H&K’s New Assault Rifle: HK433 — Another SCAR / ACR / MCX?

It looks like H&K is finally moving their family of rifles into the 21st Century. For the last few decades H&K has rested on the laurels of their HK416/HK417 line of slightly improved piston-driven AR-15 pattern rifles while everyone else in the firearms industry has been pushing for a next generation design. Now it seems that H&K is updating, but is it too little too late?

Starting in 2004 we saw the emergence of “next generation” platforms with the Robinson XCR and the FN SCAR. The concepts were similar: rigid extended upper receivers, full-length Picatinny rail extending past the chamber, easier machined parts, and the ability for the end user to swap barrel lengths or calibers without armorer assistance. Since that time there have been a few more entries into the field, specifically the Magpul Masada (now the Remington ACR) and SIG SAUER’s MCX.

For me, the SIG SAUER MCX is the current mark to beat. In their new HK433 H&K think they have it in the bag.

Just like the other designs, the HK433 offers the ability to swap barrels in the field. Currently the only caliber available is 5.56×45 NATO, which is the same for the SCAR 16 and that’s about it — everything else has gone beyond. The ACR does 300 BLK and 6.8 SPC, and the MCX does 300 BLK and more to come. There’s a 7.62 NATO version coming (HK231) but that’s down the road. Right now what they do offer is a brace of different barrel lengths to suit your specific mission.

As for other details, it appears to have a slower cyclic rate of 700 rounds per minute compared to the blistering 850 RPM offered by the HK416 line. It weighs about as much as the other guns. And the stock folds like everything else. The rest is still a mystery to be discovered in the fullness of time.


  1. avatar waffensammler98 says:

    At a glance it looks like the SCAR and G36 had a baby. Let’s hope H&K doesn’t pull any manufacturing shenanigans this time.

  2. avatar Matt in Idaho says:

    This appears to me to be a g36 with a modern facelift.

    To be honest, hk is not really late on this. All of the scar/acr etc rifles are just improved imitations of the g36/xm8 rifles that hk developed several decades ago.

    1. avatar yac chan says:

      That is fully correct. On top the all new 433 comes with a shot counter to improve service intervals etc. the Gun lock system is an improved version of the G36 … why change a winning system? There are more improved features according to an article in a local German newspaper especially improved performance in extrem temperature ranges cold or hot .. the new 433 comes with 5 different barrel lengths and for now in 5.56 cal. only …. the emphasis is on “for now” … more to follow.

  3. avatar Steve says:

    So far it looks like an expensive BREN to me.

  4. avatar pwrserge says:

    It actually looks rather nice. The Keymod handguard is a nice touch as is the paddle + button mag release. (one of the few things I liked about the G3 and it’s various derivatives) Looks slimmer than a SCAR and not having your front sight mounted on the gas block is another bonus.

  5. avatar anonymoose says:

    HK model codes go something like
    1x automatic rifles (box fed with quick-change barrel)
    2x belt-fed machineguns
    3x assault/battle rifles
    4x “paramilitary”/civilian semi-auto versions of their assault/battle rifles
    5x submachineguns
    9x further sporterized and “compliant” versions of the semi-auto “paramilitary” rifles that can’t accept full-auto triggers
    x1 7.62×51 NATO
    x2 7.62×39
    x3 5.56×45
    x4 9mm
    x5 .50 BMG (as in the HK25 prototype)
    1xx overlaps with a previous xx series weapon (ex: HK121/MG5)
    2xx overlaps with a previous 1xx series model code (ex: HK293- the replacement for the SL8 that’s more like a real G36)
    Looks like they skipped the HK131, 193, and 333 though! Too bad the HK231 will certainly have no relation to the HK221 (their railed-up FN MAG that they proposed to France a few years ago).

  6. avatar TheUnspoken says:

    I dunno, I think HK has been trying to gain traction with slightly mad future firearms tech for a while – the G11 caseless ammo rifle, the XM 29 BFG, er, OICW grenade rifle combo thingy, XM8 modular rifle, xm25 air burst smartish weapon, mp7 pdw, and probably some prototype weapons we have never seen and maybe never will. They have had limited amounts of success with turning them into lucrative contacts.

