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Steyr HS .50-frontal-scope

Steyr HS .50 AM rifle

060105-A-3283V-011

US Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician with a McMillan Tac-50

An anti-materiel rifle (AM) is a rifle that is designed for use against military equipment (materiel), rather than against other combatants ("anti-personnel").

History and DescriptionEdit

The offensive use of anti-materiel rifles or Special Application Sniper Rifles (SASR) is termed Hard Target Interdiction (HTI) by the United States military.[1]

Anti-materiel rifles are similar in form and appearance to modern sniper rifles and can often serve in that role, though they are usually chambered for cartridges more powerful than are normally required for killing a human and can operate at a greater range. In general, anti-materiel rifles are chambered for 12.7×99mm NATO (.50 BMG), 12.7×108mm Russian, 14.5×114mm Russian, and 20mm cartridges. The large cartridges are required to be able to fire projectiles containing usable payloads, such as explosives, armor-piercing cores, incendiaries, or combinations of these, as found in the Raufoss Mk 211 projectile.

Due to the considerable size and weight of anti-materiel rifles and other support equipment, sniper cells operating in 2- or 3-man or larger teams have become a necessity. The recoil produced by the employed cartridges dictates that these rifles are designed to be fired from the prone position. Bipods and monopods and muzzle brakes are used as accessories to employ these rifles as comfortably and accurately as possible. Firing several 12.7×99mm NATO, 12.7×108mm Russian, or larger calibers from the (unsupported) standing position or in a kneeling position would be very uncomfortable for the operator.

The origins of the anti-materiel rifle go back to the First World War, during which the first anti-tank rifles appeared. While modern tanks and most other armored vehicles are too well protected to be affected by anti-materiel rifles, the guns are still effective for attacking unarmored or lightly armored vehicles. They can also be used against stationed enemy aircraft, small watercraft, communications equipment, radar equipment, crew served weapons and similar targets. Their value is in being able to precisely target and disable enemy assets from long range for a relatively low cost.

Anti-materiel rifles can also be used in non-offensive roles for safely destroying unexploded ordnance.

List of anti-materiel rifles by countryEdit

Rifle Country of origin Caliber
Steyr HS .50 Austria .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
Steyr IWS 2000 Austria 15.2mm proprietary SteyAr APFSDS
Istiglal Azerbaijan 14.5×114mm
CZW-127 Czech Republic .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
12.7×108mm (.50 Russian)
Falcon (sniper rifle) Czech Republic .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
12.7×108mm (.50 Russian)
AMR-2 China 12.7×108mm (.50 Russian)
JS-05 China 12.7×108mm (.50 Russian)
JS 12.7 China 12.7×108mm (.50 Russian)
LR2A China 12.7×108mm (.50 Russian)
M99B / M06 China 12.7×108mm (.50 Russian)
.50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
W03 China 12.7×108mm (.50 Russian)
RT-20 Croatia 20×110mm Hispano
Lahti L-39 Finland 20×138mm (Solothurn Long)
PGM Hecate II France .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
Mauser 1918 T-Gewehr German Empire 13.2mm (.525 inches)
DSR-Precision GmbH DSR-50 Germany .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
Gepárd anti-materiel rifles Hungary .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO),
12.7×108mm (.50 Russian),
14.5×114mm Russian
Vidhwansak India 12.7×108mm (.50 Russian)
14.5×114mm
20×82mm
Shaher (sniper rifle) Iran 14.5×114mm (.57 Russian)
Pindad SPR-2 and SPR-3 Indonesia .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
Type 97 20mm anti-tank rifle Japan 20×125mm
Wz. 35 anti-tank rifle Poland 7.92 mm DS
Tor Poland .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
KSVK Russia 12.7×108mm (.50 Russian)
OSV-96 Russia 12.7×108mm (.50 Russian)
Zastava M93 Black Arrow Serbia .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO) or
12.7×108mm (.50 Russian)
Denel NTW-20 South Africa 14.5×114mm Russian (NTW 14.5)
20×83.5mm (NTW 20)
20×110mm (NTW 20)
Solothurn S-18/100 Switzerland 20×105mm B
Solothurn S-18/1000 Switzerland 20×138mm (Solothurn Long)
Accuracy International AS50 United Kingdom .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
Accuracy International AW50 United Kingdom .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
Accuracy International AW50F United Kingdom .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
Accuracy International AX50 United Kingdom .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
Boys anti-tank rifle United Kingdom .55 Boys (13.9×99mm)
Barrett M82A1/M107 United States .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
Barrett M90 United States .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
Barrett M95 United States .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
Barrett M99 United States .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
.416 Barrett
Barrett XM500 United States .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
Barrett XM109 United States 25×59mm
Iver Johnson AMAC-1500 United States .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
McMillan Tac-50 United States .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
Armalite AR-50 United States .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
PTRD-41 USSR 14.5×114mm Russian
PTRS-41 USSR 14.5×114mm Russian

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Hard Target Interdiction, By Michael Haugen - snapshot from the Wayback Machine, dated July 19, 2007

External linksEdit

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