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Analysis: precision rifles in use within Russian forces

According to a Telegram post from Военный Осведомитель (Military Informant) dated July 24, 2023, we were able to see a whole range of weapons in use within the Russian forces, particularly among the VDV snipers. This presents a good opportunity to learn more about some equipment such as the Steyr SSG 08, the BespokeGun Raptor, and the Cadex Defense CDX-33.
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Raptor Tactical and CDX-33 Precision Rifle in stock of Russian Army (Picture source: Telegram account of Военный Осведомитель )

Several weapons of diverse origins are found within the Russian forces, and precision rifles are a significant component of their ground forces. It's an ideal occasion to delve deeper into these said weapons.

Steyr SSG 08:

The Steyr SSG 08 is a precision rifle originating from Austria, renowned for its accuracy and reliability. Produced by the firearms manufacturer Steyr Mannlicher, the SSG 08 has been in service since 2008 and remains a popular choice for military and police elite units, as well as civilian shooters worldwide.

The Steyr SSG 08 features a robust and ergonomic design, ensuring comfort and ease of use for the shooter. The rifle is available in several variants, with the SSG 08 M1 model being a notable option. This flexibility allows users to select the configuration that best suits their operational needs and preferences.

The SSG 08 is available in different calibers, allowing the use of various types of ammunition such as .243 Winchester, .308 Winchester, .300 Winchester Magnum, and .338 Lapua Magnum. The choice of cartridges caters to different operational scenarios, providing options for long-range precision shooting or tactical engagements. The weight of the rifle varies depending on the caliber and accessories. In .308 Winchester caliber and without additional accessories, it weighs approximately 12.125 pounds (5.5 kg). However, if equipped with the .338 Lapua Magnum caliber, the empty weight increases to about 13.25 pounds (6.01 kg).

The Steyr SSG 08 offers three different barrel lengths, each providing distinct advantages. The 20-inch (510 mm) barrel is ideal for short and medium-range engagements, striking a balance between maneuverability and ballistic performance. The 23.6-inch (600 mm) barrel offers better velocity and precision, suited for medium to long-range engagements. Finally, the 27.2-inch (690 mm) barrel maximizes initial velocity and range, ensuring good accuracy for long-distance shots. For precision shooting, the rifle is equipped with a 20 MOA Picatinny rail, providing a stable platform for mounting scopes and other systems.

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SSG 08 Austrian Precision Rifle ( Picture Source: Vitaly V.Kuzmin )

Raptor Tactical

The Raptor was designed by BespokeGun, a Russian company. It offers shooters the option to choose from three muzzle options. This versatility allows customization of the weapon according to the shooter's specific preferences and needs. Moreover, accessories such as Picatinny rails make it easy to mount optical scopes for precise aiming.

With a .338 LM caliber and an effective shooting range of up to 2000 meters, the Raptor Tactical is perfectly suited for long-range missions. The rifle weighs 7.165 kg, providing an optimal balance between maneuverability and stability during shots. Its 5-round magazine allows sustained fire without compromising precision.

The Raptor Tactical stands out with its sliding bolt mechanism with a three-point locking system. This design enables a 60-degree rotation of the locking handle, facilitating the reloading and cocking process. Additionally, the rifle is equipped with a finger rest, two sling loops, and rails for Harris bipods and Picatinny/Atlas/Accu-tac bipods, offering optimal control and comfort during use.

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Raptor Tactical Russian Precision Rifle ( Picture Source: Bespokegun )


The CDX-33 is a precision rifle designed by Cadex Defense, a Canadian company founded in 1994 but involved in defense since 2000. The CDX-LITE rifles feature an ergonomic and robust design, ensuring reliability even in the most extreme conditions. With barrel lengths ranging from 20 to 27 inches, the CDX-LITE rifles cover a range of configurations to adapt to shooters' specific preferences and needs. The CDX-30 LITE and CDX-300 LITE versions are available with 24 or 26-inch barrels, while the CDX-33 LITE stands out with a 27-inch barrel for more precise shots at longer distances.

The CDX-33 LITE has dimensions of 49.44 inches x 2.2 inches x 8 inches (125.58 x 5.6 x 20.32 cm). When folded, its compact dimensions of 40.63 inches x 4.75 inches x 8 inches (103.20 x 12.1 x 20.32 cm) make it a discreet and practical travel companion. He weighs 6.577 kg, contributing to his mobility. It can also be chambered to shoot different ammunition types such as the 300 Norma Mag, 338 Lapua Mag, and 338 Norma Mag.

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CDX-33 Canadian Precision Rifle (Picture Source: Twitter account of Cadex Defense )

The Russians, therefore, have a varied and modern range of precision rifles. It's interesting to note the presence of Western rifles among their ranks. One should not overlook the Russians' capacity to produce precision rifles locally, like the Raptor Tactical, demonstrating their recent capabilities to produce and replace equipment, thereby maintaining pressure on the Ukrainian front.


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