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.


  • Greg

    All the back and forth and confusion we could have avoided with a true intermediate round capable of short range assault rifle and compromised battle rifle performance…say Enfield 7 x 43mm.

  • drewogatory

    1.6 million worth of HK’s? What is that, a box of two?

  • Jake

    So, $1.6 million worth of H&Ks? I suppose that gets them three or four rifles and a few spare parts, right?

  • jdun1911

    I hope that’s not their config for the HK416. It needs a better optic mount and the VG/Bipod is pretty stupid IMO.

  • scurvy

    So a half pound lighter than the well proven, much simpler, dirt cheap G3? Just because this one is new and shiny? I can only see this making sense if they also fielded (or plan to field) a lot of 416’s for part integration. If they really need help in Afghanistan right now, just hit the surplus market and drop ship G3’s to the sandbox.

  • Lance

    So much for the AUG88 I hope they buy 416s next.

  • sz

    Wouldn’t be upgraded FAL (or L1A1) a better thing? I’m sure that Ausies have plenty of them in stocks.

  • Nathaniel

    HK416s failed the Bundeswehr trials. Weren’t accurate enough. What do the Kiwis see in them over another, more precise alternative?

    Ah. They see cool SEAL-like-guys coming out of the water with them. Gotcha.

  • kmle

    They already have SR-25s and some M14 ebrs have been spotted as well.

  • subase

    From the shotshow video I saw on youtube the HK417 dude said that militaries were interested mainly in the short barrels. (down to 12 inch on the HK417) Mainly due to helicopters and stuff like that, and no doubt door kicking. And according to HK even from a twelve inch barrel they can get less than 2 MOA.

    This weapon is far superior to outdated designs like the FAL and G3. Not as durable admittedly, but infantry wave assaults are not as common in contemporary wars. Accuracy, versatility and weight is where it’s at.

    Also people stop mentioning the HK416, this is the HK417.

  • Underwhelmed

    Wonder why they chose over the SCAR-H

  • jdun1911


    There are some German combat vets on Arfcom that really really dislike HK firearms. They hated the G3, G36, MP5, etc. Kind of surprising since they are Germans. You know national pride and all that.

  • jdun1911

    I just noticed in the picture that the handguard rails have no holes drill into it. In other words no metal is remove from the rail and that make it extremely heavy than what it should be. Even cheap rail systems like UTG spent the extra effort to make their rails lighter. I hate to hump that thing in the field.

    It hurt just looking at the config.

  • Madeleine Goddard

    Has anyone had experience of HK military after-sales support? I hear from a variety of sources that HK are more interested in selling the weapons than providing support and that spares and repairs can cost a fortune, as well as being very tardy in delivery. Does anyone know how they compare with FN, Colt, etc?

  • Lance

    @SZ the reason Brits and Aussies arnt useing updated L1A1s is because the like of rebbeca Petters and anti gunner haveing all surplus military rifles destoryed so no no one uses then again. British and Aussie stock were destoried in the 1990s. Only a handful of british L1A1s where saved by SAS crews.

    @ underwhelemed
    The 417 is far more relighable and rugged the the SCAR one of the resons most european countries adpoted it over the SCAR series, more metal than plastic parts need is say more. the fact also is that Both Aussie and kiwi SAS uses M-4s and M-16s so they share alot of common parts with 416/7s

  • subase

    The gun up top is just a picture not the actual rifle bought by the ADF. More importantly the HK417 is only marginally heavier than the SCAR Heavy, with what appears to be a stronger rail system with more side rail space.
    Here’s the HK website, where you can see that the rifle better.

    I think what clinched the deal from the Scar heavy, was the 1 inch shorter short barrel (12 inches vs 13 inches) and the polymer G36 polymer magazines, as well as reliable 50 round magazine. The Scar heavy uses really out of date steel magazines, which would add to the overall weapon systems weight and reliability. (polymer mags more reliable than metal)

  • subase

    Remember that the U.S only bought the Scar Heavy cause they already had a contract to buy the 5.56 version, but seeing that it wasn’t really worth it, they put all their cash into buying the Scar Heavy instead. In addition Australia also needs to take into account the desert conditions of Australia, those polymer mags will come in handy there. Something which the U.S is also rectifying in that they have a tender out for polymer magazines to be developed for the Scar heavy. For the Australians though they can’t wait for something to be fixed improved with time, instead they need something working on the ground from the get go. The U.S after all is buying for Socom, while the Australian military is buying for the SAS equivalent to the U.S Delta Force, who of course are given any weapons they want.

