Hécate II

A sniper of the French Foreign Legion posted on a roof during operation trident in Kosovo


A gunsmith for the men in black

We owe its genesis to a Franche-Comté born implanted in the French Alps, Gilles Payen.

Avid gunsmith, Gilles doesn't stop to innovate. Those whom knew him in the 80s often recall seing him at the Albertville shooting range with some rag-tags guns, testing his prototypes.

Gilles Payen in 1991 with the first iterations of his Ultima Ratio rifle

Picture from PGMPrecision

The adventure starts in 1991. Asked by the RAID, the french special intervention unit of the Police, he designs a 308 Winchester precision rifle that will make history, the Ultima Ratio (or Last Resort).

With all the success encountered, he gets two associates, Gonnet and Morier, to create together from their initials the company PGM.

First public appearance of the Ultima Ratio in the VSD newspaper during the Albertville winter olympics in 1992

Picture from PGMPrecision

Two french operators from the CPA 10 with an entirely suppressed subsonic barrelled Ultima Ratio on the left

Image from the PGM facebook

A french small arms flagship

Pulled by the success of the Ultima Ratio in France and throughout the world, the company aim to deliver the ultimate rifle.

A number of models will be added to the company catalog along the years, all of them acclaimed for their quality and durability : the Hécate II, adopted by the french armed forces followed by the Mini Hécate I made especially for the Switzerland Police, the PGM338, the LUDIS, first of their rifle destined to the civilian shooters and lastly the Mini Hécate II. Today, they started to refurbish their old creations, giving them an appreciated but not needed lifting.
To this day in contracts with more than 45 countries, PGM distributes to a great number of partners, proof of the trust placed in them and their products.

A Slovenian sniper with his Ultima Ratio Commando I they are issued with since 2005

Picture from PGMPrecision

A Luxembourg soldier manning a refurbished Hécate II

Picture from PGMPrecision

The french sniper's rifle

In 1995, the french General Direction of Armament started to seek a new weapon system to replace the MacMillans and Barretts bought on shelf for the special forces.

PGM wins the bidding to equip the army at first with the Hécate II. Seeing the success it encountered in the units that it was issued to, the navy, army and air force special forces ordered some for themselves, closely followed by the GIGN and RAID.
Known as one of the best weapons worldwide in its caliber, the Hécate II is in every firefight since the 90s.

A french sniper team in a derelict building during a large scale exercise

© french army

A wooden Hécate II on the back of a french infantryman in Mali during operation Barkhane. Snipers are triple issued, bearing the Hécate II, a FAMAS and a 9mm PAMAS, the later two being now replaced by HK416 and GLock 17

© SIRPA Terre

The Hécate II has a reputation for being sturdy and combat proven, even in the most harsh environments.

Born in the French Alps, it was destined to accomplish the mission wherever it is deployed.

Issued since the middle of the 90s to the french armed forces, the Hécate II from PGM speaks (loudly) for itself everywhere it's deployed. It equips regular units as well as special forces, always loved by the guy whom used it.

But even before it was adopted, it's in its origins that we can find out the secret of it's durability and fiability.

Two versions of the rifle are produced, a full wooden one and a polymer one that will equip some specific units. With a weight of nearly 17kg, the Hécate II is a big stick, capable of obliterating targets at more than 2000m as well as lightly armored vehicles.

It's currently being refurbished since 2021 by PGM.

Polymer Hécate II in the hands of a sniper from the "aces of clubs", an HK417 in 308 is near the spotter

© 35e RI

To the summits of precision, here with the french mountain troops, likely a Mountain commando (GCM)

© Armée de Terre

A combat use implies sturdiness and fiability without a fault

Picture from PGMPrecision

An enduring evolution

PGM does not rest on one's laurels and keeps on innovating, after nearly 30 years of service their rifles are still as capable as when they went out of the factory.

But the game dictates the needs and new features are added, a .50cal suppressor to mitigate blast and signature as well as an helicopter mount are among the novelties to keep the Hécate II at the top of the precision market.

Can't say for sure if these two are part of a military unit or the PGM precision team

Picture from PGMPrecision

French navy commandos during a sniper training in Djibouti, all of them are equipped with suppressors


A true french beauty, the Hécate II is a flagship among the french small arms industry. To this day it remains at the tip of the spear in the world of 12,7x99 rifles, also known accross the pond as the infamous .50 BMG.
PGM continues to innovate, releasing smaller, lighter and perfomance enhanced rifles that make us hope for a bright future for long distance shooting.
For those of you that can legaly acquire this kind of hardware, you'll be pleased to know that you can order an Hécate II on pgmprecision as a civilian owner. See you at the range.

Gazelle from the 4th RHFS with a sniper in the back on a STRIKE mount, take note of the 90 degrees rotation of the muzzle break to prevent blasting the pilot

Picture from alxdns