Heckler & Koch G36 [Automatic Rifle]:

After the rejection of H&K`s caseless round and the G11 rifle the German Heer (army) had, at the end of the cold war, really three options: To continue to use the G3 rifle, to start using the AK74 (of which there were thousands in the armories of the former East German state), or to have yet another competition for a new rifle. After much deliberation the choise was finally made: the G3 was becoming obsolete, the AK74 was politically untenable (but would have been the most economic choise), so a new design competition was held. The winner of this competition was a new rifle system from Heckler & Koch, which was adopted as the G36 (Gewehr or Rifle 36).

The G36 is really a weapon system. Unit armorers can swap barrels to create a standard rifle, with a shorter barrel a carbine, or with a heavy barrel a light support weapon. All of these use the same common reciever, which is part of a standard polymer stock. The G36 is as close to being a fully Polymer rifle as there has ever been, with only the actual barrel, the bolt action, and a few other high stress parts still made of steel. The buttstock can be folded to the right side of the weapon, and on top of the carrying handle is a standard non-enlarging dot sight, which can utalize both daylight or artificial power. Inside the carrying handle is a 3.5x optical sight. A optional Infrared sight can be mounted on the carrying handle, and be used in cojunction with the 3.5x sight, which means that the user need not change his shooting stance to get a good sight picture. Several connection points on the stock give the ability to quickly mount several optional systems like flashlights, lasers, or a folding bipod.

The action is a departure from the norm for H&K. Instead of their famous roller locked blowback system the G36 uses a conventional gas operated rotating bolt. This is fed through either a thirty round magazine (of which several can be linked side by side) or from a 100 round dual drum magazine. Although the latter is meant for the MG36 variant, the light support weapon, all G36 versions can utelize it.

Pictured above is the G36K (Kurz or Short), with a thirty round magazine and the stock folded.

Weight: G36/G36K/MG36: 7.28 lbs (3.3kg) / 6.62 lbs (3.0kg) / 7.87 bs (3.57kg) (empty)
Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO (.223 remington)
Barrel: G36/MG36: 18.9 inches (47.4 cm) G36K: 12.52 inches (31.5 cm)
Length: Stock in/out: G36/MG36: 29.84/39.29 inches (74.9/98.7 cm); G36K: 24.21/33.78 inches (60.8/84.8 cm)
Action: Gas Operated, Rotating Bolt.
Mode of Fire: Fully Automatic / Semi Automatic
Range: 1333 feet (400 meters)
Magazine: 30 round stick magazine or 100 round drum
Cost: $ ?
Made in: Germany
Special: New standard rifle of the German Army. Stock fully made from polymers, giving light weight. Fully ambidextrous. Detachable folding bipod. Easy mounting of Flashlight or Laser. High quality rifle.

[ Heckler & Koch, H&K, G36, G36K, MG36 and Remington are copyright of their respective owners. ]

Writeup by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa ).

Copyright © 1999, Mischa. All rights reserved.