H&K G36 Useless at 200m When Hot

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A German newspaper has revealed that a Bundeswehr report has said that once the H&K G36 rifle has heated up, the accuracy is significantly reduced to a point where it is useless beyond 200 meters (218 yards). These are pretty serious allegations!

I expect H&K to respond shortly (or maybe they will just ignore the allegations and hope it means greater sales of the HK416). The XM8, a rifle derived from the G36, nearly became the US Army service rifle.

[ Many thanks to max for emailing us the tip. ]

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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.


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  • Joseph

    Larry Vickers actually talks about the issue in his show. He seemed to have actually told HK but nothing was done since HK is how HK is…

    That was my impression at least.

    • Nadnerbus

      Came in to say the same thing. Something to do with the polymer? I forget. Have to go find that clip on youtube again.

    • Nadnerbus

      Here it is:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM3a_kp6yMU

      Begins around 8:30, meat of the issue around 11:30. Sounds to be almost the identical allegation. Not sure what is going on with the echo audio.

    • W

      Larry Vickers gave the same opinion that Im going to give people about the G36: trunnion shift due to heat is a theory, but nothing documented or substantiated. I have personally never experienced it with the G36 or known anybody that has, though the only place you hear of this issue is over the internet…go figure.

      The issues with loss of zero, from my experience, and many, many others, are to be placed on the less than stellar Hensoldt dual optical sight. After replacing the hensoldt with a eotech or aimpoint, there was no loss of zero, even after prolonged firing.

      I am a big fan of polymer, though I personally believe the HK G36 would be better off with a alloy receiver. I have had no issues with the rifle, though the idea of the action just operating on a steel set of rails and polymer body never appealed strongly to me; if the issue of trunnion shift is in fact documented, im sure H&K will quickly remedy this with a alloy receiver.

      • Joseph

        I hope to see what sort of findings will be had as a result of the controversy.

  • Reverend Clint

    i wonder if the barrel is too thin or not a quality material or if the gas system does something.

  • http://twobirdsflyingpub.wordpress.com Sal Palma

    HaHaHaHa!! ROFL…

    I suppose you can heat up anything to the point where it no longer shoots but I’ve been around a few G36s and I honestly think this is a hoax or just bum dope.

    I’d wait for the jury on this issue.

  • charles222

    Interesting. The XM8 had forearm issues too, that were reported as the forearm basically melting under extended periods of fire.

  • Lemming

    Would all the polymer the G36 consists of have anything to do with the problem?

  • jdun1911

    The G36 is a mediocre rifle at best.

    Here is a small list of problems people have complain about:
    1. Integrated optic suck.
    2. Overheating barrel.
    3. Cannot hold zero with iron sight.
    4. Doing random full auto and couldn’t make it stop.
    5. Melting trunions
    6. etc.

    If you want to read the rest, you’re welcome to it.

    http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_5/1306839_Problems_with_the_G36_used_by_the_German_Bundeswehr.html&page=1

    • ragnarok220

      I am sure all those issues can be fixed easily if the German army has the budget.

      • jdun1911

        The G36 is over 20 years old. They’re not going to fix it. HK abandon the G36 in favor of the HK416.

      • ragnarok220

        @jdun1911

        AR 15 is a much older design (60 years), and it’s still being improved.

    • W

      “The G36 is a mediocre rifle at best.

      Here is a small list of problems people have complain about:
      1. Integrated optic suck.
      2. Overheating barrel.
      3. Cannot hold zero with iron sight.
      4. Doing random full auto and couldn’t make it stop.
      5. Melting trunions
      6. etc.

      If you want to read the rest, you’re welcome to it.”

      Dude, the internet, especially forums like AR15.com, are no different than a truck stop bathroom in my opinion. Any dipshit can write anything and “a lie will get halfway across the world before the truth can put its pants on”. Why do you suppose I read and post on articles from thefirearmblog? because I like this site thats why. I absolutely despise AR15.com. Reluctantly reading the post you provided, it degraded into a “M4 is the best in its class” unsubstantiated bullshit slug fest. That reminded me why I avoid that site like the plague.

      The Hensoldt optics do suck, as it is a case of a design trying to do two things at once that are traditionally left to two separate optics. Not a good idea.

      The barrel has little chance of overheating, simply because it is cold hammer forged and very high quality. Knowing from a very reliable source, H&K barrels are produced from the left-overs of cannon steel; very high grade stuff. Ill also add that a G36 barrel is rated with a lifetime of 20,000 rounds (same with the 416), substantially more than a Colt M4 barrel; in full automatic it has a failure rate of 900 rounds versus 540 for the Colt M4; not that M4 barrels are atrocious, but HK barrels are very high quality. The Barrel will not overheat (generally).

      I assume you are talking about the iron sights on a G36C, because the G36 with the dual optic has crude CQB sights (much like trijicon). They leave much to be desired, though, again, arent really a priority for long range shooting of a CQB rifle like the “C” variant.

      Random full auto? never heard of it. Perhaps a well beaten rifle.

      The trunnion cannot melt because it is constructed of high grade steel. The receiver would melt before the trunnion would. Again, the rumors of the trunnion shifting because of the polymer receiver temperature variations are unsubstantiated internet rumor.

      The G36 only gained modest popularity when compared to other contemporary western weapons, though this is also due to the fact that the similar performing M4 and M16 can be easily supplied in larger numbers at a lower cost, given the fact that the US is the world largest arms exporter. It is a fault of other factors, not technical demerit of the design itself. Everybody is claiming hype, though I think the G36′s perceived hype was overhyped. It was a new rifle design from a respected company of firearms. Unsurprising.

      Are there improvements to be made for the G36? certainly
      here is a list i compiled:
      1.) Alloy receiver instead of polymer
      2.) More exposure of gas block around gas piston area to better facilitate cooling (this is the bitch i had about the 416 as well).
      3.) Streamline the design; reduce the bulk
      4.) NATO rail a must
      5.) less bulky buttstock
      6.) Ability to use AR15 magazines, though i understand why HK did this. the polymer and increased bulk are not tradeoffs anymore with the introduction of extremely reliable AR15 magazines on the market since the early 90′s.

