Gabe Suarez: PTR91 is “The Most Rugged And Reliable .308 Battle Rifle”

I’m not sure if the PTR91 is the world’s most rugged and reliable .308 “battle rifle.” I’m not qualified to make that assessment. (Feel free to discuss it amongst yourselves.) But I am fully confident and completely qualified to point out that Gabe Suarez has the meanest battle scowl on planet earth. As well he should; The Suarez Family Of Companies’ tag line is “Doing bad things to bad people since 1995.” Anyway, I’ve signed-up for Gabe’s “Game Face” class. Ad copy: if looks could kill, they will.

comments

  1. avatar Aharon says:

    I wonder what I’d look like with a shaved head these days. It’s been a long time since basic training. I’m sure that I have a black t-shirt around here somewhere.

    1. avatar Frank says:

      You’ll just get a sunburn on your head and that hurts.

  2. avatar Michael B. says:

    Does the G3 have an adjustable gas system? No? Sorry, FAL wins.

    1. avatar Puskin says:

      G3 is recoil operated

      1. avatar 2wheels says:

        The phrase you’re looking for is roller delayed blowback.

        1. avatar Puskin says:

          Well you are right

          I have a PTR-91 and while I’m not sold on Gabe’s description of it as the finest battle rifle ever made, I am quite familiar with its operation.

        2. avatar TTACer says:

          Speaking of roller delayed blowback and reliability, does anyone know why Mike Durant had so much trouble with his MP5 in the Battle of Mogadishu?

        3. avatar thepowerofcheese says:

          @TTACer … Based on the movie?? HAHA According to Mike Durant…. he used all the rounds he had for his MP5 then used up ammo for an undisclosed weapon.

        4. avatar TTACer says:

          @ thepowerofcheese

          According to the book.

          P. 190 “He’d squeeze off a round and they’d drop back behind cover. His gun kept jamming so he’d eject the round and the next time it would shoot okay. Then it would jam again.”

          You might be thinking of Gordon’s M-4 that Shugart gave him just before he (Shugart) died.

        5. avatar thepowerofcheese says:

          @TTACer Don’t know what book you are talking about, but your quote is using a narrative… so maybe this book is what the movie spun off of…I dont know.. Here is a discussion from Mike himself… 1:06:50 is where he lays it out.

        6. avatar TTACer says:

          The book I am referring to is called “Black Hawk Down” by Mark Bowden. It is my understanding that Mark is a decent journalist, although I think all journalists are dumb as dirt, so maybe he has it wrong. In any event, I doubt that Mr. Bowden inserted that quote with the intent of having it appear in the movie. A) it was not particularly significant and B) thinking that Hollywood would pick up his book would have required esp.

          BTW thanks for the video, that is awesome. One of the great things about TTAG is the members posting stuff like that.

        7. avatar thepowerofcheese says:

          I believe the fact of the matter is if it “really” was jamming.. I highly doubt it was the design… it did just go thru a helicoptor crash.. maybe it got damaged/bent, filled with dirt or a bent magazine… But im going to believe him saying he used all the ammo as a success for the gun after all that.

        8. avatar TTACer says:

          Assuming it did happen he might have been “limp wristing” it, understandable seeing as how he just crashed his aircraft and broke his back. It is still a form of blowback operation, so that could be the culprit. I’ve even seen gas operated guns short shuck if they were not held firmly enough.

    2. avatar Dex says:

      why do you need a stupid adjustable gas system when it is not even gas operated? HK, when they designed the G36 and HK 416, created the self adjusting gas system, which is better than the adjustable systems for the AR15 in my opinion.

  3. avatar D says:

    Hmmm. Ill bet Gabe is now selling PTR91s which is why they just became the most reliable….funny how that works.

    1. Your comment may get lost in the shuffle….precisely true, though.

      I posted a video of how to field strip an M4 Benelli on the site he runs and one of his moderators got all worked up.

      Posted a link to Gun Wire and he personally sent me a hissy fit note.

      The guy doesn’t get social networking, at all.

      Whatever.

