New Sniper Rifles for Russian Airborne Spetsnaz Units

The new Steyr rifles will be purchased in two calibers: the .308 (7.62X51 mm NATO) and .300 Win. Mag.

New Sniper Rifles for Russian Airborne Spetsnaz Units

Today I would like to continue a series on modern Russian sniping. As I have written before, the Russian Armed Forces have been looking at several new precision sniper rifle from non-domestic sources. Early on, it appeared that British maker Accuracy International was the front runner. After all there are several of the rifles already in service with some of Russia's anti-terrorism units.

However, they were not the only ones to make an appearance on the Russian sniper scene. In fact, during numerous and now traditional local and international sniper competitions, several other foreign sniper rifles could be spotted in the hands of Russian snipers, including Sako and Steyr-Mannlicher.

Interestingly, most were chambered in .300 Win. Mag. or .338 Lapua Mag. But seeing several rifles at the firing range at some contest being wielded by some uber-special purpose unit with deep pockets does not make these rifles a standard issue. Not until now...


The latest news is that Spetsnaz VDV (Airborne Special Operations) has adopted for use and purchased more than 30 Steyr-Mannlicher sniper rifles form the Austrian company. The official statement to this effect was made by the Russian DOD VDV (Airborne Forces) representative Col. Alexander Kucherenko. According to him, Steyr sniper rifles are the first foreign weapon systems that were purchased by the Russian VDV. The very first purchase orders for said weapons were placed at the end of year 2010.


All the necessary personnel have already been trained on the new rifle at the regional training centers, as well as at DOD sniper school. What specific models of Steyr rifles were supplied to the VDV Col. Kucherenko did not specify. Currently, Steyr-Mannlicher produces several models of sniper rifles: SSG 04, SSG 08, SSG 69, SSG Elite and HS .50.

Although the model and caliber actually adopted have not been named, it is safe to assume the SSG 04 and SSG 08 in .308 is now the medium-range rifle, along with .300 Win. Mag. chambered rifles as their "Reach out and touch someone" boom stick. Both rifles were on display at recent war games conducted by the VDV.

The first steps are made toward modernization of Russia's Armed Forces. What's to follow, no one knows. But I'll do my best to keep you informed.


Marco Vorobiev was a member of the elite Soviet Spetsnaz in Afghanistan in the 1980s. He's a U.S. citizen now and conducts training courses that draw on his special forces training. He'll have a new installment every Wednesday.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Firearms News Reviews the S&W M&P 2.0 9mm Compact Pistol

Firearms News Reviews the S&W M&P 2.0 9mm Compact Pistol

Firearms News editor Vince DeNiro runs the Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 9mm compact pistol through a self-defense drill.

Gemtech Suppressors: Testing the Patrolman, the One and the Tracker

Gemtech Suppressors: Testing the Patrolman, the One and the Tracker

Patrick Sweeney tests and reviews a trio of Gemtech suppressors.

M134 Mini-Gun

M134 Mini-Gun

While filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV we had the unique opportunity to fire the M134 Minigun.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The Mossberg 590A1 Retro offers the proven durability and reliability of the M500 and M590 models with the enhanced combat utility of a military “trench gun.” Shotguns

Mossberg 590A1 Retro Shotgun Review

Leroy Thompson - August 24, 2020

The Mossberg 590A1 Retro offers the proven durability and reliability of the M500 and M590...

The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has unanimously ruled that New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal is “subject to the jurisdiction of Texas courts” in a First Amendment case brought by Defense Distributed, a Texas-based firm, and the Second Amendment Foundation. 2nd Amendment

SAF, Defense Distributed Win Court Victory in 3D Gun Case

Second Amendment Foundation - August 22, 2020

The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has unanimously ruled that New Jersey Attorney General...

This article will walk you through the process of building a Glock pistol from an 80 percent frame. Gunsmithing

How To Build a Glock From an 80 Percent Frame

Gus Norcross - August 13, 2020

This article will walk you through the process of building a Glock pistol from an 80 percent...

Virginia Republican Rep. Glenn Davis introduced two pro-2A measures in a special session that are designed to partially roll back some restrictive laws. 2nd Amendment

Fighting Back in Virginia

Mark Chesnut - August 24, 2020

Virginia Republican Rep. Glenn Davis introduced two pro-2A measures in a special session that...

See More Trending Articles

More Industry

Team Ruger took multiple divisional wins this past weekend at the USPSA Area 8 Championship held at Shadow Hawk Defense in Hedgesville, WV. Industry

Team Ruger Wins at USPSA Area 8 Championship

Firearms News Staff - August 29, 2020

Team Ruger took multiple divisional wins this past weekend at the USPSA Area 8 Championship...

The Second Amendment Foundation and Illinois State Rifle Association today filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to force the Illinois State Police (ISP) to comply with the mandated 30-day requirement to issue a Firearm Owner's Identification (FOID) Card if the applicant meets all qualifications. Industry

SAF, ISRA File Federal Lawsuit Demanding State Police Stop Foid Card Delay

Second Amendment Foundation - July 22, 2020

The Second Amendment Foundation and Illinois State Rifle Association today filed a lawsuit in...

By now you've undoubtedly heard about the lawsuit filed by the New York Attorney General against the NRA, but you might be wondering what's really going on. Industry

The Tragic Mess That is Today's NRA

Jeff Knox - September 21, 2020

By now you've undoubtedly heard about the lawsuit filed by the New York Attorney General...

Firearms News August 2020, #15 is on sale now! Every Day Carry special issue! Industry

Firearms News August 2020 — Issue #15

Firearms News Staff - August 11, 2020

Firearms News August 2020, #15 is on sale now! Every Day Carry special issue!

See More Industry

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Firearms News subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now