Anti-Material rifle made in Iraq

Iraq may not have the best manufacturing resources among countries that produce small arms, but that hasn’t kept one Iraqi designer from trying his best to bring locally made firearms for the fight against Daesh, now coming to a climax in the ongoing battle of Mosul.

One of the most effective tactics that Daesh has been especially renowned for are their Suicide Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (SVBIED). These suicide car bombs have been used to devastating effect against Iraqi and Syrian forces, mostly because they are armored and are driven straight into the lines of opposing forces, often at other vehicles or bases, and in most cases with surprise. Because they are armored, the majority of Iraqi small arms cannot defeat them even when spotted, with rifle and machine gun fire. Direct fire Rocket propelled grenade launchers and TOW missiles tend to work well when a direct hit on the moving vehicle is made, but these are often not distributed enough at the squad and platoon level (such is also the case within U.S conventual infantry units). Thus, there is a strong need for a weapon to be carried at the squad level, with enough power to punch through the armor of these SBVIEDs and hopefully disable them.

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This designer has taken the barrel of a 14.5mm ZPU (unknown variant/country of origin) Anti-Aircraft gun, and has affixed it to what appears to be a machined steel receiver, incorporating a simple bolt action design without a safety. Indeed, it appears that the bolt doesn’t have any forward lugs on it, and the bolt is held in place during firing by the bolt handle being locked in place. It is magazine fed, with what appears to be a stamped production magazine, using a Kalashnikov style locking mechanism, and has a capacity of five 14.5mm rounds. The compensator appears to be a “T” handle shaped on, directing gases to the 3 o’clock and 6 o’clock positions. There do not appear to be any iron or optical sights and accuracy is probably marginal at best. However, the rifle is intended to be used within 200 meters or so, against a speeding SBVIED, so point and shoot in this scenario would probably work.

Apparently only around a dozen of these were made, and all of them were delivered to Iraqi defense forces. There are a number of Russian and Iranian Anti-Material rifles in use with Iraqi forces, however these are much more costly to procure than a homegrown alternative.14518412_556550141197140_296332164_n 14518661_556550374530450_629085201_n 14527461_556550597863761_1205319106_n 14509328_556550664530421_1943856523_n 14527540_556550301197124_1486530811_n


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.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at


  • iksnilol


    I like it, if the lockup is solid and barrel is decent should be more than accurate enough to take out the driver (or wheels/engine to stop the bloody thing)

    • Dougscamo

      Looks more steampunk to me….

  • ET

    “It is magazine fed, with what appears to be a stamped production magazine” You have got to be kidding me – you can clearly see that the magazine is made of hand bent sheet metal and welded by hand.

  • Graham2

    The designer has just made a rifle based on the layout of most .22 rimfire bolt action rifles. I’m sure that if he’s scaled it up appropriately it’ll be fine. Just because there aren’t any sights fitted in the photo it doesn’t mean none will be fitted later, when the rifle’s finished.

    • PK

      Well, there will be more bolt flex than a front-lugged design for certain, but if the materials used are decent, and there are no voids/inclusions/cracks from welding the lug on, I see nothing particularly unsafe about this design. It’s not the best, it wouldn’t be too fun to see what a case separation does, but it’s workable.

      Considering the need, it seems the better option.

  • DanGoodShot

    Looks like it would be fun to shoot that thing…

  • TVOrZ6dw

    Not bad work considering they took the harder route and made it magazine fed instead of single shot.

  • Tom – UK

    Its what happens when you apply Sten gun levels of simplicity to an anti-material rifle

  • Major Tom

    1939 called, it wants its Boys Anti-Tank Rifle back.

    • PK

      The Boys had six lugs on the front of the bolt. I agree the overall theme is similar, but the Boys likely displayed far less bolt flex and a higher degree of safety.

  • Anonymoose

    Iraqi Royal Nonesuch.

    • PK

      This appears to be worlds apart in quality. If he was producing properly locked actions, people wouldn’t joke about him so often as far as safety concerns go.

