Steyr HS .50
|Steyr HS .50|
Steyr HS .50
|Place of origin||Austria|
|Used by||See Users|
HS .50 M1
|Specifications (HS .50)|
|Weight||12.4 kg (28.5 lbs)|
|Length||1,370 mm (54 inches)|
|Barrel length||833 mm (33 inches)|
|Effective firing range||1500 m|
|Feed system||Single shot|
Design and features
The Steyr HS .50 is a single-shot bolt action rifle. It has a built-in magazine (on the right side of the gun) so each round has to be loaded directly into the ejection port and is pushed into the chamber by the bolt. The fluted barrel is cold hammer forged and provides excellent accuracy at an effective range up to 1,500 m. It has an adjustable bi-pod, a highly efficient muzzle brake which reduces recoil substantially to increase shooting comfort and a Picatinny rail for installation of various optics.
However due to customer demand, a recent change to the HS .50 has included a 5 round detachable magazine that can be inserted on the left hand side of the rifle much similar to the Denel NTW-20
The rifle is also available in the proprietary .460 Steyr round, developed for markets where ownership of the .50 BMG by private citizens is banned, but .46 rounds are not, such as California. The .460 caliber version is known as the HS .460.
HS .50 M1
The HS .50 M1 is an evolution of the HS .50. The biggest differences are: it is magazine fed from a five-round magazine feeding horizontally left from the receiver, has a longer top Picatinny rail and more Picatinny rails on the side, an adjustable cheekpiece, a newly designed fixable bipod, and a monopod at the buttstock.
The rifle made headlines when Steyr sold up to 800 rifles to Iran in 2005 via a businessman and crude oil trader Navid Khiabani. There was a large amount of concern in the United States, United Kingdom, and to a lesser extent, other European countries that the rifles would find their way into Iraq and be used against the Iraqi Army or Coalition forces. Nevertheless, the sale was approved by the Austrian government in November 2004, citing Iran's declared intention to deploy the weapon with anti-terror and counter-drug units.
In February 2007, The Daily Telegraph claimed that American forces had recovered more than 100 of the rifles from Iraqi insurgents and that within 45 days of the delivery of the rifles to Iran, an American soldier was killed by one of the weapons. However, Steyr CEO Franz Holzschuh said that they had not been contacted to verify if the weapons in question really were part of the Iranian shipment, and noted that patents for the HS .50 ran out years ago, and copies were produced in several countries.
- Argentina
- Cameroon
- Palestine: Used by Hamas and other groups in Gaza.
- Iran: A quantity of 800 rifles was purchased in 2006.
- Mexico: Used by the Corp of Mexican Army Special Forces.
- Russia: Used by police forces and special forces.
- Syria: Used by Syrian armed forces.
- "Iraqi insurgents using Austrian rifles from Iran", The Daily Telegraph, February 13, 2007.
- "US-Soldaten finden österreichische Waffen", Spiegel online, February 13, 2007.
- "A Smoking Gun from the Alps", Spiegel online, February 14, 2007
- Mathé, Alexander U. "Doch keine Austro-Waffen im Irak" (German), Wiener Zeitung, March 29, 2007.[dead link]
- Iraqi insurgents using Austrian rifles from Iran - Telegraph
- Lenta.ru: Наука и техника: Спецподразделения МВД вооружатся австрийскими пистолетами (Russian)
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