HK417 did not pass German Army DMR tests

The German Army, like the rest of NATO is seems, is looking for a Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR). Once selected it will be given the designation G27. REMOV wrote on that the HK417 will not be the G27 as was rumored …

The HK417 will not be the G27, because the German rifle did not passed the Bundeswehr field tests. The information was told during the Infantry Symposium in Unterluess by Infantry School representative lt. col. Detlef Rausch. The HK417 failed at the accuracy tests. So now, most probably will be the open contest for new DMR for Bundeswehr, which means SIG Sauer SAPR as well as Oberland Arms rifles plus… civilian model of the HK417 – MR308 will take a part.

The civilian MR762 (MR308 in Germany)

I have heard that the British Army is looking at acquiring H&K417 rifles, despite having recently adopted the simular L129A1.

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.


  • R N

    wow the amazing Heckler Und Koch produced weapon failed an accuracy test, in its own country

  • David


  • Tmash

    Piston guns sacrifice accuracy for reliabilty.

  • jdun1911

    If Oberland Arms won that would be ironic because as far as I know Oberland Arms makes DI AR15 and AR10. Isn’t SIG Sauer SAPR AR10 DI variant? haahahahaah

  • Nadnerbus

    Wonder if that is the piston system throwing off POI. That is one advantage of the DI operating system, less parts slamming around, creating vibrations and all that technical stuff I’m not smart enough to explain.

  • Clairon

    It could be interesting to wait some feedback from the french troups who will be deployed in Afghanistan during Winter 2010-2011, they will be equiped with HK417 as DMR replacing the old but very accurate FRF2.

  • SpanishInquisition

    It seems to me that the german MOD didn’t like to be handled a lesser DMR than the british just because it’s made in Germany.

    If I recall correctly, during the L129A1 trials, the LMT gun beat the HK417 thanks to a better barrel. Probably they are trying to force H&K to make a better HK417, because I don’t see the Bundeswehr buying a non-german made gun.

    On the bright side for H&K, the german army is testing new enhaced G36 models under its own “future soldier” program. The are photos at Bundeswehr’s flickr photostream:

    Note the SCAR type stock, low profile upper rail, bolt release inside the trigger guard, and optics.

  • Bang

    its not suprising – HK built a rifle based on an AR format because the largest market HK wanted was the USA.

    The DMR I expect has more reasonable criteria that doesn’t have to do with politics.

    I still wonder why the fitting of the HK417 was less accurate than the MR308 which passsed test ?

    Good on the DMR for putting their soldiers first.
    ( Can’t beat the out of the box PSG1 but its not a military rifle – >> weight and $,$$$ )

  • Mark K.

    Bahh Steve, stop posting rumors.

    • Mark, it is not a rumor. REMOV is not a random internet stranger. I know him personally.

  • Rijoenpial

    I also think that maybe the German Army should try out the SCAR SSR as well… That’s a piston sniper rifle that has been receiving praise, according to some sources…

  • wsj

    I have to disagree with the assumption that piston guns are inaccurate. Both the FN scar, HK 416 and newer LWRC guns are tack drivers. Keep in mind that with a properly engineered piston system and a good barrel nothing moves in such a gun before the bullet has left the barrel – only then the gas pressure against the piston will reach its climax and push the bolt carrier assembly backwards.

    I guess ( as in “I don’t know”) the Bundeswehr wanted the HK417 to do more than you can expect from a 7.62 gun….

    • wsj, you are right. The accuracy advantage would be when firing full-auto, not sniping with a DMR.

  • snmp

    the HK417 is for French SF is an expident weapon.
    German have so many new G3 that they could upgrate to DMR level why buy a new rifle

  • Marc

    “Isn’t SIG Sauer SAPR AR10 DI variant? haahahahaah”

    No, it’s an up-scaled SG 550. SIG Sauer doesn’t make anything AR, you’re thinking Exeter.

  • Carlos

    The UK sas have been using 417 as dmr in Iraq and afghanistan quite happily

  • drewogatory

    The PSG 1 really isn’t suitable for military use. They use a Hendsoldt 6X42 scope with a proprietary mount that’s only good to 600 meters. They also throw brass a country mile. Any well built AR 10 will shoot as well or better than a PSG for 1/10th the price.

