Iran Catches The Modular Bug – Meet The “Fateh” Assault Rifle

The Iranians have unveiled a pretty slick looking modular assault rifle, named “Fateh”, reports Fars News Agency. Clearly inspired by Western designs, the Fateh sports an ACR-esque gas block, polymer shell deflector, “shotgunning” receiver halves, what appear to be ambidextrous controls, a multi-position collapsing buttstock (though the one on the rifle in the photos does not appear to fold), flattop upper rail, and even an M203 cut on the barrel and an A2 flash hider. The rifle is currently in 5.56mm, no word yet on whether other calibers will be supported.

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In contrast to the laughably fake and unrealistic Iranian fifth-generation fighter project, the Fateh is very competitive-looking. It will be interesting to learn more about the weapon as more is released.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Ryan

    So advanced it doesn’t need sights!

    • Ryan

      also just a quick clip from another “news article”

      —-“Also a solo weapon, ‘Fateh’, was the third system unveiled this afternoon. Fateh is an Iran-made sniper rifle that fires 5.56mm bullets” —-

      —-“The Iranian Armed Forces have recently test-fired different types of newly-developed missiles and torpedoes and tested a large number of home-made weapons, tools and equipment, including submarines, military ships, artillery, choppers, aircrafts, UAVs and air defense and electronic systems, during massive military drills.”—-

      and my favorite

      —“Iran on Monday unveiled a new drone named ‘Sadeq 1’ during the military parades at the mausoleum of the Founder of the Islamic Republic, the Late Imam Khomeini, South of the capital.

      Sadeq 1 flies at a maximum altitude of 25,000 ft at supersonic speeds. The Iran-made drone has been manufactured for testing radar and electronic systems and training assessments.”—

      • Michael R. Zupcak

        “Sadeq 1 flies at a maximum altitude of 25,000 ft at supersonic speeds.
        The Iran-made drone has been manufactured for testing radar and
        electronic systems and training assessments.”—

        Yeah, it’s been manufactured for testing OUR radar systems!

        • Yea and not much of a test!

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Remember, Iran commandeered one of our stealth RQ-170 drones and landed it completely intact in 2011. I suspect they have been reverse-engineering it as fast as possible.

          • Uniform223

            You mean it crashed and lucky for them it was intact.

          • Dzho ALehandr Azoeski nadze n

            nebo + avtobaza
            arigatoo gozaimasu
            now time for rq180 190 x47b reaper and avenger , b2 ,f22

    • Cornelius Carroll


    • Ron Fox

      Allah guides the rounds.

      • WFA

        Yes Allah is going to have a hell of a time deciding who’s rounds are more holly, as the the (mostly) Shi’a population of Iran will be pointing this rifle towards the much disliked Sunni population of neighboring ISIL territories….

      • Dzho ALehandr Azoeski nadze n

        lol xdddd

      • Michel_T

        Gives a new meaning to spray & pray…

        On a more serious note, it does look good, wether it will be reliable, that’s another subject.

    • Anonymoose Who needs sights when you have “ALOHA SNACKBAR!”?

  • Congratulations, IRAN. You just knocked off the ACR. Hope you guys have better luck with it.
    Hey, can we get some Barrel Change Kits from you guys? Cause Remington can’t make them.

    • Yond

      Gotta say it looks a lot better than the ACR to me, I’d consider getting one if I had the chance

    • Dzho ALehandr Azoeski nadze n

      hk416 417 , ak 7.62 , ebr mod 0 mk14
      i like

  • dave

    The fattie huh?
    The stock, charging handle and whole damn concept is a robarm xcr ripoff

    • Esh325

      I don’t really see how it’s “ripping” off the XCR it’s just another generic polymer/aluminum SCAR/ACR rifle that most countries these days are making.

      • dave

        just not us…hmm

        • Joshua

          We make plenty of them……..just none have shown better performance than the M4A1 SOCOM uses.

          • Esh325

            It’s hard to say really when there is so much bureaucracy in the way the US procures its weapons. Only the people on the inside probably only know.

          • It’s not really that hard to say. Push a well-made AR hard, and you’ll see.

          • Joshua

            Trust me we tested numerous systems and none showed any improvements, most performed worse and a couple performed on pay and offered slightly better ergonomics…. But we don’t swap weapons for improved ergonomics.