      Is the G36 mindbogglingly incredible? not particularly. I believe it is still limited by the 5.56mm round, so expecting it to be incredible is utterly unreasonable. It is a fine rifle and I particularly love the “C” variant, though I wouldnt say its better than a M4 or mk 18.

      • Brick

        I would not say it is mediocore. At 300 yards i did not miss once with the standard x3 optic. I never had a single failiure except when using blancs. That red dot sight is just silly though. It cannot be used the dot is too big.

        “It is a fine rifle and I particularly love the “C” variant, though I wouldnt say its better than a M4 or mk 18.”
        Well, I would say that a gas piston rifle is better than a direct gas system, always. So I am not a huge fan of the M4 I actually think that it is prone to failure in a wet environment. I think the US Army agrees since it is now using the M27 which is a 416 derivate. I konw that there are a lot of people who don’t like gas piston systems but I have never heard a reasonable argument against them.
        Also I like the polimer magazines better, since I can just clip two together and change magazines in one motion. At the same time I always know when i will run out of ammo.

        I don’t understand your reciever problem: “The receiver has an integrated steel barrel trunnion (with locking recesses) and the reciprocating parts move on steel rails molded into the receiver (this feature was issued a US patent, number 5513461, authored by Helmut Weldle).” It is basically a steel reciever housing with PA around it.

      • W

        “Well, I would say that a gas piston rifle is better than a direct gas system, always. So I am not a huge fan of the M4 I actually think that it is prone to failure in a wet environment. I think the US Army agrees since it is now using the M27 which is a 416 derivate. I konw that there are a lot of people who don’t like gas piston systems but I have never heard a reasonable argument against them.”

        I said that the G36C wasn’t better than the M4 or mk 18, but i didn’t say it was worse either. I compare them equally because of my experience with it. The G36C is actually a pretty modular, streamlined weapon system, when incorporated with proper features (different hand guard that allows better cooling).

        gas piston is NOT always better than direct gas. Ill give you a example: The L85 and its variants. Enough said. The M4 can smoke the shit out of a L85.

        The M4 is not any more prone to failure in a wet environment than other rifles. precautions have to be taken, but if the gas system and barrel are clear, then all is good.

        The Army did not adopt the M27, that would be the United States Marine Corps and they were stupid for doing it. Nobody has standardized the 416 and yet they adopt a rifle with proprietary parts and different capabilities. Unlike Soviet IARs aka RPK, they still use 30 round magazines, the 30 round GI mags ill add (the HK steel mags are not authorized by the USMC to use! Fucking stupidity!!!); apparently the DOD is completely incapable of producing a AR15-style mag that can reliably feed more than 30 rounds…oh wait, the private sector did! (unsurprisingly). But the M27 is another debate i wont get deep into; one could dedicate a entire blog to it.

        Gas piston Ar15s are excellent weapons, but there are disadvantages.

        - added weight (though not too much in some models)
        - nobody has standardized a AR15, which means 20 different companies with 20 different designs; no parts interchangeable :(
        - front heavy on some models
        - piston seizures are bad! meaning one has to take the hand guard off to get a rifle functioning.
        - because the gas piston can seize, it is anything but “low maintenance” and “self cleaning”. It requires attention too.
        - added parts, which increases the odds of breakages
        - short stroke piston systems are more “violent” meaning recoil is sharper; varies between models.

        but they do have advantages:

        - reduced wear on bolt carrier group and bolt due to significantly reduced heat
        - bolt carrier group maintains proper lubrication despite high round count, improving reliability.
        - heat is centered around gas block
        - more reliable in less than ideal conditions in a high tempo environment and use with a sound suppressor
        - superior over the beach capability
        - superior reliability and effectiveness after prolonged high rates of fire

        its a matter of trade-offs really. For DEVGRU and 1st SFOD-D, they can justify the HK 416. But a civilian gun owner, probably not. I own a gas piston AR15 by Primary Weapons Systems, which, in my opinion, are measurably superior than other gas piston AR15s on the market. Again, im going to stay on subject. I can write a book on the PWS carbine.

        “Also I like the polimer magazines better, since I can just clip two together and change magazines in one motion. At the same time I always know when i will run out of ammo.”

        Doubling mags isn’t a bad idea, but G36 magazines are bulkier and most MOLLE pouches accommodate them poorly. Even PMAGs suffer from some bulkiness compared to aluminum GI mags, though I think this is being remedied.

        “I don’t understand your reciever problem: “The receiver has an integrated steel barrel trunnion (with locking recesses) and the reciprocating parts move on steel rails molded into the receiver (this feature was issued a US patent, number 5513461, authored by Helmut Weldle).” It is basically a steel reciever housing with PA around it.”

        Now that you have a understanding of how the system is constructed (where did you find that info?), the theory is that when rounds are fired, and the trunnion gets hot, it softens the polymer around it, which leads to the trunnion shifting and wandering. This is unsubstantiated of course. I personally have never had issues with wandering zero after the dreaded Hensoldt was taken off.

      • jdun1911

        When you have government agencies that bought and and immedialiy switch back to the AR than you have some serious problems. When you got Germans soldiers that have consistently outspoken on how the G36 suck over the years than you have some serious problems.

        The G36 is one of those rifles that are hype so much but when it enter real combat it fails hard.

      • W

        “When you have government agencies that bought and and immedialiy switch back to the AR than you have some serious problems. When you got Germans soldiers that have consistently outspoken on how the G36 suck over the years than you have some serious problems.

        Why wouldnt they switch to ARs? the G36 was adopted by some american law enforcement agencies simply because ARs werent mass produced with the plethora of accessories available in the 1990s. The war on terrorism changed that; a law enforcement agency would be stupid not to use a AR variant. They are less expensive, have abundant parts and accessories, and are the most thoroughly tested, developed, and used modern 5.56 rifle in history.

        The G36 is one of those rifles that are hype so much but when it enter real combat it fails hard.”

        I dont understand where this “hype” is coming from, if it exists at all. German and Latvian troops in Afghanistan are employing it in combat and it is performing just fine.

      • Brick

        @W
        Yes there are probably good and bad gas piston systems I should have written a good gas piston system is always better than direct gas. The G36 one works fine. Well the most extreme example for a wet environment would be the over the beach test:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjMH94PuT_I&feature=related
        Now I know this is kinda fake since he waits a lot longer with the HK416 but here is a G36K over the beach test with no waiting time whatsoever:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MW9lf3pfdGw

        Basically the weapons are the same since they shoot the same ammunition. So the differences are minor. Good gas piston systems reduce the chances of failiure, that is the reason I think they are better.

