SKW-338 BORT Semi Automatic Sniper Rifle

Polish firm OBR Tarnów has unveiled their new bullpup .338 Lapua Magnum semi-automatic sniper rifle. The SKW (an acronym for Semi-automatic Sniper Rifle in Polish) features a titanium receiver and a combination muzzle brake / suppressor.

I love the sleek design and this gun.

[ Many thanks to Python FCS for the photos. ]

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.


  • Elijah

    Oh no. Black Ops 2 & Battlefield 2142 are creeping into the firearms industry!

    • Chucky

      Sounds like what they used to say when the AR-15 first came out.

      • Avery

        What was the phrase they used in the early part of Vietnam to describe the M-16? “You can tell it’s Mattel, it’s swell”?

    • nobody

      It actually does look somewhat similar to rifle used by the EU snipers in BF2142, if the hand guard went to the end of the barrel it would really look similar.

  • Pepin the Short

    Looks like something from the future.
    I wonder how it works. The size and weight of the barrel would seem to indicate long recoil, like those old Model 8s.
    That’s a pretty wild guess, though. Still, I’m always interested to see how engineers solve the problems presented by the higher-pressure rounds.

    • noob

      right hand side ejection. non-replacable grips without changing the whole stock. lack of rails long enough for thermals and designators with optics.

      the ergonomics of a 2×4 pine board.

      i’d say it looks like the 80s. i can only hope that the operating system and trigger linkage have something worthwhile about them.

      • Other Steve

        I wonder if Steve writing on how he likes the “sleek lines” is actually looking at a different set of photos than the ones he posted. There is nothing at all sleek about this.

  • Hellhound

    It’s a LEGO gun!!!

  • Denny

    Straight out of dreamland. Look at thouse shabby leggs and ergonomically incompatible receiver shape. I bet this is somebody’s “carier project”.

    One must wonder where Poland takes money for such prestigeous developments; it ranks economically in lower half of ex-commie nations. Thousands of Poles run after turnaround to the West and are happy to be out.

    • Mike

      I wonder if you said the same about MSBS-556 earlier. First, military R&D in this sick sad country pretty much doesn’t exist – during the last twenty years the local industry managed only to “improve” the AK47 to fire .223 ammunition and whatever they came up with was always a slapcrap abomination made of AK47 parts and plumbing supplies. Sometimes, students of military engineering schools like the Military Academy of Technology wanted to go a step further and, as a part of their graduate projects, went on to construct a one-of-a-kind tech demo device, like a bullpup AK47 that then ended up gathering dust somewhere in the school’s basement. As for the military themselves, they didn’t give half a shit and merrily proceeded to waste money on missiles incompatible with currently used launch systems, ships that just couldn’t have been built, NBC detectors produced by their buddies’ companies that were suddenly proved to be faulty as soon as someone wanted his buddy’s company to sell the military a replacement, etc.
      However, this is slowly beginning to change. Students and recent graduates of the WAT (Military Academy of Technology in Warsaw) finally designed a modern assault rifle (the MSBS – sure, it looks suspiciously like the Masada/ACR, but at least it’s not a slapcrap AK47/plumbing abomination), a sniper rifle (Alex/Tor) and anti-materiel rifle (Wilk/Bor), some cosmetic upgrades for the Mk.2013 GPMG, and now this baby.

      • Poland has been doing some pretty cool things in the past few years.

        As far as military research goes … how many countries actually do any? And when they do, I tend to shake my head and wish they had just bought an off the shelf rifle. Poland actually has some good ideas.

        The MSBS by all accounts is quite a nifty rifle. One feature none of its competitors can do is be configured as a bullpup. Prototypes of the bullpup have been shown, but the production model is expected after they start producing the MSBS.

      • Denny

        The prevous mentioned rifle looked like something Mike. This looks like bullshit. That impossible shape of contact with face has only one other “extra-ordinary” creation – SA80.

        I did not mean to offend Polish sensibilities; if I did I appologize.

      • Denny

        This one is to Steve:

        Merits of particalar design can be judged on several levels. Since we do not see inside we can judge ergonomics. To start something with poor ergoniomics is better not to start at all.

        Now, what makes something “nifty” or innovative is a novel engineering approach. I’d like to see in case of selection of such potent round something of kind which would subdue recoil energy for one thing. I guarantee you that inside is likely to be just ordinary, 1000x repeated plain hardnosed ‘kicker’. Did they at least attempt to copy FG42 sliding stock? Of course not.

