P1090177

The German Defence Ministry has halted new orders of H&K’s G36 rifle. The Defense Ministry took the action after troops in Afghanistan complained that the H&K built rifles couldn’t hit their targets during prolonged firefights. It’s a serious problem; engagement distances in Afghanistan have tended to be much greater than originally envisioned when the rifle was designed. From the AFP (via ChannelNewsAsia) . . .

German troops in Afghanistan in recent years voiced concerns over the G36 automatic rifle made by Heckler & Koch, saying it became inaccurate when its barrel heated up in prolonged firefights.

The military initially blamed the use of unsuitable munitions, but the government auditing body the Bundesrechnungshof has now ordered a new investigation, reported the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

“It is important to avoid that the defence ministry invests up to 34 million euros ($46 million) in a rifle that may not meet the requirements of the troops,” the court was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

The G36 has been the German Army’s main battle rifle since 1997. H&K designed the gun as a replacement for the aging G3 platform (which used the much heavier 7.62 NATO rounds that were quickly going out of fashion in modern militaries).

Guns are typically sighted in during a slow-firing session, where the barrel remains relatively cool. As the barrel heats up, the uneven expansion of the barrel material causes the gun to shift and the bullet impacts to wander off target. During a prolonged engagement it wouldn’t be surprising for the accuracy of a firearm to diminish considerably, especially with the relatively thin barrel used in the G36.

This isn’t a new complaint; the first reports of the issue started surfacing in April of 2012. The claim was that after a couple hundred rounds the rifle became ineffective at ranges past 200 meters and almost completely useless past 300 meters. At the time H&K blamed the ammunition. The Ministry of Defense seemed content with that answer. However it now looks like yet another branch of the government has gotten wind of the situation and decided to step in.

Germany currently fields around 180,000 G36 rifles, with hundreds of thousands more in the hands of friendly militaries and law enforcement agencies around the world.

158 Responses to German Government Halts New Purchases of H&K G36

    • Yeah, the combination of the short barrel and the 5.56 round should put its battle effective range at 300 meters maximum.

      • The article is talking about the HK G36 but the picture is the HK G36C. I believe regular troops are probably still using the full-size rifle.

        I don’t think the barrel length is the issue.

        • Yes, this is about the regular G36. And the complaints are not news. They’re not the whole story, either. Other reports included plastic handguards melting after full auto fire (not particularly long one, either). Apparently, troops have basically been instructed to fire single shots as much as possible for quite a while now.

          It’s a mess, and the official reaction is long overdue.

        • its that Infantry 1/2 kilometer again, our Armies have known abut this for years, just use 6.5 Grendel in your M4, its full auto controllable just and you can reach out to OPFOR in sandy places up to 600 yards, of course hitting them is another thing

      • They should just bring back the MG36E for regular troops, or switch to the M27-type HK416 or HK416A5, and have at least one HK417A2 per fireteam.

      • It’s the design of the gun, not the barrel length or the 5.56 that is capping its engagement distance. My Mk18 MOD 1 has a 10.3 inch barrel and is effective out well past 500 yards using MK 262. See multiple first round hits/kills past 600 yards with it in the Stan. Good modern 5.56 are more than capable past 300 yards even with short barrels these days. Unfortunately most people’s military experience is with crappy M855, and the fact most shooters can’t hit past 200 yards in a high stress environment give 5.56 a real bad rep.

        • “In the Stan” is that like “In the Nam”?

          I think I’ve heard this story before…

        • You basically hit the nail on the head.

          That and despite the infantry mythology, the reality is that most people don’t shoot very well.

          In infantry engagements anyways, the mortar and machine gun are kings. and of course artillery and air strikes when permitted. Armor while on the ground.

          So spending the billions to transition over to 6.5 grenel or some other new cartridge isn’t going to be the solution to the problem many people believe it to be.

          Our biggest weakness for infantry troops on the ground is our lack of mobility and lack of true light infantry capability with the exception of special operations forces.

        • LC you are right, the average person/soldier does shoot very well. Despite 13 years of war the armies weapons and tactics are still based on a fluid European war where engagements are at relatively close range due to vegetation and buildings. The M-4 is suited for this type of close quarters combat although many soldiers I used to have that were Vietnam vets that engaged at close range bitched about the lack of lethality of the 5.56. Had ROTC instructors that told us they started carrying AKs because they got tired of shooting small Vietnamese multiple times to stop them. Still the longer engagement ranges of both Iraq and especially Afghanistan mandated larger caliber rifles with longer barrels to engage the enemy at longer ranges. The military instead of adopting same chose to stay with the 5.56 and supplement the unit with M-14s. This was better than nothing but other calibers would have been more suitable. Additionally a lot of the insurgents were/are smoking opium so a more lethal round should have been fielded. Ditto x10 on pistol rounds.

    • You have no idea how much joy it gives me to read this article. First, the LAV said it. In response, the fanbois attacked the LAV.

      I can’t even tell you how many times I read something like this: “Sure, Lary Vickers may have been CAG’s (aka Delta) armorer but that doesn’t mean he knows what he’s talking about! My G36 has never lost zero and I went to a magpul/chris costa/grey group/haley/10-8 operator school and fired 80,000,000 rounds through it in only 10 minutes!”

      Alright that last bit was a slight exagegration but it is still reminiscent of what fanbois were writing.

      When my friend’s (very expensive) SL8 conversion lost its zero during sustained fire, he and I said it. I’m paraphraising here but I believe I was told by HK fanbois that:

      – I didn’t know what I was talking about.
      – The plastic mount (barrel nut if memory serves) for the barrel was just fine. Nussing to see here.
      – I was just a hater.
      – I was merely regurgitating what Larry Vickers said.
      – “I’m an operator conducting operations in an operational environment and the G36 is the best rifle in the history of the world ever. I know because I’m operating right now while I type this bra.”
      – That the ludicrous amount of cash needed to A) purcahse an SL8 and B) Convert it to a semi-only G36 was TOTALLY justifiable given the sheer awesomeness of the platform
      – “I submerged my G36 in the river of lava from Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and it still maintained zero”
      – “I abuse my G36 with the fury of 1000 suns and it still functions flawlessly so you are a liar”

      Now I’m not saying it’s all bad. The rifle is light and I like it. However this design issue has plagued the rifle for a long time… possibly since its inception. It’s long overdue for correction.

    • With an 8 (or maybe 10) inch barrel? If it’s effective range is more than 100 feet I’d be greatly surprised. 😀

      • Dan the the short barreled rifle shown in the picture is not what the infantry carries. They hace 18.5 in barrels.

    • The G36 isn’t a machine gun. The German Bundeswehr currently fills that role with the MG3 and MG4.

      • It’s an automatic weapon. The principle is the same.

        High volume of fire.
        Low Weight
        Accuracy

        Pick two.

        • I’m pretty sure the German servicemen aren’t trying to make full-auto hits at +300 yards.

    • In before H&K press release-

      Dear German Defence Ministry:
      We will no longer be providing our exceptional rifles to your troops. Because they suck. And we hate them.

      No thank you,

      Andreas Heeschen, CEO
      Heckler & Koch GmbH

  1. Yeah our firefights in Afghanistan were much farther than we expected upwards of 500 yards, the M240 and a DMR rifles rules the battlefield

    • I was also told our M4s/M16s also get inaccurate in extended fights. One which was leaned up against a Humvee after being fired for an extended period of time actually warped because it was so hot. There is a reason they pressed old M14s back into service and slapped a AI stock on them. 308s rule beyond 300 meters.

