A bipod-mounted RT-20
|Type||Bullpup anti-materiel rifle|
|Place of origin||Croatia|
|Used by||See Users|
|Weight||19.8 kg (43.7 lb) (with scope and bipod)|
|Length||1,330 mm (52.4 in)|
|Barrel length||1,020 mm (40.2 in) (with muzzle brake)|
|Muzzle velocity||850 m/s (2,789 ft/s)|
|Feed system||Single shot, Manual Load|
|Sights||Kahles K 312 II 3-12×50|
The RT-20 is a Croatian anti-materiel sniper rifle developed by Metallic in Rijeka in the mid-1990s and marketed by RH-Alan. It was developed to shoot the thermal sights on Serbian M-84 and T-72 tanks. The name itself is actually an acronym of the Croatian word Ručni Top 20, or "Handheld Cannon 20mm". Operating with a bolt action, it houses a single 20mm round and must be reloaded after each shot. Given its large caliber, it is one of the most powerful anti-materiel rifles currently in use by any country and is comparable to the South African Denel NTW-20 and the Indian Vidhwansak, with the difference being that the RT-20 is recoilless.
A unique feature of the weapon is the counter-recoil reactive tube or the back blast above the barrel. This tube funnels gasses from the cartridge out the back end, similar to that of a recoilless rifle or rocket launcher.
This system is seldom used in small arms and comes with its disadvantages. It can not be fired in confined spaces, for example with things, such as walls, in close proximity to the rear. Another possible disadvantage would be that the gases from the back-blast can be detected by the enemy and the sniper's hiding position would so be compromised.
In the RT-20 however these negative effects proved to be not as relevant as in an anti-tank weapon, as in its case the portion of gas funneled through the venturi tube is far less than what will exit from the muzzle.
Another characteristic that differs RT-20 from other heavy sniper rifles is that both optics and bolt lever are positioned on the left side of the rifle itself. It is also important to note that the maximum effective range of the RT-20 depends on the nature of the target.
Chambering 20x110mm Hispano, the rifle fires a 130 gram (2,006 grains) projectile at a muzzle velocity of 850 m/s, producing a massive muzzle energy of 46,962.5 J. In other words, it can penetrate the armour of any modern day APC at ranges out to 800 metres.
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