Desert Tactical Arms SRS Covert Rifle

The Desert Tactical Arms SRS Covert Rifle was definitely one of the niftiest guns at SHOT Show. With a short 16″ barrel, chambered in 308 Win, .300 Win or .338 Lapua Magnum, this gun has an overall length of just 26″. It is tiny but powerful package.

My only concern would be firing a .338 Lapua Magnum with a muzzle brake so close to my hears. The blast must be ear shattering.

I heard some interesting news about Desert Tactical Arms at the show. Apparently they have sold sniper rifles to Georgia (the country).

UPDATE: I found a note I took when I was at the booth. DTA has been using .338 LM loads with a 300 grain bullets, being pushed at 2250 ft/sec and 250 grain bullets at 2500 ft/sec. That is slightly slower than a .308 Win., but with a much heavier bullet. Not bad for a 16″ barrel.



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.


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  • Matt G

    Ok I have to admit that that gun looks super awesome.

    But I have to question the need for a bolt action that small. I can understand makeing a compact magnum caliber rifle but I would much rather gave that last 4″ of barrel in a 20″ to give full ballistics. Hat would still put this unit about the length of a m4.

  • This makes my nostrils flutter with delight. It is lovely.

  • Interesting.
    It almost seems like the took an idea from Center Balance Systems and ran with it. The designs are pretty close when looking at the Mosin Nagant rifle package.
    http://www.cbrps.com/Products.html

  • Kevin

    Email inbound to you Steve with some kickass HD photos if you want them, and a video showing the Muzzle Blast.

    I have one up here in Canada, with the 308 and .338 Lapua barrels.

    The muzzle brakes are very effective. When pushing a 250 grain bullet with 92.3 grains of powder behind it in .338 Lapua, the recoil feels like a modestly loaded 308. Accuracy was superb, with groupings under 1″ at 100 meters.

    As noted, the muzzle blast is significant, but that is more due to the effective design of the brake then the proximity to your ears with the Bulpup designs.

  • Jim

    I don’t get it. What’s the point?

  • seeker_two

    Can’t wait to see the pistol version…. 😉

  • zincorium

    I can see using the version with the suppressor- but the 16 inch barrel isn’t generally a good idea with something like .300 winmag or .338 lapua, let alone in a bullpup design where length has been reduced drastically anyway.

    Still, the DSR seems like a cool rifle.

  • Brice

    Wow cool, somebody took an RFB, turned it into a bolt action rifle with very little hope of being able to cycle the action while it’s still on your shoulder. Awesome, very new an innovative.

    Sarcasm aside:
    I’ve actually held one of these, my local dealer just sold one. The guy who bought it said it’s a fun bench gun but it’s really hard to run the bolt if there isn’t a table to set the gun on. The trigger was very nice and the fit and finish were awesome. With a suppressor I’ve been told it’s not bad to shoot either. It’s not a gun I’d own, but they’ve sold at least one so I could be in the minority.

  • Jim S

    I find it odd that companies continue to release .308 and larger calibers in such a short barrel config. So much power is lost there. What I would like to see is a semi-auto bullpup with the 16″ barrel (for some CQC ass kickin’ action) but then also include a 24″ quick change barrel. That way, you could use it for standard patrols or in a role of a DMR when utilizing it past a few hundred yards.

  • Clodboy

    Mr AB: “It almost seems like the took an idea from Center Balance Systems and ran with it. The designs are pretty close when looking at the Mosin Nagant rifle package.”

    Actually, I’m pretty sure the inspiration to the SRS was the German DSR-1:
    http://world.guns.ru/sniper/sniper-rifles/de/dsr-1-e.html

    The main difference between the two (aside from the lack of a pseudo-magwell in front of the grip) is probably that the SRS is actually affordable enough to be handled by people other than GSG-9 sharpshooters and Hollywood armorers 😉

  • Bryan S

    Jim, the point is not having to lug around (possibly in and out of a vehicle) a rifle that has a 16+” barrel and the added length of a stock and action.

