Optics of The Libyan Revolution

Nic Jenzen-Jones has been cataloging the optics used by the Libyan used by both sides during the Libyan Revolution. Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

This Barrett M82A1M, serial number 22750, is topped off with a BORS (Barrett Optical Ranging System) equipped Leupold 4.5–14×50 Mark 4 scope, was allegedly use by Libyan rebels. I would love to know which country supplied this gun to either the Libyan Army or to the rebels.

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.


  • Adam Jensen

    M82A1 for the rebels? I can only go off of what I’ve seen on Youtube and Liveleak, but I doubt they made very effective use of that weapon…

    • Higgs

      .50BMG from the hip….. ALLAH AKBAR!!!!

    • charles222

      Just sayin: They won. So apparently it was effective enough :p

      • Higgs

        Just sayin’ combined NATO Airpower/supply is effective.

      • Mobious

        Not difficult to win a battle against mercs that abandon their posts and eventually all leave the colonel’s side, especially with the rebels’ backing of foreign militaries and supplies~

    • Denom

      I think the Barrett is a M107 or M82A3?

  • I hope it isn’t stamped “Property of the US Govt” on it.

  • Yikes!

    Uncle Sam supporting Wahabists, salafists from Chechnya/Caucasus and Al Qaeda types…isn’t that something?

  • Lance

    I so want Belorussian optics back here in the states. I like the PK optic on that AK-103! the Barret is like those G-36s given buy Germany or Britain to the rebels. Qaddafi never had a chance not fighting the rebels BUT getting his troops and more importantly his T-55 T-62s and T-72s bomb out of existence w/o tanks he is doomed.

    Unfortunately like I said before those cool new weapons are now in the Al-Quada lead new Libyan government soon to see action against our allies and troops in the region…. SAD!!!

    • Clodboy

      I doubt those G36 were an official present from Aunt Angela to the rebels… while the majority of the German public did support the cause of the insurgents, the German secretary of state explicitly denied wanting to get involved in the war (a statement that did not exactly help his political clout).

      Germany, being a pretty liberal state, takes the whole “don’t export guns into warzones with human rights violations” thing pretty seriously, so even if they wanted to support the uprising, I doubt they’d tip their hand by exporting brand new G36s (when they probably have tons of old G3s lying around that could just as well have come from, say, Iran or Pakistan). In fact, H&K released an official statement that they had no idea how a bunch of G36s ended up in Quadaffi’s armories (and later the hands of the rebels), although given how rich and powerful the Quadaffi’s were, it should be no surprise if they were able to acquire them through straw buyers.

  • Vrt

    If any of You saw videos on Livelak you know that rebels was firing from the hip. So any optics was useless. Srsly they didn’t win this war. US and Isreal did. Kadafi was good guy 🙁 Now there will be mess there…

    • Vrt

      Oh i don’t know if you know that ~35 French intelligence employees died probably from NATO bombs. Up to 500 French soldiers , 200 US. And civils of course. I don’t think that Kadafi killed that many people in his life.

      • Vrt

        Not to mention that they wanted Kadafi dead

      • Arifonzie

        what about the twa flight he had shot down over lockerbie , Scotland ?
        Oh and one more thing, your a idiot!

      • Vrt

        What about 100 death from US bombs in 1986? Srsly US killed more people in last 30 years than all dictators from North Africa.

      • Komrad

        “Not to mention that they wanted Kadafi dead”

        That was kinda the fucking idea behind the whole campaign.

    • Joe Schmoe

      How the heck did you bring Israel into this one? Seriously…

      • Vrt

        US is under Israel jurisdiction.

    • West

      I see somebody took their peyote this morning.

    • John Doe

      I liked this blog because it was pretty devoid of crackpot idiots like you. I’ve made my fair share of bad posts, but this is just stupid.

      • David/Sharpie

        Can the admin of this blog block people? If so I would suggest getting that guy off here

      • Vrt

        Why? Bcs I’m telling the true? I was in Libya and i loved this country. Now it will be shit like Tunisia.

      • W

        the crackpot idiots are the ones that blindly support israel while failing to admit the crimes it has committed. These same people also ironically support US imperialism abroad. Here’s some news: stop endorsing these people. they are not helping you. in fact, this same group of people are the reasons why so many are having money problems LOL.

        The problem is that every criticism of israel is bombarded with accusations of “anti semitism”, which is utterly stupid. It seems to be something in the likes of guilt from the holocaust, which happened 60 years ago, and doesn’t undue the fact that other people were murdered by the tens of millions by a certain US ally (*cough* soviet union).

        Is the US a israeli puppet? i think it is more like the other way around.

        To say NATO got involved to oust ghaddafi is naive and disingenuous. There is a reason why the west doesn’t begin a war with stronger, more well entrenched regimes like North Korea; they may committ more horrible crimes, but don’t have anything we want.

      • Komrad

        To be clear, I was talking about Vrt’s comments, not anyone else’s.

    • Komrad

      This blathering about Israel smells of antisemitism.

  • charles222

    Okay, so Quaddafi’s army sucked. So? You, and a pretty fair number of other people, seem to be trivializing the fact that the Libyan rebels had the courage to fight against an enemy that had remained in power for forty years with no serious dissent until that point and was completely willing to commit wholesale murder of civilians to remain in power. That the US and NATO finally had the moral fortitude to help out with a righteous cause that was no net benefit to them says a hell of a lot more about how Europe and the USA suck than anything else.

