Welcome to our third installment of FSA Technicals.  You can read Part 1: BMP Turrets on Pick-Ups here, and Part 2: SHAM-2 Improvised AFV here.

    The Free Syrian Army announced a technical called the Sniper Cannon (in Arabic; al-madfa’a al-qannas المدفع القناص) from their own manufacturing. It’s a local made 120mm cannon mounted on a vehicle and the reason behind that name is the precise shots that cannon can perform.

    Despite the fact that it’s locally made with poor tools and equipment, the guys behind the gun were clearly both skilled and devoted in building it, taking care of every aspect they can add with available resources available to them.

    The cannon is breech-loading, using the standard or locally made 120mm mortar shells. It has the capability to shoot indirectly like a mortar or directly like an Anti-Tank gun (one of the reasons for calling it a sniper cannon).  It is also equipped with a huge flash suppressor that has the same style as a Barrett M107 .50BMG (but in a larger scale to fit a 120mm barrel). That muzzle brake decreases the sound about 50% (according to FSA; which is very unlikely) and hides the muzzle flash efficiently during night shooting.  This is much more important as the flash can reveal their position, and which leads to a counter strike done by Al-Assad’s forces either by air or artillery.  Mobility is another reason for mounting the gun on a vehicle; to be able to hit and evacuate which is a well-known guerilla tactic.

    There are some simple yet decent household items which are used together on the gun to form a well-crafted product.  We will take an in-depth look at the pictures with a description.

    The huge protractor is to measure elevation’s angle, also note the recoil absorbing springs; there are 8 of them. 4 are above the barrel and 4 under it.  Also, they guide the barrel back to its sleeve after shooting, there is an electric motor under the gun responsible for rotating since the cannon can be remotely adjusted.

    Note the recoil springs here are more clear, also the ‘bolt handle’ which rotates the barrel after loading, does it make this a bolt-action cannon?

    A metal ruler fixed in the base to determine swiveling/rotation degrees.

    A built-in compass to determine bearing for shooting.

    A Tablet with Google maps is a great way to get your coordinates.

    Pivoting up and down is done electrically, note the wire connected to the device which rotates the gear.

    adjusting the cannon (elevation/depression and direction) is done by this remote control device.

    The muzzle brake with Barrett’s style efficiently suppressing flash, and that is very obvious during shooting.

    Breech loading process and the barrel’s cleaning rod.

    Marawan Maklad

    Marawan Maklad is an Egyptian firearms and ammunition designer working for Turkish company specializing in the hunting and defense industries, and a dedicated researcher in asymmetric conflicts arms and tactics.