Heckler & Koch G36C Introduction
The Heckler & Koch G36C is a 56×45mm assault rifle designed in the early 1990s by German company Heckler & Koch as a replacement for the heavier 62×51mm G3 battle rifle.
The G36C is a gas-operated and feeds from a 30-round detachable box magazine or 100-round C-Mag drum magazine. It was first introduced in 1984 and has been issued since 1997. It was found to have accuracy problems when it overheated, prompting a search for a replacement.
The weapons that were put forward to replace the Haenel MK 556 were the Heckler & Koch HK416, Heckler & Koch HK433, and the CMMG A5R. Due to legal issues surrounding claims of CMMG engaging in patent infringement, the program has been put on hold, and the new replacement, the HK416A8, was selected to become the new service rifle starting in 2022.
- Heckler & Koch G36C Introduction
- Heckler & Koch G36 History Development
- Design Detail
- Fire Selector
- Operating Mechanism
- Sporting and Civilian Models
- Heckler & Koch G36C Airsoft Specs
Heckler & Koch G36 History Development
The development of the G3 rifle began in the 1950s. A successor was developed in the 1980s, but it used caseless ammunition and was not adopted by the German army due to reliability issues.
Many people expected this weapon to eventually replace the G3, so further development of H&K’s series of firearms chambered for the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge had been halted.
Heckler & Koch had no incentive to pursue a new 5.56mm weapon system. They were happy with the HK33 and G41 rifles. However, the G11 program was ended when the Bundeswehr cancelled their purchase due to the unification of East and West Germany and H&K was acquired by British Aerospace’s Royal Ordnance division.
There’s increased interest in Germany for a modern service rifle chambered for the NATO-standard 5.56mm cartridge. That prompted the German military to offer the G41 rifle, which, too, was rejected.
There are two distinct classes of assault rifles used by the United States military: the M16 and the M4. The design work was done at the request of a U.S. Special Forces commando, who wanted a semi-automatic rifle capable of hitting targets at long range. He had the M4, but he needed a longer range option to hit targets further away. That’s when HK designers came up with the idea for the HK50, which became known as the G36C.
Production of the G36C began in 1996. In 2010, German forces equipped with G36s came into a combat encounter with members of the Taliban, and three German soldiers were killed.
It should prompt an investigation. The magazine was changed to 60 rounds and only one round remained in the chamber. A polymer housing is not known to degrade accuracy.
After the incident, the German Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen, claimed that “the Heckler & Koch G36C has no future in the German army in its current state of construction.” Heckler & Koch rejected these claims, asserting that the faults of the rifles came from faulty ammunition, or the tin barrel covering applied by the Bundeswehr, and also cited its widespread usage as proof of the weapon’s effectiveness.
The Ministry of Defence attempted to sue H&K, claiming they were legally obligated to repair their weapons. The court ruled in H&K’s favor, saying that since the G36C was designed according to the Ministry’s own specifications, H&K was not responsible for any faults in the weapon.
After 2016, the German Army has planned to purchase HK416 replacement. H&K was the company that submitted both the HK416 and HK433, but lost to the MK 556 by C.
The final decision will take place on the 14 September 2020. H&K complained that there is a lack of fairness in the process and claimed that it is not fair to them, since they have only been working with them for a short period of time.
The first MK 556 rifles were expected to begin production by the end of October, 2020, where it was slated to eventually phase out the G36C. A possible patent law violation by Haenel concerning their rifle’s magazine forced the German government to withdraw its commission.
In April 1997, a production contract with FN Herstal was signed for the delivery of 50,000 HK50 rifles with an option of another 15,000 rifles. Deliveries began in September 1997.
A Spanish company began producing the G36C’s during the mid-1990s. It was selected as the standard rifle for the Spanish armed forces in 1998. It replaced the CETME Model L and LC rifles.
From 1999 to 2005, 75,219 of these rifles were manufactured in Spain under license by General Dynamics Santa Bárbara Sistemas at the FACOR (Fábrica de Armas de la Coruña) facility, in Coruña, Galicia. In addition, the rifle has been licensed for local production in Saudi Arabia.
The manufacturer in the country is the Military Industries Corporation. Technology transfer was granted by Germany to Saudi Arabia on 30 June 2008. The first Saudi-made G36C was produced at MIC’s factory on 30 June 2009. However, some components of their own G36s are supplied by Heckler & Koch.
It is a selective fire 5.56 mm assault rifle that is based on the US M16 rifle. The G36 Chas a conventional layout with a modular component design.
