The AMR: Anti-Materiel Rifle

April 17, 2023  
Categories: Guns

An anti-materiel rifle (AMR) is a large bore rifle system, often chambered in .50BMG, 12.7mm, or 14.5mm, designed for use against vehicles or emplacements. 

Anti-materiel rifle

The roots of the anti-materiel rifle may be traced back to the First World War when the first anti-tank weapons were introduced. 

Anti-materiel rifle rounds

There is also a 12.7mm version called the Mubariz. The Istiglal anti-materiel rifle is also used by units from Pakistan, Turkey, and Jordan. There are reports of it being used in Syria as well.

Originally intended for use with high-caliber or explosive rounds capable of destroying light armored vehicles, their efficacy has decreased some vis-à-vis armored vehicles since WWII. However, they are still a viable weapon platform and are extremely effective against technical vehicles, lightly armored vehicles, buildings, UXOs (unexploded ordnance), and such other targets as stationary aircraft, missile launchers, radar- and radar communications equipment, small boats, and crew-swerved weapons.

The Istiglal IST-14.5 anti-materiel rifle is a semi-automatic, 14.5mm AMR from Azerbaijan. The Istiglal (which means independence) is made by Telemexanika Zavodu.

Despite being intended for use against equipment, AMR models may be used to put fires on troops at distances beyond the effective range of rifle-caliber bullets and sniper rifles. This sometimes includes personnel utilizing otherwise effective cover. 

AMR Roles in the World Wars 

The employment of Anti Material weapons goes back to the First World War. When confronted with the British Mark 1 tank, the Germans realized the necessity for anti-tank weapons.

As the first line of defense, the Germans used “direct fire mortars,” which were mortars targeted at low angles against enemy tanks. 

Chinese M99 Zijiang AMR taken from the social media accounts of 2 different fighters in the Afrin region of Syria. According to @streakingdelilah, the men are members of the Sultan Suleiman Shah Brigade, a Turkish-backed element of the Syrian National Army.
“The M99 Zijiang is a lightweight, direct impingement anti-materiel rifle chambered in 12.7x108mm. A 2006 trial conducted by the Pakistan Army indicated that the rifle is capable of 1.6 MOA accuracy with the appropriate precision ammunition [however] precision ammunition is not common in Syria and so I doubt it is capable of that in Syrian hands. [It remains, however] a very powerful tool. The rifle was first fielded by the Chinese military in 2005 and has been used by them in an anti-piracy capacity in the Gulf of Aden.” ~@streakingdelilah

Later, the Germans created the T-Gewehr anti-tank rifle, which is regarded as the first Anti-Materiel weapon. The gun was intended to pierce the heavy armor of British tanks.  

When loaded, the rifle weighed 41 lb (19 kg), shot a 13.2 mm bullet weighing 55.5 g (1.96 oz), and had an effective range of around 1,600 ft (500 m).  

“This model AMR first started popping up in Syria around 2013-2014 and the going theory on their origins is that they were provided to moderate Syrian rebels by Qatar who purchased them from Sudan and then transported them to Syria. They have since proliferated to places like Iraq and Lebanon. The AMR is manufactured by the Zijiang machinery company located in the Chinese province of Hunan (the birthplace of Mao Zedong). The M99 is not exactly “rare” in Syria but it is also not very common.” ~@streakingdelilah

This weapon had a two-man crew: one to load the weapon and the other to fire it; however, they often exchanged duties. In addition, this weapon’s recoil was so powerful that it was known to shatter collar bones and dislocate shoulders.

The weapon fired a steel core armor-piercing bullet created particularly for use with this firearm. 

Anti-materiel rifle Types

There a numerous AMR models in the world, produced for the militaries of numerous countries. Below are a few examples.

Anti-materiel rifle

This 14.5mm AMR appears to be a home-made gun (or maybe a giant Frankengun). It’s being carried by a Chechen foreign fighter in the Idlib region of northwest Syria.  @StreakingDelilah opines, “[T]his craft made AMR…is essentially built on an Iranian AM-50 Sayyad chassis but has been re-barreled to 14.5mm using what appears to be a modified KPV HMG barrel. The sheer size of this thing should be noted. The muzzle break alone is bigger than a man’s hand. The optic…appears to be an Iranian copy of an S&B scope they use with their 12.7mm AM-50s.”

Barrett M107

The Barrett M107 evolved from the Barrett M95 bolt-action sniper rifle. The US Army put the weapon up for assessment in a competition.

During the competition, the US Army assessed its large-caliber sniper rifle requirements and chose against pursuing the XM107 design instead of concentrating its XM107 money on acquisitions of the proven semi-automatic, recoil-operated Barrett M82 series.

As a result, these M82 systems were given the designation “M107,” even though they are only a slightly modified version of the superb Barrett design. 

As a result, it is based on the 0.50 caliber 12.7x99mm Browning (50 Browning /.50 BMG) NATO machine gun cartridge, which fires from a semi-automatic action with a rotating bolt mechanism.

The US Army has acquired the M107 Anti Material Rifle, which is identical to the US Marine Corps Barrett M82A1.50 caliber sniper weapon. 

The M107 allows Army snipers to attack material targets (and troops in severe circumstances) at distances ranging from 1500 to 2000 meters.  

