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H&K PSG-1 Sniper Rifle.jpg
The PSG1
Type Sniper rifle
Place of origin  West Germany
Service history
In service 1972–present
Used by See Users
Production history
Designer Heckler & Koch GmbH
Designed 1970s
Manufacturer * Heckler & Koch GmbH
Produced 1972–present
Variants * PSG1A1
  • MSG90
  • MSG90A1
Weight 7.2 kg (15.87 lb)
Length 1,230 mm (48.4 in)
Barrel length 650 mm (25.6 in)
600 mm (23.6 in) (MSG-90)
Width 59 mm (2.3 in)
Height 258 mm (10.2 in) with telescopic sight

Cartridge 7.62×51mm NATO
Action Roller-delayed blowback
Muzzle velocity 868 m/s (2,848 ft/s)
Effective range 800 m (2,625 ft)
Feed system 5, 10 or 20-round detachable box magazine. 50 round drum also compatible.
Sights Hensoldt ZF6x42PSG1 telescopic sight with illuminated reticle

The PSG1 (Präzisionsschützengewehr, German for "precision target rifle") is a semi-automatic sniper rifle designed by the German company Heckler & Koch of Oberndorf am Neckar.


This rifle is said to have been developed in response to the Munich massacre at the 1972 Summer Olympics. The West German police units could not engage the terrorists quickly enough to prevent them from killing their hostages. H&K was then commissioned to create a high accuracy, large magazine capacity, semi-automatic rifle for police and military use.[citation needed]

In addition, the rifle has been licensed for local production in Pakistan by Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) as the PSR-90 and Mexico by SEDENA as the Morelos Bicentenario.

Design details

The PSG1 is mechanically based on the G3 rifle and features a low-noise bolt closing device (similar to the forward assist on many M16 rifles). Its shot-to-shot variation is expected to be better than 1 minute of angle (MOA) with match ammunition. Although this level of accuracy is unremarkable in modern semi-automatic rifles, it was claimed that the PSG1 was "one of the most accurate semi-automatic sniper rifles in the world."[1]

PSG1s are not supplied with iron sights but come equipped with the Hensoldt ZF6x42PSG1 scope with an illuminated reticle. The scope has a built-in range adjustment feature which can be adjusted from 100 to 600 m.

It has a heavy free-floating barrel with polygonal rifling and an adjustable stock. The stock is of high impact matte black plastic and has a high degree of adjustment. It is adjustable for length, and includes a pivoting butt cap and a vertically-adjustable cheekpiece. The forend is fitted with a T-way rail for sling swivel or tripod.

The rifle also features a removable and adjustable trigger unit, for further individual fitting of the rifle. The trigger pull can be modified and the whole assembly is removable from the pistol grip. The pistol grip is of a target-style with an adjustable palm shelf.

Another notable characteristic of the PSG1 is that after firing, the cartridge casing is ejected with substantial force, reportedly enough to throw it approximately 10 meters to the side (SVD rifle also has a similar tendency). While this is generally not an issue for law enforcement snipers, it greatly compromises the military use of the rifle, because it would easily give away the sniper's position. The brass is also difficult to find for clearing the area of usage marks afterwards, due to the wide area in which it could have landed. Not only does this rifle eject brass some distance, but it crimps the casing severely, meaning most casings cannot be reused.

The PSG-1's official silencer is from Brügger & Thomet (B and T).[2]



The PSG1A1 variant was introduced by Heckler & Koch in 2006, and features two major improvements. First, the cocking handle was relocated a couple of degrees counter-clockwise. This was due to the fact that when locked rearward, it often physically interfered with the long scopes often used on the rifles. The second modification involved the replacement of the outdated Hensoldt scope. Non-police users often found the scope's 600 m range limitation and simple crosshairs inadequate for their needs. In addition, the rechargeable batteries are difficult to recharge and to find replacements. A final fault is that Hensoldt does not service the scope in the United States. For these reasons, the PSG1A1 has been outfitted with a Schmidt & Bender 3-12x50 Police Marksman II scope, mounted on 34 mm (1.3 in) rings. To remedy brass ejection a brass catcher must be installed.


The MSG90 is a militarized variant of the PSG1, that is both strengthened and lightened. The PSG1 and MSG90 have different trigger packs. The MSG90 uses a modified version of the push pin trigger packs of H&K roller locked select-fire assault rifles. The composite shoulder stock of the MSG90 is adjustable for height (cheek), length of pull (shoulder), and is smaller and lighter than that of the PSG1. MSG90s have a slightly shorter contoured barrel to help with harmonic stabilization and consistent whip instead of the PSG1's heavy barrel, but remain free-floating. As a result, these particular MSG90 A1's have a threaded barrel capable of attaching a suppressor, which is an advantage over the PSG1.

The sighting system utilizes the multipurpose Weaver rail system rather than the STANAG 2324 claw mount for affixing sighting systems which can be purchased separately. This same rail mounting system is used on the HK21E, HK23E, and G41 (discontinued) series.

The barrel is weighted at the muzzle to aid harmonic stabilization of barrel whip to enhance accuracy. The addition of a flash suppressor adds to the overall length.

