The Cold War-era American M14 semi-automatic rifle forms the basis for the modern Israeli M89SR sniper system. The weapon has its roots in the earlier Sardius M36 Sniper Weapon System (SWS) introduced during the 1980s and is also chambered for the ubiquitous 7.62x51mm NATO rifle cartridge - a proven man-stopper at range. One of the key changes in the M36/M89SR over that of the M14 is its bullpup arrangement which sees the action and feeding mechanism set behind the trigger group, resulting in a shorter overall weapon still able to utilize a full-length barrel assembly without sacrificing accuracy.
In its current form, the weapon was developed by Technical Consultants International (TCI) of Tel Aviv, Israel. As the Sardius M36, the weapon has financial trouble finding a foothold as a replacement for the aging M14 in Israeli service, eventually leading to the company's demise. When the license fell to TCI, it was reborn as the M89SR (SR = Sniper Rifle) with changes added to better suit the modern battlefield.
Overall weight reaches 4.5 kilograms and overall length is 850mm. The barrel measures 560mm long. The action is centered on the tried-and-true gas-operated system with a rotating bolt mechanism. Muzzle velocity reaches 2,810 feet-per-second and range (effective) is out to 1,000 meters. Feeding is by way of a 10- or 20-round detachable box magazine. Iron sights are not fitted to the weapon by default - instead the operator has his/her choice of optics set to install to suit personal tastes and mission needs. The stock is of lightweight carbon fiber, making the firearm lighter than others of its class. A sound suppressor is optional for more clandestine work.
Due to its 7.62mm caliber and its semi-automatic action, the M89SR is more akin to a Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) than true manually-actuated, bolt-action rifle system. As such, it can be issued at the infantry-level to supply intra-squad support where accurate ranged fire is needed without calling on the services of a dedicated sniper team. The repeat-fire nature of the weapon also can be used in the fire suppression role if needed.
To date, the M89SR has seen active use in limited numbers by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) including special operations forces.