  • Vitor

    By the way, do the germans use the M80 ball ammo for DMR or do they have something like the M118?

  • Nooky

    That would be great for SIG if the SAPR win the prize.

  • Nooky

    jdun1911 said “Isn’t SIG Sauer SAPR AR10 DI variant”


    First it’s a SIG, not SIG Sauer. Real SIG rifles are made in Switzerland.

    It’s a 7,62 nato rifle based on the SG550/Stgw 90

    It’s piston-driven long stroke action, like an AK but with some refinements

  • William C.

    I’m taking a wild guess here but it sounds to me like H&K may have just submitted a “vanilla” HK417 as supposed to something like the L129A1 or M110 built with the DMR role in mind.

    SpanishInqusitition thanks for the photos. Not all of the weapons have the new stock but it is the same design seen on newer G36V and G36KV export models? I like that it also has the full length picatinny rail also seen on new export models.

    I’ve heard pretty awful things about Bundeswehr morale and other related issues, but it is good to see they are getting new gear.

  • jdun1911

    First thing piston AR isn’t inherit more reliable or durable than DI AR. That’s a marketing myth.

    DI is much more accurate than piston. That’s because in a DI gun everything is inline and you don’t have the piston and op rod below or above the barrel screwing up the barrel harmonics. The HK416 fail in accuracy because it is a piston and not because of the barrel.

  • Lance

    I don’t really care about what the German Army wants. But I’m delighted that all the competitors are based on AR-10 designs.

  • Calimero

    jdun1911, SwissArms’ SAPR SG-751/750 has a long stroke piston system, just like the SG-55x family.

  • Madeleine Goddard

    With the present UK defence budget cuts I just can’t see the HK417 being bought for normal infantry use to supplement the L129 Sharpshooter (which appears to be a highly successful weapon), although of course the Special Forces tend to acquire what they like. UK procurement policy is to try to rationalise and minimise the variety of weapons in use rather than constantly seek to acquire new products (an American vice?); I would not be surprised to see more L129s being acquired in due course.

  • The Oberland Arms rifle is interesting in that it uses modified G3 magazines. However, aside from that it seems to me to be a bit lack luster…

    I do feel for the Germans – they are one nation you thought could have pulled a decent home made DMR out the bag. But even H&K seems to have gone a bit astray on this one…

    I wonder if a 7.62mm version of the G36 system was ever thought about?

  • jdun1911

    Ok I was wrong about the SIG Sauer SAPR but Sig does make AR. In this case it’s called Sig Sauer SIG716 rifle and it is is a piston AR10 variant.

  • jdun1911

    The G3 isn’t an accurate rifle. Sure they can updated it but the cost probably cost more than a new one. The PSG1 is a prime example, 1MOA at the cost of $12000 while 1MOA can be done with a $700 AR with free floating rails.

  • Vitor

    So, a long-stroke piston rifle was chosen. And long-stroke has a reputation of being less accurate than short-stroke that is known as being less accurate than DI.

    What we learned today, boys? That there is much more to the accuracy of a rifle than just it’s gas system.

  • Tmash

    The HK 417 is more a battle rifle from my understanding. Like the M14. You can probaly tune it for better accuracy but for more money. But by the time you do you could have bought a M110 SASS.

  • Nooky

    Jdun1911, you are right, but that is sig USA, it has nothing to do with SAN Swiss Arms AG wich produce the SAPR.

  • Lance

    The SIG or H&K MR308 will win they are just fine with accracy for a DMR. Why dont they use G-3s we are useing M-14s and the SAS have some old L1A1s in invatory i bet Germans have G-3s?

  • jdun1911

    Are you saying that Sig USA is not part of Sig Sauer? Is like saying HK USA is not part of HK. Come on.

  • jdun1911

    I would be surprise if the SAPR win. It is after all a Kalashnikov variant.

  • Alaskan

    Would be hysterical if they went with a M1A/M14 variant to use as their DMR..

  • Marc

    “Are you saying that Sig USA is not part of Sig Sauer?”

