Gun World - - Contents - By Todd Bur­green

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.

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