        “because the gas piston can seize, it is anything but “low maintenance” and “self cleaning”. It requires attention too.”
        Well of course you have to clean your weapon. But I did not encounter any piston seizing with the G36. Not even when firing a ton of blanks. Those did cause a ton of other problems but no seizure. Removing the G36 hand guard would if it happened take less than 2 seconds.

        “Doubling mags isn’t a bad idea, but G36 magazines are bulkier and most MOLLE pouches accommodate them poorly. ”
        Well that is probably correct for the private use, but of course a non-issue for the german military since our pouches were made for those mags. Well they are bulkier but that only becomes a problem once you try to figure out how to fit the 12th or 15th mag onto your body.

        “Now that you have a understanding of how the system is constructed (where did you find that info?), the theory is that when rounds are fired, and the trunnion gets hot, it softens the polymer around it, which leads to the trunnion shifting and wandering. This is unsubstantiated of course. I personally have never had issues with wandering zero after the dreaded Hensoldt was taken off.”
        Well actually it’s two part story. 1 I had to clean my G36 a lot so I do still know what it looks like from the inside and 2. http://www.google.com/patents?id=zvAhAAAAEBAJ&printsec=abstract&zoom=4#v=onepage&q&f=false
        You said that you would prefere a steel reciever. All I said that the important parts are steel. But now i do understand, what the Idea behind that shifting zero is and I agree, that seems not very plausible. Though not impossible either.

        So i actually had to search the name hensold because it’s Carl Zeiss now. But did you have a problem with both optics or just one of them?

      • W

        “Yes there are probably good and bad gas piston systems I should have written a good gas piston system is always better than direct gas. ”

        Can be better, but not always. There are a few drawbacks with the gas piston systems that dont exist in DI systems. Considering properly lubed AR15s have had tens of thousands of rounds through them (BCM brand testing) with no thorough cleaning, the system is proven reliable, especially with performance-enhancing modifications.

        Ill also add that gas piston systems still have more parts, which means more parts equals something that can go wrong. It doesnt mean they are less reliable, on the contrary. Long stroke piston guns are extremely reliable and rugged.

        “Basically the weapons are the same since they shoot the same ammunition. So the differences are minor. Good gas piston systems reduce the chances of failiure, that is the reason I think they are better.”

        It doesnt necessarily reduce the chance of failure because you are adding more parts on the AR15 configuration and transferring your heat to a gas piston. It may add to the short term reliability, which justifies them.

        “Well of course you have to clean your weapon. But I did not encounter any piston seizing with the G36. Not even when firing a ton of blanks. Those did cause a ton of other problems but no seizure. Removing the G36 hand guard would if it happened take less than 2 seconds.”

        I agree, the piston system on the G36 and HK 416 is very intuitive and very reliable. It doesnt require adjustment and, from ive seen, can fire a wide variety of ammunition with no issues. Pistons generally wont seize, unless you abuse the rifle with prolonged periods of no cleaning and no lubrication. I suppose you can remove the hand guard faster with the G36, but I would rather cycle with the charging handle on a SCAR than mess with a seized 416. Its a matter of design.

        “Well that is probably correct for the private use, but of course a non-issue for the german military since our pouches were made for those mags. Well they are bulkier but that only becomes a problem once you try to figure out how to fit the 12th or 15th mag onto your body.”

        In the US, most pouches are made for Ar15 magazines. Accommodating bulkier magazines like the G36′s are a pain in the ass and I can see why the Bundeswehr’s webbing is different. I havent had any issues with the G36 mags, but I dont think i like the translucent design. I know the G36 makes a modification to take AR15 magazines :)

        “You said that you would prefere a steel reciever. All I said that the important parts are steel. But now i do understand, what the Idea behind that shifting zero is and I agree, that seems not very plausible. Though not impossible either.”

        I would prefer a alloy receiver, even if its aluminum. Yes, im not saying its impossible, it just irritates me that, on the internet of all places, people say “its well documented and a well known fact for a decade”, but the fact is that its unsubstantiated and unverified. Most people that operate the damned rifle in real life will have bewilderment on their face when you bring up the issue; they have no clue what youre talking about.

        “So i actually had to search the name hensold because it’s Carl Zeiss now. But did you have a problem with both optics or just one of them?”

        I didn’t like either optic. To me, the reflex (red dot) was too bright and too large. Both had too small of a sight picture. I know this blog posted the differences between the Hensoldt optic and the new Zeiss magnified optic, which was brilliant, and that really should make a impression on you.

    • jdun1911

      Oh I can feel the HK fanboys hate. Wonder how much negative points I’m going to have.

      G36 is mediocre at best.

  • Bill

    I cry bulls***. I think this is probably a overreaction from the media about a problem that may or may not exist. I think the German’s might be running these rifles too hard. The G-36, even though there is the semi-mythical MG36 variant, is NOT a weapon for sustained fire. If the Germans are using these rifles in a light machine gun role, then accuracy is going to be horrible, the barrel is too light for that rate of fire.

    Also, how old are the Bundeswehr’s rifles? Their G-36′s barrels could be reaching the end of their service lives. Or maybe heat radiating from the barrel disrupts the view of the rifle’s integrated sight, resulting in a loss of accuracy. It could be one of a number of problems. I hope the Germans work this issue out though.

  • Yves

    This was alredy known and that is the reason why H&K don´t make the MG 36, HK G36 has too much plastic in the weapon and do not works with sustained full auto fire.

    • lolinski

      Actually there is a lmg variant of the g36 just go to

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heckler_%26_Koch_G36

      Under the “variants” section you should find mg36.

      • Yves

        “MG36 (MG — Maschinengewehr “machine gun”): Light machine gun version of the G36 equipped with a heavy barrel for increased heat and cook-off resistance.[2] The MG36 and MG36E are no longer offered by H&K.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heckler_%26_Koch_G36

        It´s better to read all the article right?