    Its why many of the militaries in the world have been moving to bulpup designs, because the ergonomics work, and the mass and space of the weapon is better used to house functional parts instead of dead space or solid wood / metal.

  • Bora Atkin

    Will someone PLEASE export a few to Turkey. I want one. 😀

  • Vitor

    The 300 grains bullet is certainly much better than the 250 one for this barrel, since being this short the bullet must rely more on it’s mass than on speed.

    Also, I suppose the 250 grain would leave too much unburnt powder and increase the muzzle blast.

  • drewogatory

    If I’m shelling out for Lapua, I want to be ringing gongs at 1200 plus. I can shoot MOA at 100 yds with a .22 for almost nothing.

  • Jimmy

    What’s it like working the bolt on a bullpup rifle? It seems like it would be awkward to me.

  • Allen

    OMG they are loud though suppressor is a must. Way to uncomfortable to the shooter just too loud to be depolyable.

  • Does a such a short rifle have any practical purpose when it is a bolt action?

    • Praxis Dorian

      I would think that “diminishing returns” occurs when the barrel length is too short to burn all of the powder. For a .308, that would be about 18″. So, a 16″ barrel seems a little counter productive in that case.

  • Bob H

    A bolt action bullpup? Why bother? Someone wake me when they make a semi version.

  • Mr Maigo

    I didn’t think .338 Lapua stabilized in under 20″ of barrel

  • Tony

    Seems pretty pointless to me, though I could see a market for a heavy built semi auto bullpup in something like .510 whisper, a western version of the russian straight pull VKS (a gun I would love somebody to make popular).

  • JeffinNZ

    I recall an article in a Gun Digest from the 90’s about a guy who built a 7-08 bullpup bolt on a Rem 788 action. Very similar to this. He was 20 years ahead of himself.

  • drewogatory

    So is the idea behind this and the HK heavy barrier penetration at typical police/terrorist distances, such as standoffs? In those situations there is no need to be covert for a sniper, so why not use a full size weapon? If it’s designed as a covert action/infiltration weapon someone is gonna just have to carry it plus a carbine anyway.. again seems redundant. Because it’s the first thing I’d leave behind if I had to extract in a hurry. If I was a Forsythe character, I’d use a breakdown as well. So… tacticool and nothing else? I’d love to hear what GSG9 operators trhink about this system and its role.

  • Tin

    Is there a feasible way of moving the bolt handle to the front of the gun without hindering ejection?

  • I love a clever bullpup, but $3000 even for the .308? DTA is not European, so why are they pricing their guns like Sakos and AIs?

  • Burt Gummer

    Until DTA offers a LEFT-hand bolt option, not interested.

    • arnau

      I don’t know why is so difficult for enterprises like this one to understand that left handed people also exists. In youtube appears an SRS shot by a lefthanded as they are trying to say us that we are able to shoot it. It’s not the same, preffer a Remington 700 vs in left hand ( although it makes a 3/4 moa ) than a SRS in right hand with it’s less than 1/2 MOA.

      Also SAKO and AI don’t make a left handed version, within other enterprises…..

    • W

      i had a dream a while ago that there was a bullpup bolt action rifle like this that could change to left hand ejection by pulling a pin, pushing the bolt to the other side, which would simultaneously change the extractor to eject from the same side.

      it has to be done somehow. 🙂

      • Praxis Dorian

        I own a Savage 110DL (left handed) rechambered in 7mm-08. It’s a lot of fun to shoot and very accurate. However, one thing that I noticed is that though I shoot left handed, I prefer a RH bolt. In a true sniper situation, the RH bolt would allow for minimal movement to eject and chamber a fresh cartridge, all the while keeping your trigger hand on the weapon and your eye on the target.

        Same goes for automatics. Most are operated ambi.. and clearing a stovepipe or other jam is infinitely easier with your free hand on the ejection port side.

        just my humble opinion.

