Russia’s most powerful rifles: Enemies beware!

The country’s weapons manufacturers have unveiled a gun that can shoot through thick walls and a sniper rifle that can destroy targets from over four km away.

Russia's most powerful automatic rifle

In 2017, the ShAK-12 large-caliber assault rifle - which fires a 12.7 x 55 mm round, one of the most powerful in the world - was developed for the FSB’s special units.

In 2017, the ShAK-12 large-caliber assault rifle - which fires a 12.7 x 55 mm round, one of the most powerful in the world - was developed for the FSB’s special units. 

The gun is also ideal for close-quarter combat in urban environments and can take out targets clad in heavy body armor. This is because the bullets have a “stopping effect” - however, these rounds rapidly lose their effectiveness as the distance increases. 

Put simply, the ShAK-12’s standard round has a range of up to 100 meters. The weapon can also fire armor-piercing bullets that can kill lightly armored enemies from 300 meters away.

The assault rifle has a bullpup layout (with its magazine positioned behind its trigger) allowing special forces soldiers to use the weapon more comfortably in small enclosed spaces.

The assault rifle is fed by a 10 and 20-round magazine - the fire controls are located at the back of the gun behind the magazine.

To reduce recoil from the powerful 12.7 x 55 mm caliber round, the ShAK-12 has a two chamber compensator muzzle brake and a rubber butt plate. The rifle can also be equipped with a sound suppressor, an underbarrel grenade launcher, and various optical and collimator sights thanks to its Picatinny rails above and below.

Kord machine gun

This is the most powerful and largest-caliber machine gun in the Russian Army. The weapon is mounted on light and medium-sized armored vehicles because its recoil is so strong it can knock over the shooter.

The Kord is designed to destroy “personnel targets” at a distance of up to two km. The targets are both infantrymen and light armored vehicles. Its ammunition can pierce a 20-mm layer of armor from 100 meters away.

Helicopters are also not safe: The gun can even take out choppers flying at an altitude of 1.5 km.

Sumrak (Twilight)

The most powerful Russian made sniper rifle SVLK-14S

In September 2017 Russian snipers hit an enemy target from a mind-blowing distance of over four km. The shot set a new world record: The rifle responsible - the SVLK-14S Sumrak (Twilight).

"The weapon was designed as a one-off, like some Ferrari or Porsche cars, for connoisseurs of high-precision guns and professional snipers who compete in long-range shooting," Dmitry Safonov, a military reporter for the Izvestiya newspaper, told Russia Beyond.

It’s designed for .408 Cheytac (10.3 mm) rounds that hurtle towards their target at a speed of over 900 meters per second.

"For instance, the round can pierce a metal rail three centimeters thick. Imagine what will happen if it hits an enemy? No bulletproof vest will help in such a situation," the expert says.

However the weapon, like luxury-class cars, is not designed to carry out combat missions - in fact, to increase its range and precision the designers removed the magazine so the rifle is single-shot.

Furthermore, another feature of the Sumrak is the heavy, one-and-a-half meter (1,430 mm) barrel made of high-quality aluminum, which works in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Celsius. 

If using any of Russia Beyond's content, partly or in full, always provide an active hyperlink to the original material.

More exciting stories and videos on Russia Beyond's Facebook page

This website uses cookies. Click here to find out more.

Accept cookies