        And if the unsuccessful MG36 version is equipped with a heavy barrel for increased heat and cook-off resistance, what will pass with a normal G36 when some guy trying this?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNAohtjG14c

        It is impossible that from 1995 to the date none jackass had been trying to do a lot of full auto fire or rapid semi-auto fire with the weapon (maybe not a jackass, maybe one guy in problems).

        And only to let it clear.

        “The receiver and most of the others external parts of the G36 are made from reinforced polymers, with steel inserts where appropriate.”

        http://world.guns.ru/assault/de/hk-g36-e.html

        The HK G36 have problems with overheating, and it´s known from far time behind.

    • Burst

      The Beta-C magazine didn’t exactly turn out to be suited to prolonged combat, either. HK may have uncomfortable promoting it.

  • Nater

    I think the front trunion (and pretty much anything not part of the operating system or barrel) is polymer. More recent rifles that use polymer heavily, like the SCAR and ACR, use a lot of aluminum in the upper receiver.

    • Burst

      That was indeed an issue at one point, but I recall HK released a parts upgrade and retrofit few years back.

      The Bundeswehr was one of, if not THE first customers for the g36, though, so if the unit armorers refused to upgrade, that may be the root of the problem.

    • W

      the trunnion on a G36 is steel. The trunnion on a SCAR is also made out of steel. I believe until new, superior material blends come out in the future, a receiver that holds the trunnion should be constructed of aluminum or some kind of alloy.

  • http://www.exurbanleague.com/misfires ExurbanKevin

    H+K.

    Because the sun sucks. And it hates you.

  • James

    Maybe if they charged more for the G36 it would be more accurate

  • http://www.ncguns.blogspot.com Sean D Sorrentino

    If they were real operators, they would still be able to hit their targets when the barrel was hot.

    • Cymond

      Barrels? BARRELS?!?! We don’t need no stinkin’ barrels!

      pssh, well back in my day real operators could kill a man at 200 paces with a rock! these here new fangled ‘guns’ is a-makin our boys soft! soft I tell ya!
      /sarcasm

  • Max

    Hi guys just to clarify, the article references various sources and the root of the actual piece is a document “leaked” from the German Defense Ministry stating that tests of 89 rifles by the ministry of defense, that the rifle, after repetitious single fire gets so hot that precise fire sinks by 1/3 at 300 meters. The report goes on to state that in a heated state the rifle is unable to engage in precise fire at 200 meters. And only regains precision once the barrel has cooled to “hand warmth”.

    using google translate:

    http://www.bild.de/politik/inland/bundeswehr/schiesst-mit-kaputten-gewehren-23833380.bild.html

    Another article in English:

    http://www.thelocal.de/national/20120401-41697.html
    Cheers

    • http://twobirdsflyingpub.wordpress.com Sal Palma

      Max, if I understood the article correctly, I think the weapons tested were actual weapons turned in with issues and not a statistical sample across the entire population. I’d be interested in the actual Bundeswehr report if one exists before coming to a conclusion. What I think is irrelevant but I don’t buy this story something stinks…

  • Jeff

    If it’s in a newspaper it must be true……

    I can’t imagine H&K have got it this bad.

  • http://twobirdsflyingpub.wordpress.com Sal Palma

    This is a comparison of the G36 barrel profile to the M4 and there is not a huge difference not to mention that the G36 is a short stroke piston driven action so there are no hot gases going back to the receiver unlike the M4 that has direct gas impingement.

    http://i297.photobucket.com/albums/mm205/saboteur7271/IMG_3507.jpg

    I think what may be happening is the guys complaining are cranking these weapons up and still expect them to hold accuracy which is silly. There’s not a weapon made that won’t suffer from heat. That comment extends to precision rifles too.

  • Marc

    It’s funny how soon people forget not to trust the gutter press on anything.

  • Lance

    Outside of cool looks never thought too much of the G-36. I was against the XM-8 from the beginning because it looked too plastic and I already read of issues the G-36 had already. Over will this give the German Bundeswehr the excuse some wanted and adopt the HK 416 who knows if this blows up it could. Compared to the M-4 the G-36 was always bulkier and had sights that sucked. It doesn’t use standard STAGMAGs so major problem there. Overall a HK 416 German army would be awesome.

  • Doug

    Why is it just becoming news now? Aside from Vicker’s comment a year ago, why hasn’t HK done something about it yet? I had the opportunity to shoot one 9 years ago so they’ve be around the block a while.

  • KLP

    The US press had a lot to say about M4′s exploding and/or catching fire. I’m sure this is pretty much the same issue in Germany regarding the standard issue rifle. The press just wants a piece to incite the masses. I mean, holy moly! What kind of corruption in the government leads to bajillions of cash buying guns that melt?!

    I don’t like their guns (pure opinion) but HK is a quality outfit and I highly doubt they’d let a rifle out that was as seriously defective as this claim.

  • frankenstein

    Here is the official press release from HK concerning this topic, already a couple of days old…

    http://www.heckler-koch.com/de/unternehmen/news/detail/article/stellungnahme-aktuelle-medienberichte-zum-gewehr-g36.html

  • S O

    I almost blogged about it, but then considered it a too stupid topic.

    The article is about what the rifle does after “hundreds” of shots fired. Or really? It’s an assault rifle, not a machine gun. To shoot that much in a short time is a user error – the weapon does not need to perform well if heated up that much. No assault rifle just ignores so many shots fired in a short time. I’ve seen an AK smoke badly after three mags.

    The whole thing would have been a real issue if the LMG 36 was introduced and had these “problems”. It wasn’t.

    The real story here is the inconsistent quality of Spiegel’s reporting on military matters. It can be anything from great to crap.

    • Lance

      True. in many way if men in most situation keep there rifles on semi auto then there is no problem.

    • Nadnerbus

      True to a degree. It all depends on how many rounds and what the time period was. Think of the battle of Wanat, and both M4s and SAWs rumoring to fail under heavy volumes of fire where there was no choice but to keep shooting.

      You can’t make an assault rifle that sustains high rates of fire for a long time without turning it into an LMG. But how many rounds it should fire before failure is open to debate.

  • MrMaigo

    plastic barrel trunnion, there’s you’re problem

    • W

      that would be functionally impossible. the G36 barrel trunnion is steel.

  • Avery

    I’m surprised their coming across this now instead of ten years ago. Especially considering how widespread the G36 had became. How many national armed forces use the gun?

