Special Report

The Russian Military's Longest Range Firearms

Kichigin / iStock via Getty Images

Over the course of World War II, one of the most famous snipers to participate in the conflict was Lyudmila Pavlichenko from the Soviet Union. She was better known by her nickname, “Lady Death.” With a total of 309 confirmed kills over the course of the conflict, Pavlichenko is considered the best female sniper in history. Her legend helped build a legacy of Soviet snipers in the decades to come and is partially why Russian forces have a sizable arsenal of long-range rifles. (These are World War II’s deadliest snipers.)

Here 24/7 Wall St. is taking a closer look at Russia’s small arms. To identify the Russian military’s firearms with the longest range, 24/7 Wall St. examined modern Russian guns listed on Military Factory, an online archive that catalogs military vehicles, aircraft, arms, and more. The guns listed are ranked according to their maximum effective range. We included supplemental information regarding the year introduced, type, caliber and feed of each weapon.

One of the top guns on this list is the KBP OSV-96, also known as the Vzlomshchik. The main idea behind the development of this rifle was to design a rifle to fill the dual role as both counter-sniping and anti-materiel rifle. It has a maximum effective range of over 6,500 feet, making it one of the longest-range Russian rifles. (These are the small arms used by Russian Special Forces.)

Another prominent name on this list is the Dragunov SVD, which has been in use since the 1960s. This Russian-made sniper 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.

One interesting thing to note is that some of the longest range weapons in the Russian arsenal are not in fact sniper rifles, as many might think. Some heavy machine guns with high-caliber rounds actually fill out the top spots on this list.

Here is a look at the longest range firearms in the Russian military:

22. SR-3 Vikhr (Whirlwind)

Source: Vitaly V. Kuzmin / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: Silenced assault rifle
  • Year introduced: 1992
  • Caliber and feed: 9x39mm subsonic; 20- or 30-round detachable box magazine
  • Maximum effective range: 656 ft.

21. AS Val (Avtomat Special’nyj)

  • Type: Silenced assault rifle
  • Year introduced: 1987
  • Caliber and feed: 9x39mm SP-6; 10-, 20- or 30-round detachable box magazine
  • Maximum effective range: 984 ft.

20. Izhmash AN-94 (Abakan)

Source: Mike1979 Russia / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: Assault rifle
  • Year introduced: 1994
  • Caliber and feed: 5.45x39mm; 30-, 45- or 60-round detachable box magazine
  • Maximum effective range: 1,212 ft.

19. VSS Vintorez

Source: Courtesy of VSS Vintorez via Facebook
  • Type: Silenced sniper rifle
  • Year introduced: 1987
  • Caliber and feed: 9x39mm SP-5; 10- or 20-round detachable box magazine
  • Maximum effective range: 1,312 ft.

18. Kalashnikov AK-103

Source: angad84 / Flickr
  • Type: Assault rifle
  • Year introduced: 1994
  • Caliber and feed: 7.62x39mm M43; 30-round detachable box magazine
  • Maximum effective range: 1,640 ft.

17. Kalashnikov AK-200

Source: Mike1979 Russia / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: Assault rifle
  • Year introduced: 2013
  • Caliber and feed: 5.45x39mm M74m 5.56x45mm NATO, 7.62x39mm; 30-round detachable box magazine
  • Maximum effective range: 1,640 ft.

16. Kalashnikov AK-74

Source: Сергей Сандалов / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: Assault rifle
  • Year introduced: 1978
  • Caliber and feed: 5.45x39mm; 30-round detachable box magazine
  • Maximum effective range: 1,640 ft.

15. Kalashnikov AKM

Source: Nemo5576 / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: Assault rifle
  • Year introduced: 1959
  • Caliber and feed: 7.62x39mm M1943; 20- or 30-round detachable box magazine
  • Maximum effective range: 1,640 ft.

