Iran’s “Shaher” Anti-Material Rifle

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Iran’s Ministry of Defense has been making a big deal about a new .50 BMG rifle thier defense industry has produced. Just a few months ago I wrote that if Iran had not done it already, they were bound to clone the Steyr HS-50. The new Iranian rifle resembles a clone of the HS-50 designed primarily with manufacturing cost in mind.

The lower portion of the gun looks to be identical to the version of the Steyr HS-50 which was sold to Iran. The butt stock looks a lot cheaper (just a rubber pad screw on to the end) and the upper receiver and handguard are simple heavy tubular affairs able to be made cheaply in a machine shop using lathes.

I am not usually this critical about a new gun, but it really says something about the state of Iran’s firearm industry when a terrorist organisation hiding in the mountains managed to produce a better looking, lighter and more ergonomic DIY anti-material rifle than they did.

The version of the HS-50 Steyr sold Iran.

Iran clones all the defense technology they purchase. Any company that sells Iran arms is just asking for their technology to be cloned. Eventually Iran is going to find that nobody will be willing to sell them modern defense technology.

UPDATE: Kit Up is reporting that the rifle is chambered in the larger 14.5mm round. I still stand by my assertion that it is a clone of the HS-50, albeit a scaled up clone.

[ Many thanks to Siyah & Nugroho for the tip. ]


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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  • Joe Schmoe

    I would be more afraid to be behind that thing than in front of it.

    • Fred

      I’m sure you can test out that theory.

      But to me it looks like you’re one the paid types who goes around trying to hype Americans to die for Jews.

      • jeh

        why hasn’t someone banned this asshat yet?

  • AMX

    I have two remarks.
    First, the Shaher is not a .50, it’s 14.5mm.
    Second, the HS50 sold to Iran look like that:
    http://media.farsnews.com/Media/8506/ImageReports/8506310301/6_8506310301_L600.jpg

    • Flounder

      Kitup! Had a post on this yesterday and they also seem to believe that this rifle is in 14.5 and not 50…

      Heres the link to them.
      http://kitup.military.com/2012/10/shaher-irans-crew-served-sniper.html

      Another thing is that Iran is saying that this single shot monstrosity is actually a crew served weapon! :D

      Personally I love the thought of this rifle and it makes me laugh long and hard and I would love to own something like that! However it is completely ridiculous. A crew served sniper rifle… AND a single shot at that… That weighs something like 70 pounds? Utterly ridiculous!

      It also raises the question of how will this rifle be used? And does Iran have snipers that are skilled enough to take full advantage of the 14.5 round and it’s balistics? 14.5 is well ahead of the 50BMG and we all know what a beast of a round that is! Of course you can actually get match ammo for the 50 BMG…

      Anyways just my thoughts on the topic. Fun looking rifle… If you could mount it to a truck and go rabbit hunting! XD

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Steve (The Firearm Blog)

      AMX, I stand corrected about the caliber.

      As far as Iran’s HS-50 goes, most of them do not look like the one you posted. They look like the image in the blog post. The Iranian rifles are based on the original HS-50 (Steyr purchased the HS-50 design off a smaller company)

      • AMX

        I’m aware of that.
        My point is that, since the knock-offs look closer to that original than to Steyr’s version, the Iranians probably had one as a pattern.
        But why would they get one, if they already had hundreds of HS50 to work with?

      • 9mmLargo

        The beardbrains in Tehran probably found out that the .50 BMG was a Mormon cartridge, and issued a fatwā against it.

  • Nicks87

    “Eventually Iran is going to find that nobody will be willing to sell them modern defense technology.”

    We can only hope. Unfortunately there are defense contractors out there that only care about making money.

    • Esh325

      That’s what arms dealing is all about.

  • Mike Knox

    A state produced Garage/motor-pool gun, what could possibly go wrong?

    • Fred

      What could go wrong? How about 50,000 crippled US troops like the ones that came back from Iraq and Afghanistan. Or perhaps the 6,000 dead ones. That could go wrong. Why is it worth it for America to fight Israel’s battles?

  • Lance

    Basically a Iranian version of a Barret model 99. Like other quality sucks. Id say bad news for a dilapidated Iraqi army but 1/2 may blow up on firing. Overall all of this and Iran’s Type 56 carbine and rifle production was set up by Red China so they may have some Chinese technicians to help.

