Report on Polish small arms: new and modernized

August 6th, 2007  
Venom PL

Topic: Report on Polish small arms: new and modernized

Translated by Mishka Zubov

RAPORT 08/2007

A small arms demonstration in Nowa Dęba

Remigiusz WILK (REMOV)
co-operation: Grzegorz HOŁDANOWICZ

In the beginning of July, at the military training grounds in Nowa Dęba, a presentation of new equipment and weapons - including shooting demonstration - manufactured by OBR SM Tarnów, took place in the presence of Lt-Gen Waldemar Skrzypczak, a commander of Land Forces and Brig Piotr Pcionek, a chief of Armoured and Mechanized Forces. Invited were also the representatives of FB Radom.

The main event - in the small arms category - was a presentation of 7.62 mm sniper rifle Bor. Three copies from a prototype series have been shown: one with 560 mm barrel and two with a standard 660-mm barrel. The series has passed all national tests and that means that the weapon is accepted and can be bought by Polish Armed Forces (PAF).

Documentation has been fully accepted in the beginning of June, 2007. Since that moment there is a formal basis for provisioning this Polish design. (...)

Bor from Tarnów

A tactical/technical specification of a new mid-caliber rifle has been authorized in August 2004. Design work started soon after that. The final manufacturer drawings of the weapon have been finalized at the turn of the years 2004/2005. The weapon received the code name Alex, after the name of the lead designer Aleksander Leżucha, a creator of 12.7 mm rifle Tor.

First trials have commenced on July 18, 2005. After the trials several small changes have been introduced, such as: increased rigidity of the sight rail; changes in the design of bolt safety catch; introduction of the sling fastenings and control of a free travel of the trigger.

On May 9, 2006 first shootings began from three out of five rifles from the prototype series: two standard ones - with the 660 mm barrel and one shortened - with 560 mm barrel. The latter model is designed for use by special forces and police.

The 7.62 mm sniper rifle Bor, made by OBR Tarnów, has passed all the tests and can be introduced to Polish weaponry. PAF wants to buy 36 rifles of this type in the year 2007.
Bor is a repeating rifle - with a four-cycle, translational-rotational bolt. It is butt-less - which maximizes a length of its barrel for a minimal total length of the weapon. Its center of gravity is near its pistol grip - making it easier to handle the weapon. Its very characteristic feature is that the magazine seat is placed behind the grip.

Bor's barrel is mounted in one place with the bolt chamber - without any contact with other systems (a so-called free floating barrel), with longitudinal grooves - adding rigidity, reducing weight and maximizing surface of heat exchange. At the end of the barrel one can attach: a multi-functional muzzle device (e.g. acting as the exit break), a sound muffler (design of ONR SM) or a flame reducer.

A comparison of two Bor models. Above, standard model with 660 mm barrel and attached muffler (designed by OBR SM Tarnów). Below, shortened version with 560 mm barrel and attached universal muzzle device.
The prototypic copies had barrels made by ZM Tarnów and by Germany's Lothar Walther.

The barrel, together with a bolt sleeve, is a removable system, mounted in the bolt chamber - made of airspace aluminum 7075. At the top of the chamber there is a support with universal mount rail for mounting the required optical sights. The weapon does not have mechanical sight.

The short Bor's bolt chamber has three bolts and maximal opening angle of 60 degrees. The firing pin is braced by turning the bolt's hilt upwards. The trigger is provided with a control of pressing force in the range of 9-25 N. The weapon has a bipod and a folded, adjustable back support. Bor is fed from 10-round box magazines.

Its standard accessory is an optical sight Leopold (USA) with adjustable magnification 4.5-14x50, with sight grid mil-dot reticle, parallax correction and big adjustment range (100 MOA)


PAF is to buy 36 new sniper rifles before November 30, 2007. Six of them will be used by Military Police. Currently - ignoring SWD - PAF has 158 modernized, self-repeating rifles SWD-M; 40 repeating SAKO TRG-21 and 206 repeating SAKO TRG-22 (modified variation of the first model).

