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The PSG-1 is a late Cold War era sniper rifle of German origin. It was the first sniper rifle designed from scratch for law enforcement use. The design of a semi-automatic sniper rifle based on the G3 was already started in 1971 and was fast tracked due to the failed 1972 Munich Olympics hostage rescue attempt. PSG-1 stands for Präzisionsscharfschützengewehr 1, German for precision sniper rifle 1.
The design of the PSG-1 is based on the successful Heckler & Koch G3 battle rifle. It features the same roller locked delayed blowback mechanism and receiver, otherwise it is highly modified. The thick barrel is free floating and the rifle is fitted with a low noise bolt closing device. The PSG-1 is very ergonomic as it features a large fully adjustable stock, a palm rest on the pistol grip and a Gardini mini tripod. The Hensoldt 6x42mm scope with illuminated reticule was fitted as standard. The original model is replaced by the PSG-1A1 since 2006, which is fitted with the Schmidt & Bender 3-12x50mm scope.
The PSG-1 is a semi-automatic sniper rifle that fires the 7.62x51mm NATO round from 5 or 20 round magazines. The accuracy is described as better than match grade and with proper ammunition 0.5 MOA can be achieved. The maximum effective range is considered to be about 1.000 meters, but the original Hensoldt 6x42 scope can be used only up to 600 m. Due to its role the maximum range in practice will be 300 meters or less.