Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Magnum: The Powerful British Sniper Rifle

The Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Magnum (AWM) is a British sniper rifle. It is an upgraded version of the Accuracy International Arctic Warfare sniper rifle,

Eric Sof

British snipers with L115A3 Long Range Rifle with suppressor
A British sniper (centre) carrying his L115A3 Long Range Rifle with attached suppressor, on a joint training mission with French snipers (Photo: Wiki Commons)

The Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Magnum (AWM) is a British sniper rifle. It is an upgraded version of the Accuracy International Arctic Warfare sniper rifle, designed to use larger and more powerful Magnum-type cartridges. The word “Magnum” in the designation denotes the Magnum chambering. This article will explore the features, variants, and performance of the Arctic Warfare Magnum.

Introduction

The Accuracy International AWM, also known as the Arctic Warfare Magnum or AI-Arctic Warfare Magnum, is a bolt-action sniper rifle designed by Accuracy International specifically for magnum rifle cartridges. The AWSM, which stands for Arctic Warfare Super Magnum, is an unofficial designation given to AWM rifles chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum.

Accuracy International Arctic Warfare rifle
Accuracy International Arctic Warfare (Photo: XY)

In September 2012, Accuracy International announced that it would phase out the .338 Lapua Magnum AWM rifle in favor of the Accuracy International AXMC sniper rifle. The bolt action of the AXMC was designed to be significantly stronger, capable of handling higher chamber pressures and temperatures, and thus higher bolt thrusts safely compared to the AWM. Consequently, the AXMC is longer and wider. The magazine of the AXMC was also appropriately enlarged to function with .338 Lapua Magnum cartridges loaded to the maximum allowed overall length of 93.50 mm (3.681 in) set by the Commission Internationale Permanente pour l’Epreuve des Armes à Feu Portatives (C.I.P.).

The Accuracy International AWM saw action during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and has been adopted by several countries.

Design

The Arctic Warfare Magnum has two main versions, chambered for .300 Winchester Magnum and .338 Lapua Magnum ammunition. The “Magnum” in the name denotes the Magnum chambering. The rifle features a stainless steel barrel, a solid buttstock, and detachable 5-round capacity magazines. Its longer bolt can accommodate the larger and more powerful Magnum-type ammunition.

Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Magnum
Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Magnum (Photo: XY)

The .300 Winchester Magnum cartridge was initially developed for hunting purposes. Compared to the standard NATO .308 Winchester cartridge, the .300 Winchester Magnum has a flatter trajectory, increased muzzle velocity, wind resistance, and supersonic range, resulting in a longer effective range. The Arctic Warfare Magnum chambered for this cartridge has an effective range of 1,100 meters.

On the other hand, the .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge was designed for military snipers as long-range sniping ammunition. It has an effective range comparable to the .50 BMG cartridge, although it develops less kinetic energy and penetration. The Arctic Warfare Magnum chambered for this cartridge has an effective range of 1,500-1,700 meters, making it one of the most powerful sniper rifles in the world. It is known to be able to penetrate armored glass in some cases.

Use in Combat

The Arctic Warfare Magnum saw action during wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and has been adopted by at least 14 countries, including the United Kingdom, Norway, and South Korea. The version chambered for the .300 Winchester Magnum is in service with the Czech Republic, Germany (locally designated as the G22), and some other countries.

A Dutch ISAF sniper team with an Accuracy International AWM .338 Lapua Magnum rifle
A Dutch ISAF sniper team with an Accuracy International AWM .338 Lapua Magnum rifle (Photo: Wiki Commons)

This sniper rifle is one of the best in the world and is known for its accuracy, power, and reliability. Its long effective range makes it a popular choice for military snipers, and its solid construction ensures it can withstand harsh conditions and rough handling.

Variants

Arctic Warfare Magnum-Folding (AWM-F)

The AWM-F is a version of the Arctic Warfare Magnum with a folding stock. This version is more compact and easier to carry in a backpack, making it a popular choice among operators.

Arctic Warfare Super Magnum

The Arctic Warfare Super Magnum is the unofficial name for the Arctic Warfare Magnum chambered for the .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge. This rifle has an effective range of 1,500-1,700 meters and is one of the best sniper rifles in the world. The British Armed Forces adopted it in 1996 as the L115A1, and an improved version called the L115A3 was introduced in 2007. The L115A3 was used to achieve the second-longest sniper kill in history in 2009 when a British Army sniper killed two Taliban fighters at a range of 2,475 meters. The Arctic Warfare Super Magnum was also exported to at least 13 countries, including Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, and South Korea.

Mk.13 Mod.5

The Mk.13 Mod.5 is an American sniper rifle that resembles the Arctic Warfare Magnum. It uses a chassis system supplied by Accuracy International but is based on the Remington 700 and is chambered for .300 Winchester Magnum ammunition. This rifle has an effective range of 1,200 meters and is used by the US Navy SEALs and other special operations units.

AXMC

The AXMC is a new multi-caliber sniper rifle produced by Accuracy International. It replaced the Arctic Warfare and Arctic Warfare Magnum rifles in production. With a caliber conversion kit, the shooter can modify it to use .338 Lapua Magnum (AX338 rifle), .300 Winchester Magnum (AX300 rifle), and standard NATO .308 Winchester ammunition (AX308 rifle).

Technical specifications

 .300 Winchester Magnum.338 Lapua Magnum
Country of origin:United Kingdom
Manufacturer:Accuracy International
Entered service:1996
Caliber:.300 Winchester Magnum.338 Lapua Magnum
Weight:6.5 kg6.9 kg
Length:1 200 mm1 230 mm
Barrel length:660 mm686 mm
Muzzle velocity:~ 850 m/s936 m/s
Magazine capacity:Five rounds
Range of effective fire1 100 m1 500 – 1 700 m

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1 thought on “Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Magnum: The Powerful British Sniper Rifle”

  1. I got my AXMC about 10 month back in 308 . 338LM change kit on back order. I’m still waiting for the swap over kit, all going to Ukraine apparently.
    I love the rifle, and have not found a problem with quality or accuracy. Can’t wait for the 338LM kit. Hawx👌🇬🇧

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