The strategic placement of Cuba in Caribbean waters has always made it a target of foreign world powers forcing upon it a history of political upheaval and military intervention. The Mambisis became a guerilla group of Cuba formed to combat Spanish rule during the Ten Years War (1868-1878) and continued fighting in the War of Independence that followed. To honor their exploits and sacrifice, the Mambi Anti-Material Rifle (AMR) - a rare large-caliber offering from the island nation - was given their name. The rifle was manufactured by Union de la Industria Militar.
Rarely witnessed beyond Cuban shores, the Mambi has been shrouded in a natural veil of secrecy. Some determinations can be made about the system, however, as it appears an anti-material heavy rifle through-and-through firing the Soviet 14.5x114mm cartridge through a gas-operated action. Feeding is by way of a 5-round detachable box magazine and the rifle's general configuration is of a bullpup - the feed and action contained in an oversized stock aft of the pistol grip and trigger unit. The magazine is inserted top-down into the stock while under the stock is a curved shoulder support. The pistol grip sits under the gun body at center with a folding bipod midway from the grip to the muzzle. The muzzle is capped with a massive brake assembly due to the violent recoil effects at play. A carrying handle facilitates transport of this large weapon system (83 inches long with 47 inch long barrel assembly) and this is featured over the receiver ahead of the magazine feed.
As the Mambi carries no integrated iron sights, the operator must rely on an optics fit set over the receiver in the traditional way. Maximum firing ranges can reach 3,000 meters with effective ranges closer to 2,000 meters. Muzzle velocity reaches 3,655 feet per second. Firing is from a prone position, again, due to the recoil effects (and weight) of the weapon.
The rifle is believed to have been introduced during the 1980s. It has seen combat action in the South African Border War (1966-1990) as well as the Angolan Civil War (1975-2002) in which Cuba elements participated in. Beyond that, its reach has been limited and its performance in-the-field largely unknown. Still, the Mambi remains an intriguing anti-material solution from a country rarely recognized as a firearms producer.