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Heckler & Koch HK 416 Assault Rifle / Tactical Carbine (2005)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 11/2/2015

The Heckler & Koch HK416 assault rifle utilizes an improved form of the gas system as found on the HK G36.

Heckler & Koch unveiled the HK416 automatic rifle family in 2005 as a potential replacement for the M4 family series of carbines. The HK416 was a joint effort by the United States and Germany to produce a more reliable and modern alternative to the M4 Carbine. Development began in 2004 and Delta Force, the special ops group under the US Army banner, was the first to take deliveries of the weapon - doing away with their M4s.

Outwardly, the HK416 looks the part of the M16 assault rifle of its smaller cousin, the M4 Carbine. The pistol grip, trigger group and magazine feed are all contained under the main body of the weapon. The feed system can take on the M16-style STANAG magazine of 20- or -30 rounds as well as a 100-round Beta C-Mag drum). The magazine release catch is located along the upper right rear of the magazine housing while a the fire-selector lever is along along the left side of the lower receiver (fire modes represented as a pictogram). The weapon fires the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge and the firing action is of gas-operation with a rotating bolt. A rate-of-fire of 700- to 900-rounds per minute is possible (of course this is ammunition type- and barrel length-dependent). The barrel is free-floating and made to fire upwards of 20,000 rounds before needing replacement. In fact, publicized videos show the gunsmiths at Heckler & Koch testing HK416s through some 10,000 rounds of ammunition on full automatic fire without the system ever jamming. The bolt itself stays cool to the touch, allowing the operator to handling the component with bare hands without injury. Sight fixtures include a rear rotary diopter type and a front post. The HK416 is set to take on the MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny modular rail system so it can utilize the same enhancements and accessories as the M16 and M4. A foregrip can be installed ahead of the magazine feed. The stock is collapsible and extendable as needed. The HK416 can fire out of the water with no ill effects to performance.

One of the benefits of the HK416 lies in its new gas system developed from the one used in the Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifle. The HK416 makes use of a short-stroke piston driving a rod that moves the bolt to the rear. This contained action reduces heat build up along the bolt carrier group and keeps gasses from making their way into the internal workings of the gun. The end result is a reliable and long-firing weapon system worthy of military hands. The short-stroke, gas-piston system is contrary to the direct impingement system used in the base M16 rifle. The new system is said to increase the life of the internal workings of the weapon while at the same time cutting down on malfunctions during in-the-field firing.

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Specifications for the
Heckler & Koch HK 416
Assault Rifle / Tactical Carbine

Country of Origin: Germany
Manufacturer: Heckler & Koch - Germany / USA
Initial Year of Service: 2005

Overall Length: 797 mm (31.38 in)
Barrel Length: 264.00 mm (10.39 in)
Weight (Empty): 6.66 lb (3.02 kg)

Caliber*: 5.56x45mm NATO
Action: Gas-Operated; Rotating Bolt
Feed: 20- or 30-round detachable STANAG magazine; 100-round Beta C-Mag
Muzzle Velocity: 2,700 ft/sec (823 m/sec)
Rate-of-Fire: 900 rounds per minute
Range: 985 ft (300 m; 328 yds)
Sights: Rear Rotary Diopter; Front Post; Picztinny Rail

* Listed caliber(s) for firearms may be model dependent if more than one model type/chambering was produced. Always consult official manufacturer's information or a licensed dealer.

HK416 - Base Designation; produced in four variants differing in barrel lengths.

HK417 - Larger version of the base HK416; chambered for 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge.

D10RS - 10.4 inch barrel

D14.5RS - 14.5 inch barrel

D16.5RS - 16.5 inch barrel

D20RS - 19.9 inch barrel

MR223 - Civilian Variant of the HK416; semi-automatic fire.

MR308 - Civilian Variant of the HK417; semi-automatic fire.

MR556 - American Market Designation of the MR223.

MR762 - American Market Designation of the MR308.

Mehmetcik-1 - Turkish locally-produced version of the HK416.

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