    However, I’m now wondering if there was warning signs before. Didn’t Norway use the G36 up until a few years ago when they swapped it for the HK416? And then there’s the U.S. Captiol police who replaced their G36s rather unceremoniously.

    • http://www.operatorchan.org balci

      Norway never adpoted the G36 full scale, it was in limited use with some coastal units for a short few years.

  • delarrn

    I’ve personnally had SA80 LSW’s have their barrels bubble and fizz and Czech service AKs give burns through their wooden forend after 3-4 mags semi-auto.

    Most modern rifles will lose accuracy when heated and most rifles will overheat under pretty unremarkable usage.

    Metals become increasing plastic when heated and thus barrels will display increased movement during firing forces – impeding accuracy when firing rapidly – when very hot. Of course some of the more modern gas parts, for example those in the HK416 are considerably more adept at dissipating heat than older systems.

    • TATim

      Spot on. You’d struggle to find a similar weapon (i.e. not a LMG) in service with any Western military that doesn’t suffer a drop in performance after sustained fired. I’ve seen US Marine M16A4s suffer from a huge drop in accuracy after sustained fire over in Afghanistan, just as our L85s tend to struggle as well. I don’t think this problem is confined to the G36 by any means.

    • jay

      The Czechs never used any ak’s.

      • Stella

        The VZ 58 is often confused as an AK pattern rifle. They do look similar though, as I am sure as you know, are mechanically very different.

        I remember watching a ridiculous show billed as “top ten rifles” where, during the AK segment, a clip of soldiers running about with the VZ 58 was featured. Oops.

        Now I really want one…too bad the mags are a bit pricey.

      • delarrn

        Right you are Jay and Stella, few years ago now, my memory must be playing tricks on me, my bad.

  • Hessian_Gunfighter

    Hi Steve!

    H&K already responded on these allegations, mainly blaming the German Testing Department Field Equipment:

    http://www.heckler-koch.com/de/unternehmen/news/detail/article/stellungnahme-aktuelle-medienberichte-zum-gewehr-g36.html

    Please contact me for further questions.

    Best wishes
    Hessian_Gunfighter

    • Brick

      No what they are saying is that the test is nonsense.
      “[..] die Thematisierung der Treffleistung eines Sturmgewehres nach Abgabe mehrerer hundert Schuss in kürzester Zeit (wenige Minuten)[ist] schon deshalb sinnlos, weil der Soldat dann in der Regel alle Munition verbraucht hat bzw. das Hitzeflimmern (sog. „Eigenmirage“), des Waffenrohres so stark ist dass ihm die Zielerfassung schon rein optisch massiv erschwert bis unmöglich ist. ”

      The thematization of the accuracy of an assaoult rifle after firing several hundred bullets is nonsensical because the soldier will by when have fired all his ammunition and heat shimmer from the weapon barrel will be so high that aiming will be difficult to impossible.

      Also they are saying the “experts” are idiots:
      “Es verwundert vor diesem Hintergrund umso mehr, dass angebliche waffentechnische Experten das , mindestens seit Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts bekannte, Phänomen der Streukreisvergrößerung bei extrem heißgeschossener Waffe überhaupt thematisieren.”

      “It is very curios, that so-called experts thematize the penomenon of decreased accuracy of heated up rifles, which has been know since at least the middle of the 19th century.”

      An assault rifle is not a MG an aircooled MG has changable barrels. This was first used on the Mg34 well before WW2. Also MGs have heavy barrels assault rifles usually don’t and MGs work with an open bolt assault rifles don’t. So i have to agree. Those socalled weapons experts are idiots.
      Those allegations are just silly.

  • Mat

    G36 gets hot and inaccurate but due to gas piston action is still keeps on firing M4 jams every 66 rounds in sand conditions without heat factor, direct gas impingment means not only does teh barrel heat up ,whole action heat up to the point it becomes un-shootable ,also G36 is full auto capable ,barrel heating is same in most rifles as material and thickness of the barrel is the only factor in that

    • charles222

      Right, Mat. Also, if you feed your M4 after midnight it becomes a Gremlin.

    • http://www.operatorchan.org balci

      haha, shut up.

    • matt

      Sorry but I have dumped at least six mags through a GI M-16a4 and been in fire fights were people around me dumped mags through M-16’s and M-4’s (I had a SAW) in Iraq and in California (NTC). Each time the cyclic rate of fire was sustained after the weapons had been in the field for at least a full week with minimal weapon maintenance.
      I don’t know where you get your figure of 66 rounds.

      • jdun1911

        He got his figures playing videos games and the history channel.

        The M4 is rated one failure for every 4000k rounds by the US military.

    • jdun1911

      Go back playing video games. This place is for adults.

      • El Duderino

        How to fill those extra hours not spent playing video games? Learn English!

      • jdun1911

        Post something that is actually useful in this thread.

    • Mat

      http://www.murdoconline.net/archives/5325.html
      Weapons officials at the Army Test and Evaluation Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., exposed Colt Defense LLC’s M4, along with the Heckler & Koch XM8, FNH USA’s Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle and the H&K 416 to sandstorm conditions from late
      Officials tested 10 each of the four carbine models, firing a total of 60,000 rounds per model. Here’s how they ranked, according to the total number of times each model stopped firing:

      • XM8: 127 stoppages.
      • MK16 SCAR Light: 226 stoppages.
      • 416: 233 stoppages.
      • M4: 882 stoppages.

      Ok so M4 jamed in average every 68 rounds not 66 compared to XM8 that jamed on average every 472rounds in armys sand test ,look at the barrel thickness picture most G36 barrel is no skinier than M4 or M16

      As for euro guns,if anyone knows how to make guns is european gunmakers , M4/M16 family is virtualy only US design left in US armed forces.

