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Assault Rifles / Carbines

Gilboa Snake

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Gilboa Snake Israeli assault rifle

The Gilboa Snake assault rifle was developed by Israeli company Silver Shadow. Originally conceived by Amos Golan, CEO of the company and designer of the famous Cornershot system. Gilboa Snake rifle was designed along the rather old concept of “salvo” fire. This concept, previously developed and tested in the USA under SPIW program in the 1950s and 60s, called for a weapon that fires several bullets at the same time or in very quick bursts, to increase hit probability and provide faster target incapacitation per single “observe – aim – pull the trigger” cycle.

Several experimental multi-barreled automatic rifles were developed and tested in the USA and elsewhere, but the Gilboa Snake seems to be the world’s first multi-barreled salvo-type assault rifle to achieve production status.

The basic select-fire Gilboa Snake assault rifle is, obviously, intended for military and law enforcement Special Forces; however, Silver Shadow also designed a “civilian-legal” version of the Snake rifle, which has two triggers side-by-side, each controlling its own barrel, and each capable only of semi-automatic fire.

The Gilboa Snake assault rifle has two barrels, mounted side by side in a single receiver, made of aluminum alloy. In select-fire version, both barrels are connected to a single gas block with the manual gas regulator. Single short-stroke gas piston runs above and between the barrels, to simultaneously and synchronously cycle two bolt carriers with M16-type rotating bolts. In “civilian” version each barrel is equipped with its own independent gas block and piston.

gilboa snake - Gilboa Snake

In the civilian mode, bolts are designed to eject spent cases to the side.

Each bolt is designed to eject spent cases to the side, so rifle ejects to the right and to the left through two symmetrically located ejection windows. The military version of the Gilboa Snake rifle has single trigger and three position safety / fire selector, which allows for single “double taps” (one shot from each barrel simultaneously per single trigger pull), and for fully automatic fire (also simultaneously from each barrel). Ammunition is fed from two M16-type magazines, independently inserted into twin magazine housing below the rifle.

The Gilboa Snake rifle is equipped with proprietary return springs system, located inside the upper receiver above the bolt carriers, so it can be equipped with detachable and/or side-folding shoulder stocks of various designs. Sights of various types are installed using a centrally located Picatinny rail that runs above the receiver. Additional accessories such as tactical lights, lasers and foregrips can be attached to the 3-rail handguard.

The Gilboa Snake assault rifle could be a great addition to the world market with it’s innovative design and interesting concept. I’m looking forward to seeing it in action.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION OF GILBOA SNAKE ASSAULT RIFLE

Caliber: 5.56×45 NATO / .223 Rem
Action: Gas-operated
Length: 495 / 800 mm
Barrel length: 241 mm
Weight: 4.27 kg
The rate of fire: not specified
Magazine capacity: 2 x 30 rounds
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Assault Rifles / Carbines

Portuguese Army new Assault Rifle: SCAR-L in 5,56x45mm

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Exercito Portugues substitui a espingarda automatica G3

On the 20th February 2019, FN Herstal was awarded a major contract for thousands of assault rifles,  by NATO’s Support & Procurement Agency (NSPA) on behalf of the Portuguese Army.  The contract is for the 5.56x45mm  caliber FN SCAR L assault rifles. Included in this contrat, FN will also supply other guns, namely the FN40GL grenade launchers, MINIMI 5.56 and 7.62 Mk3 light and medium machine guns respectively, and the designated Marksman Rifle SCAR-H in 7,62x51mm.

C57I5366 4 640x427 - Portuguese Army new Assault Rifle: SCAR-L in 5,56x45mm

The NSPA, is the main logistics and procurement agency of NATO and is able to handle and support procurement for member nations. NSPA described the contract as a ‘major milestone’ for the agency. The contract was signed by FN’s sales director and NSPA General Manager.

NSPA made a short statement:

“NSPA awarded today a contract to Belgium-based FN Herstal, one of the world’s leading designers and manufacturers of small caliber weapons. This is for the Agency a major contract to produce FN SCAR® assault rifles and FN MINIMI® machine guns as new standard issue weapons for the Portuguese Army’s.

The contract includes the manufacture and supply of 5.56mm and 7.62mm NATO caliber FN SCAR® assault rifles, FN40GL grenade launchers, MINIMI® 5.56 and 7.62 Mk3 Tactical light machine guns, and all related accessories.

The Portuguese Army’s standard issue service rifle is currently a Portuguese license produced variant of the Heckler & Koch G3, while the MG3 and HK21 are used in the General Purpose and Light Machine Gun purpose. The exact size of this new contract and its worth have not yet been announced, but In 2017, when the program was released, the acquisition called for 11 000 assault rifles in 5.56x45mm. The value of this weapons package procurement would be €42.8 million ($50.3 million).

