Country of origin
Weight (unloaded, without optics)
1 140 mm
Range of effective fire
Scharfschutzengewehr 69, or SSG 69 is an Austrian sniper rifle.
Externally it resembles a hunting rifle, however it
was specially designed as a weapon for military and law enforcement forces.
Since the mid 1960s the Austrian Army was looking for an advanced
sniper rifle to properly equip its own snipers. In
1969 the Steyr rifle was adopted by the Austrian Army as a standard
sniper weapon, hence its designation. After the break up of the Steyr-Daimler-Puch company, its firearm manufacturing division
became independent. Since 1987-1989 this sniper rifle was produced
by Steyr Mannlicher. Eventually this weapon
made its name for impressive accuracy and was adopted by a number of countries from all over the world, where
it is used by military or law enforcement forces. Currently the SSG
69 is one of the most popular sniper rifles in the world. Export
operators include Argentina, Chile, Greece, India, Indonesia,
Ireland, Jordan, Netherlands, Pakistan, Peru, Saudi Arabia and
Turkey. This sniper rifle is even used by a US BORTAC border patrol
unit. This weapon saw
action during numerous wars and military conflicts. The SSG 69 was
produced without changes for more than 40 years. Its production ceased
only in 2015. It was succeeded by a modern SSG 08
SSG 69 is a bolt-action weapon. It is chambered for a standard NATO
7.62x51 mm (.308 Winchester) cartridge. At the time of its
introduction in the late 1960s this weapon had a fairly unique
design. It was certainly different than most contemporary sniper
rifles. Design of the SSG 69 was ahead of its time. It
used synthetic materials for light weight and cold hammer-forged barrels for
durability. Also it had detachable magazine.
The SSG 69
sniper rifle is relatively compact. It comes with a 650 mm (25.6")
barrel. Furthermore it a very light rifle. Modern equivalents with
similar performance weigh nearly twice as much. Also the Austrian
SSG 69 proved to be a reliable and durable design.
rifle uses an unusual detachable rotary magazine, that holds 5
rounds. The magazine is transparent, so it is easy to see
how many rounds are loaded. The magazine is released by squeezing
two release buttons on either side of the magazine. A larger
10-round box magazine was available as an accessory. It protruded
down bellow the rifle.
The stock is
made of fiberglass. Back in the late 1960s it was a novelty, as most
other rifles had wooden stocks. Contemporary weapons, that were
adopted during similar time frame, including the US Army's M21,
USMC's M40 and German Mauser SP66, all had wooden stocks. So even
though the SSG 69 may not have been the first rifle with a synthetic
stock, but it was certainly pioneering that Steyr was using this
feature as standard. The buttstock is hollow to keep the weight
down. Also the buttstock has a spacer system, that allows for
adjusting the length of pull by adding or removing spacers.
is popular due to its accuracy. The Steyr SSG 69 demonstrated sub
0.5 MOA accuracy during several international competitions. Back in
the late 1960s just a few custom rifles were sub-MOA accurate. The
SSG 69 is normally used with a scope. Originally Austrian Army
rifles were paired with Kahles ZF69 6x magnification scopes. With
this scope the rifle was effective out to 600 meters. Later a Kahles
ZF84 10x magnification scope was adopted,. It extend effective range
of the rifle out to 800 meters. There are auxiliary iron sights for
There is a
standard accessory rail on the bottom of the forearm. It is used for
mounting sling studs and bipod. However despite its impressive
accuracy the SSG 69 can not match ergonomics of modern rifles. It
lacks a proper pistol grip, fully adjustable stock or Picatinny-type
rails. Furthermore there is no means of mounting any sort of rail.
Despite the fact that the SSG 69 is out-dated, it remains a very
competitive design. In terms of performance it meets modern
several variants of this sniper rifle, however most of them have
only cosmetic differences. The only anomaly is the SSG PIV rifle,
that was designed to be used in conjunction with a sound suppressor.
Steyr SSG 69
PI is a baseline version, used by the Austrian Army and other
Steyr SSG 69
PII is an improved version with a heavier barrel. This weapon was
tailored towards law enforcement forces. It was available chambered
for standard NATO 7.62x51 mm ammunition (.308 Winchester), as well
as .243 Winchester and .22-250 Remington ammunition. This weapon has
got no iron sights.
Steyr SSG 69
PIV was designed to be used in conjunction with a sound suppressor.
It was intended for urban operations. It comes with a shorter 409 mm (16.1") barrel and can handle heavier
subsonic ammunition. This weapon chambered for standard NATO 7.62x51
mm (.308 Winchester) ammunition. This silenced sniper rifle is used
by Austrian armed forces.