Small Arms, Hand Guns, Weapons of Indian Army

This article is all about various small arms and ammunition, weapons of Indian Army. The list includes the details of fire arms, small guns, Machine guns, Carbines, Light Machine Guns (LMG), Heavy machine guns, Assault Rifles etc used by Indian Armed Forces.

Indian Army at present uses mixture of foreign procured as well as indigenous weapons mainly for the needs of small arms and hand guns. Most of the indigenous weapons are developed by ARDE (Armament Research and Development Establishment) which is sister concern of DRDO and produced by Indian Ordnance Factories. India is still much reliant on foreign countries for weapons, arms and ammunition. India is also the biggest arms exporter of the world although initiatives are being taken through Make in India process for focussing the development and production of arms and ammunition inside India only.

History of Small Arms, Hand Guns, Weapons of Indian Army

Indian army traditionally had been using Lee Enfield bolt action type rifles. These rifles were technologically old and getting obsolete and a need to phase out all these weapons was extreme necessity. The crushing defeat of Indian Army by Chinese forces in 1962 is attributted to the use of age old bolt action (Lee Enfield) rifles. By the time of Indo-Pakistan war of 1965, Indian army had been equipped with 7.62 mm SLR (similar to L1A1 FN-FAL Belgian self loading rifles) whose technology was procured from Belgium, and was developed indigenously by Rifle Factory Ishapore (RFI). This is to note that origianl FN-FAL Belgian – L1A1 rifles were inch type and it was modified to metric system by RFI. The need for the home grown small arms and weapons was felt and The Indian Small Arms System (INSAS) was conceptualized, and hence INSAS came out to existence in year 1990.  However since the actual production of INSAS rifles was long term project, to cater the quick demand of Indian Army and to phase out the Lee Enfield bolt action rifles, AKM (modernized AK 47) rifles were purchased from Russia. Originally only three different models for INSAS were planned – INSAS – Assault rifle, INSAS Carbine and INSAS LMG (Light machine gun). The development work of INSAS was completed by ARDE – Pune, and the mass production of Assault rifle and LMG started in year 1997. The INSAS rifles were based on 5.56×45 mm cartridges as against the 7.62×39 mm cartrdidges of AKM Klashnikov rifles of Russia. The unavailability of 5.56×45 mm ammunition and lack of interchangeability with AKM/AK 47 cartridges further delayed the induction of rifles to Indian Army. INSAS assault rifles witnessed its first use during Kargil war of 1999.

List of Small Arms, Hand Guns, Weapons of Indian Army imported from outside

The list below shows some of the most important arms and weapons of Indian Army including Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. These weapons serve as backbone of Indian Army. Most of these imported weapons are used by special forces of Indian Army like MARCOS, GARUD, NSG Commandos, GHATAK, COBRA(Commando Battalion for Resolute Action),  SPG (Special Protection Group), SFF (Special Frontier Force) etc.

WeaponTypeCaliber FromDetailsStatus
AKM RifleAssault Rifle, Gas Operated, Rotating Bolt7.62x39 mmUSSRSteel magazine weight 819 gm, Wt 3.1 Kg empty/3.9 Kg loaded, Barrel length 415 mm, Range 350 m, Fire Rate 600 RPMIn Service
AK 103Assault Rifle7.62x39 mmRussiaPlastic magazine weight 739 gm, Wt 3.6 Kg empty/4.3 Kg loaded, Barrel length 415, Fire rate 600In Service
T91 Assault RifleAssault Rifle5.56x45 mmTaiwanWt 3.17 Kg, barrel length 406 mm, Range 400 m/600 m, Fire Rate 850 RPMin use by Special Forces
IMI Tavor TAR 21Assault Rifle, Gas Operated, Rotating Bolt5.56x45 mmIsraelWt 3.27 Kg empty, Barrel length 460 mm, Range 550 m, Fire Rate 900 RPMin use by Special Forces
M4 CarbineAssault Rifle5.56x45 mmUSAWt 2.8 Kg empty/3.4 Kg loaded, Barrel length 370 mm, Range 500 m, Fire Rate 950in use by Special Forces
Micro UziSub Machine gun9x19 mmIsraelWt 3.5 Kg empty, Barrel length 260 mm, Range 200 m, Fire Rate 600 RPMin use by Special Forces
Heckler & Koch MP5A2Sub Machine Gun9x19 mmGermanyWt 2.5 Kg, Barrel length 225 mm, Range 200 m, Fire Rate 800in use by Special Forces
Mauser SP66Sniper Rifle7.62x51 mmGermanyWt 6 Kg, Mag. Size 10, Range 600 m, in use by Special Forces
Galil Sniper GalatzSniper Rifle7.62x51 mmIsraelWt 4 Kg empty, Barrel length 535 mm, Mag Size 25, Range 600 m, Fire Rate 650in use by Special Forces
NSVHeavy Machine Gun12.7x108 mmRussiaWt 25 Kg/41 Kg with Tripod, Range 1500 m, Fire Rate 780 RdPMused as mountings of Tanks

