Tag Archives: H&K

New to the Gun Circuit: The Shooting Sports Showcase

So I am back from a brand-new firearm industry event, this year’s inaugural Shooting Sports Showcase. In a year where SHOT Show was canceled, the SSS was like a breath of fresh air.

The event was put on by the Professional Outdoor Media Association, the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association, and the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers and held at the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s superb 500-acre Talladega Marksmanship Park on Monday.

Like you really need an excuse to hit the CMP Range…

While small compared to SHOT– there were only about 60 exhibitors– you still got to spend lots of quality time with the big boys like HK, Glock, and Sig Sauer, but also with the smaller guys like Sol Invictus, Century, and Taylor’s.

And they all had lots of interesting stuff on hand.

Looking forward to next year’s Showcase already.

HK’s First Handgun, the Fab Four

Reborn from the ashes of Mauser in 1949, Hecker & Koch started off as a simple machine shop and factory in an old fire station that made tools and bicycles before moving into the firearms trade a few years later. It came easy as the H in HK was Theodor Koch and the K, Edmund Heckler, both former Mauser engineers. Left out of the initals but no less an important founder was Alex Seidel, the inventor of the HSc pistol for Mauser.

The HSc

While the company’s first rifle, the G3, was wildly successful, and their first sub gun, the MP5 amplified this, their first production handgun, the HSc-inspired HK4, was a little different and is often forgotten.

More in my column at Guns.com.

The SDMR isn’t vaporware afterall

The Squad Designated Marksman Rifle (SDMR), a variant of Heckler & Koch’s 7.62 mm NATO G28/HK417, was selected in 2019 by the Army who will eventually receive between 5,000 and 6,000 systems, which will filter down to the squad-level when fully fielded.

The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, based at Fort Stewart, Georgia, was the first in the Army to receive the M110A1, with Joes fielding their guns this month.

The rifle is intended to fill the gap between the standard 5.56 NATO M4 and a dedicated sniper platform, a mission formerly held by accurized M14s.

The SDMR includes off set backup sights, a Geissele mount, OSS suppressor, Harris bipod, and Sig Sauer’s 1-6x24mm Tango6 optic. (Photo: U.S. Army)

More in my column at Guns.com 

Welcome (back), M16A4

The humble original M16 was originally Armalite’s AR-15, and was first ordered for military service with a contract issued to Colt Firearms in May 1962 for the purchase of early Model 01 rifles to be used by Air Force Security Police.

Note, these guns had waffle-pattern 20-round mags, no forward assist, a thin 1:14 twist barrel, and the early three-prong flash hider.

Fast forward to the XM16E1, which became the M16A1 in 1967, and you started to come closer to the standard Army/Marine rifle used in Vietnam and throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. It used a forward assist and a 1:12 twist barrel.

By 1983, the M16A2 came about, it had a thicker barrel in front of the front sight, a modified flash suppressor (closed on bottom), a new polymer buttstock (lighter and stronger), faster barrel twist (from 1:12 to 1:7), and a spent case deflector for left-hand users. Considered downright vintage by the Army and Marines, the Navy still sports them these days.

M16A2- check
M9 in drop leg holster- check
Body armor- um, about that……

By 1998, the M16A4 was in play, primarily for the Marines, which had a removable carry handle, a Picatinny top rail to allow for optics, short rails on the handguard for accessories, and a 20-inch barrel with a 1:7 RH twist rate.

Note the size difference between the compact M4 Carbine, top, and the full-length M16A4 rifle, bottom. (Photos: Department of Defense)

Since the GWOT kicked off in 2002, the big shift over the years has been to move from the full-length M16 family to the more compact M4/M4A1 carbine, with its collapsible rear stock and stubby 14-inch barrel, leaving the increasingly old-school style rifle as something of a relic today. Heck, the Army for the past couple years has been very actively working on replacing their 5.56 NATO rifles and SAWs with a new 6.8mm weapon. 

Now jump to 2020, and the M16A4 is now apparently the Army’s designated rifle for Foreign Military Sales to equip overseas allies in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Nepal.

Colt and FN are competing in a contract to supply as much as $383 million smackers worth of M16A4s by 2025.

More in my column at Guns.com. 

