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Ultima Ratio: RAID and the Founding of PGM Precision

Thanks to Creedmoor Sports for sponsoring this video, and providing a couple of fine shooting mats to experiment with. Check them out for all your long range competition needs!

The Ultima Ratio was the rifle that created PGM Precision as a company. It originated with a tender for a new sniper rifle by RAID (Recherche, Assistance, Intervention, Dissuasion), a French Police intervention unit formed in 1985. They initially used Steyr SSG-69 rifles, but wanted something better. Six companies entered rifles for consideration in 1989/1990, and the two finalists were Accuracy International and a guy from Savoy named Gilles Payen.

Payen’s rifle won the trials thanks to its accuracy, its resilience against heat issues (thanks to the massive finned barrel) and Payen being French. He was allegedly more responsive to RAID requests for changes, and let’s be honest – the elite French police are going to prefer a French-designed and French-made rifle if they can get one that meets the requirements.

Payen was a good designer and shooter, but he did not have any real production capacity, so he partnered with brothers Roland and Alain Gonnet and François Morier to form the company PGM Precision. They delivered the 20 rifles for RAID in 1991, and displayed the rifle at that year’s MILIPOL exposition. It proved popular, and the company has expanded from there.

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