Continuing the coverage of new Ukrainian firearms released at the Arms and Security 2021 exhibition, today we’ll take a look at the Ballista rifle introduced by a Ukrainian company called Magna. The Magna Ballista is a multi-caliber semi-auto bullpup rifle. It has been in development for several years. The samples brought to the show are pre-production prototypes and the company expects to start the production by the end of the year. They plan to offer it both in military/LE and civilian markets.
Ukrainian Guns @ TFB:
- Ukrainian “Horizon’s Lord” Anti-Materiel/Sniper Rifle and Its 12.7x114HL Cartridge
- Ukrainian FORT-230 9mm Submachine Gun
- Ukrainian Snipex MONOMAKH 14.5mm Semi-Auto Anti-Materiel Rifle
- Ukrainian Snipex LASKA K-2 Heavy Machine Gun
Magna Ballista is a gas operated firearm with a piston located above the barrel. The action lockup is accomplished via rollers. Note that the rollers here are merely locking lugs (like in the MG42 machine gun), they are not a part of a blowback delay mechanism like in HK G3 or MP5. In other words, Magna Ballista is a roller locked, not roller delayed blowback firearm.
The charging handle of the rifle is reversible. The gun has a cross-bolt safety. The cheek rest area of the upper receiver is reinforced to protect the shooter in case of a catastrophic failure. Additionally, the rifle is designed to vent the gasses down into the magazine in case of a kaboom.
Magna lists the following caliber options for the Ballista rifle: 9x21mm, 5.56x45mm, 7.62x35mm (.300 Blackout), 7.62x51mm, 7.62x54mmR .338 Lapua Magnum, .510 Whisper and 12.7x55mm. The latter is the cartridge used in Russian VKS Vykhlop and ShAK-12 suppressed bullpup rifles. The version in 7.62x54R is apparently fed from SVD magazines. I am not sure how efficient it will be to chamber a gun like this in a pistol caliber … I assume the 9x21mm is included in the list to show the caliber conversion capabilities of this weapon system.
We’ll follow the development of this rifle and will make sure to report the news to our readers. Stay tuned!
Pictures by Magna, www.magna.com.ua