Talk me out of a PTR 91 KF


March 16, 2008, 12:33 AM
So my tax return got delayed. Everything I had planned to use the money for has been taken care of and thus I am left with about $1100 to spend on gunnery.

I have been looking around and one gun that has really taken my fancy is the PTR 91 KF. I really like the looks and the one I handled shouldered just fine. Any way it just seems like a really cool rifle to me and I plan on getting one from Atlantic Firearms ( In the end I just want a cool gun. I don't really have any particular need for another rifle.

So what do you guys think? Any reason not to buy a PTR 91? If you are going tell me to get something else instead keep in mind that I prefer handy guns; small, light and fast. The only exception I would make would be for one of these (

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March 16, 2008, 08:44 AM
It is hard for me to talk you out of one of these excellent rifles. Mine is the regular version, which I have "spiced up" some with accessories, a trigger job, and a scope etc...

When you get yours, first thing you need to find is a port buffer, if you intend to reload for it.

I'd say to go for it. Heck, magazines are nearly free these days at something like $2 apiece.

March 16, 2008, 09:11 AM
I like my ptr ... The only reason I could use to talk ya out of it are the ammo costs. I need ta send my trigger group out for a williams trigger job but short of that it shoots well so far. It was bad- I bought 120 mags before I had the gun :D so I had ta get one. I had wanted a HK back before they got around to being out of sight. I thought the trouble would be gettin pistols. I never saw the assault ban and the insane pricing coming the first time. 50.00 magazines etc kept me from the hk's when I was looking. I would like to take her pig hunting sometime - or deer.

March 16, 2008, 09:48 AM
The first question I'd ask when someone says "talk me out of a gun is"....."WHY? YOU LIKE IT, YOU BUY IT".

That said, I would ask if you are considering the HK platform...have you ever fired one? I've owned 2 and still own a PTR91 (and a CETME). PTRs are best of breed but the only reason I'll keep it is to have an example of this pattern.

Here's what's wrong with the HK pattern rifle in my opinion:

Triggers typically suck...not just a little but a LOT...they make stock AR triggers seem good (that can be remedied, however with some $$ to a gunsmith)
Ergonomics are really poor for a lot of people - safety selector is difficult to reach and there aren't any aftermarket replacements
Cocking handle is WAY out near the end of the barrel...poor placement
Recoil can be more harsh than other 308s...take a look at the massive bolt/carrier assembly...that thing slams back at you each time you fire
No bolt hold open...what was HK thinking?
Mag release is difficult to manipulate -- again, this can be fixed with $$ for a paddle mag release

They are, of course, rugged, reliable and reasonably accurate.

Personnally, in the small, light, handy MBR category, I'd recommend a FAL Para or a M1A Scout.

March 16, 2008, 09:55 AM
Everything iamkris says is correct but I can't talk you out of one, especially when CDNN has them for $899.

That's a steal..... Must have :)

I notice you have the bayonet lug on the flash suppressor. I was under the impression that on the bush length rifles you couldn't remove the plug and gas piston unless you had a neutered flash suppressor?

Stubb if you know someone that has these in stock let us know please. I've been on the hunt for one for a while now and everyone is out.

Ohen Cepel
March 16, 2008, 09:59 AM
Great rifle with super cheap mags now. Hard to beat if you want a .308 battle rifle.

March 16, 2008, 03:21 PM
I have always found it telling that 2 countries with long and painful experiences with land warfare decided NOT to use a bolt hold open.

Evil Monkey
March 16, 2008, 04:08 PM
Man I used to love the looks of G3 type rifles until I started to learn more about them and handling them. Already been answered.

-awful trigger
-dumbest place for charging handle. A little tough to pull as well.
-selector switch too far from my thumb.
-button mag release WAY too far away, $1100 and no paddle release? :barf:

I really believe they were designed for a gorilla/ET hybrid species that don't even exist yet.

But if you really want it, then you probably should get it. But since you want us to talk you out of it, then how about a quality FAL for the same price as the PTR91KF or less? Mags can still be found for less then $10 btw.

The Wiry Irishman
March 16, 2008, 06:26 PM
I'll second the "shoot it first and see if you still like it" idea. A lot of my gripes with the gun have been brought up already, except one.

See that quick swoop down from the receiver that the stock makes? When looking through the sights, a lot of people's faces end up nestled right behind it. Feels comfortable just holding it, but as soon as you start shooting it the rifle literally starts punching you in the face. The recoil is a little stouter than most .308s, so you'll walk away after a couple mags with a sore cheek bone. If the gun doesn't fit you that way and you can deal with the other aforementioned issues, go for it.