  • Andrew

    A lot of speculation going on here – given it’s common knowledge if you know what to Google, I think I can mention Infantry 2012 ACR – the Aus Army is restructuring INF Battalions, part of which will include a several designated ‘marksmen’ at the platoon level, utilising a 7.62x51mm calibre weapon, with an effective range between 600-800 meters. There has been a bit of debate as to which weapon is to be adopted (I still don’t think it’s finalised yet), so this is probably a trial/stop gap until a final decision is made.

    @ Lance – it’s not an AUG88, it’s an F88: F being the NATO code to indicate an Australian weapon. From this I’ll assume that you’re not in, or you’d know there is *no chance* that the F88 is going to be replaced with HK416s, because the rifle is being upgraded across the entire Army. There have been quite a few announcements about this in the media over here, both within Army and Civilian.

    @ sz – There were quite a few L1A1s knocking about before the Port Arthur Massacre. After the Howard government started the gun buyback scheme, a lot of the old L1A1s got sold to other countries, or were destroyed. Consequently, we don’t have many (if any) in our stocks anymore.

    @ subase – as mentioned, I’m guessing this is for the marksman role, so I’m guessing the barrel is going to be longer than 12”.

    @ Underwhelmed – my guess is the answer is “money”.

  • subase

    I figured as much Andrew, and it’s only now that the .308 combat rifle and all the assorted technology advances in optics, manufacturing and materials that go along with it, that a DMR like role been made an option to the Australian military. Which given our huge open spaces and desert environment is pretty much a no brainer. (and probably the main reason why we adopted the Steyr Aug bullpuo, a 20 inch barreled 5.56 weapon that’s still usable in CQB areas like our capital cities where most of our population lives)

    We also should remember that HK416 uppers have been seeing Delta use (and consequently Australian SAS which embed and train with them) for quite a few years now. So it’s already a familiar tested weapon system.

    And even a cursory glance will show that the HK417 is far more sturdier than the Scar heavy, very important for the cash strapped Australian military. They can’t just spend tens of millions on weapon projects that don’t lead anywhere.

  • Vitor

    The vast adoption of the HK41X around the world (includingin the USA with theM27) seems to indicate a quite good weapon.

    But haters gonna hate.

  • Lance

    @ Andrew

    Yes your right F88 I was mistaken over the designation. But your right too the F88 is also being upgraded too.

  • kmle

    + jungle/bush ops for bullpups. The Australian Army since ww2 has been designed for a war in se asia.

  • SoulTown


    If what HK charges civilians for spare parts is any indication, I think any cost advantages coming from longer MTBF will be… more than made up for.

  • jdun1911

    After looking all all the HK416/17/m27/etc pictures I came to the conclusion that the above handguard is probably what’s the Australia will get. It looks like HK only made one type of handguard. Sure there are holes drill into it but it is few and far between. HK went cheap.

  • subase

    I think Australia will license the design for in country production, if they like how it performs, HK allows that (to a fault actually) and has alot of experience with that. So price of parts is not an issue.

    It’s actually a beefed up one piece aluminum rail system similar to the HK416. It also uses an adjustable steel tube buttstock. The polymer has also been proven with the G36 in strength and lifespan. In contrast the Scar H has the screw on side rails which are shorter too and it’s butt stock is plastic. (with reports of it breaking in the field when folded) Apart from the very biased, not so celebrated socom adoption of the weapon, it really hasn’t seen any extensive combat use at all.

    It may just be the case that Delta Force/SAS prefer the HK416/417 combo. The lesser special forces can refine and test out the Scar system, but seems HK beat them to the chase.

  • subase

    I’d say realistically speaking guerrilla warfare (retreating to Australia’s desert and bush) and urban fighting on the defensive is why the Australians adopted the bullpup. Fighting Indonesians on their home turf in the jungle (225 million vs 23 million) is not going to happen. This isn’t the Japanese in WWII. Spec ops will no doubt make an appearance with sabotage but I think it’s far-fetched to expect any form of infantry offensive, they outnumber us 10 to 1 and aren’t exactly Taliban pushovers.

  • subase

    I’d say the Australian military was ‘bluffing’ with their south east asian jungle war reason for adopting the bullpup. Truth is the Australian strategy involves resisting invasion for as long as possible, while waiting for the cavalry to arrive. (U.S/Britain/Canada/NZ whoever) Our enemies strategy would involve a massive attack and invasion force to overrun our much smaller isolated defenses.

  • Dev

    Andrew is right. The ADF has spent alot of money acquiring manufacturing rights and most recently upgrades to the existing F88 stocks to keep them current. Let’s not forget the F88 platform is still fairly new compared to the AR family in US service, and the F88 only completely replaced the FAL / L1A1 family of weapons in the late 80s / early 90s.