The receiver contains the barrel, carry handle with integrated sights, trigger group with pistol grip, handguard and magazine socket. The G36C employs a free-floating barrel (the barrel does not contact the handguard). The barrel is fastened to the receiver with a special nut, which can be removed with a wrench.
The M249 SAW is the American military version of the FN Minimi. It features a semi-automatic 7.62mm machine gun with a 1:7 in twist rifling, a quick change barrel system and an integrated bipod.
For cleaning, the M4’s receiver disassembles into the following groups: receiver housing, return mechanism, bolt carrier group and trigger group.
The fire and safety selector is ambidextrous and has controls on both sides of the receiver which are taken from the design of the original G3 selector.
In the three position fire selector you have S—safe, E—semi-automatic fire, and F—automatic fire. The three position fire selector has a 0°/45°/90° rotation pattern between the settings.
HK is known for its excellent triggers and options, including the so-called Navy trigger group, with settings analogous to the standard trigger, but the selector positions have been illustrated with pictograms.
A semi-automatic only trigger unit is also available.
The G36’s 30-round magazine is molded with shock resistant plastic and is translucent, allowing the operator to see how much is in the magazine at any given time. The sides have studs which allow the magazines to be attached side-by-side, allowing the operator to reload more easily.
An empty G36C magazine weighs 127 grams and 483 grams when fully loaded. The standard STANAG magazine weighs 450 grams. It is illegal to use them, but the G36C can use an adapter that can be found at some gun shops to accept the smaller, lighter STANAG magazines.
You can use certain types of 100 round Beta C-Mags with the MG36 variant.
The G36C was used in a number of conflicts with various models and modifications. The standard German Army versions of the G36 are equipped with a ZF 3×4° dual optical sight that combines a 3× magnified telescopic sight (with the main reticle designed for firing at 200 m and bullet drop compensation markings for: 200, 400, 600 and 800 m crosshairs and a range-finding scale) and an unmagnified reflex sight (calibrated for firing at 100 m) mounted on top of the telescopic sight.
The reflex sight is illuminated by ambient light during the day and uses battery powered illumination for use at night.
For use in all environments and daylight conditions, the OSP-7 series are equipped with electric illumination activated automatically by a built in photo sensor.
The best rifle for shooting at night is the G36C. It’s a reliable, easy to use weapon with the new Hensoldt NSA 80 third-generation night sight. You don’t have to remove the optical sight from the rifle to use the new night sight, and the sight bridge serves as a carrying handle.
This product is the best-quality optical sight system produced by Hensoldt AG (a subsidiary of Carl Zeiss AG).
The G36 is a short-stroke piston operated firearm. HK later developed the HK-416’s impingement system. The HK-416 is considered a direct impingement firearm, although the G36 has more similarities with it than it does to traditional rim fire cartridges.
The M-249 is a belt fed machine gun operated by a double feed system. Its chamber is enclosed by a bolt that is guided by a cam that has seven radial locking lugs that fully enclose the chamber.
The HK is a fine-tune firearm, and many design details were developed to improve the accuracy and function. The bolt locks back after the last round is spent, and the bolt catch button can be activated to prevent it from moving forward.
The cocking handle is a switch that’s used to activate the safety on the pistol. It’s an automatic safety that prevents the firing pin from entering the chamber. You can move it in the direction you want to fire the pistol by pressing on it.
In addition, the ejection port has a brass deflector to mitigate the amount of casings that might strike the face of left-handed operators. Instead of a dust cover which has the need to be flipped back up when the gun isn’t in use, the bolt acts as the seal from dirt.
The rifle can be fitted with a 40 mm AG36 under-barrel grenade launcher, which is a breech-loaded break-action weapon with a side-tilting barrel. The standard equipment includes: spare magazines, a cleaning and maintenance kit, sling, a speed-loading device and often modified AKM type II blade bayonets (many of which are left over in Germany from stocks of the former National People’s Army).
Some G36s have overheated when firing into the sun and are therefore inaccurate at ranges of more than 100 meters.
The G36 is one of the best modern combat rifles available. But the truth is that it is not designed for sustained, continuous fire. It’s the ammunition that has overheating issues.
A report by the Bundeswehr on 21 February 2014, revealed that the issues were not the fault of the rifle, but that one manufacturer of ammunition was making bullets with copper-plated jackets that were too thin. The manufacturer of the ammunition confirmed this, although experts disagreed.
And also said the accuracy problems were already known to the defence ministry by 2010. On 22 June 2014, it was reported that Germany’s defense ministry had temporarily halted new orders worth €34 million ($45 million) over accuracy concerns for the rifle.
