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First Look: FNH Ballista Sniper Rifle

by Guns & Ammo News   |  August 25th, 2011 37

Benjamin Voss of FN Herstal USA gives us an exclusive look at the FNH Ballista Sniper rifle before consumers can even get their hands on it sometime in 2012.

The Ballista—a multi-caliber, modular precision rifle—is FNH’s response to the Special Operations Command’s solicitation for a sniper rifle.

The PSR can be changed from a .338 Lapua to a .300 Win. Mag. or a .308 Win. in a matter of minutes by just swapping out the barrel, the bolt head and the magazine. The trigger can be set to single or two-stage and the folding butt stock is adjustable for length of pull. The Ballista weighs at a tick under 17 pounds and gives the operator the ability engage targets out to 1,500 meters.

What are your thoughts on PSR Ballista?

  • Fernando Rafael Teje

    I´d like a Ballista rifle built in .408 Cheytac or 50 BMG. I don't know if the action is large enough for those cartridges used for extremely-long-range sniper tasks.

    • Abrnth3

      In it's current .308 staight it reaches out to 1500 meters what more could you REASONABLY need ?

      • Tammy

        The 338 is the ultimate sniper gun. Better than the bulky 50 cal even those slightly less ballistics. It is deadly to 1400 yards if you pussies have the right optics. Stop whinning about the price. It is the best gun out there. Make the old lady get a second job and fight the battle at 1400 yards where the other pussies can’t get you.

  • Fernando Rafael Teje

    Looking the movie and photo a second time. I assume the current dimensions aren't large enough to cradle a .408 Cheytac or a .50 BMG cartridges of any other similar extremely-long-range cartridge. I suppose a new longer action might be needed. But, I assure you that kind of gun with all the refinements already built in the FM Ballista would be the epitome of the longest-range Sniper rifles, with accuracy shot delivered well past 1,500 mts.with a good ballistic calculator and a spotter identifying possible targets. It'd be a very specialized tool for Army and Marine snipers the world over.

  • John Roy

    Looks to have similar capabilities to the Desert Tactical Arms Stealth Recon Scout (SRS). Certainly FN has a much more experience in the military rifle business. And yes I know the SRS is a bullpup so they are not exactly the same. I love FN's and the SRS looks great, but given how things are headed I just wonder how often the .308 is going to get used. If a .308 is the right caliber why not use a semi-auto / AR-10 precision rifle? It does seem like eventually most of the sniper rifles will go semi-auto, but I certainly could be wrong.

  • http://None Jerr

    The 338 Lapua in my opiniun is outragestly too high price!! And its killing the taxpayers!! A 308 Win. is feasable, and a 300 win mag is great!, as well as I think the 300 ulrta mag is far cheaper & will doe anything the 338 Lapua will ever do..!. Also maybe check into other cost effective brass, and components!! The 338 Lapua is Far, far too costly and there are as good & better choice's really… Nam UCMC sniper.. And that damn little 5.56 x 43 is not big enough to protect out troops!, Never has been and never will be! Its a damn varmint cartridge at best, way too marginal.. I know I carried one in the corps… And while I am writting this that little 9mm handgun will never be powerful enough to protect our troops, NO way!!! Maybe look at a 32 Federal caliber,????! or a 357 mag….? with doing alot more research & study on the components, etc… Thanks for letting me express my opinion, Septer Fi,Retired thats concerned about fire power…. Again this 327 Federal is goy alot going for if you research the spec's truely, and it will also fire many other bullets, example, the 32 S&W,32 long & short. 32 varible calibers that amount to about 5 to seven if ever needed in a pinch!!, What Im saying the are abit flexible in the revolver models double action, now made by S & W , and Taurous, and charter arms, and Ruger makes them too..

    • Jerry

      I own a .300 Weatherby Magnum, but I never heard of a .300 ultra mag. Is it more powerful? You can max out the powder on the Weatherby due to the safety "lugs." JR:)

      • montana

        300 ultra mag is a remington cartrige also may be labled as 300rum it is hard to find beacause it kicks like a mule and no one liked it.remington still makes a couple modles of it in the 700. much larger cartrige than 300win mag also way out performs it

  • wwolfie55

    how about showing barrel + bolt change .

  • wnettles

    Yes, a variation of this model that chambers .50 BMG would be a real nice addition. The .308 is a good round, but, it does have it's limitations. Sometimes, you just gotta have the added range of the .50 caliber.

    • Rob

      @wnettles..the .338 does it better, faster and more devastatingly than the .50. Used to use the Barret myself, back in the day; still has the longest kill, for a sniper during combat. However, even though I am very loyal to it (the .50) the .338 or the .300 Win Mag will always get the job done in the theaters we operate in now. This is a Special Forces weapon, and the .308 is simply a NATO round that would be easy to use in certain circumstances.

