Israeli companies have long entered the international arms and military equipment market. The small arms company IWI is no exception. At the same time, the company does not stop at the production of pistols and assault rifles, discovering new niches for itself. One of the tasks of the IWI engineers is to squeeze out competitors in the high-precision sniper weapon market. The IWI DAN .338 sniper rifle chambered for .338 LAPUA Magnum (8.6×70 mm) meets these goals. For the first time this model was presented at exhibitions in 2014.
Precision rifle IWI DAN .338
The IWI DAN .338 Precision Rifle is a niche weapon that was first introduced to the public six years ago. The new sniper rifle was developed by Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) engineers in direct collaboration with the Israel Defense Forces. The rifle was originally created for military and civilian use and is positioned as a high-precision and reliable weapon that can be used in any, even the most severe climatic conditions.
This is the first attempt for IWI to create a sniper rifle in such a large caliber. Today the company continues to specialize primarily in short-barreled weapons, carbines and assault rifles. However, after privatization in 2005, the company began to work more actively in the field of diversification of its products. Having turned their eyes to high-precision shooting systems, which are in increasing demand in the modern world. But the real fame for the company at one time was brought by the Uzi submachine gun, which spread widely throughout the world. This model became a real hit on the international arms market already in the 1960s.
In addition, the most famous examples of small arms from Israel Weapon Industries are the Tavor assault rifle and the Galil assault rifle, which is the Israeli version of the Kalashnikov assault rifle. Today this model is even available in a sniper version chambered for 7.62×51 mm. Also, experts refer to the MASADA pistol, which the Israelis created to compete in the world market with numerous clones of the excellent Austrian Glock 17 pistol, as an interesting novelty of the Israeli arms company.
First presented in 2014 at EUROSATORY-2014 in Paris, the IWI DAN .338 sniper rifle is a new product for an Israeli company, before that there were no bolt rifles in the IWI product line. The sniper rifle got its name in honor of the ancient biblical city of Dan, which was founded about 4.5 thousand years BC. Currently, only ruins remain of the city, but the site itself is of great archaeological and historical value. Working on a new model of small arms, IWI engineers worked closely with the army, as well as the Israeli law enforcement agencies, collecting and analyzing the wishes and comments of ordinary military personnel, intelligence officers and police.
According to the manufacturer’s assurances, the resulting IWI DAN .338 sniper rifle is designed for high-precision shooting and hitting the target with the first shot. With the .338 LAPUA Magnum cartridge (8.6×70 mm), the rifle demonstrates outstanding firing accuracy at a range of 1200 meters. At the same time, the effective firing range of the weapon can be even greater, it all depends on the level of training of a particular shooter. But the weapon feels best when shooting at a distance of up to 1200 meters. The accuracy declared by the manufacturer is Sub MOA.
Features of the sniper rifle IWI DAN .338
Unlike other IWI small arms, among which self-loading models prevail, the IWI DAN .338 sniper rifle is a traditional bolt-action bolt-action rifle. The bolt locks the rifle barrel bore by three lugs. This is a fairly typical solution for a sniper weapon of this caliber. As noted in the Israeli company, the upper part of the receiver of the Dan sniper rifle is made of special steel with increased anti-corrosion resistance, which should ensure greater safety and durability of the weapon. Since the rifle was created in close cooperation with conventional army snipers and special forces snipers, IWI hopes that it will be in demand in the international market.
The new Israeli DAN sniper rifle is built on a lightweight one-piece chassis made of high-strength aluminum alloy. A full-size Picatinny rail is integrated into the design of the receiver, which allows you to install any modern optical sights on the weapon, both day and night. At the same time, there are no open sights on the rifle. The rifle is powered from detachable box magazines, designed for 10 rounds. It is currently the only magazine available for the IWI DAN .338 sniper rifle.
The new Israeli sniper rifle does not get lost against the background of other models of sniper weapons on the market today. On the IWI DAN .338 model, a quick barrel change is implemented, there is a folding butt (folds to the right-side), which makes the weapon more compact when carrying or transporting, also an adjustable bipod and a monopod are included with the rifle. The convenient ergonomic pistol grip manufactured by CAA Tactical can be singled out separately. In turn, the folding stock is easily adjustable in length and height, which allows the shooter to adjust the rifle for himself and facilitates the process of aiming and firing at the target.
Interchangeable rifle barrel has a length of 31 inches (785 mm, barrel length is given with muzzle brake). Also, the manufacturer declared the possibility of easy use with a quick-detachable muffler barrel. The Dan rifle barrel is cold forged, quick-detachable and free-hanging. The total length of the IWI DAN .338 sniper rifle is 1280 mm (998 mm – with the stock folded). Taking into account the size and caliber of the model, the rifle has a rather modest weight for such a weapon. The IWI website states that the rifle weighs 6.9 kg.
For the new high-precision rifle, Israel Weapon Industries chose the increasingly popular .338 LAPUA Magnum cartridge (8.6×70 mm). This is a special sniper ammunition designed for long-range firing. Currently, cartridges of this caliber are actively used not only by the military, but also by sports shooters and hunters. The cartridge can be effectively used at a distance of up to 1500 meters. In general, this ammunition fully justifies itself, since it allows for confident shooting at a distance exceeding the effective firing range for cartridges 7.62×51 and 7.62×67 mm. At the same time, shooting systems chambered for .338 LAPUA Magnum are much lighter and more mobile than rifles chambered for .50 BMG (12.7×99 mm). At the same time, the power and lethality of the 8.6×70 mm cartridge is more than enough to effectively combat enemy manpower, including those using modern personal protective equipment.
So far, it is difficult to say how successful the IWI DAN .338 rifle is in the international market. But at least one operator of this sniper weapon is known: this is the famous elite special forces of the British army – SAS. British special forces used the rifle in real combat operations in Syria. The rifle featured in a 2016 news report about how a British commando using IWI DAN .338 shot and killed one of the ISIS warlords (a terrorist organization banned in Russia).