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

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

David Fortier had the chance to fire the Lahti L-39 while filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV while on location at DriveTanks.com.

Hornady Kestrel 5700 Ballistics Weather Meter with Hornady 4DOF

Hornady Kestrel 5700 Ballistics Weather Meter with Hornady 4DOF

The Hornady Kestrel 5700 combines complete onsite environmental measurements with Hornady 4DOF trajectory solutions.

Springfield Hellcat OSP Review

Springfield Hellcat OSP Review

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

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

First fielded during World War I, the Browning Automatic Rifle or BAR went on to serve through World War II, Korea and into Vietnam. Historical

Inside Story on the .30-caliber BAR

Samantha Knight - August 15, 2020

First fielded during World War I, the Browning Automatic Rifle or BAR went on to serve through...

The Masada is IWI's first striker-fired pistol and is an accurate, good looking polymer handgun that has a great trigger. Handguns

IWI Masada Pistol Review

Bob Taubert - August 19, 2020

The Masada is IWI's first striker-fired pistol and is an accurate, good looking polymer...

In the golden age of daily carry options, the Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP pistol is a helluva deal! Handguns

Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP Review

Patrick Sweeney - August 12, 2020

In the golden age of daily carry options, the Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP pistol is a...

Developed to replace the venerable AK-74, the Blow-Back Shifted Pulse AN-94 Nikonov is a fascinating hyper-burst design which faded away after the death of its designer. Rifles

Russian 5.45x39mm AN-94 Nikonov Review

David M. Fortier - August 14, 2020

Developed to replace the venerable AK-74, the Blow-Back Shifted Pulse AN-94 Nikonov is a...

See More Trending Articles

More Industry

This year's long string of record gun sales continued in August, according to the most recent figures from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). Industry

Another Record Month for Gun Sales

Mark Chesnut - September 03, 2020

This year's long string of record gun sales continued in August, according to the most recent...

The US Army continues to move ahead with its modernization program and recently took delivery of 170,000 rounds of lightweight 6.8mm TVCM ammunition from Texas-based True Velocity. Ammo

'Next Gen' 6.8mm Ammunition Delivered to US Army by True Velocity

Samantha Knight - August 06, 2020

The US Army continues to move ahead with its modernization program and recently took delivery...

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...

On sale September 22nd, 2020! Pick up a copy at your local magazine stand, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, or major book retailer. Firearms News prints two exciting issues per month so be sure to get both copies or subscribe! Industry

Firearms News September 2020 — Issue #18

Firearms News Staff - September 08, 2020

On sale September 22nd, 2020! Pick up a copy at your local magazine stand, Walmart, Barnes &...

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