January 1, 2023:
The Kalashnikov Group manufactures 95 percent of rifles in Russia and is using the combat in Ukraine to evaluate its new Chukavin Sniper Rifle. Since August small quantities of this rifle have been used in Ukraine by special operations troops to determine their performance in combat and compile a list of problems or opportunities for improvements. The new rifle is intended to be used by squad sharpshooters. The new rifle can be equipped with receivers and barrels that use the Russian standard 7.62x54mm sniper round. The “7.62mm” is the caliber (diameter) of the bullet while the “54mm” is the length of the round. This is the same round used in the current SVD sniper rifle used by Russian snipers. The Chukavin was designed to provide Russian snipers with a rifle that enables first round hits nearly all the time.
For export markets the Chukavin can be made available in export models that use the Western 7.62x51mm (.308 Winchester) cartridges or the more powerful and popular .338 Lapua Magnum (7.62x69mm). The 7.62x54mm version is compatible with magazines of the Dragunov sniper rifle (SVD) that the Chukavin will replace.
While most Russians performed poorly in Ukraine, Chukavins are the exception and might become available to export customers. Before the Ukraine War, Russian rifles were popular export items. Once Russia is free (from sanctions) to export rifles again, the Chukavin is expected to sell well. The Chukavin weighs 4.3 kg (9.2 pounds) and uses ten or twenty round magazines. Those using the larger and more powerful Lapua Magnum round weigh 6.3 kg (13.9 pounds) and are longer at 1140mm (44.9 inches). The other models are 940mm (37 inches) or 1000mm (39.4 inches) long and only use a ten-round magazine.