FOLLOW-UP TO A LEGEND
THE STEYR SSG 04 .300 WINCHESTER MAGNUM
The Austrian Steyr SSG 04 has the unenviable position of being the successor to the legendary tactical bolt-action rifle, the SSG 69. Find out how the SSG 04, chambered in .300 Winchester Magnum, fills this legend’s shoes.
It is hard to follow a legend. The Steyr SSG 69 set the standard by which bolt-action tactical rifles were judged for decades. But Steyr had the unenviable position of designing a worthy successor to this great rifle. This rifle series/bolt-action Steyr was deemed worthy to replace the SSG 69—the SSG 04/08 with SBS bolt action.
Prejudices abound when it comes to Steyr rifles, stemming from misconceptions based on price and elitist sentiments. Many individuals, not to mention industry competitors, want one to believe that the Steyr is overpriced Austrian engineering at its best. However, the SSG 04 (SSG = Scharfschützengewehr, which translates to “sharpshooter rifle” or “sniper rifle”) is not out of reach. It has an MSRP of $2,395 and is actually more practically priced than many competitor precision rifles. Don’t fret if you want to spend more, because upper-end Steyr SSG models are in the $8,000 range, with models in between.
With several Steyr precision bolt-action models to choose from, the SSG 04 chambered in .300 Winchester Magnum was selected for closer examination. The SSG 04 is the baseline model within the Steyr precision tactical lineup. Its brethren SSG 04A1 and SSG 08 models would be considered enhanced versions due to accessories with each and/or changes in the stocks/chassis. Take heart with the fact that the bolt action, trigger and barrel are the same in all.
The key point with the Steyr SSG 04 is out-of-the-box accuracy without having to resort to a full-blown trip to an agency armorer or gunsmith for tuning.
I have been privileged to evaluate precision tactical rifles from manufacturers such as FN, Sako, SIG Sauer, McMillan, HS-Precision, Armalite, Remington, Savage and CZ. This provides a solid background for objectively analyzing Steyr SSG 04 features and capabilities by drawing on my previous experiences of handling some of the most highly respected tactical rifles in the world. The Steyr SSG 04 takes a back seat to no rifle in terms of precision, repeatable accuracy, capacity, ergonomics, reliability, trigger and safety.
The Steyr SSG 04 holds its own against any competitor’s rifle on the market.