Serbu Firearms working on new 20mm rifle called Typhon

Serbu Firearms, maker of the Super Shorty 6.5″ barreled shotgun and the BFG-50 and -50A .50 BMG rifles, has published several videos and photos of their current project, the Typhon 20. It is a single shot, bolt action, very similar to the BFG-50, albeit a significant amount larger.

Typhon 20 Receiver and Bolt

The prototype rifle, as of yet, does not have a stock or a scope mount. It is currently chambered in 20x110mm Hispano, and has a very heavy barrel and no muzzle brake, although Mark Serbu has indicated that production models are planned with lighter barrels and a muzzle brake. He also has said that he intends to make the Typhon in a more common 20mm chambering, such as 20×102 Vulcan, which the Anzio Ironworks 20mm rifle also chambers. It uses a modified version of the trigger pack from the BFG-50.

Test firing the Typhon 20

Test firings were done from a M2 tripod, with a pintle mount attached to the rifle’s handguard. Recoil from the rifle had enough force to pull the pintle out of the tripod, even with the spring loaded detent trying to hold it in place.

As Mark noted on his website’s forum, Serbu Firearms does not have a Destructive Device license yet, and is building this rifle on a BATF Form 1.


Nathan B

Nathan B is a software engineer living in Maryland. He graduated from Penn State University in 2012 with a BS in Information Sciences and Technology. He has been shooting for most of his life, is a sucker for a good .22 rifle, and shoots competitively in IDPA and local 3-gun matches.


  • That recoil does not look like a lot of fun! It is throwing that heavy rifle around. Muzzle brake would work wonders.

    • M.G. Halvorsen

      I just noticed the lack of any muzzle-break or bore evacuator. Either one wuold dramatically improve control and second-round capability,IMHO

      • matt

        Why are you bringing up second shot capability on a single shot rifle?

    • Doesitmatter?

      I am not that sure Steve. Muzzle brakes may be useable maybe up to ,50 cal, even at that caliber they must be pretty punishing for crew. Now imagine this animal! I’d say loss of hearing will not miss you… if you want to do it often enough.

      I rather lean toward what Jim on top says: it would be much more useful to produce some innovative and meaningful internal dynamics device to control the kick. An yes, possibilities are there.

      • bbmg

        The NTW-20 is a maze of hydraulic buffers internally, but it becomes a two-man system.

      • Zincorium

        Muzzle brakes were originally designed for use with tank cannons, and they’re used for artillery pieces as well where the crew is standing nearby. Not to mention almost all other rifles of this class.

        You’d definitely want to use double ear protection when firing this, but it’s not unreasonable.

        • Chuck Hugh Farley

          system from the german 88 might work scaled down of course

  • hikerguy

    I wouldn’t want to shoot it……nor carry it.

  • noob

    if someone made a civilian version of the xm25 CDTE “punisher” that lacked the electronics to program the explosive airburst shells, and made it only able to fire inert 25mm inert lead practice shells, would that be considered fun enough to buy?

    yes, it is a nfa becuse of the bore diameter, but if you get good at shooting those inert rounds at paper targets, you will be a much better grenadier if you ever had to fire the real deal.

    you could even have “punisher” meets, like the subgun meets.

    and woe to he who makes you fire it in self defense. a badguy hit by a 25mm round is one dead badguy.

    • Porty1119

      You could set it up for shotshells or sabots without the individual rounds being considered DDs. Imagine how ‘fun’ that would be.

  • Komrad

    I have absolutely no use for it and I can’t own it in my state, but I want one.

    I wonder who the target market is for this. It can’t be police because they have no need for any rifle over .300 mag (unless you’re Harold Calahan with his .458 Win Mag model 70), unlikely to be military because they either use a .50 BMG or have something like the NTW-20 for anti-materiel. What does that leave? Extreme long range competition shooters and people with large disposable incomes. It’s a cool looking gun and would probably be a blast to shoot, but I wonder if it will move enough units to justify it’s development and production.

    • Jeff Smith

      The FBI did buy a few Anzio Ironworks 20mm rifles. Serbu may be looking to make a very cost-effective solution to their rifles. Anzio’s cost is around $13,000. The Serbu looks like it could cost significantly less.

      Also, since 2001, lots of cities have seen a flood of money to ramp up their tactical abilities. So, if you can get a 20mm rifle for a few grand, why not? Especially when other towns are buying armored personnel carriers. It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

      • Zappy

        True story. The little old police department of Maple Valley Washington had a full blown APC back when I lived there.

      • matt

        “It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.”

        Cause you know, its not their money, its the tax payers, so who gives a shit.