    As this procurement is worth “only” 1.6 million, you can guarantee it’s going to the likes of SASR / Commandos to supplement the M4s / SR-25s already in existing SF community service.

  • Rohan

    The current up-grade of F88 is limited to only ARA (Australian Regular Army) and not the Reserve, etc. Minimum expense project. Rails, new sight, brown paint over “blued” areas. F88 is a modular weapon, in many ways ahead of its time in design, the other Austrian the Glock. F88 barrels, receives, sight can be changed without armourers.

    FAL / L1A1 were combat rifles, built super tough, not super accurate. The “slide cover” is only pressed sheet steel, like the AK. To fit modern sights is a rebuild of the upper receiver. Australian SLRs were built in the early 60’s mainly, 50 years ago. Why waste money, just buy new.

    HK-416 and HK-417 is the current “fashion” with SF. Once it was MP-5s, then M4s, then now that non-SF soldiers have M4s, SCARs and HKs. Only SF with its separate budget can keep changing without have to have the brass and have committees to block change.

    Once you take out spares and training budget, how many weapons are they really buying? Bugger all.

  • Rohan

    In late 2002, India signed a Rs. 880 million (about $20 million) deal with Israel Military Industries for 3,070 TAR-21 Tavor assault rifles.

    $2 million would probably only buy 300 odd Hk-417 weapons. Half will stay in war reserve and for training. That’s about 50 each for the 3 SF units or 1 each for every SASR operator.

  • jdun1911

    Proven small arms are FAL, M14, AR, AK, and to a lesser extent G3. Sure the G36 have seen combat but compare to the five I listed it nothing. With that said the Stoner Piston which the G36 use (modified) is combat proven.

    You have almost every handguard manufacture drill as much hole as possible into their product to make it as light as possible. You do not need to beef up the handguard. It is not necessary because those area that are drilled aren’t going to incur enough stress to break. Even if those area broke the handguard will still function as long as the rail is intact.

    What’s going to break/damage on those handguards are the rail itself. You can minimized the damage by putting rail covers. You can’t beef up the rail because doing will make the rail out of spec.

    1913 rail manufacture make one or/and two piece handguard. As far as I know all one piece handguard are free floating. Two piece are mostly non-fee floating. There are few two piece handguard that are fee floating.

    HK handguard are the most basic and cheapest design I’ve seen. I didn’t notice it before because like I said even cheap rail manufacture do take some effort to make their handguard lighter.

    Here is one of the top of the line rail. Weight 8 ounce with a integrated quick detach mount.

  • Some Guy

    This weapon is accurate, reliable, and high powered, in a fully capable “carbine” format if necessary.

    It’s a top of the line weapon.

    Only problem is, it’s expensive.

    IMO, too expensive.

    They could make this cheaper if they did it right.

    This weapon will probably end up being like the G41 that heckler and Kosh, and while probably making more sells, it’ll probably reach the same fate.

    “Of high Quality, but too expensive for many serious buyers.”

    The H&K have a long history of such weapons, such as the G11, HK21-23, G41, etc., so it’s not that big of a deal.

  • William C.

    Some more long range firepower for troops in Afghanistan is always a good thing, however I see a few problems. Do no military bullpups exist in 7.62x51mm NATO? Training the regular Army to be fully proficient in rifles of both formats will probably cause some headaches. As I understand it Australian SF make extensive use of the M4A1 (and maybe the HK416) so at least that won’t be a problem for them.

    Yeah they may have been able to buy some old G3s or FALs, but I imagine trying to slap rails on those and get them accurate enough for DMR work would be too difficult.

    Any information on this upgrade to the F88 underway? Is it anything like the AUG A3? If so will Australian SF start using it now that they can attach everything including the kitchen sink to the rifle?

  • 7.62×25

    I have to agree with the comments of HK being at the extreme high-end of price. There are less expensive options on the market today that could get the job done. My understanding is that Hk is a vertically integrated company(quality control) that R&D’s and manufacturers everything(high cost) that goes into there weapons systems, most companies don’t do that(except Glock from my knowledge). Plus Hk source selects all their raw materials like metal alloys, polymers, plastics etc. Go out and ask metal suppliers for some of the prices per pound of the metal’s that Hk uses! Keep in mind that development and manufacturing are labor/time intensive processes when preformed by skilled engineers($30+ per hour), Gunsmith’s, CNC/MILL machinists ($20+ per hour) are extremely expensive. Plus a top of the line CNC or MILL machine (required for weapons manufacture) will run in the $250,000 and up range, never mind the $700,000+ that a precision polymer injection molding machinery will cost, add to that the cutting knifes on the CNC’s that cost $40+ bucks a pop that need constant replacement with the MILL machines $50 drill bits that go equally as fast. Add to that health-care costs and taxation and you’ll get an expensive reality of doing business. My dad owns a small machine shop and I know some of the costs involved. Let also keep in mind that as much as we may not like Hk pricing, it is one of the top three small arms manufactures on the planet almost every 1st and 2nd rate military has at-least one HK weapons system in active use. I say all this even though my preference lies with other companies.

