H&K MSG90 Sniper Rifle Overview

The H&K MSG90 is essentially a lighter, more portable, and soldier friendly version of the famous PSG1 rifle. It features many of its improvements and is accurized in much the same way, but has been put on a diet to better compete with more modern rifles. While the PSG1 was issued with a tripod for shooters to use in order to stabilize shots, the MSG90 was designed to fill more of a DMR role. So what makes the MSG90 any different than a G3? Well, let’s have a quick look.


Disclaimer: This is an HK rifle retrofitted with authentic MSG90 parts.

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The transcript ….

– [Voiceover] Hey guys, it’s Alex C. with TFBTV, and for today’s video we’re gonna be taking a look at a Heckler & Koch MSG90.

Now the MSG90 is an accurized G3 at its core.

Some people when they think of something like that might picture the PSG1 and this is a descendant of the PSG1, it’s basically a lighter, more mobile version.

More soldier friendly, more intended as a DMR, really.

Whereas the PSG1 is hugely heavy but, you can see here I’m really not a great shot, but I was able to pull off this group of.424 MOA at 100 yards with 168 grain ammo.

So some things that make it more accurate than a regular G3 are these T-rails welded on the side.

You can see how they are attached alongside each side of the receiver, to reduce receiver flex, very well thought out feature.

The butt stocks, while heavy, are fully adjustable.

You’ve got a rear iron sight which is known as the Princess Leia rear iron sight.

And a standard G3 triple post kind of, we’ll take a look at that in a second.

But you’ve actually got a detachable 10x Hensoldt scope that’s adjustable from 100 to 1000 meters.

The actual reticle is pretty simple as well, pretty typical of most DMR rifles, they’re not super fancy, no range finder or anything in there.

Now the barrels of course have a harmonic balancer built in.

And they have a detachable flash hider.

A silent bolt-closing device is present, which is reminiscent of a forward-assist on an M16, AR-15.

And you can see how they went about free-floating these.

They basically cut a triple post in half, and then welded the iron sight portion on top.

Something else that makes these more accurate is the extended trunnion here.

Let’s compare that against a regular G3’s trunnion, and you can see how extended it is, it’s longer and more robust.

And the trigger group breaks at three pounds, and has a very nice wide trigger shoe on there.

And you can see that for a faster lock time, the actual hammer which would normally be located here, is in a more upright position.

Also something very cool about it is the trigger’s boosted with two springs, it’s got an initial spring and then a second spring, that engages halfway through and pushes it harder.

You’ll see that again here.

You can see it release, and then boost, making the trigger pull very light and the lock time very fast.

Here you can see the beefed up extractor, the cuts for the silent bolt closure device, and the most interesting part is that these don’t have traditional rollers, they’re actually crescent-shaped titanium rollers, to make a more consistent lockup.

So the reason we’re doing this quick overview in the MSG90 is to basically set the stage for something we have coming up that’s very special.

Look for that in the next week or two, but we hope that this video was at least, show some light on a rifle that’s not very well known, relative to its older brother the PSG1.

Anyways guys, big thanks to you and Ventura Munitions, especially for providing the ammunition for our upcoming shooting videos we have that will feature this rifle.

See you next time.

Hey guys, it’s Alex C. with TFBTV again.

If you liked that video, why not do us a favor and check out our sponsor Ventura Munitions.

They really are a great company, and without them videos like this one would not be possible.

Click the link in the description, best place to buy ammo online.

Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


  • USMC03Vet

    Private video gonna private!

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      I guess I’ll call you Private Joker you grab-ass-tic piece of amphibian sh-t!

  • Joshua

    “let’s take a look!”
    well, maybe you will
    but the video being private kind of shuts the rest of us out
    have fun without us, we’re leaving now

  • G0rdon_Fr33man

    The Norwegian manufactured AG-3 features a bolt carrier with thumb cuts to help silently close the bolt. Simpler, cheaper and more robust than this feature.

    It is heartwarming to see the American fascination for European firearms. What I usually read online is about how commie our as*es apparently are πŸ˜›

    • Wolfgar

      Well you are commies, are you not? Just pulling your leg LOL πŸ™‚ We do enjoy firearms from across the ocean or any other place they exist!.

    • Good guns are good guns man, regardless of country of origin.

    • cwp

      Why should that stop us? Americans have a decades-long love affair with the Kalashnikov, a weapon designed and manufactured by actual honest to goodness Communists.

  • gunsandrockets

    Out of curiosity, I decided to google the price — around 5-6 grand!

    • Roamer

      They do – the MSG 91 SS. Just posted about it. $2600 isn’t cheap, but it’s not $6k either.

      • gunsandrockets

        The description of the PTR “MSG 91” doesn’t seem at all like the description of the HK MSG90.

        • It isnt.

