Syrian Rebels Using OSV-96 Semi-Auto .50 Cal Rifle

Syrian rebels have gotten their hands on the large Russian OSV-96 12.7x108mm anti-material rifle and have wasted no time in parading the gun in front of cameras.

Photo from Yahoo

The OSV-96 is notable for its hinged barrel. The barrel can fold back 180 degrees reducing its length to about that of a Dragunov sniper rifle and making the cumbersome gun easier to transport.

This video shows the Free Syrian Army Martyrs Brigade using the OSV-96 to fire at grounded aircraft at a Syrian Air Force base.

[ Many thanks to Tom 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.


  • Reverend Clint

    at least they are using it for its intended purpose and not hip firing at tanks or something

    • Lance

      Watch them they will.

    • mosinman

      yeah, that had me surprised too

  • Lapkonium

    Strange, I’ve always thought that this rifle never entered any sort of mass production, being outperformed by KSVK. Moreover, there is still no 12.7×108 sniper-grade round produced anywhere. Must be the decommissioned Russian batch stolen from the Army’s depot then.

    • Reverend Clint

      911 gr 7N34 AP sniper round

    • Lolinski

      Igman makes sniper ammo for 12.7x108mm.

  • SwissFreek

    Buttstock is on top of his shoulder, and his shoulder pocket is up against the magazine. That one’s gonna hurt.

    • Máté

      I think he’s just posing.

  • Dale

    I don’t know much about this weapons system, but I would hazard a guess that this rifle was built as an anti-material system due to the use of a hinged barrel and compact optic that I’d assume is designed specifically for the weapon. Either way, that’s a going to be a game-changer if employed correctly against light armor and vehicles.

  • Lance

    Sows how these Islamist are a danger to themselves as to Syrian Force when they try to pick up a 14+ pound weapon to shoot from the solders. Same about them using more improvised weapons which are unsafe to use.

    • AD

      It looks like a very heavy weapon, one meant to be fired prone off the bipod. As he’s just posing for the camera, holding it closer to the body makes it easier to support the weight.

  • Lapkonium

    This may be a “sniper” round, yet its accuracy is unknown. There’s been claims that it is not on par with .50 rounds

    • NightEye

      Main purpose of this rifle is destruction of light-armored vehicles and infantry behind the cover. Anti-sniper warfare wasn’t intended but in Chechnya this rifle proved that it can fight snipers pretty well in forests and mountains – thanks to 12.7x108mm cartridge with very heavy bullet.
      OSV-96 is extremely reliable, compact for carry, gas-operated rifle. It has decent accuracy for a gun with detachable barrel.

    • Clodboy

      I doubt these guys really use the full accuracy potential of the gun, which yeah, is obviously not going to hold a candle to a Western rifle with match-grade .50 BMG sniper ammo.

      Still, as the IRA showed, these rebel groups can use such rifles in their own way. Sure, you might not be able to hit anything beyond a few hundred yards, but they know the terrain, and every fruit vendor, shepherd or street urchin is a potential spotter for their snipers, so they can more easily get close enough to their target and make a clean getaway.

  • bbmg

    I thought this was just a prototype offering but it would seem that both Russia and India are using it in limited numbers.

    Certainly a deadly weapon that can cause damage disproportionate to its cost to sophisticated vehicles and electronic systems, so ideal for the rebels in trained hands. One has to wonder though if such trained hands are available to take advantage of its capabilities.

    In the context of the way the rebels/freedom fighters/terrorists/insurgents seem to fight they would be better off spraying and praying putting their 12.7mm rounds through a Dushka instead.

  • Clodboy

    I love how the guy in the first pic just gets ready to fire it standing up, without even resting his shoulder against the buttstock.

    OSV-96. When you absolutely, positively have to take down Robocop in the abandoned steel mill, accept no substitutes.

    • bbmg
      • Clodboy

        Yeah, I knew those were modded early-generation Barretts.
        I just loved how the guy tries to strike an obvious “action” pose, as if he was getting ready to duel some kind of armored armored robot. 😀
        Come to think of it, next to his oversized rifle he kind of looks like the girl from Gurren Lagann 😛

  • gunslinger

    that looks like he’ll need to see a chiropractor when he’s done shooting.

  • candu

    Is it ironic they ran a Toys R US commercial before the video?

  • Bryan S.

    Hey kid! You’ll take your eye out with that scope!

  • denny

    That guy in video is throwing lead and nobody is responding….. what a hell is going on? Are they ignoring him, or is it a “tactical” range?

    • A.g.

      When photographers is above the shooters, with nice clear pictures, in média covering war I have always no fear for the level of risk of the area.

    • anon

      Um, he’s out of range of most rifles IN GENERAL, let alone the 74’s that the enemy have to respond with. Also, they can’t even hear the shots, let alone know where he is.

  • Mike Knox

    Talk about inconspicous international support..

  • …….

    nejhorší odstřelovač co sem kdy viděl! 😀