plastic, but I cannot be 100% sure on this and I’m not willing to break the stock to hand guard open to find out.
The rifles construction is of 90% all metal apart from the furniture.
The following items are Steel:
- Bolt return spring
- Bolt return spring guide
- Main spring
- Main spring guide
- Trigger guard
- Pins and screws
The following are Aluminium:
- Hop unit
- Front sight
- Gas block
- Flash hider
The nozzle made from Brass.
The rifle disassembly is very straight forward, you just unclip the rear lever which secures the top cover in place, you then just unbolt the spring assembly and the whole Piston and spring unit comes out of the rifle.
Removal of the bolt is a bit trickier; I have yet to work out how the bolt comes out of the rifle. If I find this out I will update as accordingly.
The piston is made of Aluminium and is of a vented piston head design. The O-ring is slightly loose in the grove, but when tested, the compression was very high.
The rifle uses AEG springs, this makes changing the power very easy. If you had the springs, you could upgrade or downgrade this rifle in a matter of 10 minutes, even if you’re not competent with working on rifles, you would manage this job. It’s that simple.
Digging a little deeper into the construction of the rifle and I was slightly disappointed, the flash hider and sight block were loose, the gas block was loose and there was a lot of barrel wobble. The sight block and gas block was just a simple case of tightening the Allen screws on the bottom of the rifle. However the barrel wobble would need further investigation with the strip down of the front end.
After stripping the front end down, this is done by undoing a small grub screw and then unlocking and removing the locking lever to the hand guard holder, the hand guard then splits into 2 halves. I noticed that the grub screw holding the outer barrel into the hop unit was loose. Tightening this and the wobble all but virtually went away.
Firing the rifle straight out of the box was pathetic; the range was like 20m with zero hop and the rounds were going left right and not centre at all. After a quick Google search I found out how to adjust the hop as this was not apparent when I got the rifle. This is the link I used to find out how to adjust the hop up unit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeQELU0DO7k
Just one note that the video mentions, you have to put the top cover back on to adjust the hop, this is not the case, you can leave the top cover off to adjust the hop unit.
With the hop fully off, the power with 0.20g bb’s was approximately 500fps.
The readings were 491, 488, 499, 501, and 503 using the Big Dragon chrono that I have reviewed previously.
The rifle fired very poorly when i first got the rifle, out of the box you will need to strip and clean the hop unit to get any good hop on heavier bb’s.
The hop also gives a lot of left hook to the shot; I have yet to work out what is causing this to happen as the entire barrel and hop unit are in line correctly.
After cleaning of the barrel and hop, I was able to over hop a 0.36g bb but the left hook was still there.
The rifle is lovely to hold and a bit of a pain to cock due to the power of the spring, however after a little bit of use the cocking motion does become easier. If all the rattles, wobbles and loose parts were fixed at the factory, this would be a 10/10 rifle. However due to these things I have lowered the ratings slightly. Don’t be put off buying one of these and I would definitely advise purchasing a scope with it. I didn’t and now wish I had done so.
With the ease of adjusting the power and the external finish on the rifle, this did increase the construction value up to a 7.5/10 from the original 6/10 I was giving it.
I must add this is one long rifle. It measures 1210mm (44”), about 140mm (5.5”) longer than the VSR.
After adjusting the rifle for the hop, the rifle would jam a lot and also there was a lot of left hook to the round. I think I will have to replace the hop rubber and clean the barrel before being able to skirmish this. I will update once I have done this as to how it then performs.
Value for money: 9/10
Range and accuracy out the box: 2/10
Range and accuracy after adjustment: 5/10
Consistencies out the box: 1/10
Consistencies after adjustment: 8/10
Accessories: 0/10 (no accessories supplied)
After firing a few more rounds through the rifle the left hook did not settle down and also the rifle would double feed on approximately half of the 50 shots in the magazine.
I thought this might be down to the hop rubber so to improve the accuracy I fitted a Clone Prometheus barrel and Element 55 degree hop rubber to the rifle. This did stop the left hook and accuracy was far superior to what it was before, but the double feed was still there.
After a bit of stripping the rifle down, I came across the problem, it can’t be fixed either. It’s how the hop unit is machined. On any normal rifle, the round is held in the loading/feeding tube by the hop rubber until the nozzle comes forward and pushes the round into the chamber. The SVD hop chamber does not allow the hop rubber to hold the round in the feed tube so it is pushed into the hop chamber and another round then can sit where the 1st round should have been resting until it was fed in by the nozzle.
If I find a solution to this, I will update this accordingly.