Courtesy of PGM Precision USA, we have a chance to take a look at a Hecate II sniper rifle today. This rifle’s story begins with the Ultima Ratio, a classic-based 7.62mm precision rifle designed by Gilles Payen in France circa 1991 for the French RAID police unit. The rifle was very well-received, and Payen partner with colleagues Alain Gonnet and François Morier to form PGM Precision in order to scale the design up to .50 BMG caliber.
The resulting rifle was named the Hecate, and tested by French troops in Sarajevo in 1994. After a few requested changes were made, the improved Hecate II was formally adopted by the French military in 1995. It is built to be a supremely accurate rifle, with an effective range of 1800m, and easily maintained in field conditions. It have been used widely by French forces since its adoption, and also adopted by a variety of other military forces around the world, developing a reputation as the best military .50 caliber precision rifle available.