Friday, April 1, 2011

Heckler & Koch G-36, HK G-36C and HK G-36K Assault Rifle

The HK G-36 Assault Rifle has a folding buttstock for use in tight spaces; light and easy to fold and unfold, the stock is also the G-36s biggest fault, since it tends to crack or just fall off. Much of the HK G-36 Assault Rifle is constructed of high-impact plastic reinforced with carbon-fiber polymer, and the carrying handle incorporates a 3x sight, with iron sights available if the optical sights become damaged. In addition, a red-dot collimating sight is provided above the 3x sight on German G-36s for quick shots. The charging handle is under the carrying handle, and the firing levers are ambidextrous (although case ejection is always to the right). The G-36 Assault Rifle uses an AK-74 pattern bayonet, and can use Pact or NATO rifle grenades. Magazines designed for the G-36 have lugs to allow up to five magazines to be clipped together for speedy reloading.

HK G-36 Assault Rifle

The G-36 Assault Rifle may also use M-16 magazines. The G-36 Assault Rifle marks the first time that Heckler & Koch abandoned their well-tried roller-locking system in a production rifle, opting for a simpler gas system instead; with rounds being fired through a 18.9-inch barrel tipped by a flash suppressor similar in appearance to that used on Colt’s M-16A2. The export variant of the G-36 is the G-36E; this weapon uses a 1.5x sight instead of the 3x sight of the German model, and dispenses with the red-dot collimating sight.

H&K G-36K Assault Rifle

The G-36K Assault Rifle is a carbine variant of the G-36 assault rifle, meant for special operations forces. It has a shorter 12.52-inch barrel and handguard than the standard G-36, and a larger prong-type flash suppressor. It is not normally equipped with the 3x sight (though it can use it), using the 1.5x sight instead, but does have the collimator sight. German special ops units almost always use the G-36K Assault Rifle (and the G-36) loaded with 100 round Beta C-Mags. An export version of the G-36K Assault Rifle, called the G-35KE, is also produced; it differs from the HK G-36K Assault Rifle primarily in the deletion of the collimator sight.


Heckler & Koch G-36C Assault Rifle

The HK G-36C Assault Rifle (the C formerly stood for Commando, but now stands for Compact, due to a trademark by Colt) is a veryabbreviated length version of the G-36 assault rifle. It has a stubby 11.02-inch barrel, and the carrying handle has a STANAGcompatible MIL-STD-1913 rail to mount any sort of scope or sighting aid. The handguard, though short, is equipped with 6-point MIL-STD-1913 rails; the bottom rail is normally seen with a foregrip mounted, though it can mount pretty much anything else. Like the HK G-36K Assault Rifle, the G-36C Assault Rifle typically uses the 1.5x sight/collimator sight combination; the 3x sight is rather superfluous in a weapondesigned primarily for CQB. The G-36C Assault Rifle is  characterized as a “limited-issue weapon,” typically issued only to special operations units.


An interesting note about the G-36 Rifle: the G-36’s predecessor, the HK-50 Assault Rifle, was originally conceived to be a modular family of weapons, able to be easily changed between different configurations. These different configurations were designed to range from a 9mm Parabellum-firing submachinegun to a 7.62mm NATO firing light machinegun. Though the G-36 Assault Rifle has yet to be produced in all of these versions, it still retains the capability to do so assuming the demand is there and Heckler & Koch produces the parts required as a result.

HK G-36KE Assault Rifle

In 1996, with the G-11 Assault Rifle becoming expensive and the ammunition even more scarce and expensive, the Bundeswehr asked Heckler & Koch to produce an assault rifle family that would fire standard NATO 5.56mm NATO ammunition. The result was the HK-50, which was type standardized as the G-36. Deliveries began in the third quarter of 1996 to the Bundeswehr’s NATO rapid reaction forces and special operations units, and it eventually became the standard assault rifle for German armed forces. In 1998, the Spanish military started replacing their troublesome CETME-L and LC rifles with G-36s.


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