Saddam’s Mid-Range “Sniper” Rifle: The Tabuk Sniper

Created during the Iran-Iraq War, the Tabuk Sniper is one of those oddballs of historical firearms. Although referred to as a “Sniper” rifle, it really never was one to begin with. Chambered in 7.62x39mm, the rifle was intended as a squad or platoon support weapon to compliment the RPK within Saddam’s army. It is essentially based on the Yugo M76 but not chambered in 8mm Mauser, built of course by Yugoslavian engineers cooperating with Iraq.

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Transcript ….

[coming soon]



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Seriously……?

    7.62×39 “Sniper” ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    • Vitor Roma

      Put a heavier projectile and amp up the pressure from 45k psi to 55k psi and you would have a somewhat decent range.

    • Herp

      The word “sniper” is starting to develop a history and the definition is getting sort of plastic.

      The average range of a swat sniper shot is 51 yards. In an urban counter-sniper or hostage situation you might require extreme mechanical accuracy even at close range.

      I’m told eastern militaries have what we call designated marksmen, but not what the west would call a “sniper”.

      If “snipe” is something that happens with ordinary rifles, are those rifles “sniper rifles” in that context, or all the time, or never?

      Beats me.

      • int19h

        Don’t forget that “sniper” in East European militaries usually means “designated marksman”, as well. SVD is “Dragunov’s *Sniper* Rifle” for a reason.

    • Kaban

      There is an interesting book by John West, titled “Fry The Brain: The Art of Urban Sniping”. A lot of fluff, but it does hammer the point home: depending on tactical environment, range and mission, a weapon with shittiest ballistics ever may be quite sufficient.

    • int19h

      What do you call the 9x39mm VSS Vintorez, I wonder?

  • Kivaari

    Good video.

  • codfilet

    Not too different from a Norinco NHM-91

  • JV Mason

    You can get tabuk furniture for your Yugo AK from iron wood designs. Or get one built by 3 river arms. Yugos are some cool heavy duty AKs.

  • Julio

    “intended as a squad or platoon support weapon to compliment the RPK”

    Because the RPK had issues with self-esteem?

    Please, “compliment” and “compliment” are different words with different meanings.

    • B-Sabre

      Please, “compliment” and “compliment” are different words with different meanings.
      You may want to check yourself before you wreck yourself there, Julio….

  • Zeitgeist

    I used one of these extensively as a contractor in Iraq 2003-2005. I brought the scope home but, of course, couldn’t bring the semiauto rifle with me. Mine was in excellent shape https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/43b5143e2e6dd30a52da0acee9485dde064b3fa8d90213b6a2167225c6127b69.jpg though it had a scope from an Al Kadesiah. He was asking $1K, but I bought it for $500 on the street in Baghdad after explaining in Arabic that “This is not a Dragunov, it is just a big AK.” I also bought an exceptional E German AK for IIRC $75 that day, so you know this was a high prestige thing there.

    With good ammo (the best I found was Iranian) and using the 4X24 scope’s range finding feature with my own calculated hold overs since it was calibrated for 7.62X54R, I consistently made minute of man hits at 500m on the range, and the longest shot for blood I attempted (and made) was just under 300. I eventually replaced the scope with a Ukrainian 6X50 PSOP (IIRC it was a while back now) and really used it for the optics more than for shooting. What are the people in that car doing? Wait one! Is there someone in that window 100yds down the road? Nope! It was a legit DMR rifle to my mind, and with good ammo reached far enough for the theater of operations.

    Trench warfare against Iran? Maybe not…

    • wetcorps

      Very interesting, thanks for the review 🙂

  • Kenneth Schmidt

    A lot of folks in the US enthuse about 1000 yard kills and such, but such shots are not typical. That’s why the US began copying the designated marksman concept from the Soviets/Russians beginning 10-15 years ago. Before that snipers were a kind of quasi-elite group that were used sparingly. Better a DM that’s in your squad than some rare bird as a sniper that you never see in a typical unit.

    • int19h

      Ironically, Russians had the opposite problem, relying on DMs as snipers, and not having a proper sniper rifle in the inventory until relatively recently.

      Really, you want both.

  • HenryV

    I just think it looks cool.

  • Schmiss

    Don’t you mean Arabic numerals?

  • Benny Tsang

    Look like PSL rifle !

Saddam’s Mid-Range “Sniper” Rifle: The Tabuk Sniper

Created during the Iran-Iraq War, the Tabuk Sniper is one of those oddballs of historical firearms. Although referred to as a “Sniper” rifle, it really never was one to begin with. Chambered in 7.62x39mm, the rifle was intended as a squad or platoon support weapon to compliment the RPK within Saddam’s army. It is essentially based on the Yugo M76 but not chambered in 8mm Mauser, built of course by Yugoslavian engineers cooperating with Iraq.

 

Thanks to our sponsors:

Proxibid – Shop For Home Defense Pistols Online Here

Ventura Munitions – Retailer of quality ammunition.

Savage Arms – The Definition of Accuracy

 

Please subscribe!!! Click here.

Please subscribe!!! Click here.

 

Transcript ….

[coming soon]



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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