Yemen is known to have the highest percentage of armed citizens in the Arab world, with over 60 million weapons including small arms, mortars, RPGs, and even Anti Aircraft Man-Pad missiles. With a population of 30 million citizens, that means 2 weapons for every person. Obviously, they take their “2nd amendment” seriously.
I have previous experiences in talking to Yemeni gun lovers and I can tell that these guys are obsessed with firearms (much like Texans in the USA).
Some video footage, that appeared to be in Yemen, showed a new 14.5×114 mm rifle. At the moment we don’t have solid information about which side in Yemen manufactured this Anti Material Rifle. It was either Sunnis backed by KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and allies, or Houthis backed by Iran (or even a neutral talented tribal man who is obsessed with guns–like most Yemeni citizens). Let’s put aside the origin of this rifle only knowing its Yemeni and take a technical look on it.
The rifle appeared only in one video unlike the other Iranian rifles which have appeared on several occasions in military exhibitions or even in action in Yemen and Syria (it is no secret that Iran supports Houthis in Yemen and Al-Assad regime in Syria). We are trying to collect every possible bit of info about this “unique” rifle from footage that only refers to it as a “Yemeni 14.5mm caliber”
The design is very simple and rugged. It sports a primitive huge bolt to lock on the huge caliber loaded in the chamber. There is a Russian-style side rail for holding the scope.
The rifle’s chassis and receiver are tubular which means that it could either be machined or milled from a cylinder shaped metal block (or bar). This meant the trigger housing, feeding and ejection port, and a barrel housing were made using local machinery (unlike stamped metal receivers).
The barrel was obviously taken from a Russian 14.5 mm Heavy Machine Gun which already existed in Yemen, even before the war.
The mechanism is very simple. It is a breech loaded single shot, and its accuracy is subject worth discussing. Unfortunately, the video shows the operator only shooting at a range of approximately 500-700 meters which is not a big deal for 14.5x114mm round to reach with a degree of accuracy. We don’t have enough information to judge this rifle’s accuracy at greater distances.
The rifle seems to be heavy since it didn’t generate a massive recoil energy, though it did slightly kick during shooting. It looks like the reason for the move is that the shooter pulled the trigger sideways and caused the rifle to move. Also, that muzzle brake helps in reducing recoil which can be a valuable additive to a backyard-made rifle.
In the end, I tried to spotlight on every aspect of this rifle and we promise to give more detailed information once we get more material, there is nothing mentioned about barrel length nor overall length or weight, but we thought it would be interesting to inform our readers about this anonymous yet interesting local made rifle.
Editor’s note: Please welcome Marawan as full contributing writer. He has contributed before via guest posts through Miles and we finally opted to bring him on directly. Expect to see more interesting material from his part of the world.