Heckler Koch HK G8 Sniper Rifle (Germany)

The HK G8 sniper rifle was developed and manufactured during 1980s by the famous German gun-making company Heckler und Koch Gmbh. It was designed upon request from the German border guard (Bundesgrenzschutz, BGS) as a universal support weapon, intended to arm special counter-terrorist units such as the famous BGS 9.


The Heckler Koch HK G8 sniper rifle

The Heckler Koch HK G8 sniper rifle with a 50-round drum magazine


The key idea was to procure a single long gun that could be used either as a precision semi-automatic rifle, delivering single shot with sniper accuracy, or, when a tactical situation requires, as a support weapon delivering suppressive automatic fire. To achieve those somewhat controversial goals in a single gun Heckler und Koch selected their HK 11E1 light machine gun as a starting point. This machine gun uses their famous roller-delayed action and fires from the closed bolt in both semi-automatic and full automatic fire. It also features a stationary heavy barrel that could be easily replaced when worn or overheated. Combined with a telescope sight and a detachable bipod it offers an adequately accurate medium-range single shot fire, and also could deliver some sustained automatic firepower with just a flick of a selector switch.

The Heckler Koch HK G8 sniper rifle originally retained a detachable magazine housing of the HK 11E1 machine gun, which could be replaced with a belt feed unit from the same weapon. However, this feature was deemed unnecessary for a police weapon and was abandoned in the HK G8A1 sniper rifle variant. Standard feed devices for the HK G8 rifle were either the HK G3 box magazines with a 20-round capacity, or the HK 50-round drums, originally developed for the HK 11 machine gun.

The Heckler Koch HK G8 sniper rifle specifications

  • Caliber:7,62×51 NATO
  • Action: select-fire, roller delayed blowback firing from the closed bolt
  • Overall length: 1030 mm
  • Barrel length: 450 mm
  • Weight, empty, w/o scope and bipod: 7.5 kg
  • Magazine capacity: 20 or 50 rounds
  • Rate of fire, cyclic: 800 rounds per minute