DSEi 09: New design HK416 Sub-Carbine

Another new gun on display at DSEi was this H&K HK416 sub-carbine / PDW. What is very interesting about this gun is the buttstock and upper receiver design.

New H&K Sub-Carbine

It has a much shortened buffer tube and a collapsible stock in the H&K G3 / MP5 style.

A regular HK416 carbine

This firearm appears to be positioned in direct competition to the Sub-Compact Weapon (SCW) that Colt is developing. The SCW features a similarly shortened buffer tube.

Colt SCW. Photo by SMGLee.

I think the H&K design is much more elegant. The H&K stock pull straight out, while the Colt stock must be unfolded out and then down before it can be adjusted for length.

A close-up of the H&K Stock.

Now if H&K would just stop hating us and start selling this nifty upper to us civilians!

Big thank you to Lusaka for the information and photo.


REMOV has kindly provided me with these photos that he took of the new H&K. The gun has a 9.3″ barrel.

Many thanks REMOV!

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • JS

    I like, I like. I am not as much worried about H&K selling this upper to us civilians as I would like to see someone in the aftermarket come out with a similar solution of adding this to any existing AR upper. And I don’t like side folders at all.

  • Canthros

    I’d love to know what changes are involved in accomodating the super-shorty buffer tubes on what is, essentially, an AR-15, and how they affect the function and reliability. It’s interesting to see all the strange and interesting design hacks employed to get around flaws (whether real or perceived) in the platform’s original design.

  • I like the pmag addition in the third pic. All the other pics I’ve seen of this gun include the old USGI mags.

  • CMathews

    I’d like to know the specs on the buffer tube as well, I’m sure it’s a rather heavy buffer.

  • jdun1911

    The 20 round Lancer L5 by far is the best looking magazine to take picture with. It’s too sexy even for me.

    The HK stock look like it weight a lot for its’ size.

  • jody

    as somebody who is fairly into the physics, chemistry, and engineering of guns and guns systems, from pistols all the way up to tank cannons and artillery, i find the american obsession with 5.56×45 to be borderline retarded. the near religious attachment to 5.56×45 in the united states is one of the all-time head scratchers in weapons history.

    it is especially hard to understand considering just how hard the americans fought and resisted 50 years ago to any suggestion from anybody that maybe .30 caliber rifle ammunition was not ideal for modern rifles. then the americans adopt .22 caliber ammunition almost as an accident, and are now, 50 years later, maintaining a similar, iron-clad committment to a caliber that also does not work that well for what they want it to do.

    i can almost guarantee that the year 2050 will roll around and the americans will still, nearly 100 years later, be absolutely adamant that varmint caliber ammunition is, with absolute certainty, the way to go.

    i can barely fathom how many “new” rifle designs will pass between then and now, all of them required, absolutely chained down, to being designed around a rifle round from the mid 20th century that was designed to kill prairie dogs, gophers, squirrels, and rabbits. rifles like this “sub-carbine” make even less sense, as 5.56 is absolutely reliant on velocity to inflict killing wounds.

    so, i generally laugh off all these “great”, “new” rifle designs. there won’t be anything new in the rifle and machinegun world until the americans realize that they don’t have to eat hamburgers for every single meal. since everybody in NATO is essentially required to do what the US does, it will be anemic 5.56×45 from now until the cows come how.

    • jody, you don’t find that many people obsessed with it.

      It is the NATO cartridge and nearly all NATO members use it, most of whom are Europeans. The Russians went with a similar round, and the Chinese are switching to only a marginally better round (5.8mm).

  • Edward

    Unfortunately, Stephen B, that third picture is NOT the redesigned HK416 SBR, but rather Colt’s SCW.

  • Cool-LD

    Great info. I read this site just about everyday.

    Don’t think it has been said yet so I will go ahead and “stir the pudding”. I tend to agree that the 5.56 is reaching end of life. Much like the 9mm.

    American law enforcement lead they way in migrating from 9mm sidearms to the 40 cal. The next evolution with tactical units and entry teams, where smaller is better, will be in 8″ AR platforms firing the 6.8 SPC.

    The round was designed for SBR’s and has out performed 5.56 by leaps and bounds. If American LE adopts this will the military? Who knows. But you can bet it would be in the running when that time comes.

    Just to think, the US Military, NATO, Federal and Local law enforcement all standardized on the same small arms ammo…. It would be a beautiful thing.

  • mr_lorenco (republick of kosovo)

    the 5.45 R
    and the 5.8 chinese both outperform the .223 rem/5.56 NATO nato round yes its like a religion with this round …..

  • Chortles

    I’ve since found that H&K officially dubbed it the HK416C back in mid-2010:


    Claimed collapsed length is just over 22 inches long (27.15 inches extended).

  • raven

    has anyone seen the stock and adapter for sale at all? i have not seen anything more than these photos of the collapsible style mp5 stock. would love to see this available for a custom sbr build.

  • Alaskan

    Just because it doesn’t fit within someone’s pre-defined parameters of what a “gun” should be..doesn’t mean it does not work.

    jody..would you like to volunteer to get shot by the new HK 416 sub-carbine as a test subject, so scientists can examine your body to see the effects?

    The .45ACP round is 107 years old,yet MANY people the world over depend on it to stop a fight and it has..

    the 9mm is 109 years old,yet a lot of european countries equip their Armed Forces with it.


  • Jeff

    geez HK loves making those no cheek-weld wire stocks

  • Bill

    Does anyone know where to get this upper or this stock?? Or is it even avalible???