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SADF Equipment & Specifications

Featured Equipment: The G3 Battle Rifle

The G3 (which stands for Gewehr 3) is a family of select fire battle rifles manufactured by Heckler & Koch. It was adopted as the standard service rifle by the Bundeswehr in 1959, as well as several other countries to varying degrees. Its first known combat use was by Portuguese Armed Forces during the Portuguese Colonial War. G3 rifles were issued to both regular army and reserve forces as well as special forces. The Portuguese found the G3 to be reliable, but judged its weight a handicap when tracking lightly-

armed guerrilla forces in heavy bush and jungle. Many G3s were left in Angola after Angolan independence. South Africa suddenly became the owner of a number of G3s after Operation Savannah. It was decided to issue them to the South West African Territorial Force when it was formed. SWATF soldiers carried the G3 with the parade on 1 August 1980 in Windhoek. The G3 was not very popular with its new owners. They nickname it the 'Pep Stores Gun' and, unofficially, complained

about its lack of dropping a Kudu. Shortly after issuing the G3s were redrawn and SWATF reissued with R1 rifles.

Downloaded from the SADF's Border War, SAtruth.Co.Za, copyright © Omutumua Oshili - text available under the terms of the Creative Commons Licence 2.0

For more detailed information on the G3, see Wikipedia: Heckler_& _Koch_G3

Portuguese soldiers with G3 rifles during the Portuguese Colonial War, 1961-1974

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