India Looking to Adopt a New 8,6mm Sniper Rifle

During the past couple of months, the Indian army had at least three casualties from sniper fire on the border. These incidents probably lead India to announce about their need for a new sniper rifle. They sent an information request to world’s major firearms manufacturers. The new rifle must be chambered in 8.6mm caliber and have an effective range of 1200 meters. Normally, .338 Lapua Magnum is referred to as 8.6mm cartridge in the metric designation. So it is clear that they want the rifle in .338 caliber and most likely it will be the .338 Lapua Magnum.

India SVD

SVD rifle

The new gun will replace Russian SVD rifles in the Indian army, but it is not specified if they are requesting for a bolt action or semi-auto rifle. They are planning to purchase 5000 of new rifles for the units serving on the border. After that initial quantity is purchased, India will start manufacturing the rifle domestically. Obviously, if they are going to adopt the new gun for all their armed forces snipers and marksmen, they’ll need more than 5000 rifles. In fact, the possibility of further domestic manufacturing is a requirement in their request. They are looking to arrange a licensed manufacturing or establish a joint company with the supplier of the new gun. The tender and trials may start by June 2017.

Sources

TASS
IndiaTimes



Hrachya H

Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying design, technology and history of guns and ammunition. His knowledge of Russian allows him to translate and make Russian/Soviet/Combloc small arms related information available for the English speaking audience.
Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at TFBHrachyaH@gmail.com


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  • mikewest007

    What the hell is that thing in the top photo? It looks like someone slapped a DeLisle barrel on a PSL…

    • Hrachya H

      Russian VSS Vintorez rifle.

      • Dougscamo

        Looks like an SMLE-47…. 🙂

      • mikewest007

        Damn, you’re right.

      • Russ Kell

        (Heavy accent) “Get out of here, Stalker”

        • iksnilol

          CHEEKI BREEKI IV DAMKE!

    • JoelC

      VSS Vintorez 9x39mm sniper rifle.

  • Raginzerker

    Well if this goes anything like their insas replacement process, India ain’t gonna have a new sniper rifle anytime soon

    • Marcus D.

      Agree. They would be much better of–or rather their soldiers would be much better off–if all of the needed rifles were out sourced. The requirement to develop domestic production is to assure the existence of a pool for graft payments.

      • Raginzerker

        Yeah this seems to be the downfall of the defense industry in India, I still don’t get why they don’t have long range precision weapons already

        • roguetechie

          Umm because they are a superstitious, caste based society, and completely unable /unwilling to either discard or alter their way of doing things on an individual or collective basis even though said way of doing things and the modern world are basically mutually exclusive.

          • Raginzerker

            Point taken

  • John

    Take the Enfield you’ve already had in stock for 100 years, free float the barrel, put a 1917 rail on top with whatever existing sniper scopes you also have in stock, and send them out.

    THAT is how you fulfill an emergency operational requirement. It’s EXACTLY what the U.S. military did in Iraq and Afghanistan when they needed a 7.62 marksman rifle right then and now.

    • DW

      But then you remembered They took the AK and FAL and made INSAS.

      • BaconLovingInfidel

        Which has to be some sort of war crime. Or should be.

    • Claus Økær Holdt Hansen

      Improve the trigger and most important, move the locking lugs to the front.

      • kyphe

        Enfields have been firing 7.62 NATO for decades with no problem and has been tested to far higher pressures without issue. Just because frontal locking is stronger does not mean it is actually needed just as I do not need a chainsaw to cut a tomato.

        • Spencerhut

          Which is why armorers kits include new bolt faces to take up the slack in the receivers from stretching.

          • Kivaari

            It, the Lee-Enfield and Mosin-Nagant have the easiest systems for correcting headspace. JUst swap the bolt head. Even the common soldier can do it, if allowed. I’ve done it on both pattern rifles over the years.

          • kyphe

            Once the armorer matches the right bolt head to the gun it will generally run for 100 years on one bolthead. But it was the armorers job to do that due to manufactures size variation, especially on the number 1 where the sizes were unmarked and the armorer would often be required to grind long heads down. Also less than perfect head spacing on an Enfield had little impact on performance or safety as the gun was designed with lose tolerances to cope with ammunition which had a variety of rim thicknesses. There are a lot of myths about the Enfield.

    • Rick O’Shay

      Just hire a bunch of redneck “gunsmiths,” give them a half dozen crates of Mosins and let them do what they do best. If anyone knows how to make a sniper rifle, it’s a redneck bubba with a Mosin in his hands.

    • Quest

      Execpt that 7.62×51 is terrible for a marksman… Stupid drop, winddrift, weight.

