PTR-91 GI range report

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A little over a year ago I started getting bored with AR platform rifles. I had owned several, built a few, shot them a bunch, and was generally ready for something different to tinker with. In this case, I decided that the "something different" was going to be a .308/7.62 semi auto rifle.

I had been reading up on the Cold War era battle rifles used by the various NATO countries; rifles such as the FAL, M1A/M14, and the German G3. Internet browsing showed that these rifles were still alive and well and still in use as service rifles in several countries. Further research also showed me that civilian versions of these rifles were available to the American public and that surplus parts from demilled service rifles were also available.

Briefly I entertained building another AR platform rifle in .308, but problems with standardized parts put up a warning flag. Plus, the final nail in the coffin was that they all still looked like every other AR on the planet. I wanted something that not everyone had.

From the get-go I had really liked the look of the German G3. If a rifle could have sex appeal, the G3 was a cover model. Also the G3, unlike it's other NATO cousins, is a roller lock, blowback operated firearm, which also appealed to my curiosity.

The civilian version of the G3 is of course Hk-91, which until 1989 had been available in the U.S. but was banned from importation by GHWB. This was a problem. Pristine HK-91s command $3k+ if you can find one. Even used beater examples will fetch a couple grand.

The solution to my problem turned out to be a U.S. arms manufacturer called PTR Industries. In the late 1980s, a guy by the name of Jose Diaz purchased G3 shop drawings, machinery, and tooling from an HK licensed arms plant in Portugal. The G3 was manufactured under contract in several countries other than Germany, but when it was, HK kept firm control over the quality of the firearm being produced. In this way, parts from a Greek built G3 were interchangeable with a German rifle.....or Norwegian, or Portuguese, etc., etc.

Diaz brought the machinery home and founded JLD Enterprises, which began manufacturing "clones" of the HK-91 using U.S. made parts produced by the machinery brought from Portugal and HK surplus parts that were beginning to flood the market. The rifles were a good copy of the original HK versions, but were priced at under $1k.

In later years JLD Enterprises became PTR Industries after Diaz sold his interests in the company. PTR began producing several versions of their original rifle including the PTR-91 "GI" model.

The "GI" model replicates the issue G3 service rifle and uses HK stocks and lower receivers from demilled G3 rifles. It still sports the S.E.F. (safe, single, burst) lower receiver but now has a semi only U.S. made trigger pack. Barrel, upper receiver, bolt, and flash hider are U.S. made and add up to the magical "7" parts needed to comply with 922r regulations needed to call the rifle U.S. made.

20161225_143137.jpg
20170115_155013.jpg
 
OP
nehalemguy
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Another thing that steered me toward the PTR was the availability of cheap surplus parts and magazines. After searching the Internet I rolled the dice on a batch of surplus G3 magazines that were $1.50 each before shipping. In this instance, luck was on my side as several of the magazines were unissued '60s era HK magazines.
20170104_155756.jpg

I also had a little fun tracking down some of the examples of German over engineering such as the 1959 milled ejector. (after 1960 they switched to a stamped ejector)
hkk-1337_862_detail-1.jpg
.....and the Rhinemetall bolt carrier that is machined from a single solid steel billet as opposed to the welded HK bolt carrier.
hkk-2062f_1456_detail-1.jpg

I also scored a still new in the wrapper '90s era locking piece.
hkk-1381_1066_detail-1.jpg
 
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nehalemguy
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Yesterday afternoon I eclipsed the 500 round mark with the rifle.

So far the rifle has been flawless. Zero failures of any type. To date I have shot steel cased Wolf and Hotshot, along with brass cased Federal, Armscorp, S&B, PPU, and Winchester white box. It has eaten everything I have put through it without fail.

Bolt gap on the rifle began at .018 when I first checked it out of the box. When I swapped the original PTR locking piece with the HK one, it dropped to .017, which is pretty much perfect, and has held steady at that mark.

Accuracy with the open sights has been decent. 3" groups off the bench at 100 using factory Federal I thought pretty good for my abilities. The HK rear drum sight has taken a bit to get used to.

It is my intent to ultimately put optics on this rifle. PTR gives the option of purchasing the rifle with a welded rail on the receiver, and even though it doesn't match the look of an "original" G3 I thought it a good choice to make.