      • I wonder if a heavier barrel would resolve this, especially for the M4? Mind you, I don’t want any of our military to have to lug around more weight. Just a question about prolonged shooting.

    • The military is full of stupid people. They had the Soviet war in Afghanistan to study and all of the normal day to day interclan warfare to examin. The afghans do what that always do – engage at the longest possible range with weapons available. .51’s, 7.62 MGs and SVD sniper rifls, then RPG and then AKMs as the distances shorten. Open fields of fire for as far as the eye can see. M-4’s dont stand a chance.

      They obviously overlooked training soldiers on how the afghans fight and the irrigation/water tunnels they have built that the fighters use to move from place to place and appear out of nowhere.

  2. We learn once again, painfully, that an intermediate round is no good at longer ranges. The sorts of ranges you get in treeless country. (It’s hard to fault them for urban and CQB sorts of things however.)

    The 7.62×51/.308 was “going out of fashion”? Sometimes “fashion” is just f*cking stupid. What’s even more stupid, though is continuing to follow “fashion” as people get killed.

    • Trade-offs are everywhere. The weight loss by using 5.56 might allow for more ammo, nades, and water. Forgoing all of those for a 7.62 round can just as easily get people killed in closer quarters combat.

      • I did say I couldn’t fault the intermediate rounds for CQB (every once in a while I hear anecdotes of people not being put down by “mere” .223 but then being put down by .308, but those are anecdotes). But it seems that I am hearing a lot of stories of soldiers unable to effectively engage the enemy in Afghanistan because the enemy is out of their range.

    • Time: early Christmas morning 1944

      Place: a village outside of Bastogne Belgium

      Opposing Forces: elements of the 26
      Volksgrenediars armed with StG 44 assault rifles vs elements of the 101st ABN division equipped with the M-1 Garand.

      Outcome: 101st ABN wins the engagement in an environment that maximized the advantage of an assault rifle.

      Conclusion: troops armed with a semiautomatic rifle will defeat an assault rifle equipped force virtually everytime. Especially if armed with a rifle a full power cartridge. A fact reaffirmed by the Center for Army Analysis after Vietnam.

      • Bullshit

        Virtually every time? maybe you need to tell US MAC-V veterans in Vietnam that. or SAS veterans from borneo. Or any other situation where more firepower and more of a lighter, faster cartridge proved decisively superior among infantry rifle teams than full powered battle rifles. Maybe USSOCOM is missing something from your awe inspiring mountain of immense operational experience…

        Your conclusion about Bastogne is also very wrong.

        • Automatic fire sends multiple rounds to approximately the same aim point. If is sprayed fire most of it goes into empty space. Why do you think that Army and Marine Corps introduced the M-16 with at most a three round burst and taught good tactics with semiautomatic fire after the Vietnam experience? In terms of trigger pulls the M-16/M-4 can service fewer aim points than an M-14. Theoretically, the only time automatic fire gives anadvantage is in close combat in a confined space. I said theoretically because the 101st/26 VG shootout took place in a small village built from brick and stone. On top of that, the Germans had much better machine gun in the MG-42. As noted below the 26 VG was not a typical hastily put together VG replacement unit. If was formed from a regular line infantry unit and commanded by the former Commandant of the German Infantry School. Despite have a weapon built for close combat and a better MG they still lost to a well trained infantry unit using semiautomatic rifles.

          And SOCOM stress spray and pray tactics? I think not. The SEALs in the Bin Laden raid used aimed single shot fire. They did not go and shoot up the place. SPECOPS forces are more likely to use precision aimed fire than a regular infantry unit. You have been playing too many video games.

        • “Automatic fire sends multiple rounds to approximately the same aim point.”

          Goddammit i hate stupid people.

          PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT I SAID.

          There was nothing I said about “automatic fire or full automatic fire”. I said “more firepower”.

          Which is capable of shooting more people? 600 rounds or 200 rounds? Exactly. That is why 5.56 took infantry weapons into the next paradigm above full sized, 30-caliber cartridges.

          Furthermore, your comparison is flawed anyways. The defenders of Bastogne were equipped with a eclectic mix of small arms, to include garands, m1 carbines, BARs, thompsons, 1919s, and anything else in US infantry service at the time. The attackers? a mix of sturmgewehrs, MP40s, K98s, and anything else in Wehrmacht infantry service at the time. To say that it was a case of the M1 versus the STG44 is utter idiocy. I mean, fuc k , research the MTOE of infantry squads at the time for christ’s sake.

          “If is sprayed fire most of it goes into empty space. Why do you think that Army and Marine Corps introduced the M-16 with at most a three round burst and taught good tactics with semiautomatic fire after the Vietnam experience?”

          That was a training issue, not a hardware issue. Funny thing, full automatic is being standardized once again (and always has been with SOCOM) because three round burst is a joke. It complicates the firing mechanisms and adversely affects the trigger pull. “good tactics” were already taught in Vietnam by squared away units. Where did you get your opinion? Full metal jacket?

          “Theoretically, the only time automatic fire gives anadvantage is in close combat in a confined space.”

          In practice, that is when automatic fire gives an advantage. Have you ever heard of a australian peel? or conducted operations as a infantryman in the jungle or densely wooded area? I rest my case.

          Anyways, the advantage is not automatic 5.56 fire anyways, numbnuts. Its having more bullets to shoot, even if its in semi-automatic. The lighter recoil also allows faster target acquisition and transitioning between targets.

          “I said theoretically because the 101st/26 VG shootout took place in a small village built from brick and stone. On top of that, the Germans had much better machine gun in the MG-42.”

          Yes, but ammunition for the MG42 was already in scarce supply. In some cases, gunners were rationed with only 90 rounds per machine gunner towards the end of the war. Read “Seven Days in January” sometime.

          “As noted below the 26 VG was not a typical hastily put together VG replacement unit. If was formed from a regular line infantry unit and commanded by the former Commandant of the German Infantry School. Despite have a weapon built for close combat and a better MG they still lost to a well trained infantry unit using semiautomatic rifles.”

          That well trained infantry unit was also equipped with light machine guns, carbines, and submachine guns too, dumbass. Not to mention the defender usually has the advantage in MOUT, especially in the case of WW2 when body armor wasn’t invented yet.

          Much of their manpower was also very inexperienced not to mention the fact that ammunition, fuel, and other supplies were critically low at that point in the war. So yes, they were “hastily put together” (especially since the 26th VG weren’t the same 26th VG that fought on the Eastern Front) just like every other unit in the German Army with as many experienced officers and NCOs spread out as possible. By the beginning of 44, the Nazis were scraping the bottom of their manpower barrel.

          “And SOCOM stress spray and pray tactics? I think not. ”

          Did I imply that they do, dumbass? learn about attention to detail sometime.

          “The SEALs in the Bin Laden raid used aimed single shot fire.”

          And where did you get this information, lutrell? “zero dark thirty”?

          Very well disciplined infantry troops with 5.56 carbines (or whatever else) always typically use controlled pairs in semi-automatic mode. Special operations even more so. You completely missed the point.

          “They did not go and shoot up the place. SPECOPS forces are more likely to use precision aimed fire than a regular infantry unit. You have been playing too many video games.”

          I was in a light infantry and cavalry unit for over 10 years, fuc k wit. We also used semi-automatic 99% of the time and, even in a ambush in iraq or afghanistan, never did i switch to automatic. Fire discipline. Imagine that.

          Infantry units dont even use automatic fire, unless of course we are in a jungle/densely wooded area, breaking contact (and that is even variable). But if you actually had boots on the ground, you would know this.

