Germany Officially Ditches G36 for… HK417?

P1090177

The long saga of the German Army and their continual disappointment in the Heckler & Koch G36 rifle may finally be at an end. After months of reports about the astoundingly bad accuracy of the G36 when it gets hot (which is any time except for the five minutes around midnight in Afghanistan, it seems) the German army has made the decision to stop fielding the G36 rifle and replace it with something better. This much we already knew. Our suspicion was that the replacement would be the HK 416, a rifle in the same caliber as the G36. but more in line with the Stoner derivatives in use by every other modern nation. According to one report, though, the German army has apparently gone with…the HK417? . . .

Junior Defence Minister Katrin Suder decided to spend €18 million on 600 new rifles and 600 new machine guns for frontline soldiers to replace some of the defective weapons, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on Friday.

The army will take delivery of the full number of HK417 rifles, a type already in use with some special forces units, by mid-2016.

There’s a major difference between the HK416 (our suspected replacement) and the HK417 (the reported replacement), and that’s caliber. While the 416 uses standard magazines that fit everything from the American M16 to the Israeli Tavor and the same 5.56 NATO ammunition as everyone else, the HK417 is chambered in 7.62 NATO and uses proprietary magazines. That means no swapping magazines with your battle buddies, no leeching off the ammo supply of others in a pinch, and a relatively limited magazine capacity (20 rounds compared to 30 in the HK 416).

I’m betting that this is a reporting error instead of actual fact. I have no doubt that one of H&K’s modern rifle variants will be the successor to the G36 (and might help H&K get out of bankruptcy since the Germans will need a ton of new guns all of a sudden), but I sincerely doubt that the HK417 is the rifle of choice. The training required to accustom soldiers to the new gun, combined with the supply chain changes to switch to a new caliber for the main battle rifle, is so daunting as to make the change practically unthinkable. In addition, this would be the first modern nation to swap back to a full power .30 caliber cartridge after having moved to the intermediate .22 caliber round when all the other cool kids were doing it.

This sounds more like a European reporter who knows as little about firearms as I know about WWE wrestling getting two very similar models mixed up. Naturally we will keep you up to date.

comments

  1. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

    Thats crazy ! It would be like the USA military going back to 45ACP…

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Right? I mean, the Marines would never do that….

      1. avatar Dr. No says:

        You’re right. They didn’t.

    2. avatar Murray says:

      probably deployed as a unit marksman weapon same as us and the Russians (Dragunov) as engagement distances are greater in Afghanistan, Talibani frequently use 7.62 x 54 and 5.56 wont reach them or go through mud brick walls especially with a short barrel, so not so stupid

  2. avatar Robert W. says:

    Hmm, maybe some truth to it though? Perhaps a small(er) number of 417s for specific units and/or marksmen?

    1. avatar justyourRandomEuropean says:

      Bingo!

      As a somewhat involved german I can tell you, that you are pretty much spot on.

      The HK417 designated as g27s as well as the MG4 Lmgs are supposed to be brought into the units to take pressure off tge G36s in a firefight.

      They are NOT a replacement, but a supplement until paperpushers in the BmVg roll the dice to figure out what to actually do.

    2. avatar Pete Zaitcev says:

      What they are really trying to do here is to avoid replacing the bulk of G36 by supplementing them with a sustained fire gun and a longer range gun. The problem of G36 occurs when one has to fire it too much, and it’s not RPD or SAW.

  3. avatar mike oregon says:

    Well, if the German army doesn’t want it, can I get a HK417?

    1. avatar Kapeltam says:

      I’ll take two if that’s the case. Especially if Germany I’d paying.

  4. avatar Azman says:

    18 million for 1200 guns. Even assuming equal production costs (which I’m sure are not) that’s still 15k per firearm. What small arm costs that much to produce?

    1. avatar Chris. says:

      H&K – Cause you suck, and we hate you.

    2. avatar An English Person says:

      Another reporting error, maybe?

    3. avatar Nick says:

      Go back and reread. The purchase was for 600 417’s and 600 MG’s, which could explain some of the outrageous cost.

      I’d imagine this also includes accoutrements such as magazines, optics, and anything else needed to field these weapons.