    2. It’s so true…when you you see Gun Guys on TV & prominant Gurus on Gun forums. Some controll their own Forum on the net. The big push and cheerleeding comes along with that” gun maker’s” payola to Big Gun Guy.
      Like the big switcheroo from Daniel Defense ..flipped to Bravo Co. “Sorry L.A.V.”

  4. avatar Michael B. says:

    Also this rifle is a massive PITA to even field strip, doesn’t have a bolt hold open (correct me if I’m wrong), and PTRs have been having some major quality control issues. DSA has been too, to be fair. But I don’t have a FAL built by them.

    1. avatar Puskin says:

      No bho.

      HK experts say: Why would you want to let everyone know when you are out of ammo?

      1. avatar Anthony Meruelo says:

        Where are you guys getting no bho? Bolt’s getting held open in the video.

        1. avatar James says:

          He means last round BHO. Not whether you can lock the bolt back.

      2. avatar TTACer says:

        “HK experts say: Why would you want to let everyone know when you are out of ammo?”

        I don’t understand how having a BHO would give any information to anyone other than the operator. It seems like a flaw, not a feature.

      3. avatar Mr. Lion says:

        The situations in which you’re likely to be empty, in a mexican standoff with someone who believes you aren’t, and that it all ends well because they’re unaware of this probably number in the negative single digits.

        While you can sorta make that argument against an audible “I’m out of quarters” announcement, this isn’t that.

        1. avatar TTACer says:

          Off topic, but one of the best “gun” scenes in any movie has to be when Carlito runs out of ammo in the bathroom during the first shootout of “Carlito’s Way”

    2. avatar 40&2000 says:

      They don’t have a last round bolt hold open but you can manually lock it back.

      1. avatar Michael B. says:

        Yes, that’s what I was talking about. No last round hold open. Sorry, guys.

    3. avatar MotoJB says:

      PITA to field strip? No it’s not…it’s quite easy. There is a technique to get the bolt assembly back together and the assembly with extended “stuck” rollers back into the receiver, but once you know how to do it, it’s EASY.

  5. avatar إبليس says:

    Where is one to purchase an affordable G3 without taking the risky Century Arms route?

    1. avatar Thomas Paine says:

      you’d have to get the PTR-91 GI model for $899.

    2. avatar JFP says:

      Gabe probably saw the deals from the latest CDNN catalog and bought a bunch.

      1. avatar TTACer says:

        I can’t speak to how reliable they are, but a friend has a PTR and it is freaking beautiful, FWIW, YMMV, IANAL, etc.

  6. avatar 2wheels says:

    It’s nice, but the FAL is nicer.

  7. avatar James says:

    FAL FTW. Ever try to reload brass shot out of a fluted chamber?

    Although I do like me some Val Kilmer G3 at the drive-in ala HEAT.

  8. avatar Henry Bowman says:

    Boston T. Party agrees with the reliability assessment of HK91 in Boston’s Gun Bible. HK sold all the rights, tooling, and machinery for the 91 to PTR… so I’d assume the current version would garner the same scores from BTP.

  9. avatar Hawke says:

    I haven’t shot the PTR-91 but I have the G3 (Not sure if they are exactly the same or not) one thing I can say for the G3, being that I am 6-3 and 310 lbs. The G3 seems to fit me better than your average AR-15. I am much more accurate supported and unsupported. I think it may have something to do with the Length and weight. But I am no expert.

    1. avatar thepowerofcheese says:

      The HK G3 is a full auto….HK91 is semi.. PTR91 is basically a clone of HK91.

      1. avatar Thomas Paine says:

        Yes, i think the G3 is the nomenclature the Germans used when testing the original Cetme design. They called the FAL the G1. the Sig 510 was the G2, and the AR10 was the G4. all automatic. HK91 is the civilian version.

        1. avatar thepowerofcheese says:

          Yes, the G1 was a FAL.. then came Spanish Cetme,. .then G3…then came the hk91… Not too sure on a sig 510(swiss rifle?) being called a G2..all delayed blow back, but and Im not too sure of an (amercan made adjustable gas system) AR10 being called a G4..

  10. avatar Ralph says:

    “Doing bad things to bad people since 1995.”

