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Heckler - Koch PSG1 sniper rifle (Germany)

The HK PSG1 sniper rifle (Prazisions-Schutzen-Gewehr, or “high-precision marksman’s rifle” in English) had been developed by the German company Heckler – Koch by  mid-1980s as an ultimate police and counter-terror weapon. Some German elite law-enforcement groups, like GSG-9 or KSK, participate in this development, and since its introduction the HK PSG1 rifle had been adopted by various police forces in Europe and Americas.


HK PSG1 sniper rifle
HK PSG1 sniper rifle


It is way too heavy and somewhat too gentle for military use, so HK developed two more sniper weapons. The first, that actually precedes the PSG1, was the G3-SG1, an accurized  and scope-fitted version of the basic HK G3 automatic rifle for German Army. During late 1980s HK also developed a derivative of the PSG1, called MSG-90, for export military sales. In 2006, Heckler &Koch introduced a slightly upgraded version of the PSG1, designated HK PSG1-A1. However, excessive price and competition from other designs resulted in decrease of sales, and production of HK PSG1 sniper rifle finally ceased around 2010.


HK PSG1-A1 sniper rifle
HK PSG1-A1 sniper rifle


HK PSG1 sniper rifle is a heavily modified G3 rifle. It features similar roller-delayed blowback action, derived from earlier CETME rifles,although with certain modifications such as non-rotating rollers to ensure more stable headspacing.  Stamped steel receiver is reinforced with welded-on steel parts. Detachable trigger unit features semi-automatic only match-grade trigger wityh 1.5 kg trigger pull. The heavy barrel is precisely made by the cold hammer forging process with polygonal rifling for improved accuracy and longer life. Barrel is free-floating inside the forend. The ergonomically shaped pistol grip features anadjustable palm stop. Plastic buttstock is also adjustable for height and for length of pull. Another non-typical feature of the PSG-1 is the “silent bolt closing device”, actually similar to the forward assist, found on M16 rifles. This is apparently to be used in situations where a complete silence must be maintained until the shot is fired. The devise is no more that a push button, located just behind the ejection port, and linked to the bolt carrier by the ratchet-like device. The rifle is fed using standard 20-rounds G3 magazines or special 5-rounds magazines. There’s no open (iron) sights on the PSG-1. Instead, it is fitted with the Hendsoldt 6X42 fixed power telescope sightwith illuminated reticle. The scope has built-in range adjuster that works in ranges from 100 to 600 meters. HK PSG1-A1 sniper rifle was offered with more modern Schmidt and Bender 3-12×50 Police Marksman II telescope sight. Most strangely, the PSG-1 had no integral bipod. Instead, it was issued with the separate rest, mounted on the compact tripod.


HK PSG-1 bolt group diagram
HK PSG-1 bolt group diagram. Note rollers with flats on their forward surfaces


Specification Value
Full text name Heckler - Koch PSG1 sniper rifle (Germany)
Caliber cartridge 7.62x51mm NATO / .308 Winchester
Action type semi-automatic
Trigger type sa
Overall length, mm 1208
Barrel length, mm 650
Weight empty, kg 8.1
Magazine capacity, rounds 5, 20