    4. avatar Roy says:

      600 of the 1200 guns are MG4s, 5.56 belt-fed guns that really do cost $15k-$20k each.

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        If they are going BACK to 7.62 NATO (+100 for them) why would they field a new 5.56 machinegun in the same order as a 7.62 Battlerifle???? Would be as logical as ordering new build MG42.

        Illogical does not compute (In machine/Spock/German accent)

    5. avatar B says:

      Usually the bid for a government contract includes service and parts over the projected lifetime of the guns. So for that price these guns should last Germany to about 10 years after the Earth crashes into the Sun.

    6. avatar Pete in Alaska says:

      I’m gonna just spitball here but the 18 mil cost for 1200 platforms must also include an armorer’s suite of spare fields support parts, additional magazines and so forth to support them in an operational environment . At an across the board avg cost of 15k it can’t be all going to just the platforms I’d think.

  5. avatar Mark N. says:

    Wait wait wait, 18 million Euros for 1200 guns? That is an average of $15,000 per weapon. Another reporting error?

    1. avatar Jordan says:

      Not to nitpick, but it would be closer to 17k USD per gun given the current exchange rate between euros and dollars (16.8k with a 1:1.12 exchange rate). Still pretty damn bad.

      At that rate, I could buy a Barrett M82 off a gun store shelf and still have enough left over to top it with a really nice optic. Perhaps they used gold plated barrels.

      1. avatar working4change says:

        Don’t forget for each $3000 rifle you have roughly 5 extra barrels, a dozen mags, and other parts in its lifecycle. Could be more. Ever 200 rifles you would expect armored costs that could be well over 50k a pop. Continuous fire in battle can kill a barrel quickly. Practice, and over all usage. .. this get replaced a lot. Some can last thousands of rounds with no issue while other will not.

        ALL rifles need support and is part of the cost. Same reason the US is not leaving the M4/ar15 platform or its 7.62 “ar10” variants. Germany will go with HK 417/416 rifles and will love them. (Report error, HK 417 uses same mags as all AR10s)

        Yes the SCAR is nice… but will not replace an armies rifle. It will continue to be used by OPS and others that choose to. The M4 family’ has the wides range in options out there. It has gas or piston, long or short range, 300blackout, 7.62 AK ammo, 223./5.56, and other rounds in the M4. It big brother uses 7.62NATO, 6.8, even .338 and bigger. The over all design with of course changes for caliber go all the way to..50cal.

        Yes those are all variations from one line of rifles. Learning curve from rifle to rifle is minimal even from a bushmaster 5.56 rifle to a barrett BMG 50 monster. No other group of rifles can offer such range and ease for training, both as in repair and usage. The only real arguments are gas vs pistol…. and choose of caliber, the rest are silly arguments.

        1. avatar int19h says:

          What does any of the Barrett .50 BMG offerings have to do with the “M4 family”?

          And, for that matter, what is that “big brother” in the family that shoots .338?

    2. avatar Roy says:

      It’s 1200 guns, 600 of which are MG4s, which really are $15,000-$20,000 belt-fed guns.

      This is an aspect of the source articles I find amazing that nobody is asking questions about. Why are the Germans replacing 1200 G36s with a 1:1 ratio of HK417s and belt-fed 5.56 machine guns?

      1. avatar int19h says:

        I actually thought it makes sense. If you’re replacing a 5.56 rifle with a 7.62 one, you’re reducing the effectiveness of automatic fire (arguably, to the point where you might not even bother with it, based on past experience with FAL and M14). This, in turn, reduces the effectiveness of suppressive fire that the squad can dole out. Throwing an MG into the mix compensates for that, and for this particular purpose it may as well be 5.56, because the ability to throw lead out there for long enough is more important than how hard it hits when it comes to suppression, and 5.56 allows for more ammo to be carried (in addition to better controllability).

        1. avatar Roy says:

          Reminds me of the stories I’ve heard that some whole russian platoons were outfitted with submachine guns and zero rifles during WWII.

          This would be an interesting doctrine to have everybody divided into pairs of shooters, one with an MG4 to lay suppresive fire while the one with the HK417 waits for heads to pop out of hiding.

        2. avatar int19h says:

          >> Reminds me of the stories I’ve heard that some whole russian platoons were outfitted with submachine guns and zero rifles during WWII.

          That is 100% correct. There were several reasons for this.

          First was that Russians saw the efficiency of SMG (as compared to the then-dominant infantry weapon, a bolt action rifle) on close engagement distances first-hand in the Winter War, after meeting the Finnish Suomi KP-31. They didn’t actually have any decent SMGs until then, but that experience is what prompted Stalin personally to direct firearm designers to work in that area, and the results were first PPD, and then PPSh.

          And indeed, especially with the light-and-fast 7.62×25 round, it was often a better choice on many battlefields – especially urban and dense forest (which is why it was also the weapon of choice for Russian partisans, and they used any they could get hold of, in lieu of rifles), of which there was plenty on the Eastern Front.

          The second reason was financial. SMGs are lower-tech weapons compared to rifles, because they can use a much simpler straight blowback design, and fire from an open bolt, making the fire control group very simple, as well. Simplified design also makes it easier to use stamping rather than milling to manufacture most parts of the gun – e.g. for PPSh, the only metal parts that weren’t stamped were the bolt and the barrel. This means that large part of manufacturing and final assembly can be done in many small shops all over the country, as opposed to large, well-tooled factories.

          And because the caliber was 7.62, same as Mosin, and identical twist rate (1:9.5) they could reuse the existing tooling for barrels, and in fact even use the discarded barrels for Mosins (because of lower pressures and less stringent accuracy requirements in an SMG).

        3. avatar jwm says:

          During ww2 in the german army the mg was the primary weapon of the infantry squad. The rest of the squad supported the mg. The breakdown early in the war was 1 belt fed mg, 1 sub gun and then the rest bolt guns per squad.

          Throw in a couple of light mortars at the platoon level and the german infantry platoon was a real reaping machine.

      2. avatar rosignol says:

        moar dakka?

    3. avatar Stuki Moi says:

      H&K needs to get out of bankruptcy, right….?

  6. avatar Chris. says:

    Could easily be a typo too – 6 is right next to 7.

  7. avatar lowell says:

    You can’t see it but I’m cackling hysterically. After Afghanistan they not only ditch the plastic receiver but they also ditch the 5.56 hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

    Hey, can the marine Corps do this too?

    1. avatar Stuki Moi says:

      Why? The Marines seem to be doing plenty fine with the guns they’ve got. Like most others who have to use their tools under actual stress, what they most often ask for is refinements. Rather than an endless string of theoretically superior(?) greenfield over engineering.

      1. avatar int19h says:

        >> Why? The Marines seem to be doing plenty fine with the guns they’ve got. Like most others who have to use their tools under actual stress, what they most often ask for is refinements.

        Did the Marines get a chance to actually extensively use guns other than what they’re issued, though?

  8. avatar pre stone says:

    i had been hearing that many military’s around the world were looking to go to a harder hitting round. i wouldn’t want to go up against a 7.62×39 with a high velocity .22, aka 5.56 either. i would want to, at least, match or surpass my enemies firepower. since we don’t do jungle warfare anymore and its all fairly CQB, 5.56 just isn’t gonna be as effective with barriers. I’m no soldier but thats what i get told by soldiers.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      “since we don’t do jungle warfare anymore and its all fairly CQB,”
      The average initial engagement distance for our unit in Afghanistan was 400 meters. It was the same for the units around us.

    2. avatar lowell says:

      That’s the thing, 5.56 defenders will go on and on about terminal ballistics in humans, completely missing that fact in a gunfight most of your bullets will first have to go through whatever your target is standing behind before they enter. Anybody that’s every seen an M240 work knows that it chews up bricks. There are reports that Spetnatz has begun issuing 7.62 AK’s for CQB because the 5.45s were having trouble with things like heavy wood furniture.

      Basically, it’s the vindication that M14 proponents have known was coming this whole time, even if it will not be admitted to. The ol’ .30 cal just seems to punch through better than anything else out there. Now we’re just waiting for the US regular infantry to start getting issued a .308 piston gun. It will be probably be the SCAR17, which is fine and demonstrably better than the M14.

      1. avatar lowell says:

        The POGs can keep the 5.56. For that matter 5.56 works pretty well for the squad automatic just because he can carry a third more ammo which really comes in handy when your job is to lay down suppressive fire.

