I've never posted an official review before so I figured I'd give it a try. I have posted some pictures of the gun here on MAG so search around, you'll find them. A few days ago I received my long awaited Real Sword SVD Dragunov, it was a long wait because I had to justify dropping that much cash on an airsoft gun. Anyway, this gun was well worth my wait and an essential piece to add to any Russo-Soviet collection. If you don't collect Russian or Soviet airsoft I would still recommend this gun because it is so worth it.
Now onto the full review...
For starters, I ordered the RS SVD from Evike, I know some people have some serious horror stories but I have never been let down by Evike and so my record stands. Upon opening the box I found the gun very carefully packed in soft foam, not styrofoam with a million tiny little static pellets that decided to rebel and leave the main mold. I also found the gun gently wrapped in a thick plastic bag and more soft foam protecting it from the top of the box. Besides the gun, there are a ton of other goodies in there, such as an iron sight windage tool, cleaning rod box, general tool, magazine load tube, cleaning rod tube (fits over the assembled rods for barrel protection), and a funny looking wax paper wrapped article and some documentation.
Well the gun, of course, was the first thing to come out of the box and the reality of the piece really hit me. This is a long and heavy gun, I own a real steel PSL Dragunov and this felt exactly the same, needless to say I was already hooked just on the feel of it. After getting the gun out of the bag the reality hits you a little harder, this thing is all steel, all of it, the wood is real laminate and the stock is pristine. Real Sword pulled out all of the stops and spared no expense when making the SVD Dragunov, this is a heart and soul style weapon. Having been around real Russian weapons she was hard to distinguish and after all it looked and felt like it could have come right off the NDM-86 assembly line somewhere in China ( the NDM is the licensed Chinese version of the SVD). After all of the "oohing" and "aahhing" it was time to come back to reality and I put the gun down. As equally impressed as I was with the actual rifle, I was equally impressed with the documentation from Real Sword. The owner's manual is in fact a book, yes a book, and it contains more than just common sense safety pictures and odd Chinese symbols. This book provides a history essay of the SVD Dragunov, the operational characteristics and how to use the thing! Strange concept huh? Everything is well laid out and easy to read and understand, there is also a parts and takedown fold out poster that assists you with taking the gun apart. After my shock and awe over the book and poster I was happy to find a Quality Assurance Inspection form with the first 5 shots logged and chono'd with various inspection stamps and serial numbers for my particular gun. Real Sword also includes an Owner Registration form to fill out and email, fax or send in and some RS stickers. In the end I felt like I had just bought a new car, or was this the end?
I thumbed through the manual so I could find where the battery goes, I had already charged a 9.6 stick in anticipation of the delivery. Now here is where the rubber hits the road, changing the battery on the SVD is much like a ballet at the Bolshoi... Beautiful to watch but hell to actually perform it. I can say after a week now it is getting a little better. Oh ant the 9.6 stick? that's the max folks, you ain't squeezing another volt in that hand guard, maybe a Li-Po but why? The gear box was designed to pull up to an M120 with a 7.2V and anything above that it is suggested to use an 8.4V to 9.6V and the design is actually accurate, after all she's only a semi-auto.
Now remember that little wax paper wrapped item in the box I had mentioned? That would be the magazine, I was impressed by this because that is exactly how my Russian Saiga shotgun came from the Izhvesk plant in the motherland! Nothing complicated here, I opted for a speed loader instead of the tube, the steel mag only holds 96 rounds so why bother. I tossed in some .20g's and headed out to give her a spin. The hop-up is a little odd for an AK style weapon but after a few uses I appreciate the detent-stop design, it makes dialing in and holding the setting a breeze. Of course the factory bucking had to go, sadly it usually does even on the expensive guns. After a few rounds the SVD sets up well and shoots very long distance with excellent accuracy. I would highly suggest purchasing the scope, I just happened to have a PSOP lying around so this was no issue for me. The Russian PSOP fits like a glove and once dialed in you can spin your wife's/mom's/girlfriend's/significant other's clothes pins on the line from 75 feet away, yes it is that good!
So in short if you can get this gun, get one! If you get the chance to play with one be careful you might do some really stupid things just to get one. Real Sword has really upped the ante on the SVD market, I've seen the others, drooled a bit but in the end the RS SVD Dragunov gets the prize.
- aesthetically pleasing
- receiver is forged, machined steel
- very realistic weight and balance
-steel outer barrel, gas tube, flashhider, sight blocks, etc.
- hop up is a good design and works well
- functionally outstanding in stock form, chrono'd at a solid 430fps same as quality stamping from factory.
- wood parts are quality laminate and well finished.
- excellent documentation
- plenty of quality extras
- does not include a battery
- changing the battery takes a lot of patience and care.
- weight and balance might be a bit much in the field if your not ready for it.
- doesn't include a scope, and the PSOP can be pricey.
- the hop-up bucking is a bit daunting to change at first.
I hope this is at the very least entertaining, if not informative, I really enjoy this gun and if you get a chance to try one or buy one I highly recommend you do so. See you on the field!
- Nevsky Out!