  • SoulTown

    @jdun1911 Indeed. There are excellent, crazy durable parts like the Vltor VIS that have tons of holes/ventilation/whatever to save weight & help with barrel cooldown. You don’t see any of them break, but no, only HK parts are durable because of uber Germanic over-engineering technology!

    I swear, if you only read marketing stuff from HK, you’d think HK invented CHF barrels or something…

  • hacedeca

    I’m not so sure: Are the complaints about the price of HK rifles American humor?

    This reminds me of the Vietnam war: The Airforce threw much more bombs there, than there were used by all airforces in the second world war. But the GIs were sent into the jungle with M16s with 15 shot clips – because their ammo usage was to high and by that to expensive…

    The Infantery is most exposed to enemy threats. Let them have decent guns. For the price of one F22 every Nato soldier in Afghanistan can get the coolest “over engineered” stuff from Germany.

  • subase

    One HK hole on the front rail costs 4 us dollars.

  • Nathaniel

    I can’t believe I mistook the Australians for New Zealanders, and nobody caught me.

  • SoulTown


    First, it was 20 round “magazine”, not clips. And the M4 platform is a great system that only runs about $1,100 for bulk purchasers. The reliability and soundness of the DI system, as opposed to many disinformation out there, has been demonstrated repeatedly in the gun community & many state militaries. So the question is: why would you want an over-engineered, $1,700 piston gun from Germany?

    Only answer I can see is suppressed SBR use. You can set up DI systems to run reliably either suppressed/unsuppressed, but you can’t set it up to do both. So for that, HK416 would make sense.

    …But actually, it doesn’t. See, to solve the SBR problem, HK slapped on a piston, and a whole mess of overpriced & over-engineered proprietary parts and called it the Uberrifle of the century. A certain company called Noveske decided to be smart, and made THIS. (

  • subase

    Not really, the HK416 first started as a reliable piston upper to the M4 used by SAS/Delta force in Afghanistan. This was like in 2002 when those groups were tired of having to get custom M4 SBRs made to work with suppressors. (for night ops)

    In that period of time the HK416 was the only AR piston upper available. It could even be the case that HK made the piston upper especially for Delta force/SAS use. (not exactly difficult) Once they used that system for a few years, they moved to the HK416 which is just a more rugged M4 with a few tweaks. This ‘offically’ happened in 2004 during army tests, but I’m sure they were using the prototype versions for a couple of years.

    The elite of elite soldiers don’t act as guinea pigs for testing out new weapon systems, the stakes are too high. They like things as little different as possible but with higher performance. The HK416 upper gave them the reliability needed for the dusty conditions of Afghanistan and constant suppressor use. That’s it. Less service life can be worked around, little bit more recoil can be lived with, both don’t concern them as much as weight and reliability. So that’s why they are purchasing the HK416’s big brother the HK417, it’s a proven design they’ve already been using for a couple of years.

    One could say that the HK416 is unnecessary now that the M4 seems to work fine in Afghanistan. But Afghanistan unique dusty conditions and the increased fouling of a SBRed supressed M4’s made the maintenance curve too steep to learn in the time period they had. So they looked for alternatives and who you gonna call when your weapon sucks? Heckler and Koch, that’s who. HK handed them piston uppers and the rest as they say is history.

  • Stella


    The DI equivalent of these rifles is not the M4/AR-15 but the AR-10: the HK417 is a 7.62 NATO platform. From my understanding, the Australian military is buying these rifles for designated marksmen whom are trained and equipped generally to engage targets beyond the range of standard 5.56 infantry rifles. While there are short barreled versions of the HK417, these rifles are unlikely to be destined for CQB.

    The AR-10 can be extremely expensive and is not as vetted or widely adopted as the M4. In the only test that provides empirical data of the DI system’s (M4’s) reliability vis-a-vis the HK 416 platform the HK won rather decisively, though said experiment’s the methodology and relevance has been questioned.

  • SoulTown

    @ Setlla

    “The DI equivalent of these rifles is not the M4/AR-15 but the AR-10: the HK417 is a 7.62 NATO platform.”