14. Kalashnikov AK-12

Source: aleks0649 / iStock via Getty Images
  • Type: Assault rifle
  • Year introduced: 2014
  • Caliber and feed: 5.45x39mm Soviet, 5.56x45mm NATO, 7.62x39mm, 7.62x51mm NATO; 30-round detachable box magazine, 100-round drum
  • Maximum effective range: 2,000 ft.

13. Kalashnikov SVDM

Source: Hokos / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: Designated marksman rifle
  • Year introduced: 2018
  • Caliber and feed: 7.62x54mmR; 10-round detachable box magazine
  • Maximum effective range: 2,625 ft.

12. Kalashnikov AK-15

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: Assault rifle
  • Year introduced: 2019
  • Caliber and feed: 7.62x39mm Soviet; 30-round detachable box magazine
  • Maximum effective range: 2,625 ft.

11. Kalashnikov AK-19

Source: Mike1979 Russia / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: Assault rifle
  • Year introduced: 2021
  • Caliber and feed: 5.56x45mm NATO; 30-round detachable box magazine
  • Maximum effective range: 2,625 ft.

10. Kalashnikov RPK-16

Source: Vitaly V. Kuzmin / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: Squad automatic weapon
  • Year introduced: 2018
  • Caliber and feed: 5.45x39mm; 30- or 96-round magazine capacity
  • Maximum effective range: 2,625 ft.

9. Kalashnikov PKM

Source: Vitaly V. Kuzmin / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: General purpose machine gun
  • Year introduced: 1969
  • Caliber and feed: 7.62x54mmR Russian; 100-, 200- or 250-round belt
  • Maximum effective range: 3,280 ft.

8. Accuracy International L96

Source: Mr Bullitt / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: Bolt-action sniper rifle
  • Year introduced: 1982
  • Caliber and feed: 7.62x51mm NATO, .308 Winchester, .308 Winchester Magnum, .338 Lapua Magnum; 5- or 10-round detachable box magazine
  • Maximum effective range: 3,608 ft.

7. Dragunov SVD

Source: zim286 / iStock via Getty Images
  • Type: Semi-automatic sniper rifle
  • Year introduced: 1963
  • Caliber and feed: 7.62x54mmR Soviet, 9x54mm, 9.3x64mm Brenneke, .308 Winchester; 10-round detachable box magazine
  • Maximum effective range: 4,265 ft.

6. KSVK 12.7 (ASVK)

Source: сайт “Оружейная ПРАВДА / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: Anti-material rifle
  • Year introduced: 1999
  • Caliber and feed: 12.7x108mm; 5-round detachable box magazine
  • Maximum effective range: 4,920 ft.

5. ORSIS T-5000

Source: Vitaly V. Kuzmin / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: Bolt-action sniper rifle
  • Year introduced: 2011
  • Caliber and feed: 7.62x51mm NATO, .308 Winchester Magnum, .338 Lapua Magnum, .408 Cheytac; 5-round detachable box magazine
  • Maximum effective range: 4,920 ft.

4. PKP Pecheneg (6P41)

Source: Vitaly V. Kuzmin / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: General purpose machine gun
  • Year introduced: 2001
  • Caliber and feed: 7.62x54mmR; 100-, 200- or 250-round belt
  • Maximum effective range: 5,000 ft.

3. KBP OSV-96

Source: Vitaly V. Kuzmin / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: Anti-material rifle
  • Year introduced: 1996
  • Caliber and feed: 12.7x108mm; 5-round detachable box magazine
  • Maximum effective range: 6,560 ft.

2. Kord-12.7mm

Source: Vitaly V. Kuzmin / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: Heavy machine gun
  • Year introduced: 1998
  • Caliber and feed: 12.7x108mm; 50-round linked belt
  • Maximum effective range: 6,560 ft.

1. NSV HMG (Utes / Utjos)

Source: Vitaly V. Kuzmin / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: Heavy machine gun
  • Year introduced: 1971
  • Caliber and feed: 12.7x108mm Soviet, 12.7x99mm NATO; 50-round belt
  • Maximum effective range: 6,560 ft.

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