HK PSG1 Rifle
Specific purpose from factory:
This rifle was produced as an anti material and sniper rifle to assist in eliminating threats or providing counter shooting from a large distance away from target, with the need for accurate and fast follow up shots.
Adaptations that have become the norm for operators:
For those agencies that can readily afford the system, it has become an anti terrorist, anti material and anti personnel (sniper) rifle capable of eliminating multiple threats from advanced positions. The HK PSG1 Rifle is made for Military and Law Enforcement, but has found a niche as an agency weapon rather than a military weapon, partially because the high cost of the HK PSG1 Rifle, and partially because it is incredibly bulky and heavy. Heckler & Koch also produces a military specific variant of the HK PSG1 Rifle in the MSG 90
600-800 Meters up to the full effective range of the Ammunition (an accepted maximum distance is around 1200 Meters for a man sized target, though shots past 900-1000 meters are seldom justified with the 7.62×51)
The accuracy requirements allow for a highly praised and capable firearm, but with the high price and heavyweight, the best accomplishments are that of contracts with notable agencies in Europe and throughout the world, and a high level of specialty contracts for Counter sniper units and military sniper teams.
Engagement History of Note:
The HK PSG1 Rifle has been endorsed by the FBI HRT (Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Hostage Rescue Team) through their use of it as an anti-material and anti-personnel rifle (sniper rifle). There has been no noted history of the weapon in use, however, in America, it is assumed that team members have employed this weapon in notable situations such as the Raid on Waco, Texas Branch Davidian compound by the FBI HRT, and the Ruby Ridge Incident where the FBI HRT was called in to aid U.S. Marshals.
Of late, the rifle has been coming out of factory as the HK PSG1A1 Rifle with an updated cocking/charging handle which no longer interferes with the optics mounts and upper receiver area. The Trigger is set to 3 lbs. at factory and is fully adjustable for the user to fine tune. The standard configuration items remain intact, including a fully adjustable butt stock, a proprietary rail system on the bottom of the forend and a factory bipod. Additionally, the pistol grip is a palm swell adjustable part and there is a cheek piece attached to the butt stock, which by itself is also adjustable. The paired optic has been changed from a Hensoldt scope to a Schmidt and Bender variable scope.
A brass catcher is deemed necessary by many operators to avoid sight signature and noise. The mounting rail on the front of the forend can accept attachments for slings and other items. There are developments for new stocks to be usable on the HK PSG1 Rifle this year, including a factory option for a side folding stock as part of the total package.
Basic Information about the Firearm:
The HK PSG1 rifle uses a Delayed blowback operation with an expanding roller locked bolt which fires from the closed position. It utilizes a 25.6” barrel which is polygonally rifled and cold hammer forged; It weighs a hefty 16.5 pounds empty, with an empty 20 round magazine. The overall length of the HK PSG1 rifle is 48.4 inches. It does not have iron sights, and instead employs a 12 power Schmidt and Bender variable scope (3-12×50) with a 50 mm objective lens.
MSRP just under $10,000 USD (however demand for the firearm, and its elite status, often times pushes the price of the HK PSG1 Rifle to astronomical heights, sometimes above $19,000 USD for rifles in America. The import rulings surrounding firearms has pushed this price ever upward.
Expectations from Factory:
Heckler and Koch put a stringent requirement of 50 shots in an 80mm grouping at 300 meters. This figure equates to 1 MOA at 300 meters, which far exceeds most accuracy requirements from factory for other makers and exceeds the capability of most rifles in the market.
Expectations from end users:
End users can expect MOA accuracy out to long range engagement parameters. There is a 20 round capacity magazine which allows for a massive amount of firepower.
General information about the HK PSG1 Rifle:
The HK PSG1 Rifle is a pop culture icon with those involved in a mainstream Gun industry. It is a rifle that has seen rumors surrounding it since its introduction. In fact, the sole purpose the HK PSG1 Rifle exists according to several sources, is that the 1972 Olympic Games incidents in Munich mandated that a high power long range and accurate rifle be introduced to end threat of this style in the early stages, before they can become as big or as deadly as this did. The HK PSG1 Rifle is more than just a pop culture sensation and a cool looking firearm: it has real street credentials.
The HK PSG1 Rifle is amongst the most accurate and highest capacity shoulder fired rifle in the spectrum, up against notable other specific examples. It was designed in the early 1970’s and released unofficially in 1972, but rose to fame during the military speculation of the 1980’s and early 1990’s where there was a great deal of pressure on military organizations to outdo each other. It was designed after the incredibly popular HK G3 rifle, which itself was never known for its accuracy specifically, rather its robust platform and incredible reliability. In the grand scheme of things, an anti-material rifle like the HK PSG1 should be more reliable than it is accurate; however, a Sniper rifle must also exhibit the accuracy suitable to the task at hand. In the HK PSG1 Rifle, agencies around the world found their perfect mix. That’s the beauty of the HK PSG1, it doesn’t beat everybody in every category, but in most categories, it excels relative to competition. That is what justifies it’s high price, and alleviates some of the ill feelings towards its hefty weight.
