Anti materiel rifle

Anti-materiel rifle

An anti-materiel rifle (AM) is a rifle that is designed for use against military equipment (matériel) rather than against other combatants ("anti-personnel").

They are similar in form and appearance to modern sniper rifles and can often serve in that role, though they are usually chambered for cartridges more powerful than is normally required for neutralizing an enemy combatant and can operate at a greater range. In general, anti-materiel rifles are chambered for 12.7x99mm NATO (.50 BMG), 12.7x108mm Russian or even 14.5x114mm Russian and 20mm cartridges. The large cartridges are required to be able to fire projectiles containing usable payloads like explosives, armour piercing cores, incendiaries or combinations of that like found in the Raufoss Mk211 projectile. Due to the considerable size and weight of anti-materiel rifles, snipers operating in 2- or 3-man teams become a necessity. Sometimes snipers use anti-materiel rifles for shooting at human targets at longer ranges.

The origins of the AM rifle go back to the First World War, during which the first anti-tank rifles appeared. While modern tanks and most other armoured vehicles are too well protected to be affected by anti-materiel rifles, the guns are still effective for attacking unarmored or lightly armored vehicles. They can be used against enemy fuel dumps, aircraft, communications equipment, trucks, automobiles, and similar targets. Their value is in being able to precisely target and disable enemy assets from long range for a relatively low cost.

They can also be used in non-offensive roles for safely destroying unexploded ordnance.

Well-known anti-materiel rifles
Rifle Country of origin Caliber
Accuracy International AW50 .50 BMG (12.7x99mm NATO)
Accuracy International AW50F .50 BMG (12.7x99mm NATO)
Accuracy International AS50 .50 BMG (12.7x99mm NATO)
Barrett M82A1 .50 BMG (12.7x99mm NATO)
Denel NTW-20 14.5x114mm Russian (NTW 14.5)
20x 83.5mm (NTW 20)
20x110mm (NTW 20)
Gepard anti-materiel rifles .50 BMG (12.7x99mm NATO),
12.7x108mm (.50 Russian),
14.5x114mm Russian
McMillan TAC-50 .50 BMG (12.7x99mm NATO)
PGM Hecate II .50 BMG (12.7x99mm NATO)
Steyr IWS 2000 15.2 mm proprietary Steyr APFSDS
WKW Tor .50 BMG (12.7x99mm NATO)
Zastava M93 Black Arrow .50 BMG (12.7x99mm NATO) or
12.7x108 mm (.50 Russian))
Vidhwansak 12.7x108mm
14.5x114mm Russian
20x 82mm

See also

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