Sniper rifle – YALGUZAG
Throughout the ten years of its activity, the Ministry of Defence Industry of the Republic of Azerbaijan has been the supplier of choice for a significant portion of the firearms, spare parts and ammunition requirements of the Armed Forces and Law Enforcement Agencies in Azerbaijan. The munitions experts of the Ministry of Defence Industry have been remarkably successful in designing and manufacturing new weapons in a short time span and the range of weapons they have developed is expanding from year to year.
Of particular interest among the firearms developed by the Azerbaijan MDI engineers are their sniper rifles. With the successful debut of the anti-material Istiglal (IST-14.5) sniper rifle in 2008, the Ministry of Defence Industry has since complemented the Istiglal series with other weapons – the 12.7x 108mm (or .50 cal) Mubariz, the 7.62x51mm (or .308 Win) Yalguzag and the 7.62x54mm Yirtiji sniper rifles.
In bench testing and field trials, the Yalguzag proved itself by successfully meeting or exceeding the requirements for accuracy, ergonomics, performance and reliability.
The bolt action (a type of firearm action in which the weapon’s bolt is operated manually) Yalguzag sniper rifle can be used in different operating conditions of 93-97% relative humidity, 50 degrees above and below zero, in rainy, dusty and snowy weather conditions. Its components are made of heavy-duty aluminium alloy. The rifle, which weighs 7.1 kg when empty (unloaded), is equipped with a magazine which holds up to 10 cartridges/bullets and its firing rate is 10-15 rounds per minute. During testing, high precision acquisition of targets in the 1000- meter range was recorded.
According to experts, the Yalguzag rifle, which was very thoroughly designed and developed, is among the weapons which can compete with sniper rifles of the last 10 years that are popular in their class for their tactical and technical characteristics, and even has advantages over the above-mentioned competitors for some indicators.
To facilitate targeting during shooting, the folding buttstock has adjustable side and rear parts. The buttstock and the cheek pad are adjustable to accommodate different body sizes. Moreover, the buttstock may be folded to the left during battle marching. Folding of the buttstock facilitates the carriage of the weapon and the weapon can also be fired with the buttstock folded. While some manufactures fold the buttstock to the right in their sniper rifles, as the breech-block can be dropped while on the move, or during a parachute jump, this creates difficulties or prevents the weapon from firing with the buttstock folded. However, the Yalguzag’s design eliminates the possibility of dropping the breech-block out of its place while on the move or as a result of a hit, and can therefore employ a right folding buttstock.
Considering all the above factors, the Yalguzag is an ideal choice for Special Forces and airborne units in terms of comfort of carriage, ergonomics and performance. The total length of this sniper rifle is 1170mm and the length of its barrel is 660mm, while the length of the rifle with the buttstock folded is 950mm. The optical sight length can be adjusted up to 75mm to fit the shooter’s anatomy. The bipod in the front part of the rifle and the folding prop under the buttstock play an important role in ensuring high accuracy while shooting. When the shooter is in a standing position shots can be made by folding the legs of the bipod. The rigid legs do not vibrate during shooting. The pistol grip of the rifle is made of composite material and moulded in order to better conform to the hands of the shooter. New technology applied in the rifle has led to maximum reduction of recoil, which affords the shooter more time to fire the next shot.
For the first time in the military industry of Azerbaijan, a trigger adjustment mechanism has been applied to a sniper rifle in the Yalguzag. This feature allows for pre-set pressure and distance adjustment of the triggering mechanism for ease of firing. The locking mechanism of the rifle has a special design (consisting of only 3 components) that allows for quick maintenance and /or replacement.
The rifle barrel is slotted in order to create additional stiffness, reduce weight and facilitate cooling. Where the barrel meets the frame of the rifle, there is a new device – a barrel mounted shroud. The open sections on the sides of this shroud provide additional cooling to the barrel during firing, which in turn increases the durability and service life of the barrel. Cooling of the barrel using barrel slots and a smart air flow function can be regarded as a triumph of the Azerbaijani weapon engineers. As noted above, this approach decreases barrel weight and cooling time, improves the service life of the rifle, and finally increases the quality and precise firing function of the firearm. One of the important features of the weapon is NATO-Compatible MIL-STD-1913 rails (Picatinny rails) for mounting telescopic sights and other accessories. The sniper rifle is offered in a base version, while for export it is fitted with a STON optical sight produced in the ALOV plant of the Ministry of Defence Industry. In addition to the optical sights the fixed iron sights allow precise shooting up to 600 meters.
An improved interchangeable multi-chambered muzzle brake (or recoil compensator) is fitted to the Yalguzag sniper rifle. The Yalguzag can also be equipped with a silencer produced in different countries, as and when required during military operations.