    • Jim Slade

      Weren’t the casings for the emergency air force bunker-buster bombs during Desert Storm sourced from old WW2 era navy gun barrels that were laying around somewhere?

    • Saumya Supratik

      Rifle Factory Ishapore (part of OFB) actually had a sniper rifle based on the Sauer 202. Sauer 202 based .30-06 sporting rifles are one of the few firearms legal here.

      Thing is you flush out enemy snipers with mortar, mmg, hmg or agl fire not another sniper. The PA infantry battalions are anyway armed with SSG 69s in the Company Level and RPA 50s as the standard Battalion level AMR/Long range sniper. We use the Dragunov as the company level DMR with the NTW-20/14.5 as the battalion level AMR. Some Army infantry units are armed with the M107A1 as well, at least they had some for trials.

      Info card on the RFI Sniper (ugly as hell and heavy)

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/21b11f5b30e042fa600479fdd9296f2e494bae8801c3d8af035e58c10aff2b79.jpg

    • nicholsda

      Thing is, the .308 round used in the M14 is a good round. As was the .30-06 when used in the M1903A3 or M1903A4. Even during WW I the M1903 or M1917 was a weapon to be reckoned with.

  • Jim Slade

    All of these “India is going to buy…” articles are starting to sound an awful lot like all of the spam Russia puts out about all of the advanced superweapons that they can barely afford to prototype but are going to go into full production any day now, as soon as somebody leaves a few billion in unmarked US dollars in a paper sack behind a gas station somewhere.

    • gusto

      the bureacrauts pockets are getting low…

      • Ben

        Well Modi did just do the currency revaluation to wipe out everyone’s bribe money.

    • ProudAmerican

      As if the Russians’ Khibny system didn’t leave the $1 BILLION USS Donald Cook dead in the water?

      • J.T.

        You mean the baseless Russian claims that were refuted by information from the system’s manufacturer that stated that the system had not been installed on any aircraft of the type the Russians said disabled the Ageis system on the Cook?

    • Amplified Heat

      Yeah, I was mentally replacing “is” and “will” with “may, but probably won’t” while reading

      • Bart

        India has just destroyed their economy by demonetizing the 500 and 1000 rupee ($7 and $15) bills. Their economy is in free fall.
        The current government will be lucky if it survives (and it probably shouldn’t).

    • Jimmy D

      “Information Operations”. Its a thing.

  • Frank Grimes

    Maybe they should figure out how to use toilet paper before they start launching $5 bills.

    • Jim Slade

      The RFP for well-made foreign-sourced toilet paper, followed up by awful domestically produced toilet paper should be out any day now, if the trend is followed.

    • rklk

      to be fair they would have to have a completely new sewage system to deal with the toilet paper

      • Kivaari

        India has had as much time as the rest of the world to work out a toilet system much better than what they have been using. Even Bangladesh has a more advanced toilet policy.
        They have not been smart enough to even build outhouses until recently. Just walk into the grass alongside the road and do a dump. It is a pathetic place. Toilet paper, we don’t need no stinking toilet paper.

    • 22winmag

      The India, the closest river serves as a toilet, laundry service, and water supply all in one.

      • Frank Grimes

        Don’t they dump corpses in it too?

        You know, right up stream from where they fill their cups at?

        Dirty, dirty people.

        • Spencerhut

          Really? Ick . ..

          • Frank Grimes

            Yes.

            It’s absolutely foul.

            You can Google search it, there are bloated and rotting bodies floating in the Ganges just upstream of where people bathing or cupping their hands full of water and drinking it.

            It’s borderline cannibalism.

            Ganges Stew: Now with 50% more Patel!

        • Kivaari

          Mostly ashes. They have 24/7 cremations going at spots along the river.

  • Gary Kirk

    If they actually do wind up going through with this.. God help whatever poor design they choose once they start producing it themselves..

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    When im in sniper country the first thing I do is take off my giant turban with the big red stripe on it.

    • You are the worst Sikh ever.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Im bad at a lot fo other stuff too!

        • Vegamania

          That’s where he keeps his spare mags.

    • DW

      Sikhs are allowed to take turbans off when life is on the line tho

      • Giolli Joker

        Maybe they have camo turbans… the current defence ministry of Canada seemed to be able to avoid bullets while wearing a turban in active duty.

    • Saumya Supratik

      He’s a staff officer on one of those INDRA exercises with Russia. Otherwise the turbans are camoed olive drab.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e7e71bc59d460978e67357c63f8ad11cfdd759f5833402f3e12495102275d6c9.jpg

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Is that thing armored at all? If im going to make my head a bigger target it should at least offer some level of protection.

