Heckler & Koch G3 (thing)
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|The [Heckler and Koch G3], to give it its full name, was one of the most popular post-war [battle rifle]s amongst the [Western powers] and those who fell within their spheres of influence. America had the [M16], Britain and the [Commonwealth] had the [FN FAL], whilst most others opted for the [G3]. Like the FAL it was chambered for the [7.62x51 mm] round and was therefore something of an [anachronism] throughout its long life.|
The rifle was based heavily on the [Spanish] [CETME], a rifle which was in turn created by ex-[Mauser] engineers who had left [Germany] at the end of [WW2]. The CETME itself was based on Mauser's prototype [Sturmgewehr 45], a device which would have replaced the [MP43] in the army of [Nazi] Germany if [Nazi] Germany had continued beyond .
The G3 was spun off from the CETME between 1955 and 1959, at which point it became the German army's standard weapon. The rifle was cheaper and easier to produce than the [FN FAL] and sold well abroad, both as a commercial product and as a [licence] - many other countries, including [Brazil], [Chile], [Sweden] and [Turkey], made their own subtly-differing variants. Along with the [MP5] the G3 kept Heckler and Koch afloat for some time, until the protracted gestation of the [G11] and German reunification did for them.
As with the FAL the G3 is powerful and accurate, but suffers from being chambered for a heavy round; as the rifle uses a [blowback] system for cycling, recoil is heavier, and with the 7.62mm cartridge full-automatic fire is impractical. The G3 is still used by some units of the German army and as a training and reserve weapon, but outside a few nations in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe it has largely been replaced by [5.56x45mm] weapons. The Germany Army now uses the Heckler and Koch [G36]. Highly modified versions are still popular in the form of the [PSG-1] sniper rifle and the [MP5] submachine gun.
The civilian version is called the Heckler and Koch [HK91] and is semi-automatic only.