      2. avatar jwtaylor says:

        I certainly would not ever argue that the .556 NATO or the 5.45 (WARSAW?) would outperform the 7.62NATO in matters of penetration. There’s just no contest.
        This statement, however “5.45s were having trouble with things like heavy wood furniture.” would really surprise me. I have seen, first hand, a 5.45 round fired from around 600 meters go through a metal door, strike a soldier’s side plate (mine) and veer off to then shatter the soldier’s leg behind me. Just turned it into jello. I have also pulled 5.54 rounds out of the interior wall of a connex box. They got there by going through the steel on the outside.
        Obviously, range makes a pretty big difference in that discussion though.

        1. avatar lowell says:

          M855 and 7N6 both have steel penetrators in them. Not sure about the 7N6 but I know that for M855 the purpose was specifically to punch through a Soviet steel helmet at 600 meters, which is just sheet metal, like the door you saw it punch through. Thin sheet steel is surprisingly easy to poke. What you’re describing with the leg is really typical of reports with that round.

          http://tacticalgunreview.com/surplus-5-45x39mm-7n6-warning-graphic/

      3. avatar seans says:

        I am curious have you been to Afghanistan. Cause 7.62 is not penetrating anything that 5.56 isn’t over there. The walls they have stop Carl G rounds cold. You will be hard pressed to find cover that stops 5.56 but not 7.62. And you definitely aren’t out gunned going 5.56 vs 7.62×39.

    3. avatar int19h says:

      >> i wouldn’t want to go up against a 7.62×39 with a high velocity .22, aka 5.56 either.

      It depends on the range. For 300+, I’d very much rather pick the “high-velocity .22”. Indeed, Soviets had used 5.45 in their AK74 against mujis with Chinese AK-47 in Afghanistan with considerable success.

  9. avatar NDS says:

    Ze Germans already use the H&K 417 under the designation “G27″… They are adding more units I guess to replace the G36 pigs. Doubt it’s a typo as I’ve seen this replacement reported elsewhere.

    They do use the H&K 416 but only in special operations (KSK) roles.

    Time to dust off the G3’s if they are (inexplicably) going back to full bore battle rifles….

    1. avatar Bob109 says:

      G-3’s are accurate as heck, but try maneuvering with them. I once saw a recently drafted German soldier run between two trees that were closer together than the length of the rifle. Luckily, the medic was right behind him.

      1. avatar Cameron B says:

        they could be modified, like the EBR. Who knows how many of those g3’s are still in country and weren’t sold to middle eastern countries.

  10. avatar Roy says:

    What’s weird is the article I read a couple days ago said 600 rifles and 600 machine guns were being sent to replace G36s in Afghanistan.

    I had to dig deeper to confirm that the 600 machine guns are in fact MG4s, which are HK’s new 5.56 beltfeds. They couldn’t possibly be planning on replacing 1200 G36s with a 1:1 ratio of HK417s and MG4s, right? I mean, talk about a Rambo army, everybody gets the biggest gun possible I guess.

  11. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    That’s an absurd price tag. There has to be a reporting error there – I mean, we’re talking an order of magnitude too high in price here.

  12. avatar int19h says:

    It says right there in the article that it it an interim solution. As such, it makes perfect sense – since they already have HK417 in service, they don’t need to do the expensive testing etc, just order a few more and distribute them out. Note that they’re only getting 600 for now, which is clearly nowhere even near replacing all the G36 in service.

    I suspect that they’ll end up going to HK416 in the end, but they will need to run the trials etc before that happens.

  13. avatar Removed_californian says:

    Read the g36 page on the Hk website.

    Created for the requirements of the German armed forces, the G36 continues to set the standard in the field of assault rifles. Used as an infantry weapon in a large number of countries, special forces and security forces also rely on its constant reliability.

    This is really funny. It’s sad when your own government says your gun sucks.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      The German government said a lot more than that. I’ve read parts of the original report (in German) and it is scathing… and hilarious.

      net:net on the G36: Someone who didn’t know how to write an engineering spec wrote up the specs for the G36. H&K read the spec with a bunch of lawyers standing over the shoulders of their engineers. Since the spec didn’t call for accuracy tests after a long string of shooting, the rifle doesn’t hold a zero after shooting several hundred rounds in quick succession. But it meets the RFQ spec, so… there they are.

