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Heckler & Koch HK 417

Battle Rifle / Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) [ 2006 ]

The HK 417 is chambered for the 7.62mm NATO standard cartridge and is categorized as a Battle Rifle.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/09/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The HK 417 began as a privately-funded company venture intended to supply US special forces with a modular battlefield weapons system. The HK 417 model shares a visual and functional similarity to the previous Heckler & Koch offering, the HK 416, which itself was developed to compete with the M4 carbine and M16 assault rifles of the regular army. While the HK 416 is chambered for the widely-accepted 5.56mm cartridge, the HK 417 makes use of the traditional rifle-caliber 7.62x51mm NATO standard cartridge. Despite the HK 417 still being in its final development phase officially, it has already been fielded in an operational role with US special forces in the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters.

The HK 417 retains much of the form and function of the preceding HK 416 series and, as such, showcases several of the same integral components and functionality. Like the HK 416 before it - and the HK G36 before that - the HK 417 makes use of a "pusher" rod-based gas system assembly over that of the traditional "hollow" gas cylinder common to conventional gas-operated assault systems. HK markets this feature as improved reliability over the life of the weapon as well as lower maintenance requirements and extended service life. During testing, the HK 417 and HK 416 have been put through their paces through the firing of thousands of rounds of ammunition. The overall project commitment has been in developing a weapon system with a supremely low rate of failure and - to date - it seems that HK has succeeded in that respect.

Outwardly, the HK 417 sports a fine clean and modern design look. The receiver is well laid out and constructed of both lightweight polymers and metals - a fine balance needed to produce a lightweight weapon that is also a manageable firing platform. The charging handle is set to the right side of the body as is the ejection port in typical HK fashion. The trigger unit is integrated to the lower receiver and attached to the pistol grip. The magazine feeds into a port just ahead of the trigger unit. The firing selector switch is located along both sides of the receiver making the weapon semi-ambidextrous. Firing modes include a safety, semi-automatic fire and full-automatic fire. The stock is tubular in its basic design and adjustable/collapsible, capped with a rubber pad for some comfort. The HK 417, like other modern rifle designs, makes use of Picatinny rail systems for the implementation of optics and accessories. A rail system is prominently featured across the top of the receiver and continued over the forend. The sides of the forend are also accessories-friendly. Another accessories rail is found under the forend which broadens the tactical applications of the HK 417. Iron sights are standard at the rear of the receiver and at the extreme end of the forend. Optics can quickly change the tactical nature of the HK 417 into that of a designated marksman's semi-automatic sniper rifle. The barrel protrudes ahead of the forend shroud and is capped by a slotted muzzle brake. The barrel is constructed of cold hammer forged steel and is chrome-lined for excessive wear and tear with conventional rifling therein. An optional single-shot grenade launcher can be affixed to the lower forend.

HK plans on eventually marketing their 417 in a variety of barrel lengths to fully broaden the customer interest base. The series intends to feature 12-, 16- and 20-inch barrel lengths which will turn the HK 417 from carbine to assault rifle to marksman rifle in minutes. The short form is known as the "Recce" while the basic form is the "Assaulter". The long form is the "Sniper". Additionally, only basic tools will be needed to change out the barrel assembly. The rail systems will also be easily removable and these without the need for tools or even "zeroing" the weapon after reinstallation of accessories.

To date, testing of the HK 417 has ensured zero-failure rates after some 15,000 rounds of ammunition were fired. Beyond consideration given by the United States military, the HK 417 is also tied to the militaries of Albania, Australia, Germany, Ireland, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and the United Kingdom.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Basics [+]
Heckler & Koch GmbH - Germany
Albania; Australia; Brazil; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; France; Germany; Ireland; Japan; Malaysia; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Russia; Slovakia; South Korea; Sweden; Turkey; United Kingdom; United States National flag of Albania National flag of Australia National flag of Brazil National flag of Croatia National flag of Czechia National flag of Denmark National flag of France National flag of modern Germany National flag of Ireland National flag of modern Japan National flag of Malaysia National flag of the Netherlands National flag of Norway National flag of Poland National flag of Portugal National flag of Russia National flag of Slovakia National flag of South Korea National flag of Sweden National flag of Turkey National flag of the United Kingdom National flag of the United States
Service Year
National Origin

Features a mechanical function to automate the firing action.
Long-range accuracy / precision capable; suitable for sniping, particularly when equipped with sighting aids.
Qualities of this weapon have shown its value to Special Forces elements requiring a versatile, reliable solution for the rigors of special assignments.

Overall Length
885 mm / 34.84 in
Barrel Length
305 mm / 12.01 in
Weight (Empty)
8.53 lb / 3.87 kg
Gas-Operated, Rotating Bolt
System utilizes internal mechanism to lock the breech or rear barrel assembly prior to firing.
Gas-operated system is featured, typically involving a gas cylinder and rear-driven piston directing energy to the bolt component.
7.62x51mm NATO
*May not represent an exhuastive list; Calibers may be model-specific dependent; Always consult official manufacturer sources.
10- or 20-round detachable box magazine
Adjustable Iron; Optional Optics.

Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information.

600 rpm
Muzzle Velocity
2,325 ft/sec / 709 m/sec

HK417 "Assaulter" - Standard Battle Rifle variant; 12" barrel.
HK417 "Recce" - Reconnaissance variant; 16" barrel.
HK417 "Sniper" - Dedicated sniper variant; 20" barrel.
G28 - Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) form.

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Image of the Heckler & Koch HK 417
Image from the United States Department of Defense imagery database.
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Image of the Heckler & Koch HK 417
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