        • Sunshine_Shooter

          It could be kevlar fabric. But really, if you’re taking sniper fire there is no helmet that will stop those rounds.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Yeah but Kevlar fabric wont stop the bullet from stomping a major mud hole in your skull. A helmet might at least deflect an oblique shot.

          • Sunshine_Shooter

            I mean, I would want to wear the most protective thing I could shove my noggin into (more armor = better), but my religion doesn’t mandate I wear a specific hat. If it did, I’d be looking at diminishing returns on protection vs obeying sacred laws.

          • BaconLovingInfidel

            They can wear a little mini turban under a ballistic helmet. I used to play basketball with a Sikh who wore a little yarmulka-sized thingy with a stretchy string to keep it on his head while driving to the hoop.

          • Sunshine_Shooter

            That’s pretty cool.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Not that it really matters.
            No headgear is going to protect him from a Pak nuke.

          • Sunshine_Shooter

            True that.

          • CavScout

            There’s a difference between religious and cultural garb. A big one, though they like to forget that in the states.

        • roguetechie

          I’m sensing a potentially lucrative and totally untapped segment of the body armor market…

          Introducing the new Sikh Saver tactical armored turban!!

      • Dean_R

        Are you sure this is in Russia? The other gun is the Chinese Type 95.

        • Saumya Supratik

          The photo of the Indian Officer firing a VSS in TFBs article is from Indo-Russian INDRA exercise.

          My photo comment you replied to is from Sino-Indian Hand in Hand exercise. Hope that clears the confusion.

    • Frank Grimes

      Who needs Kevlar when you are protected by magical sky wizards?

    • Kafir1911

      You don’t go Hollywood? Or should I say Bollywood?

  • Audie Bakerson

    Surplus SVDs?

    • zardoz711

      In the US?
      we might see parts kits and de-milled barrels

      • Kivaari

        They are demilled enough to make them absolute junk. There are gun parts kits on the market for guns that never worked well to begin with and will never be legal variants sold in this country and people still buy the parts. I never understood the desire for parts kits for junk.

        • Audie Bakerson

          I’ve heard people put parts kits of restricted guns on dummy receivers as showpieces.

          • roguetechie

            That too, but the rest of us builders kinda hate them for destroying actual working parts some of which are extremely scarce if they can be had at all for any price!

            If you’re gonna make a wall hanger… Make it without destroying the parts you use so someone else can make a real gun with it should they decide to.

            If you live somewhere that doing so would be illegal… Move or buy a. Airsoft gun or something!

        • Amplified Heat

          Some of us build them into guns that are otherwise unobtainable, or never existed

  • 22winmag

    Meanwhile in India, 70% of ATMs are down and it’s blood in the streets since India’s brain-surgeon in chief took away the 500 and 1,000 Rupee note a little over a month ago.

  • Kivaari

    It seems hopeless. India has some great brains in the computer world and medical field, yet they can’t seem to do anything mechanically. It is just odd. India can buy the finest machines available, but choose to make stuff cruder than one can imagine. I simply doubt they will build a safe and reliable rifle of any kind.If it is safe and reliable, it will likely look as ugly as possible.

    • Vitor Roma

      Indians seem to care a lot about titles and reputation, but mechanical stuff requires a craftmanship that doesn’t care about titles.

      • Stephen Paraski

        Caste System. Babu’s in charge.

      • J. Murphy

        It’s nothing to do with a lack of skilled engineers, there’s a tradition of institutional corruption in the bureaucracy that stretches back to the days of the British Raj, doesn’t matter how skilled the designers are when their work has to pass through a system of morons.

    • Rick O’Shay

      A lot of it has to do with rampant corruption. You can’t do anything without paying a bribe somewhere along the way.

    • Fb14352

      Bro, the smartest brains in India have to either leave the country or give-up. The red tape and socialist mindset of government organizations and their employees is disheartening to say the least. Whatever progress we see there is despite their pathetic governance.

  • TXPDelta

    If they aren’t getting it done with a decent condition SVD, I’m not betting cash money that a new wiz bang rifle gun is going to make much difference.

    • iksnilol

      Knowing Indians, I doubt the SVDs are in decent condition 🙁

      • Gary Kirk

        They can send them all to me, and for the low cost of keeping one out of every ten rifles, I’ll fix them right up..

    • .45

      That was my thought. I was thinking of that one article with the chief of police somewhere in India defending his LEOs running and hiding from some terrorists with the excuse that his men were armed with AKs and the terrorists had MP5s, which are way way better. Having the latest equipment is no good if you don’t employ it.

