DShK heavy machine gun + wheelbarrow = Mobile artillery

This photo was posted on what I am told is the Syrian Revolution facebook page. The machine gun pictured is the 12.7×108mm DShK.

The DShK was the Soviet WWII equivalent of the Browning M2. Its 12.7×108mm cartridge is very similar in size and power to the .50 BMG. During WWII the Soviets mounted the DShK on trailers with two wheels which could be hitched to a truck or tractor, which seems like it would be easier to maneuver than a one-wheels wheelbarrow.

[ Many thanks to Nizar for emailing us the photo. ]

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.


  • 15yroldgunman

    What’s with the muzzle

    • Doug

      My guess is protection from elements.

      • Higgs

        Looks like the picture is taken in a metal shop, my guess is to keep the bore clear.

      • Mu

        It’s to prevent the muzzle from digging out a chunk of dirt when you topple down the next hill.

    • Gidge

      An attempt at a home made suppressor?

      Looks like it’ll work about as well as the mount

  • Rangefinder

    Considering the configuration, makes me wonder how often the crew loses balance and lays this thing down.

    • Bryan S.

      Was coming around the bend, saw that camel, and had no choice but to “lay’er down”…

  • jdun1911

    Innovation. What the Syrian rebel needs more is firearms training and tactics.

  • kyle

    The local Afghan national army soldiers who worked a post near where I was in Musacala District, Afghanistan had a DShK mounted on a bipod, and one morning when the were repelling some insurgents with it the guy lost balance and fell over, gun and all, still firing. God bless the ANA

  • Matt G.

    The phrase “Syrian Revolution Facebook Page” just doesn’t seem to compute.

    • Vhyrus

      I could imagine one of their status updates:

      ‘Well the fighting is getting intense and it sounds like mortar fire incom’

      Bashar al-Assad likes this.

      • Rangefinder

        I also wonder if they cogitate about allowing location services for their personel wireless device. I am not very confident.

      • mosinman

        mohammad al tikri has checked in to paradise

  • David

    while I cant find the source at the moment this picture has been around a lot longer than the Syrian revolution, it also popped up a lot during the Libyan conflict

    • Cahal Mcgirr

      Yeah. This first appeared during the libyan uprising as I reposted to another blog back in Oct 2011.

  • Mike

    I love those haphazardly thrown together weld jobs. They remind me of Orks from Warhammer 40K.
    Although I’d like to see this one being fired.

    • Charlie


  • Vhyrus

    Looks like Sons of Guns has been doing some work in the offseason…


    • calool

      its a gamechanger!

  • Pete

    The “rebels” in Syria are Al-Qaeda types, same thing for Lybia…shouldn’t the West be fighting this people instead of giving them money, weapons and training…you know…the whole “War on Terror” thing? Many more similar questions could be asked, for example, why does the Terrorist Factory of Saudi Arabia enjoys great and beneficial political/economic/Military relations with the West while governments that have no connections with terrorists are subverted, bullied and bombed by the West?

    And why is the West trying to surround Israel with failed States ruled by hardline jihadists? Someone wants a massive war to happen or something?

    Hey…i don’t know about anything anymore (or maybe i do), i’ll just keep my weapons clean and oiled and my Armageddon stash cold and dry.

    • Tinkerer

      The Firearm Blog:

      Firearms, Not Politics.

  • Mike Knox

    Love to see that shoot. ‘Dakka-dakka-dakka-plop’..

  • Raoul O’Shaughnessy

    Huh….looks like GunKid finally made his “Assault wheelbarrow”.

    • MJ

      I can’t believe that we’re the only two people here who remember that whole ‘Assault Wheelbarrow’ thing…

  • Jeff Smith

    I love seeing improvised stuff like this. It’s really interesting to see what people can do in a pinch, even if it’s not super effective. Improvised weapons and equipment always peak my interest.

    Speaking of which, There was a vendor at a recent gun show in Memphis selling a “Khyber Pass” AK that he had fabricated himself. I asked him about it and he told me that he had a Century Arms AK with a canted gas block that needed to be rebuilt, so he turned it into a project gun. He used parts from 12 different countries. It was really incredible.

  • Roy Rapoport

    Pardon for asking an ignorant question, but I’ve typically seen machine guns that heavy on pretty substantial tripods with feet that appeared to be anchored pretty stably into the ground. With this configuration — front point a wheel, rear two points smoothed metal designed to glide over the ground — wouldn’t the “tripod” do pretty much nothing to stop the recoil from moving the machine gun back? In other words, wouldn’t you end up with some pretty substantial forces pushing the gun and the gunner around?

    • Alex

      I was thinking the same thing, but I don’t know much about the gun as far as recoil compensation.

      Another possible detractor is that although this appears mobile, one would have a difficult time transporting it on any terrain other than an established pathway, and it looks far too cumbersome to lift and move. It’s more a fun DIY zombie killer.

  • phuzz

    Wow! That, that is a thing of beauty.

  • Lance

    Still not as funny as the Libyan rocket pods on trucks pics from last year. Just hope you dont have to push it uphill with the than heavy MG on it.

  • p0larn1k

    Just add a two more wheels and a true self-propelled gun is born, moving like a farting fly – only in straght lines.

  • charles222

    I could see this maybe working if you had a chock block or maybe a brick to stick under the front tire.

  • Boomslang

    If I (for some bizarre reason) had to use this, I’d pile sandbags around the front wheel and on the flat area (base?) where it’s welded on. If you used a large number, they’d provide enough weight towards the front to keep it balanced and they’d reduce the vibration so that the thing doesn’t shake itself apart.

  • Cybrludite

    How do you say, “Hold my beer & watch this!”, in the Syrian dialect of Arabic?

  • arizona

    This looks like a lap full of gun to me.

  • W

    I like the soviet era wheeled mount better 😀 they should have welded it into a wheel barrow and loaded it with sandbags

  • 6677

    Jesus, I would love to see a video of someone moving that.

    Wheelbarrows are top heavy enough as it is, let alone sticking a gun UP top, even in straight lines thats gonna be cumbersome, lift one arm an inch further than the other and your just gonna drop it.

    Given some proper work a portable gun system along those lines could probably be drawn up though. I’m more thinking gun flat on the base of the wheelbarrow (or as close to the base, gotta avoid that wheel) and some sort of folding mount to raise the gun up into a combat useful position. Few legs could hinge down for a more secure firing base and then we can laugh at the guy with the gun wheelbarrow – 21st century edition 😀

    • noob

      If I had to move it, I’d grab the handles and walk backwards. That way the trailing wheel always rolls around bumps and obstructions instead of being driven off course.

      I don’t think I’d be moving it very fast, and it would probably get me killed.

    • David/Sharpie

      4 wheel wheelbarrow for the win!!

      AT LEAST a double wheeled one, you can get conversions to have 2 wheels.

      • Lance

        No way a Toyota 4×4 pick up is the classic way to go LOL.

  • Graham 1

    Probably the most bootleg thing i’ve seen all day

  • Cuban Pete