Army’s new SDMR rifles start shipping

Heckler & Koch announced Thursday the first batch of Squad Designated Marksman Rifles left the HK-USA facility in Georgia, headed for the U.S. Army.

The platform, designated the Squad Designated Marksman Rifle (SDMR) in military service, is a variant of HK’s 7.62 mm NATO G28/HK417. The base guns are produced at HK’s factory at Oberndorf, Germany then shipped to the States where HK-USA workers in Columbus, Georgia install optics and accessories drawn from a dozen U.S.-based manufacturers.

The SDMR in all its glory, complete with HK German roll marks, offset backup sights, a Geissele mount, suppressor and Sig Tango6 optic. (Photo: HK)

More in my column at Guns.com. 

 

Army moves ahead with buying upto $33M worth of HK G38 sniper/marksman rifles

The U.S. Army Contracting Command on Wednesday announced a contract award to Hecker & Koch worth over $33 million.

The Ashburn, Virginia-based company was awarded a $33.5 modification to contracts for the Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System and the Squad Designated Marksman Rifle. In a nutshell, the CSASS is a more precision rifle with a 3-20 power optic and match/sniper ammo while the SDMR is for use at the platoon-level with ball ammo and a 1-6x24mm optic.

The CSASS, classified by the Army as the M110A1 rifle, is a variant of the company’s G28 (HK241) platform chambered in 7.62 NATO. The rifle, which itself is a development of the HK417 series, was first green-lighted by Uncle in 2016.

The HK G28 variant used as the Army’s Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System, or M110A1. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

As its name program name would imply, the rifle is light, weighing in at 8.48-pounds sans optics and accessories. Its primary day optic is the Schmidt & Bender scope on a Geissele mount with accessories to include a suppressor and bipod.

I’ve handled them at trade shows, and they are really nice.

What’s not to love about an HK417, especially when it is set up as a DMR? (Photo: Chris Eger)

More in my column at Guns.com.

Squad Designated Marksman Rifle, inbound

What’s not to love about an HK417, especially when it is set up as a DMR? (Photo: Chris Eger)

Heckler & Koch announced last week they are preparing to deliver a shipment of new rifle weapon systems as part of the U.S. Army’s Squad Designated Marksman Rifle contract.

The SDMR is a variant of the company’s G28 (HK241) chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO. The platform, which itself is a development of the HK417 series. was evaluated at Fort Bliss by the Army’s PEO Soldier program earlier this year. Manufactured in HK’s Oberndorf, Germany plant, the rifle will soon begin arriving at the company’s Columbia, Georgia facility to marry up with optics, mounts, and accessories provided from a field of a dozen U.S. companies.

According to HK, there are some 6,000 such guns in the pipeline.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Those pesky German froggers. You never know where they are gonna pop up

The Kampfschwimmer units are the rough equivalent of the U.S. Navy SEALS and, as noted in a video from the German military, they really dig that Heckler & Koch.

The above spot is in German, but relax if your Deutsch ist rusty because you could fit all the dialog onto a fortune cookie strip. The gist is: innocent German citizens are in deep sauerkraut somewhere sketchy and the KSM get tasked to pull them out before bad guys with Kalashnikovs can do weird scheisse to them.

After jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, the German frogmen are taken aboard a sneaky little Type 212 diesel-electric submarine — which has a convenient compartment for combat swimmers while their gear gets passed out via 533mm torpedo tube. Then, said KSM platoon pops up silently all spec ops pimp in the shallow water offshore and moves in. That’s when you see the beauty that is tricked-out HK MP7 SMGs along with G38 and G36 rifles and other assorted goodies right from the Willy Wonka of precision steel schmidt that is Oberndorf am Neckar.

After finding the good guys, then checking their names and mother’s names, the group exfils under the cover of snipers armed with what looks like HK417s in 7.62x51mm, dusting some Eurotrash clowns in a tiny pursuit vehicle.

“Request for hot extract” is universal.

20+ different AR15 mags in 6 minutes

From the common STANAG, HKs and PMAGs to such brands as Thermold, Hexmag, MSAR, Easymag, Troy, CAA Countdown and Plinker Tac, mpk1414 walks you through their experience.

Of course, your mileage may vary and they have a dim view of polymer mags, but they generally have links to torture test videos (turn annotations on) for in-depth mag tests for each of these.

Apparently, it took them three years to run through all these.

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