      • Bandito762

        US designed weapons currently used in the US Armed Forces
        I left out the 100 variations of each weapon

        M4/M16
        M24
        M40
        M14/M21
        M60
        M500
        M870
        M1911
        M82
        M110
        M2

        Just sayin”

      • Jeff

        Sigh, using the data paraded around wikipedia…. Three factors to consider
        1) The US army has time and time again used equipment made by the lowest bidder (the m9 slide fiasco, the m9 magazine problem, the m16 follower issue) Colt is getting fat lazy, and low on the quality control since they got their contract (although remington might have them scrambling now…). Most of the problems soldiers have with weapons are not the design, but crappy parts.
        If Colt hypothetically made a G36, it would have just as many problems as the M4
        2) 882 stoppages doesnt mean its spaced evenly. From experience, the M4 starts jamming when the oil dries up, which takes a 3-4 thousand rounds.
        keep in mind a soldier carries 6-7 magazines, 10 is a heavy load. Thats only 300 rounds.
        3) CJ Chivers did a bit on this (my favorite War Journalist by far, wrote “The Gun”, a fascinating book that covers the history of the AK). http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/07/examining-the-complaints-about-american-rifle-reliability/
        He raises an interesting point: if the M4 is that unreliable, where is the deluge of veterans crying out about this weapon?

      • jdun1911

        If I remember correctly that test used battle worn out M4 in their testing while the other rifles where brand new.

      • Nadnerbus

        Jdun, I don’t think it was that they were battle worn out M4s, so much as rack grade, picked at random. Whereas many of the other competing rifles were hand built for the test. I think only the SCAR or maybe it was the 416 were general production run guns.

  • Devon

    When are they going to start making Ceramic guns or at least ceramic barrels? Its been proven that ceramics have the strength and durability of steel and better heat tolerance and dissipation…seems like it might be a viable low cost option…

    • Nater

      Because at the time you can’t get the ideal properties to make a barrel from ceramic materials. Ceramics are brittle, that is exactly what you do not want with a barrel. They’d be cracking in no time.

      • John Doe

        Why not a composite, with a ductile material like polymer or metal with ceramic to take the heat?

    • Mike Knox

      Ceramics can’t stand up to heat, friction, intense pressure, and mechanical shock for long periods. A ceramic barrel can’t keep it’s rifling for even after a couple thousand rounds..

      • Doesitmatter?

        How about ceramic cutting tools? They hold extremely well. As far as I know, they requite hefty cut to sustain the edge. Barrel is not exactly a cutting tool; it’s more like forming, that’s true. But still… why would it be fundamentally unsuitable?

        We are used to think ‘ductility’ of steel as pre-requisit for barrel. In fact it is opposite; if it was not ductile and kept its shape, it would not need fancy head space and chamber sizing considerations.

      • Mike Knox

        @Doesitmatter?

        Ceramic cutting tools hold well when it’s cut is at an optimal angle of it’s edge. But forces exerted outside that angle wear it down and eventually break it. As a matter of fact most ceramic cutters are designed to break to form a new edge from wear. You can break a ceramic knife just by biting on it’s side. Even most industrial caramic cutters are alreadiy inefficient after less than 20 cuts on hard metals, like scriers on carbide and cutting alloys. Industrial grade ceramics or even Crystals coming a fraction short as hard as diamons break apart from processing simple hard materials like steel slag and granite.

        Barrel rifling has a shearing action on the bullet’s side so it starts in with an indentation and lead in with the rest of the rifling on the bullet as it goes along the barrel. If laid out flat, the barrel rifling is at an angle with the barrel.

        Even with a shearing angle of a .22′s 1:12″, mechanical shock after around a hundred shots can begin wearing and fracturing the lands and grooves on the bore. It can start with chipping, grinding then eventually a section on one rifling can give way grinding along with the bullet and uneven holds on the other rifling cause more fragments in the bore causing more grind and wear over and over again until you’re left with a wide coarse bore.

        Ceramics like those on spark plugs can bear the heat and pressure of an I.C. engine but put friction and pressure on it, it gives way.

        Seemingly unbreakable stuff have their limits, even with diamonds. Not to mention carbon fibres which are highly flammable even if how much it’s inlaid or interweaved with composite threads an thermal resin, it’s still as flamable as ground up charcoal..

    • RocketScientist

      ‘Ceramics’ is a VERY broad category of materials, one which has seen a virtual explosion of research/development in the last few decades. While most ceramics are classically defined as brittle materials, there are some that behave as classically ductile materials, and many newer engineered ceramics are classified as ‘brittle’, but this is only in relation to metals, they are vast improvement over what we think of as ceramics. Brittle vs. ductile debates somewhat miss the point though. One of the major properties you’d need to examine would be the material’s ‘toughness’ (area under stress-strain curve to fracture, or energy per unit volume deformed). There are several engineered ceramics with toughness’ FAR exceeding steel. While they may not be as ductile as steel, their ultimate tensile strength (Sut) is so much higher they win out. Furthermore, ceramics typically have much higher young’s moduli (stiffness) and despite some comments here, would stand up to heat and friction MUCH better than most steel. Obviously, at this point, ceramics are an imperfect material for barrels and such… if not, we would see them everywhere. But this has more to do with cost and the state of refinement of these engineered ceramics, NOT necessarily any fundamental material properties that make them unsuitable.

      • Doesitmatter?

        How is it with heat dissipation capability. Could you name two or three (by different makers) which you’d consider good candidates? Thanks.

      • Rangefinder

        Do they reinforce engineered ceramics similar to structural concrete (ex. welded wire mesh) to provide tensile strength?

        I would expect the pressures inside a barrel to be more compressive in nature than impact. Fired clays tend to hold up well under compression. They also tend to modulate heating and cooling better than metal thus reducing thermal shock.

        I can understand the detonation shockwave along with the momentum of the bullet applying a tensile (pulling) stress. The barrel would exhibit cracking and eventually fail. A metal or polymer embed within the ceramic would help resist the tensile stresses.

    • mosinman

      what about carbon fiber? i know magnum research has a barrel made for .22lr already (yes i know theres a huge differeance between .22lr and 556… .308 …ect.) so i dont think we a re too far away from seeing that

    • G3Ken

      A bit off topic, but I HAD to mention it. Hollywood…the worst in gun faux pas. In Die Hard (the original), Bruce Willis had THREE mistakes ina single sentence. He mentioned the Glock and said “it’s a ceramic (no, polymer & steel) gun made in Germany (no, Austria) that can’t be seen on airport x-ray machines (bullsh*t). Is it hard to do at least a bare amount of research???

