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Heckler & Koch PSG-1 sniper rifle (Germany)


HK PSG-1. Left side view, with tripod rest.
HK PSG-1. Left side view, with tripod rest.


 Same rifle, right side view.
 Same rifle, right side view.


Close-up on the PSG-1 receiver. Note adjustable shoe on the trigger, adjustablecheekpiece, "silent bolt closing device" pushbutton just behind theejection port.
 Close-up on the PSG-1 receiver. Note adjustable shoe on the trigger, adjustablecheekpiece, "silent bolt closing device" pushbutton just behind theejection port.


Caliber: 7.62 x 51mm NATO (.308 Win)
Action: Semi-automatic, roller-delayed blowback
Barrel: 650 mm
Overall length: 1208 mm
Weight: 8.10 kg with scope and no magazine
Magazine: 5 or 20 round detachable box
Scope: Hendsoldt 6x42, 6 settings from 100 to 600 meters
Expected accuracy: Sub-1MOA with match grade ammunition


The PSG-1 sniper system (PrazisionsSchutzenGewehr, or "high-precision marksman's rifle"in English) had been developed by the German company Heckler - Koch by themid-1980s as an ultimate police and counter-terror weapon. Some German elitelaw-enforcement groups, like GSG or KSK-9, participate in this development, andsince its introduction the PSG-1 had been adopted by various police forces inEurope and Americas. It is way too heavy and somewhat too gentle for militaryuse, so it never seen any military use. Instead, HK developed two more sniperweapons. The first, that actually preceded the PSG-1, was the G3-SG1, an accurizedand scope-fitted version of the basic G3 automatic rifle for German Army. And inthe mid-1980s HK also developed a derivative of the PSG-1, called MSG-90, forexport military sales. The PSG-1 is still offered by the HK, and is one of themost expensive factory-made sniper rifles on the market, hitting the $10.000price tag in the basic package.

Technically, the PSG-1 is no more than a heavily modified G3 rifle. It featuresthe same roller-delayed blowback action, derived from earlier CETME rifles, andthe same stamped steel receiver with separate detachable trigger unit. The heavybarrel is precisely made by the cold hammer forging process with polygonalrifling for improved accuracy and longer life. Special trigger unit features asemi-automatic only hammer group and the adjustable trigger with trigger pull ofabout 1.5 kg (3 lbs). The ergonomically shaped pistol grip features anadjustable palm stop. Plastic buttstock is also adjustable for height and for lengthof pull. Another non-typical feature of the PSG-1 is the "silent boltclosing device", actually similar to the forward assist, found on M16rifles. This is apparently to be used in situations where a complete silencemust be maintained until the shot is fired. The devise is no more that apushbutton, located just behind the ejection port, and linked to the boltcarrier by the ratchet-like device. The rifle is fed using standard 20-rounds G3magazines or special 5-rounds magazines. There's no open (iron) sights on thePSG-1. Instead, it is fitted with the Hendsoldt 6X42 fixed power telescope sightwith illuminated reticle. The scope has built-in range adjuster that works inranges from 100 to 60 meters, so 600 meters is considered the maximum effectiverange. Most strangely, the PSG-1 had no integral bipod. Instead, it is oftenused with the separate rest, mounted on the compact tripod.

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