Steyr SSG 69

The SSG 69 (Scharfschützengewehr 69, literally Sharpshooter Rifle 69) is a bolt-action sniper rifle produced by Steyr Mannlicher that serves as the standard sniper rifle for the Austrian Army.[7]

Steyr SSG 69
Steyr SSG 69 PI
TypeSniper rifle
Place of originAustria
Service history
In service1969–present[1]
Used bysee Users
WarsLebanese Civil War
Sino-Vietnamese War
Syrian Civil War[2][3]
Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)[4]
Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen
Saudi–Yemeni border conflict (2015–present)
Production history
ManufacturerSteyr Mannlicher
Produced1969–2015
VariantsSSG 69 PI, SSG 69 PII, SSG 69 PIV
Specifications
Mass4 kg (8.82 lb) (SSG 69 PI)
4.2 kg (9.3 lb) (SSG 69 PII)
3.8 kg (8.4 lb) (SSG 69 PIV)
Length1,140 mm (44.9 in) (SSG 69 PI)
1,190 mm (46.8 in) (SSG 69 PII)[5]
1,003 mm (39.5 in) (SSG 69 PIV)
Barrel length650 mm (25.6 in) (SSG 69 PI, SSG 69 PII)
409 mm (16.1 in) (SSG 69 PIV)

Cartridge7.62×51mm NATO, .243 Winchester, .22-250 Remington (SSG 69 PII)[6]
ActionBolt-action
Muzzle velocityvaries by type of round used
Effective firing range800 m (875 yd)
Maximum firing range3,700 m (4,046 yd)
Feed system5-round rotary magazine
Sightsiron sights on SSG 69 PI
telescopic sight

Adopted in 1969 (hence the designation), it was ahead of its time with the use of synthetics and cold hammer-forged barrels for durability. Aside from being the Austrian Army's standard issue sniper rifle, it is also used by several law enforcement organizations. It is extremely accurate and several international competitions have been won using an SSG-69 with accuracy being sub 0.15 mrad (0.5 moa).

There are several variants made with mostly cosmetic differences, the only anomaly being the SSG-PIV using a 409 mm barrel with a 1:250 mm (1:10 inches) twist designed to handle heavy subsonic ammunition in conjunction with a suppressor.

The bolt action uses rear-locking lugs (in common with the SMLE), rather than the more common front-locking lugs. This, and the fact that it is only produced in the 'short action' length, limits the chambering to non-magnum calibres, a legacy of a military weapon designed only to fire the 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge. It is essentially a target/police/military weapon, but with its caliber and inherent accuracy, it lends itself to hunting that requires longer distance shots.

The standard magazine features an unusual 5-round rotary design, although a 10-round staggered box is available as an accessory. Both are transparent-backed, immediately showing remaining capacity.

In 2015 Steyr has decided to end production of the SSG 69.[8]

Users

A Steyr-Mannlicher SSG PII with double-set triggers is the main weapon of Jacques LaFleur (David Suchet), the main antagonist in the movie Harry and the Hendersons. Strangely, at one point in the film, he purchases .458 Winchester Magnum ammunition for the rifle, even though the SSG is chambered in the 7.62×51mm NATO ammunition. Due to a continuity error, the SSG repeatedly goes from having a standard 5-round magazine to a 10-round box magazine in the final scene of the film when LaFleur is hunting Harry in the woods.

See also

References

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