The Heckler & Koch G3 is a German-made battle rifle chambered for the 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge. It was developed by Heckler & Koch in collaboration with the Spanish state-owned design and development agency CETME.

In the early 19902, Heckler & Koch developed the Heckler & Koch G36 as a lighter, more compact successor to the G3, and the G3 was subsequently phased out of service with the Bundeswehr.


The G3 traces its origins back to WWII, and was initially developed from the successful German MG 42 machine gun. Over the subsequent decades, the weapon was refined and improved through several iterations, before the G3 went into full-scale production in 1959. The weapon can accept a wide array of accessories, including various optics, illumination devices, laser sights and suppressors — Heckler & Koch notably manufacture a quick-release scope mount for the weapon. The weapon has been issued by numerous armies around the world, and has been a feature of several conflicts, including the Vietnam War, the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the Iran-Iraq War and both Gulf Wars.

The G3 was subsequently used as a design base for the popular MP5 series of submachine guns, which feature several similarities and operate using the same internal mechanism.


Numerous variants of the G3 are offered, including a large number of trigger grouping, barrel length and stock combinations. Heckler & Koch also produce a designated marksman variant of the rifle, the G3SG/1, developed from individual rifles selected from the production line for their accuracy, and a sniper variant, the PSG-1.

Notable Users[]

Several of the Colombian Scorpions in Los Angeles used G3A3 rifles during a shootout with the LAPD. Several LAPD officers were also equipped with G3A3s, typically fitted with Imatronic LS45 laser sights.