Heym SR-20: A German-made sporting and hunting rifle

Friedrich Wilhelm Heym SR-20 bolt action rifle with scope
Friedrich Wilhelm Heym SR-20 bolt action rifle with scope (Photo: XY)

The Heym SR-20 is a sporting and hunting rifle designed and produced in Germany. It is considered a first-rate rifle with an exhibited European style craftsmanship like you should expect from a higher-end Mauser or something on the order of a Sauer or Styer level of the rifle.


Friedrich Wilhelm Heym is a long-established German gunmaker whose principal fame comes from his hand-built sporting guns – rifles, shotguns, drilling – which are virtually tailor-made for his clients. But for those with less wealth, he also makes a stock rifle that can be bought off the shelf – though even this has sufficient variations of barrel length and caliber to suit almost all applicants.


The Heym SR-20 rifle is a Mauser action but furnished in three lengths to suit short-medium and magnum cartridge lengths. It is assembled into three possible barrel lengths. It is built to three possible barrel lengths; 20.5 in (520 mm), 24 in (610 mm), and 25 in (660 mm); generally, the three-barrel lengths parallel the actions, the two shorter lengths being found with either of the two shorter actions and the 26 in with the magnum action, but this is not immutable. Heym will marry whatever barrel and action you wish.

Heym SR-20 sporting and hunting rifle with mounted scope
Heym SR-20 is an ideal sporting and hunting rifle chambered in .270 Winchester (Photo: XY)

The shortest barrels are usually stocked to the muzzle in Mannlicher carbine style, while the longer ones are partially stocked in the usual sporting rifle manner. Whatever the stock type, it will be of high-grade walnut, oil-finished and hand checkered, fitted to the barrel and action in a faultless manner. The sights are usually a front post with a removable hood and a rear notch fully adjustable for elevation and windage. The receivers are always drilled and tapped for telescope mounts.

The trigger is fully adjustable, and the magazine has a hinged floor plate released by a catch in the trigger guard. A three-position safety catch gives the shooter a choice of ‘bolt & trigger locked,’ ‘trigger only locked,’ and ‘all free’ positions.

Heym SR-20 sporting and hunting rifle without mounted scope and bolt in back position
Heym SR-20 sporting and hunting rifle without mounted scope and bolt in the back position (Photo: XY)

User experience

Heym rifles will group two minutes of arc as they come from the box. They are not inexpensive weapons by any standard of comparison, but the customer gets an accurate gun, beautifully hand-finished and flawless in operation. The Heym SR-20 is an excellent push-feed rifle with great accuracy.

Heym SR-20 rifle close by
A close look at the Heym SR-20 sporting rifle (Photo: XY)

The only downside that I recall was an odd safety. To fire, the safety must be pushed down rather than forward. That safety cost me a giant buck in a mountain laurel thicket. These rifles are push feed but are butter smooth.

Technical specifications: Heym SR-20

Manufacturer: Friedrich Wilhelm Heym, D-8732 Munnerstadt, Germany
Type: bolt-action, center-fire, magazine
Caliber: .270 Winchester
Barrel: 20.5 in (520 mm)
Weight (empty): 6.5 lbs (2.94 kg)
Magazine capacity: Five rounds


  1. I bought a FW Heym rifle in 243 while in Germany in the army in 1969. I returned to the United States with it when I was discharged. It had a scope on it and the mount was designed to push on the rear mount and the scope could be removed to use iron sights and replaced in an instant and retained zero on scope. I put 7 rounds through it and figured it was too beautiful to drag in the woods. That was 52 years ago and still has only had 7 rounds thru it.

  2. I recently purchased a Heym SR20 in 6.5×55 with 20.5-inch barrel and full length stock. It weighs 3.5kg or 7lb 10oz. With a lightweight Leupold scope (15oz) and Talley lightweight mounts (2.6oz) it will be close to 8lb 12oz, about 16oz too heavy for a short barrel carbine in a small caliber in my opinion. Otherwise nice. I have not shot it yet.


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