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Designated marksman rifle

Tabuk sniper

The Tabuk is a precision fire version of the Kalashnikov assault rifle

Country of origin Iraq
Entered service 1978
Caliber 7.62 x 39 mm
Weight 4.5 kg
Length 1 110 mm
Barrel length 600 mm
Muzzle velocity 740 m/s
Magazine capacity 10, 20 rounds
Sighting range ~ 1 000 m
Range of effective fire up to 600 m


   The Iraqi Tabuk tactical rifle is a modified version of Yugoslavian Zastava M76. In turn the M76 is a precision fire version of the Soviet AKM assault rifle, with a longer barrel, telescopic sight and some other changes. The Tabuk tactical and assault rifles were manufactured in Iraq using machinery obtained from Yugoslavian Zastava factory. It was adopted to service in 1978 and it is still used today. It saw action in a number of wars, including Iran-Iraq War, Persian Gulf War, War in Iraq.

   Sometimes the Tabuk is incorrectly referred as sniper rifle. In fact it is a tactical rifle. It can be seen as precision fire version of the AKM. The Tabuk is a squad support weapon optimized for medium-range rapid fire combat. It is not ment for highly trained snipers, but for designated marksmen to extend a fire reach of a squad. Comparing with the sniper rifles it has more compact dimensions and shorter range. It is inferior in terms of performance to most Western sniper rifles. It is also outperformed by the Soviet SVD. However on short and medium ranges it is on par with the SVD rifle. Also it is well suited for urban terrain.

   The Tabuk tactical rifle is chambered for 7.62x39 mm ammunition. It is a standard ammunition, used by AK-47 assault rifle and its derivatives. This ammunition is plentiful, however it is not that suitable for a marksman rifle due to its trajectory.

   The Tabuk is a gas operated semi-automatic weapon. The barrel of the Tabuk is much longer comparing with the standard barrel of the AKM. Being derived from Kalashnikov design this rifle is simple, reliable and tolerant to abusive use. All controls of the Tabuk are similar to Kalashnikov assault rifle.

   This tactical rifle has a wooden housing. It has a skeletonized wooden stock with a cheek piece.

   This tactical rifle is fed from 10- or 20-round magazines. It can also accept standard 30-round magazines of AK-47 assault rifle and its derivatives.

   The Tabuk has a telescopic sight. It is mounted on a side rail. Also there are iron sights for emergency use. The optical sight is side-mounted and does not block the iron sights. So the shooter can use any sight at any time. Some sources report that range of effective fire is up to 800 meters. However most likely that typically it is used at a range of 400-500 meters, and at most at 600 meters.

   One interesting feature is that acoustic signature of this rifle is similar to that of the AKM.


Tabuk sniper

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Tabuk sniper

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Tabuk sniper

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