The AVS-36 (from Avtomaticheskaya Vintovka Simonova 1936 model; ) was a Soviet automatic rifle which saw service in the early years of World War II. It was among the early select-fire infantry rifles (capable of both single and full-automatic fire) formally adopted for military service.
The designer, Sergei Simonov, began his work with a gas-operated self-loading rifle in 1930. The first prototype was ready in 1931 and appeared promising, and three years later a trial batch of an improved design was made. Next year, a competition between Simonov's design and a rifle made by Fedor Tokarev was held. The Simonov rifle emerged as a winner and was accepted into service as the AVS-36. The AVS-36 was a gas-operated rifle with a short piston stroke and vertical sliding locking block. It was capable of both automatic and semi-automatic fire. The barrel was equipped with a large muzzle brake to reduce recoil. Ammunition was in a detachable magazine holding 15 rounds. A knife bayonet was issued with the rifle. A sniper version was produced in small amounts with a PE scope. The AVS-36 was first seen in public in the October Revolution Day 1938 parade in Moscow.
Once in service, it quickly became apparent that the AVS was not a satisfactory design; the operating mechanism was overly complicated, and the problem was made worse by the rifle's construction which let dirt get inside the weapon. The rifle was also particular about ammunition quality. The muzzle brake design proved to be a... Read More