Anti-Material rifle made in Iraq

    Iraq may not have the best manufacturing resources among countries that produce small arms, but that hasn’t kept one Iraqi designer from trying his best to bring locally made firearms for the fight against Daesh, now coming to a climax in the ongoing battle of Mosul.

    One of the most effective tactics that Daesh has been especially renowned for are their Suicide Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (SVBIED). These suicide car bombs have been used to devastating effect against Iraqi and Syrian forces, mostly because they are armored and are driven straight into the lines of opposing forces, often at other vehicles or bases, and in most cases with surprise. Because they are armored, the majority of Iraqi small arms cannot defeat them even when spotted, with rifle and machine gun fire. Direct fire Rocket propelled grenade launchers and TOW missiles tend to work well when a direct hit on the moving vehicle is made, but these are often not distributed enough at the squad and platoon level (such is also the case within U.S conventual infantry units). Thus, there is a strong need for a weapon to be carried at the squad level, with enough power to punch through the armor of these SBVIEDs and hopefully disable them.

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    This designer has taken┬áthe barrel of a 14.5mm ZPU (unknown variant/country of origin) Anti-Aircraft gun, and has affixed it to what appears to be a machined steel┬áreceiver, incorporating a simple bolt action design without a safety. Indeed, it appears that the bolt doesn’t have any forward lugs on it, and the bolt is held in place during firing by the bolt handle being locked in place. It is magazine fed, with what appears to be a stamped production magazine, using a Kalashnikov style locking mechanism, and has a capacity of five 14.5mm rounds. The compensator appears to be a “T” handle shaped on, directing gases to the 3 o’clock and 6 o’clock positions. There do not appear to be any iron or optical sights and accuracy is probably marginal at best. However, the rifle is intended to be used within 200 meters or so, against a speeding SBVIED, so point and shoot in this scenario would probably work.

    Apparently only around a dozen of these were made, and all of them were delivered to Iraqi defense forces. There are a number of Russian and Iranian Anti-Material rifles in use with Iraqi forces, however these are much more costly to procure than a homegrown alternative.14518412_556550141197140_296332164_n 14518661_556550374530450_629085201_n 14527461_556550597863761_1205319106_n 14509328_556550664530421_1943856523_n 14527540_556550301197124_1486530811_n


    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 [email protected]