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.
With all the turmoil with modern sniper rifles for Russian Armed Forces, one may think that Russian arms manufacturers just conceded their positions in favor of foreign companies. In truth, it is just the opposite. The Russians never stopped trying to produce quality sniper rifles for the needs of their military.
In 2001, I had a chance to test the then-new bolt-action SV-98 Sniper Rifle. Though it was not my best result, I still managed a sub-moa 10-round group, while my traveling mate Marc Krebs put all 10 in the same hole. The rifle was head and shoulders above the standard issue SVD rifle.
The SV-98 fired the same 7N14 7.62X54R "Sniper" load and did very well, hence its wide distribution within special purpose units. However, the SV-98's very high production cost forced the Russian armed forces to look elsewhere, including abroad.
In September of this year the state company Promtechnologii presented its latest development in the small arms arena, the Tactical Sniper Rifle ORSIS T-5000. The new rifle was presented at the International Arms and Munitions Salon in the Ural region city of Nizhniy Tagil, Russia.
Two base models were displayed at company's booth and made available at the test range firing line: one in .308 Win. caliber and the other in .338 Lapua Mag. The T-5000 rifle has all the traits of modern sniper rifle, from heavy barrel to proprietary firing group, to Picatinny mounting system.
It is dressed in a hardened aluminum alloy fully adjustable folding stock and weighs only 12.3 pounds for the .308 model and 12.8 pounds for the .338 Lapua. Rifles can also be supplied with "traditional" ergonomic tactical composite stocks a la AW. The heavy fluted barrel is tipped with proprietary muzzle brake/flash hider. The T-5000 feeds out of detachable 10-round box magazine.
The second surprise was that the new ORSIS T-5000 rifle was topped with new Russian-made scope, the DH 5-20x56, developed by the Moscow Company Dedal-NV. In this combination the rifle produced more than promising results. We will wait and see if one of these days a new T-5000 rifle will make it Stateside.