      The government inquiry into the situation was scathing, as I said. I’m very surprised that the German government is giving H&K so much as one pfennig for anything more modern than a slingshot.

  14. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Can someone please explain the thinking behind these battle “rifles” with barrels on the order of 8 to 10 inches? I realize that a short barrel is desirable for “close quarters combat”. Regardless of how maneuverable they are, what good is a 5.56 x 45 mm short-barreled “rifle” when their tiny, light, full-metal-jacket bullets come out of the barrel at something like 2400 fps with deafening muzzle blast?

    If you insist on 5.56 mm ammunition capacity, why not go to .300 AAC Blackout? At least you would get a larger and heavier bullet (115 grains versus 55 grains for 5.56 mm) at almost the same velocity.

    Or why not make a semi-auto platform that shoots .357 Magnum? They have almost exactly the same case diameter as .300 AAC Blackout. And a “rifle” with a 10 inch barrel would launch 125 grain bullets at well over 1900 fps. Alternatively, that same “rifle” would shoot 158 grain bullets at over 1700 fps. If a .35 caliber, 158 grain bullet at 1700 fps doesn’t “hit hard”, I don’t know what will. And because they have the same case diameter, a magazine that holds 30 rounds of .300 AAC Blackout will hold 30 rounds of .357 Magnum. Of course the .357 Magnum case is shorter so the magazines wouldn’t have to be as wide. But you would get the same ammunition capacities as .300 AAC Blackout and 5.56 mm NATO.

    What am I missing?

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Range.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        jwtaylor,

        I agree that 5.56 x 45 mm NATO provides range to 400+ meters with a 16 to 20 inch barrel. But even with a longer barrel and subsequent higher muzzle velocity, the bullet has slowed down too much to fragment much beyond 150 yards. And coming out of an 8 to 10 inch barrel, all it is going to do is poke tiny holes in a human target at 400+ yards, if you can even hit your target. (With a muzzle velocity of about 2400 fps, that 5.56 mm bullet is going to be down to, what, 1400 fps?) A full metal jacket, .22 caliber bullet hitting a human at 1400 fps isn’t going to deliver devastating terminal ballistics. In fact it would be nearly equivalent to .22 LR with a non-expanding bullet at close range.

        There is no platform that can deliver devastating terminal ballistics at close quarters and medium range (400+ meters) and have a short barrel. Either you optimize for close quarters with a short barrel and a completely different cartridge or medium range with a long barrel and stick to 5.56 x 45 mm NATO if you want to avoid the costs of changing caliber.

        1. avatar int19h says:

          >> . But even with a longer barrel and subsequent higher muzzle velocity, the bullet has slowed down too much to fragment much beyond 150 yards.

          This depends on the bullet. Velocity is an important component, but not the only one – bullet construction also affects fragmentation threshold (as evidenced by the fact that M193 fragments much better than M855). In particular, long, slim bullets with a cannelure are more unstable and hence more likely to tumble when they hit; and once they tumble, the stress applied to the long profile is more likely to break them. Obviously, having a penetrator shank inside makes it harder to break.

          140-150 meters is the reliable fragmentation threshold for M193 fired out of a 16″ barrel. For M855 it’s even lower, around 90-100 meters. But for Mk262, it’s 220-250 meters, despite it being slower than either of these – because its bullet construction is inherently so much more fragmentation-prone.

          And then there are bullets like Barnes TSX, which do not fragment at all, but expand very reliably, and the expansion threshold velocity is usually much lower than for fragmentation. In particular, 64-grain TSX will reliably expand out to 150 meters out of a 8″ barrel. I’m not sure how well the US standard issue “brown tip” fares, but I’d expect it to be similar.

    2. avatar int19h says:

      >> Can someone please explain the thinking behind these battle “rifles” with barrels on the order of 8 to 10 inches? I realize that a short barrel is desirable for “close quarters combat”. Regardless of how maneuverable they are, what good is a 5.56 x 45 mm short-barreled “rifle” when their tiny, light, full-metal-jacket bullets come out of the barrel at something like 2400 fps with deafening muzzle blast?