March 16, 2008, 06:53 PM
The only reason that I can give not to buy one is the fact that .308 is oppressively expensive at the moment.

And when you have this gun, you WILL want to shoot it. A lot.

March 16, 2008, 09:46 PM
two thoughts:

1) you might want to get a PTR-91F, with an 18" barrel. the conventional wisdom is that you lose a lot of 308 velocity when you drop below 18"

2) the only real problem I have with the rolling block design is that it's a p.i.t.a. to dissassemble and clean. if you think an AR is a pain, you have no idea.

I think the HK design vs. the FAL design just comes down to which you like better (M14 also), and what you want to use it for. I don't think there is any clear "winner" between these three. the only other weapon in your price range you should seriously consider is the stg58c from DSA. the ones I've seen look brand new, and run just under $1100.

March 16, 2008, 10:00 PM
My only comment is nonetheless a game-winner. You could get a FAL instead.

The Wiry Irishman
March 17, 2008, 12:15 AM
the only other weapon in your price range you should seriously consider is the stg58c from DSA. the ones I've seen look brand new, and run just under $1100.

They are brand new. Well, if you order them from DSA, anyway. And if you order direct from DSA (You have to get your FFL to call them and add them to his "approved to order" list) they give you dealer pricing, not the MSRP listed on their site. The dealer price on the SA58 I ordered from them was about 350 under MSRP.

ETA: I got the Para Tactical Carbine shown at the bottom of iamkris's post. Great shooter, highly recommended.

March 17, 2008, 12:18 PM
I like the PTR 91, it may not have the best ergos, but it is a well built. Its also a lot of fun to shoot.

March 17, 2008, 03:05 PM
I personally like the G3 design.

Evil Monkey brought up the main reasons people don't like the weapon:
-awful trigger
-dumbest place for charging handle. A little tough to pull as well.
-selector switch too far from my thumb.
-button mag release WAY too far away, $1100 and no paddle release?

1. The trigger is built heavy intentionally. It can be changed.
2. The charging handle is operational with the left hand WITHOUT bringing the weapon off of the shoulder. As far as it being hard to pull, try it yourself.
3. Selector switch is too far away.
4. Original design was a paddle release. New laws prohibit it on the new rifles. Older "Pre-Ban" rifles may have the paddle installed.

If you get one of these, I would urge you to get the 18"Bbl. Cutting it shorter definitely affects the .308Win ballistics. The short rifles may not be compatible with old parts if you ever need to swap something out.

March 17, 2008, 05:43 PM

Thanks for all the insight guys.

I did consider a FAL. Actually I would not mind having a FAL at all but I have always wanted a HK style rifle and a .308 battle rifle. This seems to be both. Since there dose not seem to be any major deal breakers I feel pretty set on this rifle. I am still open to opinions though.

Evil Monkey
March 17, 2008, 06:08 PM
Since there dose not seem to be any major deal breakers I feel pretty set on this rifle.

If your heart is still set on this rifle then get it. It's all about having fun with your hobby right?

March 17, 2008, 06:35 PM
Don't buy it for yourself, buy it for me. :)

It's a really cool rifle IMO, you should definately check out hkpro if you want to customize it in any way. There are magazine release upgrades and Magpul sells a MSG3 stock. Nice.

March 17, 2008, 07:27 PM
not, by any means, a poor choice.

March 17, 2008, 07:38 PM
The PTRs are good stuff. I just wish they wouldn't use that stupid heavy barrel. The design is a tad forward heavy to start with and that unbalances things, IMO.

As for the design, I've never had a problem with the charging handle. It's a little farther forward than is really optimal but it's no big deal. The trigger does suck, which can be fixed. The selector switch is hard to reach, which can also be fixed ( The only thing I really miss is a bolt hold open feature. It does make the design ever simpler though.

March 17, 2008, 08:00 PM
1. Recoil - The recoil combined with a fairly short length of pull make it a little difficult to handle for someone like me. I finally got a stock extension from another member to give me a couple more inches of length. As long as I keep it firm to my shoulder, it is okay now. My M1A has a much much smoother recoil.

2. Brass - the ejection tends to dent the brass like an AK or SKS. It is normally not too bad, but some people don't like it.

March 17, 2008, 10:02 PM

Does that Navy grip put the hand in a more forward position? Is that the trick?

March 18, 2008, 12:52 AM
The worst thing I hear is that the trigger ain't great. I have pulled more than a few triggers others called horrid that felt just fine to me. I think it is a combination of having really strong fingers, a preference for DA revolvers and not being much of a rifle shot.