    It isn’t. They are owned by the same guys and cooperate on many products but the managements are entirely independant, which is the reason why their product lines are very different. Exeter’s products are exclusively made for the US market like the 1911s, the P238 and the AR clones.

  • Aurelien

    Sig Sauer makes the Sig 516 and 716 for the european market, so stop saying Sig AR variants are “SIG USA so nothing to do with Sig Sauer” Thats BS, the two are no independant entities, they just have slight variations in their line due to customers preference.

    And don’t assume military contracts H&K rifles are anywhere near civilian prices, that would be utterly wrong.
    After all, the French Gendarmerie bought a batch of G3s for 50€ a piece before deploying to Afghanistan last year. They where used rifles, but come on. Thats a lot of bang for your buck. The G3s were replaced by HK417s after a few month.

    And the previous military DMR rifle made by H&K was the MSG-90, lighter and handier version of the LEO-oriented PSG-1.

  • Emperor Fabulous

    jdun1911: “The HK416 fail in accuracy because it is a piston and not because of the barrel.”

    You have no way of knowing that; you are merely showing your bias rather than being objective.

    The M14 can be made into a very accurate rifle. So can the AK platform as the Israelis use it for their sniper platform. How much effort that gets put into building a rifle makes a big difference in how accurate it is.

  • snmp

    French SF have buy SR25 and M110 (not enough rugged for militray operation in sand) and replace by upgrade G3 (phaseout in favor of HK417).
    Sauer & Shoen (Sig Sauer) could build in germany the SG 750 and SG 751 SAPR.

  • Nooky

    “Are you saying that Sig USA is not part of Sig Sauer? Is like saying HK USA is not part of HK. Come on.”

    I’m not saying that sig usa isn’t related to Sig sauer, but im pretty sure they don’t work very much with Swiss arms. I don’t think Swiss arms designed anything for the 556 for example. HK is another story, they really are bound to the main company in germany

    “I would be surprise if the SAPR win. It is after all a Kalashnikov variant.”

    You really seem to don’t know what your talking about. SIG are probably the most accurate assault rifle you could buy for an army. Here’s what you can expect from an SG550 at 300m

    I don’t know about the SAPR but it must be pretty good too. If you’re talking ergonomics, SIG are pretty good, not ACR good but pretty good.

    “Sig Sauer makes the Sig 516 and 716 for the european market”

    I never saw one of these in Switzerland, maybe Rivolier import them for France but I really doubt that sig usa did an AR variant just for europe…

  • Marc

    “Sig Sauer makes the Sig 516 and 716 for the european market”

    Never seen a single one of them. I also highly doubt the US state department would allow the export. We also have plenty of European AR clones to satisfy our little AR market demands. Your assertion makes no sense at all and you have no source to back it up, so I call BS.

  • Aurelien

    Nooky, i never said the AR variants were developped directly for Europe, but the guys at Sig told me the european versions of the 516 and 716 are not built by Sig USA like the European 556s.

  • John


    “I’m not saying that sig usa isn’t related to Sig sauer, but im pretty sure they don’t work very much with Swiss arms. I don’t think Swiss arms designed anything for the 556 for example…..”

    The first several thousand Sig 556’s uppers were made in Switzerland.

  • jdun1911

    Emperor Fabulous,

    Piston will never be as accurate as DI gun that used equal parts. That’s not my opinion that is a scientific fact.

    To make the M14 accurate you have to spend thousand of dollars. A $700 AR with free floating rail will have better or equal accuracy than a heavily moded M14. BTW the M14 is being phased out and replaced by DI AR.

    As for the Israeli Kalashnikov Sniper Rifle (the Galil Sniper Rifle). They have been phased out or to be precise not use by front line troops anymore. It has been replaced by KA SR25 since the early 1990 IIRC.


    Of course management will be different just like any other business in any industries. However, Sig USA will do whatever Sig Sauer tell them to do. If Sig USA management don’t like it they will be fired. Sig Sauer has total control over Sig USA management just like any other business. That’s business.


    People and the interweb throw accuracy of this gun and that gun like Halloween candy. Seriously the Kalashnikov action does not lent itself as the most accurate or even close to it. Again I would be very surprise if Sig win the competition.