          So quit being a ignorant dumbass and watch your fcking tone when addressing me.

        • LC, You forgot to mention one very important fact. Even with a light recoil weapon like the M-16/M-4, long burst full auto fire usually results most of your rounds going skyward. Most people can’t hit a damned thing on full auto and the end result is you blow through all of your ammo really fast.

          Benning Class 4/84

        • “LC, You forgot to mention one very important fact.”

          I didn’t forget that fact. I feel like, given the experience many here should have with firearms in general, it would be insanely superfluous to mention how inaccurate automatic fire is, even with anything less than 30 caliber.

      • The M-1 Garand was more effective than most people think, and the fact that the 101st were the nuts behind the butts probably enhanced their effectiveness. One thing to remember about WWII TO&E is that they were hardly standardized; in that quite a few Thompsons, BARs, Ordnance converted full auto M-1 carbines, Grease Guns, and other infantry weapons were utilized. Some of the belt fed machine guns were hoarded by certain companies as well.

      • From Wikipedia article on “Volksgrenadier”:

        “Volksgrenadier was the name given to a type of German Army division formed in the Autumn of 1944 after the double loss of Army Group Center to the Soviets in Operation Bagration and the Fifth Panzer Army to the Allies in Normandy … The strategic emergency and concomitant manpower shortage resulting from the losses in mid-1944 required the creation of infantry divisions that economized on personnel … They were organized around small cadres of hardened veteran soldiers, NCOs and officers and then bulked out with anything the Replacement Army could get its hands on. “Jobless” personnel of the shrinking Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe, wounded soldiers from broken formations returning to duty from hospitals, older men who would have been considered too old or too unfit for the peacetime army and teenagers were recruited into the ranks.”

        So basically a battle-hardened unit against a bunch of ragtag conscripts. And that is supposed to show us that Garand is superior. You make a very eloquent case.

        • The 26 Volksgrendiers was formed from the 26 Infantrie Division in 1944. It was trained and commanded by COL Heinz Kolkutt formerly Commandant of the German Infantry School. (See “No Silent Night” by Leo Barron and Don Cygan. Not every VG unit was a hastily thrown together unit.

        • The 26th infantry division, like other German units during the end of the war, were comprised mostly of inexperienced troops that were already deficient of supplies. Many units did fight on the eastern front, but were refitted with manpower (after being annihilated in many cases), and sent west (or remained on the east, but whatever).

          So a experienced officer or NCOs doesn’t make a experienced unit in other words.

          Finally, the diverse mix of small arms among infantry units at that times isn’t a clear cut testimony of M1 garand versus sturmgewehr.

          Funny thing, though, about which TYPE of weapon became the next step, and which one became obsolete (or very niche specific at best). Ill give you a clue: semi-automatic full caliber rifles weren’t the next step.

      • Yeah, relatively few Germans were armed with Stg-44’s, most were still armed with bolt action Mauser K98 rifles. They were also relatively short on supplies of their own with very little supporting fire or artillery relative to the needs of the battle they were taking part in, not to mention were almost entirely dependent on capturing US fuel stocks to keep their vehicles going.

        Trying to make it out like a Stg44vs Garand battle is ridiculous and absurd

  3. Which model of the G36 do their infantry units field? I would imagine they use the K model with its longer barrel, but if it’s the C as pictured above, I’m not terribly surprised they can’t hit much at those distances.

    • Aside from velocity, the C may actually end up better in an extended firefight, since its short, thicker barrel is relatively a good bit stiffer. The full-size and K have a lot more barrel to warp.

  4. The inaccuracy in prolonged firefights complaint is still and remains bullshit. The study that made that statement basically took a g36, shot ~600 rounds rapidfire, and was then surprised that accuracy suffered. I am not aware of any rifle that could do this without suffering some los of precision. What happened then was fairly common. Journalists without a clue reported on things they did not understand with an anti-military slant. Then civilians who dont understand the first thing about guns decided that their expertise was needed and now a perfectly adequate rifle is being given a terrible reputation. Remember that this is germany. Even the small amount of civilian shooters dont exactly shoot “tactical”.

    • I am unaware of the study. I first became aware of the potential problem when Larry Vickers started talking about it. I took notice as he is one of the few people on the planet who has the means to get his hands on actual G36 rifles as opposed to SL8 conversions.

      My own experience was with an SL8 G36 conversion and I can assure you that the zero shift problem is not bullshit. We used it along with other rifles to run VTAC 1-5 drills. It was the most popular rifle to use between the two of us (I was not the owner) because it was very light and shootable. After about 7 or 8 VTAC drills 9 (approx 120 rounds of Horndary TAP) we started to notice that the shot group had walked its way between 3/4″ to 1″ off zero. At seven yards. Mind you the group size didn’t “open up,” the POI actually shifted by an inch. That was a real WTF moment for us, because that is a whole lot of shift for such a short distance. Before the accusations start to fly, we were not abusing the guns. VTAC 1-5 drills are NOT abusive and there was easily 20 to 30 sec between each drill.

      We placed the rifle in the rack to cool, hoping that the problem would go away. Actually my own concern was more for his sanity than the rifle; he paid an arm and a leg between the rifle and the conversion. Lo and behold there was a pretty drastic change in zero once he shot some confirmation groups at 100 yards. We checked everything: the optic, the mount, the rail, etc. Everything was locked down tight; no issues. The same optic and mount performed great on his LWRC. He later told me that he was able to replicate the results the next time he went to the range, after re-zero.

      Whatever your experience may be with with what I presume is a conversion kit (unless your department or agency uses them?), it happened. I was a real problem, not bullshit. If it happended to us, it’s possible that it happended to others and it looks like it is.

      • CAVEAT: Unless you’re in Germany? You may be able to get the real deal if you’re actually in Germany, as opposed to the SL8 conversion.

    • No it isn’t “bullshit”.

      The US Capitol Police found out otherwise. Among many others who extensively tested this newfangled rifle.

      You have a plastic receiver and a steel barrel and trunnion block. Imagine what happens when the steel components heat up and remain in contact with the polymer.

      Its a well known problem that was only recently found out about (supposedly) because the Spanish and German militaries dont fire their weapons (and they dont have civilians buying the firearms that actually do and are well known testers). Gee, i wonder why elite units, who do fire their weapons, have transitioned from the G36 to 416 family. What a mystery…

  5. Good grief, what a low information post – a lesson on skinny barrels.
    The Der Spiegel article reported that group size can grow to 50 centimeters (20 inches) at 100 meters. This isn’t some kind of “quit your whining, POI shift from 1 MOA to 4 MOA is no big deal”. That is closer to 20 MOA. There are also reports that the polymer is sensitive to uneven heating by sunlight (and ambient heat as low at 74F), causing POI shift. And, once heated too much, the polymer’s structure is permanently altered and loses integrity.

    http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/bundeswehr-sieht-erhebliche-maengel-beim-sturmgewehr-g36-a-922280.html

      • Not really.

        We’re talking about regular troops (not scout/sniper) shooting off hand, in combat w/ 5.56. That’s going to be about 7-8 MOA with a non-warped barrel.
        Which is all the more reason for the equipment to do its part.

  6. Don’t use short barrel weapons for long range shooting. Any shooter worth their salt will tell you that. Unfortunately the miliary can’t just throw up their hands and say sorry i can’t hit that guy from here. As for thin material of the barrel, yes that can be a problem too. It may cool down faster, but it also heats up faster, maybe some sort of water cool system will help or perhaps expose the barrel (not put it inside the casing).