    -> I know that. I wasn’t talking about the article itself, I was responding to hacedeca, whose comment, as I understood it, was referring to general infantry adoption of “coolest ‘over engineered’ stuff from Germany.” I’m pretty sure he meant the HK416 when he said “stuff from Germany.”

    “The AR-10 can be extremely expensive and is not as vetted or widely adopted as the M4.”

    -> Yes, but so is any “modernized” battle rifle platform. (M1A maybe) Last time I checked, the AR-10 seemed to be doing pretty well, beating HK417 for BA’s DMR program. Your point?

    “In the only test that provides empirical data of the DI system’s (M4′s) reliability vis-a-vis the HK 416 platform the HK won rather decisively, though said experiment’s the methodology and relevance has been questioned.”

    -> Exactly. The test was nothing more than biased gimmickery. You can set up any so-called “stress test” to be biased against any platform. Bury an AK with its safety off and see what happens. Do a 150 round mag-dump on G36/XM8 and enjoy the smell of burning plastic. Take the HK416 and put it in the Norwegian cold. Throw an FAL into a volcano. *Gasp* The mighty FAL falls! It’s unreliable in extreme heat conditions!


  • Stella


    The fact that the British selected an AR-10 variant proves little other than the British selected an AR-10 variant. The British also field the SA80; would you argue that the SA80 is the finest bullpup in the world?

    What you refer to as bias against a platform is actually perfectly legitimate testing: putting a rifle in an environment it will not survive while another manages it shows superiority. If a FAL melts in a volcano and an AK does not, it is fair to deduce that an AK is a better volcano weapon. The real criticism of the “dust” test, just like in our volcano example, is realism and utility.

    The Australians want to give the 417 a go. They fight in conditions that do not generally mimic that of Norway so, if its even still a problem, I doubt they will face piston binding due to rapid temperature change. Stoner’s design did not descend from heaven and there is nothing heretical in finding alternatives for its perceived flaws, real or otherwise.

  • 7.62×25

    I was debating for a moment whether I should waste more of my time on commenting but I just had to. I’m not a fan of Hk but I do think the argument of “over engineered weapons” is a one of the most down right asinine arguments on gun a companies product. I would think a reliable & quality product is something to be desired. We all have our preferences, whether that’s a DI system or piston design and we should respect that. To judge the HK 416/417 or its civilian Hk counterparts when most have never handled or fired one, is just biased Hk bashing because you hate the company and there for all it’s products due to it’s pricing or it’s horrible indifference towards civilian gun owners. I can’t afford Hk weapons personally on Army pay but that doesn’t detract from me appreciating brilliant engineering that is Hk military weapons. I love my Army issue HK M320 grenade launcher and I appreciate it’s “over engineering” compared to the good old 203’s(still great). I can fire a lot more grenades accurately than I ever could with the M203 and that’s a fact.

  • SoulTown

    @ Stella

    “The fact that the British selected an AR-10 variant proves little other than the British selected an AR-10 variant. The British also field the SA80; would you argue that the SA80 is the finest bullpup in the world?”

    -> Doing fine =/= OMG it’s like, the greatest weapon EVA!!!!

    “The real criticism of the “dust” test, just like in our volcano example, is
    realism and utility.”

    -> I did forget to mention that, but all the “biased” examples I have listed, I’d also consider them to be irrelevant. My bad.

    @ 7.62×25

    I have no doubt that Hk416/417 is an accurate, reliable weapon. Their accessories are incredibly overpriced and some of them are downright junk, but their firearms, from functionality standpoint, work great. Some of them may even be almost kafka-esque in ergonomics, but work great. (Other than the whole G36/XM8 handguard burning thing, but hey, you’re not supposed to do mag dumps on an assault rifle like that anyway)

    I also believe they are overpriced and overhyped.

    The problem is this. How do you justify the price difference? Since I was responding to the suggestion “hey, let’s save some money on fancy big stuff and get everyone a new German rifle!” If you’re going to respond to my argument, try to justify entirely new procurement of infantry rifle, at this stage. I don’t see ANY rifle out there that can justifiably replace the M4 platform.

    I love DI ARs, but if the Army were to say, “hey, we’re going to buy a bunch of SR-15E3s to replace our M4s!!!!” I would shake my head painfully. Now, I love KAC. Their products are awesome. But I also don’t see it as a viable M4 alternative.

    If specialized units want to buy out a few rifles and try them out, whatever. They’re what they are and they can do that, especially that any procurement of that sort will be limited in size. But let’s not fool ourselves that the M4 is going anywhere anytime soon, provided that the Army stick to their stated “knockout only” selection guideline for the new carbine program.

