During the Zarb-e-Azb operation, COAS Gen. Raheel Sharif went for a 2nd detailed visit to Pakistan ordinance factories (POF) to see progress & appreciated its efforts for meeting the requirements for the ongoing operation.
Moreover, he also “emphasized the need for further technological upgradation” so that POF can meet the demands of civilians, LEAs and Paramilitary services. During his visit, some international rifles were also seen which drew attention to a little-publicized competition for a new conventional rifle for battle.
The designs to be run in this competition involved Belgian FNSCAR (7.62x51mm), Czech Republic’s CZBREN (5.56x45mm), Italian Baretta ARX200 (7.62x39mm), Russian AK103 (7.62x39mm) series and US Zastava M21 (5.56x45mm).
The focus was not only to upgrade the already present designs but to stay updated with the modern standard ensuring autonomy for arms in the 21st century.
Sadly, Pakistan Army (PA) couldn’t select any of the rifles for standard military use. Eventually, POF was signaled green for the production of a conventional rifle. In 2020, POF came up with BW-20 (Battle Weapon). “What we decided to do was retain the rollerdelayed mechanism and come up with a rifle that has a more modern feel to it,” said Salman Ali who, apart from being Manager of Weapons Design at POF, is also a precision shooter which helped him refining some new components of BW-20.
BW20 is a roller-delayed blowback rifle just like the ones used in ARs. It is almost 30% in common with HKG3 to reduce the production cost. The whole rifle comprises 125 parts whereas HKG3 has more than 200 parts which clearly differentiates the design of both rifles. BR20 uses AR10 magazines style for ammo but the trigger and buttstock designs are like AR15s.
The pull handle is placed on the left side of the rifle which can be replaced on the right side under special circumstances. This rifle has an aluminum cutting lower receiver, whereas the mass-production models use polymer ones.
POF displayed this prototype for the first time at the world defence show (WDS) in three different variants which differ in barrel length. WDS was conducted in Riyadh, KSA from 69 Mar. 22. The Carbine model is equipped with a 12inch barrel, whereas a 16inch model is a standard weapon for infantry use.
A marksman version was also placed with a 20inch barrel. Currently, POF plans to manufacture 5. 56x45mm caliber models for the AR15 magazines and 7.62x51mm caliber models for AK magazines and is also expected to produce semiautomatic versions for Civilian Market.
POF will be displaying BW-20 at the 11th exhibition of the International Defense Exhibition and Seminars 2022 ( IDEAS) at Karachi Expo Centre, PK from 15-18 November 2022.
Author: Muhammad Ismail Mir is a researcher and expert in small arms