Friday, January 1, 2010

Small Arms - Assault Rifles

Small Arms - Assault Rifles
***Updated: Friday, March 19th, 2011***
***The Following is an Excerpt from "Iranian Military Capability 2011"***

KLS (top) and KLF (bottom) (Diomil)
The KL-7 is an Iranian copy of the Chinese Type 56 assault rifle that, like the AK-47 it was based on, emphasizes rugged simplicity and power.

Both the Type 56 and the KL-7 are distinguishable from conventional AK-47 designs in that they have a hooded front sight. KL-7s are distinguishable from Type 56s in that they have ribbed receiver covers.

The KL-7 comes in 3 varieties, the fixed stock KLS, the KLF with an under-folding metal stock and the KLT, with a sideways folding stock. All varieties either have the original wood hand-guard, and if fixed stock, a wooden butt-stock, or in same cases, synthetic furniture. Iran also maintains large stocks of other AK-47 variants acquired over the years. Occasionally one is seen with an M203-styled under-slung grenade launcher.

Note the ribbed receiver and BFA (Borna News)
Specifications: KL-7
Cartridge: 7.62x39 mm
Length: KLS: 890 mm, KLF: 895 mm (655 folded), KLT: 895 mm (690 folded
Weight: KLS: 3.57 kg. KLF: 3.80 kg, 3.60 kg
Muzzle Velocity: 715 m/s
Max Range: 2,000 m
Effective Range: 300 m
ROF: 600 rnd/m
Magazine: 30 round detachable

The G3 is the main battle rifle of the IRIA. It is somewhat an anomaly in modern infantry combat as it is a powerful weapon designed for long range combat but with a small ammunition capacity.

Iran domestically manufactures the G3 with either a fixed stock (G3-A3), or a retractable stock (G3-A4). They are recognizable by olive-green synthetic furniture. A lighter bull-pup model exists, however it appears to have remained a prototype. The same UGL mentioned above is also used on the G3.

Specifications: G3
Cartridge: 7.62x51 mm
IRIN Takavar with G3A4 (Mehr News)
Length: G3A3: 1,025 mm, G3A4: 1,025 mm (840 mm collapsed)
Weight: G3A3: 4.4 kg, G3A4: 4.7 kg
Muzzle Velocity: 800 m/s
Effective Range: 400 m
ROF: 500-600 rnd/m
Magazine: 20 round detachable

Sayyad 5.56
The S.5.56 is a licensed copy of the Chinese CQ rifle, itself a copy of the M-16A1. It is in service with elite units within the IRGC.

It is a 5.56x45 mm weapon based on the M-16A1 with a 20 or 30 round box magazine and two types of rifling that will accept NATO or Chinese rounds depending on the barrel. Visually it's distinguished from the M-16 family by a unique revolver type pistol grip and cylindrical hand guard.

IRGC SF wth S.5.56 (IRNA)

Specifications: S.5.56
Cartridge: 5.56x45 mm
Length: 986 mm
Weight: 3.2 kg
Muzzle Velocity: 990 m/s
Max Range: 2,653 m
Effective Range: 460 m
ROF: 700-950 rnd/m
Magazine: 20 or 30 round detachable

Khaybar KH-2002
1st Generation Khaybar (Diomil)
The KH-2002, or Sama as the newer version is called, is an indigenous Iranian rifle first unveiled in 2004 designed to be a lightweight replacement for the G3 as the main rifle of the Iranian military. It is a bull-pup conversion of the S.5.56 rifle already manufactured by Iran.

Like the S.5.56 it has the same direct impingement action of the M-16A1. It uses both 20 and 30 round magazines. The rifle has a four-position fire-select lever near the rear of the rifle, enabling, single, burst or automatic fire, with the charging handle below the carrying handle. Two different styles of carrying handles exist in the KH-2002 (excluding the later Sama).The first having a CQ-like carrying handle with a separate forward sight assembly (pictured above). The second has a carrying handle that contains rear and forward sights and is more similar to the FAMAS.