  • Dougscamo

    Mustaffa….hand me that sledgehammer…the barrel needs to be straighter….

  • Gary Kirk

    Looks like something that kills on one end and maims on the other

    • Dougscamo

      Yeah….but which end is which?….

      • Gary Kirk


  • Roy G Bunting

    That buttplate screams shoulder injury. 🙂

    • Giolli Joker

      I hope he puts something soft and thick between that and his shoulder.
      It’s only going to shoot 1,000grs @over 3,000 fps… not much recoil… ?

    • FrenchieGunner

      When you see a suicide vehicle at full speed getting towards you, you probably don’t overthink it.
      Although the fact that it is magazine fed is a bit strange, for follow up shots, you definitely need a follow up shooter.

      • Wow!

        Antimaterial rifles above the light 50 caliber are generally mounted, so the shoulder stock is mostly ergonomic.

  • Darkness 99

    “This designer has taken the barrel of a 14.5mm ZPU (unknown variant/country of origin) Anti-Aircraft gun”

    Oh, come on, the ZPU is the name for the series of AA mounts, not the gun itself. The HMG is called the Vladimirov KPV-14.5 heavy machinegun

    • Henrik Bergdahl

      And the KPV is very, VERY fun to shoot 😀

  • Jim Jones

    HA! A gun that also doubles as a suicide bomb! Ironic that it is made to defeat them…………

  • RocketScientist

    So I normally hate to be “that guy” and just overlook this stuff…. but its “anti-materiEl” not “anti-materiAl”. Materiel (from french, unsurprisingly) specifically means the hardware/supplies used in military operations.

    Also, I can only assume you mean “conventional” not “conventual” when you wrote “U.S conventual infantry units”.

  • Kivaari

    I wouldn’t shoot it. I am sure that the heat treating ovens are non-existent.

    • throwedoff

      I was thinking the same thing. From the looks of the receiver it looks like the only “heat treatment” it received was from the machining operations. The bolt as well. The discoloration of the bolt handle looks as if it were heated while on the bolt and bent to the desired profile. The barrel also appears to have been turned on a lathe to give it a consistent profile with only a slightly more amount of steel left in the chamber area. The only way I’d fire this thing is with it locked in a vise by way or a tether on the trigger, and me behind a sand bagged shield.

  • Mikial

    Pretty rough, but ya gotta give the guy credit. He saw a need and did his best to fill it. People in that part of the world have been doing this sort of thing for a long time. There are still a lot of guns made in little dirt floored workshops in Afghanistan and Northwestern Pakistan, so why not Iraq as well.

  • Richard

    This is one of those guns where no one is going to want to fire it unless a suicide bomber is speeding towards them.

  • Wolfsbane

    What’s a Croation?

    • Archduke Ferdinond

      A former Yugoslavion, prior Austro-Hungarion.

      • Wolfsbane

        Consider the purchase of a dictionary.

        First off, Croats come form Croatia. They speak Serbo-Croatian. The countries they were formerly citizens of are spelled Yugoslavia and Austria-Hungary. The people are Yugoslavian and Austro-Hungarian in English.

        Archduke Ferdinand is the correct spelling.

  • Me(n)tallurgy

    Helluva lot better than taking a VIED…
    but what’s the fps on that bolt after ~ 100 rnds?

  • Macchina

    You had me at “no forward bolt lugs”!

  • Jeff NME

    Ummm, what about locking lugs on the bolt?
    It’s certainly brave to use a single lug (like a giant .22 rimfire) with such a potent round…

  • brian

    Allah akbar, ugly is as ugly does forestafa …after all, life is like a box of chocolates…you never know when the next suicide bomber will speed on through

  • mazkact

    Baboo(or is it Babu) strikes again.

  • Blaine

    Good for this guy making something out of nothing. However, I just can’t fathom the nuts it would take for some poor soul to rely on this to save his life from a speeding SVBIED.