The weapon is intended to attack and destroy material targets such as parked aircraft, communications targets, computers, intelligence stations, radar sites, ammo depots, oil tanks, and weakly armored vehicles. 

The M107 system provides long-range standoff distances and improved terminal impact against snipers utilizing lower caliber guns in a counter-sniper role. 

The rifle itself, a detachable ten-round box magazine, a variable-power day optical sight, a hard travel case, a tactical soft case, cleaning and maintenance tools, a detachable sling, an adjustable bipod, and operator/maintenance instructions are all included in the full system.  

Anti-materiel rifle

The Army intends to equip future M107s with suppressors to significantly minimize flash, noise, and blast characteristics. The Leupold 4.5×14 Vari-X scope is standard on the M107. 

The weapon is more properly known as the “Long Range Sniper Rifle, Caliber.50, M107” in its long-form configuration.

Accuracy International AS50

Accuracy International’s AS50 is a semi-automatic anti-materiel precision rifle chambered in .50 BMG.  

Accuracy International Ltd.’s AS50 fifty caliber sniper / anti-materiel rifle is the company’s most recent development.

This rifle was built specifically for US SOCOM users and is presently being evaluated by the US NAVY Special Operations center. It was first showcased in the United States in January 2005 at the ShotShow-2005. 

Its gas-operated semi-automatic action and muzzle brake allow for reduced recoil and quicker target acquisition than the AW50 bolt-action rifle, enabling operators to attack targets at extremely long range with good precision utilizing explosive or incendiary ammunition.

The weapon is very portable, ergonomic, and lightweight. It can be dismantled in under three minutes and maintained without the need for tools. 

The AS50 rifle is used by the British Armed Forces and the United States Navy SEALs owing to its fast rate of fire (five rounds in 1.6 seconds). The floating barrel and lightweight titanium frame contribute to the fast rate of fire.  

The rifle has a 1.5 MOA accuracy rating. The barrel is free to float. The two-piece machined steel receiver has an accessory rail for installing optical sights. Two more rails are attached to the sidewalls of the short barrel shroud.  

Stable shooting is made possible with an adjustable bipod and a rear support leg/hand grip. This weapon has a range of 1,500 meters and can engage targets precisely (1,600 yds).  

The AS50 weighs 14.1 kilograms (31 lb) empty and has a single-stack, detachable box magazine that carries five rounds of .50 BMG. 

The AS50 lets operators attack targets at very long ranges with pinpoint precision utilizing explosive or incendiary ammo. For rapid-fire engagement with numerous targets, the AS50 features a gas-operated semi-automatic operation.  

The two-part receiver is made of high-quality steel, and the barrel is free-floating and equipped with an excellent muzzle brake.  

The buttstock is easily removable and equipped with a recoil-reducing buttpad as well as a folding rear grip that also functions as a rear support leg. As standard, a foldable quick-detachable bipod with adjustable legs is included. 

McMillan TAC-50

McMillan Brothers Rifles manufactures the McMillan TAC-50, a long-range anti-material and sniper rifle. Its classification implies “tactical” and a caliber of.50 BMG (12.7×99 mm).  

The TAC-50 was created in the 1980s.  

This weapon is based on the same company’s prior designs. 

However, the Canadian Armed Forces only received this sniper rifle in 2000. This weapon is utilized by elite military and law enforcement groups worldwide.  

Canada, France, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, the Philippines, South Africa, Turkey, and the United States all employ the McMillan TAC-50.  

It is known as the C15 Long Range Sniper Weapon in Canadian service. The TAC-50, also known as the Mk.15, is used by US Navy SEALs. 

The McMillan TAC-50 is an anti-material rifle with a great range. At long range, this rifle can destroy sensitive enemy equipment such as parked aircraft, radar systems, vehicles, and several other key assets. 

It may also be used to remotely destroy explosive munitions. The TAC-50 is also capable of being employed as a long-range sniper rifle. It is capable of neutralizing opposing snipers at a safe distance.  

Because its strong fire can pierce through bricks and concrete, the rifle may also be used to attack enemy troops lying behind cover and walls. 

TAC-50’s Long Range Records 

The McMillan TAC-50 set two records shortly after its release. In 2002, Canadian sniper Arron Perry set a new record in Afghanistan by killing a man from 2,310 meters out with his TAC-50 weapon.  

He shattered Carlos Hathcock’s 34-year-old record for the longest sniper kill in battle, which he achieved in 1968 during the Vietnam War.

Perry’s record was broken only a few days later. Another Canadian sniper, Rob Furlong, used the McMillan TAC-50 to kill a Taliban insurgent from 2,429 meters away in Afghanistan in 2002.  

Another record of 2,479 meters was established in 2009 in Afghanistan by British shooter Craig Harrison, who used the L115A3 sniper rifle. 

However, it was destroyed once again in 2017 by a Canadian sniper equipped with a McMillan TAC-50.  

The longest recorded sniper kill in history was performed in Iraq using the McMillan TAC-50 rifle at 3,540 meters. An unidentified Canadian sniper fired the shot. A video camera and other data were used to confirm the killing.

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Travis Pike

Travis Pike

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