Russian troops will soon receive a new sniper rifle: the Orsis T-5000. For the first time in many years, Russian engineers have successfully built a rifle that can compete with, and in some cases surpass, foreign counterparts. Our correspondent Ilya Davidov takes aim. In order to hit a target from more than a kilometer away, the sharpness of the eye and the steadiness of the hand is not enough. A very accurate weapon is needed. Until now, the arsenal of Russian snipers consisted mostly of the self-loading Dragunov (SVD) rifle, which has a range of no more than 350 meters. The new rifle enables sniping at distances that are well beyond the range of the enemy.
“The SVD’s range required the sniper to get close to the enemy, which brought him within range of the enemy’s assault rifles and machine guns. This new rifle will allow the sniper to shoot the enemy at such a range, that the enemy won’t even know where the shot came from, let alone return fire”, stated Aleksei Sorokin, the CEO of the company that built the rifle. To aid the sniper, the rifle uses a very accurate round, has a tight-fitting bolt, and a perfectly rifled barrel, with the deviation from the axis being no more than 3 microns. Cutting this type of half a meter hole through a steel bar can only be accomplished in two or three factories in the entire world.
“The machine rotates the barrel as it’s being cut, which takes 2.5 hours. Microns are removed in order to not disrupt the structure of the steel and in order to not create any tensions within the bore”, stated Dmitry Ignatov, the company’s director of production. High-precision weapons require ultra-pure steel, which can only be purchased abroad, as metal of this quality is not produced in Russia, and neither is the machinery used to build it. However, due to the ease of construction and simplicity of the weapon, the engineers managed to create a rifle that is twice as cheap as foreign counterparts.
The Orsis T-5000 is one of the lightest sniper rifles, with a weight of 7 kg 100 g, and is also one of the most compact thanks to the folding stock. However, the most important feature of the weapon is its accuracy at distances of over 1 km, with grouping of less than 25 cm, in trained hands, of course. At such distances, even optics won’t help a novice, so it’s not surprising that I missed. Professionals shoot without missing.
Dmitry Demizorov, a veteran of the FSB special forces, owns some of the best small arms in the world. He used his experience to create a new sniper rifle for the Russian army. “Initially, the Orsis T-5000 was created on account of flaws that I found in the Western rifles that I own. Therefore, whatever flaws there are with today’s sniper weapons, they have already been addressed,” stated Dmitry Semizorov, a leading expert in precision shooting. The rifle received excellent scores during testing. As for ammunition, there is a bit of a problem, as Russian snipers must use foreign ammunition. However, the designers are confident that the adoption of the rifle into Russian service will inspire other defense companies in Russia to raise their bar for quality.