  • Kellhound

    The G36 is a mediocre assault rifle, but could be worse.
    In the tests conducted in Spain for changing the old CETME L series, back in 1995, the G36 was not among the preferred options by the army, but politics got in the way, and it was selected (lucky us we didn’t receive the FAMAS).
    Then, a lot of things got changed in trainign manuals so the G36 could survive your average treatment, from the way to “hit the dirt” to the parade drills, rifle grenades and bayonet use were forbidden (it bent barrels, or cracked receivers), stocks broke by the dozens, scopes (1’5x Export version) were not well sealed and filled with water, mags cracked, and a long etc.

    As a german sgt. told me years ago, “it’s a good rifle for guard duty or police work, but not for the field”. His branch was SP artillery, and they were still using the G3 (2007, or 2008, I think).

    I think the G36 comes from the XM-8, not the other way. After the US cancelled the XM8 project, H&K decided to make something out of the investment, and marketed this rifle.

    • S O

      The G36 predates the XM8 project by years. Why do you guess instead of looking it up on wikipedia etc?

      • Lance

        Hay Jdun1911 I like to ask you for your email address I got a few rifle questions for you.

    • W

      actually, the G36 was a last ditch attempt to field a new rifle with the german army after the cold war ended with the soviet union. Instead of being very innovative, like the caseless G11, the G36 was incorporated with tried and true technology.

      • jdun1911

        The G36 is the first modern HK rifle to use conventional proven action. It is their first rifle that move away from roller delayed blowback. HK marketed as their own new never been seen action but in reality is just a modified AR18 action.

      • El Duderino

        What’s unconventional about roller-locking delayed blowback? Sure there are lots more gas operated designs, but roller lockers are hardly rare. They are stupid reliable, give me a G3A3 over a G36 as a field rifle anytime.

        Now the G11 action, that’s unconventional :)

      • W

        The HK G36 does borrow many key features from the AR18, being a short-stroke gas piston rifle. I know that the G3 is a lot more rugged :D that thing is built like a iron bar.

      • Nater

        The more I learn about it, the more I like the roller delayed blow back system. It’s ridiculously strong, somewhat tolerant of headspace issues, and makes the AK look complicated. Sure, you might need oversized rollers every 20-30,000 rounds but I think that is a small price to pay.

        I’d really like to shoot an HK 93 and see how much felt recoil the system produces with a smaller cartridge. The HK 91 kicks like a mule, but I think a lot of its felt recoil has to do with the stock design. In particular the model I shot had the collapsible “meat tenderizer” stock. That definitely did not help.

  • http://twitter.com/bakerator Baker

    As others have said, isn’t this a problem with service rifles/carbines in general when there’s sustained automatic fire? I’m specifically thinking about that outpost in Afghanistan (can’t remember the name) a few years back where the Marines repelling Taliban fighters were getting catastrophic failures of their M4s after putting several magazines through.

  • G77

    I have not heard much bad things about the G36 from the field so this might be a media over reaction.

  • Mike Knox

    This problem is due to it’s sight and barrel fixture on the rifle. It’s primary sights are optics mounted on the rear end of the receiver, not like iron sights on almost every other rifle where the from sight is on the barrel. It’s open sights on the standard rifle (carry handle above 3x optic barrel offset) have a sight radius shorter than a foot on export models, shorter on Bundeswehr G.I.

    The Barrel nut on the rifle is connected to the rifle on it’s polymer receiver. It may be shock resistant but it starts getting pliable when hot. Another thing about the barrel is it’s harmonics in sustained fire. No matter how rigid it is while still, but being free floating, 1:7″ twist rate for a high velocity round, it’s muzzle whip starts putting it off from it’s sight zero.

    Out of experience on mag dumps on M16s and a Mk18, the barrel gets hot enough to be felt though the delta slip ring feeling like hot coffe on a bare cardboard cup. For the G36, heat transfer from the barrel may be negated by it’s operating piston but accumulated heat from the chamber goes to it’s polymer receiver.

    With it’s obliquely placed sights, hot barrel on slightly softening receiver, and combined barrel torque and muzzle whip, the barrel’s pointing somewhere else from it’s sights. It’s like looking down a wobbling steel bar from the oppoeite end of a plastic pipe stuck on one end..

    • Mat

      Yes that is correct and is happening in any gun with optics less to iron sight that moves with the barrel. I shoot f-class where rifle barrel is 1.25′ straight contour and if hot POI will change ,compared to that i would think that POI change on hot skiny assault rifle barrel is much bigger, i would also like to see some one shooting and hitting something trough mirage created by red hot barrel

      • Mike Knox

        That’s what barrel shrouds and mirage bands are for on almost all rifles nowadays. but apparently, those parts are what makes them “evil”. You know, “the shoulder thing that goes up”.

        Anyway, this Accuracy Degredation mostly happens on the Bundeswehr G36. Aluminum receivers, hand guards and frame parts for this rifle has been around since mid 2010s but they didn’t get around much. Apparently it was suggested during the S.C.A.R. contract with the XM8 but I’m not sure about that.

        Interesting fact though, some XM8s got used in the Iraq War later in 2007. There were supposedly some units left in inventory after the contract was cancelled and everything got mothballed..

  • Mike Knox

    I may be fond of HK but my interest dimmed with the G36. I was sort of glad when the HK416 came out but there’s not stopping the fun with a G36C in wet places..

    • El Duderino

      I would like to coin the El Duderino Principle: “A firearm’s real world usefulness is inversely proportional to its popularity in multiplayer first person shooter games.”

      E.g:

      Desert Eagle
      G36
      Kel-Tec KSG (which I still want)
      Bolt action sniper rigs (useful, but only in specific applications, and certainly not spinning headshots)
      XM8
      Etc.

      • Mike Knox

        Video Games?

      • Other Steve

        Good theory, I’ll have to remember that.

      • Bandito762

        You forgot the Glock 18

      • John Doe

        “But cross map Desert Eagle 360 no-scope headshots are super effective against camping snipers who don’t quick scope!”

      • cc19

        continued:

        Franchi SPAS12
        Hand-held minigun
        Sh*t that never was (Hk G11, Pancor Jackhammer)
        And of course, dual wielded *anything*

    • Nater

      You mean you can’t hang an flachette firing M26 MASS from a heavy barreled G3A3 and kill people like the Bubonic Plague in real life?

