"German soldiers test new rifle at proving ground," By James Gilbert, Yuma Sun newspaper, July
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.
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 8.6x70 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
"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
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854. Find him
on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert