Brazil’s sniper rifle (Part 1)

Weapons in use by the world’s leading military and LE forces are usually well known to the general public due to their being frequently shown in the mainstream media as a result of their respective countries’ public relations efforts and/or some publicity generated by the manufacturers involved. TFB, incidentally, recently had a look at what Western (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2016/11/10/rifles-european-best-sniper-squad-competition-2016/)  and ComBloc (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2016/12/01/international-army-games-combloc-sniper-frontier/)  sniper teams use, but for lower-profile nations like Brazil, however, very little usually comes to light. Then,  the following pictures and concise info may be of interest. They follow no specific sequence, and are just here for your general appreciation. Nope, this is not a comprehensive list.

7.62x51mm Imbel AGLC

SNIPER 01

Named after a Brazilian Army officer (Col. Athos Gabriel Lacerda de Carvalho) who led a design team responsible for the rifle’s initial development in the early 1990s, the AGLC was subsequently manufactured by Imbel – Indústria de Material Bélico do Brasil at its Fábrica de Itajubá (Itajubá Factory), in Minas Gerais State, production having already come to an end. The company says it is “temporarily suspended”, maybe an indication that prodution may eventually be resumed to incorporate minor design changes suggested by some operators. Anyway, the gun is widely found in Brazilian Army units, as well as having been chosen and is in use by some local civil and military police departments.

It is a Mauser-based bolt-action gun (four-round internal magazine) fitted with a cold-forged  heavy, free-floating, 610mm barrel, which gives it an overall length of 1200mm. Empty weight is 4.7kg, and the optics fitted is generally a Bushnell  10x40mm Elite 3200.

Snipers of various State Police agencies training with AGLCs in a range. The bipods are the ubiquitous Harris.

Snipers of various State Police agencies training with AGLCs in a range. The bipods are the ubiquitous Harris.

A Brazilian Army trainee learns how to use his spotter’s butt in place of the AGLC bipod. The gun’s stock is all-wood, and can receive butt spacers to adjust length.

A Brazilian Army trainee learns how to use his spotter’s butt in place of the AGLC bipod. The gun’s stock is all-wood, and can receive butt spacers to adjust length.

Members of PRF – Polícia Rodoviária Federal (Federal Highway Police) in a firing position with their AGLCs during an actual operation in Rio de Janeiro in August, 2016.

Members of PRF – Polícia Rodoviária Federal (Federal Highway Police) in a firing position with their AGLCs during an actual operation in Rio de Janeiro in August, 2016.

Author giving the Imbel rifle a chance to consistently demonstrate its basic 1 MOA-ability at 100 meters: it did.

Author giving the Imbel rifle a chance to consistently demonstrate its basic 1 MOA-ability at 100 meters: it did.

7.62x51mm CZ 750 S1 M1

SNIPER 05

The Czech-built (Česká Zbrojovka Uherský Brod) bolt-action rifle with a 10-round, double-stack, detachable magazine features a fiberglass synthetic stock as a base for its 660mm hammer-forged barrel.  Overall length is 1219mm, and empty weight is 5.8kg, the basic scope being a Leopold Mark 4 (8.5-25x50mm). Its only known user in Brazil is Rio de Janeiro Military Police’s BOPE – Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais (Special Police Operations Battalion).

This BOPE sniper is part of the outfit’s GRR – Grupo de Retomada e Regate, which has hostage rescue as one of its primary missions. Helo in the background is a Bell Huey II of Rio de Janeiro Military Police’s GAM – Grupamento Aeromóvel (Airmobile Group).

This BOPE sniper is part of the outfit’s GRR – Grupo de Retomada e Regate, which has hostage rescue as one of its primary missions. Helo in the background is a Bell Huey II of Rio de Janeiro Military Police’s GAM – Grupamento Aeromóvel (Airmobile Group).

