Country of origin
7.62 x 51 mm NATO
Weight (without magazine)
1 025 mm
Cyclic rate of fire
Practical rate of fire
40 - 120 rpm
Range of effective fire
In the mid
1950s German MoD was looking for a new automatic rifle, chambered for
a standard NATO 7.62x51 mm round. A number of designs were
considered and the Spanish
CETME Model B was eventually selected. In
1957 German government acquired production license of this weapon
and handed it over to their Heckler & Koch (HK) company. After some
local modifications this weapon was adopted by the German
armed forces (Bundeswehr) in 1959 as a standard issue infantry
rifle. It was used until the mid 1990s, when it was replaced by the
assault rifle. Production in Germany ceased only in 2001. Some variants of the G3 are still used by the German
border guards and police forces. A large number of these rifles are kept in storage. The German G3
battle rifle was widely
exported. At some point it was used by more than 75 countries
worldwide. It saw action during numerous military conflicts. This
weapon is still in service with more than 60 countries. So actually
the G3 is as popular as the Russian
M16. In some countries it is still used as a standard issue
infantry weapon. However numbers of the G3 are gradually reducing, as it is
being replaced by modern designs. Currently the HK company proposes
battle rifle, which can be seen as a follow-on to for the
The HK G3
was, or still is produced in Bangladesh, France, Greece, Iran, Luxembourg,
Mexico, Nigeria, Norway (AG-3), Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Sudan,
Sweden (Ak 4), Turkey and the United Kingdom. There are numerous derivatives of the
the G3 can trace its origins to the final years of World War II.
This weapon is chambered for a standard NATO 7.62x51 mm (.308 Win)
ammunition. It employs a roller-delayed blowback operating system.
The G3 proved to be a successful and reliable design. This weapon is
also easy to maintain. The G3 is cheap in production, as it uses a
number of stamped steel parts.
The G3 is
capable of semi-auto or full-auto firing. Fire mode selector is
conveniently located over the pistol grip and has a safety setting.
rifle is fed from 20-round capacity magazines. It is also compatible
with a 50-round drum magazine.
production versions of the G3 have simple iron sights. Later these
were replaced by diopter-type sights. The rear sight post has a
rotating drum with range settings for 100, 200, 300 and 400 meters.
Furthermore this automatic rifle can be fitted with scopes or night
production version of the G3 had a fixed wooden buttstock. Newer
models have plastic buttstocks. Also there are versions with a
telescopic metal stocks.
can launch riffle grenades. Furthermore it is compatible with HK79
40-mm underbarrel grenade launcher. This automatic rifle can mount
other accessories, such as silencer or bayonet. Later production
models can be fitted with a bipod.
G3 is an
original model with a wooden buttstock and foregrip.
G3A1 is a
version with a folding telescopic stock. It was adopted alongside
the baseline G3.
G3A2 is a
version with a fixed wooden buttstock and dioptric sights. The rear sight post has
a rotating drum.
version was produced in large numbers. It has a fixed plastic
buttstock and a foregrip. This weapon comes with dioptric sight.
G3A4 is a
version with a telescopic stock.
(Karabiner) is a version with a telescopic scope and shorter barrel.
It was designated L100A1 by the British Army.
G3A5 is a
version of the G3A3, produced for the Danish armed forces.
G3A6 is an
Iranian license-produced version of the G3A3.
G3A7 is a
Turkish license-produced version of the G3A3.
is a designated marksman rifle. This weapon is usually used by
sniper teams. It was developed in 1973. It is
based on the G3A3, but is fitted with a scope and bipod. Its stock
is fitted with a cheek. For the G3SG1 conversion the most accurate
examples of the G3A3 rifles were hand-picked in the factory.
AG-3 is a
Norwegian license-produced version.
G3P4 are versions of the G3A3 and G3A4 produced under license in
Ak 4 or
Automatkarbin 4 is a Swedish license-produced version.
PTR91F, SAR-3 are semi-automatic versions of the G3 for law
enforcement use and civil customers.
successful G3 automatic rifle also paved the way for other weapons,
produced by the Heckler & Koch company, such as the
HK33 assault rifle, PSG-1 sniper rifle, HK21 general
purpose machine gun, and other.