  • bbmg
  • Fred

    Iran is not interested in pretty weapons. Iran is interested in inspiring fear in it’s (Zionist) New World Order adversaries/bullies by using a combination of a fearless army and highly specialized weapons cheap weapons and, by the looks of it, they are being successful…trillions of dollars of NATO hardware and “The Best Army of the Best Country on Earth” type-of-mottos don’t know what to do with them.

    They are a conservative, family centered, spiritual, sexually healthy society…NATO generals know what kind of warriors such societies produce. Take away the microchip from our Western armies and you get something that can’t fight it’s way out of a paper bag.

    • Joe Schmoe

      Don’t feed the troll.

    • Brandon

      That’s so wrong on so many levels I don’t even know where to start….
      So I’ll just do one….
      “sexually healthy society”
      Tell that to the teenage rape victims the hang for ‘adultery’

      • Fred

        “Tell that to the teenage rape victims the hang for ‘adultery’”

        You’re mistaking Iran for your pathetic Saudi colony. The same Saudi colony that fabricated the vast majority of the 9/11 perpetrators. The same Saudi colony that is ruled by maniacs who are very very close to the Bush clan…and i will leave it there…

      • Lance

        Just off topic Fred I think most agree Iran is a deranged and evil minded nation but just off topic.

      • Brandon

        Oh, I’m no fan of the Saudis either. But alas, no politics

      • Fred

        I think he means the Jews sell America’s daughters into prostitution and porn by the tens of thousands. Doubt it? Open up any news paper, phone book, or website in the US and check for yourself. The info is in there.

    • El Duderino

      The last real war the Iranians fought, their regular army got their butts kicked so hard they had to send in waves of teenagers with AKMs, G3s, and SKSes against the…Iraqis. The same Iraqi army that, a couple years later, got obliterated by the U.S. led coalition.

      I’m not counting the absolute Charlie Foxtrot hostage rescue mission, that was 99% politics and 1% military execution.

      So…why are we worried by the Iranians conventional forces? We’re not, they suck donkey. We’re worried about nuclear weapons, which don’t take training and tactics to do damage.

      • Fred

        LOL…just…LOL. That nationalistic-intellectual exercise of logic is just LOL…

      • W

        “So…why are we worried by the Iranians conventional forces? We’re not, they suck donkey. We’re worried about nuclear weapons, which don’t take training and tactics to do damage.”

        For 1.), you are fighting on a country’s home soil.
        2.) Iran’s borders have been there since Xerxes…Iraq’s? the post WWI era. Enough said.
        3.) Iran didnt “get their butts kicked”. The war between them and Iraq was a brutal stalemate.
        4.) Iran is 1/5 the size of the United States in landmass, larger than Iraq and Afghanistan, which we couldnt keep occupied
        5.) Most of Iran is mountainous

        We should be concerned by Iran’s conventional forces. The idea of needlessly going to war there is stupid and reckless.

    • W

      Id hate to say this, primarily because I prefer to cling to rationalism and fact rather than subjects that so many in our society regard as “conspiracies”, but I agree with Fred.

      “They are a conservative, family centered, spiritual, sexually healthy society…NATO generals know what kind of warriors such societies produce.”

      Absolutely correct. Not only that, but dont forget the fact that Iran is one of the world’s oldest nations and civilizations. Any invasion or intervention of outsiders will undoubtedly prompt a nationalistic response that would immediately end the current schism between religious hardliners and the progressive youth.

      Iran also has allies like Russia and China. War with them will result in World War III.

      Those that think it is a good idea to march enthusiastically towards a war with Iran, arrogantly waving the stars and stripes and the star of david, has already earned my contempt.

      “Take away the microchip from our Western armies and you get something that can’t fight it’s way out of a paper bag.”

      Yeah pretty much. consider that technology is a byproduct of energy expenditure. Without inexpensive energy, the west’s technological advancements are stifled and their petroleum-intensive militaries grind to a halt. Rather unfortunately, “eastern” armies are well known for their innovation and ingenuity when it comes to infantry-based combat.

  • Jake

    Love the pictures of the guys voluntarily standing in front of the rifle. I know, it’s probably non functional but seriously, that’s just bad a practice.

  • Denny

    Shaher does not look as Steyer at all. Although, despite the weight the kick is still a healthy one. No wonder, laws of nature. At the same time, weapon looks reasonably proportioned.

