Syrian Arab Army Receiving HS .50-Patterned Anti-Materiel Rifles

by Miles

Russian media has reported on the recent acquisition of .50 BMG HS .50 patterned Anti-Materiel rifles by the Syrian Arab Army in the fight against the ongoing insurgent groups within Syria. The article claims that the rifles are assembled from Iranian components shipped to Assad’s army and are most likely to be used in upcoming offensives. From the three photographs we have available, there appears to be at least 120 within a single frame, taken from inside an armory with the HS .50, or more correctly the Iranian version with the nomenclature of AM50 or Sayyad-2. One item not present with the rifles is a powered optic, which will most likely be added at a later date. What would make this story interesting is if Iran is also supplying RU60G thermal optics to the rifles, enabling Syrian marksmen to make shots out to several hundred meters at night. Although the Iranian version and the original HS .50 are chambered in .50 BMG,12.7x99mm, one of the cases is clearly marked with the Russian 12.7x108mm cartridge, showing a different chambering of the design.

One important note here is that this isn’t the first time that the Syrians have received supplies of the AM50 from Iran, but this might be the first time that the rifles are being assembled in-country if the original article proves correct. Insurgencies and rebel groups within Syria, to even include Iraqi forces have been using versions of the rifle throughout the conflict, but up until now, the SAA forces haven’t been seen publicly with the rifle in heavy use.

If you look closer, one of the soft drag bag cases has this inscription on the side that reads “GOLAN S-? 12.7×108…” Golan is most likely named after the Golan Heights that Israel has occupied since the Six Day War and is of high strategic value. If these rifles are truly in 12.7x108mm, it would fit with what the Syrians have on hand in terms of Russian supplies of ammunition.

This image shows at least 120 rifles stacked in an armory.

Specifications for HS .50 ( From ModernFirearms.Net)

Full text nameКрупнокалиберная снайперская винтовка Steyr .50 HS(Австрия)
Caliber cartridge .50 BMG (12.7×99 Browning Machine Gun)
Action typemanual
Trigger typesa
Overall length, mm1370
Barrel length, mm833
Weight empty, kg12.4
Magazine capacity, rounds1



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

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  • Jimbosticks Jimbosticks on Jul 03, 2018

    NY residents can't own. .50 cal rifles, but our Syrian, Iranian, and of course, Russian enemies can. Yep! Liberals will love it!

    • Spike1984 Spike1984 on Jul 04, 2018

      @Jimbosticks Since Austria borders on Hungary, it's likely that the Steyr engineers copied the Gepard in creating another Western .508/12.7BMG anti-materiel rifle to follow Ronnie Barrett's M82 line.

  • CavScout CavScout on Jul 05, 2018

    Can we please just go after Islam as a whole. Read historical books. There's no reason not to. Every time they organize well enough, they begin to conquer and murder.