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Chapter 10
Chapter 10. Construction
Chapter 10. War
Chapter 10. Evacuation
Chapter 10. Manufacture
Chapter 10. Mednogorsk
Chapter 10. Labor exploit
Chapter 10. Outcomes


Tokarev automatic rifle

Tokarev automatic rifle was developed based
on the Tokarev self-loading rifle.
From 7 to 28 October, 1941, over three thousand railway cars with the equipment, as well as about 4 thousand workers and employees with families were forwarded eastwards.
The exposition of the Tula State Museum of Weapons shows pilot models of the automatic rifle designed by Fedor Vasilyevich Tokarev.
Unlike a self-loading rifle, AVT could deliver both single shots and bursts.
Fire in bursts was only intended for the most tense moments of a battle repelling an attack.
3D: Shooting
Safety bolt flag acting as a fire-control lever
Since the self-loading and automatic Tokarev rifles were identical in appearance, the AVT butt stock was marked with the “A” letter.
3D: Assemble a rifle
The scheme of development of small automatic weapon prototypes at the Tula Arms Factory by a group of designers under the leadership of Fedor Vasilyevich Tokarev in 1922–1932.
Single chamber muzzle brake to reduce recoiling
Immediately after the start of the Great Patriotic War, the defense industry faced a task to restructure its facilities for military purposes as soon as possible.
From the first days of the war, they introduced a tight operating schedule at the Tula Arms Factory.
Gunsmiths unanimously supported the slogan:
“Everything for the battlefront, everything for the Victory!”
In July, the factory yielded for the battlefront 88 thousand SVT-40 self-loading Tokarev rifles and 7 thousand sniper rifles, and in August — 100 thousand Tokarev rifles and 7 thousand sniper rifles.
The Tula battlefront became one of the most important ones on the southern outskirts of Moscow at the end of September – beginning of October 1941.

The battlefront was rapidly approaching the city of gunsmiths.
Government’s decision as of October 7, 1941 gave a green light for the evacuation of the defense enterprises of Tula.
Certificate of G.A. Trochin, the Evacuation Echelon Chief of the Tula Arms Factory.
The manufacturing facilities for the SVT-40 self-loading rifle were evacuated to Mednogorsk, Chkalovsk Region (renamed into Orenburg Region since 1957).
The heroic defense of Tula lasted 45 days, yet the soldiers of the 50th army and fighters of the Tula workers regiment managed to stop the enemy on the outskirts of the city.
Weapon repair shops were organized in the harvester construction, machine tool and weapons factory shops quitted after evacuation.

At the same time, the major weapon manufacture facilities were arranged at the evacuated enterprises.
The first train from Tula arrived in Medny settlement located 6 km from Mednogorsk on November 6, 1941.
This location was not coincidental: it was the location of the unfinished buildings of a briquette factory, a small power plant adjacent to the railroad passing nearby.
Workers from railroad platform manually moved the equipment brought. A few weeks were enough to complete the construction of the buildings allocated for the manufacture of Tokarev self-loading rifles (SVTs).
Tula gunsmiths along with their families were accommodated in the villages near Mednogorsk town. They had to daily get to work by train and then walk 6 km from the station. For this reason, many of them preferred staying right in factory workshops at night.
Despite the production and living difficulties, at the beginning of December gunsmiths started assembling SVT-40 rifles from the parts brought from Tula.
The “The History of Firearms and Bladed Weapons from the 14th century to present” new permanent exhibition displays a volume-spatial composition “Evacuation. Tula Arms Factory workshop in Mednogorsk, 1941”.
Gunsmiths were able to organize an intense production of weapons within the shortest possible time. In December 1941, a shade over 9 thousand Tokarev rifles were manufactured.
Diorama of the factory workshop in which harsh conditions of work and life of Tula gunsmiths in the Urals were shown with the maximum reliability. Implementation of the plan was also aided by a thorough and careful study of surviving objects of the war-ridden daily routine, various materials, among which are memories of participants of those events and their graphic pictures.
Over 3.5 years of life in Mednogorsk, the Tula gunsmiths released more than 600 thousand SVT-40 rifles.

But the most popular light automatic weapon of the Soviet soldier during the Great Patriotic War was not self-loading rifles, but Shpagin submachine guns.
History of Firearms and Bladed Weapons from 1914 until 1945.
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The exhibit item is available
in the showcase No. 21
at the second exposition level