PC : Rajnath Singh (Twitter)

The recent visit of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to Ladakh was extremely successful on multiple fronts as it delivered a message to China, please Indian Army veterans for respecting traditional values of Indian Army by roars of Sikh Regimental Battle Cry of “बोले सो निहाल, सत श्री अकाल” (Bole So Nihal‎ , Sat Sri Akaal‎) and “Bharat Mata ki Jai” and for defence, enthusiast revealing a hitherto unknown sniper rifle used by Indian Army Para Commandos. Several media portals have attempted to identify this weapon and reached close, but the correct answer remained hidden. Thus, Team Guarding India brings you the story of a deadly sniper rifle of Para Commandos that took us a week to unveil.

Rajnath Singh
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with Indian Army Sikh Regiment near LoC

Sniper Rifles are formidable weapons that were developed during trench warfare days of World War I and by Word War II, we had legendry snipers like Vasily Zaitsev of the Russian Army who killed 225 German soldiers including 11 snipers in just 40 days during the Battle of Stalingrad. He was awarded Hero of Soviet Union (equivalent to Bharat Ratna) and you may remember him from a famous Hollywood movie Enemy at The Gates starring Jude Law that was released in 2001.

vasily zaitsev rifle
Vasily Zaitsev Rifle PC : File Photo

Perfected during the Second World War, sniper rifles remain an effective tool that can take out high-value targets from extreme distances. However, till 2017, owing to the prolonged procurement process, the Indian Army was struggling to acquire new Sniper Rifles and was forced to use the Russian Dragunov sniper rifle which had an effective range of 800 meters which severely restricted operational use.

However, in the last three years, the Indian Army went on to procure new generation sniper rifles and recent pictures from Defence Minister’s Ladakh visit have revealed a sniper rifle that is amongst best in the world. The name of this deadly beast is Sako TRG M10 Multi caliber Sniper Rifle.

Sako TRG M10 is a bolt action, manually operated, magazine-fed, sniper rifle that is designed to use three different barrels for three legendary ammunition calibers. Sako TRG M10 Sniper rifle can fire .308 Winchester ammunition with massive stopping power that may kill an elephant with a single shot, .338 Lapua Magnum round which can shoot beyond 2000 meters with enough punch to penetrate any military standard bulletproof jacket at ranges beyond 1000 meters and finally, .300 Winchester Magnum ammunition that is so accurate that it can shoot a coke straw without breaking the bottle at 1000 meters.

Officials of the Army inspect a TRG M10 sniper rifle made by Finnish firearm manufacturer Sako during a Defence Expo at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.
Officials of the Army inspect a TRG M10 sniper rifle made by Finnish firearm manufacturer Sako during a Defence Expo at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. PC : AFP

These three calibers come with barrels of different lengths and on the day of Defence Minister’s visit, Para Commandos most likely used a 20-inch barrel that gave the weapon a monstrous look. Just to add it was .338 Lapua Magnum and such specialized sniper ammunition that consistently hit terrorists at ranges beyond 2200 meters during the war on Terror and India Army is just willing to repeat this feat if things go wrong in Ladakh. This sniper rifle comes equipped with 30 MOA (Minute of Angle) rails that allow for sophisticated sights and night vision devices to be mounted on this rifle ensuring accurate hits even on the darkest nights providing additional lethality.

Sako TRG M10 has been designed keeping battle filed flexibility in mind and its modular design and multicaliber capability ensure that sniper can switch barrel and caliber within minutes even in harshest field conditions. This rifle weighs just over 6 Kilograms and can be serviced without the use of any special tools or ever seeing a workshop.

The modular design also allows Sako TRG M10 to be transported with easy as it can be packed in an extremely compact box that is custom made. This carriage case ensures discreetness during low-profile high-value operations and becomes a perfect choice for special forces operating on ground or parachuting out of Indian Air Force planes where space for equipment is limited and maneuverability of the weapon becomes a critical requirement.

Another cool feature of Sako TRG M10 is its complex muzzle breaks and suppressor system. This sniper rifle offers muzzle brake in three-baffle configurations which are highly effective in hiding muzzle flashes of barrel that may give away sniper position. The suppressor system is used for silent operations and is highly effective in decreasing the audible noise and visible muzzle flash of the weapon while almost eliminating the dust and dirt blast from the ground near the barrel. The suppressor also helps in significantly reducing the recoil which enables a faster rate of follow up shots for an assured kill.

Sako M10 Commercial Version-min
Sako M10 Commercial Version PC : AFP

Thus, Sako TRG M10 is a modular and highly accurate multi-caliber, bolt action sniper rifle with no compromise that is one of the most versatile and trusted sniper rifles on the planet. Team Gurading India is confident that in hands of equally lethal Para Commandos, Sako TRG M10 is sure to inflict immense damage to Pakistani terrorists trying to intrude in Kashmir or Chinese misadventures in Ladakh and North East India.