Steyr AMR 5075: An Anti-materiel rifle from early 1990s

Steyr AMR 5075 in action
Steyr AMR 5075 in action (Photo: Steyr)

Steyr AMR 5075 is an anti-materiel rifle produced in the early 1990s. It will be recalled that the 1980s saw a sudden interest in the development of heavy sniping rifles, primarily intended for the destruction of vulnerable high-technology equipment. Unfortunately, the word “sniping” suggests anti-personnel shooting, which gave many people a completely wrong idea about the function of these weapons. Steyr-Mannlicher avoided this by carefully calling the Steyr AMR 5075 an “anti-materiel” rifle.

Design

The Steyr AMR 5075 is a heavyweight precision rifle for a long-range attack of vulnerable equipment. It uses the long recoil system of operation; barrel and bolt recoil locked together for almost ten inches, after which the bolt is unlocked and held while the barrel runs back to the forward position. The bolt is then released to run forward, collect a cartridge, load it, and lock into the chamber by rotating.

Steyr AMR 5075 anti-materiel rifle
Steyr AMR 5075 anti-materiel rifle

This long recoil movement helps absorb some of the recoil force; more is absorbed by a multi-baffle muzzle brake of high efficiency. The entire barrel recoils inside a sleeve-type hydro-pneumatic recoils system is more like the sort of thing found on artillery weapons than anything generally associated with rifles. All these reduction methods cut the felt recoil to a level that is little more than a conventional service rifle.

Ammunition

This is necessary because the cartridge is a compelling design. Instead of building the weapon around an existing cartridge, Steyr designed the cartridge to do what was wanted and then designed the weapon to suit. The cartridge case is of part-plastic construction and carries a 36-gram (1.25 ounce) tungsten flechette, with a muzzle velocity of 4920 ft/sec (1500 m/sec) and an effective range of up to 2000 meters, depending upon the type of target. At 800 meters range, this flechette has penetrated 40 mm of rolled steel armor and then shattered behind the plate to give severe fragmentation damage.

Additional equipment

The Steyr AMR 5075 is supported on a bipod, attached to the reoil cradle, and a 10-power telescope sight is fitted as standard. A box magazine is inserted from the right side; this held five rounds on the prototype, but an eight-round magazine has since been developed. Other options for the future are automatic fire at a low rate and the adoption of a rifled barrel to take advantage of other ammunition designs.

Steyr AMR 5075
Steyr AMR 5075 (Photo: Steyr)

Usage

The Steyr AMR 5075 was first shown publicly in 1990; this, unfortunately, this was just when severe economies were beginning to be felt in the military world, and though a great deal of interest was expressed, no army has so far decided to adopt the weapon. Meanwhile, Steyr continues refining it, and we may be sure that we have to hear the last of this potent design.

Technical specifications

Manufacturer: Steyr-Mannlicher GmbH, Steyr, Austria
Type:  long recoil, semi-automatic
Caliber: 14.5 mm Special
Barrel: 47.25 in (1200 mm) smoothbore
Weight: 44 lbs (20 kg) approximately
Magazine capacity: 5 rounds
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