Iranian Zulfiqar Modular Rifle, Islamic Republic’s SCAR

The Iranian press has released news of the Islamic Republic’s newest rifle design from a recent press conference held on the Zulfiqar modular rifle in Tehran. Milmag has what appears to be an excellent overview of the rifle in Polish, gathering photographs from Alalam news agency. The Farsi name of the rifle, “Zulfiqar” (ذوالفقار) is the name of the sword carried by Imam Ali, an extremely exalted leader among Shi’a the world over. This isn’t the first time a defense article has been designated Zulfiqar, as in the early 1990s the Army came out with a Main Battle Tank of the same designation. One important point to note in this context is that the rifle appears to be intended to either serve as a substitute or entirely replace (pending field trials) currently serving G3A3s and AKMs in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, a branch separate from that of the standing military. This purpose might be the reasoning of picking such a term from early Islamic history.

بالصور.. ازاحة الستار عن بندقية ايرانية جديدة باسم ذوالفقار

The Zulfiqar appears to be Iran’s answer to the FN Herstal SCAR, bearing much resemblance in appearance and design intent. It comes in 7.62x51mm but some of the articles mentioned 5.56x45mm and 7.62x39mm as well, has a polymer lower, left side charging handle (that can be switched to right), picatinny rails mounted on handguards in addition to a 12 o’clock optic rail. Interestingly there is what appears to be an imported copy of an EoTech 551 co-mounted with canted back up A2 iron sights. Possibly one of the first mass-produced infantry intended rifles to be fitted with such a setup.

The rifle appears to be piston operated with what looks to be an AR15 gas port that is exposed outside the handguards, and in addition also appears to have an adjustable gas port very similar to an M240 medium machine gun. It uses an AR15 grip, has polymer magazines, and a folding SCAR style stock that also folds to the right. However, the rifle is in a preproduction, almost prototype form, due to the poor finish on the metal and on the polymer itself. The magazine has a number of perforations in the ribs that looks very out of place, allowing dust and debris to enter. Iranian presenters openly admitted the weapon was directly inspired by the SCAR, G36, and ACR rifles as well. Overall, this is Iran’s first attempt at a modular rifle, but it appears that much more work needs to be put into the design in order to field it.

This isn’t the first time Iran has come up with a copied/new rifle, previously we reported on the MASAF and the Fateh, both seeing very limited success.



Miles

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 miles@tfb.tv


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  • Ark

    Interesting. Well, the canted irons are probably tacticool bullshit for the photo op. I can’t imagine any infantryman bothering to keep them on. It does look an awful lot like a cheaper SCAR, but then again, you could make a case for the SCAR being unreasonably expensive for a general infantry rifle.

    • Jason Culligan

      That’s because it’s not designed for general infantry use.

  • Mac0321/0317

    You clean and lube it with Drakkar Noir.

    • Rob

      Hahahaha. Thank you for this.

      The guy holding it looks massively unimpressed.

      • BetterThanAirsoft

        I have coffee all over my screen, thanks to you 😉
        But yeah, the guy is like “look at this sh*t. Can’t believe they’re making me do this”

      • Brett baker

        I can see the ad copy “I wish I had a Colt”.

  • Nicholas C

    I think the holes may be witness holes for the rounds and you can see how much ammo you have left,

    You forgot to mention the Strike Industries AFG and grip pod.

    It’s like they have gone and raided a UTG catalog and went full mall Ninja.

    • iksnilol

      Nah, holes are for coupling mags. G36 and Swiss rifles have the same thing going on.

  • Vhyrus

    7.62×39? Those look like 308 mags in that pic.

    • glenn cheney

      Agreed, Dump the 5.56×45, insert 5.45×39 then ya got something.
      Wanna bet the 308 mags are actually 7.62×54?
      I can’t see Iran running Americano ammo, I didn’t know our black ops CIA dweebs were supplying Iran too.
      Wonder if this is more obummer deals still crawling out from under the rock?
      Our mfgers are choking on leftover Hildebeast 24/7 components, as German’s are in Florida with U.S. military contracts for AK-47′, 7.62×54, and no telling what else, maxed out on factory square footage, and in search of more factory space around Orlando.
      SMH. Chit is out of control, and this platform begs more questions under the rug than is splained’.
      As for my “contacts” in manufacturing, they are all busy turning out “turrets” for DOD.
      As a famous NFL football coach once said, “What the hell is going on out there?”

