Letter Re: Experience with a PTR91 (HK91 Clone)

More than a year ago, I bought a PTR91 MSG clone of the HK91 for my primary SHTF rifle. I thought I’d pass on some information collected after about 3,000 rounds down range. 

Note that I have no economic or personal ties to PTR Inc.

PTR as a company was responsive when asking questions about what mil-spec parts could be replaced and what could not.  You’ll have to email them about your specific rifle though.


• Almost day one, I chipped the barrel paint taking off the hand guard – be careful, slide the handguard forward at an angle, after removing the attachment screw.
• S/F indicators on the safety side paint started to fade out after about 1 year. Indents for the S and F are still there and fine.  Probably my chemicals for cleaning stripped off the paint. No impact with using the safety.
• If you live in a humid environment keep an eye on the flash suppressor and the trunnion pin.  Easy to rust. I clean after every use, apply lots of BreakFree CLP, use dehumidifiers and still I got spot rust there.
• Speaking of flash suppressor, mine came loose after the first week – had to Locktite it. There was no flash suppressor pin like on the original HK91/G3 rifles.
• Other than those cosmetic issues, the rifle has been very robust, no cracking, no breaking of parts.

Ammunition and Accuracy:  

• I often see a 1 MOA -to- 2 MOA drift from a cold bore shots and a hot barrel. Typically this drift is 1 MOA high once the barrel heats up, and takes about 3-5 rounds to stabilize. On average I shoot 100 rounds at a sitting. So I am not sure if there is any additional drift.
• My primary ammo is American Eagle 150 grain – for accuracy with a 10 power scope, I can get around 1 MOA.  Not always, sometimes less than 1 MOA, more often it is up to 2.5
• Although I do not reload – friends of mine that do seem to think that the casings are about 80% re-loadable – with 20% too dented to reload.

Add-on Parts:

• I installed a bayonet adapter and discovered that the MSG model has a different hand guard length which prevents the use of a bayonet on the rifle. Win some, lose some.
• Surplus Steel SEF Lower from a G3 fits fine (clipped and pinned), and personally I find it to be more ergonomic.
Fleming HK Ambi Selector – for Steel lower, fits but is a little too loose. Too easy to drop to the fire position for my liking. I’m right handed, but I chose this for the ability to ‘AK’ style  position selection as a secondary option, along with a larger normal selector on the left side of the receiver. Also, if you haven’t see one, there is a tiny c-clamp that goes on the right side to hold down the right side safety selector. It just makes me wonder how long it will be before I lose it.
• The safety selector for the stock plastic lower will work on a Surplus Steel SEF lower, and has a better grip on the positions than the Fleming HK Ambi Selector.  There will be a little overhang on the Steel lower right side, but nothing that impacts usability. 

Optics and Sighting:

• I have two optics for this rifle, both with quick release mounts. One is the new Aimpoint PRO, the other is a IOR M2 with 308 CQB reticle.  The Aimpoint came with a mount, but I replaced it with the LaRue M68 mount.  The IOR has a set of Leupold QRW high rings.  Note about the Leupold QRW high 30mm rings: with the IOR’s  limited eye relief along with the iron sight drum installed, there is very limited flexibility as to how the scope can be usably mounted. You might not want the Leupold QRW high mounts if you have an IOR M2 and plan to keep the iron sight drum installed.

• On a side note, I ran across the IOR M2 while reading Boston’s Gun Bible.  I can not recommend this scope though.  The eye relief is horrible for me. I need to be very close to the scope in order for a full field of vision, and to me this is not what I want for a CQB optic. Heck, not just CQB, but any type of scope. Midrange is okay, but that eye relief takes too much time to get lined up. This is one of the main reasons, I ended up getting the Aimpoint Pro. 

• I keep two optics, along with the Irons, available for this rifle because I expect the engagement areas to change from short range to long, and back to short during a SHTF situation, depending on timelines.  The irons I keep zeroed to MPBR using the number 2 position.  Thee armorers manual of the G3 rifle states that position 1 is for close quarters, and 2 is for a 100/200 meter zero, but out of personal preference, I keep number 2 to MPBR.  At 11 MOA wide, anything beyond 400 meters is going to be a rough shot anyway.  

• For the AimpointPro, I also keep this zeroed to MPBR.  Since the PTR91 MSG has an adjustable stock cheek piece, both scopes work to the same adjustment, and are easy to transition between.

Web Gear US Army Surplus:

Two G3 Magazines – fit well into a US Army surplus  M16 3×30 round ammo pouch. There’s some head room but they are not too tight to remove, the magazines are tall enough to easily grab,  and not too loose to make noise.

This allows for a very inexpensive web gear configurations for a HK91/G3 clone rifle.  Each M16 ammo pouch goes for about 4-12 dollars each, and the LC-2/3 web belt price range is about the same. Adding a H-Type harness is another 12 dollars on average, allowing for a four ammo pouches, with belt and harness for around $44 plus tax and shipping.  This configuration also allows for a M17A1 gas mask bag for used as a dump bag. 

Although there are many new styles of web gear, I find the older style ALICE / LC-3 gear to be the most practical for my terrain: woodland southeast.  Chest rigs don’t work so well crawling through mud, and at 103 degrees in the summer, that chest rig might as well be an oven, and access to magazines may be an issue in the prone position.  

Hope this helps some. – Robert B.

JWR Adds: As previously mentioned in SurvivalBlog, one of the great advantages of HK91 clones is that spare magazines are presently very inexpensive. (Under $3 each for alloy magazines.) Two great sources are KeepShooting.com and CheaperThaDirt.com.