This G3 is a fully functional, beautiful example of a German sniper rifle. It is equipped with a bipod, Schmidt & Bender 1-1/2 to 6x scope (with mount, rubber eye cup, scope covers, and scope brush), one 5-round magazine, leather sling, hard rubber cleaning rod, unopened instruction manual, and custom wooden case. It has an eagle/”N” proof mark on the left side of the magazine well, while the left side is marked “Made in Germany/HK Inc/Arl. Va. 22201”
Designed in the early 1950’s by Heckler & Koch, the G3 sniper rifle’s origin goes back to the Mauser engineers at Oberndorf am Neckar in the final years of World War II, who designed the prototype assault rifle, the STG45. These German engineers went to work in France at the Mulhouse facility, where three modified versions of the STG45 were made in .30 carbine, 7.92x33mm Kurz, and 7.65x33mm French short cartridge. Before these rifles could be adopted, France became the second NATO contributor, and the production was canceled for financial reasons. Shortly after that, Ludwig Vorgrimler, on of the technicians, moved to Spain where he designed the LV-50 rifle, renamed Modelo 2.
The Modelo 2 quickly caught the eye of the West German Border Guards (Bundesgrenzschutz) who were looking to re-equip the national defense forces. However, it was chambered for the 7.92x40mm CETME M53 round, and because the Germans were unwilling to accept a non-NATO cartridge, CETME developed a 7.62×51 version of the same rifle. Shortly thereafter, the Modelo 2 was modified to fire from a closed both in both semi and full-auto, and was fitted with a new perforated sheet metal handguard and a longer barrel with a grenade launcher guide, creating the Modelo 58.
In 1956, the Bundesgrenzschutz purchased multiple CETME rifles for testing, and in January 1959 the Bundeswehr officially adopted it as the G3. However, the German government wanted G3 licensing and production to be in Germany, so they offered contracts to supply the German Air Force with 2.0mm ammunition in exchange for production rights, which were then assigned to Rheinmetall and H&K. In 1969, in exchange for H&K’s promise not to bid on the MG3 production, Rheinmetall gave up production rights to the G3, and in 1977 the West German government gave its ownership to H&K.
The G3 rifle is a roller-delayed, blowback-operated, select-fire rifle. It is equipped with iron sights, the rear of which is adjustable for windage and elevation. The barrel is fitted with a flash suppressor which can be used to attach a bayonet or as an adaptor for launching rifle grenades.
Many variants of the G3 were produced over the years. The G3SG/1 is an accurized version of the sniper rifle, as indicated by the “SG” which is short for Scharfschutzengewehr (sharpshooting rifle). For production of these rifles, G3’s were individually selected due to accuracy from the production line, and then they modified. Among the modifications, a Zeiss 1.5-6x telescopic sight was attached with an HK claw mount. Also, the stock was extended compared to the standard G3 fixed stock, and was equipped with a heavy, dual-stage buffer and adjustable cheek rest. A specialized trigger group was also used in the G3SG/1 to allow for a more crisp trigger pull (1lb).
The G3 rifle and its variants have been used by the armed forces of over forty countries. It was used as the primary service rifle by the German army from the 1950’s until the 1990’s, when it was replaced by the HK G41 and HK G11. The Greek armed forces used the HK G3A3 variant until the late 1970’s, when it was replaced by the M1 Garand. Indonesian Air Force Special Forces used the G3 as their standard rifle from the early 1960’s until it was replaced by the M16A3. In Norway the AG-3 variant was produced locally, and although production of this variant ended in 1974, it is still in use by the National Guard. The South African Marine Corps and Air Force used the G3 as their standard issue rifle until the 1980’s when it was replaced by the R4.