AVS-36: The First Soviet Infantry Battle Rifle

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

AVS-36: The First Soviet Infantry Battle Rifle

The AVS-36 was the first self-loading rifle adopted by the Soviet Union to be a standard infantry rifle, and it was not just semiautomatic, but also capable of fully automatic fire. Designed by Sergei Simonov over the course of about ten years, it would only last a short time in service before being replaced by the Tokarev SVT-38 and then SVT-40.

The AVS-36 uses a short stroke gas piston system that remains popular to this day, and a quite unusual locking system incorporating two asymmetrical locking flaps and a vertically traveling locking block. It is striker fired, with semi and full auto selector positions and a 15-round detachable magazine (plus stripper clip guide). In total, 65,800 were made between 1934 and 1940, with true mass production beginning in 1937.

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