Here are Top 10 Sniper Rifles in the World. Sniper rifles are useful not just against human targets but are used to destroy communications equipment, vulnerable supply targets and even disable armored vehicles.
The Barrett M82’s big .50 caliber round is particularly useful in this regard, as it only drops below supersonic speeds at 1,700 yards while still hitting with the force of 1,800-foot-pounds.
1) Barrett M82 Sniper Rifle (United States)
The Barrett M82 is a semi-automatic anti-material rifle, designed and developed by Barrett Firearms Manufacturing company. The Barrett M82 is chambered for powerful 12.7×99 mm (.50 BMG) ammunition. This ammunition was originally developed for and used in Browning M2 heavy machine gun. Sometimes the Barrett M82 is referred to as “Light Fifty” for its cartridge.This weapon has a unique recoil reduction mechanism. The muzzle brake is said to absorb 70% of the recoil. It reduces the forces acting on internal mechanisms and the shooter. This weapon is fed from 10-round detachable magazines. The unit cost of the rifle is around $8 900.
2) M40A5 Sniper Rifle (United States)
The M40A5 is the latest in a long line of M40 sniper rifles used by the U.S. Marine Corps. The M40 series is a highly modified Remington 700 hunting rifle, chambered in .308 Winchester/7.62x51mm NATO. The A5 model comes equipped with a custom, 1–12 twist twenty-five-inch Schneider barrel. The action and barrel are mated to a McMillan A4 stock. The rifle is topped off with a Schmidt and Bender Police Marksman II 4-16x50mm rifle scope on a thirty minute-of-angle base designed to stretch the legs of the .308 round to a maximum 1,000 yards.
3) Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Magnum (United Kingdom)
The sniper rifle of the UK Armed Forces, the L115A3 sniper rifle in use by the British Army, Royal Air Force, and Royal Marines. The L115A3 is an adaptation of the Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Super Magnum rifle. Like the M40 and M24, the L115A3 is a bolt action rifle, but unlike the American rifles, it is chambered in .338 Lapua with a five-round box magazine. The rifle optic is a Schmidt and Bender 5-25x56mm scope. Sniper rifles need to shoot great distances to kill targets that believe themselves invulnerable to enemy fire. The heavier .338 Lapua round gives the L115A3 a maximum range of 1,600 yards, 60 percent greater than the .308 round of the M24 and M40A5. This was used to great effect in 2009, when a British Army sniper serving with the Household Cavalry Regiment neutralized a Taliban machine gun position at 2,700 yards with his L115A3. Cpl. Craig Harrison took three shots, fatally wounding two Taliban fighters and destroying their PKM machine gun.
4) M24 Sniper Weapons System
The U.S. Army’s M24 Sniper Weapons System (SWS) dates back to 1988 when it replaced the older M21 sniper rifle. Like the M40 series, a the M24 is based on the commercial Remington 700 hunting rifle and chambered in .308 Winchester/7.62x51mm NATO. The M24 features a custom-made twenty-four-inch Remington barrel and uses a Leupold Mark IV M3 fixed 10x scope.
Another common feature of a sniper rifle is a so-called free floating barrel. A free floating barrel is a barrel that, with the exception of where the barrel mates up to the rifle action, does not make any other contact with the stock. This prevents unwanted pressure, which may affect accuracy, from being put on the rifle. The M24’s barrel is fully free-floated and minimally touches the HS Precision stock.
5) Zijiang M99 Sniper Rifle
The standard heavy sniper rifle of the People’s Liberation Army, the Zijiang M99 is a semi-automatic rifle similar to the Barrett M82. The M99 differs in being chambered for the 12.7x108mm Soviet cartridge and using a gas impingement operating system similar to that used by the M16 and M4 carbine family of weapons. The twenty-six-pound rifle takes a ten-round magazine and is reportedly capable of accuracy to within 1.6 minutes of angle.
Sniper rifles are a choice weapon for insurgents and guerrillas, as they are a natural asymmetric weapon against conventional forces. The M99 sniper rifle has mysteriously shown up in the hands of rebels in the Syrian Civil War, where it has proven effective against Syrian Arab Army forces. The weapons are thought to have come from Sudan by way of Qatar.
6) Dragunov SVD (Soviet Union):
This one is a strong and reliable sniper rifle developed in the Soviet Union. It was initially designed in 1958 and has been in service since 1963. The Dragunov SVD is a semi-automatic, 10-round detachable box sniper rifle with a barrel length of 620 mm. Plus, it has a short-stroke gas-piston system. The Dragunov SVD was originally designed as a squad support weapon.
7) PSG1 (German):
The PSGI is a German sniper rifle designed by Heckler & Koch, the German company. The origin of the rifle has its roots in the horrible memory of the Munich massacre of 1972. This was when Heckler & Koch was given the responsibility of manufacturing a high accuracy, semi-automatic rifle for military and police. Heckler & Koch came up with PSGI in 1972 that has been in use ever since. This is a semi-automatic sniper rifle with a large magazine capacity.
8) SIG SSG 3000 (Germany / Switzerland)
The SIG Scharfschutzengewehr 3000, or SSG 3000, is a sniper rifle. Even though it looks like a hunting rifle, it is a combat oriented weapon. The SSG 3000 is a bolt-action weapon, chambered for standard NATO 7.62×51 mm (.308 Winchester) ammunition. This sniper rifle comes with 457 mm (18″) or 597 mm (23.5″) barrel. Look of the SSG 3000 changed throughout its production run due to a new stock. The shape of the stock is similar, though updated model has some minor differences. This sniper rifle was designed to withstand hard use. This weapon made its name for its high quality, durability an excellent accuracy.
9) Steyr SSG 69 (Austria)
The Steyr Scharfschutzengewehr 69, or SSG 69 is an Austrian sniper rifle. The Steyr SSG 69 is a bolt-action weapon. It is chambered for a standard NATO 7.62×51 mm (.308 Winchester) cartridge. At the time of its introduction in the late 1960s, this weapon was different than most contemporary sniper rifles. Design of the SSG 69 was rather unique. Some of its features were cutting-edge back in the late 1960s. It used synthetic materials for lightweight and cold hammer-forged barrels for durability. Also, it had a detachable magazine of unusual design. The SSG 69 sniper rifle is relatively compact. It comes with a 650 mm (25.6″) barrel. Furthermore it a very light rifle. Modern equivalents with similar performance weigh nearly twice as much. Also, the Austrian SSG 69 proved to be a reliable and durable design.
10) Accuracy International Arctic Warfare 50 (United Kingdom)
The Arctic Warfare 50, or AW50, is a .50 caliber bolt-action anti-material and the sniper rifle of British origin. It is manufactured by Accuracy International. This rifle has an effective range of 1 500 m. A wide range of targets such as vehicles, boats, and fortifications can be penetrated using the AW50. The standard 12.7×99 mm round (.50 BMG) has a penetrator with both high explosive and incendiary effect. The rifle can be used to disable vehicles and stationary aircraft by shooting at specific places such as their engines. The rifle is also suitable for counter sniper operations at standoff range and clearing IEDs and mines from distance. The Arcric Warfare 50 can host a wide range of sights, such as SuB 3-12×50 MKII, Simrad KN series and Hensoldt NSV 80, and equipment due to its standard Picatinny-type sight rail.