The civilian-market Heckler & Koch MR308 serves as the basis for the HK G28 semi-automatic rifle - developed for military service as a "Designated Marksman Rifle" (DMR). It follows the military HK 417 battle rifle model in form and function while the dimensionally smaller HK 416 series is the assault rifle / carbine variant. The Designated Marksman is a special sniper-type element on the modern battlefield called to provide the infantry squad successive, accurate fire at range through a semi-automatic action. Traditional snipers generally rely on a manually-actuated bolt-action rifle and operate in small teams. Conversely, DMs, with their semi-automatic weapons, form an integral part of infantry-level fireteams.
The G28 is chambered for the ubiquitous 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge fed by way of a ten- or twenty-round magazine. Externally the rifle takes on an AR-15 style, features an adjustable buttstock, and sections of Picatinny rail for mounting tactical accessories (foregrip, bipod, scope). The standard optics set is the HK-Schmidt & Bender 3-20x50 G28 scope. Overall length of the weapon is 1,082 with the buttstock fully extended (965mm otherwise) and unloaded weight is listed at 5.8 kg (sans sighting device and magazine). A gas-operated, semi-automatic action is used for the firing system which provides the needed repeat-fire capabilities required of the DM element on the battlefield. The upper receiver is completed in steel as opposed to aluminum alloy more common to HK products.
The G28 is available in two distinct flavors - the G28 E2 "Standard" and the G28 E3 "Patrol". The Patrol variant is largely similar to the Standard but sports the HK-Schmidt & Bender 1-8x24 G28 scope and has slightly different dimensions while being made lighter for transport / marching. The Patrol model is further detailed as the "assault rifle" counterpart to the DMR-minded Standard model.
In April of 2016, it was announced that the HK G28 DMR was selected by the United States Army to succeed the Knight's Armament Company (KAC) M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System (SASS) (this weapon is detailed elsewhere on this site). The service expects to procure some 3,643 G28 rifles with thirty to serve as test models. The primary reasons cited for the shift were compactness, reliability and carry weight.
The rifle has been in service with the German Army and used extensively in German participation concerning the Afghanistan War.