      • TXPDelta

        In all but close up fighting, I’d choose the AK over the MP5. Even if the police were armed with HK416s, the terrorists probably still would have prevailed.

        On one of my trips to India, I got to see an example of an Indian top gunner. Patrolling through the airport was a Sargent of I assume some police department, carrying an old Sterling machine gun. The age of the gun wasn’t as concerning as the fact that he was holding it in his right hand, by the grip, UPSIDE DOWN. If he had to fire it quickly, he’d be using his pinky on the trigger. He was strolling down the hallways swinging this by his side, looking completely bored and oblivious. Guessing he was carrying it that way so the magazine wouldn’t hit up against his leg. No spare magazines, body armor or sidearm. I felt more safe than a pack of Twinkies at a camp for fat kids.

        Contrast that to Hamburg, Germany where the police wore Class IIA/III armor, SIG sidearms, and MP5 with at least 4 extra magazines. Plus they appeared to have high situational awareness.

  • Giolli Joker

    “The new gun will replace Russian SVD rifles in the Indian army, but it is not specified if they are requesting for a bolt action or semi-auto rifle.”

    Probably because the bureaucrats who wrote the tender don’t know the difference…

    I see plenty of companies lining up to dump loads of money in a competition that will go nowhere… or in the best case will force the winner to do a painful technology transfer.

    Good luck.

  • El Duderino

    So, they’re going to cross an AK with a Chauchat with a Bren gun and end up with a sniper rifle with a top loading magazine, a scope mount on the wrong side for a right handed shooter, a safety selector on the forend, and a charging handle located in a recess in the back of the buttstock that you have to stick you pinky through and pull.

  • Billy Jack

    Maybe adopt a new twenty bill first

  • iksnilol

    What’s that VSS rifle? Is that an Indian variant?

    Also, can’t they just build .338 SVDs? That could work I feel.

    • DW

      Look what hapened when they built 556 rifle that was based on the AK…

  • Seth Hill

    I call dibs on the old SVDs.

    • Amplified Heat

      A nation where a 22LR casing is a lengthy prison sentence and still has Martinis in the armory, is going to sell the parts, and to civilians?

  • DIR911911 .

    8,6 the only caliber that reduces itself going down the barrel

    • Quest

      Why?? Its just that there are lands and heights results in diffrent measuring. Like the 5.56 is 5,7 – the 5.45 is 5,6 – the 5.8 is 6 – 6.5 is 6,7 – the 6.8 is 7 ,etc, etc.

      And even if, than the “only” is complete bullshit… ever heard of squeezbore projectiles? There are dozends of actually strongly reducing projectiles.

  • Freedom?

    A lapua? Why would India need Lapua sniper rifles?

    Some contact from their border…Which border would that be? Nepal? China? Pakistan?

    I think they’d be better served with a good 50 caliber with some amax/ELD bullets and a task force meant to deal with the trouble makers directly.

    The same way that we in the u.s should be dealing with a certain border of ours.

    • RealitiCzech

      Pakistan. Interesting times lately along that border.

  • Freedom?

    And what about our border for that matter?

    We are being actively INVADED, and traitors in the d.c are in fact enforcing the invasion.

    People need to be fired and arrested.

  • Stephen Paraski

    Young George Costanza?

  • roguetechie

    Somehow I’m deeply skeptical of India’s ability to license produce a military grade precision rifle…

    Anyone who can F*** up an AK so hard that anyone with any sense would take a Khyber pass made AK over the INSAS… Yeah, this is even more funny/sad than arjun, tejas, etc

  • Kafir1911

    Will the round specify a reservoir for bacon grease??

  • Secundius

    By the Size (Diameter) of the Barrel, it Looks similar to the DeLisle .45apc Commando Silenced Carbine…

  • pcjunkie429

    Is that a Vintorez in the first picture? Pretty awesome if it’s still in use.

  • MartinWoodhead

    Most of the modern rifle companys could supply a quality 8.6mm rifle.
    But no sane company be prepared to garuntee the licence built indian version

    • Secundius

      Why NOT?/! The British 1805 “Congreve Rocket” was a “Near Copy” of the Indian 1792 “Mysorean Rocket”…

      • MartinWoodhead

        India is quite capable of building a precison rifle. But given the ingrained corruption and history of licenced built versions being inferior due to problems with quality control would you want to be responsible for weapons you have no means of controlling the quality of?

        • Secundius

          Most of the Indian Military is Either Soviet Tech or Russian Tech!/? In other Words “SH|T” Quality Control…

  • MrSottobanco

    Do Sikhs hate moslems?