      To The Shooters……

      • Doug L

        The longest recorded sniper shot is 2,707 yds with a .338 mag Lapua, 2009 in Afgan

        • jerry

          I saw an article in G&A that compared a .338 to a .50 cal. The .50 cal was more accurate. Comments?

  • GunFix Customs

    Please tell me what happened to the 30-06. The most versatile cartridge ever made. With the right set-up, you won't have to change hardware, just loads.

    • John

      YOU are the man! Truer words never said

    • Jamie Wixon

      Hard to argue with the fact, that the 30-06 is the most versatile cartridge ever made.

  • Walter

    .308 is more accurate than a 30-06.

    • Dale Bailey


    • GunFix Customs

      FYI Walter. A 30-06 = 7.62x63mm. A .308 = 7.62x51mm

      Here are the stats using a 150 gr. Nosler Ballistic Tip

      30-06 — 2910 ft./sec. 2820 ft.lbs energy

      .308 — 2820 ft/sec. 2648 ft lbs energy

      Take that up to a 170 – 180 gr bullet. For a sniper rifle, I'll take the 30-06 over a .308 any day. Ever heard of the Springfield and Garrand rifles?

      • jerry

        Where did you get your information? Post their publication. JR :)

    • bob

      what a dumb thing to say

  • Rob

    I have now posted two comments regarding the FNH Balista. The first at around 3-4 PM Friday, 08-26-2011. The next one was about 10 minutes ago.

    You have a message at the bottom which states 'comment moderation is enabled', and it may take time for my comments to appear. Well, I have used no profanity, or anything wrong in the literary sense. You do realize of course, that this particular article that I have commented on twice now, will most likely be gone by tomorrow, replaced with something else. Last but not least of which, this is the second time this has happened to me. I have been using AOL since 1992. May I Ask, What is the Problem? Also, I see at least one, but perhaps two posts that are longer than mine were!!

  • rick

    I like the variety of calibers but as earlier stated I dont really see how often the 308 would be considered when you can just eliminate your target with the 300. I understand the 338 over the 50 on personel at various long ranges since its proven to be quite to different wind variations. As stated earlier on a comment about the 30-06. The 308 is a more consistant as a necked down 30-06. I do like a 30-06 but you can achieve the same ranges with a more consistant shot in a smaller length of bullet. Like the 338 Lapua to a 50 BMG for personel. This is just a guess as to why there is no reason for a 50 caliber option and overall lighter in weight.

  • bob

    Why does it look so stylized? It seems if it were rounded off and have less holes and edges and stuff it would be easier to take care of.

  • jim


    • MrSottobanco

      At Shot Show 2012, the salesman stated the expected msrp would be 7k.

  • kartoffel

    Wow a 17 pound .308. Where do I sign up?

    • Jay

      It's a .338 LM rifle first. If you didn't know, this "multi caliber" rifles are designed around the biggest caliber they have to use, then conversion kits are made for smaller calibers. Saying this is a 17 pound .308 rifle is dumb. This is a 17 pounds .338 Lapua Magnum rifle.

      • dan

        actually there is no conversion kit just a diffrent barrel bolt and insert for the mag do ur research before you guys talk about things on here.

  • JackD

    This is a weapon system for a single rifleman/sniper to carry, that can reach out past 500m and still be able to wield it in a tactical situation like a DM or in a sniper situation. .30cal or .338 is the right mix of performance and weight with multi-caliber capability.

  • Randall

    Very fine 338 Lapue machine . Should prove to be a fine weapon . keep up the good work for our boys.




    Thanks for you réponse


  • carrson

    i was thinking of buying a 338 stealth recon scout shown in the December29, 2008 special weapons magazine thought it would be great for long range target shooting . but i was wandering if it is legal to use for hunting bear or deer or big horn sheep with its 4 calibers . also is it legal to use a silencer when hunting . i live in pa . carrson mccleary

    • Jerry

      You really shouldn't anything bigger than a .300 mag in this country, i.e., 1200 lb bull Elk? (almost ran into one in Idaho)

    • jayjay

      Its called a suppressor, and why would you hunt with that? It doesn’t silence the gun, its not a video game…

      • Erik Morgan

        To be honest it doesn’t matter what its called. He could use a suppressor
        if he wanted to take down 2 deer or whatever he’s hunting. And does video games have anything to do with it?

  • Eddy Morse

    The FNH Ballista started life as the Unique Alpine TPG-3. Produced in Bavaria Germany. As part of the original team building this rifle Maybe I can help anyone with questions regarding this rifle. Please direct your questions to

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