The HK PSG-1 is a German sniper rifle designed and manufactured by the German company Heckler & Koch. The PSG stands for the German words "PrÃ¤zisions-ScharfschÃ¼tzen-Gewehr". In English, the German words mean "precision sniper rifle". The sniper rifle is a semi-automatic weapon.
This sniper rifle is noted to have been designed and developed in response to the Munich Massacre at the 1972 Summer Olympics. The West German police units were unable to commandeer the terrorists with enough time and efficiency to prevent them from killing the hostages. HK was commissioned after this even to create a large shot capacity, high accuracy, semi-automatic rifle for military and police use. The result of the commission has an outstanding and long reputation as an extremely high performance and reliable rifle, commonly associated with elite sniper units.
Due to the weapons relatively high cost ($12,000-15,000 USD per rifle) and extreme government import restriction, the amount of PSG-1's in the United States is as of 2005 less than 400. Most of the weapons are owned by wealthy private collectors. Very few law enforcement agencies in the United States use the PSG-1.
The Heckler and Koch PSG-1 is mechanically based on the G3 rifle and features a low-noise bolt closing device (similar to the forward assist on the M16A1/A2/A3/A4). Its expected accuracy is below 1 minute of arc (MOA) and it is considered to be one of the most accurate semi-automatic sniper rifles, capable of putting 50 rounds of match ammunition inside an 80 mm circle at 300 meters. (3.14" at 328yds)
All HK PSG-1s are free of iron sights but come mounted with the Hensoldt 6Ã—42 scope with illuminated reticle, a heavy free-floating barrel and adjustable stock. The HK PSG-1 stock is of high impact plastic, matte black in color can be adjusted to fit anyone. It is adjustable for length, pivoting butt cap and includes a vertically-adjustable cheekpiece. The forend is fitted with a T-way rail for sling swivel or tripod.
The weapon also features a removable and adjustable trigger unit, for further individual fitting of the rifle. The trigger of the HK is adjustable for pull and is removable from pistol grip. The pistol grip is of a target-type with an adjustable palm shelf.
Another unique characteristic of the HK PSG-1 is, after firing, the bullet casing is ejected with substantial force, reportedly enough to throw it approximately 10 metres sideways. 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.
The PSG-1A1 was released by Heckler & Koch in 2006, and features two major changes. First, the cocking handle was relocated a couple degrees counter-clockwise. This was due to the fact that when locked rearward, it often physically interfered with the long scopes often used on sniper rifles. The second change is the replacement of the Hensoldt 6x42 scope. Non-police users often have found the scope's 600 meter range limitation and simple crosshairs inadequate for their needs. In addition, the rechargeable batteries are difficult to recharge, and to find replacements for. A final fault is that Hensoldt does not repair this scope in the United States. For these reasons, the PSG-1A1 has been outfitted with a Schmidt & Bender 3-12x50 Police Marksman II scope, mounted on 34 mm rings.