During the International Military-Technical Forum ARMY-2018, Kalashnikov Concern has introduced a hunting variation of the SVD rifle called TG3. The main difference from the Tiger series of civilian SVD rifles is that the TG3 is chambered in the 9.6x53mm Lancaster caliber.
The 9.6x53mm Lancaster is a relatively new Russian cartridge that is designed for oval bore (Lancaster rifling) firearms. The absence of distinct lands and grooves of the Lancaster rifling allows these firearms to qualify as smoothbore ones in Russia. Nevertheless, this is quite a potent cartridge providing a downrange performance comparable to rifles chambered in similar calibers. The idea of making it legally a shotgun is that smoothbore guns are much easier to obtain in Russia. In order to be eligible for owning a rifle, Russian citizens have to own shotguns for at least five years. If you want to learn more about 9.6x53mm Lancaster.
The TG3 rifle feeds from 5-round single stack detachable box magazines. These magazines are based on that of the SVD rifle except they are modified to single stack. Although the 9.6x53mm Lancaster is based on the 7.62x54mmR case, its larger bullet would not allow loading the original SVD magazines to their full capacity and I assume it could also cause feeding issues. That’s why they opted for a single stack magazine made by installing an insert into the SVD magazine.
TG3 rifle weighs 3.9 kilograms (8 lbs 9.5 oz). The overall length is 1,225 mm (48″) with a barrel length of 620 mm (24.4″). This new firearm is expected to hit the Russian market by the end of the year. Reportedly, the first versions will have classic wooden SVD furniture, however, later there will be versions with folding stocks like those seen on SVDS rifles. According to the Kalashnikov Gun Magazine, the MSRP will be around 80,000 rubles which is roughly equal to $1,175.