FNH unveils its Ballista Precision Sniper Rifle


Remington has long owned the military sniper market – but FNH has set its sights on the becoming the Precision Sniper Rifle of choice.

Enter the Ballista, a multi-caliber and modular behemoth that combines state-of-the-art technology with strategic form and function.

Ballista is a suppressed .338 system that is also .300 and .308 compatible. In an era of diminishing defense dollars, the ability to train with the .308 for almost pennies on the round will be a must for any competitor.

The Ballista allows the operator to switch the barrel and the bolt face with relative ease. The first time it may take you two or three minutes. After that, a 90-second switch is not out of the question. The head space is off the bolt, so once the barrel is changed the operator need only close the bolt on empty chamber then tighten barrel to set the head space. There are four screws that hold the barrel on left side, and a forcing screw on the right side spreads and loosens the barrel head. The screws are captive, so they won’t fall out and get lost.

While no company will share proprietary data, FNH did confirm that many components are made with advanced polymers that are lighter than plastic but stronger than steel. No doubt that will keep cost down. Special coating also reduces thermal signature and corrosion. For example, knowing that steel screws in an aluminum base often weld into place, engineers came up with special material for the screws that can handle significantly more torque and won’t lock up.

Snipers will like the ease with which the bolt opens. When shooting .338, this can become a chore because of the amount of pressure generated. Not so with this design.

Operators also will notice there are eight locations to place rails on the circumference of the barrel. There is a full length rail across the top, and Ballista offers 30 and 20 Minute-of-Angle forward cam on the 12 o’clock rail.

In addition, the armorer can set trigger to single or two-stage and the folding butt stock is adjustable for length of pull.

The Ballista comes in just under 17 pounds, if spans 49 inches (40 inches folded) and can put a serious dent in your medical record from 1,500 meters.


About Author

A Navy brat who spent eight years in the Marines (two years aboard the carrier Independence). Worked in journalism in Eastern North Carolina through the latter part of the 90s, then became editor of Air Force Times in 2000. Stayed there five years, then took a break to finish some school. Now back in the game with Navy Times.


  1. Forgot to say that weapon has been developped in Germany by Unique alpine for FNH. This is in fact a 100% European development.

  2. I’m not much of a long range type of guy, but my father would be drooling all over this!

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