MANUFACTURER(S): Accuracy International - UK
OPERATORS: Australia; Czech Republic; Germany; Ireland; Malaysia; malta; New Zealand; Portugal; South Korea; Thailand; United Kingdom
ACTION: Manually-Actuated Bolt-Action
CALIBER(S)*: 12.7x99mm NATO
SIGHTS: Optional Optics and Night sights.
Detailing the development and operational history of the Accuracy International AW50 Anti-Materiel Rifle (AMR) / Sniper Rifle.
Entry last updated on 2/4/2019.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The Accuracy International AW50 resides in the same league of heavy battlefield guns that include the well-known American Barrett M82/M107 rifle. These weapon systems are charged with directly engaging armored vehicles, structures or even personnel at distance and delivering a lethal dose of heavy caliber firepower from over a mile away (more in some cases). Despite their large caliber and inherently massive recoil, gunsmiths engineer several key factors into such weapon systems as the AW50 to make them more manageable battlefield instruments. These additions help to suppress or - at the very least - control the violent rearwards/upwards movement between successive shots while also making said weapons safe for the operator to fire. Since 1978, the British firm of Accuracy International has long been in the business of developing its brand of well-known, highly-accurized tactical rifles and the AW50 for the British Army is no exception. The rifle is a relatively new addition to the global anti-materiel rifle line in whole, having begun production in 1999. To many, the AW50 is essentially a scaled-up version of the proven L96A1 sniper rifle, also by Accuracy International.
The AW50 is categorized more precisely as an "anti-materiel rifle" and uses a manually-actuated, bolt-action firing system. This means that the operator ejects the spent shell casing and introduces a fresh round into the firing chamber by manually operating a bolt-lever along the side of the receiver (gun body). The bolt-action returns the fresh cartridge from the spring-loaded magazine and the weapon is made ready to fire as quickly as the operator can manage the bolt. The AW50's accuracy is reportedly out to 1.5 miles and the weapon can be ported into action by a single operator thanks to weight-saving features utilized in her construction. Additionally, the stock can be folded for airborne drops, reducing the weapon's overall length by 10 inches, and no fewer than four sling attachments are provided. Construction of the weapon is such that it is designed to combat the effects of "normal" battlefield abuse, wear-and-tear and general environmental corrosion. The AW50 offers up heavy duty firepower that adds a whole new level of real-time lethality.
The AW50 is chambered to fire the 12.7x99mm NATO standard cartridge (12.7mm .50 BMG) and does so through use of a 5-round detachable steel "straight" box magazine. Cartridges can be armor piercing, explosive-tipped or incendiary in nature, allowing some battlefield flexibility when choosing targets. The entire system weighs in at 30lbs sans scope, accessories and ammunition. Her full running length is equal to 53.3 inches (1,350mm) while her barrel measures in at 27 inches (690mm). Optics are optional and fitted to a top-mounted accessories rail. Additional accessories can be fitted along the sides of the forestock. A bipod is provided and completely adjustable while effective range is listed out to 1,500 meters.
The Accuracy International AW50 is imposing despite her relatively conventional design and layout. She fields an integrated, folding stock design exclusively to combat the abusive nation of consistent field use and features a rear-mounted "leg" system for improved stability during long observation periods. The butt pad is spring-loaded for additional recoil suppression and comfort. The pistol grip with its oblong trigger guard (featuring a fully-adjustable, two-stage trigger system) is set under the flat-sided, full-length aluminum receiver to which is mounted the optional optics along the top Mil Standard 1913 rail machined accessories system. The bolt-handle sits above the pistol group and there is a two-position safety device. The large magazine box inserts just ahead of the pistol grip and ahead of the magazine feed is the mounting for the bipod, which can collapse rearward against the underside of the forend. The aft end of the barrel sits atop the forend grip and is encased in polymer to which accessory rails can be seen along its sides. The large, thick heavy match grade free-floating barrel protrudes a distance ahead of the receiver and is capped by a large double-baffled muzzle brake - the latter reducing recoil and muzzle flash. Using the supplied barrel change kit, a trained operator can change the AW50 barrel within ten minutes. Ergonomics have been integrated throughout the AW50 for smoother handling. With its low-visibility green and black finish, large caliber ammunition and unassisted, highly accurate firing action - the AW50 is second to none.
According to the official product information details, Accuracy International assures its prospective buyers that each AW50 is factory-tested before delivery to ensure an excellent product from the first shot to the last. The AW50 has already seen combat actions in both Iraq and Afghanistan in the trained hands of Australian and British army personnel.