Turkish Military Ditching H&K G3 and AK-47 for Home Grown MPT-76

Last July, a faction within the Turkish military attempted a coup d’etat against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. After it failed, Erdoğan wasted no time tightening his grip on political power, launching mass arrests of soldiers, judges and teachers. The government “purged” more than 100k Turks and suspended civil rights. The international community’s outrage was, shall we say, muted. That said, Austrian politicians threatened an arms embargo: no more G3’s or G3 parts for you!

Even before the backlash, Erdoğan’s government had been ramping-up domestic weapons production. Their home grown MPT-76 rifle finished development in 2014. And now, thanks to the angst, Turkey is rolling out the firearm in a big way. The Turkish army, NATO’s largest, is looking to take delivery of 500k rifles. According to dailysabah.com . . .

The MPT-76 is designed and produced by the state-run Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation (MKEK), which produces firearms for the army. The weapon, promoted as being as effective as the G-3, as reliable as the AK-47 (better known as the Kalashnikov) and as practical as the M-16, the American assault rifle, will be introduced into the army’s armory with a ceremony expected to be attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan . . .

Composed of 413 components, the rifle, manufactured in a factory in Kırıkkale, a city neighboring the capital Ankara, weighs 4.1 kilograms. The rifle’s effective range is 600 meters and fires 700 rounds per minute. The muzzle velocity of the bullets is 800 meters per second. It has telescopic rifle stocks and can be customized with various scopes, its developers say.

Oh, and the gas-piston rifle was originally chambered in 5.56×45mm NATO. For some reason, they switched to 7.62×51mm NATO. Go figure.

comments

  1. avatar RatInDaHat says:

    that looks a lot like a bastardized ar.

  2. avatar j says:

    Its a licensed HK417.

    Zenith will be importing them sometime soon.

    1. avatar Reef Blastbody says:

      Where’d you hear that? I saw Military Arms Channel’s hands on with it when Tim visited Turkey a couple of years ago to tour the Zenith Arms/MKE factory, and apparently also went on a tour of the ZQI ammunition plant as well.

      Not sure if it’s a per-se licensed HK design, or a clean sheet that mimics the HK while not using any of their patents. Needless to say, I’d like to get my hands on one.

    2. avatar Josh says:

      It’s not. The HK417 uses a proprietary HK gas and bolt system similar to their old G36. The Turks based their gas system and overall design on the HK stuff, but it’s not a clone.

  3. avatar pwrserge says:

    So it’s a piston driven AR-10… Ok, cool. Turkey is still a shit hole full of psychotic nutjobs, but now they are psychotic nutjobs who don’t rely on HK to sell them guns.

    1. avatar Bob says:

      Turkey hasn’t bought guns from Germany in a very ling time. HK licensed the G3 and MP5 to MKEK and they make it on their own tooling. HK doesn’t make G3s anymore. The tooling was leased/sold off long ago. Hell, Iran, Mexico, and Pakistan all have their own tooling for their own production. Long ago they all paid royalties and a license but that ended long ago.

      1. avatar Raoul Duke says:

        Maybe they sold off some of their G3-making equipment but not all of it. If that were the case they would not be exporting civilian clones to Zenith for us.

        http://zenithfirearms.com/firearms/rifles/#

  4. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    I don’t know what optic that thing has on it, but it looks cool, and I want one.

    1. avatar California Richard says:

      Avci1 1-4x scope with a 3eeos thermal imager in front.

  5. avatar Ed Rogers says:

    I think they should have stayed with the 5.56. Of course, the young bucks can schlep more than I wish to.

    I’d love to have one though…

    1. avatar tdiinva (now in wisconsin) says:

      The Turkish Army is made up of manly men. Unlike the pussies in the West a Turkish grunt can slept as much 7.62 as one of our guys can carry in 7.62.

      1. avatar Klaus says:

        Interesting factoid. 40% of US POW’s in North Korea died during captivity from all causes. Not a single Turkish POW (far, far fewer of them of course) died other than those who were killed by other Turkish POW’s for some infraction.
        My dad told me they were the toughest soldiers he ever served with.