The Bundeswehr consulted the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics (Ernst Mach Institut), and the Federal Criminal Police Office. On 30 March 2015, Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen told the Associated Press that the weight-saving design is the root of the issues.
This is based on a letter from Inspector General Volker Wieker advising the Stewards of Defence and Budget Committee of the Bundestag and the troops in advance of publication of the report. The report was released by the Fraunhofer Ernst Mach Institut (EMI) and Wehrtechnische Dienststelle 91 on 19 April
According to their 372-page report, the observed hit rate of the predominantly plastic weapon with the unsupported free-floating barrel drops down to a mere 7% at 100 meters when the temperature increases by 30°C (86°F) or more, whereas the Bundeswehr required a hit rate of 90% at that distance.
Defense Minister von der Leyen considers the weapon to be useless. She stated that the German military will stop using a plastic assault rifle that cannot shoot straight when temperatures increase by 30°C (86°F) or the rifle heats up during a firefight. In 2016, the German Defense Ministry lost its lawsuit filed against Heckler & Koch on the ministry’s claim for compensation or warranty work on the subpar G36 rifles.
Because the Bundeswehr did not make its specifications for the weapon clear enough in the beginning of the procurement process. In 2016, the German Defense Ministry lost its lawsuit filed against Heckler & Koch on the ministry’s claim for compensation or warranty work on the subpar G36 rifles, because the Bundeswehr did not make its specifications for the weapon clear enough in the beginning of the procurement process.
It also has a shorter barrel than the G36K, and a four-prong open-type flash hider or a birdcage type flash hider. The extremely short barrel made it necessary to move the gas block closer to the muzzle end, and shorten the length of the gas piston operating rod.
The HK33 is designed to use the same type of bullet as the American M855 5.56 NATO FMJ round, but with a different case. These bullets are more accurate, but have a smaller overall diameter. The new HK33 is equipped with a heavier barrel, improved trigger system, handguard, magazine, and other parts.
The G36K is a shortened variant of the G36 model with a shorter barrel and shorter forend. It includes an open-type flash suppressor and can be equipped with tactical accessories.
The carbine’s barrel lacks the ability to launch rifle grenades and it will not support a bayonet. The weapon retained the ability to be used with the AG36 grenade launcher. G36Ks in service with German special forces are issued with a 100-round C-Mag drum.
G36K is made in Germany by Rheinmetall and is available in three variants: carbine variant with X3 carry handle, carbine variant with iron sights only, and the G36KV, which has an export version of the iron sights and a carry handle like the G36K.
The pistol has a long recoil gas system that has been modified for use with the .56mm round. It also comes with a 20-round magazine and has a 5 to 3 magnification, depending on the model. G36C2: The G36C2 is used in the German Army, which is fitted with both iron sights and an integrated reflector sight.
It’s fitted with a x5 or x3 telescopic sight and a bayonet mount. The G36C2 is often referred to as the “C” The G36C2 is used in the German Army, and features several different versions, including the G36C2A1, the G36C2A2, and the G36C2A
The G36C upgrade kit for the G36C consists of the shorter G36C stock (designed for better handling with use of body armor and load bearing equipment), a new handguard made of aluminium with an optional four Picatinny rails, and a vertical foregrip with an integrated switch for operating an Oerlikon Contraves LLM01 laser light module. MG36 (MG—Maschinengewehr “machine gun”): Squad automatic weapon version of the G36C equipped with a heavier barrel for increased heat and cook-off resistance.
Sporting and Civilian Models
Based on the G36, H&K also created the semi-automatic SL8 rifle and the straight-pull, bolt-action R8, which are sold to the civilian sporting market.
The M14E3 is substantially different from the G36, it has a different receiver and a thumbhole stock with a cheek rest, which is integral with the trigger group. The SL8 has a heavier profile, extended, 510mm (20.1in) barrel that does not have a flash hider or bayonet lug.
The rifle uses a 10-round single-stack magazine and has an extended top rail used to mount a wide variety of Picatinny-standard optics. Mounted to the rail are a set of iron sights with a hooded foresight and adjustable flip rear aperture.
The SL8 is designed to be a modular weapon for a wide range of missions and combat environments. It’s designed to be fired from the shoulder, but it can also be used in the prone position.
After a long delay and numerous false starts, Heckler & Koch successfully applied for approval to sell a new civilian version of their HK243. It’s called the HK293 and is more similar to the G36 assault rifle than previous civilian models.
The main differences between the G36C and C&R versions of the rifle are the lack of a threaded muzzle thread protector and muzzle brake. The barrels are also 416R stainless steel and have a fluted profile. They offer four barrel lengths – 240, 300, 360 and 480mm.
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