Tag Archives: HK416

Germany Goes HK, Again

Keeping a tradition established in 1959 alive, the German military will continue to call on HK to deliver its primary infantry rifle.

German Army’s new Basiswaffe System Sturmgewehr will be the HK416 A8. Adopted in two different lengths as the G95A1 and G95KA1, for the Bundeswehr the new guns will replace the HK-made 5.56 NATO-caliber G36, which had been adopted in 1997.

While the HK416 family may look like any old AR15, they are piston guns rather than the more traditional gas impingement system familiar to the Stoner design. Ironically, the proprietary short-stroke gas piston system is derived from the G36 family, which, in turn, owes a lot of groundwork to Stoner’s AR-18 design. The 416 has proven popular enough to be selected as the main infantry weapon for the French and Norwegian militaries as well as to be fielded by the U.S. Marines as the M27. (Photo: Bundeswehr)

HK has produced the futuristic-looking G36 in several variants, including the standard model, the shorter G36K carbine, and the G36C compact, over the past 25 years, and the type is in service with over 40 countries although its primary user has always been the German military, who has used in combat in Afghanistan and Mali.

Prior to the G36, the West German military’s standard battle rifle was the HK-made G3 in 7.62 NATO, which had won a federal government tender in the late 1950s. 

West German panzer grenadier jumping off an M48 Patton during the Cold War, HK G3 in hand.

Of course, the G3 owed its lineage to the Spanish CETME 58, which was basically the final version of Ludwig Vorgrimler’s experimental StG 45(M) developed by Mauser for the Wehrmacht at the end of WWII, using the then-innovative roller-delayed blowback operating system that went on to make HK famous.

But that’s another story…

Guns of the Air Force at 75

While Ben Franklin theorized using airships to deliver troops to battle behind enemy lines as early as 1783 and the Union Army fielded a balloon service in the Civil War, today’s Air Force traces its origin to the heavier-than-air machines of the U.S. Army’s Aeronautical Division, founded in 1907– just four years after the Wright brothers first flew. After service in Army green during both World Wars, the Air Force became an independent branch of the military in 1947 with the first Secretary of the Air Force named on Sept. 18 and its first Chief of Staff named on Sept. 26. 

To salute the 75th birthday of the USAF this week, I took a deep dive into the small arms of the organization over the years, including some rares.

Cold War-era Colt survival gun prototype
A Cold War-era Colt survival gun prototype on display at the USAF Armament Museum (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)
Remington XP-100 survival gun
The Remington XP-100 survival gun concept. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)
Bushmaster Arm Pistol in 5.56mm
The Bushmaster Arm Pistol in 5.56mm was another planned Air Force survival gun that made it about as high as a lead balloon. Bushmaster did, however, put it in limited commercial production. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

More in my column at Guns.com.


Army & Air Force Sniper Rifle Updates

The Army’s Picatinny Arsenal earlier this month announced it has ordered an additional 485 of the service’s newest bolt-action sniper rifles, the MK22, from Barrett Firearms in Tennessee. Also known as the Advanced Sniper Rifle and the Precision Sniper Rifle, the MK22 is based on Barrett’s Multi-role Adaptive Design, or MRAD, platform. It is part of a program to replace the service’s existing Remington-made M2010 bolt guns, as well as the M107 .50 cal.

The MK22 is a version of Barrett’s popular MRAD bolt gun, which can be swapped between three different calibers on the fly, hence the “Multi Role Adaptive Rifle” abbreviation. The MK22 is part of the Army’s Precision Sniper Rifle Program, which also includes the Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25×56 optic – complete with a flat dark earth coating and the Army’s patented Mil-Grid reticle – on a Badger Ordnance mount, along with a suppressor and a sniper accessory kit. (Photo: U.S. Army)

Meanwhile, the Air Force is almost done fielding 1,500 new M110A1 Squad Designated Marksman Rifles. The SDMR is a variant of HK’s 7.62 NATO G28/HK417 rifle that includes offset backup sights, a Geissele mount, OSS suppressor, Harris bipod, and Sig Sauer’s 1-6x24mm Tango6 optic.

A sergeant with the 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team fires the M110A1 Squad Designated Marksman Rifle (SDMR) at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (Photo: Spc. Michael Schwenk/New Jersey National Guard)

Why does the Air Force need 1,500 SDMRs?

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 

Camouflages and service rifles of Europe

I stumbled upon this fairly accurate map of the assorted current camouflages and service rifles of Europe recently and thought that it deserved to be shared. Of course, there are minor things to grouch over, such as the fact that France still by far has more FAMAS rifles on hand than HK416s, and that the Polish military is in the process of switching to the new FB Radom MSBS Grot rifle, but all in all, it is pretty on point.

Of course, my favorite combo could be the Norwegian M98 camo and their HK416s, as seen in use by this Coastal Ranger below, but that’s just my humble.

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.