Firearms / Assault rifles / G3

G3

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Battle rifle

  • ORIGIN
    Germany

  • NICKNAMES
    Ak-4 (Swedish designation)
    AG-3 (Norwegian G3A3)
    AG-3F1 (Norwegian G3A4)
    Dinar (Sudanese production)
    G3A5 (Danish G3A3)
    G3A6 (Iranian G3A3)
    G3A7 (Turkish G3A3)
    G3A7A1 (Turkish G3A4)
    G3P4 (Pakistani G3A4)
    Gevaer M/66 (Danish designation)
    Gevaer M/75 (Danish designation)
    m/961 (Portugese G3)
    m/963 (Portugese G3A3)

  • DESIGNED
    1950's

  • DESIGNER
    Heckler & Koch

  • PRODUCTION
    1964 - present

  • PRODUCERS
    France - MAS
    Germany - Heckler & Koch
    Greece - Hellenic Arms Industry
    Iran - DIO
    Mexico - SEDENA
    Myanmar - Ka Pa SA
    Norway - Kongsberg
    Pakistan - POF
    Portugal - INDEP
    Saudi Arabia - Al Kharj
    Sudan - MIC
    Sweden - Carl Gustav
    Turkey - MKE
    United Kingdom - Royal Ordnance

  • QUANTITY
    Over 7 million produced

  • UNIT COST
    Higher unit cost than

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Very good accuracy
    Rugged and very reliable
    Large caliber
    Expensive to produce
    Difficult to attach accessories
    Heavy

Introduction

The G3 is a battle rifle of German origin. It was developed in the 1950’s by Heckler & Koch to supply the German military with a new rifle after World War 2. The design of the G3 is based on the early developments of the Spanish CETME Model 58 rifle, which itself was based on German development at later stages of World War 2. The G3 is the grandfather of a wide range of Heckler & Koch weapons such as the famous MP5 sub machine gun, HK 33 assault rifle, the PSG-1 sniper rifle and the HK 21 machinegun.

Design

The G3 has a conventional layout and features the roller delayed blowback mechanism. The very earliest models had wooden stocks and handguards. These soon changed to a light green or light brown plastic stock and slimline handguard. Later on the wider ‘tropical’ handguard was fitted, which was available in green and black.

Firepower

The G3 fires the 7.62x51mm NATO round from 20 round metal or plastic magazines. The G3 fires semi-automatic and fully automatic at a rate of fire of about 550 rounds per minute. Due to the high production quality and roller delayed blowback mechanism the G3 is very accurate.

Users

The G3 was the standard issue rifle of the German army for several decades. It was adopted by many nations as their standard issue rifle and was nearly as successful as the Belgian FAL. The G3 remains in active use today, although nowadays the G3 is more and more replaced by lighter and more modern assault rifles.

Variants

G3-K

The G3-K is the carbine version of the full size G3. K stands for Kurz, German for short. All G3-K are fitted with a retractable stock, resulting in the designation G3-KA4, although in theory a fixed stock could be fitted as well. Since the G3-K is a somewhat newer development virtually all G3-K are fitted with the wide ‘tropical’ handguard.

TypeBattle rifle
Caliber7.62x51mm NATO
Magazine20 round box
OperationRoller locked delayed blowback
Fire selector0-1-F
Rate of fire500 - 600 rpm
Barrel length315 mm
Rifling4 grooves, 305 mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity780 m/s
StockRetractable
Length895 mm / 711 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight4.1 kg
SightsIron sights
diopter rear sight, hooded post front sight, 100 - 400 m gradations, 572mm sight radius
Remarks-

G3

The G3 is the original full size rifle of the G3 family. The G3A3 has a fixed stock while the G3A4 has a retractable stock. The very earliest models had wooden stocks and handguards. These soon changed to a light green plastic stock and slimline handguard, which are available in light brown as well. Later on the wider ‘tropical’ handguard was fitted, which was available in green and black. All G3’s can be fitted with the HK 79 under barrel grenade launcher. This setup is called the TGS which is short for Tragbares Granat System, German for portable grenade system.

TypeBattle rifle
Caliber7.62x51mm NATO
Magazine20 round box
OperationRoller locked delayed blowback
Fire selector0-1-F
Rate of fire500 - 600 rpm
Barrel length450 mm
Rifling4 grooves, 305 mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity800 m/s
StockFixed
Length1.023 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight4.4 kg
SightsIron sights
diopter rear sight, hooded post front sight, 100 - 400 m gradations, 572mm sight radius
Remarks-
TypeBattle rifle
Caliber7.62x51mm NATO
Magazine20 round box
OperationRoller locked delayed blowback
Fire selector0-1-F
Rate of fire500 - 600 rpm
Barrel length450 mm
Rifling4 grooves, 305 mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity800 m/s
StockRetractable
Length1.026 mm / 840 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight4.7 kg
SightsIron sights
diopter rear sight, hooded post front sight, 100 - 400 m gradations, 572mm sight radius
Remarks-

G3ZF

The G3ZF or G3A3ZF is designated marksman rifle based on the G3. ZF stands for Zielfernrohr, German for scope. The G3ZF is simply standard G3A3 model that has been handpicked for accuracy and fitted with a 4x scope. Sometimes a cheeckpiece and bipod are fitted as well.

TypeBattle rifle
Caliber7.62x51mm NATO
Magazine20 round box
OperationRoller locked delayed blowback
Fire selector0-1-F
Rate of fire500 - 600 rpm
Barrel length450 mm
Rifling4 grooves, 305 mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity800 m/s
StockFixed
Length1.023 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight4.5 kg without optics
SightsHensoldt 4x24 sight
Iron sights
diopter rear sight, hooded post front sight, 100 - 400 m gradations, 572mm sight radius
RemarksFixed foldable bipod

G3SG/1

The G3SG/1 is a sniper rifle based on the G3. It consists of a full size G3 that has been handpicked for accuracy. A special trigger group, bipod, chiekpiece and 1.5-6x scope have been fitted. The intricate G3SG/1 trigger group has a button to set the trigger just behind the trigger itself. It is one of the best designed trigger groups to this day and still allows for automatic fire.

TypeSniper rifle
Caliber7.62x51mm NATO
Magazine20 round box
OperationRoller locked delayed blowback
Fire selector0-1-F
Rate of fire500 - 600 rpm
Barrel length450 mm
Rifling4 grooves, 305 mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity800 m/s
StockFixed
Length1.023 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight5.54 kg with optics
SightsZeiss 1.5-6x sight
Iron sights
diopter rear sight, hooded post front sight, 100 - 400 m gradations, 572mm sight radius
RemarksFixed foldable bipod

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