Peshmerga Zagros rifles, actually accurate…

That guy has ear pro.

So you know those anti material rifles we’ve been posting about in use by some of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces against Daesh? The 14.5mm ZPU barrels turned into anti material rifles otherwise known as Zagros? Well apparently, video has come out of Syria and posted on FUNKER530 of one of those rifles turning a Daesh fuel truck into a lovely fireball, from several hundred meters out. Now, I’m curious as to that part, because the cameraman in this video is no doubt over a kilometer away from the target he is filming. But that doesn’t mean that the shooter is co located with the camera man. Terrorist organizations and those fighting them alike use footage such as this for propaganda purposes all the time. So if this was a pre conceived shot wherein the shooter knew the schedule of the enemy tanker and coordinated with a photographer to zoom in at that moment in time, that might be the case. In addition, it might have been completely staged because there seems to be a time lapse between the tanker pulling up, a guy getting out (in this case, friendly personnel part of the gig), then a film cut, and then the shot with the 14.5mm tracer flying from the left side of the camera. This would make sense because the shooter would have had ample time to fire a couple rounds beforehand and thus know the ballpark impact of his rounds, as opposed to a lone shot fired from a cold bore barrel, at a target of opportunity that just so happened to waltz into his sector of fire, and also just so happened to be in clear view in a very crowded city of a cameraman, located nowhere near the shooter, and apparently without communication as well. I’m no ballistics guru, but regardless of how the video was made, the shot appears to be well made, and a good one, from at the very least 400-500 meters or so, most likely much more. What this means for us, is the rifle has proven to be more than some hand jammed antiaircraft gun with a butt stock and scope, it is actually accurate in the right hands. What the coalition might want to take note of, if these things fall into the wrong hands, what kind of capabilities could they be facing.


Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

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  • Llewellyn Franks

    Well it is an anti-materiel rifle and doesn’t really need extremely high accuracy. In an urban environment like this the targets it’s intended for are much larder than a person and relatively close.

    • Ahh relatively close and urban environment, the target was in a city, the shooter wasn’t.

  • jay

    That 14.5mm round is hot stuf, the machinegun shooting it is very accurate, so it’s not that hard to get that kind of accuracy out of a bolt gun made out of it.
    They are not shooting at people in this shot. They shoot at a truck and I think it’s much easier to hit a truck than a man at the distance.
    The 14.5 is a flat shooting round. 1000 meter shot on a truck shouldn’t be that hard.

    • Rogier Velting

      Keep in mind that the 14.5mm round was never meant to engage infantry, and therefore there is no ammo for it meant to achieve that accuracy.

      • Jay

        Well, I shot the kvpt machine gun, from a btr in the army back in Romania. We were shooting at what was left of an old dump truck at 600 meters. With the ak47 I was a pretty crappy shot. I hit it the first time I pulled the trigger on that gun. I was very impressed with that gun. Shoots very flat.

        • jay

          I meant the kpvt machine gun. Not that good with this Russian names. We just called it the 14.5 machine gun.

  • I’m glad they’re accurate, and I’m not necessarily surprised. When there’s a need for a weapon, a real need, someone will deliver regardless of circumstances. The human ability to meet demand, in often hostile environments (economically, physically, both) is always fascinating.

    With that said, I don’t know how I feel about the head-placement on that thing. Hopefully there’s no kaboom!

    • Paul Epstein

      What’s odd about the head placement? His nose at least two inches back from the closest part of the bolt, and the bolt itself looks fairly long. In addition to that, his head is above the line of the bolt’s travel. If there’s a kaboom, it might still be lethal simply from the power of the round involved sending shrapnel everywhere, but the head placement doesn’t seem more dangerous than any other bolt action rifle.

  • Jason

    I got 1.5-1.6 seconds TOF so at the nominal velocity of 14.5mm APIT around 1000mps the shooter was about 1.5K out. Not bad at all.

    • Giolli Joker

      I’d say a closer range, as the one you mention is the velocity at the muzzle, that constantly decreases during flight.
      I don’t know about 14.5, but on many rounds more common on US ground there are quite a few resources online with actual flight times at given ranges (typically .50BMG vs .408 CheyTac).

  • Sianmink

    AA gun barrels generally have a reputation for accuracy. I’m really not surprised.

    • Giolli Joker

      Yep, I think the biggest limit is just in the ammo (there’s no match grade 14.5).

  • Lance

    By the size of it id prefer packing the SVD around than that massive smoke pole.

  • Lance

    Ka Boom oh YES!!!!

  • Dan

    I’m thinking the camera guy was somewhere near the shooter, he’s shaky but really jerks the camera on the second shot. I don’t know though.

  • ozzallos .

    Kinda killed a cool article with over the top over-analysis.

  • mosinman

    so this is basically a Kurdish PTRD?

  • ghost

    By the time I read all the could haves, would haves and maybes, in the article, I didn’t watch the vid.

  • Secundius

    Barrel’s to long for a Heavy Machine gun. Looks like a PTRS-41 (14.5x114mm) Anti-Tank Rifle. 800-meters effective range and about 1,600-meters maximum (?)…