Syrian Rebels are using the Chinese M99 large-caliber Sniper  Rifle

Source: China Defense.com

Rumor Control: .50 caliber Sniper Rifle in Syria IS NOT an AS50 , it’s Chinese M99

The media is awash with “news” of how the Syrian rebels now have the AS50 Accuracy International .50 caliber sniper rifle…but they don’t.

Many Western media sources have erroneously identified the video in this video as an AS50.  However, the rifle is in fact a Chinese M99 sniper rifle in 12.7x108mm.

If you were a member of the world’s premier internet Chinese military discussion, China-Defense.com Forum, you would have known weeks ago that the Syrian rebel forces had Chinese M99 .50 caliber sniper rifles.  Forum members generally agree Sudan is the most likely source of the rifles.

M99 is visually similar to AS50, but is a different weapon. The AI is like a FAL while the M99 is more like an M-16. M99 is a direct gas, rotating bolt action, whereas the AS50 is a short stroke, tilting bolt action.  The M99 is also 2 kg lighter than AS50.

Here’s a pic of the M99 in service with PLA Marines:

China-defense.com Forum is currently vetting new members, register with a distinguished email address, or ask a current member for access.

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Writer and gear editor with articles published in major gun publications. A five year combat veteran of the US Marine Corps, Tim is also part of Point & Shoot Media Works, a producer of photography, video and web media for the firearms and shooting sport industry.


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  • Lance

    Probably because Iran who buy’s Chinese weapons sold some to Syrian Army and the Rebels captured the rifle so now its in terrorist hands.

    • Anonymoose

      Or Iran supplied the rifles directly to the rebels.

      • despicable me

        Iran doesn’t like the rebels. Iran (shia) is buddies with Assad (shia sect).

        • Yellow Devil

          Iran could be hedging their bets, and be playing both sides. It’s kinda like how Iran will put known Al Qaeda members under “house arrest” until they can use them for external operations.

          • Joe Schmoe

            No.

            Iran, with Hezbollah, is training a 50,000 strong militia/army to assist Assad; and in case of his downfall, take over strategic areas.

          • Psyop

            An interesting question is what is doing Israel?
            Is Israel helping the rebels or not?

      • http://www.facebook.com/tfoutz Tim Foutz

        The Rebels are Sunni. The Syrian Regime is backed by Iran. Everyone is backing the Rebels to take down another Iranian Allie before we invade them. Cutting off Iran is why this is being done. By the US etc. The Russians are more or less backing the Regime just to screw with the US and for cash. It is a mess. Could be solved by the load out release of one US nuke boat however for good.

    • bbmg

      The article suggests Sudan is the source

  • bbmg

    One wonders if the rebels also have access to accurate ammunition and adequate training in order to make full use of these weapons, otherwise in practice they would be of little more use than the ubiquitous Duska HMG in the same calibre.

  • Joe Schmoe

    “If you were a member of the world’s premier internet Chinese military discussion, China-Defense.com Forum, you would have known weeks ago that the Syrian rebel forces had Chinese M99 .50 caliber sniper rifles. Forum members generally agree Sudan is the most likely source of the rifles.”

    And if you were a member of Liveleak you would have known this months ago.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Joe that’s good. We can only cover so many publications and there are a ton of them. China Defense isn’t really one we would look at for most gun information.

      • Joe Schmoe

        Heh, I think you missed my remark.

        He was talking about China Defense as breaking the news of the M99, but there were videos of it being used in Syria for months already on liveleak.com .

  • Esh325

    All sides whether they be Chinese,American, or Russian should block any attempts of arms entering the country.

    • Renato H. M. de Oliveira

      Yeah, right. Israel has a pretty tight hold on all but one legal border in Gaza (Rafah, which is under Egyptian control), yet s as large as cars flow in through other means, such as smuggling tunnels. Avoiding weps to get in Syria would demand sinking Iranian/Russian/etc. ships, not to mention the porous ground borders with multiple countries.

      NK, Russian, Iran, China, etc., are more than willing to sell to anyone with the cash.

      • Esh325

        It’s not just eastern sources they are getting the weapons from, but western sources also. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/world/middleeast/cia-said-to-aid-in-steering-arms-to-syrian-rebels.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

        • milo

          i would agree with esh, former cia officials acknowledged that we sold weapons to Chechen militants via proxy. hell saying one side is dirty is just naive, everyone is dirty, it just depends who’s making the observation of the other.

          • Renato H. M. de Oliveira

            I’m not suggesting or saying anywhere Western nations would not provide, directly or via proxy, weps to any of the sides. Im not naive. The difference is that West provides the weps in the shadows, while China, Russia and Iran do so in broad and full daylight.

          • milo

            as far as providing weapons go with the exception of iran the others officially deny it.

    • phamnuwen

      Why is that? Don’t Syrians have RKBA?

  • yuri iivanov

    membres of this group active in damascus suburb are mostly palestinian from yarmuk refugies camp they belong to hamas or to some others palestinian terrorists group formely backed by the syrian state to fight israel now they switched .they are paid by qatar .treated in israel and armed by the saudies and supervised by the jordanian and trained by the americans

  • I wear hearing protection

    3 guys around a compensated .50: not one pair of safety glasses, hearing protection, even cotton balls…

    • noob

      I guess the smugglers had to prioritize what to bring into the country. If there was anything left in the hardware store, we’d be laughing at these fighters for risking their lives while wearing safety orange earmuffs.

      It’s not like there’s a rack of peltors down at the local gun store anymore in syria.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.wyman.35 Jeff Wyman

      guy in the red shirt looks like he has some orange plugs.

  • http://twitter.com/360_AD the.ting

    If I was the man on the trigger, I would shoot the guy driveling and chanting. Who can concentrate on the target with that endless gibberish?!

  • Dave Standish

    I think this guy will learn his lesson in eye relief very quickly. Nasty scope bite in 3… 2…. 1….