Monday we posted a name that gun (Which Gunmart reblogged to his readers also. Thank you)
The Gepard M1 is a long range anti-materiel rifle.
Weight: 17.5 kg / 38.6 lbs.
Length: 1,570 mm / 61.8”
Barrel length: 1,100 mm / 43.3”
Action: Single shot
Caliber: 12.7×108, .50BMG
Effective range: 2000+ Meters
This weapon was designed in the late 1980s and was first used in service in 1990 by Hungarian army for destroying armored targets using heavy AP (armor piercing) rounds.
The weapon loads by turning the pistol grip up allowing for the operator to load a single round into the breech (The grip does not need to be fully removed to reload). The reason behind the single shot action was to reduce the number of moving parts to allow for extreme precision marksmanship.
Due to the heavy weight that the M1 has, the Hungarian snipers were instructed to leave the weapon if they had to retreat quickly and to only save the grip assembly rendering the gun useless.
“Due to the considerable size and weight of anti-materiel rifles and other support equipment, sniper cells operating in 2- or 3-man or larger teams become a necessity. The recoil produced by the employed cartridges dictates that these rifles are designed to be fired from the prone position. Bipods and monopods and muzzle brakes are used as accessories to employ these rifles as comfortably and accurately as possible. Firing several 12.7x99mm NATO, 12.7x108mm Russian, or larger calibers from the (unsupported) standing position or in a kneeling position would be very uncomfortable for the operator.”
Design considerations were:
”1. The 12.7x107mm cartridges muzzle energy is about 5 times more than the 7.62mm’s. The shooter cannot handle this without a muzzle compensator.
2. To efficiently use the cartridge’s energy, the barrel needs to be at least 1100mm long. (Muzzle velocity 850m/s). A conventional buttstock would increase the length to 1600mm [63″], too long for efficient battle handling. The rifle needs to be redesigned in ‘bull-pup’ style and/or collapsible stock or carried disassembled with quick field assembly possibility.
3. The rifle is too heavy to use without a bipod or tripod.
4. During firing while the bullet travels in the barrel the rifle moves backwards about 6-8mm. If this movement not purely axial, the accuracy will suffer. The rifle’s muzzle end has a tendency to jump up when the bullet leaves the barrel. If the muzzle jumps within the gas-reaction-zone, (200mm in front of the barrel for this caliber), the accuracy will suffer.
Overall the rifle’s recoil must not be larger than the Dragunov SVD Sniper’s, the accuracy and effective distance must be significantly better than the SVD’s, the rifle length must be less than 1500mm [59″] and lighter than 16kg. Two different design are necessary, one for the single shot version, the other for the semi-automatic rifle.
The following energy-amortization was considered in the design: The barrel is allowed to slide axially back 100mm against a spring force. This increases accuracy over fixed barrels and decreases gun recoil. A spring-loaded buttstock located in-line with the barrel also decreases the recoil. A muzzle break can be designed and installed to compensate for the remaining recoil.”
(MANOWAR’S Hungarian weapons and history)
[Special thanks to Rifle Scope Guy for correctly answering.]