      • Sermon 7.62

        7.62×54 mags would not look like this.

        • glenn cheney

          I had to give you something to pick over, enjoy. BTW, A PO to China will get you a mag that looks like this in 7.62×54 IF you buy enough at a time…wanna bet?
          Perhaps we just haven’t seen em’ yet.

          • Sermon 7.62

            The shape of a magazine depends on the shape of a cartridge.

          • roguetechie

            No it won’t because the Chinese aren’t interdimensional space wizards and thus they can’t change some extremely basic issues that any such creation would have!

            Yeah, tell the Russians how easy double stack x54r magazines for semiautomatic let alone full auto….

            They’re going to hurt you, really bad… And rub your nose in the display carpet in front of cases full of experimental SVD magazines which they were never happy with!

            Mind you, these are the people who have had working drum magazines for their rifle/squad automatic since the 60’s and have also had 60 round quad stack magazines approved for military use for 8 years now…

            Where’s the western drums and working quad stacks? *WAIT WE DON’T HAVE ANY!*

            (we did and we SHOULD but that’s another story for another day!)

            TL ; DR

            If the Russians can’t do it you’re not ordering any from China doofus

      • Chatterbot

        Iranians produce their own ammo, including 7.62×51 for their G3s which is the issued rifle for Iranian Army.

      • john huscio

        Iranians run alot of legacy stuff, F-14s, Brno mausers, G-3s (that use 7.62×51 nato)

        • glenn cheney

          Agreed…I was musing with Obummer’s recent hydration with cash, nothing would surprise me, including Chinese hardware we’ve yet to see.
          Chinese and Iranians are working in concert in the Iraq, Syrian sandbox, both vying for resources, pipeline influence and a host of other agendas.
          A magazine wan’t my focus, I was basically referring to comblock ammo and their ally, Russia and what is common.
          There is more over there that we don’t know, than we do.
          BTW, just bought my first billet .308 lower, dpms pattern, so maybe I’l get better at recognizing mags.

      • Steve_7

        Iran was the source of the 7.62mm ammo in the Iran-Contra scandal. And one of their standard rifles is the G3.

  • UWOTM8

    “Imported Eotech copy”
    Yeah that thing is literally an airsoft optic, I bought one for $30 in the UK just for shiggles.

    Toss that rifle on the pile with the other “Iranian combat rifles” that will never see daylight again….

    • john huscio

      Chinese knockoffs

  • forrest1985

    Looks like someone has been playing too much “pimp my gun”!

    • SP mclaughlin

      Actually, probably not enough of it.

    • Juggernaut

      But will it cost $3500 and then you need to dump another $600 to replace the crappy trigger and stock?

      • HobgoblinTruth

        “Who let the alt-right lose? Heil heil.”

        Isn’t that how the song goes?

  • Brett baker

    Obviously, the IRGF designers don’t pay attention to Joshua’s posts. (Fortunately!)

  • USMC03Vet

    I wish them all the worst.

    • Juggernaut

      I wish them all the best in their battle against the scourge of the world- Israel

      • missourisam

        You are a complete idiot, goat humping camel jockey.

        • HobgoblinTruth

          If you look his posts in here it’s clear that dude is a pro-Russian alt-righter not an “camel jockey”.

          • john huscio

            “Vodka swilling beet eater” would be the correct term.

          • XRGRSF

            You don’t think very highly of yourself, do you?

        • 8×8 Memes

          An acquaintance of mine who is friends with a guy from Iran told me Iran is actually no different from the US or Canada in regards to the level of how developed the country is or way of life.

          The only real difference that separates Iran from the West is that everyone is nosy, there’s too much “gossip” and unnecessary drama. For example, let’s say you’re married and you’re friends with your neighbor who happens to be female, and both of you have a drink of coffee at the local coffee shop. Chances are, your neighbor would find a day to call you out for “cheating on your wife” even though it’s none of your neighbor’s business to intrude on your private matters.

          Hence, why said guy left Iran to settle in North America because he had enough of this “everything is everyone’s business” type of bullshit.

          • XRGRSF

            Now that the US has compete facial recognition capabilities, and the computer power to track all of us all of the time we may not have much so called “freedom” left here. Just think how wonderful it will be when our Fed Gov approved car drives us to where ever the government wants us to go. After all, it’s for our own good, and to keep us safe.