      • Jeff Smith

        @Matt – I agree with you. I don’t think that it is a good for small towns to be buying pieces of equipment that they would probably NEVER use. When I said “It’s better to have it and not need it…”, I was not referring to things like Armored Personnel Carriers that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

        However, I do not feel that a police department buying a large caliber (50 BMG or 20mm in this case) rifle is a waste of taxpayer money. Especially when we are talking about budget priced versions. $3,000-$4,000 may sound like a lot, but that is not much more than the price of one or two reasonably priced AR-15 rifles with accessories and optics.

        I know that it is not the kind of thing that happens daily, but if you recall the “killdozer” incident that happened a few years ago, police were unable to stop the man inside of his vehicle (while he was firing a 50 BMG out of a firing port, BTW) due to the inability to penetrate the armor plating that he had created. Yes, I know that was an isolated incident, but there are plenty of times when a police department might need disable a vehicle or take an extremely long range shot.

        I’m not saying that every police department needs a 20mm rifle (or 50 BMG), but a reasonably priced anti-material rifle is something that could be cheap insurance against a pretty nasty scenario. 20mm may be overkill in most scenarios, but as I said before, It’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.”

  • Kenny Blankenship

    The Serbu logo cracks me up every time I see it.

    • Anon

      What is it supposed to be?

      • Mike

        Stick figure that’s been blown apart within crosshairs.

  • Reverend Clint

    This is perfect for the back of my van… now all i need is jack black

    • Jeff Smith

      Nah, He’ll end up trying to blackmail you…

  • Big Daddy

    It has possibilities as a inexpensive anti-material rifle. Many countries cannot afford anything else. Missiles are expensive, even a simple M72 LAAW. A few rounds from this weapon into a light armored vehicle should disable it using already available AP rounds.

    Figure a 2-3 man crew within the platoon level. More power than a 50 cal, with HE abilities and better armor piercing. One round in the engine and the vehicle isn’t going anywhere, that goes for boats too. A second round into the turret or if the vehicle uses a remote weapons platform into the vehicle side and you will have penetration and spawl. I can see Jack Black now….LMAO!!!!!!

    The vehicle crew tries to leave vehicle and some HE at them. A pair of these would give a light mech recon platoon a bad day. At a minimal cost you are disabling or destroying an enemies assets. Those new armored light vehicles cost a lot. With a few hundred dollars of ammo you took out a platoon of shinny new light armored vehicles. Even hit the tires with HE.

    It’s possible the designer does NOT want an muzzle brake, that has more of a chance to give away your position. The use of a muzzle brake might limit your time on target. You will have to use more shoot and move tactics. Without the brake you would be harder to see. If there is not a muzzle brake some type of system has to be used to mitigate the recoil. The choice of that round (20×102) is also a good one, there are a few companies that already have tooling to make barrels.

    If you’re an Army or even LE on a budget you can get the most bang for your buck. I also think it would be excellent on those makeshift light armored vehicles

    • Other Steve

      Ha, The Jackal

    • Zincorium

      A number of 20mm anti-material rifles already use suppressors, which have similar recoil-mitigating effects to a muzzle brake but are effective at reducing the muzzle blast and make finding the location by sound more difficult. Even a very large suppressor, if designed to quickly attach and detach, could be used for the missions you’re talking about.

  • D

    That’s a brave man to pull the trigger on that thing.

    • Giolli Joker

      Yep, I would have used a string in such a preliminary test…

  • jim

    I see a lot of worthless firearms lately. If they look at weapons, chambered in aircraft cannon cartridges, they would be a lot more helpful if they looked at the recoil absorbing ideas used in some ww2 aircraft cannons. They would help the idustry a lot more. Some ww2 cannons chambered in this cannons had just a fraction of the recoil thix stupid rifles have.

  • Mike Knox

    I could only imagine the maniacal giggles in the Serbu drafting room when this rifle was drawn up..

  • TxDog

    I wonder why no one is saying Serbu is ripping off the South Africans or Anzio Ironworks…

    • bbmg

      Or the Finns?

      Or the Germans?

      Or the Japanese?

      20mm rifles have been around as long as 20mm rounds have…

      • Giolli Joker

        And the Croatian Rucni Top RT20? πŸ™‚

      • bbmg

        I didn’t mention the RT-20 as it was developed at the end of the 20th century, while all the other rifles listed were operational during the second world war and can therefore claim to be pioneering designs.

        I believe it was the Becker M2 that can be considered to be the first “proper” 20mm autocannon, even though it wasn’t meant to be shoulder fired and rather treated like a small artillery piece.

    • SPC Fish

      i dont see how they are ripping off anzio. the anzio take down rifle is not bolt action and the Serbu isnt mag fed like the anzio bolt action. also it is chambered in a totally different caliber for now. thats like saying remington ripped off mauser or springfield because they both made rifles.

      very ignorant comment. especially for a one off rifle.

