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.
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.