    • Other than some velocity loss (which is generally documented to not be that significant) short barreled rifles work fine at longer distances. Using an optical sight (dot or scope) removes the benefit of longer sight radius. The notion of more accuracy with longer barrels is pretty much a disproven myth – there are lots of fat, short-barreled target rifles out there that will hold 1/2 MOA or less to ranges in excess of 500 yards.

      • The accepted average velocity loss is 50-75 fps per inch, if starting from a 20 inch barrel, down to 12 inches. more than 20 inches, diminishing returns. Below 12 inches, you start to lose double to triple. The notion of added accuracy isn’t absurd, if you were to think past mechanical accuracy. Faster rounds shoot flatter, slow rounds have more arc. If you’re being shot at, I doubt you’ll be fiddling with your sights to match a distance you magically ascertained. With less drop across various distances, a soldier can be more confident in just putting sights on target to hit them, instead of wasting ammo trying to get a feel for the distance.

      • 14.5 inch M4 has range of 100 yards for a M193 round to do its magic (break up and frag stuff) after that it does not have enough speed, 50 yards for the M855. A 16inch pushes that out to 150 yards for M193 and 100 for M855.

        The 5.56 in shorter barrels rifles with a red dot or irons is a great gun out to 100 yards, effective to 200 and OK at 300. After that you are wasting ammo. Over in that sand box I would rather have a 20inch AR with an ACOG. It would be better for the open areas of conflict. Then again in the urban areas I would not like the ACOG so much.

        If you are using a LW or Pencil barrel you will have problems of shifting POI after the barrel gets hot. I have seen it after one 30 round mag on BCM with a light weight upper. I have read that even their new ELW will have issue but not as bad. I would not buy a LW barreled AR.

      • Almost no one has. From what I recall, it was pretty darn expensive even compared to the G36 that replaced it. Weird because it basically looked like a G33 that could accept STANAG magazines. Not sure what other modifications they did to it.

        • It had a last round bolt-hold open, M16-style bolt release (kind of redundant with the ol’ HK slap hold open), a carry handle, ejection port dust cover, forward assist, and I think it came standard with the S-1-3-F trigger group.

    • The HK 33.

      and the roller delayed blowback system was discovered to have hated 5.56 as a caliber. No surprise there.

      They were hit and miss with reliability.

    • They should just buy SIG 551 from the Swiss and be done with it. The finest 5.56 service rifle ever made bar none.

        • The “intercontinental” (like our airport) part of that might get tricky for our troops who are actually in country.

          Of US/NATO calibers, the .308 is the best compromise. However it is far from *the* best compromise.

        • Big Tex: I hope your airport is international, not intercontinental. Otherwise it might be tough for the planes to find it when it comes time to land.

    • Throw a 308 in the hands of an average infantryman and it will make no shred of difference than throwing a 5.56 in his hands. BUT, the 5.56 holder will get more ammunition for the weight.

  7. I would think that a rifle is close to the cheapest thing that goes into combat. Anybody who knows much about guns knows that a 5.56 round is going to have limited lethality and penetration beyond 300 meters (even that’s being generous). What’s so complicated about keeping a sufficient stock of 7.62×51 rifles around to hand out when the terrain makes long range engagements likely? And when did it become a surprise that thin barrels don’t shoot well after they get hot?

    • Marines qualify on the M-16 and M-4 at 500 yards all the time.

      I prefer the 7.62mm, but the M-16 can be accurate enough at 500 yards.

      • It may be accurate (and good on you for shooting well at such ranges), but he was talking about lethality and penetration, a rather different set of criteria.

        • Out of a 20″ barrel 5.56 is far more effective than flying out of a 14″

        • With a 20″ barrel and a heavy match round like Mk 262, it should remain quite lethal at 500m.

    • Boot and rifles. Everything else is windowdressing. And 200+ years of the US military demonstrate we are ALWAYS unable to properly equipment the few thousand grunts at the pointy end of the bayonet. Have to treat all the REMFs equitably. But no different than every other army in the the world.

      If you total the entire number of infantry & armor companies in the US Army and USMC that stand between you and the barbarians you would be disturbed.

  8. Besides recoil & weight, I can’t understand what’s negative with 308 compared to 5.56? To me it’s mo brainer – yes it weighs more & costs more but if you get the job done with 1/2 less shots, doesn’t that negate the negative? Granted recoil will always be a detriment to soldiers with smaller physique and/or female troops, but I can’t comment on that as it doesn’t bother me (fat, old, white guy here)…

    • You can fit almost 2x the ammo into the same wieght and space allotments. The ammo is cheaper, easier to ship in bulk, and usually adequate.

        • Regardless of gender, you get to mile 10 of a patrol with all of the gear carried these days and it becomes clear how ounces add to pounds, pounds add to pain. Weight savings on ammunition is not an insignificant problem.

    • 7.62 full auto is not controllable in a rifle with a normal weight (the BAR is a different story). The powers that be have decreed our soldiers need full auto. Thus, 5.56mm.

      • Maybe you didn’t get the memo, but there are a lot more full-auto 7.62 NATO rifles than just the M14 and FAL, and a lot of them are perfectly controllable in full-auto.

      • If you’re using full auto in a rifle for anything, you’re probably just trying to keep their heads down anyways. Accuracy is diminished regardless of the platform or caliber (except pistol calibers obviously).

    • Recoil, which affects accuracy among comparatively untrained or lesser trained troops, the fact that 100 rounds of 308 weighs as much as 300 rounds of 5.56. Do the math from there.

      That means more dead bad guys. You probably dont have the marksmanship fundamentals and training to be engaging taliban past 500 meters anyways (not to mention the fitness with body armor and 100 plus pounds of gear). Not without a magnified optic. With proper optics, kills were reported in Afghanistan past 500 meters with 5.56.

      There is a reason not just conventional forces transitioned to 5.56. 7.62 is very niche specific.

  9. Here is a related speculation. Even with the advanced optics, has is it become standard to simply throw quantity of fire on a target rather than highly aimed fire, resulting in the over heating?

    How about putting ACOG sights on a G3 or other full size rifle, fire fewer rounds, hitting the target more often?

    • There’s nothing wrong with a “quantity of fire” on an area target. When attacking or being attacked by large numbers of troops, many of whom you can’t see, then large quantity is the best policy.

      • High volume of fire, poorly aimed, at 300 plus meters with a small round and weapons not designed for the purpose. See the problem?

        • The small round in question was, in fact, explicitly designed around the concept of a “volume of fire” – that’s exactly how M16 was born.

          The weapon here was supposed to be designed around that, as well. It just failed to succeed at it.

        • The M-16 wasn’t born, it was already under contract at a time when the Army, under the influence of SLA Marshall was all hot for full automatic fire and the M-14 proved a poor fully automatic platform. The M-16 was really the replacement for the M-2 Submachingun and the M-2 carbine in Air Force Security police and special forces. It was never meant to be a front line service

        • “It was never meant to be a front line service”

          Again, BULLSHIT (this is a common theme with you, you fcking 308 fanboy)

          Among the first M16s (back when they were AR15s) were fielded in the hands of special forces troops in Vietnam before the US major troop buildup of the war. First the Air Force, then Special Forces (probably because light and low recoil is beneficial to the jungle?)

          Funny: the Air Assault troops, Special Operations, and units on the bleeding edge of combat technologies and tactical concepts were the first to use them.

        • Once again your ignorance is shown in your own words. Air Force Security police were the first troops to get the AR-15. They bought it for a rear area security force. Then SPECOPS got it because they weren’t front line infantry. They were advisers not combat troops. Finally airborne units got it because of its light weight, not because of its firepower. Airborne troops were not on the cutting edge of warfare in 1960. Mechanized units were. Before the 11th Air Assault Division became the First Cav they were equipped with M-14. It was only after the M-14 proved to be a crappy full auto weapon that the Army decided to go with the existing weapon that could be used in full auto. .