    • W

      there was a ulterior motive to be involved in libya and that was oil.

      Since world production has peaked, the wealthy nations are grabbing as much of it left as they can.


      “Major oil companies from Italy, France, Germany, and Spain have drilling operations in Libya, with 85 percent of the country’s oil and gas going to those countries, according to the International Energy Agency. Those operations were suspended earlier this year when Libya’s civil war broke out.”

  • West

    Has anyone here personally used the BORS system?

    Im looking at one for my Model 99A.

  • Doesitmatter?

    “I would love to know which country supplied this gun to either the Libyan Army or to the rebels”…… asks Editor. Hmmm, this page is about guns, not politics, right?

    But once we are at this point – what ‘nationality’ is/was Blackwater (I believe they changed name lately to something less ‘national’)? We are living in ‘inter-national’ times my friends.

    You can say: “…and so what, who cares?” and that’s precisely the point.

    • Samopal

      They changed their name to “Xe” a few years ago, and then again to”Academi” recently.

      • Doesitmatter?

        Good info Samo. They reside (headquarters), as I understand on some Pacific island. Is it Brunei? Perfectly international and non-national.

    • Andrew

      This is not a politics question – It’s a very valid legal question – apart from any other restrictions on Libya, that weapon is VERY VERY likely an ITAR item and there are very hard and fast rules about how/who it would get sold to. Even if the weapon is not, that scope alone probably is

      Someone liekly broke the law to get it to Libya since it would have had to have had paperwork to leave the country unless “we” gave it to the rebels…..

      • Doesitmatter?

        So, nothing gets swept under carper, you say huh? And “law” applies for all equally? I’d like to share your optimism Andrew.

        You know the place was full of foreign mercenaries…. probably paid indirectly from our taxes. So, as you say it was “us”.

    • Komrad

      Although somewhat political, the “not politics” thing means that this isn’t a place to bitch about American gun laws at length, nor report victories/losses for gun rights.

    • As another commenter says, its not a political question, its a legal one. I don’t care to discuss, nor do I care, wether Libyan rebels should have been supplied American rifles, but rather I am very interested who did it.

      • Doesitmatter?

        I am not trying to push my objection Steve and I respect your view. I just picked up your line. However, I do not see great deal of difference between ‘legal’ and ‘political’ part. To me they are two ends of the same circle; after all it is politicians who form (and alter) law to suit their objectives. I believe this was very much the case.

    • Vrt

      Even Poland sent weapons there, sadly.

  • David/Sharpie

    Damn, nice glass on them guns. Want some of those scopes for my guns

    Hopefully they all pull through this and everything returns to normal

    • JMD

      Their country’s version of “normal” is what they’re trying to get rid of…

      • David/Sharpie

        Good point, I mean our “normal” not theres.

        My mistake

      • David/Sharpie

        I mean “theirs” not “theres”


  • Hasan

    Next adventure tourism destination: Libya
    Would love to fire a modern western sniper rifle and finally know how accurate I shoot at longer ranges as opposed to how (in)accurate the weapon shoots as is the case with old Russian rifles available to me.

    @Joe Schmoe: I hope you do not think that America/NATO one day all of sudden, after 40-50 years, found out they were wrong to support, train and impose the unjust regimes on Arab people and now they want to undo the injustice by helping the Muslim people.
    Israel has everything to do with the so called Arab spring.
    Very difficult to be brief and still be able to deliver the point, plus this is (fortunately) a non political blog so i’m just providing some links.
    The relevant portion of the video is from 00:25s to 03:45s:-
    For a better and detailed understanding you can read the following article written on 4th March 2011.

  • Tim V

    You never know im sure there were plenty of “advisors” from multiple countries around the Barrett could be one of theirs.

  • Tinkerer

    I am sorry to see that, in a blog dedicated to FIREARMS, NOT POLITICS, a post destined to discuss firearm optics, is completely degraded thanks to the few IMBECILES trying to impose their own political views of the world, and how some factions are Evil Incarnate. It’s sickening, no matter what faction one supports or condemn. I belong to a country that was another victim of the Cold War back in the seventies, when the two big sides on our local politics -the KGB-backed left and the CIA-backed right- managed to put us in the brink of civil war just for the sake of upholding their respective ideologies -and in the end, we got stuck with a military dictatorship that we managed to repel decades later with democratic and peaceful means.

    So, supporters and detractors of ANY ideology: GO TO HELL. We want to discuss firearms here.

  • John Doe

    They get nicer guns than we do here. What I would do for a G36…

  • Prof22

    My question is merely one out of curiosity. With all the FN FALs I have seen throughout the revolution I wondered where they came from. The ones I saw seemed to be fresh out of the box and, in point of fact, I saw a pic showing some being removed out of shipping crates. Where did they come from? Anyone?

    • Lance

      Most FAL where left over rifles from the Libyan army under the pro western monarchy before The military coup that brought Qaddafi into power. Same goes fro Mirage 3 and F1 fighters too. Soviet weapon supplemented them before the US arms embargo on Libya in the late 80s.

    • W

      thats a good question prof. The FALs, since they were produced by many nations and exported or smuggled to countless others, are really a mystery when it comes to their origins. They could have come from anywhere, perhaps, most likely, south africa if one was going to make a educated guess.

  • Nicks87

    The U.S.A. would never supply arms to the libyans!