Hamas Claims to Make Sniper Rifles in Gaza – Are They Really?

Hamas – or rather its specific military wing the Al Qassam Brigade – posted a video on Twitter / X yesterday purporting to show the manufacture of .50 caliber sniper rifles in Gaza. I was curious to have a look at it, as I’ve seen a lot of rifle factories and done some of this sort of work myself, so let’s see what the video actually shows when we look carefully…

Conflict Armament Research’s report on the Iranian AM-50 (copy of the Steyr HS-50):


Thanks also to Armament Research Services for consultation on the AM-50.


  1. I would be careful of your safety when traveling for a while. Might not want to visit the middle East for a while. Great analysis though.

  2. Truly interesting approach and assessment. Good use of expertise and a worthy discussion of a topic that people are interested in. Thanks.

  3. Very interesting to watch and your observations are right on! Unfortunately the general public as well as many US congresspeople will fully believe this activity is real.

  4. …is the first casualty.

    I was having a look through images of 1960s and early 70s Soviet and Czech machine tools

    I couldn’t recognise any of those 50++ year old left-overs from a backstreet shop that does illegal wheelbarrow repairs.

    Iran, actually makes some excellent machine tools.

    At least one of the top German makers, set a plant up there, before the revolution.

    Those tools definitely weren’t from there.

  5. There is an old video (15 years) of them making so called Yasin launcher (copy of rpg 2), and it actually shows some real process, especially in warhead liner spinning.

    A month ago there was a video, again from similar or same green tarp walled room, where they shown making “rpg” launcher grenades, silver in color, its much more plausible then this.

  6. Were ANY of those reloads even close to the same overall length? They looked like a field of stumps at a Christmas tree farm.

      • Digging tunnels and making rockets have nothing to do with the capacity to make rifles. The former just requires shovels and picks. The later is on a different scale of work. Big and bulky is easier than precision milling.

  7. Hmmm…
    Let’s say the manufacturing processes in the video were staged for the video, but they actually do produce rifles. I frequently stage my lab when corporate brings in investors, donors, etc. for tours. It makes it look like I’m very busy, and the “props” make great topics of conversation.
    So, if they do produce rifles, as Ian pointed out, how good would the quality actually be? If they’re sourcing old machine gun barrels, they may be shot-out, rusted and/or out-of-spec. Then machining is done on out dated machines and loading is done about as well as a kid using a teaspoon to load some shotgun shells to go squirrel hunting after school.
    So they’re going to snipe at IDF troops at 1000 yards with a rifle that may not be capable of holding a 10 inch group at 100? This would result in an airstrike or artillery being called in on their position moreso than inflicting mass casualties on Israeli troops.
    If they are indeed manufacturing arms, wouldn’t their resources be better spent on making more suitable weapons? Two old lathes & 1 mill might only produce a couple of these rifles per day, but they could crank out dozens of sub-machine guns. Or something more effective for anti-materiel use?
    Of course, propaganda is a weapon also. Were I an IDF soldier, I just don’t think I would be very demoralized by this video…

  8. 1. If I were sending these rifles to Gaza from Iran, I would ship them unassembled. The boxes of parts would take up far less space than completed guns.

    2. The easy way to have done this would have been to tarp up a corner of the assembly room- whether in Gaza or Iran- and roll in a couple of benches and tools.They could as easily have tarped up a corner of the real factory and shown the real process. But that would have looked modern and efficient, which wasn’t the goal.

    They wanted this to look like an underground, secret, David vs. Goliath operation. And it does.

    The comments to the press articles are hilarious.

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