          • Esh325

            That isn’t really public knowledge so it doesn’t mean anything. Maybe if tests papers are released.

          • RaunchyDawg

            Just like when the m16 was being tested the US government rigged the tests to make the M14 win all the tests. Cause you know, no one ever lies.

          • I know much has been made about the newest crop of rifles and how superior they are, but they’re just not that different from an M4. I don’t think the government would have to rig anything to get the results they did.

            Now, I am not one to ignore Army incompetence, but the burden of proof is on those who say the rifles are better to the nth degree, not those who point out they all work in fundamentally the same way and within the same parameters.

          • Joshua

            Army SF is a bit different from Aberdeen.

          • RaunchyDawg

            You are correct, one actually does their job.

  • iksnilol

    Seems nice. Though the stock should be folding (just to annoy AR fanboys) and a 7.62×39 version wouldn’t be bad.

    • Do folding stocks annoy AR fanboys? I must not spend enough time on ARFCOM.

      I confess I don’t get the draw to 7.62x39mm. Less range, poorer energy retention over its effective range, and more weight and recoil without any other real upside doesn’t seem that attractive to me.

      • Esh325

        It’s a better round for suppressors,it’s more capable of penetrating barriers than most 5.56×45 rounds, and theoretically more lethal.

        • The better barrier penetration is due to steel-cored bullets common in (fmr) Warsaw Pact ammunition.

          And it’s in fact theoretically less lethal than 5.56, not more.

          I don’t see why 7.62×39 is more suppressible than 5.56mm, though I am admittedly not a silencer expert. Its subsonic loads do produce more energy, but they’re very rare.

          • Esh325

            I think it’s the performance rather than the ability itself to surpress. It’s like the idea behind the .300 BLK. Bigger diameter rounds with heavier bullets yield better performance. I mean if you go by the old 20 year old Fackler tests then the 5.56×45 is indeed more lethal, but really those tests don’t take into account numerous factors than effect bullet lethality. The steel core might have something to do with it, but I think the fact that it’s a bigger slug has the most to do with it.

          • No.

          • toms

            The Finns (lapua) have done extensive research on 7.62x39mm including on living animals (pigs I think) .
            The 7.62x39mm does very well at close to medium range. Esanguination was faster than 5.6. Armor penetration was also equal if I remember, barriers like concrete and wood I think the 7.62 won. However; these benefits decreased quickly past 100m. Now all this was done with lapua ammo which has better construction, powders, velocities ect than comblock stuff. I am also not sure what type of 5.56 ammo they used to compare as it was done a long time ago I imagine it was m193.

          • If you have the source for this, I should like to see it.

          • RaunchyDawg

            When someone is shooting at you with an ak, laugh at them as they fail to kill you with direct hits. Then, shoot back with the vastly superior 5.56 and undoubtably do what the 7.62 could not, and that is kill….

          • There’s a logical fallacy in there somewhere.

          • RaunchyDawg

            All I’m saying is that I don’t flinch unless my enemy uses a 5.56, ’cause science, thats why

          • Toms

            Somebody posted a link to Finnish military information on either uzi talk, or valmetweapons which turned into I believe. It was a while back when I was into Sako and Valmets that I read it. Its probably in their archives if you ask a moderator to look. The Brits did a similar study as well about bullet diameter, wound cavity, effective range, ect. Thats how they arrived at the .280 as the best balance of the two. Having shot a lot of lapua 7.62×39 it is heads and tails better than comm bloc. Their 7.62x39mm AP has impressive barrier penetration.

          • The British were not the only ones to do a caliber study. The Americans, who gathered far more data, determined that .22 was ideal, because .18 was unfeasible.

          • iksnilol

            How is it theoretically less lethal when it has about 24% more energy? Also, don’t forget that a lot of the ammo is M67 (at least that’s what I and my friends use) which has a bit reduced penetration (64 cm from 74 cm) but it yaws and tumbles much earlier. I have seen what that ammo does to stuff, not pretty (in a good way).

          • Larger bullet means the projectile yaws proportionally later (see here), and the lower velocity means the projectile struggles more and earlier to produce fast-expanding temporary cavities which can cause real damage (<a href=";see here).