      If i make a 75mm recoilless rifle am i ripping off firestone?

      • Porty1119

        If you build a 75mm recoilless, your homebuilt rifle/cannon/cat-scarer’s awesome factor outweighs the fact that it’s been done before.

  • SPC Fish

    there wasnt really a target market when Mr. Serbu built this. He just had a lot of 20mm hispano ammo sitting around and decided to build a rifle to shoot it out of. he has had the build approved by the ATF for 10 years or so but hasnt had the time to work on it. He has been very busy building the BFG-50A rifles lately. so he got some time and decided to build the typhon. He is still waiting to decided to build a vulcan version. His shop isnt licensed for it but could be soon if he decides to do it. but right now this was a jsut for fun project

    • SPC Fish

      and if/when Serbu decides to bring a vulcan version into production, expect it to be the best value 20mm rifle you can find. not only are his BFG 50 rifles the best priced, they are also some of the safest 50 cal rifles you can buy. the BFG50 has been proven to handle extreme pressure rounds and also proven to be extremely accurate

  • Hey, guys, I just stumbled across this forum. I like it! Anyway, I figure I’ll give you some perspective from the horse’s mouth. As to why I designed and built this gun: BECAUSE! It was 1999 and I’d just designed the BFG-50 and was getting bored with the tiny muzzle blast it produced. πŸ˜‰ Seriously, just as I wanted a .50 BMG rifle for myself, I wanted a 20mm rifle for myself. Ever since I saw that first Vulcan barrel at Knob Creek and saw that HUGE bore with the deep rifling and gain twist, I just wanted one, you know? No better reason than that. People who know me know that I don’t do stuff to make money, I do stuff because I want to! So now I have a bunch of Vulcan barrels and a LOT of Vulcan ammo that I’ve collected over the years, but a Navy contract came along a few years back where they’d give interested companies M21A1 (Hispano) ammo for development use. So I jumped on that. Had to have barrels and chamber reamers custom made…was expensive and took a long time. In the meantime I was trying to get the BFG-50A to market, and it was a nightmare. No time to work on 20mm stuff that didn’t have much commercial interest. Just a few weeks ago I finally decided to just get the damn thing together, no matter what. There’s been a receiver tube and barrel extension lying around here for years…I just had to make a handful of parts. How hard could that be? Unfortunately the company is much bigger now and there’s huge overhead and lots of cashflow issues, so (according to my general manager) I just about crashed the company by taking a few weeks off to build this toy. The reason it’s tripod mounted and there’s no muzzle brake (instead opting for a HEAVY barrel) is mainly because it was quicker and easer! I was in a real hurry to get this shooting, because I really like my job and didn’t want to bankrupt the company. As far as the design it’s basically a scaled up BFG-50. I did the bolt handle differently, mainly because I hate machining that big “L” shaped bolt handle track on the BFG. I used a similar hammer cocking cutout in the bolt body, which I invented years ago and unfortunately didn’t think to patent. It’s been copied a lot now. Unlike the BFG-50, I designed the Typhon’s bolt to have interchangeable heads, so you can switch calibers very easily. It’ll also allow us to sell the receiver as a Title 1 gun instead of a DD, which is nice since NFA branch is SOOOOOO backed up these days. Another thing I changed was to make the primary extraction cam a lot less radical on the Typhon, and fortunately it works great! Sometimes you’ll get an overpressured round on the BFG-50 and when you lift the bolt handle to the point where it hits the primary extraction cam you have to really beat on the bolt handle to get the case to unstick. Not so on the Typhon; as you can see on the video, extraction is effortless and the action is very smooth. I’m very happy with the gun! Future plans include actually producing the Typhon for sale (complete guns as well as receivers), and I intend to make a belt-fed, full-auto gun in this caliber too. That should be a blast…

    • My hubby is a big fan. He wants a BFG-50A, and will order one soon.
      But 20mm? We are gonna need a bigger gun safe!

    • valorius

      Does this need a destructive device license?

  • Bruce

    As an anti-material rifle, the .50 BMG Raufoss round does the job of a 20mm:

    • Josh Myers

      Every caliber is going to get increasingly potent. Pistol cartridges were only about 50% as good before WW2 as they are now, for example. Low velocity & bad reliability. Thats probably why the .45 cartridge got popular at first. Even at 150fps, a .45 caliber ball is going to hurt.

  • Jim Coloma

    wheres thee add to cart button?

  • Chuck Hugh Farley

    we are long past due for some new shootin irons. Everything we shoot today is just a degree or two of separation from guns that are a hundred years old
    imagine if hiram maxim was stymied by red tape – heck I think if the motorcycle was invented today it would be banned