The world's famous Austrian arms-making company Steyr-Mannlicher AG in 2004 complemented its long-popular, but somehow 'old-style' SSG-69 sniper rifle with completely new offering, the SSG 04 (ScharfSchützen-Gewehr 04 - precision-shooting rifle, model of 04). Unlike the SSG-69, new SSG 04 rifle is based on much more modern SBS bolt action, developed by Steyr in mid-1990s for their current line of hunting and target rifles. The SBS system is often advertised as "safest", and it is certainly is very safe against such dangers as fractured cartridge case or obstructed barrel. Combined with Steyr's famous cold hammer-forged barrels and new, single stage trigger the SSG 04 action is capable of excellent (sub-MOA) accuracy. The Steyr SSG 04 rifles are believed to be in use with some law enforcement organizations around the world.
Steyr-Mannlicher SSG 04 sniper rifles are based on Steyr SBS rotary bolt action with four frontal locking lugs, arranged in pairs. Cold hammer-forged barrels are available in standard or compact lengths (compact only in 7.62 NATO), in either case fitted with muzzle brake. Feed is from detachable box magazines, holding eight .300WM or ten 7.62mm NATO rounds. Single-stage triggers are factory set for optimum performance, but can be adjusted by operator if desired. Stocks are made from polymer and feature adjustable cheek rest and length of pull (by using removable rubber spacers). Steyr SSG 04 rifles are offered without any iron sights; telescope or night sights can be easily installed using standard Picatinny-type rail, attached to the receiver.