This is a major acquisition for the Portuguese Army as the old G3 Battle Rifles are outdated, even in its class, and are obvious not adequate for the assault role. This purchase does not only manage to replace the G3 Battle rifle with one of the best current assault rifles, if not the best, but it will allow that the Portuguese Army to change the fire dynamics of it´s small units, increasing firepower and combat capabilities and being able to have more Hit probability on the enemy.

C57I5761 3 640x461 - Portuguese Army new Assault Rifle: SCAR-L in 5,56x45mm

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Assault Rifles / Carbines

QBZ-95-1: China’s Super Assault Rifle

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QBZ 95 1 - QBZ-95-1: China's Super Assault Rifle

The QBZ-95-1 is issued with a bayonet and, along with six WY-91 hand grenades, forms the firepower of the average PLA soldier. Each nine-man PLA squad has two fire teams, with one grenadier per fire team. The grenadier carries a QBZ-95-1 equipped with a 35-millimeter under barrel grenade launcher similar in concept to the long-serving U.S. Army M203 grenade launcher.

One of the most widely issued—but least known—infantry small arms is the QBZ-95-1 assault rifle. The QBZ-95-1 is the official rifle of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and its various sub-branches, including the People’s Liberation Army Navy Marine Corps. Unorthodox in appearance, the bullpup QBZ-95-1 also fires an unusual 5.8-millimeter cartridge. The result is a unique weapon symbolic of China’s attempt to go its own way in the world of military small arms.

China was one of the largest land powers of the twentieth century—though not exactly the most powerful. The People’s Liberation Army, both before and after the end of the Chinese Civil War, was predominantly an infantry army with millions of trained ground troops. After the civil war, China’s “People’s War” military doctrine stressed defensive wars, in which invaders were lured deep into the Chinese interior and then destroyed by a combination of regular and guerrilla forces.

The 1991 Gulf War, in which a rapidly moving U.S.-led coalition swiftly destroyed a larger Iraqi Army (often equipped with Chinese weapons) was a seismic event in Chinese defense thinking. The People’s Liberation Army was thoroughly revamped, and part of that revamping was the introduction of a new generation of infantry small arms. Older weapons, including the Type 68 and Type 56 assault rifles were retired.

In their place arrived the new QBZ-95-1 series of assault rifles. The QBZ-95-1 is a uniquely Chinese rifle, with a futuristic look that was a clean break from older, Soviet-inspired weapons. The weapon is officially known as the QBZ-95-1 5.8-millimeter assault rifle, with the initials standing for “Light Infantry Weapon, Infantry, Automatic.” The basic ammunition load for PLA troops is 300 rounds, carried in ten 30-round magazines.

The QBZ-95-1 is a bullpup weapon, meaning the action and magazine are all located behind the trigger group. This creates a more compact weapon: although the rifle is just under 30 inches long, it has a barrel with a length of 20 inches, as long as that on a M16A4 assault rifle. That’s 5.5 inches longer than that on the M4A1 carbine and should be good for a slight range increase over the American infantry carbine.

The QBZ-95-1 uses a short stroke, gas piston design, the same as used in rifles such as the M1 Garand and AK-47. In that respect, China’s infantry rifle still maintains its Soviet heritage. Its rate of fire is 650 rounds a minute. The weapon uses iron sights integrated into a carry handle running along the upper portion of the receiver. Although some rifles have been observed with optical sights installed on the carry handle, the already high height over bore of the mounting site makes add-on optic integration less than ideal.

Unlike U.S., NATO, and Russian assault rifles that use 5.56 or 5.45-millimeter cartridges, the Chinese weapon uses a locally designed 5.8×42 round. Exactly why China chose to develop an entirely new round is unknown, although it could be for security reasons. The 5.8-millimeter round offers improved ballistics performance over the U.S. Army’s 5.56-millimeter M855 round when that round is fired from the M4A1 carbine. This may be a function of the slightly larger round, pushed by slightly more propellant out of a longer (20” vs. 14.5”) barrel.

The QBZ-95-1 is issued with a bayonet and, along with six WY-91 hand grenades, forms the firepower of the average PLA soldier. Each nine man PLA squad has two fire teams, with one grenadier per fire team. The grenadier carries a QBZ-95-1 equipped with a 35-millimeter underbarrel grenade launcher similar in concept to the long-serving U.S. Army M203 grenade launcher. The grenadier also carries an additional fifteen rifle grenades. A heavier QBB-95 light support weapon features a bipod and 75-round magazines for laying down suppressive fire.

Despite the increasingly mechanized nature of the People’s Liberation Army, China’s infantry arm is still, as it is in other armies, the “Queen of Battle.” The QBZ-95-1 is a powerful and reliable, although slightly dated, weapon that was emblematic of the military revolution that began in China in the early 1990s and continues to this day.

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