    I think for the most part up until now the various militaries have ultimately pushed back and said “nah, we really just want an M4 or G36” so that is what they got with various iterations of 416/417, G28 dmr, more G36s, MG4/MG5 machine guns, CSASS, M27. But now that Europeon militaries are starting to look past the G36 and want either an AR or something new, the 433 could be pretty timely.

  7. avatar Jack says:

    Don’t forget the XCR. One of the few that actually has multi cal capability,

    1. avatar Guerrero says:

      “Starting in 2004 we saw the emergence of ‘next generation’ platforms with the Robinson XCR…”


      1. avatar Jack says:

        What’s that from? I didn’t think the XCR came out until 2006

        1. avatar Guerrero says:

          Second paragraph of this article.

        2. avatar anonymoose says:

          Early iterations of the XCR were entered into the SCAR competition which FN won. The other gun that came out of that was the Cobb MCR which was conceptually reborn as the MGI Hydra (although with far fewer caliber options).

        3. avatar Jack says:

          DAMN! Reading! It’s a thing. I totally missed that. I jumped through the article looking at all the 3 letter acronyms and missed it. I hadn’t expected to see any mention of the XCR… confirmation bias. What an A Hole.

  8. avatar Joe R. says:

    You’ll be back.

    – Eugene Stoner

  9. avatar Greg Bell says:

    The opinions in these articles are moving ever towards the click-baity.

  10. avatar Sledgecrowbar says:

    It’s pretty hard to say that HK has been resting on their laurels with a slightly improved AR. Everyone and their uncle is using or adopting the 416 because it’s the best piston AR there is. Having taken one apart, I can tell you it’s beefed up and improved in weak points versus the AR, it’s more like a recon-profile LR-308 G2 (is that the right name for it? – the AR-15-sized AR-10), chambered in 5.56. I’d like to see someone do a test-to-failure between a 416 and a top-shelf AR, no mag dumps, and regular cleaning regimen. I bet the ammo dwarfs the price of the guns.

    I don’t actually like HK, I think SIG makes the nicer German auto and their reputation for making good guns but being douchenozzles is likely spot-on. I think the plastic barrel mounting of the G36 is dumb, even if it does work fine after all the controversy. Their 416 is the best AR-pattern rifle, and the FN SCAR is the best G36-pattern rifle, or whatever we’re going to call the original of the current generation of piston-driven, ambidextrous, quick-change barrel, folding-stock guns that’s evolved away from the AR-pattern but is doing the same job for twice the price.

  11. avatar BC says:

    The ACR does 6.8 and 300 BLK? Since when? I know some have done their own, but unless I missed something, it’s only factory chambering is 5.56/.223.

    Maybe you meant XCR, which does all 3 plus 7.62×39. Or the -M in .308 (and I believe .243 and .260).

    Anyway, the HK looks dated, or at least not too different from UMP/USC and G36. Not that form is more important than function, but it doesn’t look ergonomic. And what’s their fascination with paddle mag releases?

    1. avatar Asamurai says:

      ACR in 300 blackout where? Even the Sig 556xi was promised in 300 blackout and still hasn’t materialized even though the MCX came out.

    2. avatar yac chan says:

      doesn’t look ergonomically? ??? where did u get your info from? Did you try it? …. it’s the most ergonomical gun to date for a standard issue weapon …. not a custom made one off… you can adjust pretty much everything to your liking even change parts to perfectly fit your hand for both left and right handed users. …etc….

  12. avatar barnbwt says:

    Y U NO MODULAR MAGAZINE WELL?! Not even as good as the CZ BREN which ripped off the G36 in the first place; at this rate, the Sudetenland is gonna conquer the Fourth Reich…

  13. avatar justin says:

    Am I the only one that thinks it is rather ugly?
    It seems to be lacking some of the aesthetic beauty of other H&Ks.

  14. avatar Old Region Fan says:

    Reminds me of the classic article ” H&K, because you suck and we hate you ” Overpriced and over engineered

  15. avatar rifle fan says:

    For a gun to prove it’s capabilities, it has to go through a real war test like g36 which proved faulty in Afghanistan.

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