New .338 Semiautomatic Sniper Rifle Displayed by Tarnów at MSPO 2017

    The SKW308 semiautomatic sniper rifle from ZMT. Many thanks to Remigiusz Wilk for allowing TFB to use his photos.

    Polish arms maker Zakłady Mechaniczne Tarnów (ZMT) has released a new large-caliber semiautomatic sniper rifle system. The 100 year old company, formerly known for their bolt-action sniper rifles and autocannons, introduced the new advanced rifles at the 2017 International Defence Industry Exhibition (Międzynarodowy Salon Przemysłu Obronnego, MSPO) earlier this month. The new rifle system will come in two sizes, one designed for magnum-length rounds like .338 Lapua Magnum, and the other designed for short-action cartridges like .308 Winchester. Called SKW308 and SKW338 after the calibers in which they will be chambered, the rifles stem from a program begun in 2010.

    The SKW308 (top) and SKW338 (bottom). Image credit: Remigiusz Wilk, used with permission.

    The design of the rifle uses a rotating locking bolt, short stroke gas piston, a return spring internal to the upper receiver, and separate, replaceable trunnion and bolt carrier rails. Unlike most AR derived rifles, the return spring design facilitates a folding stock. ZMT says the design is scalable down to calibers like 5.56mm. In the future, they plan to offer rifles in 7.62x54mmR (feeding from an SVD magazine), as well as .300 Winchester Magnum. ZMT also claimed that they are able to offer the weapons on the civilian market, although this does not mean import into the USA will come soon or even at all.

    ZMT is the commercial successor to the Tarnów manufacturing plant. The factory was founded as a railway plant almost exactly 100 years ago, in 1917, during WWI. The company produced 23mm, 37mm, and 57mm autocannons for decades, switching its focus to domestically designed small arms, including 40mm grenade launchers, missiles, as well as the Wilk and Bor bolt action sniper rifles.

    More information on the rifles can be found via the excellent article over at MilMag.eu. Also, many thanks to Remiguisz Wilk for allowing TFB to use his photos of the new rifles.

    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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