Sniper rifles chambered in 7.62×51mm NATO are renowned for their precision, versatility, and effectiveness in both military and law enforcement roles. This caliber, known for its balance of power and control, makes it a preferred choice for many armed forces globally. Here, we explore ten of the best 7.62 sniper rifles, delving into their origins, manufacturers, history of use, and the countries that deploy them.

1. M24 Sniper Weapon System

Origin and Manufacturer:

  • Origin: United States
  • Manufacturer: Remington Arms

History and Usage:

The M24 Sniper Weapon System (SWS) was adopted by the U.S. Army in 1988. It’s based on the Remington 700 action and has been the primary sniper rifle for U.S. military forces. Known for its accuracy and reliability, the M24 has seen action in numerous conflicts, including the Gulf War, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Countries Using It:

  • United States
  • Israel
  • Philippines
  • Georgia
  • Lebanon

2. Accuracy International Arctic Warfare

Origin and Manufacturer:

  • Origin: United Kingdom
  • Manufacturer: Accuracy International

History and Usage:

The Arctic Warfare (AW) series was introduced in the 1980s. The AW model in 7.62 NATO is favored for its exceptional durability and performance in extreme conditions. This rifle has been used by many NATO and allied forces and is known for its role in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Countries Using It:

  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Sweden
  • Australia
  • Norway

3. HK417

Origin and Manufacturer:

  • Origin: Germany
  • Manufacturer: Heckler & Koch

History and Usage:

Introduced in 2005, the HK417 is a battle rifle that has been adapted for sniper roles. It is highly regarded for its modularity and reliability. The rifle has been used extensively in counter-terrorism operations and by special forces units.

Countries Using It:

  • Germany
  • United States (various special forces)
  • France
  • Norway
  • Malaysia

4. FN SCAR-H PR

Origin and Manufacturer:

  • Origin: Belgium
  • Manufacturer: FN Herstal

History and Usage:

The FN SCAR-H Precision Rifle (PR) is part of the SCAR family, which was developed for U.S. SOCOM. The PR variant, introduced in the late 2000s, is optimized for long-range accuracy. It has been used in various modern conflicts due to its adaptability and precision.

Countries Using It:

  • United States (special operations forces)
  • Belgium
  • Italy
  • Turkey
  • Croatia

5. Sako TRG-22

Origin and Manufacturer:

  • Origin: Finland
  • Manufacturer: Sako

History and Usage:

The Sako TRG-22, introduced in the late 1990s, is designed for tactical and sniper applications. It is renowned for its out-of-the-box accuracy and has been widely adopted by military and police units for sniper roles.

Countries Using It:

  • Finland
  • France
  • Poland
  • United Kingdom
  • Israel

6. PGM Hécate II

Origin and Manufacturer:

  • Origin: France
  • Manufacturer: PGM Précision

History and Usage:

The PGM Hécate II is primarily a .50 BMG anti-materiel rifle, but the company also produces the Ultima Ratio in 7.62 NATO, which has gained a reputation for precision and robustness. It has been used by various military and police forces in Europe and the Middle East.

Countries Using It:

  • France
  • Switzerland
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Indonesia
  • United Arab Emirates

7. Dragunov SVD

Origin and Manufacturer:

  • Origin: Soviet Union (now Russia)
  • Manufacturer: Kalashnikov Concern

History and Usage:

The Dragunov SVD, designed in the early 1960s, is one of the most recognizable sniper rifles. It has seen extensive use in numerous conflicts across the globe, valued for its semi-automatic capability and reliability in diverse conditions.

Countries Using It:

  • Russia
  • China
  • Egypt
  • India
  • Vietnam

8. Barrett MRAD

Origin and Manufacturer:

  • Origin: United States
  • Manufacturer: Barrett Firearms Manufacturing

History and Usage:

The MRAD (Multi-Role Adaptive Design) was introduced in 2011 and is known for its modularity and multi-caliber capabilities. The 7.62 NATO variant is praised for its accuracy and has been adopted by various military forces for its adaptability.

Countries Using It:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • Italy
  • Sweden

9. Steyr SSG 08

Origin and Manufacturer:

  • Origin: Austria
  • Manufacturer: Steyr Mannlicher

History and Usage:

The Steyr SSG 08, introduced in 2008, is designed for military and law enforcement sniping. It is highly regarded for its precision, ergonomic design, and adaptability in various tactical scenarios.

Countries Using It:

  • Austria
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • Malaysia
  • Greece

10. Knight’s Armament M110

Origin and Manufacturer:

  • Origin: United States
  • Manufacturer: Knight’s Armament Company

History and Usage:

The M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System (SASS) was introduced in 2008, replacing the M24 in many roles within the U.S. military. It is valued for its semi-automatic operation, accuracy, and integration of modern optics and accessories.

Countries Using It:

  • United States
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • Italy
  • Australia

Conclusion

These ten 7.62 sniper rifles represent the pinnacle of precision, reliability, and adaptability in modern military and law enforcement operations. Each rifle has a unique history and set of features that make it suitable for various tactical scenarios, reflecting the diverse needs and conditions faced by armed forces around the world.

By 9M2PJU

An amateur radio operator, Royal Signals veteran, jack of all trades and master of none.

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