The Manda: Croatia’s Minimalist .50 BMG

The Manda is a rifle that was designed for the Croatian Special Police at the beginning of the Homeland War in 1991. At that point, the Special Police (basically the SWAT teams) were basically the only really well-trained fighters in the country with combat experience. They wanted .50 BMG anti-material rifles for the war that was breaking out, and the Croatian Ministry of the Interior developed and produced the Manda for them.

Specifically, the rifle was designed by engineer Petar Vucetic (and named after his sister). Mechanically, it is a very simple rifle, with two large locking lugs, a tubular stock, M70 AK pistol grip, and a barrel made form a turned-down Browning M2 bolt with a large muzzle brake. A total of 84 were made, fitted with Leupold scopes and mounts with integrated BDC cams for use from 300 out to 1000 meters.

A big thanks to the Croatian Police Museum (Muzej Policije) in Zagreb for giving me access to film this cool piece for you! Check them out at:


  1. Recoil could have been handled easily by the tube buttstock. Put a spring and plunger in the tube and get so much less recoil.

  2. Did they source special (sniper) ammunition for said gun or they simply using machine gun ammunition?

    Also, whilst externally similar to PTRD-41, as it is non-automatic magazine-less weapon it is closer to another WW2-era anti-tank rifle, known as Противотанковое ружье Шолохова
    it was 12,7×108 mm non-automatic magazine-less gun, production was dropped after delivery of enough 14,5 mm anti-tank rifle was secured.

    • The tubular stock could be screwed off. Same thing with the barrel. Breaking it down for transport would be a good way to protect the scope. I doubt that when the rifle was designed that there was time to worry about such fru-fru features.

      • Actually, when you’re in the field (or in a MOBUA or tactical team situation) a takedown version of a rifle six feet long and probably weighing twenty-five pounds is emphatically not “fru-fru”. It’s a sensible way to deal with a weapon that is otherwise a huge PITA to get into or out of a hide without everybody in the neighborhood noticing.

        clear ether


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