In the 80 of the last century, many well-known manufacturers of firearms weapons began to "play" with sub-caliber ammunition, work on the cartridge itself and weapons continue for him and now many well-known weapon companies, feeling that the immediate future will be assigned to such weapons. Already, many samples can be distinguished, which no doubt can be called successful, but they do not go into mass production due to the banal financial difficulties of potential customers, because such weapons, or rather cartridges for them, are not very cheap. Apparently until the army and security guards of the countries of the world are not ripe in order to give the amount more than usual for each shot.
Among the let a small, but already impressive number of models of weapons using sub-caliber ammunition, sniper rifles should be singled out separately. After all, if the transition to a new type of ammunition will be carried out, then it is from these samples in view of their higher efficiency in comparison with the approximate in terms of models using classic ammunition. After all, whatever the cost of the cartridge, it is in the work of the sniper, it pays off with interest. So one of the models of such weapons is the brainchild of the Austrian company Steyr, positioned by the manufacturer as a large-caliber sniper rifle or, as it has now become fashionable to say, an “anti-material” rifle.
Work on the creation of a new ammunition and weapons for it began 1984 year, then, at the initial stage, experiments were made with ammunition caliber 12,7 millimeters. It was planned to create a cartridge that could be used in ordinary weapons, but nothing came of it. 12,7 millimeters was not enough to place a feathered projectile in it that would surpass the ammunition of a classic design in its characteristics. Having rejected a rather successful idea, be it implemented, to create a cartridge with a sabot projectile based on the cartridge 12,7х99, the designers began to increase the caliber of ammunition. The first version of the cartridge with more or less successful characteristics was millimeter caliber 14,5, under it were released several rifles, which received the designation AMR 5075.
This cartridge was a rather interesting design, which naturally affected the price of ammunition. So the most interesting point is that the ignition of the powder charge takes place not at the bottom of the liner, but in the center, which leads to faster burning of the powder, and, accordingly, more rapid injection of pressure of the powder gases, respectively, increases the speed of the projectile. The very same bullet, if you can call it that, is a split plastic sheath into which a tungsten alloy arrow is squeezed. The most difficult thing for developers was to create such a construction of a plastic shell that would have absolutely no effect on the trajectory of movement of the boom itself during separation from it. And I must say they succeeded. Literally a few meters from the muzzle cut, the projectile loses its plastic shell under the influence of increasing air resistance, after which further movement, at almost the same speed, continues to be a tungsten alloy arrow. At the same time, the boom itself, being fledged, stabilizes in flight and is much less influenced by such factors as side wind and others. However, one should take into account the low weight of the boom itself, because of which the effective use distance was very small compared to the more common .50BMG. However, for the experimental model, even those 800 effective range meters that the AMR 5075 rifle showed were quite good results. It should also be understood that the effective range in this case was calculated not in the same way as for conventional weapons, but with the condition of confident penetration of armor. Another feature of this cartridge is that the ammunition case is plastic, despite a fairly large powder charge, the metal is only the bottom of the sleeve. This made it possible to significantly reduce the weight of the ammunition, and the cost of this clearly did not become higher, although it still remained high.
Probably, many people paid attention to the title of the article, in which the weapon is called a “sniper gun”, despite the absurdity of this expression, it is completely true. The fact is that the barrel of the weapon is completely smooth, respectively, despite the high accuracy and distance of use, it can not be called a rifle, but we will not climb into the jungle of terminology. The first version of the rifle was actually not entirely successful. First of all, from its negative qualities, a very high recoil was noted during firing, which was partially compensated by the muzzle brake-compensator and partly by the automatic weapon itself, but not adequately compensated. Automatic rifles built on the scheme with a long barrel, which is not so often seen. When fired, the powder gases not only try to push the bullet out of the barrel, but with the same effort they press on the bottom of the cartridge case. However, the latter is clamped between the barrel and the bolt, which prevents it from freely leaving the chamber. As a result, the barrel and bolt arms begin to move backwards together. At the last centimeters of the way, the bolt begins to turn and comes out of the coupling with the barrel, after which the bolt is fixed in the rear position, and the barrel begins to move forward, in the process of which the spent case is removed. Having reached its extreme front point, the barrel of the weapon releases the bolt, which, at the same time, starts moving towards the barrel, removing the new cartridge from the magazine and inserting it into the chamber. At the same time on the last centimeters of his way the bolt turns back, locking the barrel bore. Next, the weapon is ready for the next shot. All this outrage is collected in the layout of the bullpup, with the widest use of plastic, to reduce weight and has three bipods. It should be noted that in addition to the very high recoil when shooting from this sample, the designers were not satisfied with the results on effective shot range, for this reason the work on the project continued and resulted not only in the modernization of the weapon itself, but also in the modernization of the munition used in it. In general, it was the last experimental sample, it was already followed by the final finished product, completely ready for serial production.
