The Tabuk DMR, produced by Al-Qadissiya Establishments of Iraq, is classified as a "Designated Marksman Rifle" (abbreviated as "DMR"). The Designated Marksman is a specialized member of the rifle platoon that is armed with a long-range, semi-automatic weapon firing a full-power, rifle-caliber cartridge (usually 7.62mm or greater). As such, the DMR supplies accurate, ranged repeat firepower against general targets at the squad level. This differs from the role of a "true" sniper element in that snipers are generally specially trained to engage high-value targets and generally operate within the scope of small teams in-the-field - and often armed with a reliable manual bolt-action weapon with a modest ammunition supply. The DMR, however, fights alongside his infantry squad - which can be outfitted a variety of small-caliber short-to-medium-range weaponry including carbines, automatic service rifles and squad support machine guns - the DMR acting as a fire support solution for medium-to-long range targets.
Al-Qadissiya Establishments, based in north of the capital city of Bagdad, took to producing the Tabuk automatic rifle on machinery purchased under Saddam Hussein's tenure from the former Yugoslavia ruled under then-president Slobodan Milosevic. Yugoslavia itself was already producing license-production copies of proven Soviet originated systems since the post-World War 2 years under communist rule. The country did so with the Zastava M70 automatic rifle series of 1970, this design based on the Soviet RPK light machine gun. As a result, the Tabuk was, in essence, a modified and and indirect form of the Soviet RPK b way of the Yugoslavian M70 and first appeared in the 1980's for the Iraq Army, subsequently seeing combat action in the Iran-Iraq War, the 1991 Persian Gul War and the 2003 American invasion of Iraq. Unlike its Soviet-based contemporaries which chamber the 7.62x54R cartridge, the Tabuk makes use of the 7.62x39mm Kalashnikov cartridge.
Outwardly, the Tabuk retains most of what makes a weapon a "Kalashnikov" by Western standards. Along with the curved detachable box magazine box there is extensive wood furniture presented. The only visible exceptions to the Tabuk design are the longer barrel, which is capped with a muzzle brake, the optional optics and a skeletal shoulder stock with integrated cheekpiece. The shoulder stock supplies not only stability when firing but the cut-out nature of the design makes for a lighter weapon as well as adding an ad hoc carrying handle. As with the RPK before it, the Tabuk retains the stamped-steel metal receiver and sports a simple two-mode fire selector switch for "Safe" and "Fire" (firing is purposely limited to semi-automatic as a full-automatic mode would cause considerable wear to the new, longer barrel). The barrel itself is 23.6 inches in overall length and benefits the Tabuk by supplying a high muzzle velocity as compared to a base AKM assault rifle, in effect leading to improved accuracy which is required of a DMR. The firing action is the proven Kalashnikov long-stroke gas-operated system utilizing a rotating bolt function. Standard sights include an RPK-style rear tangent adjustable fitting and an AK-style adjustable forward post. Spent cartridge casings are ejected through the extraction port along the right side of the receiver. Optics are, of course, optional but almost always utilized for the DMR role, mounted along a rail featured over the receiver. Scope options include a variety of Eastern Bloc types that work well with the inherent ballistics of the 7.62x39mm cartridge. A fully-loaded Tabuk (with scope in place) weighs in at just under 10lbs with an overall length of 43.7 inches. Feeding of the weapon is from a standardized 10- or 20-round detachable box magazine (retaining its true Kalashnikov curved form). The use of Kalashnikov-based ammunition also means that the Tabuk can operate healthily from the hearty supplies of AK-ammunition found across the Middle East theater.
In practice, the Tabuk has proven an effective and reliable weapon no doubt thanks to its Kalashnikov origins. The rifle is extremely accurate and proven in the required medium ranges inherent in urban warfare, particularly when coupled with the proper ammunition and optics. It is no surprise that reliability is on par with its previous Kalashnikov brethren and its association to the AK family line of weapons also means little training is required in the maintenance and operation of the Tabuk. Kalashnikov weapons are world-renowned for their simplicity and reliability as well as quantitative availability - making them the firearm of choice for many-a-rebel fighter the world over. The semi-automatic fire action from high-count magazines provides tactical flexibility for the standard infantry squad. Where the Tabuk falls behind is in the poor exterior ballistics of its 7.62x39mm round, leading to a less-than-stellar penetration value beyond medium range especially when facing off against an armored target. Beyond that, it is a solid indigenous effort on the part of Iraqi military industry.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Features a mechanical function to automate the firing action.
✓Accuracy / Precision
Long-range accuracy / precision capable; suitable for sniping, particularly when equipped with sighting aids.
1,109 mm 43.66 in
599 mm 23.58 in
8.27 lb 3.75 kg
Adjustable Rear Tangent; Adjustable Front Post.
Kalashnikov Long-Stroke Gas System; Rotating Bolt
System utilizes internal mechanism to lock the breech or rear barrel assembly prior to firing.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)
Rounds / Feed
10- or 20-Round Detachable Box Magazine
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources. **Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
1,640 ft (500 m | 547 yd)
2,427 ft/sec (740 m/sec)
Tabuk Assault Rifle - Copies of the Soviet AKM series; available in 5.56mm and 7.62mm versions; solid or folding skeleton "short-butt" models.
Tabuk DMR - Base Series Designation for the Designated Marksman Rifle.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.
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