It has a massive barrel, over 25 inches long with a profile of more than .875 across the length (it is .875 at the muzzle O.D.), which contributes to tit’s sensation accuracy in some portion combined with a cold hammer forged polygonal rifling and a cryogenic treatment (though at the time of initial production, the barrel was not treated). The rifling is a four groove RH twist, which lends excellently to the stabilization for standard anti personnel rounds in the caliber. The action is semi automatic and relies on a bolt made famous in the g3 which utilizes a special bearing system incorporating roller guides to improve lockup. The system uses a pair of rolling cylinders mounted on the side of the bolt to lock it into place, and utilizes pressure from firing to force the rollers back into the bolt head as the bolt travels rearward. The HK PSG1 Rilfe uses an accurized version of the delayed blowback roller technology to ensure reliability and gas pressure.
The Trigger group is a fully adjustable and removable housing which allows pull weight and distance, over travel and take up adjustments. The firearm is essentially a fully tuned and accurized HK G3, with some add-on items. The Butt stock is fully adjustable for all necessary stock adjustments in some capacity including: comb, length of pull, drop and recoil pad, as well as others. The pistol grip is a palm swell type with an adjustable palm shelf designed to immobilize the hand during strategic shots. The HK pSG1 has furniture made from the standard Heckler & Koch High impact polymer, and the grip is a combination of stippled wood and polymer.
The HK PSG1 is an aggressive looking rifle, compared to the standard sniper rifle of choice throughout the modern era: the bolt action. It has a dated look, but a classic styling, and nothing is dated about its performance or service record. It has service records with over 15 countries and has law enforcement usage in over 35 verifiable countries around the world in some capacity. The optic is high quality and has international support for warrantee work. The package is what this thing is all about: it comes tuned as an out of the box solution to a problem, which has never been and will never be an out of the box situation. Sniper Rifles, anti material rifles and anything else you want to call them will always require some degree of work to get them dialed in. In the case of the HK PSG1 Rifle, this “work” is merely a function of finding the right ammunition to post the groupings you are looking for. The HK PSG1 Rifle is as close out of the box to a pure sniper rifle as any semi automatic can claim to be. It’s design certainly seems to be timeless as well, it was introduced in the early 1970’s and still provokes the lust response to most anyone within grasp or sight of the 16 and a half pound beast.
Author’s personal experience with the Firearm:
The Good: The HK PSG1 Rifle is more accurate than I am; a gun so spot on out of the factory, that there are few firearms that could pose a legitimate challenge to the viability of this weapon. The others are all pretenders to the throne. In time, I am sure something will come around that is better out of the box, but it won’t be by much. I have shot 1” 10 shot groups with this rifle at 300 yards; some bolt actions out of the box, supposedly accurized at factory cannot shoot 1” groups at half that distance. That is saying something. The HK PSG1 has turn on its head, the notion that a semi auto cannot approach the accuracy of bolt guns.
The Bad: Despite certain aspects of this rifle being above reproach, the PSG1 also has some awkward moments. It is heavy, hard to carry and awkward in movement. As finely balanced and tuned as it is, it’s not possible to run with this thing and feel confident that you will not damage the optic or the sighting in. The noise of the weapon is a bit too loud for the most sensitive of operations. The cost is ridiculous in the United States, and even around the rest of the world, the HK PSG1 rifle is exorbitantly expensive.
The Ugly: The brass cannot be reused, and the stuff launches at least 25 feet when it is extracted. That type of concern is more than just an ammunition reloading concern; it could be the difference between life and death. The visible signature of a sniper is as important as the accuracy of his rifle. In this case, I believe that militaries around the world have failed to adopt this rifle in large quantities as a direct result of the weight (mentioned above) and the extraction concerns. In America, there are said to be less than 350 rifles available, and most are the figurehead of private collections and therefore not for sale. The Brugger and Thomet Suppressor I have used on this rifle is not nearly as well suited to the job as domestic versions for sale in the United States for the cartridge, that I have tested.
As a final note, there has been perhaps, no other precision rifle as heavily talked about, or the subject of so much misinformation or lust by enthusiasts as the HK PSG1. This rifle is proof that Heckler and Koch is not only a company capable of incredible innovation and delivery of goods, but one which has perhaps the best media and press team in the business.