        • Raginzerker

          He’s probably trolling bro, don’t take it it so hard, it’s not a d**k

        • XRGRSF

          And, you are sell out to the bandit nation of Israhell.

          • Concerned Third Party

            You’re one of those muppets who thinks a nation filled with people of various ethnic backgrounds but linked via religion, that has two official languages and a secular constitution is an ethnostate. alt-righters need to kill themselves.

          • XRGRSF

            OK, if you’re talking about Israel it does bill itself as THE JEWISH STATE. If you’re not talking about Israel then I have no idea that you are talking about. Amusing threat though.

            I’m not alt-right. I’m not even certain what alt-right is all about. I’m an unapologetic hater. Israel is an abomination, and would best serve the world by being turned into a smoking ashtray.

      • vwVwwVwv

        Yes they will need luck after they loose th battle and the Iranians will gott free from the mullahs.

        what the chicken you us as avatar stands for, it’s looseing Fathers.

  • doyle hill

    Looks like a bunch of cheap crap thrown together, topped with an Aimpoint knock off I’m sure. They can’t even screw on a bird cage muzzle device for the pictures? Amateur hour, for which I’m ultimately glad!

    • Chatterbot

      Aimpoint??????

      • doyle hill

        sorry, clearly it is an Eotech knock off, not Aimpoint. I started typing before my brain engaged fully.

  • micmac80

    Its a G3 in new clothes nothing changed internaly and its in 7.62×51 not 7.62×39

  • Ed

    @Miles
    No Iran doesn’t use AKMs. Since the Iran Iraq war they been using Chinese Type-56s and North Korean Type 68 rifles. The Soviet Union backed Iraq during the 80s and wasn’t selling arms to Iran till the mid 90s most there sales where SAMs and planes. Iran’s makess a domestic Type-56 copy as well as G-3s left from the Shah era. They rumored to make a M-16 clone based on the Chinese CQ designs as well. Think this is another weapon meant for special forces and for export than a replacement for there Chinese AK copies.

    • Steve_7

      They had a large number of M16A1s through MAP, they gave them to Hezbollah and then the IDF captured most of them and the IDF used them.

  • Robert

    It look like a prop gun…

    • Paul Epstein

      It definitely does, and that I think stems from being at least partially hand finished. Either this is a one-off prototype, or the parts come out of the molds unsuitable for use and are handed off to be brought into spec manually.

      • roguetechie

        So a lot of the polymer stuff is 3d printed using FDM style 3d printer, which if it’s like their 4 axis CNC mill they had to build it themselves…

        Also though, my guess is that they had a deadline of some sort because you can very visibly see that different polymer parts have Been printed from radically different layer thicknesses.

        There’s actually good reason to do it that way, and even their reasoning on which parts to sacrifice quality for speed in order to get more time for critical parts. I’m trying to find bigger better pictures of the stock to see if any marks etc can be seen indicating having to bond different part segments together because of small printer build volume.

        Speaking as someone whose built his own 3d printers, done very unorthodox CNC lathe conversions and etc etc I can say that I’m very impressed with the results they got when they just barely built their 4 axis mill for this project! Dialing in a home brew tool can be painful.

        • Paul Epstein

          That sounds totally reasonable, and I have no reason to think you’re incorrect. However that does have some potential implications for moving beyond prototype stage- all of the polymer parts that aren’t 3D printed appear identical to accessories that are widely available on the global market from non-Iranian manufacturers. Iran might be producing them domestically, but that’s well beyond the scope of the article and requires someone with highly specific knowledge about Iran’s weapons industry.

          Essentially, however, the rifle we’re seeing now doesn’t require, and therefore doesn’t demonstrate, the ability to engineer and mass produce polymer parts with sufficient quality for military use. I’m aware the aluminum upper is the part which experiences the greatest stress, but as was discovered with the INSAS, non-stress polymer parts of substandard quality will very quickly ruin the rifle’s reputation and the confidence of the troops issued it. A broken stock does not mechanically stop this rifle from functioning, but it would render it basically ineffective.

    • moonstar

      I can not understand two country in the world. Iran and India. If you not have enough experience to design a new rifle, just copy AR-!5 pattern. It is a proven design and all patents expired. And you can even find technical assistance from a western company for manifacturing process.

