Iran Introduces (Yet Another) New Assault Rifle, the “MASAF” – HK416 Clone?

    It seems the Iranian small arms industry is experiencing a bit of a boom – just released last week is another new rifle, called the MASAF, following the Fateh, Nabi, and two other unnamed rifles. The MASAF is obviously based on the AR-15, with a short-stroke operating rod in lieu of a direct impingement gas tube. This and other features suggest the new rifle is based on the Heckler & Koch HK416, although whether the MASAF is a true clone, and whether it is legitimate, remain unknown.

    The MASAF is discussed, with additional pictures, in this Pakistan Defence forum thread, and I recommend my readers check that out. Some of the photos are embedded below:

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    Visible through the handguards is the MASAF’s short-stroke gas piston, identifiable through its wraparound return spring. Although it’s not certain how the MASAF may be related to the HK416, what is visible of the operating rod here is consistent with the H&K rifle. Image source: defence.pk

     

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    The raised 1913 optics rail and scallop at the rear are both suggestive of the HK416. Image source: defence.pk

     

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    The grooved barrel nut visible in the left of this image is also a very HK-like feature. Image source: defence.pk

    We do not yet know whether Iran is building these weapons under license, or whether this is an illicit clone – or even a clone at all.

    More on this subject (in Farsi) is available in a thread over at Military.Ir forums.

    Nathaniel F

    Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at [email protected]


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