An Armenian social media personality who closely follows the Armenian Military side of the extremely contested eastern border with Azerbaijan recently posted a narrated video on his Facebook page of what appears to be a filmed engagement of Azeri troops in the disputed border region. Both countries have had a long history of cross-border military action between the two, but our focus here is on the precision shooting that transpired. The video is allegedly taken from an Armenian fortified defensive position, with a sniper team. We know the range to the target of an Azeri patrol is roughly 2,145 meters according to the narration. How accurate this is, we don’t know but it would appear to have been lased with a rangefinder.
There appear to be two shots fired by two different snipers with manually repeating rifles as we can hear the distinctive sound of a bolt being worked back and forth in the background. The first shot is fired at around 0:30, and roughly takes around 5 seconds to impact next to the Azeri patrol. We know this because for an odd reason it is a tracer round. Another shot cracks off just a second later. The first shot appears to impact several meters to the left of the clustered Armenian patrol. It must be noted that although the first shot shakes the camera, the second shot doesn’t, indicating that the second shooter isn’t as close to the camera as the first shooter is. Because of the close connection between the bolt being worked and the camera moving, the camera might actually be attached to the rifle, probably on a Picatinny rail. However, if it is truly at 2,145 meters, I don’t know of any Picatinny mounted system that could capture any amount of quality footage to that distance.
It would appear that the bolt action rifle used is of a larger caliber than 7.62x51mm NATO, probably .300 Win Mag or higher. Armenian snipers have been known to have been issued the Zastava M93 “Black Arrow”, which actually came in both .50 BMG, and 12.7x108mm. It would appear that with the range involved, manually repeating, magazine fed action, and what might be a Picatinny rail, is our winner. Armenia does have a local company that has a licensed version of the M93, with the Aspar Arms model. It is unclear if the rifle is simply modified, or if it is actually produced in Armenia. Interestingly the Aspar Arms versions are chambered in 12.7x107mm instead of 12.7x108mm.
When the second shot is fired, you see the group scatter, and you also don’t see any puff of smoke, which might leave to a conclusion that one of the Azeri troops was dropped. But to be brutally honest, the fact of the matter is that we just don’t know from the quality of the video. There is a third shot, but we don’t know where it went. In this screengrab, one of the Azeris does go down, but all of them appear to successfully run off.
The next part of the video is confusing as it shows a vehicle that appears to have suffered a mobility kill and isn’t moving. But Armenian snipers are still taking shots at it and missing. Then it cuts to an announcement by the Azeri Defense Ministry that shows the deaths of 8 Azeri soldiers on the border, one of them being a Lieutenant. It claims that the vehicle hit a mine.
What might have been the case is that the soldiers in the initial scene were dismounted from their vehicle and were on a foot patrol when the snipers engaged them. After taking fire they ran back to their vehicle, which then later hit a mine.
Much thanks to TFB reader Verdan for the tip!