The SVT-38 saw its combat debut in the 1939–1940 Winter War with Finland. The initial reaction of the troops to this new rifle was negative. Among the issues were that the rifle was too long and cumbersome, difficult to maintain, and the magazine had a tendency to fall out of the rifle. Production of the SVT-38 was terminated in April 1940 after some 150,000 examples were manufactured. Subsequently, an improved design, designated the SVT-40, entered production.
The Samozaryadnaya Vintovka Tokareva, Obrazets 1940 goda (“Tokarev Self-loading Rifle, Model of 1940”, Russian: Самозарядная винтовка Токарева, образец 1940 года) or SVT-40 is a Soviet semi-automatic battle rifle. The SVT-40 saw widespread service during and after World War II. Intended to be the new service rifle of the Soviet Red Army, production was disrupted by the German invasion in 1941 resulting in a change back to the older Mosin–Nagant bolt-action rifle for the duration of WWII.