List of Small Arms, Hand Guns, Weapons of Indian Army developed indegenously

GunTypeCaliberDetailsStatus
INSAS 1B1/1B2Assault Rifle, Single shot, 3 round burst5.56x45Weight 4.1 Kg loaded, Barrel length 464 mm, Range 400 m, Fire Rate 650 RPM, In Service
INSAS LMGLight Machine Gun,Used for Cover fire in field5.56x45Weight 6.23 Kg empty/6.73 Kg loaded, Barrel length 535 mm, Range 700 meter, Fire Rate 650 RPMIn Service
ExcaliburLong range assault Rifle, Gas Operated5.56x45 Weight 3.81 Kg, Barrel length 400 mm, Range 400 m, Fire Rate 700 RPM, Under Trials
MCIWSLong Range, Multi Caliber assault rifle, Gas Operated, rotating bolt5.56x45, 7.62x39Weight 3.4 Kg empty/4 Kg loaded, Range 500 m, Fire Rate 650 RPM, 30 round plastic magazineUnder Trials
MSMCCarbine/Submachine Gun5.56x30Weight 2.98 Kg empty, Barrel length 300 mm, Range 300 m, Rate of Fire 900 RPMUnder Trials
Amogh CarbineRotary Bolt, Closed breech, Close Quarter Combat weapon5.56 x 30Weight 2.95 Kg empty, Barrel length 330 mm,Range 200 m, Fire Rate 700 RPM, 30 Rounds magazine, In Service
Kalantak Micro Personal defense Assault Rifle, Gas operated5.56x45 Weight 3.6 Kg, Barrel length 333 mm, Range 300 meter, Fire rate 700 RPMUnder Trials
Vidhwansak Anti Material Rifle, Multi Caliber, Manual bolt action12.7x107, 14.5x114, 20x82Weight 25 Kg, Barrel length 1100 mm, Carried by 2 men, Range 1800 m, 3 round magazineIn Service

Weapons of Indian Army : INSAS Assault Rifle 1B1, 1B2Weapons of Indian Army

This is the standard rifle of Indian small arms system which uses gas operated system to eject the blank cartridges and load the fresh one. It utilizes 5.56×45 mm NATO ammunition. It is equipped with telescopic day view or passive night sight mouting, a bayonet (knife mounted in front). ARDE 40 mm Grende launcher can also be mounted on this assault rifle. The standard version of this assault rifle comes in black furniture and this has a range of 400 meter. The magazine of this assault rifle has 20 rounds capacity. 1B1 is the straight fixed butt while 1B2 model is the folding butt type. It has capacity of single round fire or three round burst fire. This rifle is manufactured at Ordnance factory Tiruchirappalli. These assault rifles are soon scheduled to be replaced by Excalibur rifles.

Weapons of Indian Army : INSAS LMG (Light Machine Gun)Weapons of Indian Army

The only difference between INSAS assault rifle and LMG is that the LMG has a range of 700 meter as compared to 400 meter range of standard rifle. The LMG version is equipped with long and heavier barrel as compared to the standard assault rifle. It comes with mounting bipod to take-on the long rage targets easily. The magazine of LMG has 30 rounds capacity.This LMG comes in two versions – fixed but or folding butt.