    2. avatar int19h says:

      They cannot stay on something that they aren’t using. The current issue rifle is G3, chambered in 7.62×51. So they have looked into 5.56, and decided that they’d rather stick with what they already have.

    3. avatar Markus says:

      There’s actually a 5.56 mm NATO standard version of the rifle called MPT-55. It was especially requested by Special Forces branches of Turkish Army and Police forces. Turkish Army prefers 7.62×51 mm NATO standard ammunation for standard use.

  6. avatar Jd says:

    I was under the impression the U.S. was NATOs largest army

    1. avatar P. Wolf says:

      The source article actually says, “The Turkish army, one of the largest in NATO, has so far been using the G-3 and the AK-47.”

      1. avatar Raoul Duke says:

        And the article isn’t completely true in regards to AK usage.

        Yes they use some that were either bought for cheap from the Germans after reunification and captured from the PKK but are only in limited service I would imagine used by second line/auxiliary troops because their primary infantry rifle is the HK-33 assault rifle aka a 5.56 G3 rifle.

  7. avatar barnbwt says:

    Now that Turkey is taking a cold, borderline hostile stance toward American and it’s interests (still playing ball with NATO in general, though), I have to wonder just how much ITAR-applicable technology was divulged to them in order to build this firearm. It undoubtedly seemed like a good idea at the time that could never possibly backfire, I’m sure. All the more reason for that stupid regulation to die, already, if we’re going to give exceptions to crypto-fascist Muslim dictators.

    1. avatar int19h says:

      By most accounts, its closest relative is HK417 (indeed, some claim that it’s basically that exact thing with a different furniture). So it’s a question for the Germans, not the Americans.

  8. avatar Bryan says:

    Looks halal to me.

  9. avatar Red in CO says:

    Wait, what!? There was a national military that still issued the G3? In 2016? Holy shit, guys. I guess they only just looked at a calendar and realized it’s not 1970 anymore.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      Technically they haven’t gotten to 1970 and won’t for centuries. They’re 578 years behind calendarwise. At least compared to the Gregorian calendar.

      It’s 1438 AH (Anno Hegirae) to the followers of Mohammad.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Why did Constantinople get the works?

        1. avatar JoeBaja says:

          that’s *nobody’s* business but the Turks’

        2. avatar strych9 says:

          I’ll take “Because it’s actually Istanbul? for $500.

          Daily Double? I’ll wager $1000… They Might be Giants and Crash Test Dummies… Hrmmm I’ll go with“What are questionable tastes in music?”

    2. avatar int19h says:

      There are plenty of countries that are still using G3. Mostly third world ones that just don’t care to waste money to upgrade (e.g. a lot of South America and Africa).

      But also, for example, Denmark. And Norway only switched to HK416 like 8 years ago? And when you recall that the Finns still use a 7.62×39 AK derivative, it makes for a really interesting pattern of northern countries sticking to .30 caliber longer than usual.

      Also many Arab states that have historically been aligned more with the West, like the Gulf monarchies (whereas those aligned with the Soviets – Egypt, Iraq, Syria etc – mostly use AKs). I guess it makes sense there because of all the deserts, and long visibility distances that result.

      1. avatar anaxis says:

        The G3 family aren’t *bad* rifles even today, and when wearing the right furniture & upgrades (like a 2-stage buffer, side-folding stock, & rail system). They’re attractive not just because they’re cheap… but also AK-like simple, reliable, & and easy to repair/maintain. Plus, I suspect that plenty of the tooling & spare parts for them has ended up in 3rd world countries.

        Granted, old claw-type optic mount is awkward & heavy, but I see a lot of new G3s have rails welded to fhe receiver… and the new style charging handles make them a lot easier to operate.

        In any case, if you ever run across a CETME-L (5.56) at a decent price, snap it up. They are a cool alternative the AR and AK-74… just without the aftermarket support.

      2. avatar j says:

        South Americas rapidly becoming Galil Ace territory.

    3. avatar Raoul Duke says:

      Because of their terrain and the enemy they are fighting (PKK) it makes sense for them to use the G3.