      The main reason, I think, is the ability to use the same ammo. But, as you note, FMJ really doesn’t work well in these anyway. American forces actually use “brown tip” ammo for this reason, which will reliably expand even at low muzzle velocities typical for SBRs. I’m not sure if any German armed forces actually use the G36 shorty – my understanding is that for CQB, they’d just use MP7 (which isn’t really any better in that respect, but that’s another story).

      >> Or why not make a semi-auto platform that shoots .357 Magnum?

      I keep asking for a modern remake of M1 Carbine chambered in .357. But the problem with any semi-auto in this caliber is rimlock – from what I’ve heard, it’s an issue even in Coonan .357 with its 8-round mag; think about how bad it would be in a 30-rounder. This could, perhaps, be mitigated with smart magazine design along the lines of what Kel-Tec did with their .22 Mag PMR.

      Anyway, for the military, there’s no point in even bothering. If they wanted a special cartridge for CQB carbines, there are already plenty, with .300 BLK being the obvious choice due to magazine and bolt compatibility.

      1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

        Yep, but just think how many bad guys you will catch on fire with all that unburned powder flaming out the front!

      2. avatar ANdrew Lias says:

        JMO on this for what it’s worth the .300 AAC *IS* the semi auto rendition of .357 Magnum. As an example, go to Hodgdon’s reloading section and pull up 2 instances of the rifle section with H110 and match the bullet weight. Most of the loads are within ~10% of one another.

        I will say I do chuckle at the Germans for going right back to sunkist after they got a lemon. Smooth move guys shoulda made them fix their mistakes instead of dumping yet more millions into them.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          ANdrew Lias,

          … the .300 AAC *IS* the semi auto rendition of .357 Magnum.

          That is an interesting observation. I sort of noticed that myself when I stated the bullet weights and velocities of each.

          For close quarters combat (where range is almost always less than 50 yards), I would prefer the larger diameter (and hence better terminal ballistics?) of .357 Magnum bullets over .300 AAC Blackout. Perhaps someone could design a .30 caliber bullet that expands to the same final diameter as expanding .35 caliber bullets and produce the same terminal ballistics? I also like the idea of .35 caliber 158 grain expanding bullet with a muzzle velocity in the 1700 fps range. That would hit really hard.

          Now, there is a down side to larger diameter bullets with muzzle velocities below 2000 fps: they may not penetrate even simple ballistic vests designed to stop handgun rounds. Lighter .300 AAC Blackout bullets (115 grain) with muzzle velocities around 2200 fps should penetrate, at least at close range.

    3. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      The US/NATO investment in all things M16/M4/AR-whatever now is huge. The cartridge, the magazines, the bullet production, the stockpiles ammo… and all of that is before we get to the actual guns. After you have the guns, you have the training, you have unit-level armorer training, tools, gages, etc.

      When you’re a civilian shooter, you buy a rifle. You have a problem with said rifle, you take it back to the dealer, send it in to the company that made the rifle/part/etc, or you take it to your local gunsmith. You don’t pay for the tooling, training and documentation of the dealer/company/gunsmith.

      A nation’s military does. They pay for the tools, the gages, the training, the training manuals/videos/etc.

      And then there’s the inventory of spare parts for all these guns – which isn’t small or cheap.

      Military budgets all over the west are under pressure as governments keep handing out more and more social welfare benefits to illegal immigrants from various third world countries filled with aspirants who wish to joint the “free shit armies” of the first world underclass. Then they western nations have to contend with the spending on their own native grifter class of society. All of this spending has exploded since the 60’s, when the AR-pattern rifles came into being.

      Since the western militaries got rid of their armory systems from days of old, they’re now beholden to private sector companies (who want to make a profit, and sometimes an obscene profit) for the production of rifles, ammo, spares, accessories, etc. Before Robert Strange McNamara and his “whiz kids” from Detroit (look at how well their ideas turned out there), we had a national armory system that was part of the US military – and they didn’t seek to make a profit. As a result, we upgraded our small arms basically after every major war. The M16-pattern rifle is now the longest serving weapon of the US infantry since our founding.