            Muzzle energy is an important part of the equation, but it’s not everything.

          • iksnilol

            I didn’t say it was everything, you ignored the part about bullet construction. M67 and M43 are two wildly different beasts.

          • Right, and M67 performs about like 7N6 or steel-jacketed .223 at close range. Not sure what you mean, here.

        • Joshua

          Except for M855A1, with has better penetration and terminal ballistics than 7.62×39.

          • Esh325

            It hasn’t really been proven in any tests. And besides comparing the latest projectile compared to a 7.62×39 FMJ design that hasn’t changed since like the 50’s or 60’s isn’t really fair.

          • Neither is comparing a steel-cored, steel-jacketed projectile like M43 to a gilding metal clad lead projectile like M193.

            Go buy a box of 20 rounds of Wolf steel-jacketed 7.62×39 and a box of 20 rounds Wolf steel-jacketed .223 Remington, and get a stack of untreated 2x4s cut into short lengths of maybe a foot long. Cut out and remove any sections with significant knots. Stack them about 8 boards deep and tape them together with duct tape, or, ideally, heavy duty zip ties. The more stacks you make, the better the test is.

            Acquire or make something that can be used as a probe, such as a length of flexible wire or a car antenna with the end clipped off.

            Stake the boards to the ground with fence stakes, at an angle conducive to shooting the wider side of the top board. Mark an aimpoint on the top of the first board. Shoot the stack with your rifle. Repeat as necessary or until ammunition is exhausted and post the results.

          • M855A1 has undergone very extensive testing. Probably more than any competing round.

      • iksnilol

        Of course you are annoyed by something you can’t have that everyone else can. You don’t need to admit it, I know it is true. The very fact that you replied proves me right.

        Commonality and plausible deniability is useful for y’all tactical types. Another advantage is short barrels, 7.62×39 works better out of shorter barrels than 5.56. That and better subsonic performance.

        • Wait, why can’t I own guns with folding stocks again?

          You hear a lot about 7.62×39 working better out of short barrels, but very few people actually any data to back this up. Weird.

          • iksnilol

            You can, but ARs can’t usually have folding stocks . The “annoy the AR fanboys” wasn’t meant seriously, just some friendly ribbing.



            Going from 41 cm to 25.4 cm (circa 16.3 inches to 10 inches) barrel causes a loss of circa 200 feet per second (60 meters for us metric people). Considering that 2400 fps is the usual speed means that 1/12 of velocity is lost by removing about 38% barrel length. Forgive me if my calculations are a bit off, I am doing it quickly and am a bit tired (have some sleep issues).

            While 5.56:

          • tactical guest

            “That means a loss of 13% for 5.56 while 7.62×39 has a loss of 8%. ”
            …while 5.56x45mm has already 120-130% muzzle velocity compared to 7,62x39mm.

          • iksnilol

            But it also has half the weight per bullet (55-65 grains versus 124 grains).

          • Bullet weight is virtually irrelevant on its own.

            5.56 retains energy better, it penetrates just about as much with similar bullet construction, it exploits the mechanics of wounding much better, and it’s lighter and flatter-shooting.

          • ARs don’t usually have folding stocks and most people find they don’t need them (I, for instance, used to own an AR-180B with an ACE folding stock, and never used it, cool as it was).

            So the whole “nya nya nya, ARs can’t have folding stocks” thing is sort of like teasing me that my car doesn’t have truck nuts. Yes, my car doesn’t have truck nuts. No, I don’t think I want any. 😉 Or to put it another way, the AK rifle is absolutely compatible with a folding stock, but the vast majority of AKs do not have them. Obviously, it’s not that necessary a feature.

            You are comparing a chart showing velocities from three different weapons to another completely unsourced chart showing 5.56mm from god knows what gun. I am sure you’re aware that velocity can vary greatly between two different barrels of the same length, so in what way is that chart, even by itself, giving us anything like a sound comparison? Then, adding to it that chart from OutdoorsTrader (which actually doesn’t seem so inaccurate; it pretty much squares with my figures), and, as if to add insult to injury, you assume the velocity from a 10.5″ barrel will be the same as that from an 11.5″ barrel for the 7.62×39. Do you see why maybe I wouldn’t be convinced by this comparison?