      Also their other primary rifle is the HK-33, a 5.56 G3 rifle. AK usage is very limited and were bought from old East German stocks and PKK captures. It is not a primary use rifle for them contrary to the article.

  10. avatar strych9 says:

    Will they make it fairly well or will there have to be a Celebrity Deathmatch: FAMAS vs. MPT-76?

  11. avatar former water walker says:

    Cool…however the Turks can’t seem to subdue ISIS(or the Kurds). Interesting how the last days are shaping up…

  12. avatar Lt Dave says:

    Seriously … anyone know what that optic is, where made, brand name … anything?

    1. avatar California Richard says:

      Avci1 1-4x scope with a 3eeos c390 thermal imager in front.

  13. avatar Diamond Dave says:

    Hmmm… Digging into Google news indicates that they will decommission their G3 and AK variants. Parts kits, anyone? /cross fingers that they get imported…

    1. avatar M1Lou says:

      I’m sure Apex and SARCO are drooling at the thought. I bet they sell faster than the CETME C stocks they have. They are probably the parts kit deal right now at sub $200 prices. I have one kit and three flats. I think I need two more kits.

  14. avatar Ralph says:

    The Turks will give up their scimitars when you pry them from their soğuk ölü eller.

  15. avatar Joel says:

    The “failed coop” smelled fishy from the moment I heard about it. Looks too much like Hitler’s rise to power..

    Turkey is dangerous. And they know how to make guns. Double plus ungood.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      Maybe we’ll get lucky and get a redux of the 1500’s and they’ll forget how to rifle a barrel.

    2. avatar the ruester says:

      A “coup” where none of the junta fires a shot because their guns are not loaded. Another very real example of “fake news…”

  16. avatar Bob Jones says:

    413 components seems like an awful lot for a contemporary military rifle.

  17. avatar Kaban says:

    Logistics tailored to supply x51.
    Open terrain where ballistically superior round is, well, superior.
    No wonder they lack desire to switch to 5.56 and then face 77gr vs 55gr problem.

    1. avatar Raoul Duke says:

      They already use 5.56. The article by both authors is wrong.

      Their primary assault rifle is the HK-33, a G3 rifle chambered for 5.56.

      Their special forces also use:

      Steyr AUG’s
      HK416’s
      M4’s
      Tavor’s
      Minimi’s

      So the Turks use 5.56. Heck ZQ1 5.56 ammo is from Turkey!!

  18. avatar Sian says:

    “Last July, a faction within the Turkish military staged a false flag, planned-to-fail coup d’etat against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, allowing him to justify a purge of his political enemies and solidifying his power within the Turkish government.”

    FTFY

  19. avatar samuraichatter says:

    Did anyone miss that it is 4.1 kgs? That is over 9 lbs! Maybe not a fail but not a win in my book.

  20. avatar jimmy james says:

    When I was in Turkey 20 years ago the regular army had G3’s with mostly no finish left on them. They looked like stainless steel or nickel plated. The color guard had Lee Enfield SMLE pattern rifles. My be time for an upgrade…before the next coup attempt.

  21. avatar adverse4 says:

    Everyone knows it takes at least two men to carry a 7.62x51mm rifle and ammo, plus cosmetics and a change of evening wear.

  22. avatar Raoul Duke says:

    Wrong, wrong, wrong!!

    The Turks bought (from Germany) and later manufactured G3’s under license. They even export civilian legal variants stateside. http://zenithfirearms.com/firearms/rifles/#

    Austria would never give G3 parts to the Turks nor did they ever use the G3, they used the FAL (StG-58). So no they don’t need a country that never used the G3 to give them those parts that don’t exist because the Turks have been building their own G3’s for years.

    Also the AK is NOT a primary rifle used by them. That honor would go to the HK33, a 5.56 G3 rifle. The AK’s they have are in limited service that were bought from old East Germans stocks or captured from the PKK. They are used by secondary/auxiliary troops.

    Also based on the terrain and enemy they are fighting (PKK), a .308 is needed and justified.

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