At the Arms & Hunting 2018 exhibition, Russian TsKIB SOO has introduced the civilian version of the OTs-129 designated marksman rifle. The civilian rifle is called MTs-566 and it is largely a copy of its military counterpart. Let’s see what interesting features this rifle has.
The MTs-566 is chambered in .308 Winchester. The caliber choice and most of the other features of the rifle are dictated by the military trial requirements. The overall weight of the MTs-566 rifle is 5.3 kilograms (11 lbs 11 oz). The barrel length is 620mm (24.4″) and the overall length is 1180mm (46.5″).
The rifle comes with a “semi-fake” suppressor. According to the company officials, the suppressor is like a shroud containing the front portion of the barrel and the muzzle device thus still providing an expansion chamber for the gasses escaping the barrel and somewhat working like a suppressor. I assume this solution is incorporated into the design to meet the requirements of local legislation.
The MTs-566 rifle is a gas operated firearm utilizing a short stroke piston. The company claims that this is a half MOA capable firearm. The rifle is fed from AR-10 magazines. This particular one was shown with a Magpul magazine. The stock and the grip are also AR-15 compatible. The receiver is made out of aircraft grade aluminum.
The folding backup iron sights are non-detachable. The Russian military refused to use rail mounted BUIS which lead the TsKIB SOO designers to come with a quite an interesting solution for the rear sight. As shown in the images embedded below, the rear sight can be folded down by 180 degrees and covered by the folding stock.
Another interesting/weird feature of the rifle is the existence of Picatinny rails literally all over the gun. The rails even extend all the way back on the sides of the receiver. I am not sure how useful these rear rails can be? Let us know in the comments section what do you think about these rails.