As mentioned above, this weapon is intended primarily to defeat lightly armored enemy vehicles, aviation in parking lots, radar and the destruction of unexploded ordnance, this is precisely what limits the effective range of weapons. In order to increase the effective range, it was decided to increase the weight of the tungsten boom, which in turn led to an increase in the caliber of the cartridge. In general, there were no complaints about the design of the ammunition, for this reason they limited themselves only to increasing the cartridge itself. After modernization, its caliber became 15,2 millimeters, and the already large powder charge became even larger. The increase in caliber and ammunition power was not in vain, the effective range for using weapons was already 1000 meters, while at that distance the arrow pierced 40 millimeters of homogeneous armor, which is quite an impressive indicator. Although this weapon is not intended for firing at living targets, as evidenced by the rather small effective passport range of the weapon, no one forbids such fire. At the same time, the effective range of the weapon increases by another one and a half kilometers, which puts almost all modern large-caliber rifles into the belt. Do not forget about the fact that the design of the boom is such that even if it hits a target protected by personal protective equipment, a lethal outcome is guaranteed. However, not every sniper can guarantee a hit at such distances, even with such a rifle.
The final parameters of the ammunition used in the weapon are as follows. The weight of the feathered boom is from 20 to 30 grams, its caliber is 5,5 millimeters, the speed at the muzzle is 1450 meters per second. It is also worth noting that when shooting at 1000, the arrow itself drops from the aiming point of all at 80 centimeters, and the high speed of the bullet makes shooting at moving targets more comfortable.
Naturally, for a modernized ammunition, it was necessary to have a new weapon, in which the problem of a fairly high return would be solved. The final version of the sniper gun was given the name IWS 2000, with which he entered the arms market. In general, this model is not much different from the previous experimental one. All the same maximum plastic to reduce weight, all the same layout, all the same scheme of work automation. Of the changes, only the pneumohydraulic shock absorber was added, which is located around the barrel and, in fact, is the link between the receiver and the barrel of the weapon. Its presence allowed to significantly stretch the moment of impact and, despite the increased power of the munition, to make it quite comfortable. It should be noted separately that this did not affect the accuracy of the weapon.
In general, it should be noted that, despite the apparent angularity and dimensions, the weapon turned out to be quite convenient both during operation and maintenance. We should also mention the rifle shop, which is very conveniently located on the right side of the weapon at an angle of 45 degrees relative to the earth's surface. The third “leg” is also a rather pleasant addition, especially in situations where it is necessary to monitor a territory for a long time. Nevertheless, in terms of its weight and dimensions, despite all the efforts of the designers, this weapon remains quite massive and heavy, losing even to more common rifles chambered for .50BMG. So the weight of a rifle without ammunition is 18 kilograms, and the length of 180 centimeters, with the length of the barrel 1200 millimeters. Thus, in terms of its mass and dimensions, this rifle is more close to a twenty-millimeter large-caliber sniper rifle. In order to compensate for this deficiency, the designers made it possible to split the weapon into two parts, which are packaged in two shoulder bags and carried by sniper. Normally, the weapon is equipped with a tenfold telescopic sight, however, it can be replaced with a more suitable for the situation or convenient for the shooter.
If you look at this weapon as a ready-made sample, it is necessary to note such a minus as the presence of an air-oil damper of the barrel. In general, it does not cause complaints, but the fact that this particular element will behave capriciously at high or low temperatures leaves no doubt. Perhaps this problem is solved by replacing the oil with another type of oil, but the manufacturer is silent about this, and this procedure is unlikely to be simple, given that the pressure inside the shock absorber when fired is high enough.
In general, this sniper rifle, as far back as 1998, was the final product, completely ready to be launched into mass production. However, so far this weapon has not received at least a minimum spread. The reason for this is natural in the ammunition, after all, to adopt only a weapon is one thing, and when it comes to ammunition to it, quite different figures already appear here. Naturally, this rifle became interested in this model and bought it in small quantities, however, like any self-respecting company, Steyr does not disseminate information about what and who bought it. It is only known for certain that the US Army purchased several IWS 2000, which even had time to light up in the last military actions, however, it’s not a matter of officially adopting this weapon. Still, as a pleasure, such weapons remain expensive even for those armies that receive stable and substantial funding regardless of the economic situation.