      People have pondered the replacement of the M16/M4/AR-whatever platform, the 5.56 round and a host of other things here at TTAG. I’ve previously laid out why the inertia and inventory of these weapons creates a sunk-cost inertia that will be almost impossible for a new rifle/round to overcome. When I take my dirt nap, I’d be willing to bet the full value of my estate that we will still be using a M16-based rifle and the 5.56 round.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Thank you for the thoughtful and detailed reply Dyseptic Gunsmith. I guess .300 AAC Blackout is the answer then since all the M4/M16/AR platform parts are the same except for the barrel. While it is certainly less than ideal from a ballistic perspective, it sounds like it is far and away the lowest cost solution that yields a notable improvement over 5.56mm for close quarters combat.

        By the way I fully understand and accept your argument. It raises an interesting question: the U.S. military originally developed the M16 platform with a 20 inch barrel for mid range engagements in jungles, forests, plains, and deserts. If there is basically no push for a platform with outstanding ballistic performance in close quarters combat, that strongly suggests that our military planners and strategists do not anticipate any significant amount of close quarters combat. Either that or they don’t care if our military is ill-equipped for such missions.

    4. avatar lowell says:

      There are two things fueling the nerfed barrel lengths, one is that there is no more trendier scene than the gun world, and two is that you can screw on a 9-12in can and still be okay for room clearing. But mainly it’s the trendy thing.

  15. avatar Alan Longnecker says:

    Fat Mans and pulse rifles for everyone!

    1. avatar JoshtheViking says:

      Experimental MIRV or go home.

      1. avatar Grant in IN says:

        Consume 8 mini nukes per firing when nothing in the game as enough hit points to survive 2? No thanks. The Experimental MIRV would have been awesome if it actually used sub-munitions as its name implies. But Bethesda got lazy, on the the unique variant of one of the franchises most iconic weapons no less.

        1. avatar JoshtheViking says:

          Yeah, it did end up being just a novelty. A true cluster bomb launcher that consumed, say, one or two mini-nukes per shot would have been somewhat useful.

    2. avatar Reef Blastbody says:

      I was always a fan of the Gauss Rifle and the YCS-186 variant.

  16. avatar Bill Johnson says:

    Phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range.

  17. avatar GRW says:

    “(and might help H&K get out of bankruptcy since the Germans will need a ton of new guns all of a sudden)”

    Yep, even if they had the perfect rifle they would find an excuse to either replace or upgrade their rifles. We do it with Boeing through overprice parts, EU does it with Airbus with a straight check. Brits did it with Royal Ordnance a nice new standard rifle order before it was put up for sale. 15,000 a rifle assuming parts replacement for a decent set number of years, training, optionals like scopes and low volume order (for a military order) isn’t that bad if it’s all inclusive. Some countries pay less up front then end up paying considerably more by making an entire new purchase every 10-15000 rounds and buying all the optionals separately.

  18. avatar Chris says:

    There is no typo – the deal does actually include 600 HK417s in a variant called G27P, as stated by official Bundeswehr sources.

    It’s an interesting purchase. However, this does not necessarily mean that the HK417 will replace the G36 as the standard rifle of the Bundeswehr.

    Greetings from Germany,
    Chris

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      And it must be said that the Bundeswehr exists as a welfare agency for H&K.

  19. avatar Ajax says:

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again-a 12.5 or 14.5 mid-length, with a 1-4 power optic, with a light and PEQ-15. 500 yard rifle-done. You don’t need a .308 to get kills at 500, and I’d much prefer that^ combo to a .308 MBR in Afghanistan.

    1. avatar int19h says:

      12.5″ would lose too much velocity in a 5.56 to be efficient at 500 yrds.

      Also, heavier (75+ gr) bullets would help a lot.

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      I carried pretty much exactly what you listed, 14.5″, 4XACOG, PEQ15, light, in 5.56 for 2 tours in Afghanistan. I would have preferred a 16 1/4″ .308 with similar optics.

    3. avatar seans says:

      At JWT. Were you only using M855, or did you have access to something better?

  20. avatar johannes paulsen says:

    Was kind of hoping it would be replaced by HK-47. #kotor

    1. avatar Cj says:

      Statement: I am here to ensure a through communication, and bring an end to hostilities.

      1. avatar Johannes Paulsen says:

        Watch what you install, Cj.

  21. avatar B Mead says:

    Well, well, well, it looks like metal and 30 cal are back.

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