Special Report

The Russian Military's Longest Range Rifles and Machine Guns

Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

One of the most famous snipers of World War II was Lyudmila Pavlichenko of the Soviet Union, who earned the name “Lady Death.” Pavlichenko is considered the top female sniper ever and one of the top snipers in history, with a total of 309 confirmed kills. Many other Soviet snipers made a name for themselves, assisted by Soviet-made rifles.

In Russia’s war against Ukraine, small arms are serving an important purpose towards its goals. At the forefront of these Russian small-arms are a few long-range guns that stand out due to their capabilities. Long-range guns have become important tools of modern military forces.

To determine the longest range guns in the Russian military, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed modern Russian guns cataloged by Military Factory, an online database of military vehicles, aircraft, arms, and more. We ranked the guns according to their maximum effective range. Supplemental data on the type of weapon, first year of service, and caliber of ammunition also came from Military Factory.

One of the top guns on this list is the KBP OSV-96, also known as the Vzlomshchik. It was designed with the dual role as both counter-sniping and anti-materiel rifle. It boasts a range of about 6,500 feet, making it one of the longest-range Russian rifles.

Another prominent name on this list is the Dragunov SVD, which has been in use since the 1960s. This Russian-made semi-automatic sniper/designated marksman rifle has a maximum effective range of around 4,200 feet. It has found use in several militaries around the world — namely Russian allies — including Belarus, Iran, and India. (To compare, here are the longest range guns in the U.S. military arsenal.)

Notably on this list, in addition to sniper rifles and anti-materiel rifles, machine guns also rank among the top spots. The Kord-12.7mm and PKP Pecheneg (6P41) machine guns, for example, have among the longest effective ranges on the list. One commonality across most of those weapons is their ammunition. Larger caliber ammunition is generally capable of traveling a greater distance than smaller caliber ammunition, explaining the long ranges of the heavy machine guns near the top of the list.

While some of these weapons have only entered service in the past 10 years, others date back to the 1960s. Despite this, Russia’s military has found use for these long-range rifles in whatever operations it is undertaking. (Also see, 20 biggest bombs in Russia’s military arsenal.)

Here is a look at the longest-range guns in use by the Russian army today.

22. SR-3 Vikhr (Whirlwind)
> Maximum effective range: 656 ft.
> Caliber: 9x39mm subsonic
> Type: Silenced assault rifle
> Year entered service: 1992

21. AS Val
> Maximum effective range: 984 ft.
> Caliber: 9x39mm SP-6
> Type: Silenced assault rifle
> Year entered service: 1987

20. Izhmash AN-94 (Abakan)
> Maximum effective range: 1,212 ft.
> Caliber: 5.45x39mm
> Type: Assault rifle
> Year entered service: 1994

Source: Courtesy of VSS Vintorez via Facebook

19. VSS Vintorez
> Maximum effective range: 1,312 ft.
> Caliber: 9x39mm SP-5
> Type: Silenced sniper rifle
> Year entered service: 1987

18. Kalashnikov AK-103
> Maximum effective range: 1,640 ft.
> Caliber: 7.62x39mm M43
> Type: Assault rifle
> Year entered service: 1994

17. Kalashnikov AK-200
> Maximum effective range: 1,640 ft.
> Caliber: 5.45x39mm M74m 5.56x45mm NATO, 7.62x39mm
> Type: Assault rifle
> Year entered service: 2013

16. Kalashnikov AK-74
> Maximum effective range: 1,640 ft.
> Caliber: 5.45x39mm
> Type: Assault rifle
> Year entered service: 1978

Source: UltraONEs / iStock via Getty Images

15. Kalashnikov AKM
> Maximum effective range: 1,640 ft.
> Caliber: 7.62x39mm M1943
> Type: Assault rifle
> Year entered service: 1959

Source: aleks0649 / iStock via Getty Images

14. Kalashnikov AK-12
> Maximum effective range: 2,000 ft.
> Caliber: 5.45x39mm Soviet, 5.56x45mm NATO, 7.62x39mm, 7.62x51mm NATO
> Type: Assault rifle
> Year entered service: 2014

13. Kalashnikov SVDM
> Maximum effective range: 2,625 ft.
> Caliber: 7.62x54mmR
> Type: Designated marksman rifle
> Year entered service: 2018

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

12. Kalashnikov AK-15
> Maximum effective range: 2,625 ft.
> Caliber: 7.62x39mm Soviet
> Type: Assault rifle
> Year entered service: 2019

11. Kalashnikov AK-19
> Maximum effective range: 2,625 ft.
> Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO
> Type: Assault rifle
> Year entered service: 2021

10. Kalashnikov RPK-16
> Maximum effective range: 2,625 ft.
> Caliber: 5.45x39mm
> Type: Squad automatic weapon
> Year entered service: 2018

Source: Dragunov1981 / iStock via Getty Images

9. Kalashnikov PKM
> Maximum effective range: 3,280 ft.
> Caliber: 7.62x54mmR Russian
> Type: General purpose machine gun
> Year entered service: 1969

8. Accuracy International L96
> Maximum effective range: 3,608 ft.
> Caliber: 7.62x51mm NATO, .308 Winchester, .308 Winchester Magnum, .338 Lapua Magnum
> Type: Bolt-action sniper rifle
> Year entered service: 1982

Source: zim286 / iStock via Getty Images

7. Dragunov SVD
> Maximum effective range: 4,265 ft.
> Caliber: 7.62x54mmR Soviet, 9x54mm, 9.3x64mm Brenneke, .308 Winchester
> Type: Semi-automatic sniper rifle
> Year entered service: 1963

6. KSVK 12.7 (ASVK)
> Maximum effective range: 4,920 ft.
> Caliber: 12.7x108mm
> Type: Anti-material rifle
> Year entered service: 1999

5. ORSIS T-5000
> Maximum effective range: 4,920 ft.
> Caliber: 7.62x51mm NATO, .308 Winchester Magnum, .338 Lapua Magnum, .408 Cheytac
> Type: Bolt-action sniper rifle
> Year entered service: 2011

4. PKP Pecheneg (6P41)
> Maximum effective range: 5,000 ft.
> Caliber: 7.62x54mmR
> Type: General purpose machine gun
> Year entered service: 2001

3. KBP OSV-96
> Maximum effective range: 6,560 ft.
> Caliber: 12.7x108mm
> Type: Anti-material rifle
> Year entered service: 1996

2. Kord-12.7mm
> Maximum effective range: 6,560 ft.
> Caliber: 12.7x108mm
> Type: Heavy machine gun
> Year entered service: 1998

1. NSV HMG (Utes / Utjos)
> Maximum effective range: 6,560 ft.
> Caliber: 12.7x108mm Soviet, 12.7x99mm NATO
> Type: Heavy machine gun
> Year entered service: 1971

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