        • “Once again your ignorance is shown in your own words. Air Force Security police were the first troops to get the AR-15.”

          Which is what I said in the above response about air force security getting them first, then special operations….

          Are you that illiterate?

          “They bought it for a rear area security force. Then SPECOPS got it because they weren’t front line infantry. They were advisers not combat troops.”

          Yeah try telling a Vietnam veteran who was part of MAC-V/MAAG that he “wasn’t a front line soldier”. You would rightfully have your dental work rearranged for free. I believe you would be tarred and feathered on Fort Bragg and the JFK SWCS for that also.

          Do you have any idea what military advisors do? they train and advise! meaning they are the first ones in direct combat when a nation becomes involved in a military operation. What do you think they did? train the indigenous forces and send them out while they sit on the fire base in the chow hall? youve got to be shitting me.

          “Finally airborne units got it because of its light weight, not because of its firepower.”

          You’re wrong, once again.

          Air assault units (not airborne, there is a difference) needed superior firepower more than ever because they are dropped knee deep in shit and are the most vulnerable to ambush and counter-attack when they establish their LZs. Try reading “we were soldiers once and young” (not the movie) and do some home work on air assault cavalry. The fact that they were among the first to use these new fangled varmint rifles speaks for itself.

          “Airborne troops were not on the cutting edge of warfare in 1960. Mechanized units were.”

          Nope.

          Air Assault/Air Mobile Cavalry. They also defined the way the Vietnam war would be fought for US forces there.

          “Before the 11th Air Assault Division became the First Cav they were equipped with M-14. It was only after the M-14 proved to be a crappy full auto weapon that the Army decided to go with the existing weapon that could be used in full auto. .”

          All military forces were equipped with the M14 before, numbnuts. You dont say…

          The M14 had numerous flaws despite its legendary mythology among soldiers, and “bring back the 308!” fanboys.

          1.) It was heavy in the jungle
          2.) Its wood stock swelled in the hot/humid climate.
          3.) Its ammunition was heavy. 200 rounds of 7.62 weighs as much as 600 rounds of 5.56.
          4.) Since it was not even remotely accurate on full automatic fire, this was disadvantageous in the jungle (again, google “australian peel”)
          5.) Its heavier recoil makes follow up shots more difficult. Bad news in close quarters.

        • “Which is what I said in the above response about air force security getting them first, then special operations….

          Are you that illiterate?”

          Sounds like you are the one who is illiterate because I was simply reciting your order of occurrence to demonstrate that it shows that the AR platform was not the Army’s first choice. It was the only weapon that they could immediately buy. Had they had time to develop a next generation infantry rifle it most certainly not be based on the anemic 222 Remington varmint round. (FYI that is the round that 223 evolved from.)

          Front line troops mean combat units. Special Forces personnel advising the South Vietnamese Army were not in a combat role. Go back and read their rules of engagement. They carried weapons only for self-defense. Now, did they ever engage in combat activities? Duh, they were advising combat units so yes they did but that wasn’t their role and they weren’t equipped as infantry.

          Some of your “points” again show you don’t know what you are talking about.

          – Air mobility is an application of mechanization. Helicopters substitute for APCs or Trucks.
          – The !st Cav switch to M-16 was a direct result of the Army decision to reequip the force with a fully automatic weapon. They were the chicken and not the egg. I probably read “We Were Soldiers before you got out the 5th grade.

          “1.) It was heavy in the jungle”

          You mean like the M-1 that GIs and Marines had to walk through in the Pacific with?)

          “2.) Its wood stock swelled in the hot/humid climate.”

          So how did the M-1 survive in the jungles of the Pacific? So give it a synthetic stock. Oh, how did the AK hold up the jungle?

          “3.) Its ammunition was heavy. 200 rounds of 7.62 weighs as much as 600 rounds of 5.56.”

          True that. Except you would go through those 600 rounds in a shorter period of time.

          “4.) Since it was not even remotely accurate on full automatic fire, this was disadvantageous in the jungle (again, google “australian peel”)”

          So what? auto fire is generally inaccurate. It took an estimate 3 times the number of rounds to inflict casualty in Vietnam than in WWII. Modern US tactics emphasize semiautomatic fire or three round bursts for increased lethality. By the way a three round burst gives the M-16/M-4 half the trigger pulls of the much more lethal 7.62 NATO round.

          “5.) Its heavier recoil makes follow up shots more difficult. Bad news in close quarters.”

          You simply don’t know what you are talking about. Go read some after action reports from WWII close combat engagements. The M-1 was designed for delivering rapid, accurate firepower at all ranges and was superb in close quarters combat. The M-14 is just the ultimate M-1 Garand. It should have been designated the M-1A1. The increase in combat power from a semiautomatic rifle comes not just from volume of fire but the ability to fire accurately and rapidly on the move. The other reason that the Germans developed the StG 44 was that submachine gun equipped units got shot in the face by US infantry even at point blank range.

          And finally here is a reminder of why the 7.62 NATO round is superior to the 223. It’s called penetration.

        • “Sounds like you are the one who is illiterate because I was simply reciting your order of occurrence to demonstrate that it shows that the AR platform was not the Army’s first choice.”

          Compared to what?

          The AR became the M14’s successor although im puzzled as to what your point is. Talk about a waste of electrons. You can just admit you misread what i typed.

          “It was the only weapon that they could immediately buy. Had they had time to develop a next generation infantry rifle it most certainly not be based on the anemic 222 Remington varmint round. (FYI that is the round that 223 evolved from.)”

          Again, what other fcking alternative was there to the AR to succeed the M14?

          and the “anemic varmint round” has the same energy as a 44 magnum. Yeah “anemic” my fcking ass. You really dont have any real time experience with 5.56 do you?

          “Front line troops mean combat units. Special Forces personnel advising the South Vietnamese Army were not in a combat role. Go back and read their rules of engagement.”

          Go back and read what actually happened. The rules of engagement are irrelevant to this comparison because they found themselves in combat alongside the ARVN. Go figure.

          “Duh, they were advising combat units so yes they did but that wasn’t their role and they weren’t equipped as infantry.”

          You really dont know what you’re talking about.

          Do you have any idea what is carried within a ODA? it is roughly a infantry company’s worth of equipment. They are expected to live out of their rucks and sustain operations for a lengthy period of time without resupply and company level assets of traditional line infantry units.

          I mean, fck me, the assorted kit and rucksack weight of special forces troops in Vietnam was legendary, especially within the special operations community. But read “blood on the risers” and Blackjack-33″ sometime. They were equipped as a infantry unit, and then some, with fewer numbers of operators.

          “Some of your “points” again show you don’t know what you are talking about. ”

          Im beginning to see that I unintentionally forgot more than you will ever know about this particular subject. Damn that pesky active duty infantry experience.

          “Air mobility is an application of mechanization. Helicopters substitute for APCs or Trucks.
          – The !st Cav switch to M-16 was a direct result of the Army decision to reequip the force with a fully automatic weapon. They were the chicken and not the egg. I probably read “We Were Soldiers before you got out the 5th grade.”

          You are mistaking air assault/air cav for mechanized infantry, which are different in MTOE and theory of application.

          The M16 was needed because of the the reasons I said. On a LZ, which is ripe for overwhelming ambush, firepower is the difference between victory and defeat. Not long distance, marksmanship mythology of M14 musings (with 3 times the ammunition weight).

