Idlib, Syria Anti-Material Rifle Production

    Recent photographs out of the northwestern Syrian city of Idlib show a thorough manufacture of improvised anti-material rifles, all in 14.5mm. Local gunsmiths in the rebel-held city appear to be using the discarded barrels of 14.5mm KPV heavy machine guns, of an unknown country origin (most likely Russian) to fashion both bolt action and what appears to be two variants of a self-loading gas operated rifle. Some of these rifles even have very well applied digital camouflage schemes for the conditions that they are manufactured in. All variants are magazine-fed from either underneath the receiver or in one case as a side loading mechanism. All have Picatinny rails fashioned to the receivers of which variable power scopes are affixed. At least one of the scopes is a Steiner, while others have a “B” logo embossed on the front of the objective lens cap. It could possibly be Bushnell but the logos don’t match. It could also be an airgun scope that those would be much easier to acquire not only in the MENA region but anywhere else. Barring any evidence to prove otherwise, all the anti-material rifles look to be manufactured by the same entity and also look to be in different stages of experimentation and testing. One of the self-loading rifles looks rather crude, and due to the presence of more bolt action systems, it appears that testing was done with the self-loading rifles but found to not be satisfactory so the entity went with a “production” run of the bolt actions which were much easier to produce reliably.

    Bolt Action One

    Bolt Action Two

    Self-Loading One appears to tap gas from a tube on top of the barrel

    Self-Loading Two appears to tap gas from a tube below the barrel

    Unknown Action, we’re betting this is a bolt action rifle due to the lack of a gas system, and a slight curve in the charging handle channel but honestly, it is difficult to tell.


    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]