    Does committing workers comp fraud and serving 7 months in the Graybar Hotel qualify as “doing bad things to bad people?”

    1. avatar matt says:

      Its worse than that, he was a cop at the time, and he plead guilty to workers compensation fraud, money laundering and grand theft.

      He is also a spammer.

      1. avatar Kvjavs says:

        It’s worse than that.

        He admitted he was gearing up to go and murder his fellow co-workers and other cops when a magical skyman told him it wasn’t the right thing to do.

        1. avatar liquidflorian says:

          I had heard he was busted teaching a class hopped up on painkillers while out with a back injury, then pled no-contest…

        2. avatar Netpackrat says:

          If he had to be hopped up on painkillers in order to teach a class, would that not lend credence to the case for his workers comp claim having been legitimate? There’s a bunch of things that I disagree with Gabe over, but I searched around on this and it looked to me like he got some bad advice on what he was and was not allowed to do while out on workers comp. And that evidently, there were people in his department eager to seize the opportunity for some payback… Imagine that, a guy with a personality like Gabe Suarez worked at a place for a number of years, and made some enemies there, go figure.

    2. That qualifies as “good things being done to bad people.”

      : )

  11. avatar liquidflorian says:

    I’ve been told the Selous Scouts/Rhodesian SAS guys switched to FALs because the rollers would wear out…

    1. avatar Dex says:

      yeah after tens of thousands of rounds! besides that point, the rollers are extremely easy to replace.

  12. avatar Joseph says:

    “This is the best pistol/rifle/shotgun for anything in this world and the afterlife” is always just someone’s personal opinion. Sometimes that opinion is greased a bit with $$ for one reason or another.

    Personally I like 1911s and Sigs, but I don’t claim they are the end all and be all for everyone. Like someone said…different strokes for different folks.

    1. Bingo! You got it, it is all about Suarez International and their bottom line. Nothing more, nothing less.

  13. avatar MotoJB says:

    My review:

    LOL…”…the M14 that people get all loosey-goosey about.” LOL x2 “…there’s nothing dainty about operating this rifle, it’s not for people with tender hands.” LOL x3…ending the video doing pushups on the PTR in the sand. Hilarious.

    Personally, I think these old HK clones are great. With the fairly low price of about $1k, I jumped on one. I own the PRT91 target rifle (with the aluminum handguard and target barrel). I can tell you they are very tough, rugged and reliable (as long as you use quality ammo). Definitely not a dainty rifle. Takes a good amount of effort with the charging handle.

    They used to be finicky with certain types of ammo (apparently solved with mine) and they beat the HELL out of your brass. Huge grooves in the brass when spent/ejected. Don’t plan on reloading the brass fired from these things. Don’t use polymer coated or tar sealed ammo, it gums up the flutes and the rifle apparently will malfunction eventually. Zinc coated, steel cased ammo is fine (however I got some FTF’s – not sure if it was the crappy 10 round polymer mag I used or the ammo yet).

    They used to list a bunch of different types of ammo they had issues with. With a re-design of the flutes, the ammo problems are apparently pretty much gone. When I’ve run quality ammo, I have never had any issues.

    The one thing he doesn’t cover is the weight of these things. I don’t know about the GI version (lighter barrel – plastic furniture) but my PTR is HEAVY. I don’t have the proper scale to weigh it but I’m a big, pretty strong dude and even to me this thing is heavy. I put an aluminum mount and 4x scope and small picatinny rail on the handguard (to mount my bipods) and the resulting rifle is a TANK.

    Shooting it’s fun! Low recoil due to the weight of the rifle and I found it to be respectably accurate with iron sights at 100 yards. 2-3″ moa. Pretty much what you’d expect from a “battle rifle”. Good enough for the intended applications.

    Disassembly and cleaning is pretty easy, except for learning how to put the bolt assembly back together again. Was a PITA the first time. Took google/youtube to figure it out.

    I put on a collapsable stock (with the famous old “meat tenderizer” butt pad on it) and it’s now a very sexy but rather weight-unbalanced rifle. Doesn’t hurt my shoulder at all while firing. You’re a pansy if you can’t handle it.