      • Mike

        Denny: this thing is a tech demo. The main purpose was to test if the mechanism works correctly. And if someone gave it an outer space design – oh well, see above, at least it’s not a plumber’s nightmare with AK parts bolted on. They’ll probably redesign the ergonomics and aesthetics later.

        Steve: I watched an interview with a Bumar representative regarding the MSBS (sorry, the video is in Polish). The most important info is: the basic rifle should be available in two years, as Remov said earlier. What’s more important to civilian shooters – YES, there will be a civilian version. Then, from the order the guy listed future developments, there’ll be a carbine version, a DMR version and something akin to the M27 IAR – a magazine-fed SAW. I got a feeling they’re not really caring about the bullpup version yet, though.

      • Wosiu

        “a sniper rifle (Alex/Tor) and anti-materiel rifle (Wilk/Bor),”

        You are perhaps from Poland, so you should know, that above mentioned rifles were designed by OBR Tarnów, not WAT.

      • Mike

        Yeah, Wosiu. My bad. Thanks for the correction.

    • Mat

      You know firearm development doesn’t necesary cost a lot especialy in european countries where there is a lot of firearms expertise to float around.
      In stark contrast even the countries with most wide spread corrouption don’t have the extreme level of corruption that is built in US military contracting where projects have no chance of competing without some congresmen on a payroll and military brass promised cushy jobs after their retirement, that all costs far more than developing a new sniper rifle

      Most of european firearms are designed and built as private ventures something that US firearms manufacturers seem to be mising out as a resoult M16/M4 family is practicaly only major US design in service many others are european designs (M9,M240,SAW,SCAR,P90,MP5 ……)

  • Chucky

    Anyone care to explain what “technology demonstrator: after 48 shots” means?

    • Mike

      Well, “technology demonstrator” means that it’s a prototype made to show that it actually works. And 48 rounds have been already fired from this one.

  • DW

    Looks kinda squarish, like the L85…

    • tempest

      …and that top rail looks like the top rail of a Steyr AUG A3.

  • Mike

    So it shoots. Wow. When I saw it for the first time I thought it was only a mockup for showing the ergonomics.

  • D

    I like the look, but man does it look unergonomic to use.

  • Bushwacker

    They spent too much time playing Mass Effect.

  • ThomasD

    That bipod looks awful flimsy for an otherwise very beefy weapon.

    • Zincorium

      I get the impression, based on the picture, that the magazine/pistol grip function as a monopod and end up supporting most of the weight when prone, and the bipod is only there to stabilize it.

      A bigger, more durable bipod wouldn’t go amiss though.

  • banner man

    That is some straight up HALO goodness….

  • Daniel

    Did somebody raid the 80’s designs bargain bin again? It’s so…square.

  • James

    I’m interested in how well this shoots, because I have only seen .338 LM in Bolt-action rifles.

    And minus that barely passable bipod, I love the design of it. Hopefully Its reliable though.

    • Anonymoose

      There’s actually a fair amount of semi-auto .338LM designs out there right now. Most of them are based on the AR platform I think, with the exception of the Vigilance VR-1. It would be awesome if “magnum” became a third standardized size for ARs, so we’d have “intermediate size” (normal AR-15s), “full-size” (AR-10B, SR-25, etc.), and “magnum size” (.338LM, and maybe .300LM and .300WM and other magnum rifle cartridges in the near future) ARs by many companies.

  • Esh325

    I really like the idea. I think the .338 Lapua is overkill though.

  • Lance

    Less of a military rifle but for urban Police sniper make a good choice.

  • El Duderino

    In ultra-tactical light grey.

    Neat rifle though. I’d like to see the US develop and adopt a bullpup sniper/DMR in .308 with a switch barrel for a subsonic round using a blown-out .308 case firing .50 BMG projectiles (same OAL as a .308, sort of a .300 Blackout for big boys). .308 subsonic sucks! Can you imagine a Raufoss fired out of a suppressed subsonic rifle?

    • Mike

      Hmmm, putting a Raufoss bullet in that 12.7 Russian subsonic cartridge? Sounds like my kind of insanity…

      • El Duderino

        No need for it to be Russian, although they are developing a .50 subsonic bullpup along the lines of my description (I don’t think it’s a switch barrel though). Someday they will come out with a new .30 round, the 7.62x54R is 115 years old for crying out loud. Sure it kills guys dead but so does a Trapdoor in .45-70!