March 18, 2008, 06:59 AM
The Navy-esque grip is thinner front to back, placing the hand closer to the safety selector. Can't guarantee it will work for you but that's the idea.

March 18, 2008, 10:40 AM
I can't talk you out of it -- just got my 91K in, and it's extremely well-put-together. Much better than I expected.

March 18, 2008, 07:32 PM
After I picked up my PTR 91 I had a spell of buyers regret ONLY because I seemed to find one post after another about the greatness of the FAL (which it is... no question). HOWEVER... in the past 6 months, I have thrown everything .308 down its throat from unbelievably filthy surplus fodder to match grade ammo and not a single hiccup, hesitation, stoppage, or failure of any kind. Not one. I have also shot it in the freezing rain, snow, and regular 'ol rain with no problem whatsoever!

It shoots as good or better than my M1a off the bench (1 moa or less iron with iron sights) and if you hose down the internals with Mil Comm's TW25B after cleaning it, it makes it even smoother and easier to clean after your next shooting session.

BTW: The best way to reach in and swab the hard to reach areas is by folding a cleaning patch a few times, clamping it in the jaws of a pair of forceps, and then dipping into the solvent. It makes it easy to hit all the vital areas you can't reach with Q tips or your fingers/ rat claws.

Quite frankly, I have found the gun to be unstoppable. Yes, the ergonomics are a pain in the you-know-what, it's hard to mount optics (get a low-prifile rail from, it beats the crap out of brass, you don't have a bolt hold open mechanism (which in my opinion makes you more conscious of what you’re doing) and it weighs a ton (hit the gym if this is an issue!). But, with practice you learn what works for you in terms of mag changes, selector switch manipulation, and wrestling back the charging handle. And you also learn not to hunch up on the rear sight so you don't come home with a black eye.

I know the FAL and the M1A are always being compared to each other and to the HK G3, and the FAL seems to have the edge in popularity. But, most of the time the argument for the FAL seems to be based entirely on the fact that 9 million countries adopted it blah blah blah. At the same time, I always hear how the M14 was 'only' in service for a short period of time and for that reason alone folks think it is an inferior battle rifle (personally it is my favorite!). In both instances, I think the FAL's promulgation and the M14's short life span had more to do with the decision of bean counters in the procurement departments and not the rifles themselves.

As for the anti HK G3 crowd, their major complaint (aside from those I mentioned above) is that the rifle uses a stamped receiver. Well, so does the AKM, and all I hear about is the ruggedness and reliability of that series. Tell you what... I have a milled AK and I would stack the HK/ PTR up against it any day!

Point is, the PTR 91 is a tough as nails, hard hitting, utterly reliable, and accurate rifle! And for the price of the rifle and the magazines you will not be unhappy. It takes getting used to, but once you settle in to it and learn its quirks and how to use it, you will be more than happy with your selection.

That's just my opinion....

March 18, 2008, 07:41 PM
Thanks for the excellent post BammaYankee.

March 18, 2008, 07:58 PM
I had an HK 91 and sold it years ago. Stupid move. I have a DSA rifle on order, but I have a question about the PTR 91. What does "Navy type polymer trigger group" mean? What is polymer on the trigger group?

March 18, 2008, 08:06 PM

No problem!

March 19, 2008, 12:09 AM
I would ask that you consider the FAL. I'm biased since my company manufacturers FAL rifles ($900 shipped), but not without reason.

1. adjustable gas system - shoot everything from grenade launching blanks to full house handloads.

2. superior ergonomics - grip, stock (not to mention the magpul stock), cocking handle placement, handguards (except for austrian metal handburners), magazine release mechanism.

3. reliability - steel receiver vs sheet metal

4. sights

5. trigger - infamous hk trigger

6. cheap magazines

8. ton of accessories - cheap and parts too

March 19, 2008, 12:13 AM
What is polymer on the trigger group?

The housing itself. The internal parts are metal on mine, just the housing is polymer.

March 19, 2008, 01:04 AM
Silverlance- Good food for thought. I did consider a FAL but HK riflles have always struck me as just being inherently cool.

Maybe its because I use the G3 so much in Rainbow Six Vegas.....:p

Ok all kidding aside, I realise now that unless I heard from at least 50 people that the PTR 91 was a major cause of hair loss and impotence nothing was really gonna change my mind.