  • Rohan Wilson

    Folks, I have used both DI and gas piston. I have shoot them for hours and cleared them afterwards. I carried them in mud, dust and sand. But I tell you one thing. You can never fully clean a DI weapon.

    “Piston”, pull out the plug, put it face down in the dirt and twist. Carbon gone. Once a month ream out the gas port. Tooth brush out the crap (dust, mud, leaves, sand). Oil the working parts and away.

    “DI”, carbon everywhere. Scrub away. The gas tube who knows? Pour in solvent and prey. Tooth brush out the crap (dust, mud, leaves, sand). Oil the working parts. Ignorance is bliss.

    I cannot believe all this talk about “German” guns, “over engineered” guns and “expensive” guns. All HK has done is put the piston back that Stoner took out.

    If gas piston was good enough and reliable enough for American Patriots that used the Garand, the BAR, the Carbine, the M14; why is it not good enough now?

  • Lance

    Strange you can say yes a DI M-16 gets a bit dirtier than a 416 BUT i never had any more time or problems cleaning my weapon.

  • subase

    It’s not a problem for normal troops, (Although there was no doubt an adjustment period in lube and cleaning use) or even special forces. (Although they did heavily consider the 5.56mm Scar) Where the direct impingements system loses out and is a clear disadvantage, is in SBR’s with suppressors on them. This happens to be what Delta/SAS use probably all the time in night operations. That’s why they no doubt went gas piston.

    The same probably holds true for the more powerful .308 caliber rifles. They are interested in the shorter barreled models because they want to attach suppressors to them.

  • Rohan


    I thought you never had a 416, only a M16A2?

  • Lance

    Im talking about my M-16A2 not a 416 which I like the 416 alot in concept.

  • Rohan Wilson

    If you haven’t cleaned a piston weapon how can you say it is better or worse? If a soldier can clean his weapon quicker and easier wouldn’t you want to do that? The question Lance is comparison and how dirty the various weapon gets.

    A clean range shoot of a couple of hundred rounds is not the same as a fortnight in the field.

    Is your rifle out in the weather 24/7 in 40C (100F+) heat, talc like dust that penetrates every pore, vegetation caught in it, covered in mud after crawling through creeks, all night in the rain for ambushes, banged into walls and the ground as you move about the battlefield?

    We cleaned our weapons 4 times a day! 5 minutes later dust was in everything. Do you fire your weapon dirty and can it fire dirty?

    Why are so against making the M16 better?

  • Lance

    Im not at all opposed to makeing the M-16 better. You must have mistaken me im a 416 fan not foe. Im just saying the current weapons are not as horrible as some claim.

  • Michael

    On the H&K After-Sale Support issue: our local Sheriffs department recently switched from the USP .45 to the Glock 21. When I asked one of the Deputies why, he said the main issue was that they couldn’t get spare parts fast enough. For a department that bought almost 1,000 guns, you think H&K would be happy to offer support. He said Glock promised to get them spare parts quickly and also threw in free holsters. I had heard bad things about high-caliber Glocks, but everyone I’ve talked to at the department says they shoot awesome. For what it’s worth, the Deputy I talked to also said the USP’s weren’t holding up with all the rounds they put through them.

  • fernleaf78

    Interesting to see the Aussies go for the HK417. New Zealand is about to adopt a 7.62 DMR as well – no doubt we’ll follow the Aussies.

    I read an earlier post here about how the Australian military adopted the AUG because it was short and suited jungle warfare – while the rifle is well suited for jungle warfare, when the Aussies were trialling 5.56mm rifles in the 1980s – the M16A2 won the trials by a country mile. Colt would not give SAF Lithgow the manufacturing rights for the M16A2, but Steyr would for the AUG, so they were adopted…. purely political….

  • Rohan

    A soldier in my unit was in EDE (Engineering Development Establishment) at the time of final selection between the AUG-77 and M16A2. He had fired 10,000s of rounds through both. EDE did everything possible to these weapons. EDE had even tested both with the 16 grades of NATO standard mud. Yes, NATO standard MUD!

    We asked him which was better. His answer was “I can’t tell you, commercial-in-confidence, but watch this Video”. It showed a soldier prone firing the M16A2 on automatic, then the same soldier, in the same spot, prone firing an AUG-77 on automatic. The AUG-77 was smooth, hardly moved and looked like he was firing .22 rimfire. The M16A2 vibrated and jumped around.

    If the Steyr is total crap, then why is the Australian army going to buy new ones, the EF-88?