          “1.) It was heavy in the jungle”

          “You mean like the M-1 that GIs and Marines had to walk through in the Pacific with?)”

          Yes, exactly.

          and they could carry even less ammunition overall than the M14 infantrymen. Probably which justified the widespread application of submachine guns and m1 carbines among specialized units that depended on firepower, such as Australia’s light infantry troops, the Marine Raiders, and Merrills Marauders to name a few.

          “So how did the M-1 survive in the jungles of the Pacific? So give it a synthetic stock. Oh, how did the AK hold up the jungle?”

          Where did I imply that stocks swelling affects the immediate “survivability” of a rifle? it is a long term problem. Synthetic is far more advantageous luddite.

          “True that. Except you would go through those 600 rounds in a shorter period of time”

          Says who?

          That is why you have fire discipline and superior training. and NCOs that do their fucking jobs and clamp down on their soldiers. Like I said before, well trained infantry units didn’t use automatic fire unless they were breaking contact in a near ambush (sometimes).

          “4.) Since it was not even remotely accurate on full automatic fire, this was disadvantageous in the jungle (again, google “australian peel”)”

          “So what? auto fire is generally inaccurate”

          What do you mean “so what”? What is better, 100 rounds or 300? six 20-round magazines of 7.62 or ten-twelve (over 20 if you were MAC-V or any other special operations though 30-round magazines of 5.56? in a situation requiring a australian peel? my point exactly.

          “It took an estimate 3 times the number of rounds to inflict casualty in Vietnam than in WWII.”

          Citations.

          and the comparisons of those two wars is pretty much invalid given the number of variables to determine infantry small arms usage, such as the accusations that far less infantrymen fired their rifles in WW2 in proportion to riflemen in Vietnam, the scale of operations in WWII, and the larger application of other weapon systems.

          “Modern US tactics emphasize semiautomatic fire or three round bursts for increased lethality. By the way a three round burst gives the M-16/M-4 half the trigger pulls of the much more lethal 7.62 NATO round.”

          US tactics have always emphazed semi-automatic rounds for increased accuracy. There is no one shot kills unlike what 7.62 mythologists believe.

          7.62 has plenty of lethality, no doubt. So does 5.56. The later is far more applicable for infantrymen in 21st century mobile warfare.

          “5.) Its heavier recoil makes follow up shots more difficult. Bad news in close quarters.”

          “You simply don’t know what you are talking about. Go read some after action reports from WWII close combat engagements.”

          Listen fckwit, I obviously know far more than you do about this subject manner, so STFU.

          It is physics. More energy from 7.62 or 30-06 means increased recoil. More time (however slight) between accurate, aimed shots. Basic marksmanship 101 shit.

          “The M-1 was designed for delivering rapid, accurate firepower at all ranges and was superb in close quarters combat.”

          Again, is that why the Army tried like hell to extend the Garand’s magazine size, which eventually resulted in the M14? (it was called the T20, which was designed to address the deficiency that was the 8 round magazine.

          is that why specialized units in the Pacific employed submachine guns and carbines with larger magazine capacities? Or why US advisors during the initial phases of Vietnam (pre-M16 era) carried M1 and M2 carbines when entire depots of M1 garands were available?

          The M1 garand was superior to bolt action rifles in close quarters combat, but inferior to thompsons and m1 carbines, BARs, and shotguns. hands down.

          “The M-14 is just the ultimate M-1 Garand. It should have been designated the M-1A1. The increase in combat power from a semiautomatic rifle comes not just from volume of fire but the ability to fire accurately and rapidly on the move.”

          …Which the M16 does and surpassed the M14 and M1 when it was first introduced. A lighter rifle firing a lighter cartridge (which more can be carried) with lighter recoil (more rapid, aimed follow up shots) means more accurate and rapid fire on the move. You just proved the case for the M16 without even realizing it.

          “The other reason that the Germans developed the StG 44 was that submachine gun equipped units got shot in the face by US infantry even at point blank range.”

          No LOL..

          Youre not even “wrong” you’re so fcked up. Not to mention a historical revisionist American-centric dupe.

          the STG44 was the result of German firepower deficiencies experienced on the Eastern Front, where the shortcomings of the K98 and MP40 became more obvious. The fielding of the STG44’s predecessor, the Mkb-42(H), precended the STG44 by TWO YEARS! Kohlm pocket. Read about it.

          That is not even getting into the MP43.

          Nevertheless, the Germans flirted with these assault rifles before they even encountered American troops, not to mention, experience with American infantry in close quarters combat (predominantly in Italy then Europe). So, no, experience with US troops didn’t compel the creation of the STG44. That is historical revisionist nonsense.

          “And finally here is a reminder of why the 7.62 NATO round is superior to the 223. It’s called penetration.”

          No shit. The 7.62’s projectile has nearly three times the mass.

          Typically 7.62 NATO will have superior penetration, although the new M855A1 gives it a run for its money…which is why they are planning on the same improvements to the 7.62 NATO.

          So you have superior penetration against a enemy that doesn’t deploy armor and doesn’t wear body armor. Congratulations! well done. LOL.

          In defense of your argument though, they do allow for better penetration of some foliage in Afghanistan and some urban barriers (which is bad for avoiding collatoral damage and undoing that whole hearts and minds thing. So shit…).

        • After “M1 is superb in close quarters” and “StG was developed because SMG equipped units were shot in the face with Garand at close range”, I don’t know why you even bother replying. Just let it stand on its own, as a self-sufficient monument to the proud ignorance of the person who wrote it.

        • LC, Just so you know there were congressional investigations into the M-1 Carbine because of its poor performance in combat. I believe the stenographer at the hearings stood up and told how he had shot a German soldier 5 times at Bastogne with his M-1 Carbine and the guy lived long enough to shoot him (the stenographer). Officers and the later SF guys carried the carbine to augment their .45s and allow the guy the ability to engage the enemy accurately a lot further away than they could with a .45.

          The Army rejected the AR-15 two or three times because the round wasnt deemed adequate for the job. The mindset was if it wasnt capable of reliably dropping a white tailed deer with one shot it wouldnt do the job of killing a man in combat with the equivalent job. The round is actually a .222 caliber round but Remington didnt want people to confuse it with another .222 round so they re-designated it as a .223.

          The AF was force to buy many more ARs than they needed and the army was forced to take them. It was a political selection. The Army wanted a full auto capable rifle for soldiers just because he Soviets had the AKM. The Euros wanted a full auto capable but they were looking at a 6.2 to 6.8 round as 7mm and above calibers were too uncontrollable on full auto. They thought we were nuts for going to such a small round. However they slowly adopted it because they knew in the event of a war with the Soviets they would be relying on the US for ammo resupply.
          Troops love the AR platform as it doesn’t kick and weighs a lot less. It also greatly increased the armys ammo consumption. Its been estimated that our guys fired 10,000,000 small arms rounds per 1 enemy killed in Vietnam. The Vietnam era AR/M-16s didn’t have chromed barrels and the gas tubes were to small. Coupled with the shitty powder DuPont got the army to accept (reground artillery powder) and you go a rifle that malfunctioned and overheated. The longer barrel did give the bullet much better terminal ballistics though.
          The M855 round performed its mission horribly since we started buying it in the late 80s. It was designed to penetrate body armor that the soviets were supposed to field. What we got was a tiny flying ice pick. The marines were using the 5.56 SOST round an loved its lethality and penetration characteristics but once again politic reared its head and now they are being forced to use that knew Green round that doesn’t perform as well.