March 19, 2008, 07:31 AM
To put Silverlance's post in perspective, the stamped receiver on the PTR91 has never been a source of reliability issues. Never. The triggers on any of these rifles will likely stand a good massage by one who specializes in them... in my case I like Bill Springfield's work. Optics on the PTR is a simple choice: Fero Z in a claw mount. Snaps right into place in about 4 seconds. Can't say that about the FAL. For them you have to obtain a special top cover with little screws to snug it down to the receiver etc.

As for handburners, I had an original, pre dealer sample, G1 FAL. You couldn't shoot more than 1 magazine through that rifle without making the forend blistering hot. Not so with the PTR91 and a wide handguard. Just better all around.

The drawback to the PTR as I see it is the stock: if you shoot iron sights the standard stock is just fine, but if you do put a scope in a claw mount on your rifle, you will want something to lift your head. I like the Magpul PRS stock for this use.

For $25 you can cure the most ergonomically challenging safety/selector around... Williams Trigger Specialties makes an ambi safety lever which you bump up with your trigger finger. No issue. The second most ergonomically challenging "feature" is the lack of a paddle magazine release, but this too can be addressed by any of the HK type gunsmiths out there for not too much money if it really annoys you.

Reliability: This is a tricky issue because with the right ammunition, that is ammo without the tar like sealant in it which will clog the chamber flutes in the PTR91, reliability between the FAL and the PTR91 is roughly equal. Throw the tar based sealant into the equation, and you will find that your PTR91 is not as reliable.

Lastly, is accuracy. I will readily concede that accuracy differences exist between two examples of the same model as well as between different designs. That said, my PTR91 is the most accurate 308 semi auto I've shot. It just keeps thumping them up the middle.

March 19, 2008, 09:10 AM
Go for a DSA FAL Para. Much nicer ergos than HK's & they hold their value (and desirability) better than any other 7.62X51, IMO.

March 19, 2008, 09:12 AM
ah, but the HK is sturdy enough even for a gorilla to handle!!

(or a real viking, which is why the norwegian military use em!!! :D:D)

March 19, 2008, 08:37 PM
All of my scopes end up in the bottom drawer of my tool box and eventually sold. I just prefer iron sights.

March 28, 2008, 10:32 PM
This thread has been a great help for me. I have been sitting the fence on what to get and I finally went with the PTR 91C. I can hardly wait to get that puppy to the range.

$1350 out the door including New York Tax. These are a very hot gun where I live. In this climate they are not coming down on their price AT ALL.

BTW the PTR 91C is different from the PTR 91F because of the "flash hider." Using a muzzle break helps keep the fine citizens of New York safe.

March 29, 2008, 02:33 AM
I've got a PTR-91F. Why did I buy it instead of an FAL? Because I've wanted an HK91 for 30 years but never had the disposable income to buy one for no particular reason. Why? I just think it's the "sexiest" rifle ever designed.

The PTR-91 is incredible to shoot! I don't find the trigger to be a problem. The reset is very fast, and on a recent trip to the desert, I shot a 20-round mag as fast as I could pull the trigger. It was like full auto without the Class III license. No hiccups no matter what I feed it, and cheap and reliable magazines. Because I'm left-handed, both the charging handle and the magazine release operation are a pain (but NOT the safety). Who cares? As other posters have noted, the biggest problem is ammo cost - this thing is an absolute joy to shoot. I could go broke keeping it fed.

On the other hand, have you ever looked at another "sexy" rifle (my opinion, but what the hell, it's my post) called the "Dragunov"? I just picked up a Romanian version (the Russian version is just too expensive). It is just as addictive to shoot as the PTR-91. I don't know what I'd do if I added an FAL and an M1-A to the stable.

Atlantic Firearms
March 30, 2008, 07:45 AM
The PTR rifles ROCK ,we sell tons of these and have for years , maybe 2 -3 issues over 500 rifles , great accuracy & a decent price.

March 30, 2008, 01:02 PM
.308 is indeed expensive, but another plus of the -91 is that it will accept an H&K .22 conversion kit for really cheap plinking. Dan's Ammo had these at a really good price for quite a while but it looks like they've finally sold out.

March 31, 2008, 10:32 AM
I did a lot of studying before I bought my H&K 91. I couldn't decide between the 91 or the FAL. One torture test they did on the 91 was fireing it 40,000 times and claimed they found no noticable wear on the rifle. That sold me. I like my 91 and all of its faults. I did have a trigger job done, and that was worth the money. However I have since bought a STG58 FAL and really like it also. Soooooo I guess what I'm saying is, you can't go wrong with either rifle, so what ever you like I'm sure you will be happy with.

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