Kalashnikov Concern has had itself a heck of a year rolling out new weapons, including a series of infantry and special operations rifles, a light squad machine gun, as well as a pistol. Now, Russia’s most famous small arms manufacturer has unveiled yet another gun — this time an anti-materiel sniper rifle.

Officially known as the SV-18, this latest creation marks the first time since the 1940s that Kalashnikov has found itself building a new heavy caliber rifle that fits into the anti-materiel (i.e. designed primarily for use against enemy hardware versus enemy personnel).

The lengthy design process which spawned the SV-18 produced a number of prototypes, each more drastically different than the previous. Eventually, Kalashnikov settled on a final design which they rolled out at this year’s ARMY-2019 conference.

Kalashnikov reportedly offers the SV-18 in two calibers — 12.7x108 mm, which is popular with most Warsaw Pact countries including Russia itself, and 12.7x99 mm (also known as .50 BMG), which enjoys considerable usage among NATO member nations.

<img src="https://www.armytimes.com/resizer/AmDWl2buKXaXYHntJgHIdkm4R2k=/600x0/filters:quality(100)/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-mco.s3.amazonaws.com/public/MCXNTABJ7ZHMTJYIVBBEZEVH3E.jpg" alt="The new Kalashnikov SV-18 anti-materiel sniper rifle is a bullpup design and fires a round similar to a .50 cal. (Photo screen shot DefenseWebTV YouTube)"/>
The new Kalashnikov SV-18 anti-materiel sniper rifle is a bullpup design and fires a round similar to a .50 cal. (Photo screen shot DefenseWebTV YouTube) Immediately noticeable is the rifle’s bullpup layout, which allows for a longer barrel in a more compact frame, offering the end user both added range and maneuverability in comparison to other heavy-caliber sniper rifles. Earlier versions of the SV-18 featured a simpler stock, which later gave way to a somewhat bulkier and more ergonomic setup.
In contrast to other Russian 12.7 mm caliber sniper rifles used by Russian military and police forces, the SV-18 feeds from double-stack magazines (i.e. generally larger capacity).

The final product includes a top rail, which runs from the receiver to the end of the handguard, that allows end users to attach a variety of optics. Additionally, the rifle uses a fairly prominent muzzle brake to offset recoil and muzzle climb.

This could potentially point at Kalashnikov aiming to sell the SV-18 to foreign customers outside of Russia who might be in the market for a competitor to some of the more popular anti-materiel rifles available today, including Barrett Firearms’ various offerings.
While the SV-18 has now made its long-awaited debut, Kalashnikov still needs to complete the rifle’s testing regimen before it can be pitched to the Russian military as well as export customers as a viable weapon system ripe for procurement.