Skip to main content

New Sniper Rifles for Russian Airborne Spetsnaz Units

New Sniper Rifles for Russian Airborne Spetsnaz Units

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.

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.




Both newly adopted Steyr rifles, chambered for American cartridges, were featured at recent war games conducted by the Russian VDV Reconnaissance Units.

The new Steyr Mannlicher SSG 04 rifle was one of the two models officially adopted by the Russian VDV, beating out models offered by AI and Sako.


The new Steyr rifles will be purchased in two calibers: the .308 (7.62X51 mm NATO) and .300 Win. Mag. (7.62x63 mm), aligning Russia with other major nations.

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

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Ruger Mini 30

Ruger Mini 30

Patrick Sweeney reviews Ruger's classic semi-auto chambered in 7.62x39, and why it's the perfect deer or pig gun! See Ruger for more details.

Springfield Hellcat OSP Review

Springfield Hellcat OSP Review

Patrick Sweeney takes the Springfield Hellcat OSP to the range to test it out!

DL Sports SLR 762 Carbine

DL Sports SLR 762 Carbine

Patrick Sweeney tests out the DL Sports SLR 762 Carbine, an AK47 has been refined and civilized by Dave Lauck and DL Sports.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

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

Anarchy Outdoors has introduced a series of upgrades for the T/C Compass and Venture rifles.Anarchy Outdoors Introduces Upgrades For T/C Compass and Venture Rifles Rifles

Anarchy Outdoors Introduces Upgrades For T/C Compass and Venture Rifles

Firearms News Staff - August 22, 2020

Anarchy Outdoors has introduced a series of upgrades for the T/C Compass and Venture rifles.

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.” Mossberg 590A1 Retro Shotgun Review 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...

While Germany is the Edenic home of modern sniping, they were always one step behind the Soviets during World War II, despite fielding some excellent sniper rifles.German Sniper Rifles of World War I and II Rifles

German Sniper Rifles of World War I and II

David M. Fortier - August 13, 2020

While Germany is the Edenic home of modern sniping, they were always one step behind the...

See More Trending Articles

More Industry

Mossberg announced a donation of $75,000 to the NSSF following the cancellation of the SHOT Show.Mossberg Donates $75,000 to NSSF After SHOT Show Cancellation Industry

Mossberg Donates $75,000 to NSSF After SHOT Show Cancellation

Firearms News Staff - December 02, 2020

Mossberg announced a donation of $75,000 to the NSSF following the cancellation of the SHOT...

On sale November 24th, 2020! Pick up a copy at your local magazine stand, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, or major book retailer.Firearms News November 2020 — Issue #22 Industry

Firearms News November 2020 — Issue #22

Firearms News Staff - December 07, 2020

On sale November 24th, 2020! Pick up a copy at your local magazine stand, Walmart, Barnes &...

B&T, Inc. announced the United States Air Force has purchased B&T APC9K PRO platforms.B&T Provides the United States Air Force with APC9K PRO Models Industry

B&T Provides the United States Air Force with APC9K PRO Models

Firearms News Staff - December 04, 2020

B&T, Inc. announced the United States Air Force has purchased B&T APC9K PRO platforms.

The NRA has always liked being the central spokesman of the gun rights community and it has never liked the spotlight taken off of it.NRA Bankruptcy Fight Industry

NRA Bankruptcy Fight

Ned Scott - February 09, 2021

The NRA has always liked being the central spokesman of the gun rights community and it has...

See More Industry

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Firearms News App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

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

Phone Icon

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