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International True SVD rifles may be back thanks to Hungary!

Hungary’s FEG Looks to Bring the SVD Back to the States
Modern Rifleman May 31, 2019 No Commentson Hungary’s FEG Looks to Bring the SVD Back to the States

If there is a single rifle that U.S. collectors have begged to see return, it’s the legendary Dragunov. There really aren’t many imported firearms that have befallen the sort of misfortune experienced by the SVD. In the early 1990s, SVD-style rifles sold in the U.S. could be sourced from either China (NDM-86) or Russia (Tigr/SVD). Then, in 1993, Chinese firearms were largely banned from import following a sting operation which revealed U.S. importers, on behalf of Norinco (the maker of the NDM-86), had arranged to illegally import machine guns and shoulder-fired rocket launchers. Then, in 1996, a Voluntary Restraint Agreement (VRA) between the United States and Russia banned Russian-made models from import as well, effectively eliminating the second and final source of SVDs for U.S. buyers. Since then, secondary market prices for Tigr and NDM rifles have increased steadily and it isn’t unusual for examples of either to eclipse the $5,000 mark.
Thanks to the newly formed FEG Defense, we may soon se the return of the SVD – this time from Hungary in the form of the HD-18. According to a company representative, FEG Defense is in no way affiliated with the original FEG (Fegyver- és Gépgyár), but allegedly has access to original equipment, blueprints, and parts made by FEG. From information shared on TheAKForum and AR15.com, the new owners were sorting through some of the FEG assets they had acquired when they came across original FEG-made SVD parts, plans, and tooling. They now intend to resume production of the rifles with the U.S. market in mind.
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For many collectors, this news was a shock not only because new SVDs have largely been thought of as a pipe dream. To date, there’s no real evidence that Hungary ever produced their own SVDs. “Hungarian” examples shown before have all (to my knowledge) been Soviet/Russian rifles with associated markings. While technically any SVDs in Hungary at this point should be importable thanks to the fact that effectively all of them have been there for more than 5 years. The issue is that, for some reason, the ATF hasn’t ever seemed to care about this mitigating factor when (dis)approving applications to import SVDs from nations other than Russia.
The obvious question for a lot of us is, “how much will this thing cost?” As you might expect, it won’t be cheap. FEG appears to be targeting around $3,800 for the rifle but has acknowledged that it could go for as much as $5,000. They’ve also pointed out that earlier production guns will likely cost more than those released later on. These dynamics aren’t surprising; the problem is that they disincentivize all but the most dedicated from hopping on the early production train. Enough hesitation, and the HD-18 may not happen. So far, FEG has managed to secure theoretical buyers for the 100 initial rifles, though no money has exchanged hands and even ATF approval still needs to be secured. Needless to say, plenty of things still need to go right for us to see the HD-18 on the U.S. market.
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Wasnt there a similar rifle sold by Romania here in the States for awhile? I seem to remember something of the sort..??


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