Iran Introduces (Yet Another) New Assault Rifle, the “MASAF” – HK416 Clone?

It seems the Iranian small arms industry is experiencing a bit of a boom – just released last week is another new rifle, called the MASAF, following the Fateh, Nabi, and two other unnamed rifles. The MASAF is obviously based on the AR-15, with a short-stroke operating rod in lieu of a direct impingement gas tube. This and other features suggest the new rifle is based on the Heckler & Koch HK416, although whether the MASAF is a true clone, and whether it is legitimate, remain unknown.

The MASAF is discussed, with additional pictures, in this Pakistan Defence forum thread, and I recommend my readers check that out. Some of the photos are embedded below:


Visible through the handguards is the MASAF’s short-stroke gas piston, identifiable through its wraparound return spring. Although it’s not certain how the MASAF may be related to the HK416, what is visible of the operating rod here is consistent with the H&K rifle. Image source:



The raised 1913 optics rail and scallop at the rear are both suggestive of the HK416. Image source:



The grooved barrel nut visible in the left of this image is also a very HK-like feature. Image source:

We do not yet know whether Iran is building these weapons under license, or whether this is an illicit clone – or even a clone at all.

More on this subject (in Farsi) is available in a thread over at Military.Ir forums.

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


  • Ed

    Iran’s Shah era love affair lives on past the revolution, war, and international sanctions.

  • Joe

    I guess Iran is using the US Army’s “OCP isn’t Multicam” logic when it comes to intellectual property.

    • Joshua

      Technically the Military owned the rights to Scorpion V1, which they modified to be very similar to Multicam.

      Last I checked Iran owns no rights to the M4/hk416 design.

      • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

        Rights? We dont need no stinking rights.

        (you can interpret that as broadly as you wish)

      • Billy Jack

        The Ayatollah asked Allah’s permission and he granted it. Now you have the IR-15. You’re welcome.

    • nanddad

      Allah law overrules santa clause law or whatever U.S uses to dictate copyright law.

  • ReadyorNot

    “DEATH TO AMERICA, DEATH TO THE WEST….but first let us steal some of your designs, BUT DEATH AFTERWARD!”

  • Uniform223

    At least their small arms look more reputable than their “stealth” aircraft and plywood barge “aircraft carrier”.

    • Billy Jack

      Does too carry planes.

      • LCON

        yeah old warn out ones. It was built so the IRGC would have something to scale and shape to shoot at and missile test on.

        • Billy Jack

          I figured the satire would be obvious. I think if you put a fifty dollar drone on a thirty dollar Wal-Mart raft and mounted a couple of air rifles on it the result would be a more worthy, more lethal aircraft carrier than the Notso-Revolutionary Guard version.

  • Ken

    A1 style lower and semi MLOK.

    • Rey

      I see that tear drop assist again!

  • UWOTM8

    My favorite part of these announcements is always the assortment of $20 Chinese optics and accessories they barf up on their new creation.
    Helps with the credibility, ya know.

    • Anonymoose

      Where else are they gonna get their stuff? Russia, Japan, or Germany? No one (except Germany and people who already bought G36s with the integral scope) has the money to blow on German glass, and Nikon doesn’t have much of a rugged, tacticool fixed power line, and there’s only a few Russian (Kobra) red dots that work with Weaver rails (and not AK-style side-rails).

    • JumpIf NotZero

      I like how the red dot is just placed where the front sight would be… Clearly this person has never used an optic, nor have they looked very hard at Google Images.

  • Anonymoose

    Whatever happened to their bullpup copy of the Chinese M16A1?

    • Joshua

      Or their copy of the ACR?

    • Tritro29

      It was In Syria with a cheap knock-off scope and bad mags, it lasted 6 months before the IRGC pulled it out and took back the S5.56 M16’s copies.

      • Joshua

        What happened with that crazy desert digital camo ACR they had?

        • Tritro29

          Nothing, it was a prototype.

