Source: China Defense.com
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.