We here at Loose Rounds recently came to be in possession of a PTR Industries PTR Classic Wood Legacy Model for review. PTR Industries, formerly JLD Enterprises, produces a line of American made Heckler & Koch G3 style clones in a variety of configurations.
Our particular model featured wood furniture, an 18” barrel PTR Ind describes as match grade with an HK tapered profile, and a polymer grip/trigger group housing. Weight is listed as 9.5lbs and overall length as 40.5”.
I have to admit I wasn’t exactly pumped when I heard we had a PTR in to test. Nothing against PTR, I’ve just been leery of US made clones of foreign combat rifles since being greatly disappointed by an Ohio Rapid Fire built Galil that was the definition of half assed. I was pleasantly surprised upon first handling the PTR as it came off as well put together with quality parts.
After handling the PTR a few things stood out. Its weight is listed at 9.5lbs but it feels lighter in the hands. The polymer grip/trigger group housing detracts from the “classic” feel they’re going for with the wood stock/handguards. I also did not care for the feel of the grip, I found it too narrow side to side and too long front to back.
The ergonomics of the controls suck ass. No one this side of an NBA court can manipulate the mag release button and the safety selector lever without altering the firing hand grip.
I did like the slim profile of the wood handguard as it allows for an aggressive grip on the front of the gun, good for controlling .308 recoil.
The charging handle operated smoothly and without an undue amount of force to pull back. It also allows for the patented HK slap to charge move if you’re feeling Hollywood.
At the range the PTR ran well and was 100% reliable. Recoil was about what you would expect from a semi auto .308. Not punishing, but far more than your average 5.56, though controllable with technique. I’m sorry to say we did not shoot for groups. Our particular PTR had no provision for mounting a scope, and to be honest it was too damn cold for us to feel like proning out on the ground. Yeah I know, we suck.( see bottom update for accuracy results)
Shawn demonstrating proper 80’s action hero firing stance.
I did run into an issue with the rear sight but it may just be me. When using the rear sight on the “1” V notch setting the V was so low to the receiver that I had a hard time getting my head low enough on the stock to be able to use it effectively.
The PTR lacks a bolt hold open after the last round so a click lets you know you’re empty. Mags on the PTR rock in so it takes a little bit of practice to become smooth with the motion.
I actually liked the PTR more than I thought I would though it’s not without its issues. It looks cool, seems well made, was 100% reliable in our testing, and more fun to shoot than I expected it to be. However its funky ergonomics, lack of a bolt hold open, and inability to easily add lights, optics, etc. relegate it to range toy status.
To be fair PTR Industries does offer other models that feature receiver rails with which to mount optics and railed handguards to mount accessories but you’re still going to be dealing with poor ergonomics, no bolt hold open, and rock in mags. Plus the weight of all that added to a rifle on the heavier side to begin with.
I liked the PTR and think it would make a good addition to an HK design collection or guns of the Cold War collection, but would pick something else for a fighting rifle.
After the weather warmed up, I did shoot the PTR for accuracy using ( wasting ) Federal Gold medal Match ammo. It was disappointing to be kind. At 100 yards, It was constantly 4-5 MOA. I am not a stranger to iron sights, so I can confidently say , that is is not that great of a shooter. It is however, good enough for combat use to a limit. Obviously ball ammo just made the accuracy worse. I for one, have no idea why they call it a “match ” rifle. It certainly is not. it is sturdy and well made, if you can live with the polymer lower on a clone, and reliable but do not expect much for accuracy. —Shawn