  • John

    Iran, a country that has been under U.S. embargo for a long time, can manufacture their own reliable guns that skirt copyright law, again and again.

    India, a U.S. friendly and recognized nuclear power with much of the world’s in-sourced technology base, can’t.

    Something’s weird with this picture.

    • jimmy craked corn

      They make the INSAS weapons system. I wish I had more info to give you on the system. If someone does have more info please share.

      • B-Sabre

        Which was his point – see the various articles on TFB about the INSAS (and its failings) and the ongoing saga to replace it…

    • Vitor Roma

      Iranians/persians seem to have pride on engineering/craftmanship, indians not so much.

      • Billy Jack

        India is still a very poor, very crowded, still caste based, mostly agrarian country. The vast numbers of college educated Indians and the tiny worker wages is why they’re on the map at all. It’s the same as China. Most people in both countries are exceptionally poor. The only reason Iran isn’t a better version of Turkey right now is business aka British Petroleum and the CIA.

    • Steve_7

      There is no copyright law that applies to Iran, they aren’t signatories to any of the main agreements on copyrights and patents and they aren’t a member of the WTO. Which is why the NSA and Mossad were able to deploy Stuxnet in Iran by spoofing a Windows Update server, totally legal.

    • john huscio

      The reliability of said reverse engineered small arms is very much in question.

  • Joshua

    Thinking on this…i bet this gun sucks.

    Part of what makes the 416 decent is the materials used on the bolt and barrel.

    Materials that Iran most assuredly has no idea how to work with, much less access to.

    With cheaper steels if that is overgassed to the same degree as the real 416, they’ll be snapping bolts like a fat kid eats candy.

    • sineva

      If the iranians can reverse engineer sams,cruise missiles and jet engines etc.. then I would imagine that they can figure out the metallurgy of a bolt/barrel or produce an acceptable alternative,they do have over 35 years of experience in reverse/reengineering other peoples technology after all.

      • Uniform223

        I still haven’t seen any real proof of their ability to reverse engineer. Case and point. Iranian AF has had the F-14 for more than 30 years now. Sure they managed to keep a number of those aircraft servicable (which is no small feat). They have not designed, engineered, or built an aircraft of similar capability.

        • Billy Jack

          Iran has legitimate scientists. You can read about them being killed all over the world very creatively by US and Israeli intelligence or by the Ayatollah in Iran (for snitching to the CIA about Iran’s nuclear program.) They haven’t reverse engineered anything that they’ve shown proof of but they do have drones and cruise missiles from the US that they’ve been analyzing. They downed the drone via GPS spoofing which is more a sign of horrible standards in use on the drones than Iranian tech abilities. If they were a bunch of idiots they wouldn’t be ready to build nuclear weapons.

        • sineva

          Irans soumar cruise missile is a reverse/reengineered soviet kh55 based on a handful of examples that were originally covertly obtained from the ukraine,iran also reverse/reengineered the us supplied hawks and rim66 sams,the shahed-171 is a reverse/reengineered rq170,the newly unveiled owj turbojet engine is based on the ge j85 and I`m sure there are plenty of others,also how do you think iran managed to keep hundreds of us supplied aircraft operational for over 35 years without any support from the us if iran didnt have the ability the produce a lot of those components themselves.The f14 was easily the most advanced of all the early 4th gen fighters and even today there are only a few countries that can build a heavy weight 4th gen fighter so to expect iran to produce a 4th gen fighter of any vintage is pretty unrealistic even trying to reverse engineer something like that would be an enormous undertaking,in addition iran for a variety of reasons tended to favor its ballistic missile forces over its air force when it came to resources.

  • Uniform223

    Well at least he seems to know the proper way to use the vertical grip…

  • gary

    Why would you expect anything less from a sand monkey? You think theyre capable of using their brains for designing something original? BWAHAHAHA Seriously, the best thing theyre good for is blowing themselves up in the name of Allah. Which I really have no objection to them doing, I just wish they’d let us get to a minimum safe distance before they do it. Its really fun to watch and would make a hell of a reality TV show!