There are three lengths determined by barrel size, a 730 mm rifle, a 680 mm carbine and a 780 mm marksmans rifle. The rifle can mount a bayonet, bipod or a variety of optics.

2nd Generation Khaybar (
The 2nd generation of the rifle, the Sama has a few key differences, first is a cosmetic change to charging handle, second is the mounting of several tactical rails on the forward section of the gun. There is also a wind adjustment knob on the rear sight. On the front of the trigger guard, they have added a forward hand support. As with the first model, there are two different types of forward sights, the first type maintains the FAMAS-style with both sights integrated, the second has a forward sight mounted directly to the barrel (pictured).

So far, the rifle has not made any headway into replacing the G3, but it has been deployed with at least one special forces unit, possibly IRGC or a commando unit, probably only for testing. The fact that it has not been deployed widely is evidence of the fact that the rifle was not found to be satisfactory, a fact backed up by low esteem most gun experts have of it.

Specifications: KH-2002
Cartridge: 5.56x45 mm
Length: Short: 680 mm, Middle: 730 mm, Long: 780 mm
Weight: Middle: 730 mm
Muzzle Velocity: 900-950 m/s
Max Range: 2,500 m
Effective Range: 450 m
ROF: 800-850 rnd/m
Magazine: 20 or 30 round detachable


  1. The Khaybar KH-2002 kind of look cool. I bet is better than AK-47/Type-56/KL-7, HK G3, and Sayyad 5.56. The KH-2002 should have the accurate of M16, reliable of AK-47, and high firepower of HK G3. A great combination like that give your own country built assault rifles the best in the world.

  2. can any one out there answer my question, why is it that iran seems to have a multitude of small arms ?
    most armys have 1 or 2 main types EG Germanys G-36, Russia's Kalashnikov, the americans M-16/M4 combination and the british with thier SA-80. I have tried to reason it through and the only things I can think of is =
    1) everything mechanical wears and would there fore requiring new replacement weapons
    2) the the weapons would be issued as they come on line and are available
    3) that the reason for the variety of weapons and calibre's are determined in no small part to commercial considerations, afterall weapons are a lucrative business
    4) that different weapons bring different qualitys to the battlefield as eluded to by Jake lor (see above) the KL-7 is very good in sandy or dusty situations, the G-3 in mountainous or on the flat desert floor where range is needed and the KH-2002 with its short length would be ideal in urban settings.
    while on the subject of the KH-2002 since it fires the same bullet as the Sayyad 5.56 why has'nt it replaced it yet ive only seen it occasionally ?
    If you throw all the other small arms into the mix such as pistols, SMG's etc we end up with a very confused picture, it must be a night mare for an ordanace officer in the logistics corp to keep track of it all, when or is iran going to standardise on 1 or 2 types thus making logistics, training and maintainace easier ?

  3. My understanding is that is comes down to a mix of institutional inertia and an attitude of "if it works, why change it" (not necessarily a bad thing in the grand scheme of things).

    The G3 is, of course, a legacy of the past. I imagine inertia is the biggest force behind its retention. It's already in the Army's stocks, they've got the ammunition, everyone is already trained on it, etc. The AK is used by the Army to a lesser degree, and is limited to commando units, but is certainly isn't present in insignificant numbers by any means.

    The IRGC (and Basij) use a mix of AKs and 5.56 rifles in a similar manner. The AK is deployed in the largest quantities and to conscripts, while the commandos (i.e. Saberin and some others) get smaller numbers of S.5.56 rifles.

    As far as I've heard the Khaybar has been a total flop and no one has ordered any.

    So, what I'm getting at I guess is that the lack of standardization isn't ideal, but it's also not as bad as it might first appear. Each service's supply chain is relatively self-contained, so that the Army and the IRGC only have to worry about two rifle calibers, one of which (7.62x39) is shared between them.

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  5. I have a few questions about KH series do we know the mechanics of the gun is it like CQ and where is the mag relaese.