    The concern of “cloning” seems to be completely beside the feeding trough: this is about defence of land, not about commerce. Although, once the Iranian defence industry is in heavy production mode it will be looking for their own markets; just a matter of time.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Steve (The Firearm Blog)

      The lower receiver and trigger group look, and I am sure are, identical.

      • Fred

        Every rifle is in some way based on another rifle. Steyer didn’t invent the bolt action. For Christ’s sake you didn’t even get the caliber right. A part of design for a large round also has to incorporate certain design features because of the law of physics – not because of aesthetics. War isn’t about freakin’ copyright or patent law … it’s about making a tool that serves a purpose. The US Army uses spoons – Do you need to write an article that they copied the spoon from other people? Clueless drivel: The only thing I liked about the article was seeing the pictures of the weapon.

  • Joseph

    They keep standing in front of the muzzle as though it were a Barrett…

  • Brad

    AMR? I don’t understand the contemporary mania for these super-caliber single-shot rifles.

    Whether anti-material, anti-personal, or anti-armor, what role can one of those rifles fulfill that can’t be done better by a Korean War era 57mm RCL gun?

    • bbmg

      An AMR can be more precise than a RCL, and certainly will not give away its position as readily.

  • Denny

    There is “cross-inspiration” in firearms (and anything else) going on since time immemorial. If you look for instace at MAG58 (M240) you can clearly trace origin in two weapons – BAR(the action) and MG42(the feed). This is common stuff…. just look at hundreds of AR10/15 clones. There is often very little original creativity there; yet they are presented as ‘original products’. Let’s be little objective here. Not to be appologetic for Iranians, but it is conceivable they do everything to make-up for losses created by embargo. Thank you.

    • Denny

      This was directed to Editor Steve.

    • Fred

      Denny you mean that Steyer didn’t invent the bolt action rifle?
      Did Steyer invent the caliber? The rifle stock? The muzzle flash break? Rifle scopes? And so on …

      Bottom line: I agree with you.

  • http://www.all4shooters.com/en/ Pierangelo Tendas

    I actually have a couple of points to make concerning the Steyr HS.50 sold to Iran.

    The number of real Steyrs sold to Tehran is incredibly slow – in the order of one dozen or so – and the Iranians immediately started to manufacture their own clone. Their version features a curved pistol grip, and has no Steyr markings of course.

    Second, according to the rumor that goes around the gun industry in Europe, the transaction was not concluded by Steyr but by a well-known individual, who has had ties with the company in the past…

    • Clodboy

      That’s pretty interesting. Back when all those diplomatic cables got leaked, an Austrian magazine published an article about the exchanges between American diplomats and Steyr reps, with the Steyr guy basically telling the American that as long as their sales in the US were miniscule compared to the volume of HS-50s they were selling to the Iranians, they’d rather pass on the US market if necessary, ending with a cryptic threat that “if you didn’t like the sniper rifles, you’ll really hate what comes next”.

      I guess a bit of Schadenfreude is in order for the Americans if that deal blows up in Steyr’s face.

  • Matty

    Looks like they’re taking this blasphemous cartoon “threat” pretty seriously.

    • Fred

      We should be taking the threat of the Jews to the US more seriously. You don’t have to answer me: But every honest American knows who has damaged America more: the Jews or Iran. Hands down it’s the Jews, and we pay them to do it as they bleed our economy dry.

  • gunfighter 2012

    It’s “materiel” not material. Just saying….

  • crkt308

    calling this a hs 50 clone is like calling a vz58 a kalashnikov clone. look at the hs 50, its lower reciever is used in the same sence as a chassis stock. it supports the reciever, utilizes a forward extension as a forearm and if im not mistaken also serves as the majority of the rear butt of the gun. the reciever is also of a “dust cover” type rather then bridged or cylindrical.

    the iranian rifle utilizes a massive cylindrical reciever which also serves as the forearm. the lower reciever section really only serves as a grip and possibly a housing for the trigger if the trigger isnt attached directly to the reciever like most “sporting” rifles. it may also pe possible that the barrel is pressure fit like a barret m95 because chucking up a reciever this large in a lathe and reaching what seems to be 12 inches or more and cleanly cutting threads and squaring off the reciever would be a challenge even for the best gunmaker. unless of course that nut on the front end of the reciever retains the barrel but i dont think even the iranians are dumb enough to do that.

    as i first said, calling this a hs 50 is no different then calling a vz an ak clone