  • charles222

    If the M16A2 is inaccurate crap, then why did it totally replace the M-14 as *THE* Camp Perry National Match rifle? 😀

    As for why the Aussies aren’t replacing the AUG, probably because they can’t afford to. Australia’s defense budget is small and is likely to remain that way, not to mention weighted much more towards their Navy and the RAAF; the main potential threat the Australian Defense Force anticipates is a fight with China, which would take place across a big chunk of the Pacific Ocean, and where fighters and modern ships would be the priority, not rifles for an Army that would be ludicrously outnumbered if the Chinese managed to land forces anyway.

    Not to mention that the SASR guys do NOT issue the F88…surprise surprise, they rock M4A1s with M203s. Wonder why that is…

  • Lance

    Word up Charles222.

  • Rohan

    Never said it was inaccurate, I said not smooth.

    Sorry mate, the plan is to buy NEW EF88 with mods to bring it in line with lessons of the GWOT.

    Not just SASR but SF use M4s and M14. They were the first to get F88, and already had MP-5s. They then moved to M4s. the reason was F88 was no good in seawater, then F88 didn’t have rails, didn’t have M203s and then what every other SF uses.

    It you note the pics of our VC winner, you’ll see MP-5. M4, M14, M203, shotguns and multicams. M4A5, not strangely the C7 which other non-USA SF use. Nothing standard issue!

  • subase

    To be honest I think Colt not allowing the Australians to manufacture the M16/M4 was the real deal killer.

    But I think in the long run they made the right choice. As a general infantry rifle the Aug is a superior weapon. It’s far better balanced with the gizmos we add now (torch, nvdlaser, suppressor, optic), better suited for CQB with it’s length and practically equal in all other respects. It’s only deficiency is working in water but only really if your planning to jump out Chuck Norris style.

  • charles222

    Nonsense. The clear point of the M16A2 “buzzing and jumping around” is that it’s not as “good” as the AUG in terms of accuracy. Whatever the hell that means, given that it’s at least as accurate and you know, isn’t universally hated by troops issued it and you know, WON’T CHOKE ON SALT WATER….kindof a big deal when you’re an island nation. 😉

    And you know, regular troops need all the doodads you listed-or do you think guys without SASR qualification never get in firefights, or raid houses, or actually you know…fight? The Aug is obsolete junk that was never an improvement on much of anything and it’s not surprising that the market share for AUG is shrinking rapidly.

  • Lance

    The accuracy of the M-16 is better than a Aug and so is urbanomics. But the size reduction gives the aug a bit better handleing in urban enviroments BUT since most fights is in open country now the M-16 is better for Afghan fighting.

  • Rohan

    After 5 years in urban combat in Iraq and 5000 US deaths, urban is no longer important.

    The M16 may be more accurate (when clean and working), pity the whole US Army, Air Force and Navy ground forces doesn’t use it any more!

    Now M4s are standard in all but the Marines, and M14s, etc spreading because the M4s short barrel lacks range, the 5.56 is useless over 200m,
    isn’t time to move on to a proper 6.5mm gas piston rifle that works when dirty.

    The ergonomics on the AUG/ F88 is good. Much better cocking handle forward like most other assault rifle. With the US AUG clones with bolt release and they are equal to a M16.

    In the LSAT rifle the chamber is a dropping chamber feed “front to back” and the rifle is conventional on the outside, but semi-bullpup on the inside. We will both be happy and the barrel 4″ longer for the same length (eg M4 length with 18.5″ barrel). It will not matter if the next conflict is in jungle, urban or bush (Africa most likely next war!).

    Urbanomics is the study of cities.

  • Lance

    Sorry Rohan

    But the Navy and USCG use mostly M-16A2s. only the Army and USAF went with more M-4s and they have M-16s in there armories. The USMC is the only BIG user of the A4 version of the M-16..

  • Rohan

    1. M16 covers A1, A2 and A4, didn’t specify, irrelevant

    2. “Navy ground forces” ie Seals, Seebees and FMF Corpsman use M4.

    3. “Air Force ground force” ie USAF Security Forces, AFSOC CCT & PJs use M4.

    4. Fleet Navy and GC are not ground forces, irrelevant.

    5. USMC are about 1/4 of US ground forces, 3/4 now use M4 (except some Reserve and Guard).

    6. If SOCOM had it’s way it would be not using M4 ie Hk416.

    “The USMC is the only BIG user of the A4 version of the M-16..”

    Yep, as you said M16 is almost history.

  • Lance

    No Rohan

    Seals do use M-4 BUT Seebees SP and other navy armed staff use M-16A2s. Only officers and crew operators use M-4s in the USMC the M-16A4 is in use. Only AP use M-4s in USAF most other armed staff have A2s. Only the Army is going 100% carbine armed. I know this I worked for the military before.

