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Military Times semi-confirms reports that Heckler and Koch supplied the rifles that the Navy SEALs used to kill terrorist Osama Bin Laden. Word is that the bullet(s) that ended his life was a Black Hill’s 77 grain Match round. The cartridge is part of the continuing process to “fix” the 5.56 x 45 mm rounds for greater lethality. I prefer the new 6.8 SPC round that Special Forces are trying out in a Jacketed Hollow Point, a la Silver State Armory-but so be it. The big news here: the AK-47 style piston drive is catching on in a big way.

H&K describes their system as basically self cleaning, a piston and pusher rod system rated for over 20,000 rounds before minimal degradation. The standard 416 options run from barrel lengths of 10.39 inches to 19.98″. Weight with a 20-30 round magazine runs from 7.21 to 9.05 pounds.

Operation is semi and full auto, suppressor enabled and running up to 900 rounds per minute. A grenade launcher is optional, and special water enabled models are available.

A newer model, the 416C, is on the scene, with a 9″ barrel and a collapsible stock like its predecessor, but differing design. Rate of twist in rifling is apparently hush-hush.

There is a civilian model on the scene, MSRP is bordering $3000, 1 in 7 twist, 8.91 lbs with a 16.5 ” barrel. Magazines that are “maritime able” are in the $40 range, and the model is designated as the MR556A1.

Personally, I found it to be very similar to my $1800 Ruger SR556 in 6.8mm-also piston driven. I can’t help it; I was not impressed firing the H&K UMP in comparison to my familiar MP5.

Despite this, the 416 did the job. But with all the experimenting with the 5.56, I can’t help but wonder why we just don’t go to the excellent 6.8 SPC. Then again, I feel all troops should have 9mm +P+ JHP in their Berettas.

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    • Planning on it, and my Beretta Storm carbine and the High Standard Government model I bought as I was checking out the civvie 416. I also have a rare Walther P99O (officer model) in .40. I just have to work around the days my migraines won’t go away!

      • I can give you a heads up-the Ruger is awesome-especially in 6.8. The expensive Ruger mags from the site are worth it and Silver State Armoury’s 110 gr JHP from AmmoToGo is THE SF use ammo. It’s like a junior 7.62x51mm. DE OPPRESSO LIBER

    • Thank you. Wait till you see me testing on video. For this post I luckily have access to former SpecOps web sites-and I use to be an L/E weapons dealer.

  1. Is it possible, that nobody is switching because what you said is true…

    the 5.56 get the job done.

    Hard to argue with that.

    • Don’t forget that a duplex round was even tried for increased lethality. The LAPD SWAT team has already gone to the 6.8SPC for a reason.

  2. What scene is the MR556 on? I read about it probably two or more years ago and still have not seen one. All online retailers I checked show it, but sure don’t have it in stock. HK will really drop the ball on what could be a huge sales boost for the “killer” publicity.

    Would you mind doing a review on the 6.8 vs 300 BLK rounds. It sounds like you are a big fan of 6.8 and I have been completely sold on the 300 BLK.

    Ballistics appear to be very similar. Plus the 300 subsonic under suppression reminds me of a .22 LR suppressed.

    • Skoal, Brother. I plan to test on leather and denim clad melons and propane tanks. I just love to make stuff go boom, honestly.

      • Believe it or not, 2 of the HK civvies were in my local gun shop, which I perused. I spent all day researching-what a chore!

    • +[insert number-of-rounds-fired-by-DEVGRU-ever here] to testing the 300 BLK. It looks awesome and I would love to see a full TTAG review. Foghorn crunching the numbers, CUJO running it spec ops style, it’ll be great.

  3. I’m not holding my breath for our military to switch away from 5.56. The DOD specification, standardization, acquisition and in-service delivery system is too vast and cumbersome to be significantly changed except by new legislation. And sometimes not even then.

    Look at the delay, waste and incompetence displayed during the development and procurement cycles for aircraft (the V-22 Osprey, F-22 Raptor and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter) warships (the partly-abandoned DD(X) destroyer and canceled CG(X) cruiser) and land weapon systems (the Crusader mobile artillery, the OICW infantry weapon system and the ACR rifle, all abandoned.) Trillions and trillions of dollars spent with only a fleet of helicopter-replacements and grounded Raptors to show for them.

    I’m not very optimistic about the military/industrial/congressional complex; I suspect the Army’s next new infantry weapon will either be a Buck Rogers ray gun or sticks and stones, depending on how the next 100 years work out.

    • Thanks! I can’t wait to do it. We have storms every day this week here, so me head is ringing-but very soon…

  4. Nice post Cujo. I just picked up a Walther 990 in .40. Took it to the range today, nice shooter!

    • You shoulda gone through the 6 operations and the pain! I call it bragging rights. The advantage is when I was kicked by a suspect once, all he did was piss me off.

      • I’m thinking of having a zipper put on the empty sac to hold reloads! That are it could be the ultimate concealment for a Baby Browning!

  5. So, stick with the 5.56 just because we are still using it. I guess we never should have left the Springfield Trapdoor and the .45-70 because it was in the system and it would have taken an act of Congress to change it.

    Nonsense. The 5.56 is a varmit cartridge. Replace it with a new cartridge, but the 6.5 Grendel not the inadequate 6.8 SPC.

    • With all due respect-wait until I do a test on video. I plan to do some real world tests and have a warm fuzzy feeling about 6.8. LAPD chose it and that’s a good sign.

  6. The purpose of the 5.56 at the time of its adoption was two fold; to allow the carrying of more ammo by th troops and more importantly to wo wound and not kill the enemy. One wounded, two to carry and the morale of masses of wound going back behind the lines. Otherwise we would still use the 30-06. Course that works for me.

    • The wounded thing only works on people who care. The only thing our enemies usually carry of the battlefield are the casualties’ weapons. And .30-60 isn’t the best for full auto work unless you’re running something in the role of belt fed MG.

  7. So HK copied my Daewoo K2 (gas piston, 1:7 twist) and is charging $3000 for it. How innovative.

    Why can’t the US buy from ROK, anyway? I thought they were our allies?

  8. “The LAPD SWAT team has already gone to the 6.8SPC ” ?

    Oh really?

    Somebody should let them know…….

  9. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. The 5.56 NATO is an excellent all around cartridge and is highy lethal –ask anyone in medicine who treats the injured & dead as a result. The 6.8 SPC will NEVER replace it (marginal difference) and too expensive. NATO has no plans to change in the future. So take your AK’s and go shoot up oil barrels and wood planks while REAL professional soldiers use 5.56 chambered weapons.
    –thanks to all who serve

  10. the 5.56 NATO is a good round and is not going anywhere for a LONG time—> NATO has no plans of replacing it. Even Russia is using a 5.45×39 that is ballistically inferior to the 5.56 as their standard cartridge. Continue to post on forums musing about expensive/obscure rounds like the 6.8 SPC or 300 Blaxkout. Come on? The 7.62 NATO is the ONLY logical alternative and due it’s weight, recoil increase, and 2-3 lb heavier platforms it will not be more than a compliment. Oh and all the AK people can keep shooting water barrels on you tube lol. Just develop improved ammo like the very deadly Hornady 75 grain TAP or Black Hills OTM 77 grain and just improve the 995 “black tip” AP round.

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