Trying to beat the ban. I keep seeing Romanian PSLs for about $800, and would like to stock up on surplus ammo, but I read somewhere that they are picky on ammo and some may damage the gun irreparably.
You can get an M14 for a few bucks more. They're far more accurate and have about the same knock down as a Dragunov. My experience with Dragunos is pretty limited, but I've never been impressed with them. Their accuracy leave a little to be desired.
Benning, some of the Russian made or cloned 7.62 ammo for those rifles are known to be highly corrosive. I used to have a Mosin Nagant and a Tokarev that I used for both target practice and WWII reenacting, and I made sure to clean the rifles at the end of the day and well oil the barrels. The stuff I was using was the Chinese made ammo, both blanks and live rounds.
Reloading your own shots might be a better way to go if you are comfortable with that idea.
I'm painfully familiar. I have an M-44, immediately after the range, I'm spending the rest of the day running Windex and Breakfree through it.
Reloading is a little tougher with those, since they have a funky primer system.
I just need one precision 800 meter rifle, and the ones I've seen come scoped. I'm too lazy and impatient to drill and buy a bunch of components separately to put one together. And like I said, ammo cost is a factor.
Sorry, was at work when I wrote that and kinda went off on a tangent.
since you were trying to get a feel for either the dragunov svd or the romanian/chinese clones, to be honest, I have shot both and while they felt different(the svd feeling better), the knock-offs using the rpk reciever parts (kinda sloppy), I didnt notice much in accuracy, but then again I wasnt trying to reach out to +700m mark.
imho, for the price, a psl with some adjustments should be more than enough.
To answer your earlier question, PSL's are somewhat picky about what they shoot well with. Russian 7N1 is the fodder of choice, with Czech silvertip as second choice. 7N1 uses a bullet that weighs 147 gr, which is what PSL's are made to use. Using Bulgarian heavy ball,or any other surplus heavy ball will tend to do bad things to your rifle if you use it for long enough.