E
 
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A little over a year ago I started getting bored with AR platform rifles. I had owned several, built a few, shot them a bunch, and was generally ready for something different to tinker with. In this case, I decided that the "something different" was going to be a .308/7.62 semi auto rifle.

I had been reading up on the Cold War era battle rifles used by the various NATO countries; rifles such as the FAL, M1A/M14, and the German G3. Internet browsing showed that these rifles were still alive and well and still in use as service rifles in several countries. Further research also showed me that civilian versions of these rifles were available to the American public and that surplus parts from demilled service rifles were also available.

Briefly I entertained building another AR platform rifle in .308, but problems with standardized parts put up a warning flag. Plus, the final nail in the coffin was that they all still looked like every other AR on the planet. I wanted something that not everyone had.

From the get-go I had really liked the look of the German G3. If a rifle could have sex appeal, the G3 was a cover model. Also the G3, unlike it's other NATO cousins, is a roller lock, blowback operated firearm, which also appealed to my curiosity.

The civilian version of the G3 is of course Hk-91, which until 1989 had been available in the U.S. but was banned from importation by GHWB. This was a problem. Pristine HK-91s command $3k+ if you can find one. Even used beater examples will fetch a couple grand.

The solution to my problem turned out to be a U.S. arms manufacturer called PTR Industries. In the late 1980s, a guy by the name of Jose Diaz purchased G3 shop drawings, machinery, and tooling from an HK licensed arms plant in Portugal. The G3 was manufactured under contract in several countries other than Germany, but when it was, HK kept firm control over the quality of the firearm being produced. In this way, parts from a Greek built G3 were interchangeable with a German rifle.....or Norwegian, or Portuguese, etc., etc.

Diaz brought the machinery home and founded JLD Enterprises, which began manufacturing "clones" of the HK-91 using U.S. made parts produced by the machinery brought from Portugal and HK surplus parts that were beginning to flood the market. The rifles were a good copy of the original HK versions, but were priced at under $1k.

In later years JLD Enterprises became PTR Industries after Diaz sold his interests in the company. PTR began producing several versions of their original rifle including the PTR-91 "GI" model.

The "GI" model replicates the issue G3 service rifle and uses HK stocks and lower receivers from demilled G3 rifles. It still sports the S.E.F. (safe, single, burst) lower receiver but now has a semi only U.S. made trigger pack. Barrel, upper receiver, bolt, and flash hider are U.S. made and add up to the magical "7" parts needed to comply with 922r regulations needed to call the rifle U.S. made.

View attachment 346929
View attachment 346930
That is a sweet looking rifle! I would love to own one (when I am old enough) On my gun wish list along with the Barrett 98B.
 
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Neat post. I was in the same boat, op. I came close several times buying a ptr91. I too get bored with the standard ar15. Though I have one more to build and have decided it will be 25-45 sharps.

I have otherwise started going back to 7.62x39. a 308 battle rifle with iron sights, imo, has no real advantage over an akm. For rocking iron sights or mild optics, the intermediate cartridge is where it's at. I think that's why I'm excited about 25-45 sharps.

Good purchase though. I love the style of the 91.
 
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nehalemguy
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From a "civilian" perspective, the ONLY thing I don't care for on the G3 is the fluted chamber that knackers up spent brass rendering it un-reloadable. From a "military" perspective not concerned about reloading, it's a fantastic design that reduces stuck cartridges in the field.

But, DAM... they're schexy looking rifles! :s0155:
Stomper I'm going to attempt to put that myth to rest later today. :D



20170304_092248.jpg
 
OP
nehalemguy
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I've seen some nastily form-fluted brass in the past... please let us know how that project goes!! :s0155:
What I have learned so far is that not all brass is made equal and that this rifle will show those differences in glaring fashion.

The S&B brass didn't survive the experience well. Noticeable flutes on the neck and shoulder after cleaning and a prominent dent on the case wall. On the opposite side of the scale is the PPU brass. It almost looks to have been fired through a bolt rifle, except for looking rather charred from the blowback gases.

I'm going to still try both just to see what happens.

E
 

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