A device for calibration of Bor's optical sights.
Bor costs about 30-35 thousand zloty (brutto) for entire system, made of: the sniper rifle, optical sighs, box, soft carrying bag, muffler, muffler break, flame reducer, maintenance system, hearing protection, set of tools, etc.

Let us recall that in 2005 Cenzin was delivering to Military Police the 7.62 sniper rifles SAKO TRG-22, with Zeiss optics and night-vision device for about 75,000 zloty. Two thirds of this price was for nigh-vision device.

The development line of sniper weaponry, which began with 12.7 mm Tor, does not end with 7.62 mm Bor. OBR SM Tarnów is working on a new sniper rifle, which will be using .338 Lapua Magnum ammunition (8.6 x 70). The lead designer is again Aleksander Leżucha.

Brig Piotr Pcionek, a chief of Armoured and Mechanized Forces, familiarizing himself with the new sniper rifle Bor.
Elided: This discussion is of no interest to non-Polish readers.

Beryl Commando

In 2006, the designers of FB Radom (FB=Fabryka Broni, Weapons Factory) created - with the co-operation with commandos from 1st PSK Lubliniec - shorter and more handy version of carbine Beryl. The new design, known as Beryl Commando, has a 406 mm barrel, instead of 457 mm - better adaptable to operations in urban warfare and limited spaces.

Beryl Commando with new adjustable butt. Even though PAF does not intend buying it, the elements of the modernizing system: a butt, a jig with three mount rails, modified manipulators and 30-round transparent magazines will be sent to Afghanistan for testing. Photo: Grzegorz Hołdanowicz.
The demonstration copy has new jig - two side rails in the barrel axis and the third, lower rail Picatinny, which has been set in place of the former forward grip. In addition, the former folded butt has been replaced by a telescopic butt with adjustable foot length - patterned after American carbine M4. Although the new butt cannot be folded side-wise to the bolt chamber but the user gains on adjustability to his own needs.

In addition, a little shelf has been added to the wing of the bolt safety catch. With this gadget a user is able to move the catch down with the pointing finger while his hand is holding the grip.

The magazine latch lever has been lengthen and broaden at its back part - to ease unlatching the magazines.

A bolt chamber of Beryl Commando. Shown are: enlarged magazine latch lever and the shelf added to the wing of bolt safety catch, which allows to move the safety catch off with the pointing finger.

The newest version of 5.56 mm automatic carbine Beryl Commando is supplied with a jig with three mounting rails (here: the forward grip is mounted on the lower rail) and the butt with adjustable length.
Unfortunately, the representatives of PAF are not interested in this version of Beryl Commando because - in contrary to Beryl and Mini Beryl - it has not been officially accepted to PAF weaponry. It has been decided, however, to buy from FB Radom 20 modification packs containing: new adjustable butt, new jig with three mounting rails, enlarged levers and transparent magazines.

New butt for UKM-2000

Designers of ZM Tarnów work on modernization of 7.62 mm universal machine gun UKM-2000 and on a design of foldable-telescopic butt.

Most of its elements will be made of aluminum - to reduce its mass - with the exception of few parts responsible for locking. The butt is adjustable in the range of up to 80 mm, with 20 mm jump, and is supplied with a cheek cushion - risible and adjustable up to 25 mm.

The butt's foot will be supplied with rubber damper. The picture shown below is only a proposal of the weapon modification and an attempt to interest the PAF but not as a final illustration of the weapon modification. The future offer would have to be extended by a jig of rails - to be mounted in the forward part of the weapon, a bipod and a soft ammunition box.

One of the projects of a butt with adjustable length for the machine gun UKM 2000. The butt will be mounted on hinge, allowing it to be folded on the right hand side. Sketch: ZM Tarnów.
In 2007 Polish Armed Forces should obtain 130 new UKM-2000, in the version with a support for universal mounting rail MIL-STD-1913, placed on the cover of the bolt chamber. This will be the first purchase of this type of guns - not counting the C version manufactured for Rosomaks and a short trial series of version D and P.

source: RAPORT 08/2007,