        • M16 was plenty lethal in initial testing. Part of the reason was longer barrel than on today’s M4, yes, meaning that bullets would fragment at longer ranges. But the other part was twist rate. To remind, the initial prototypes submitted to the army had it as low as 1:14! This would “understabilize” even the original 55gr round; and while it negatively affects accuracy, the bullets would tumble and fragment extremely consistently when not stabilized, giving those huge gaping exit wounds that were observed in initial testing. Combined with fairly controllable full auto fire (light 55gr bullets + larger and heavier rifle absorbing more recoil), the lethality was in fact superb, especially if you count it in terms of kills per ammo weight rather than kills per round.

          Army did have an issue with accuracy, though. Probably a stupid decision, because an infantry rifle doesn’t need to be as accurate as they asked it to, but they were guys who thought Garand was the end-all be-all… so the twist rate went up to 1:12. Which still worked, but not quite as well. And then, of course, once they went to 62gr bullets and increased the rate all the way to 1:7, you’ve got that prominent “ice pick” effect that you reference.

          It’s actually pretty sad. When you look at the history of AR-15 as the Army service rifle, practically everything about it that didn’t turn out well was due to Army itself or its suppliers (usually with full knowledge of the Army) fucking something up in the original, nicely working design. Twist rate, chrome lining, powder, “self-cleaning” claims and lack of provided tools etc.

        • “well was due to Army itself or its suppliers (usually with full knowledge of the Army) fucking something up”

          That is a true statement. I can think of a lot of weapons the army fucked up. The .45 (WW2 production), M-16A2 (trigger and Barrel), 9mm (besides the obvious they bought the wrong ammo and it caused them to come apart in peoples faces) etc etc etc.

        • DBM, well said. im aware of the limitations of the M1 carbine also (im not a fan of short stroke/tappet style gas systems in comparison to long stroke or direct impingement anyways). I wouldn’t even say it was an outstanding weapon; just a marginal one that happened to have decent close range firepower, low recoil, and lighter comparative weight that made it desirable by assaulting troops in close quarters environments, especially densely wooded areas.

          During prolonged exposure in the fields of Europe or East Asia, most weapons, even the respected M1 Garand (whose reliability is rightfully well known to be exquisite), were turned into single shot weapons. Ammunition and lubrication technology was far behind what we have now.

          There were also the rumors from the Korean war about the M1 carbine being unable to adequately drop NK or Chinese troops who wore heavy uniforms, but this was effectively refuted by Box O’truth. Like any other rumor, there was undoubtedly a shred of truth to it in that the M1 experienced lethality problems.

          I know the army also has a tumultuous relationship with the AR15/M16 and the 223 cartridge. It was a 223 weapon in an era where the Army was reluctant to even look at anything NOT .30 in caliber.
          The Army rejected the AR-15 two or three times because the round wasnt deemed adequate for the job. The mindset was if it wasnt capable of reliably dropping a white tailed deer with one shot it wouldnt do the job of killing a man in combat with the equivalent job. The round is actually a .222 caliber round but Remington didnt want people to confuse it with another .222 round so they re-designated it as a .223.
          You pretty much hit the nail on the head. Well said.

          The M16s sullied reputation had two parties to blame:

          1.) Colt- For changing the design originally blessed off during testing (ridding the chrome line barrel and forward assist ((I might be missing something)).
          2.) Army- The 5.56 powder debacle. Setting troops up for failure by not issuing cleaning equipment and training proper PMI.

          I agree with the M855. It’s an inappropriate cartridge that rightfully is getting phased out for the M855A1, which is measurably superior in not just killing bad buys but also penetrating armor.

          The M318 and Mk 262 are awesome cartridges at their own right. They are both superior to the new M855A1 in performance, but the later is less expensive, which influenced their decision ultimately.
          But going back, the British 280 was definitely ahead of its time and would have been the best cartridge to adopt. The US military pretty much sent that excellent idea into an early grave due to their insistence on adopting and standardizing 308, then they went to the other drastic extreme with 223. Oh the irony…

        • Actuall th855A1 is very expensive and was sellected because it has no lead in it. It was a poitical decision based on the current administrations green policies and the push for green vivilian ammo. BTW I have no proof to offer you but I spoke to some 75th Rangers I used to work with and they said there was a small problem with the bullets coming apart.

    • The Bundeswehr has been using G3s with Hensoldt 4x scopes for DECADES. They switched to the G36 (after trying to switch to the G41 and G11) because of the shift in US-led NATO doctrine to intermediate-caliber assault hoses (still always set on semi-auto, of course).

    • Would you sooner carry a 5 shot 44mag or a M&P/Glock compact or subcompact with a full size spare magazine? By your logic you’re saying the “obvious” choice would be to carry the 44mag, none too smart you are I think.

      • Jans point is a good one. Solders have over the last 150 years shown that the more rounds available they have the more likel they are to spray and pray. Carrying a lot of rounds is great if you actually ty to hit what you are shooting at. The current weapons barrel length and ammo make them unlikely to inflit a lethal or disabling wound at range. Look at how many shots cops fire now they have semi auto pistols vs when they had revolvers. Remember the cops that shot the empirestate building shooter? They fired 15 rounds. They hit the perp twice, missed twice and HIT 13 BYESTANDERS!

  10. Schadenfreude time!!

    HK fan boys are the absolutely most arrogant and obnoxious gun people you could ever hope to meet.

    Will be fun watching them explain this away.

    • I happily own several HK products of different flavors, along with multiple other manufacturers, and I am the polar opposite of stereotype you paint with such a broad brush above.

      Somewhat of a narrow-minded viewpoint. HK product fans have certainly not cornered the market on self-important blustering. Jerks aplenty everywhere, especially if one goes searching for them.

      I have no dog in this fight. No product or company is perfect. Not HK, not Glock. Naive to believe otherwise.

    • Hey, I love my HK pistol as much as the next person, and the build quality is every bit as good as advertised.

      The G36 does seem to be their big dud though. Most of the headlines the rifle makes have to do with problems. They should just scrap it and push the HK416 until a properly done successor can be brought to market.

  11. Of course, using an AR as you would use a MG will end badly.

    Personally? I would just neck down/up to 6.5 and use a 20 inch barrel. Short barrels aren’t the problem, thin ones are. You can easily jacket a thin barrel with aluminum to have a thick yet not too heavy barrel.

  12. Makes sense. Ofc the rifle wasn’t made for long range desert combat. The 5.56 was designed because it was found that “most modern combat” took place at less than 300m, correct? Well, the Afghanistan theater obviously doesn’t fit the description of “most modern combat” by the standards the 5.56 was designed around. The G36 wasn’t designed to be used in the desert obviously if the heat warped the barrel by that much. Given their tendency to go with HKs, I’ll bet more than likely the German military will just opt for an improved G36 instead.

  13. As I understand it, statistical studies after WW II showed that enemy casualties were proportional to shots fired, that 99% of casualties were within 300 yards, and therefore a round that was accurate to 1000 yards was not as useful as twice as many rounds that were good to 300 yards.

    Or something like that. No doubt some of my numbers are off somewhat. But the principle holds, that better to forego the 1% of casualties that were past 300 yards and double the casualties within 300 yards by carrying twice as much ammo.

    One of the should-have-been expected consequences would be enemies learing to stay past 300 yards. Of course this requires them to carry half as much of longer range ammo to compensate.

    I also gather than 7.62×39 ammo is a shorter range round than 5.56×45, but with more punch close in. So if the bad guys are staying beyond 300 yards to keep out of range, doesn’t that also imply the good guys aren’t being hit as often?