            Even if you weren’t committing those sorts of egregious comparative analysis transgressions, you further have to ask: What powder is 7.62×39 using and what does its burn curve look like, relative to 5.56mm? Consider that 5.56mm was designed for 20″ barrel lengths while 7.62×39 was designed for 16″ barrel lengths. Might that mean they have different powder burn rates?

            This comes up in data on .300 Blackout all the time as well. It will be advertised as retaining muzzle energy better through shorter barrels, but in most cases you can actually look up the powders they used. Lo! And behold, they’re faster burning than those used in factory 5.56mm ammunition.

            There’s no reason I can see that a wider bore or a heavier bullet means better energy retention through short barrels. Powder selection is the dominant factor here, and one can load 5.56mm with slower-burning powders just the same as .300 Blackout or 7.62×39.

          • iksnilol

            Problem lies in that you can use faster burning powders in 5.56 but no one does.

            Folding stocks =/= truck nuts, a better comparison would be cup holders or seats that fold down. Not really needed but can be very useful.

          • Folding seats and cup holders are not nearly as funny as truck nuts.

            St. Mark’s does use faster burning powders in 5.56. What do you think Mk. 318 and M855A1 are loaded with?

        • LCON
          • iksnilol

            Yeah, but you can’t fire it folded. Close enough I guess.

          • LCON

            The newest versions can but not in Semiauto or Selective fire. it becomes a bolt action. Still the Point of a Folding stock was more for space savings in confined transports and when Jumping out of a perfectly good air plane. It was not supposed to make a Rifle a heavy awkward selective fire pistol.

    • John

      We may laugh at this, but as soon as Iran/China develops a Russian 7.62 version that takes AK mags, I’d expect to see this gun widespread among different units.

      • iksnilol


        I wasn’t laughing at it, seems like a well designed rifle. Hope it takes off.

        @Nathaniel F.

        You and Yugoslavia have obviously used different M67 bullets. The ones I talk about (and use) yawed and tumbled pretty fast (about 3-3.5 inches in, in gelatin).

      • For a variety of reasons, I’ll bet internally, it’s just an AR, and uses the Stoner internal piston type of DI action.

        DI + corrosive and dirty ComBloc and Third World ammo + Middle Eastern Islamics doing Insh’Allah PMCS = lots and lots of malfunctions.

    • Love to look at the guts — I’ll bet it’s just another Iranian modification of the Norinco clone of the M16, just like the KH-2002 bullpup.

  • Klaus

    Wow, look at that…

    ACR Upper.
    ACR Barrel System.
    AR15 Lower
    ACR Stock.

    Nothing new, move along

    • The barrel and upper do look like an ACR, kinda. The lower is clearly not directly based on an AR-15’s, though it’s sort of contoured like one. The stock looks more like the later XCRs to me, TBH.

      Sort of a typical SCAR-alike hodgepodge of popular ideas, though, I agree.

      • Joshua

        Actually the size of the lower is inline with AR-10 lowers, so its like a AR-10 receiver sized ACR with a adams arms gas piston system on a M4 barrel, with a masada bcg.

        In other words it is going to suck.

        • Esh325

          It’s kind of difficult to tell the size off of just a few pictures.

          • RaunchyDawg

            That is what she said.

  • TheRealDan

    why is every part of the gun dipped in a different camo scheme?

    • raz-0

      I hadn’t noticed until you mentioned it.

      What has been seen cannot be unseen.

    • Taylor TX

      It seems everything but the paint job is modular.

    • I was wondering about that. I have no idea.

    • John

      Because they were copying the ACR down to every last detail.


  • Tyler M.

    My guess is by the lack of a folding stock that it is internally very much an M4/16.

    • Cymond

      The ‘stock tube’ doesn’t look thick enough to accept any kind of recoil system.

      • Tyler M.

        No I just mean I figure they’re covering up their M16’s like they did with the KH2002’s. Except this time to look like an ACR.

        • That does not seem very likely to me. There is not enough room in the stock for a buffer tube.

  • Lance

    BIG whoop. Just a ACR with a M-4 barrel probably made with help from NORINCO of China remember just a few years ago they adopted there own Type 56 copy that has some AKM features, as there own infantry assault rifle.

