A Visit to the ORSIS factory (Russia)

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Steve says: It is our honor to present the first TFB post written by veteran gun expert and historian Max Popenker ...

Last week I was privileged to visit the ORSIS factory and shop in Moscow, Russia. ORSIS is unique among Russian small arms manufacturers because it is 100% privately owned company. Established in 2010 by a group of enthusiast precision shooters and backed by private investors, ORSIS quickly set up most modern small arms production facility in Russia, fully equipped with latest and most precision CNC machines and staffed by experienced and highly motivated staff.

Taking into accout current political tensions between Russia and West (USA and EU) over Ukrainean crisis, I must point out that ORSIS owners have no relations to people or organizations affected by sactions, and its rifles can be exported from Russia by any person or organization that is allowed to do so under Russian firearms export laws.

Their main and most succesful product is a line of precision rifles, built on the classic bolt action and offered in a wide selection of calibers, stocks and other options. Thier precision rifles go in two major flavors: tactical ORSIS T-5000 and sporting ORSIS Hunter. Both systems are based on same receiver and trigger system; major difference is in the stock. T-5000 uses aluminum alloy chassis with side-folding shoulder stock, while Hunter models are offered in a variety of traditional stocks, made from wood (laminate or walnut), plastic or carbon.

ORSIS makes everything in-house, including actions and barrels. They buy premium stainless steel in rods, and make barrels in almost any conceivable caliber (between .22 and .50), profle and length, plain or fluted. Their precision bolt actions also made from premium stainless steel and finished to very high standards.

Manufacture of rifles started in 2011, and today ORSIS already has reputation of world class quality, reliability and accuracy. They also offer excellent customer service.

Their flagship product, T-5000 rifle, proved itself as a dependable tack-driver in hands of the elite Russian Law Enforcement units and target shooters. Russian sniper teams armed with T-5000 rifles have won Police and Military Sniper World Cup in Hungary in two consecutive years (2012 and 2013), and looking forward to participate in the same event this year.

However, ORSIS production is not limited to T-5000 and Hunter rifles. ORSIS also makes replacement barrels for rifles of other makes, such as Remington, Accuracy International, Sako, Blazer etc. ORSIS also assembles Italian Marocci Si12 shotguns for Russian market, and Armalite M-15 (.223) and AR-10 (.308) rifles, using US-made parts and ORSIS own match-grade stainless steel barrels. At last, but not least, ORSIS assembles Glock pistols for Russian market (these pistols are sold only to shooting clubs; individuals are not permitted to own handguns in Russia).

Now, some photos…

Entry to ORSIS shop, adjacent to manufacturing facilities:

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Inside the shop:

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Some ORSIS Hunter rifles and optional stocks, as available in the shop:

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Manufacturing facilities: boring machine, rifling machine and chamber forming machine, all computer-controlled:
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CNC electro-erosion machines that manufacture receivers and trigger unit parts:

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Finished CNC-machined bolt bodies:

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CNC stock-making machine and semi-finished stocks:

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Complete T-5000 rifles awaiting final QC inspection:

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Racks with finished guns:

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Glock pistols with “Assembled in Russia” legend on the frame:

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After the factory tour, I was brought to a shooting range, to test some ORSIS products, namely two ORSIS T-5000 rifles in .308 Win and .338 Lapua Magnum, and two ORSIS-assembled Armalite rifles, M-15 in .223 and AR-10 in .308

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Firing from .308 caliber T-5000 rifle at 100 meters using bipod, I managed to shoot this 1-inch 5-shot group near the bullseye.

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That’s not that bad for an inexperienced rifle shooter like me, but in reality ORSIS rifles shoot much better than that. In fact, every rifle is shipped from factory with test target that shows 3-shot 100-meter group not larger than 0.5 MOA, and often less than that, as seen in the photo below:

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Their AR-10 is also capable of excellent accuracy. Typically, ORSIS-assembled AR-10 shoots minute of angle groups, providing appropriate match grade ammunition and experienced operator.

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My best result with that AR-10 was 30-mm (1.2″) 5-shot group, fired sitting, using bipod and scope. 10-shot group in the upper square is about 40mm (1.6″) wide, still not bad in my opinion for a semi-auto rifle fired in moderately rapid series.

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Max Popenker

Max Popenker is a long-time firearms enthusiast and semi-amateur firearms historian from Russia. His primary interest is in automatic firearms, their evolution and use. He wrote a number of books on the subject and maintains a Modern Firearms website at http://world.guns.ru


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  • dp

    This is what power of private enterprise can do when combined with vision beyond immediate profit. Good write-up Max!

  • Mack

    how do you have a privately owned company in russia? i thought everything was owned by the state?

    • Zugunder

    • Karina

      Mack, the Soviet Union is no longer around, maybe if you read up a little bit about modern-day Russia, you’d have learned that the country is more or less capitalist nowadays. Certainly not a free capitalist country, nor a free country to begin with, but capitalist nonetheless. It is Boris Yeltsin who has vetoed the last vestigial communist laws, most notably regardling ownership of land, in 1997.

      • Mack

        that makes more sense, so russia is no longer communist?

        • Roger Van Zant

          Not since late 1991.

          • Mack

            Thank you for that info.

        • Vitor

          Mack, are you for real or trying to to play the “ignorant american” cliché? I truly hope for the later.

          • Mack

            Yes i am for real, i am an ignorant American not playing the cliche. I am only 20 years old and just would like some honest history on it with out being called a dumb ass for it or being implied i am a dumb ass. They didn’t teach me in history class and i don’t make it my living to look up these things, that’s why when i have 30 min out of my day, i look up things that interest me. I was hoping someone would politely tell me, the quick run down. But asking that on the internet is obviously the little town guy in me who actually trusts people to be decent and not condescending asses.

          • Zugunder

            Well sorry then.

  • iksnilol

    Russians know how to build accurate guns, got to ask: Do you have any plans to review any of Lobaevs rifles (maybe visit the factory)?

    • lapkonium

      He’s been there recently. Check out his LJ (google translate help you)

  • SD3

    Firearm “salon”. I like that.

  • Rusty Shakleford

    Are any of their products actually imported into the U.S.?

    • Maxim Popenker

      not yet, but they are looking for importer / distributor, as far as I know

  • Lance

    Looks fun wish I could find and buy a Russian Glock 17!

    • Steve (TFB Editor)

      They would sell like wildfire. I can almost guarantee that Glock’s agreement does not allow them to export, and anyway they can’t be imported because of the trade agreement ban on unnamed guns.

  • ATman

    I must say that I am just excited to see Max Poppenker on this site I have been drooling over his website since I could first drool and secretly wish I could at least have one of everything. I will be excited to see some more of his Russian prospective in the future if at all possible.

    Max Popenker
    Max Popenker

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    Max, I’d like to say that this is a truly revealing and insightful article totally in keeping with your other well-researched and high-quality firearms posts. We are grateful for the enormous expenditure of time and effort that you must have put into it. Thank you for sharing it with the rest of us, and for widening our collective horizons.