The Pentagon announced earlier this week that Georgia-based Daniel Defense has won a large contract issued through the Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Crane Division.
Located in Black Creek, Daniel Defense is no stranger to supplying high-speed components to the military’s most elite units, having delivered quad rails and the Rail Interface System II, or RIS II, to the U.S. Special Operations Command for years. Likewise, the company has been a supplier of barrels and gas blocks for SOCOM’s Upper Receiver Group-Improved program.
The URG-I, coupled with a standard M4 lower, is reportedly used by units as diverse as the U.S. Army Rangers and Special Forces. The latest contract for Daniel, a $9.1 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity award, is for 11.5-inch and 14.5-inch cold-hammer-forged barrels for URG-Is.
As the Navy’s FY22 workbook lists the price for these receiver kits- at $780, the contract could cover upwards of 11,000 URGs, enough for most of the trigger pullers in SOCOM.
Much as the HK91 was a civilianized version of the G3, soon after the very sci-fi looking G36 hit the market in 1997 HK moved to give hungry fans what they wanted.
I mean, who wouldn’t want a G36, right?
First introduced in 2000, the .223 Rem caliber SL8 used a short-stroke piston actuated gas operating system with a 20.8-inch cold hammer forged heavy barrel. Semi-auto with a grey carbon fiber polymer thumbhole stock– it debuted during the Federal Assault Weapon ban– with an adjustable cheekpiece and buttstock, the initial version of the rifle included a removable Picatinny rail, an ambi charging handle that folded into the centerline of the gun, and adjustable sights.
So this is the “G36” consumers in the U.S. got stuck with:
The original SL8-1. Originally imported 2000-2003 and then again in 2007-2010, the first generation model now known as the SL8-1 included 10-round mags and a grey thumbhole stock.
In 2010, HK updated the design to the SL8-6 which ditched the space cadet grey for an all-black format and added an elevated Pic rail/carrying handle. It also had a vented handguard, closer to the G36 original. Unfortunately, this model was only imported for a year.
Now, the SL8-6 is back, and it is still kinda wonky but, if you call people like TBT, they can turn it into something great.