    Plastic rifle offer nothing over aluminum made weapons like the M-4/M-16. Come on SOCOM ditched the SCAR L because it offered nothing over a M-4A1 SOPMOD 1 and 2.

  • Roger Van Zant

    Is 5.56 in common use in Iran? I know they still seem to use a lot of Shah era hardware but I mostly saw HK g3 style rifles in pics.

    • -V-

      Apparently they have quite a few M16 and M16A1’s floating around in their inventory. I remember a few years back they unveiled a M17 knockoff as well. But, yes, from what I have read and seen the 5.56 round is surprisingly common in Iran.

      • Roger Van Zant

        Thanks for enlightening me. I appreciate it.

  • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

    M203 cut on a rifle barrel without a delta ring so you can’t actually mount an M203.

    Are M203 cuts done these days just for looks now?

    • My guess would be yes—-

    • Seems to be that way, yeah. Either that or they’re importing barrels from a manufacturer that makes ’em that way.

    • LCON

      I have a Sneaking Suspicion that the barrel, parts of the bolt, The Pistol grip and The Controls are actually taken form a Iranian clone of the Chinese CQ Type A . It’s self the Clone of a early M4A1.

  • patrickiv

    What’s a shotgunning receiver half?

  • Josh

    It’s nice to know that it’s NOT JUST the West that’s Struggling with matching up the colors between plastic, aluminum and whatever blessed materials Allah prefers.

  • tactical guest

    Okey. Battlefield 5. (With Turkey MPT-76 too.)

  • GuestVoiceofReason

    Last two photos – seems that a round is jammed, not feeding correctly maybe.

    • Nice catch! Prototypes are bound to have issues, I suppose!

  • Joshua

    Anyone else notice the last 2 pictures are of stoppages. Looks like a failure to eject and feed. Though hard to tell what the exact stoppage is.

  • Phil Hsueh

    The problem that I see with this Fateh is that the back of the stock is perfectly smooth, unless there’s a rubber end cap on it that thing isn’t going to sit in the shoulder pocket very well.

  • dp

    A copy of copies; not worth of paying attention to.

  • attackbeaver

    Look a lot like the robinson XCR

  • Lance

    All this crap about folding stocks you dont need them. A fully collapsed M-4 stock is portable enough. Its more from the plastic gun fan boys trying to annoy AR owners. Face is you dont need a folding stock. The USMC gets by w/o them quite fine.

    PS I dont call Irans equipment good quality anyway. Dont need it for human wave assaults with suicidal teenagers like the used against Iraq any way.

  • ColaBox

    Dude that’s actually pretty badass. Whens it coming to the US?

  • Man pippy

    Just publicity, Iran can’t afford to field this rifle. Would be much more impressed if they announced a tactical accessory package for their standard military AK rifle.

  • TheSmellofNapalm

    I hope you people mocking Allah aren’t in fact Christians, because it’s all the same stuff different day.

  • Madcap_Magician

    Bet you a dollar it’s just like the Iranian stealth fighter. Mostly paper mache.

  • mosinman

    if you scream “allah akbar” does the rifle fire faster?

  • Gidge

    Looks like a piston AR clone with the cocking lever moved and slightly reshaped receivers to make it look futuristic and restrict you to their proprietary uppers and lowers.

    Is that a stoppage on the second last image? Not the best look when demoing you’re “unique super high tech assault rifle that’s uperior to everything else in every way”

  • dan citizen

    The Iranians do make some neat toys, I want a DIO G3 and a Bavar 2 but I’m guessing the US wouldn’t let me import 🙁

  • gggplaya

    imitation is the best form of flattery. magpul should feel like they are on cloud 9

  • Leonard

    That’s nice, but can they do it for less that $1500?

  • Ahkmed Muhammed

    Are those UTG Flip Up sights?

  • valorius

    Looks like it takes ar mags?

  • Yellow Devil

    What? Not happy with their bullpup KH-2002?

    • Darius Ashkani

      Kh 2002 is used by special forces. I have no idea hy they havent standardized it.

  • Farzam Mir

    New Iranian made sidearm called ”Raad”


    Caliber: 9 x 19 mm
    Gun weight (without bullets and magazine): 700 gr
    Total length: 198 mm
    Magazine capacity: 15 rounds
    Muzzle velocity: (340 to 360) m/s
    Effective firing range: ~50 m