The goal of a sniper is to shoot the enemy from afar, but to do so they need the right type of weapon. That is why six Special Forces soldiers from the German Army are at Yuma Proving Ground testing a new G-29 sniper rifle that was recently purchased for their country’s armed forces.
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Perched atop an isolated hill in the Cibola Range on Tuesday, two snipers fired five shots each with the new bolt-action sniper rifle at targets that were 300, 500, 700, 900 and 1,100 meters away. The gun, made by C.G. Haenel, fires an 8.6×70 mm (.338 Lapua Magnum) round and has a 1,500 meter range.
Sgt. Major Andreas Jung explained that the German military is replacing it’s G22/G23 rifles that have been in use since 1997 and while snipers are eager to adopt the new weapon as well, they need to to make sure it works well in all types of weather conditions.
Jung said during the testing they will be conducting an evaluation of the gun’s accuracy, checking its muzzle velocity, determining whether or not the soldiers feel comfortable using it, and if it is actually a better rifle than what they have been using.
“They like shooting the weapon,” Jung said through an interpreter. “I think they are pretty happy with it.”
Test Officer Martin Hummel, who has worked at YPG since January as an exchange engineer from Germany, said that the snipers wanted to subject the rifle to rigorous operational testing in a realistic natural hot climate and YPG met their needs for this.
He explained that Germany’s climate is temperate and lacks the extreme conditions needed to test the weapon. He said that while the soldiers could do chamber tests on the G-29, it is not the same as testing it under actual conditions.
“They want to use the rifle so they make sure it works in all types of climate conditions.” Hummel said.
The German soldiers will spend the week at YPG seeing how the G-29 handles in hot weather, before heading to the installation’s Tropic Regions Test Center in Panama, where they will spend another week putting the weapon to the test in tropical conditions.
During the testing, Col. Randy Murray, commanding officer at U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground, and Sgt. Major Christopher Prosser stopped by the site and the German soldiers showed them the new rifle and let them take some shots downrange.
The above is a release from James Gilbert, Yuma Sun newspaper/U.S. Army: