Tiny ‘Rattler’ Rifles for U.S. Special Operators May Be Adapted to Fire Soviet Ammo


“U.S. Special Operations Command’s (SOCOM) Special Operations Forces Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (SOF AT&L) Center first issued the contracting notice regarding the 7.62x39mm conversion kits on October 28. SOCOM had announced in May that it planned to award Sig Sauer a contract to supply new Reduced Signature Assault Rifles (RSAR)/Personal Defense Weapons (PDW) and that deal was finalized in September.

“Currently, the RSAR/PDW system is chambered in both the 5.56 NATO and .300 Black Out calibers,” the contracting notice says. “Due to developing requirements, USSOCOM is seeking 7.62x39mm upper receiver caliber conversion kits that are compatible with the SIG SAUER Rattler Lower Receiver.”

At the time of writing, the SOF AT&L notice does not provide any specific details about the “development requirements” in question. The War Zone has reached out to SOCOM for more information.

Sig Sauer’s RSAR/PDW for SOCOM is a modified version of the company’s ultra-compact Rattler rifle. The Rattler is itself based on Sig Sauer’s MCX rifle design, which is a derivative of the AR-15/M16 pattern that notably used a gas piston operating system versus a so-called direct impingement one that uses siphoned-off propellant gas from firing to directly cycle the main action. Since gas piston systems do not blow propellant gas, and the particulate matter it carries, into the inner action of the gun, they inherently require less cleaning and offer significant benefits when it comes to reliability as a result.”

Comment: A adapter for Soviet 7.62 would be an excellent idea. You never know what you might come across. pl

Tiny ‘Rattler’ Rifles For U.S. Special Operators May Be Adapted To Fire Soviet Ammo (msn.com)

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7 Responses to Tiny ‘Rattler’ Rifles for U.S. Special Operators May Be Adapted to Fire Soviet Ammo

  1. TTG says:

    I’m sure there’s a good reason for this that I just don’t see. Why not stick to the AKM/AKMS if you want the 7.62X39? We carried them a lot in 10th Group. It was an obvious choice given our area of operations. I often used the RPK drum magazine with the AKMS. It could lay down a hell of a base of fire when needed.

    • d74 says:

      AKM is too simple, too bulky. High technology reinforces the courage of the fighter. AKM is agricultural technology. Not expensive enough.

      • TTG says:


        I perceive sarcasm. The AKMS that we carried was wonderfully compact. It was easy to jump with it strapped to your side exposed. And its agricultural simplicity was part of its beauty. I miss her.

        • d74 says:

          I could be wrong because I am not familiar with foreign weapons.

          The apparent size of the rattler makes it look like a close defense weapon, almost a handgun. It is unlikely to be a bullpup, so the barrel is of limited length, hence the range is quite short. And the rattler is much more discreet than the AKM.

          Whereas the Russian 7.62 long-barreled rifle brings them closer to what we call in France a “fusil-mitrailleur” or light machine gun.

          In conclusion, these two weapons are not in the same category. The Russian cartridge 7.62 being available everywhere, adapting rattlers to this ammunition has some interest, including for the lucky manufacturer.

          • TTG says:


            It does seem to be a close defense weapon, no matter which round it fires. The barrel is only 5.5 inches. Even the Stechkin is slightly longer. I don’t know what the 7.62X39 round would do with that short a barrel. If discretion is of primary importance, a pistol or machine pistol might be a better choice. I worked with the Italian Incursore of the 9th Parachute Regiment. They carried the Beretta M12 in both Europe and Lebanon. Now that’s a discreet weapon. But the desire for a weapon in 7.62X39 among SOF is understandable. Even more so among SF.

            An interesting bullpup is the Ukrainian Malyuk or Vulkan-M. It’s been made in variety of calibers including the 7.62X39 and 5.56 NATO. With a barrel length of 16 inches, it’s still only 28 inches long.

  2. drifter says:

    Big win for Sig Sauer. Taxpayer, I dunno. Rare that I agree with TTG. Heck, maybe we need to have a Tomahawk to Kalibr conversion.

  3. Leith says:

    AK-12, a recent Kalashnikov, is being described as гавно, meaning ‘sh!t’ by Russian troops in Ukraine.

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