    • Jon

      Just to set the record straight… There is no such animal as the USAF AP. That was last used in the 70’s. It is correctly called USAF Security Forces, and yes AF PJ’s, CCT, and AFSOC all use the M4.

  • Lance

    Ohh and yes I know most SOCOM units use a AR type carbine of one type of another the regular ilitary is using more M-16s than most realise. I know Marines who still have A2s they shoot in reserves and I know new Marins who use A4s and the Corps uses more A4s than M-4s sorry but true.

  • Rohan

    Air Force ground force” ie USAF Security Forces, AFSOC CCT & PJs use M4.

    Only AP use M-4s in USAF most other armed staff have A2s.
    Well parroted!

    Navy ground forces” ie Seals, Seebees and FMF Corpsman use M4

    Seals do use M-4 BUT Seebees SP and other navy armed staff use M-16A2s.

    Seebees M16A3 and M4, but all Corpsmen below E5 use M4. OK not all Seebees.

    I know Marines who still have A2s they shoot in reserves and I know new Marins who use A4s and the Corps uses more A4s than M-4s sorry but true.

    We know Marines use M16, with A4 becoming standard. Already said that too.

    Only officers and crew operators use M-4s in the USMC the M-16A4 is in use.

    That means even fever M16s. Less and less M16s.

  • Lance

    Not really Rohan

    All none officers in the USMC infantry use A4s, only crew operators and officer use M-4s and Corpsmen do use M-16s too They train at the gun club im at and I see corpsmen use M-16s. All USCG personel who use the same range all M-16A2s and As for the USAF Yes PJs have M-4s so do some APs BUT i know JTACs and other armed staff have A2s.

    Yes the M-16 is not universal USAF and Army are carbine nuts. But other service will use M-16s for many years to come.

  • Rohan

    All none officers in the USMC infantry use A4s,..
    (can you write that in English please)

    Not all Corps officers use M4s, just all the officers issued long arms.

    People can use what they like at the gun club , M14, M16, SCAR, HK-416, etc. Their issue weapon is M4. My issue weapon wasn’t a M16 or a SLR or a M60 (my issue was a pistol & SMG), but I still shot every weapon.

    Marine are the last major ground combat user of the M16. With M27 coming on line, and Marines can discover a better, more reliable weapon, they may change as well.

    M27 could easily replace M4 as well.

  • andrew

    Lance, Rohan…I know you guys want to keep going back and forth for another 5 months, but here’s the thing: you’re both wrong. M4s and M16s are BOTH used by USMC line infantry units.

    Officers might have an M4, or just an M9. The Colonel (now a Major General) I was on a PSD team for? He just carried an M9 and had a big shiny eagle in the middle of his flak. That’s all he had on him.

    Corpsmen SHOULD have M4s, but they might have M1014s or M16A4s or even A2s in some rare instances. I carried either an M4, or a Para-SAW, or an MGL. Or two of the three.

    The M27 as an M4 replacement…oh, God, please no. Just what we need, an 11lb weapon to replace a 6lb one. We have enough stuff to carry, and the M4 is a great weapon.

  • Rohan


    When did I say the Corps solely used M16. If officers use it, obviously is uses both.

    And when did the M27 weight 11 pounds? My old 7.62 L1A1 (imperial FAL) weighted 11lb. M27 is 7.9lb, M16A2 is 7.8lb, the M4 6.4lb. A 1 1/2 pound difference.

    Proponents of the auto-rifle program say its lightweight, 7.9-pound design will improve accuracy, especially while on the move in a firefight.

  • Lance

    I agree with you andrew the M-27 would be a poor rilfe choice BUT i think the action it uses the H&K 416 is a great weapon to replace the M-4. But I think the M-16 will stay in service since its made for rilfemen and it has longer range than the shorter M-4.

  • Lance


    I think if the USMC went with a all 416 service they pic the lighter varient for grunt work none IAR stuff. The A4 is a bit more accurate past 300 meters and is chosen for other reasons so that why the A4 is still in serve and no planes are around to replace A4s.

  • Rigby

    Are they also going to be looking at the 20″ barrel version, or would that be too similar to the SR-25?
    Either way, the addition of a battle rifle will enhance long range and urban capabilities at squad level dramatically, especially over the M4A5 with its 14″ barrel and 5.56 round.

  • Operator

    Loved reading all your comments – that’s how forums should operate.

    My 2 bob – I’m classic old-school… give me an SLR everyday!
    loathe Augs-A1/2 dance-5.56 is crap—-but, H&K anything is a fav.