|Model||Gepard M1/Gepard M1B|
|Cartridge type||12.7 x 99 mm or 12.7 x 107 mm|
|Dimensions and weight|
|Total weight (with empty magazine)||18.5 - 19 kg|
|Overall length||1 570 mm|
|Barrel length||1 100 mm|
|Bullet initial speed||860 m/s|
|Magazine capacity||single shot|
|Range of effective fire||2 000 m|
The Gepard large caliber sniper rifle was
developed in Hungary and intended for a special operation forces. It's
development started in 1987 and pre-production rifles were available in
1990. The Gepard is a very accurate weapon with a high muzzle velocity,
is intended to defeat enemy snipers and light armored vehicles. It is
currently in service with the Hungarian Army and law enforcement forces.
Norway and Croatia use a small number of these rifles. It is also known
that Norway compared them in service with the Barret
Gepard is produced in self-loading of bolt-action variants. It's unique feature is an ability to use both 12.7 x 99 mm NATO and 12.7 x 107 mm Soviet rounds. Replacement of the barrel is done in the very fast, considering that Gepard can be field stripped in 30 seconds. It is also built with an unordinary recoil suppression measures. Rifle's barrel and firing mechanism moves back into the body for 100 mm the same way as an artillery gun. It is also completed with a very effective muzzle brake. These features significantly reduced recoil power and made Gepard extremely accurate.
In 1 200 meter range it defeats a standing human target. It is claimed that in 1 300 meters bullets scatter less than 250 mm and it means that it is more accurate than the Barret M82A1. It is used very successfully as an anti-material rifle as well. The Gepard damages APCs in a range of 1 500 meters and aircraft in the range of 2 000 m. In 600 meters it penetrates steel plates 15 - 20 mm thick, 250 mm of reinforced concrete or any double-brick wall (Gepard M1). It is worth mentioning that Gepard chambered for the Soviet cartridge has a 15-20% better armor penetration comparing with NATO round.
The Gepard M1 is a single-shot rifle, although later variants are fed from 5 or 10 round box magazines. It is fitted with a bipod and adjustable rear brace. Gepard can also be mounted on vehicles and helicopters. A special 12x60 optical sight and holders were developed for this rifle, and they cost almost as much as the rifle itself. However Gepard is also compatible with 6x42 sights. It is also compatible with a night vision sight, which has a sighting range in 800 meters. Rifle has a backup iron sight too, except the M1 version.
There are a number of variants, based on the same rifle design. Rifles designated with the letter 'A' are chambered for the Soviet round and with 'B' - for the NATO round.
- Gepard M1(B) a base single shot bolt-action model chambered for both Soviet and NATO rounds. The M1A1(M1B1) models in addition have carrying handles;
- Gepard M2(B) is a magazine fed self-loading rifle with a shorter barrel. The M2A1 (M2B1) is even shorter and intended for airborne troops;
- Gepard M3 Destroyer is a self-loading version of the M2, chambered for 14.5 mm Russian round and optimized as an anti-material rifle. It is probably the best-known and most popular rifle of Gepard series;
- Gepard M4(B) self-loading rifle is shares the M2 design but has a beter build quality and and is built from better materials;
- Gepard M5(B) self-loading rifle is a further development of the M4 with a bullpup design and a longer barrel for better performance;
- Gepard M6 is a heavy self loading sniper rifle, chambered for the 14.5 mm round.
One of the drawbacks of Gepard is it's large weight, however it is compensated by good accuracy.