        • Roamer

          The comparison’s been made on other websites. Like I said, I haven’t shot it myself, but the accuracy is supposed to be at least as good as the MSG90’s.

    • Link?

    • Edward Franklin

      I imagine PTR has probably looked into the idea of making a straight MSG90 clone and dismissed it because all of those simple modifications would ramp the price up rather dramatically. Once the price reaches a certain point the market for such a riflr diminishes quite rapidly and it wouldn’t make sense to devote the resources required to a rifle that might sell 20 units a year.

      You also have to step back and look at the fact if someone is looking at an MSG90 clone solely for its merits as a precision rifle you would be hard pressed to choose it over the sea of modern rifles that are lighter, more accurate, or simply cheaper.

      • gunsandrockets

        I respectfully disagree. Who ever suggested PTR try to make a straight MSG90a1 clone?

        Clearly PTR rifles aren’t cheap to begin with, and clearly PTR is trying to market accurate rifles, hence “PTR”. Some of the changes the MSG90A1 uses to increase accuracy are not a big deal and should be easily replicated, like free floating the barrel, stiffening the receiver, and adding a barrel harmonizer.

        • Edward Franklin

          The PTR MSG91SS is nearly 2700 dollars and lacks quite a few of the features of the MSG90, even if they just were making a spiritual successor they would need the T rails and a modified triple frame. Either PTR needs to individually modify receivers and components on an as order basis or they have to invest in the tooling and machinery to make the parts. Either way the cost is going to be passed onto the customer and I don’t know exactly how big the market would be for a likely over 3K MSG type rifle.

          There’s probably a very good reason why PTRs MSG91 lacks a lot of the one off features of the MSG90 and I’d bet it boils down to cost.

    • n0truscotsman

      Looking at it from the bright side, it fulfills its purpose still: a lower cost alternative to the PSG1. πŸ˜€

  • Wolfgar

    Another informative video Alex, thank’s for posting.

  • G0rdon_Fr33man

    Belgium is the best place to get illegal firearms btw…

    • Roamer

      Oh yes. Been that way since after WW2. Being the crossroads of western Europe has some benefits, after all…

  • Budogunner

    I can attest to the quality of PTR. I sourced parts from them for 922 (r) compliance and I dare say they are better than the originals.

    • They really arent. Heres a test to show how low the quality is on a gun finished on FMP tooling vs HK:


      • mosinman

        now does this actually impede function or is this just cosmetic stuff? because if it’s just cosmetic it’s a non issue imo

        • I would say the differences show a great disparity between the quality of machining which is of course usually indicative of superiority.

          • mosinman

            no doubt you want the best finish for top dollar, but a roughly finished gun can run just as well as a finely finished firearm if materials are similar in quality and they’re both within acceptable tolerances

      • Giolli Joker

        I see not only tooling issues… the care taken in the welds is much lower than on the originals and the finish of some components seems more of cast rather than machined parts.
        Overall there is less care to provide a quality product; possibly to keep everything in a reasonable price range.

        However, apparently PTR rifles still work fine.
        Any experience with Schwaben Arms? They’re German and expensive… but that’s all I know.

  • They lack almost all the special features of the MSG90 πŸ™

  • mechamaster

    Well, interesting unicorn rifle there, I’m lovin it!
    I have 2 little question :
    1. If the receiver is beefed up, did it still has the capability for H&K telescopic buttstock ? ( Just some curiosity there ).
    2. What kind off situation that the ‘silent-bolt assist / forward assist’ is needed for ?

  • AJ187

    No Sniper Wolf references? How disappointing……

    • Anonymoose

      She used a PSG1, and now basically whatever you give her. lol

    • Mazryonh

      Solid Snake: I’m going to show you how sniping should be handled. Take a good

      The only thing this rifle is missing is the ability to shoot tranquilizer ammunition!

  • plingr2

    If I understand it correct. They start with standart g3 frame. Then, they weld some T parts, at the place where is standart telescopic stock. The front trunnion is bigger and it is welded with frame, to get more stifness and the barrel is supported for more cm. It will by nice, if somobdy build it from old G3. There is no need for rear Leia sight and the bolt closer device. Stock can be permanently set with some wood. Trigger can be polished, springs can be changed. The real problem is only get the front trunnion. (Sorry for bad English)

    • Dont forget the special rollers. The heart of the system is the crescent shaped “rollers” made of titanium.

      • plingr2

        You are right. I talked about “poor man MSG90”. If you don’t have bolt, that was made with high precision, titanium rollers do not save the day. I thing, you can upgrade steel rollers, to get that shape. It will not be good as original.

  • FWIW: The configuration shown is closer to the MSG90A1 variant, which had been developed to meet the USMC’s 1990s DMR requirement. The USMC ultimately selected an accurized M14 instead.

  • tenmillimeter

    I could build 3x DPMS SASS rifles, all .5 MOA, for the price of one of these.