      It is more reasonable than produce useless things. Designing a new rifle isn’t an easy task. Even HK or FN sometimes fail very badly.

  • Big Daddy

    I’ve seen airsoft guns look better.

  • TDog

    Iran: where their guns are too big for any normal human to wield and their jets are too small for even children to pilot.

    It’s not much of a tourist line reel-in, but it’s all they’ve got.

  • John

    Hmm.

    I suppose Iran should follow Russia’s lead and modernize their Type 56 rifles. Put on rails, a better grip handle, swap out the wood for a collapsible plastic stock, etc.

    It would be a lot more efficient and dangerous.

  • vwVwwVwv

    We soon can find them in Syria, If they shoot, brand new ones

  • Raptor Fred

    You know you are dealing with absolute engineering perfection. When you see phillips head screws being utilised. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c0667233700d24c38fc8cb079cde65dea63360f93bd294f768f35645e94715a8.jpg

  • Jim Slade

    With every one purchased for export, you get a tiny, tiny stealth fighter.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e3fbb9704f3d3be3146db90a252443ee9b68610a794aa4b4b8b77758f4edda96.jpg

    • sineva
      • LCON

        which actually flew. and lead to actual combat aircraft the F117.

        • sineva

          Yes,but it also started life as a prototype that clearly was a,and I quote, “tiny, tiny stealth fighter”,about half the size and around a quarter of the weight of the production f117 in fact. You also might not have heard,I imagine fox news wouldnt bother reporting such things,but the prototype of the q313 is currently under going taxiing tests prior to its first flight,you can find plenty of footage of this online if you care to look,so I think the chances are excellent that we`ll see it flying fairly soon as well….now who would`ve ever thought that eh?
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bf670d33d99ee493008a88e8ff39c73f825cbf04f496d1638042064052b5051d.jpg

          • LCON

            Oh yes the taxi test. I heard about those… but then again I doubt even if it got off the ground this would or could go into production or match even a modernised F16.

  • john huscio

    But they still use Phillips head screws to put their wonder guns together…

    • roguetechie

      I screw build guns all the time if I’m doing something new / don’t have exact dimensions etc that I trust or etc…

      When you’re designing and fabricating something that is not a 100% slavish reproduction of every dimension etc you often find yourself needing to adjust stuff until everything fits, Headspace’s, fcg works right, and a million other little things too … Assembling the gun after making each individual change to an individual piece saves much heartache and machining whole parts again!

      That, or they had a deadline and stuff wasn’t back from coating yet, they f***ed up a part under the handguard, or were just too excited to wait any longer to show it off!

      No matter which answer it is because they’re all completely understandable and part of the process.

  • Matthew Whittington

    Did somebody fax them a low resolution full page image of a strike cobra and a scar?, then they thought, yea i can work with this….

    What scale are they though?

    1:1 i assume.

  • sineva

    Pearls before swine my friend,pearls before swine…,nonetheless it was a good try and I for one am glad to see that not everyone in this thread is a total and complete fu#khead.

  • Russ Kell

    The Tacticool is strong with his one…

  • mazkact

    So that’s what they are spending the ransom on.

  • ReadyOrNot

    They love to hate the West, but don’t mind copying and stealing its tech. Odd existence.

    • Concerned Third Party

      Technology is objective, there’s only a handful of ways to design an aircraft or battle rifle, and the west developed them all.

  • LCON

    NEw Iranian battle rifle take…. 900,423!
    Yeah. I am not holding my breath on this one. So far the Iranians seem to generate prototypes that never go into production then laud them as new weapons.

  • USMC03Vet

    30+ years of killing our troops and all you come up with is a Fox News attack?

    Good grief. Time for a new meme.

    • XRGRSF

      That was just a comment, and far from an attack. However, I’m rather curious about who has been killing our troops for 30 year? If your implication is that Iran has been killing our troops for 30 years I’m even more curious about how you arrived at that conclusion. Iran, to my knowledge, hasn’t killed any of our troops anywhere at anytime.

  • Concerned Third Party

    I get your point about not judging based on screws but SCARs out perform the AR in every category.

    • roguetechie

      No, it really doesn’t…

      And pretty much no matter whose big bore AR’s you’re talking about all the way up to noreen and nemo king size thumpers…. NONE OF THEM have the legendary appetite for optics and etc of the SCAR H!

  • CavScout

    I’m not worried. Arabs can’t do nearly anything right.