Heckler & Koch G36

The G36 is a German 5.56 mm assault rifle, designed in the early 1990s by Heckler & Koch GmbH (HK) and accepted into service with the German Armed Forces in 1995, replacing the 7.62 mm G3 automatic rifle. The G36 is manufactured in three primary versions: the G36 standard rifle, the G36K carbine (K Kurz) and the MG36 light machine gun (M Maschinengewehr). An export version of the series is also produced (these weapons have a simplified sighting system, as well as a NATO standard bayonet mount) parallel to the standard line-up, called the G36E, G36KE and MG36E respectively. Heckler & Koch has since then changed the export model suffix from E to V resulting in the identical G36V and G36KV models (the MG36 and MG36E are no longer offered by HK).

Heckler & Koch G36
Class Manportable
Type Rifles
Manufacturer Heckler & Koch
Origin Germany
Country Name Origin Year
Germany 1995
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Germany View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Heckler & Koch View

Work on a successor for the venerable G3 rifle had been ongoing in Germany since the second half of the 1970s. These efforts resulted in the innovative 4.73mm G11 assault rifle (developed jointly by a group of companies led by H&K), that used caseless ammunition (designed by the Dynamit Nobel company). It had been predicted that this weapon would eventually replace the G3, therefore further development of H&K's series of firearms chambered for the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge had been halted. Heckler & Koch, having no incentive to pursue a new 5.56mm weapon system, was content with the export-oriented HK33 and G41 rifles. However, the G11 program came to an abrupt end when the Bundeswehr canceled its procurement due to defense budget cuts after the unification of East and West Germany and H&K was acquired in 1991 by British Aerospace's Royal Ordnance division (known today as BAE Systems).

Increasing interest in Germany for a modern service rifle chambered for the NATO-standard 5.56mm cartridge led H&K to offer the German armed forces the G41 rifle, which, too, was rejected. Design work was then initiated from the ground up on a modern 5.56mm assault rifle designated "Project 50" or HK50. The prototype was then trialed, where it was rated higher than the rival Austrian Steyr AUG system. The final version of the G36 was completed in 1994. Production of the G36 began in 1995.

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Weight - 3.63 kg (8 lb) (G36)3.33 kg (7.3 lb) (G36V)3.30 kg (7.3 lb) (G36 K)3.0 kg (6.6 lb) (G36 KV)2.82 kg (6.2 lb) (G36C)3.83 kg (8.4 lb) (MG36)3.50 kg (7.7 lb) (MG36E)

Length - 999 mm (39.3 in) stock extracted / 758 mm (29.8 in) stock folded (G36, G36 V, MG36, MG36 E)860 mm (33.9 in) stock extended / 615 mm (24.2 in) stock folded (G36K, G36 KV)720 mm (28.3 in) stock extended / 500 mm (19.7 in) stock folded (G36C)

Barrel length - 480 mm (18.9 in) (G36, G36V, MG36, MG36E)318 mm (12.5 in) (G36 K, G36 KV)228 mm (9.0 in) (G36C)

Width - 64 mm (2.5 in)

Height - 320 mm (12.6 in) (G36, G36 K, MG36)285 mm (11.2 in) (G36V, G36KV, MG36E) 278 mm (10.9 in) (G36C)

Cartridge - 5.56x45 mm NATO

Action - Gas-operated, rotating bolt

Rate of fire - 750 rounds/min cyclic

Muzzle velocity - 920m/s (3,018ft/s) (G36, G36V, MG36, MG36E)850m/s (2,788.7ft/s) (G36K, G36KV)

Effective range - 200 to 800 m sight marks

Feed system - 30-round detachable box magazine or 100-round C-Mag drum magazine

Sights - Reflex sight with 1x magnification and telescopic sight with 3x magnification (export version has a 1.5x magnified sight)

End notes