Iran Introduces Heidar Semi-Auto 50 Caliber Rifle

    The Iranian Ground Forces introduced a new .50 caliber self-loading rifle named the Heidar. The Heidar is a .50 caliber five round magazine side-fed, gas operated anti-material rifle with an effective range of 1,600 meters, maximum effective of 2,000 meters, and maximum range of 3,000 meters. It weighs almost 40 pounds loaded and is 53 inches in length. The gas system looks to be direct impingement is mounted on the right side of the rifle. It also sports a massive muzzle brake. Interestingly it utilizes an MG42 inspired pistol grip as well. The magazine is fed from the left side of the rifle but far enough forward that it isn’t quite a bullpup design. Stock is adjustable for length of pull and it has a non-adjustable monopod on the bottom. The rifle sports a picatinny rail at the 12 o’clock position for the mounting of various optics. There isn’t anything specified on whether or not the caliber is .50 BMG or 12.7x108mm but I assume it is the Russian cartridge due to wide Iranian usage of the 12.7x108mm. The rifles name Heidar bears similarity to the Iranian Ground Forces Commander, Brigadier General Kiomars Heidari, with only the Farsi “i” missing from the end. It could be named after the General, or it could be a coincidence.

    My initial suspicion is that this anti-material rifle isn’t designated for Iranian forces at all. Instead, it is intended for Iranian-supported groups and advisors on the ground in Syria to combat the SVBIED threat posed by the so-called Islamic State or the vast distances that forces are finding themselves engaging each other in the Syrian civil war. The reason why I say this is that there isn’t an adoption notice of the rifle by the Iranian Ground Forces and the Iranians already have a number of more advanced anti-material options at their disposal. Such as the Shaher .50 Cal rifle or the 20mm Arash, or even the locally produced versions of the Steyer HS 50.


    caliber: .50 in
    useful range: 1600 m
    maximum effective range: 2000 m
    final range: 3000 m
    muzzle velocity: 1734 m/s
    empty weight without magazine and accessories: 11.057 kg
    fully loaded weight: 17.5 kg
    rifle length without accessories: 110 cm
    rifle length with accessories: 134.86 cm
    barrel length: 81.28 cm
    body length: 33.6 cm
    barrel life: 5000 shots


    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.

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