Motorcycle Technical with DShK HMG in Syria

    al Masdar News has recently shared photographs of so-called Islamic State fighters using belt-fed 12.7x108mm W85 (Chinese derivative of the Soviet DShK) Heavy Machine Guns mounted on commercial motorcycles. The machine guns appear to be using a standard pintle mount that is further attached to an improvised contraption that consists of a baseplate that has been welded or permanently attached to the rear of the motorcycle’s tie-down rack. To further steady both the motorcycle and the machine gun during the course of fire, two pole legs are extended from the tie-down rack, with the motorcycle itself acting as the third leg of the tripod.

    This idea of mounting an HMG to the back of a motorcycle isn’t new. We reported on it in the early part of December but at the time it seemed more of a sort of novelty accomplishment and not a tactical implement. The version in the video was very unsteady due to the motorcycle essentially acting as a monopod. But with the addition of these other legs, it appears that the so-called Islamic State has figured out a way to create a stable firing position.

    Chinese 12.7mm W85 Heavy Machine Gun mounted on a main battle tank.


    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]