    Overall, I’m happy with it – but I sure wish it were lighter. Thought it would be my single, primary .308 rifle…but alas, I’m now building a LR 308. I realize that I want/need a lighter, 16″ barreled AR-type .308. I guess the PTR wasn’t the end all solution for me, as Mr. Suarez want me to believe it is.

    For now it’s a keeper – it’s still fun and too new but I bet after the LR308 is done, I might consider selling the PTR. Then again, it’s nice to have a selection in the safe.

    1. avatar MotoJB says:

      Forgot to add…mags are way cheap. Like $4 a piece.

  14. avatar Dex says:

    That is a tough question to answer, though I can certainly agree with somebody if they made a claim.

    Fact: The G3 is horribly simple, easy to manufacture, reliable, and is built like a steel bar.

    Ill also gladly pit a SCAR H against one and any other battle rifle out there.

  15. avatar jwm says:

    only question i have is that to do a tactical reload it looks like you have to take the weapon out of battery. i hear plenty of complaints about magazine safeties on pistols so i don’t see how anyone would be happy with this tactical reload system.

  16. avatar Oddux says:

    Wasn’t he calling the AK the best weapon system a while ago? Now he’s selling these, the PTR is the best… hrmmm..

    1. avatar Stanton says:

      Yeah, first it was the AK is the best. Then, after AK’s started to dry up he moved on to the next best thing.

      I’ve been watching Suarez for a number of years and can say I don’t trust him. Not to mention, many of his tactics and advice is dangerous and foolhardy. His knife philosophy of “grab n’ staaaabbbbb” is asinine. To top it all off, he seems much more interested in being a saleman instead of a competent self-defense instructor.

      And I say all this as someone who once drank the WarriorTalk™ Kool-Aid. A lot of blustering and sycophantic behavior going on over there. AKA, Idolatry. Gabe is a false-idol to many.

  17. avatar Danny McBee says:

    If the PTR91 is made to about the same specs as the H&K91 I’m sure it’s tough. I don’t really care for the layout of those rifles though. The ergonomics don’t seem like they were made for a human being.
    I don’t much care for where the charging handle is, unless you have the paddle mag release releasing mags is a pain, no last shot bolt hold open, the collapsing stock seems like it would give a poor cheek wield and rattle the jaws.
    Aside from magazines it’s also hard to find quality accessories for these as well.

    I like the FAL design a bit better; I think the ergonomics are a ton better and it’s plenty rugged and reliable.

    1. avatar MotoJB says:

      Sheer weight and the balance of that weight, and no bolt hold open (forgot to mention that) ARE the biggest issues with the HK 91 clones IMO…but you easily get used to the charging handle location, just as easy as you do an AR’s.

      The collapsing stock’s cheek weld wasn’t bad at all IMO, still worked fine. They used to have a cheek pad available, but I couldn’t find one. I went to the range without. As far as rattling my jaw, I thought it was going to after some of what I had read…then shot it and was like “WTF was everyone complaining about”? Didn’t bother me one bit…just don’t rest your darn teeth on it. Ok, so my wife wouldn’t like to shoot it but if you’re a man, it shouldn’t bother you. It’s a firearm, not a pillow.

      What accessories do you really need that you can’t find? Scope mounts are plentiful. You can put rails on it to mount whatever. Several types of stocks available for it; wood furniture is available, if you prefer that. Lots of replacement parts, etc. Don’t really need any more, IMO.

      Albeit more expensive than AR type parts and less available, pretty much everything you could need can be found here:
      http://www.robertrtg.com/g3.html
      http://www.hkparts.net/shop/pc/HK-91-G3-Parts-c9.htm?pageStyle=h&ProdSort=19&page=11&idCategory=9&viewAll=yes

      Mags are cheap:
      http://www.dsarms.com/HK-91_G3-308-Cal-20-Round-Magazines—HK9120/productinfo/HK9120/
      http://www.robertrtg.com/g3magazines.html
      http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/MAG-304

  18. avatar Steve says:

    FLAME DELETED

  19. avatar Right! says:

    I’ve used em all and I’ll take am M-1 Garand or M-14 over the others.
    My friend has a 762 Tanker’s Garand that I would take over all four, the ergos are to die for!