    • Cymond

      A .50 BMG bullet is wider than the widest part of a 7.62×51 case. We’d need a whole new case.

      Fortunately, the research has already been done. See the 500 Phantom at Teppo Jutsu.

  • إبليس

    Looks like a Super Nintendo light gun…that’s a compIiment! If it’s sturdy I hope they chamber it in 5.56!

  • NickB

    It looks like it’s chambered in .338 CO2 laser. My only problem with the gun is I’m not a fan of the buttpad, it doesn’t look like it would do the job. If I could change some things about this gun I would add a monopod in the stock, change the buttpad to a 0.80 one with a better pattern. Also does anyone know why the trigger guard is attached to the magwell? In my opinon someone looked at the DSR 1 and said it needs to look like something made in minecraft.

  • Johnny Wilson

    Let’s judge a book by it’s cover.

    Really? Some of these comments were worth the effort to type?

    I would like to see a bit more technical information. How did the trigger linkage work out? How does it perform?

    Substance, please.

  • kivaari

    Most of you guys failed to notice that this gun is a technology demonstrator, not even a prototype. This means that the OBR guys are just messing with the design possibilities and showing off their capabilities, not trying to sell this gun to anyone right now. I’m sure that the actual weapon will look rather different, IF the project won’t get shelved because of the R&D costs. Just my €0.02

  • Did Bioware commission this?

  • Reverend Clint

    Just call it the BORSCHT

  • Zee

    I’m Commander Shepard, and this is my favourite rifle on the Citadel.

  • John Doe

    I like the fact that it’s a semi-auto .338, but it doesn’t have to be so unergonomic. Grip looks hard to swap out, the stock looks as comfy as shoving an I-beam on your shoulder, and there’s no monopod or adjustability.

    Systems like the MSR or M98B look like a better option.

  • TxDog

    I’m curious to know how balanced it is. When I handled a Desert Tactical Arms in .308, it was a bit forward heavy, which I didn’t care for. Guns with no balance just don’t do it for me.

    • lolinski

      you obviously havent held a Sauer STR 200(if you are curious: it weighs 5.5 kg and are about 1,2 metres long)

      After having held one of those things, any gun is comfy(i mean any, exept LMGs,GPMGS and Antimateriel rifles)

    • It is balanced very rearward. When you take it by pistol grip, it require lot of force to keep is leveled, instead of pointing up (with empty magazine!). What looks like a barrel is in fact some kind of barrel shroud. Prototype is functional and was shot at factory, but performance was not disclosed.

  • Devang

    Love the design!

  • Chrontius

    Does it look like something out of a sci-fi? Yes it does.

    What many of you don’t know is that only makes me want one more. 😀

    (Also, suppressor/brake hybrid? Nifty!)

  • Here in Poland, we also are not very fond on looks of this rifle (I already LOL on it looks year ago after MSPO 2011: Even less fond for it’s ergonomy (can not like something that does not exist). Hope is, that if internals will turns out to be working, this Bubba Blaster outside will be replaced by something actually usable. This happened from first MSBS bulky prototypes to current “ACRish” look and feel (but not internals). Hopefully SKW-338 will follow same path.

    • Esh325

      What I’ve noticed about a lot of readers on this blog is that they don’t understand that most military firearms designers today don’t care about how aesthetic their rifle looks, as aesthetics won’t save the soldier on the battlefield.

    • Wosiu

      “Even less fond for it’s ergonomy (can not like something that does not exist).”

      Did you have Bort in hands? No? So, dont speak about ergonomy.

      As to the look and finish, you are right.

      “Hope is, that if internals will turns out to be working, this Bubba Blaster outside will be replaced by something actually usable.”

      Hope. This is key word. First look at Tor and Bor…

      • I had it in my hands.
        For now you need to have 6″ fingers with 5 joints to operate it. Like most designs from OBR Tarnow, designed by engineers, not by shooters. FB Radom avoided this mistake with MSBS. I hope OBR will follow them and invite both military and civilian shooters to put input into rifle ergonomy and design.

  • Chad

    Bort Bort Bort!

  • Brandon

    How does a combination suppressor/muzzle brake work? How does it redirect muzzle gas to reduce recoil and reduce the report at the same time?

    • It is not a combination. It is only muzzle brake. I have closeup photo on my blog.