In the US

Due to its high cost and import ban, the number of PSG1s in the United States is (as of 2005) fewer than 400, mostly in the hands of wealthy private collectors, and currently sells for between US$12,000 and US$15,000.[3] Contrary to popular belief, very few American law enforcement agencies make use of the PSG1; however, the MSG90 can be found in many different units.[citation needed]


Country Organization Model Quantity Date Reference
 Albania Special forces - - _ [4]
 Brazil Special Forces of Brazilian Army, Air Force, Marines,many law enforcement units PSG-1 _ _ [citation needed]
 Bulgaria Military Police of Bulgarian Army PSG-1A1 _ _ [citation needed]
 Denmark Danish special forces have in a few public events in the 1990s been photographed with MSG90 versions but they are now obsolete. MSG90 _ _ [citation needed]
 Finland Karhu Team (Special Operations Unit of the Helsinki police department) PSG-1 _ _ [5]
 France 1st Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment of the French Army MSG90 _ _ [6]
 Hong Kong Special Duties Unit _ _ _ _
 India National Security Guard
Indian Army
- _ _ [7]
 Indonesia Komando Pasukan Katak (Kopaska) tactical diver group of the Indonesian Navy MSG90 _ _ [8]
Komando Pasukan Khusus (Kopassus) special forces group of the Indonesian Army MSG90 _ _ [8]
 Iraq Iraqi Armed Forces MSG90A1 _ _ [9]
 Lithuania Lithuanian Armed Forces MSG90A1 _ _ [9]
 Luxembourg Unité Spéciale de la Police intervention unit of the Grand Ducal Police PSG1 _ _ [10][11][12]
 Macau Grupo de Operações Especiais (Macau) _ _ _ [citation needed]
 Malaysia 11th Grup Gerak Khas (GGK) Counter-Terrorism Army Squad of the Malaysian Army MSG90A1 _ _ [13]
Pasukan Khas Laut (PASKAL) Maritime Counter-Terrorism Squad of the Royal Malaysian Navy _ _ [14]
Pasukan Khas Udara (PASKAU) Counter-Terrorism Air Force Team of the Royal Malaysian Air Force PSG1A1 _ _ [15]
Pasukan Gerakan Khas Counter-Terrorism Police Squad of the Royal Malaysia Police _ _
 Mexico Standard marksman rifle of the Mexican Army
Also used by the Policía Federal
MSG90SDN _ _ [16]
 Netherlands Dienst Speciale Interventies (DSI) Unit Expertise & Operationele Ondersteuning police snipers of the Korps landelijke politiediensten Special Intervention Service. PSG1 _ _ [17]
 Norway Hærens Jegerkommando (HJK), Army Special Forces Command and Marinejegerkommandoen (MJK), Navy Special Forces Command. MSG90 _ _ [18][19]
 Pakistan Used by the Pakistan Army. Produced under license by Pakistan Ordnance Factories PSR90 _ _ [20][21]
 Republic of Korea Republic of Korea Naval Special Warfare Brigade MSG90
_ _ [22]
 Spain Grupo Especial de Operaciones of the Spanish police _ _ _ [23]
 Taiwan _ _ _ _ [24]
 Thailand Royal Thai Navy SEALs PSG1 _ _ [citation needed]
 United Kingdom Used as a precision (sniper) rifle by specialist firearms officers in the British police PSG1 - _ [25]
United States Hostage Rescue Team of the Federal Bureau of Investigation PSG1 _ _ [26]
Delta Force - 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D) _ _ [citation needed]
 Vietnam Special force of Vietnam People's Police PSG1 _ _ [27][28]

See also


  1. 2008 Heckler & Koch Military and LE brochure
  3. $8,000
  6. "HK MSG90" (in French). French Army. 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-14. 
  7. Bharat Rakshak (2008). "NATIONAL SECURITY GUARDS". Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 2009-10-02. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Kopassus & Kopaska - Specijalne Postrojbe Republike Indonezije" (in Croatian). Hrvatski Vojnik Magazine. Retrieved 2010-06-12. 
  9. 9.0 9.1
  10. "Unofficial Pistols Page, Equipment". - Unofficial Website of Unité Spéciale, Officially Endorsed. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
  11. "L'Unite d'Intervention de la Police Luxembourgeoise" (in French). RAIDS Magazine. March 2006. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  12. Lasterra, Juan Pablo (2004). "UPS Unidad Especial de la Policia Luxembourguesa" (in Spanish). ARMAS Magazine. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  13. "Grup Gerak Khas - Malaysian Special Operations". Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  14. "Pasukan Khas Laut - Malaysian Special Operations". Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  15. Thompson, Leroy (December 2008). "Malaysian Special Forces". Special Weapons. Retrieved 2009-11-29. 
  17. " - Scherpschutters BBE Politie". Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  18. " -".;jsessionid=COABO3KKC3TWHQFIZYGSFEQ?_requestid=17351. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  19. " -".;jsessionid=COABO3KKC3TWHQFIZYGSFEQ?_requestid=18817. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  20. "Pakistan Army". 
  21. "POF - Semi Automatic Precision Sniper Rifle PSR 90". 
  22. Special Weapons, February 2010 issue. Page 67-68.
  23. "Grupo Especial de Operaciones - Fusiles de precisión" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2009-12-10. 
  24. Jones, Richard (2009). Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009-2010. Jane's Information Group. p. 903. ISBN 0-7106-2869-2. 
  25. Collins, Steve (1998). The Good Guys Wear Black. England: Arrow. p. 226. ISBN 0-09-918682-9. 
  26. “Anything, Anytime, Anywhere” The Unofficial History of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Hostage Rescue Team (HRT)

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