  20. avatar Johnny says:

    If I wanted a G3, I’d get an HK91 or SR9. Not gonna settle for some copy.

    If I wanted a .308 Battle rifle, can’t go wrong with an HK MR308 or SIG 716.

    1. avatar TTACer says:

      FNAR or SCAR heavy? PTR91 is a nice rifle and is ~1/3 the price of a real G3.

      1. avatar MotoJB says:

        + 1 it was the quality HK 91 clone with good reviews, made on HK tooling at a 1/3 or 1/2 the price of anything else I was looking at that got me to jump.

    2. avatar Florian Deltgren says:

      Johnny’s just another H&K fan-boy.

      The G3 is nothing but a copy of the CETME.

      Not that H&K had a lock on the G3. Rhinemetall, FFV, Hellenic Arms, MKE, Enfield Small Arms Factory, Kongsberg all made rifles every bit as good as H&K and just as “authentic” or “original” or whatever fawning fan-boy term Johnny prefers.

  21. Apparently tough guy Gabe didn’t like my comments here. He banned me from his “Warrior Talk” site, or whatever they call it. I’m thinking they should change the name to “Warrior Whine.”

    The guy demonstrates he has no clue about social networking. You put yourself out there, suck up the criticism and move on. Now he just alienated both a potential customer and thanks to social networking that negative experience will be shared all over the place.

    Kudos, sir.

    Chuckle.

  22. avatar derpdy derp says:

    Sure is a lot of bull in the comments. The PTR is truly a very good and reliable rifle. To the commont on Q/C issues, there has been two occurances with PTR in 15 years, DSA had two last week, I think. LOL. I own a real FN FAL (Belgian LAR, import..100% FN) as well as a Hk91, imported, 100% german. Both of these are practically collector peices now, so I am just hanging on to them. Though in their day when I bought them they were “just another rifle”, this was before the ninny nanny gun import bans and awbs and all that garbage.

    Anyways, I decided to buy a range gun just toy with, and enjoy withotu worrying about scratches, dents, wear and tear. After doing my research and debating to myself whether or not I should get the PTR or the DSA, I decided on the PTR. Being much cheaper, it was also easier to convince the wife. I’ve been nothing but pleased, and ended up buying another ptr just because. These things are truly as good or better than my german 91 that is now going for 3x as much. The welding is much better, the rifle is “cleaner” and all the parts are well made, I couldn’t be happier.

  23. avatar 3rd_ID_11M says:

    Good old Gabe. He has turned into another James Yeager. He has pretty decent ideas about gunfighting and his early books were ahead of their time, and a good read. And he has a few good instructors. But as a person he is a horror show – and has served jail time for fraud. He has a history of championing a platform or manufacturer till he can no longer make money on it when the suppliers won’t cut him a better deal, then something else is the greatest rifle/builder ever. Red Jacket was tops, then he fell out with Will Hayden publically so Fuller was it. Now he cannot make money with Jim so Jim gets slammed. First cheap AKs and Saigas were good, and he was selling parts, then it was VEPRs, and when he couldn’t make money from those PTRs were the greatest. Now the PTR and Sig x39 is the greatest because he’s getting a deal on them or their parts wholesale, and everything else is crap. The poor Walter Mittys on his forum and probably ready to scream that their changing platforms or magazine makers every three or four years. Again, his instructors have put together some decent courses and have good ideas, but the man himself is laughable. He’s so transparent that I am embarrassed for his followers. Grown men fawning over the guy and hanging on every word, no matter how often he contradicts himself. Business owners working the internet need thicker skin and they need to be principled/ethical to avoid becoming a laughingstock or avoid becoming ammunition for Anti-Gunners. This crap with James Yeager challenging people to a duel – complete with downloadable release and Gabe Suarez offering to meet his detractors in Colombia for a duel (one guy specifically targeted is a decorated combat veteran) does more to harm us than we realize. Both are borderline psychos.

  24. avatar Bobo says:

    Hmmm, If Gabe think’s it the best then……………….I’ll Pass

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