  • Jax

    I wanna see a DTA SRS COCERT Rifle with Semi-Automatic and 338 Lapua Mag.

  • Gosh, I wish I would have had that inrfmoation earlier!

  • Sy

    A little lost on some of these comments. Was shooting my Rem 700 5R 308 at 890 yards and doing fine. The guy next to me offered to let me shoot his 338 DT SRS. The trigger was amazing and the first shot was dead center at 890. I was hooked! The trigger and ergonomics are insane…granted I’m right handed. I’ve already put money down on one and am looking forward to a mile. If you like long distance shooting its worth a look…and shoot it before commenting on it!

  • steppewolf

    Bullpup and bolt action it’s deadly funny plus you set up a gun on lapua in U.S , DESERT EAGLE .50 BMG is more effective . I prefer a Kel-Tec RFB 7.62mm to defend my family against great uk. I always appriciate any 7.62mm bullpup cause I think 5.56 is fancy , also fnar h who reach 1100 m range with dear 7.62 is a favor of mine but not for killing animals or human beings…

  • Ryan Nell

    I read the comments about the length of the gun and how short it is. I have a full size DST in 308 and 338 Lapua. You do know that you can change the barrels and calibers on these guns. I have several 338 Lapua guns and I have to say if you want a gun that shoot like a real sniper rifle, this is the gun. I have shot 3 different DST 338 Lapua guns and to say that it will shoot
    1 MOA at 100 yards is a joke. Every DST I have shot would shoot way under 1/2 MOA and I know it would shoot a smaller group if I could shoot better. I think that if they made a DST that shot 1 MOA it would not be sold. They shoot every gun they sell and are a great company to work with!

  • Cory

    It would have been nice if the OP would have included more info.

    The Covert and the SRS share the same chasis with a different forearm which can be swapped but you could put a longer barrel on the short Covert forearm.

    I bought the SRS in 338 which is a 26″ barrel and an SRT Suppressor. It shoots like a dream with sub moa accuracy and a very nice adjustable trigger (mine is adjusted down to bench gun trigger pull weight). I load 300 gr Sierra hpbt, 250 hpbt and Gamekings. DS will actually discuss loads with you (not recommendations for the lawyers out ther) and their staff is very available and helpful.

    The 338 with muzzle break is loud as hell because it’s a 338 LM. It will set off car alarms at your range. With a suppressor it is extremely fun and tame to shoot.

    Later I decided to buy the Covert kit with the short 308 barrel which is 16″ 1 in 8 twist. It’s short with a high twist rate to stabilize subsonic rounds. You can buy the 22″ 308 barrel as well with a slower twist rate.

    I shot the Covert converted 308 rifle with THE SAME 338 Suppressor. Yes you buy the 338 suppressor and it will work on any of their barrels. I was shooting my semi-auto reloads that are not built for accuracy in .5 to .8 inch 3 shot groups at 100 yards (some fliers on longer strings to be expected with this ammo). This was during barrel break in and it was quiet with the 338 can. No doubt subsonic will be movie quiet.

    After barrel swap from 338 to 308, removing the scope and putting it back on, the first shot was not only on paper but 4 inches high and 2 inches left at 100 yds.

    Ergonomics are great and the bolt is smooth.

    One rifle to rule them all!

    I’m selling my Rem 700 PSS in .308.

  • Steve

    I have seen videos on youtube with people doing testing on this rifle. One guy hit targets at 1100 yards with the Covert .308 and suppressor. The accuracy does not suffer with the shorter barrels, although velocity does drop about 4% from the 16″ barrels vs the 22″ barrels in the regular SRS. the nice thing about the Covert is you can have the short .308 with the .338 Lapua suppressor for closer ranged shots, and swap out for the full sized .338 Lapua barrel for your longer shots outward of 1600+ yards. This gun is amazing and I fully plan on getting one once I save up enough money. ^_^