    I would not mind getting used G3 for 50 euro. That’s a great deal.

  • Stella


    Does DI have a dollar for dollar accuracy advantage? The SR25 sells, to civilians at least, for $4000+ and the XM110 for as much $20,000. I am pretty sure you make most rifle designs hammer nails for that amount of money.

    While I am being intentionally obtuse, the point above illustrates that we are not comparing the accuracy of a $700 AR vs a $700 AK. There are profoundly accurate short stroke piston rifles; they may not be at Olympic Arms prices, but then again they work.

  • Lance

    The M-14 will be around for a while the SEALs and Navy use them for jobs that a DI AR-10 couldnt do. Yes in the sniper role they been supplamented by M-110 but at the same time they are being replaced by the new M-2010. M-14s have been good for DMR roles and dont requrie such a expensive upgrade.

  • jdun1911


    “I also highly doubt the US state department would allow the export.”

    Are you serious? There is a company called Colt that export ARs everywhere. There is a company called LMT (Lewis Machine & Tool Company) that export AR to the UK. There are two companies called LWRC and DMPS that export AR to Jordanian. I can keep naming but you get the idea.

    We export Halo, Ships, Heavy Weapons, Armor, Fighters, etc. yet small arms are not allowed? Come on.

  • Nooky

    @John: ok maybe I was wrong on that, any source would be great.

    @Aurelien: ok I didn’t understood it like that 🙂

    @jdun1911: I’m not giving you candy, i’m giving you proofs of what that kind of rifle can do. Take it or leave, I don’t care, but don’t call it bullshit.

  • jdun1911


    Costs will play in the procurement of any weapons in any militaries or government agencies. You want to get more not less out of your money.

    When you have SR-25 with all the bell and whistle for the cost of $4000 that out shoot a PSG1 at a cost $12000. Which one would you give the contract to?

    Whoever sell the XM110 for 20k is on crack. The XM110 is SR-25 and should sell around SR-25 price point.

    And yes we are comparing the accuracy of AR vs Ak because the SAPR are Kalashnikov variant. From what Steve posted there are only two type of rifle that is being tested, Stoner and Kalashnikov variant.

  • Nadnerbus

    Jdun, I think he meant for civilian purchase. I have no clue what the laws are regarding that though, either for us exporting them, or the various Euro countries importing them.

    If it’s anything like our irritating ban on “non-sporting” firearms from outside the US, he could be quite right.

  • Marc

    jdun1911: “However, Sig USA will do whatever Sig Sauer tell them to do.”

    No, Exeter is neither a subsidiary of either Sauer & Sohn nor of SAN Swissarms. They all are seperate entities under common private ownership.

    “Are you serious? There is a company called Colt that export ARs everywhere.”

    Dead serious. You’re comparing exports targeted at foreign militaries to exports targeted at foreign civilians. The latter is something the US state department does NOT approve of in the case of military hardware.

  • jdun1911


    I’m going to make it simple to understand. Sig USA subordinate to Sig Sauer.

    It does not matter if it civilian or military sell. If you can export it to foreign military you can export to foreign civilian as long as the host country allows it.

  • Marc


    I’m going to make it simple to understand:
    You are wrong on all accounts.

    SIG Sauer, Inc. (USA), J. P. Sauer & Sohn GmbH (Germany) and SAN Swiss Arms AG (Switzerland) are seperate entities under the ownership of the private businessmen Michael Lüke and Thomas Ortmeier, just like Blaser Jagdwaffen GmbH and Mauser Jagdwaffen GmbH. None of these entities has control over any of the other, they all have independant managements.

    Firearm exports needs approval of the state department. It does not approve the export of defense articles to civilians. The fact that it does approve the export of military hardware to allied or neutral militaries doesn’t change that. See Arms Export Control Act.

  • Coder06

    i would love for you to look at this videos and explain to me how it is that DI is just as reliable as a piston.

    let me see you shoot an m4 with sand in it
    or while its filled with water

    • Para

      >comparing an m4 to a battle rifle

      The M4 jams like a bitch, because it fires intermediates with fairly crappy combustion via a short barrel which doesn’t let what does combust combust well.

