Private gun manufacturers that can create high-quality, efficient and high-precision weapon systems without multimillion-dollar infusions of public money in Russia can be counted on your fingers. Even fewer of them companies that are able to produce weapons with well above average characteristics, not to mention truly outstanding examples.
Rifles, raised on a private arms manufacture by Lobaev family, which started as family operation somewhere in the Kaluga region has long been beyond the normal sniper weapons. As they say in such cases in Russia: «The firm does not breed the brooms». Modern high-precision sniper systems «Lobaev Arms» no longer resemble the classic Russian or Soviet era military weapons.
An uninitiated in the intricacies of sniper weapons innocent bystander with a quick glance at the fashionable «bolt-action rifle» in a summer green camo can guess some newfangled «Remington» or «Intervention», but engraving «Lobaev Arms» makes it clear — this product is made in Russia .
Impressions of cost and quality, attention to detail — roughly those first feelings come when one is getting in hands this one of the most modern Lobaev rifles — DXL-2. Most sniper professionals, competitors or benchrest connoisseurs in one voice would say that «lobaev» rifle on an aluminum frame — one of the best you can get for money.
Uniqueness of the rifle is traditionally given by minimum tolerances, which are not the laws — the philosophy of this Russian arms company. Technical accuracy of 0,350 MOA at one hundred with a group of five shots — an incredible result for a rifle built as sniper one in mind.
Caliber of DXL-2 — is still one of the most successful in the series of sniper ammunition — 308 Winchester (or NATO 7,62×51 mm) — one of the most stable cartridges for shooting at a distance of around a thousand. The characteristics of such ammunition can be compared with domestic 7,62×54 mm, but only high-quality rifle with a well cut bore can reveal its full potential.
Despite the fact that a serious rifle ammunition condemns the serious recoil in DXL-2 as in all DXL rifle family there is no such problem. Subjectively, design solutions and individual elements worked out in the Russian rifle so that during a shot you feel BBgun-like recoil. And only the sound of shot hints that in your hands is not a children’s hack for shooting sparrows, but serious sniper rifle, in use by SF or army boys.
During the painstaking study of the competitors you are gradually coming to the conclusion that foreign competitors like the highly publicized here Steyr SSG 08 with the same ammunition and stated sub-MOAaccuracy — on the background of the Russian rifle looks pale and unattractive. However, apparently, graceful beauty with the classic bolt action is not everything that private Russian company is going to offer.
The development team plans to release «heavier» version, which is more like a small howitzer that could topple a dinosaur, because munition that Lobaev team plans to use is nothing but .408 CheyTac cartridge, with (albeit from another company rifle) what a little earlier new world record was shot — 3440 meters.
Perhaps, the most unusual rifle I’ve ever seen. Patriotic design school of sniper weapons, which once gave the army the legendary SVD and large-bore-6S8 «Cord» in these rifles built without a drop of government support is not guessed at all. Smooth lines, comfort, versatility, plenty of rails and points for mounting everything — all this present the rifle as a modern and technically well-thought product.
For quite a long time I had to struggle with decision — how to classify this weapon. Doubts and hesitation were dispelled by the founder, Vlad Lobaev: «By and large DVL-10 is a universal platform and can be effectively used in police special forces units for urban operations, as well as spec-ops rifle with efficient subsonic and supersonic suppressors giving an extremely long subsonic range which is good for special types of missions. And it’s interchangeable so everyone gets a rifle according to his needs. It’s a kit»,- says in an exclusive interview with the «Star» (Zvezda) a Russian armourer.
This set of qualities, according to Vlad, would be enough for shooting in any situation: in the mountain, forests or urban areas, in short, wherever necessary to accurately put a bullet of 308 or other calibers at a distance of a thousand meters and further. Accuracy of DVL-10 rifles produced in Tarusa — sub-0.4 MOA at a distance of 100 meters with five shot groups (12mm between centers). What completes the picture of the impressions is 10-round magazine, which can be quite sufficient to conduct sustained precision shooting.
There are different kinds of sniping. Suppression of bandits in urban environments — is not the same thing as counter-sniper mission. The realities of modern warfare has long demonstrated the need for anti-sniper groups — trained sharpshooters, whose main purpose is destruction of enemy sniper teams. There is a mutual agreement that this kind of people is needed. Basically disputes arise around what kind of rifle has to be used for this purpose.
For counter-sniper fire Western countries armies use completely different caliber rifles — from 308 to 50BMG (12,7x99mm). However, those whose idol was and remains Colonel Jeff Cooper — Western school mentor of combat shooters know that each specific task needs its own rifle. Russian philosophy of counter-sniping is presented by DXL-4 rifle chambered in 408 Cheytac.
The massive, rumbling during a shot cartridge can completely smudge enemy sniper at ranges of up to two and a half thousand meters inclusive. The combat radius of this rifle defies verbal description, and hard to explain exactly how to shoot a rifle with the sub-0.5 MOA accuracy when a target is barely seen in optics. Skepticism about the new products from Lobaev dissipates when a talk about high-precision systems connects Nicholas Smith — American competitive shooter, a former US NAVY SEAL, and currently an instructor for precision combat shooting.
It turns out that domestic sniper systems in the West are followed not less than by local fans of sniper weapons:
«When a friend of mine called me and said that Russians shoot farther than anyone else in the world, and with a private company built gun, I thought it was some kind of nonsense. Then I looked the report and realized that this guy out of town, the name of which I can not even pronounce, achieved a phenomenal level of shooting both in range and quality. After reading about what they’re doing, I realized that the Russians now — a major player in the global market of sniper weapons», — said in an interview to «Zvezda» an American sniper veteran.
Rifle designed by Lobaev team is not just a weapon that shoots far and accurately. In addition to the accuracy DXL-4 has such a temperature range, which simply does not exist in the majority of sniper guns manufacturers. Temperature band this rifle can work is from -45 degrees to +65 degrees Celsius, which means that Russian army snipers can quite happily shoot these rifles somewhere in Arctic, not thinking that it is even theoretically capable of letting them down.
Such rifles, according to many military snipers, is what a long time the Russian Army has been missing. World-class rifles with label «Lobaev Arms» on them are finally made it clear that the era of total superiority of Western sniper weapons is irrevocably gone, and the Russian army sniping got its own character and its own «king-rifle.»
Author: Dmitry Yurov