Weapons of Indian Army : Excalibur Assault RifleGuns, Weapons of indian army

Excalibur is the modified version of its predecessor INSAS assault rifle and utilizes similar ammunition of 5.56×45 mm NATO standard. Presently the Excalibur rifle is in development stage/ trials and is expected to be inducted in Indian Army by end of year 2016. The mass productions of the Excalibur is expected to be complete by 2018. The modifications in the Excalibur as compared to standard INSAS assault rifle are – automatic firing, reduced barrel length by 4 mm, folding butt, universal mount for fitting any type visual aids and sensors. The prototypes of the Excalibur rifle developed at RFI (Rifle Factory Ishapore) was taken trial by Indian Army last in 2014-15 and found most of the tests were successful such as only 2 stoppages (cartridge stuck) after 24000 rounds of fires which was quite close to Indian Army expectations of only one stoppage.

Weapons of Indian Army : Multi Caliber Assault Rifle (MCIWS)Weapons of Indian Army

This multi caliber rifle is also called as Multi Caliber Individual Weapon System (MCIWS). MCIWS multi caliber rifle was designed by ARDE, Pune to keep in mind the fact that a single weapon should be used for different type of targets. Multi Caliber rifles gives the flexibility of using various different ammunition like 5.56 mm, 6.8 mm and 7.62 mm just by changing the barrel. Barrels are of different sizes and length designed for target ranges such as 5.56 mm ammo for target of 400 meter and 7.62 mm ammo for target range of 300 meter. This multi Caliber rifle gives the liberty to a soldier to configure its rifle by changing the barrel and magazine just according to the requirements of the mission. MCIWS is also equipped with Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL) to launch airbursting 40 mm grenades. It utilizes 30 round plastic magazines. The picatinny rail mounting ensures a number of universal mountings like day vision cameras and thermal imaging night vision aids.   MCIWS is presently under development stage and the trials are expected to complete in 2016 end.

Weapons of Indian Army : Kalantak Micro Assault Rifle

It is fully automatic, folding butt, gas operated rifle. This micro assault rifle also uses NATO standard 5.56×45 mm cartridges. More importance has been given on design features like ergonomics, aesthetics and reliability. The bore of the barrel is chromium plated. Barrel length is 300 mm and the total length is 825 mm with extended butt. The magazine used in Kalantak Micro rifles is poly carbonates with 20/30 rounds capacity.

Weapons of Indian Army : Amogh CarbineGuns and Weapons of Indian Army

This carbine is quite light weight(2.95 Kg) and is meant for close combat quarter combat (CQC) missions. It uses 5.56×30 mm ammunition exclusively developed for carbines. The main design features are ergonomics, ease to carry and use and portability.It is equipped with ambidextrous lever controls which means both hands can be used to operate the lever. The bore of the barrel is chromium plated for long endurance. Length of barrel is 330 mm and total length with extended butt is 800 mm. Amogh carbine uses 30 rounds box type magazine. It is effective for close target ranges of about 200 meter.

Weapons of Indian Army : Modern Sub Machine CarbineGuns and Weapons of Indian Army

This Carbine is basically a sub-machine gun which was developed by ARDE for Indian Army. Sub-machine guns are basically those weapons which uses pistol type magazines and can be fired by single hand. Sub-machine guns hence are also called as machine pistols. It is comparatively lighter than other rifles designed by ARDE and it weight is 2.98 Kg. It uses 5.56×30 mm MINSAS cartridges. The barrel lenght of this carbine is 300 mm and the effective range for which it could be used is about 300 meter. MSMC utilises 30 rounds grip inserted box type magazines. This carbine is also under trials and the developement phase is soon expected to be complete in 2016 end.

Vidhwansak Anti Material Rifle (AMR)Guns and Weapons of Indian Army

This is basically anti material rifle which is meant for destroying huge targets like enemy bunkers, tanks, tankers, armored vehicles etc. Vidhwansak is equipped with multi caliber system and also be used as large caliber sniper rifles.  3 different ammunition caliber can be used by changing the barrels – 14.5×114 mm, 12.7×108 mm, 20×82 mm. The weight of this Anti material rifle is 25 Kg and hence it is a 2 crew type weapon which means 2 persons are required to operate and dismantle/carry it. Its effective firing range is about 1800 meter and maximum range is 2300 meter. It is manufactured by Ordnance Factory Tiruchirappalli and is already inducted in Indian Army.