      Compare with the AR-10, which is a much more reliable weapon due to reduced fouling.
      Not being able to shoot when fouled can be mitigated by a piston, but is largely indicative of very tight parts tolerances.

  • Buck Adams

    The DGI’s supposed weaknesses really don’t figure into a sharpshooter type role. It’s not being used as a machine gun and the need for sound suppression is not a pressing issue either. I think the real problem is more due to political activities than an absence of a capable rifles.

  • Some Guy

    This thing gets better than 1 MOA, which apparently isn’t good enough.

    It’s only as good as every other sniper rifle in the world in use by the world, including the M40A1 bolt action rifle, which is even better than the M14 and various FN SCAR marksmen rifle variants…

    But apparently it’s not good enough!

    No, we need something with the “supposed” in door accuracy of a .3 MOA PSG!

    Because we all know that marksmen rifles are designed for 1000 meters+ shots.

    Despite the fact that most .50 caliber, long range (2000 meter) sniper rifles get OVER 1 MOA, and some up to 2 MOA.

    Who knows why this isn’t good enough for their testing.

    Maybe the Germans feel they have a reputation to live up to with the PSG.

  • j adams

    Well, maybe they just didnt want to get ripped off?

    The 417 is going for $4000plus in countries that have it (mr308)

    Meanwhile the sig716 will probably be a thousand less and just as capable.

  • J Bev

    First – Swiss Arms manufactures equipment for the Swiss military

    Second – SIG Sauer is a German company which manufactures and sells Swiss Arms and Sauer products outside of Switzerland

    Third – SIG Sauer in Exeter Manufactures and Assembles both domestically designed and European designed products

    Fourth – Due to automated CNC equipment and ISO 9000 / AS 9100 standards, the equipment built in the USA is just as good as that manufactured in either Germany or Switzerland

    Fifth – The sniper rifles used by the US military are Korean War era M14s… a PISTON operated rifle. There are a lot of WWII M1 Garands out there holding 3/4″ multi shot groups

    Sixth – I own two AR-15s and a SIG 556… both hold 1/2″ groups with well matched ammo. Also, I have cleaned both… and the SIG is a LOT easier to clean, and is less prone to heat and soot in the receiver.

    Seventh – Here’s my favorite: Show me the data and state your sources regarding the inherent superiority of DI systems… the accuracy is primarily due to heavy free-floated barrels, rotary-lock-up bolt systems, and use of match or long-range ammo.

    NOTE: The SIG 516 and 716 are AR platforms, the SIG / Swiss Arms 550/551/552/553 series is a piston system, and universally considered the finest assault rifle in the world for its quality, accuracy, dependability, reliability, and ease of maintenance (apologies to the AK and AR fanboys). The SIG 556 is merely a semi-auto SIG 551 carbine with an aluminum lower receiver capable of using AR/STANAG magazines, instead of the proprietary Swiss Arms magazine. Finally, the SG 751 is a NATO 7.62 rifle patterend after the SIG/Swiss Arms 55X design. And is apparently more accurate than the SIG 550 sniper version.

  • Para

    Hold in, isn’t the HK417 in service with the Budeswehr as the G28?

    • Sim

      No, the HK MR308 (matchrifle 308) is in use as G28. Different calibre and opperating system.

      • Para

        The “.308” is functionally the same cartridge as 7.62x51mm NATO, is it not?
        It’s just a commercial designation.

        So, is the MR308 more closely related to the G36 than the AR, as in the 417?

  • Zzzz

    Whats the effective range of hk417 12″ and 16.5″

  • Morgan

    PFPFF MSG90 it’s much better

  • Morgan

    I don’t understand why to make another dmr? the msg90 it’s much more better than others It doesn’t needs too much maintenance as the sr25 -.- yeah the msg90 is heavy and big but this is someting that make this weapon more accurate and resistant to the enviromend I prefere a big and heavy sniper than an small and delicate sniper so people saying it’s too heavy well this is for military use so it’s suppose that a soldier is strong and they should be strong -.- and a soldier should have no problems about that -.-