    Or IOW, if the enemy has a shorter range weapon and opts to stay out of range of our slightly-less-shorter-range weapon, isn’t that good for us?

    • From anecdotal experience, both 5.56 and 7.62×39 are good at about 300 meters. Sure,you can use both at 500 but it is hard and they weren’t made for that.

    • Yes, there were quite a few studies to determine range and round lethality of various rifles, submachine guns and what not. The odds of a kill was geometrically higher at shorter range and 200 yards in was the real kill zone. The higher the round count and the more rounds fired resulted in more casualties. The Soviets were seeing that a lot of the infantry combat was taking place or would take place at closer ranges, so the 7.62 X 39mm round was developed. Later, some of the USA studies came up with more or less the same conclusions. The ammo program for a smaller high velocity round had been going on with Remington for quite a few years before the AR-15 program. Some of the cartridges developed sort of for the program was the .222, .222 Magnum, .223 Remington.

      • Of course, this is from European and Pacific battlefields. The requirements of the Middle Eastern war theaters are not necessarily the same. Soviet troops did appreciate the flatter trajectory of 5.45 in Afghanistan.

    • Not good enough for me. If the G36 was supposed to be the badass ultra-accurate AND ultra-reliable rifle of the future it shouldn’t puke on ammunition.

      I say this as a bigtime G36 fanboy. I am very disappointed by this.

  14. It’s a damn shame that the 6.8 SPC and 6.5 Grendel haven’t seen more use. With decently slick bullets, the 6.8 can exceed a G1 BC of .450 (130 grain and 140 grains) and the 6.5 can use rounds that exceed a BC of .500 (a Lapua Scenar). Of course the 7.62 x 51 NATO can do that as well, albeit in a heavier platform.

    I would have thought the conflict in Afghanistan would’ve pushed the development of a legitimate intermediate cartridge that could improve upon the relatively crappy BC of the 5.56 round. The BC of the 62 grain M855 is just over .300. Even the Mk 262 77 grain round is less than .400. That’s not good on a round that is highly velocity dependent.

    • While I agree that 7.62×51 is preferable to 5.56×45 in Afghanistan, I don’t think the topic of the post was about round lethality.

    • Just remember that in the rifle and ammo world the entire supply chain is so entrenched in the 5.56 it will be damned near impossible to change rounds and rifles. Look at the M-203 Grenade. It sucks for infantry use. High angle low velocity and a really high dud rate. Other better systems has come and gone because of the US armys being so entrenched. Probably is the reason the brass hasnt embraced the XM-25.

  15. Just remember HKs motto. Were HK and you suck. Some one cut quality to handle fast production and you get crap for a product. Never cared for the G-36 maybe they will adopt the HK 416 soon to complement the HK 417 in Budenwher service.

  16. The Spiegel article also calls out the P8 pistol (a variant of HK’s USP) for problems, namely that there are “tears” on the barrel and/or ejection port, and that bits of metal are coming out. HK blames over pressure ammo.

    And to be more specific, another overall complaint about the G36 is that at about 72°F, the plastic parts lose their rigidity and deform in a way visible to the layperson. This is on top of the loss of accuracy, and is thought to be the source.

    I assume this means that the barrel is fine, but becomes unstable in its bedding(!!!).

    • German, Italian, British, French, Dutch, Danish, Czech, Canadian, Polish, Lithuanian and other troops are/were there on behalf of and under NATO command, not UN.

      Some other non NATO troops were also there, primarily Australia and New Zealand.

      Some were reputed to be excellent (Australia, Brits, Canada, Czech, Dutch even French). Others, not so much. The wide disparaging in fighting effectiveness was due to each country’s different ROE (Rules of Engagement) and policies governing use of force. It was also not uncommon for different countries to cut deals with the Taliban, but not inform the rest of the Coalition (When I was there, we had an issue with a Romanian unit cutting a unilateral cease fire with the local Taliban, but not telling the nearby British units).

      For perspectives, a good non U.S. documentary is Armadillo, which follows a Danish combat team in Afghanistan. It is, best to my knowledge, on Netflix.

      • The Australian and New Zealand forces have awarded Victoria Crosses (3 and 1 respectively) in the Afghan conflict, more than the British have. 3 of them to special air service (SAS) soldiers. So definitely combat effective. Equipment wise, the New Zealand forces were let down by their government, using unarmoured Humvees, which led to the first death of a NZ service woman since the Vietnam War.

  17. 1. Open old weapons vault.
    2. Blow off dust on more G3s.
    3. Put it in the hands of more German Soldiers
    4. Shoot Taliban.
    5. Tell HK to fix their new junk.

    Problem solved in the near term.

  18. This complaint has plagued this platform for awhile. The problem is the G36 is a generation behind modern polymer guns like the FN Scar and Tavor. Also unlike the AR platform the G36 hasn’t really been continually updated; mostly because HK has given the finger to the American shooting public.

    If they were not nearly bankrupt maybe they could afford to design a modern polymer rifle.

    Good rifle I just think like the MP5 and the ancient G3 family its showing its age. HK can’t carry the company on the Mp7 and a bunch of pistols. Maybe they hope the German military will buy the 416?

  19. According to wiki the standard G-36 has a barrel length of 480 mm (18.9 in) so the picture in the article is misleading. The long length of the barrel coupled with the heat from high rates of fire are warping the barrel. The M-4 suffers from the same problem. They can fix it by just putting a thicker heavier barrel on it.

  20. I wonder how much HK will save by tooling down the G36 lines and doing new 416 sales. This smells of manufactured incident for Corp positioning.

    • Remember the weapon was built ti German Army specs. Someone in the german gov’t wanted the thin barrel on it.

  21. So standard mil 556 rounds have trouble with accuracy at 300+ meters?

    When the hell did this happen?

    Oh, that’s been a known issue for a while now. Did the Bundeswehr get the memo that the US has been shipping every M14 that it can lay its hands on to Afghanistan?

    • Grumpy, The thin barrels overheat quickly during full auto fire and warp making it impossible to accurately engage a target.

  22. I would regularly carry the M-60, plus all the ammo, INCLUDING the assistant gunner’s ammo & tools/supplies, whatever PLUS all my own personal gear crap, and have no problem keeping up with ANY male soldier, 11B included—> IN TRAINING! Just what in the blue ball F**K do you little boys think I’d do in combat??
    Signed
    “A chick “soldier” ”
    Just beat your douche bag face 🙂

    • Babs,
      If you can actually do that then you would be the first female I’ve ever heard being able to do it. I lost count of the number of times I had to carry a females equipment just so she could attempt to keep up. And I’ve seen several hundred female soldiers try to throw a grenade. None threw it the minimum save distace and in fact most barely made it 10′ down range in the air. Carry ammo? Wasnt happening.

      You may be a genetic oddity capable of doing what yousaid you could but your about the only female out there that can.

    • Bullshit, where are you still carrying a 60 at. And you are carrying the AGs ammo too. Seriously it would be much better lie saying you could keep up with just the 60.

    • Did you carry all of that, in addition to extra water, batteries, rations, and everything else in between while keeping up a 4-6 MPH pace over 12 miles?

      right…thats what i thought…

  23. You guys realize this article is CONSTANTLY regurgitated by the same german press outlet right? If anyone actually did some digging, INCLUDING TTAG, they would realize this article has been republished multiple times over the past 3 years, and holds no actual truth. Jesus christ.

    And before the Hurr-Durr HK fanboy talk starts, I do not own one HK handgun or rifle. The closet thing I have is a MSG-91 from PTR.

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