The G3 by Heckler & Koch, Germany, has its roots in the Stgw.45 («Sturmgewehr 45» -assault rifle 45), designed in Germany by Mauser at the end of WW2. After the war in ca. 1950, this design with a roller-delayed blowback action was further improved in Spain by the CETME («Centro de Estudios Tecnicos de Materiales Especiales» - center for technical studies on special materials) for the new Spanish service rifle. CETME assembled a team which included former Mauser engineers and in 1952, the Spanish government contracted H&K to adapt the CETME rifle to the new NATO caliber 7.62x54 mm. After about another five years of development, the West German army adopted the new rifle in 1959, and gave it its new name, G3 («Gewehr 3» - rifle 3) replacing the FN FAL. As many as 50 nations have adopted the G3 as their standard infantry arm since then. Several variants of the G3 exist, in 1963, the G3A1 was produced with a folding stock and flip-over iron sights. The G3A2 was an improved version with a fixed polymer stock instead of the wooden one of the original G3 and drum-type rear sights. The G3A3 and G3A4 were both modified with a retractable stock. Carbine variants with short 31.5 cm barrels instead of the usual 45 cm barrels have also been produced as G3K, G3KA1, G3KA2 and G3KA4. A civilian semi-automatic-only version is offered as HK91, mainly for import in the USA. 30-round magazines are also available for the G3 family.




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