7.62x51mm Armalite AR-10 SuperSASS

SNIPER 07

The semi-auto Armalite AR-10 SuperSASS (Semi-Automatic Sniper System) is in use both by PMERJ – Polícia Militar do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro State Military Police) and the State’s Polícia Civil (Civil Police). It is a gas-operated (direct impingement) weapon with an empty weight of just under 5.9kg and a 508mm barrel fitted with a flash hider. Usual scope is a Leupold Vari-X III 3.5-10×40 unit, but the gun also features flip-up iron sights, for any “just in case” employment. With both users, the rifle accompanies ground troops, maintains security and may give precision-fire support, if needed.

Seen here in the hands of BOPE snipers, the AR-10 SuperSASS usually accompanies standard Battalion troops armed with AR-10A4 rifles, ready to provide precision fire at longer distances.

Seen here in the hands of BOPE snipers, the AR-10 SuperSASS usually accompanies standard Battalion troops armed with AR-10A4 rifles, ready to provide precision fire at longer distances.

This Rio Civil Police sniper with an AR-10 SuperSASS is a member of the force’s CORE – Coordenadoria de Recursos Especiais (Special Resourses Coordination), the SpecOps outfit.

This Rio Civil Police sniper with an AR-10 SuperSASS is a member of the force’s CORE – Coordenadoria de Recursos Especiais (Special Resourses Coordination), the SpecOps outfit.

Author giving the SuperSASS a tryout in the field. For short, a “thumbs up” experience.

Author giving the SuperSASS a tryout in the field. For short, a “thumbs up” experience.

5.56X45mm Colt CAR- A3 Sporter HBAR Elite

Although not exactly a sniper rifle, the Colt CAR-A3 Sporter H-Bar has had a small batch acquired for use by the Rio de Janeiro State Military Police’s BOPE, and is still to be found in some actions. In 5.56x45mm caliber and accurate enough for shorter ranges engagements, it features a 600mm fully-floating heavy barrel with a 1:9 twist to optimize heavy bullets performance for longer distances. It’s on the heavier side for a 5.56x45mm gun, with an empty weight of about 4kg.

A BOPE sniper, Ghillie-suited for a possible action in a rural area of Rio de Janeiro State, takes aim with the sleek-looking Colt rifle. The cylindrical aluminum handguard is noteworthy, so is the barrel wrapped in rubber bands.

A BOPE sniper, Ghillie-suited for a possible action in a rural area of Rio de Janeiro State, takes aim with the sleek-looking Colt rifle. The cylindrical aluminum handguard is noteworthy, so is the barrel wrapped in rubber bands.

7.62x51mm Hecker & Kock PSG/1

SNIPER 13

Heckler & Koch’s hefty (8kg+) HK PSG/1 rifle has been around in Brazil since the 1980s (Army Special Forces), and is still seen in LE hands from time to time. It’s a kind of G3 development, being of semi-auto operation employing the German firm’s traditional roller-delayed blowback system.  The free-floating barrel is 650mm long, overall length being 1208mm. The usual scope is a Hendsoldt 6x42mm.

BOPE again!? Yup, but this time from the Bahia State Military Police, which also has a SpecOps Battalion. This sniper with an HK PSG/1 training in a soccer stadium in Salvador, the capital city, belongs to that unit.

BOPE again!? Yup, but this time from the Bahia State Military Police, which also has a SpecOps Battalion. This sniper with an HK PSG/1 training in a soccer stadium in Salvador, the capital city, belongs to that unit.



Ronaldo Olive

Ronaldo is a long-time (starting in the 1960s) Brazilian writer on aviation, military, LE, and gun subjects, with articles published in local and international (UK, Switzerland, and U.S.) periodicals. His vast experience has made him a frequent guest lecturer and instructor in Brazil’s armed and police forces.


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  • JustAHologram

    Always interesting to see what rifles work their way into different agencies/militaries

  • Rimfire

    What, no Rossi or Taurus guns? (sarc)

  • SP mclaughlin

    Is BOPE only exclusive to Rio?

    • Ronaldo Olive

      No, other states’ militaty police forces also have SpecOps battalions. See last photo in article.