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German G3 rifle in Soviet-Afghan war

Since I've got some detailed photos of a deactivated G3 rifle from a private collection, the decision to make an article about this rifle was made.

Short background on the G3 rifle

The G3 rifle is a 7.62x51mm NATO battle rifle designed by German engineer Ludwig Vorgrimler and produced by the German armaments manufacturer Heckler & Koch (H&K). The rifle was first introduced in the late 1950s and quickly gained popularity among military and law enforcement agencies around the world.

G3 Afghanistan soviet
Soviet officer from 5 Motor Rifle Division with a G3 rifle and AK sling

The G3 is known for its reliability, accuracy, and ruggedness, and it has been used in a variety of conflicts around the world. The rifle features a roller-delayed blowback operating system, which allows for a high rate of fire and improved accuracy.

G3 in law enforcement forces of Pakistan

The G3 rifle has a long and storied history of use in the military and law enforcement agencies of Pakistan. In fact, Pakistan was one of the first countries outside of Germany to adopt the G3 as its standard-issue rifle.

The Pakistani military first began using the G3 in the 1960s, when it was looking for a reliable and effective rifle to replace its aging Lee-Enfield rifles. H&K licensed the production of the G3 to the Pakistan Ordnance Factory, and soon the rifle was being produced in large numbers for the Pakistani military.

Soviet soldiers with captured G3 and Lee-Enfield rifles
Soviet soldiers with captured G3 and Lee-Enfield rifles

The G3 has been used by various branches of the Pakistani military, including the army, air force, and navy. It has also been used by paramilitary forces, such as the Frontier Corps and the Pakistan Rangers.

Over the years, the G3 has been modified and adapted to meet the specific needs of the Pakistani military. For example, the Pakistani army developed a variant of the G3 called the G3P4, which features a longer barrel and improved accuracy. The Pakistani military has also used the G3 as a designated marksman rifle and as a light machine gun. Today, the G3 remains a common sight in the Pakistani military and is widely used by soldiers and law enforcement officers across the country.

G3 used and captured in Afghanistan

As we know, some G3 rifles have been supplied to Afghanistan through different means. In my opinion, Pakistan made rifles make the majority of G3s, which entered Afghanistan and ended up in mujahadeen units.

This particular G3 rifle belongs to a private collector in Ukraine. The rifle itself was deactivated officially on a governmental factory. There are not many ways how this particular rifle with markings in Arabic (or similar language) could have ended up in the governmental stocks.

Afghan mujahadeen with G3 rifle
Afghan mujahadeen with G3 rifle

In my opinion, it is one of the rifles captures by the Soviet forces and brought back, officially, to the Soviet Union. The distribution of the captured small arms across the USSR is unclear till this day. We know, that some were given to the small arms engineers for research, some were donated to film companies and museums. Big number of guns would stay in the military units and used for training on foreign weapons. Some would end up in storage depots and some would be destroyed. The exact ways a given weapon would go were hard to establish and follow.

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