Azerbaijanian Istiglal 14.5mm Sniper Rifle

The Azerbaijan Ministry of Defence Industry has recently developed a new anti-material sniper rifle called the “Istiglal” IST-14.5. These photos are from the Ministry’s website:

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The rifle was on display at the IDEF ’09 arms show in Turkey a couple of weeks ago. I could find very little information about this rifle. The Azerbaijanis may be known for oil, but websites (and photography) they are not 😉

It is said to weigh 20 kg (44 lbs, but can be broken into two part for transport), has a range of 3000m (1.8 miles) and is usable in mud, snow, dust and temperatures ranging from -50 degrees Celsius (-58 F) to +50 degrees C (122 F).

Other than that all I know is what is pictured above. It has a side mounted scope, iron sights, bipod and a two baffle muzzle break.

Photo from

The potent 14.5x114mm round it chambers was developed by the Soviets at the beginning of WWII as an anti-tank cartridge and later as a heavy machine gun and anti-aircraft round. Compared to the .50 BMG it is up to 60% more powerful!

From what I can make out from Azerbaijani websites they are interested in creating a viable defense export business. Other items on display at IDEF were machine gun suppressors and Armored Personal Carriers jointly produced with South Africa.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • James

    It appears that the scope is one of the AKM/SVD variants, the PSOs or PSOPs (I think). Maybe its a new model that’s been beefed up to take the recoil of a 14.5mm, or maybe the muzzlebreak is really good at reducing recoil. I’ve got a PSO-1 4x on my PSL rifle, and the scope feel indestructible!

  • Shayan

    Istiglal means “independence.”

    Sorry, that’s all I know about it. If you point me to an Azerbaijani website on the rifle I may be able to translate some of it.

    • Shayan, thanks! Unfortunately I can’t navigate the Ministry website to find any specifications because I don’t know the language. If you can find that specs that would be great!

      This is the official website, I could only read the English version:


  • Shayan

    The “Technical info” section of the MDI page had nothing in it in any language. :-/

    I found this from an Azerbaijani news source though:

    Range of 3000m and operable in temperatures from 50C to -50C, it says.

    And more photos:

    • Shayan, I appreciate you taking a look 🙂

  • Shayan

    Oh sorry, you had that info already!

    That seems to be all that’s out there 🙁

  • People of Azerbaijan are called “Azeri” or “Azeris”.

    Man, you do not want to hear an Azeri [lobbyist] correcting someone about the issue…living in DC Metro area, it’s possible and has happened to me. Then again, the guy was a tool.

    This is just an FYI, as you seem to have a blog built around informing folks.

    Can I ask a favor, since I’m emailing you? The 6.8, do you think you could do a comparison? My buddy loves his XCR, and I wanted to hear more about other platforms in the caliber.



    • Chris, thanks. I never knew that. Your lobbiest man is going to have a hard time convincing people since the word seems to have little in common with the country name!

      6.8 SPC: heavier bullet, larger caliber and optimized for shorter barrels. More powerful than 5.56mm but still controllable in full auto. All in all I think most people would agree that it is much better combat cartridge than the 5.56mm. On the other hand switching NATO to another cartridge would be such a logistical nightmare that it won’t happen. I may write a post on it in the future.

  • Shayan

    Regarding the Azeri/Azerbaijani thing, calling Azerbaijanis Azeris is accuratewhen referring to the ethno-linguistic group, however, not all Azerbaijanis are Azeri, and not all Azeris are Azerbaijanis. An Azerbaijani is a person who is a citizen of Azerbaijan, of course. But ethno-linguistically, in fact, most Azeris live in Iran, just across the border, and have a very different culture than their post-Soviet northern cousins, one much more permeated with Islam, and mixed with Persian culture. The complexities of ethnicity and nationalism in the region never leave one bored!

    Anyways, love the blog Steve!

  • Shayan

    For example, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, is ethnically Azeri (though culturally Persian, much like someone from Chicago is Irish but culturally American).

    It’s the largest ethnic and linguistic minority in Iran, though the shared religious traditions of Shi’ism and hundreds of years of historical interactions mitigate tensions a great deal.

    • Shayan, thanks for the info. I am pleased you enjoy the blog!

  • XXXL
  • XXXL

    Purpose the Basic purpose of this rifle? Struggle against technical and material means of the opponent on average and greater (for a small arms) дальностях. For this purpose in a rifle rather powerful ammunition are used? 14,5 mm armo-piercing. The basic purposes for rifle IST Истиглал cars, planes and helicopters on parking, a communication facility, топливохранилища against which 20 mm shells are especially effective can be. 14,5 mm cartridges are used for shooting on more protected purposes, for example, on armored troop-carriers or the strengthened constructions, or at shooting on greater дальностях (the order of 3 kilometers).

    • XXXL, thanks for the infomation

  • XXXL

    The design Rifle IST is constructed on the basis of the traditional scheme with manual перезаряжанием is longitudinal a sliding rotary shutter. Lock-out of a trunk by a shutter is carried out on 6 fighting emphasises. Trunks IST быстросменные, that allows to replace in field conditions calibre of a rifle by installation of a new trunk complete with a shutter and shop under other calibre. A feed is carried out from примыкаемых horizontally at the left box-shaped shops on 3 cartridges. The basic difference of this rifle from others? Presence in a design powerful откатного the mechanism including hydraulic демпфер and pneumatic накатник (as artillery systems). At a shot rigidly closed trunk is rolled away inside of the case of the weapon, than mitigation of powerful feedback is reached. In addition feedback reduce developed дульный a brake and амортизирующая a pillow on затыльнике a butt. The rifle is intended only for shooting from an emphasis for what has harmonious biped сошку. Aim adaptations? Optical 8Х a sight on the quick-detachable fastening, not demanding перепристрелки the weapon after removal and installation of a sight. In area of the center of weights on a rifle the special frame serving as for переноски of a rifle on small distances, and for protection of a sight is established. For transportation the rifle understands on the basic components and is packed in two bales which can transferred behind a back two numbers of calculation of a rifle. In one bale, the trunk, shops, a shutter and an optical sight enters into another? The case of the weapon with сошками. Weight of each bale? The order 12? 15 kg.

  • XXXL

    Characteristics Weight: 29 kg (equipped with an optical sight) Length: 2015 mm Length of a trunk: 1220 mm the Cartridge: 14,5×114 mm Calibre: 14,5 mm the Mechanism: manual перезаряжание, a longitudinal-sliding shutter the Maximal range: 3000 m the Kind of ammunition supply: отъемный box-shaped shop on 3 cartridges the Sight: optical 8Х on quick-detachable fastening

  • XXXL

    I live in Azerbaijan if that address

  • Omar

    14.5x114mm is a .57 Cal, thats so awsome!
    .50BMG is for pussies!
    14.5mm B-32 is an explosive tipped, armor piercing, incendiary, tracer that can turn a tank into swiss cheese.

  • Omar

    There is a Russian Heavy Machine Gun called the KPV that fires the 14.5x114mm M41 round at 600 rounds per minute, like the Istiglal IST-14.5, the KPV also has 3000m of range. the KPV is likely the best HMG ever made, even better than the American M2HB. The KPV is close in performence to the belgian FN BRG-15. Which is chambered for the special 15.5x106mm round. I’m only a 15 year-old kid, yet I know so much about weaponry. My Iraqi background might have something to do with this.

  • Greeneye

    Excellent.Well done Azerbaijan.
    I know that “Istiglal “and it has not any ocompotitor.
    Its really very strange gun.

  • joe

    i dont know to much about this rifle but i do know quite a bit about long range shooting. I find it very hard to believe that some small little country that most people have never heard of somehow magicly make a round that has been around since WW2 more accurate than it has been for the last 70 years. while this round is great for anti material it has never been suited for anti personal. i havent heard from anyone that has shot one of these rifles either and there are prob less than 30 people in the world that even if they had a rifle that could do it could utilize a rifle with range like that. sounds to me the manufacturer just threw out some obscure number saying the rifle will perform with no proof. kinda like throwing in a spedo in a car that reads 200mph when the car is only capable of going 150;)