      • Trev

        Coding mistakes FTW.

  • mark

    SKINNY BARRELS, end of debate. European gun makes LOVE skinny barrels. they heat up, and string shots. COMMON SENSE. thats why the new m4 carbine has a SOCOM barrel. which is significantly enlarged. guess why people?

    • W

      dude, the G36 barrel was designed in the early 1990s, a full decade before the US entered Iraq and Afghanistan, learning about the deficiencies of the smaller M4 barrel. The G36 barrel also has a longer life and MRBF than the M4; it is not a issue of quality.

      • Paul Rian

        So what you’re saying is, that the designers of the G36 never envisioned it being used in combat, so like the engineers who decided on the barrel profile of the older M4′s, they went a bit light. That doesn’t really make the G36 a better rifle, or its designers any smarter.

      • W

        No.

        I am saying the lessons learned in afghanistan with skinny barrels being affected by prolonged firing and accuracy wouldnt be learned until a decade later. Its a hindsight problem.

    • Tinkerer

      One question: what is the actual -as in, measured with proper instruments- barrel thickness on the G36s? Because “skinny” is not a measure unit I’m familiar with.

  • HK93

    Am sure the HK can come up with a version of the muzzle reference system (MRS) as used on the Abrams tank to compensate for barrel droop under firing conditions. Should only add a couple of pounds to the gun

  • John Doe

    I’m going to assume they were using it for sustained automatic fire, like a machine gun.

    If you fire an assault rifle like a machine gun, of course the barrel will degrade to the point of being ridiculously inaccurate.

  • Mat

    Euro weapons in use by US armed forces at a quick glance
    MP5
    P90
    M9
    M11-Sig226
    Glock 17-34
    MK23
    HK IAR
    HK 416
    FN SCAR
    SAW
    M240
    AI AS50
    M1014 Benneli M4

    • Lance

      Most of those MP-5 Glocks and M-11 are Special forces only. Not too many P-90s in service. Yes there is some HK 416s in service but mot are for specialist only. Most grunts carry a M-16 or M-4 or SAW/M-240.

    • Bandito762

      I was responding to your claim that “As for euro guns,if anyone knows how to make guns is european gunmakers , M4/M16 family is virtualy only US design left in US armed forces.”

      I did not say that the US military did not use European weapons, I was merely countering your claim that the only US weapon still used by the US military was the M4/M16 by providing a list of other American weapons still in service.

    • David / Sharpie

      You’re point?

      • David / Sharpie

        Damnit, that should be your

  • HK TEH BEST

    But but…HK is TEH best, TEH elite of TEH elite…

    • overrated

      hk because we are german, we are superior to anyone !

      YES because since we are german we can make an simple over-used platforms like the ar-15 to make the best gun ever by simply putting an piston on it.

      • David/Sharpie

        Hitler…is that YOU!?!?!

        Haha kidding.

  • Seb

    So some german reporter discovered electricity! woo hoo. There is no problem with barrels, even on the mg36. Overheating of plastic furniture and resulting loss of zero on built-in optics on older G36s is an old and well known problem. As someone mentioned before, mr. Vickers, among others, discussed that problem. Now, it is fixed on newer rifles and can be relatively easliy fixed on olders, to some extent at least: you swap the handle with built in optics (wich are pretty shitty by modern standards anyway) for a g36c handle with iron sights and 1913 rail. Ad eotech, aimpoint, surefire, etc and your tacticool ubergewehr is ready

  • neblogenso

    Hi,

    In my opinion G 36 is not a military gun, rather a tactical toy. It is ergonomic, quite lightweight, easy to dismantle in a field, quite reliable. But it has flaws: it’s standard butt stock tend to break, even while folding it. Magazines breaks easily, I’m not talking even about push ups on a rifle. Good thing they stick together.
    As for barrel overheating, original russian Ak’s barrels are made from special composition, which allows to cool them in snow or water when its red hot. I doubt G’s barrels can take this.

    • W

      I would bet my life’s savings that G36 barrels can do this. They are miles ahead of AK74 barrels, which are essentially unchanged from how they were produced in the late 1940′s. If there is one thing H&K builds right, it is barrels.

      • Esh325

        I call bullshit. Russian barrels are very well made.

      • W

        You call bullshit? on what exactly?

        HK barrels are designed for high volumes of fire simply because they were actually cut from cannon barrel steel, which are designed to be accurate and durable at sea firing much larger shells.

        Of course, never did i say AK barrels were terrible. on the contrary, i think they are plenty durable.

      • neblogenso

        One example – HK g3 barrel becomes overheated after 60 rounds. Because of metal composition you can’t simply quench some metal types in water, stress makes cracks or may alternate barrel’s form. And that is what g3 can’t withstand, but akm can.

      • Mike Knox

        @neblogenso
        Because the internet says so, no doubt..

      • W

        “One example – HK g3 barrel becomes overheated after 60 rounds. Because of metal composition you can’t simply quench some metal types in water, stress makes cracks or may alternate barrel’s form. And that is what g3 can’t withstand, but akm can”

        I would argue with this. If a G3′s barrel had a tendency to overheat after 60 rounds, that would be a substantial deficiency in the original design. Completely contradictory to the track record of the G3. If water had that adverse of a effect on the G3′s barrel, then nobody (especially countries with snow and harsh winters) would have used them, which is obviously not the case.

    • Nater

      Any barrel destined for military use of a major power is going to be fairly well made. I’d still wager that the Germans use better steel than do the Russians.

      • Lemming

        Most likely, although both rifles do their jobs fine so it doesn’t really matter who has the best steel. As long as the gun shoots well and kills well, which they both do.

    • Nater

      Define “over heated”? What kind of firing schedule for those supposed 60 rounds? What level of accuracy degradation? Ect. It’s an apples to oranges comparison anyway. 7.62x51mm NATO is lot more round for a barrel to handle than is 7.62x39mm. Not to mention that one is an assault rifle and the other a battle rifle.

    • John

      When a barrel gets red hot, it isn’t anywhere near the temperature it has been heat treated then quenched in water at (~1500F). Allowing a barrel to cool in snow is nothing considering the heat treating cycles a barrel has been though. Red hot steel is ~700F and white hot is 1300F (something unattainable by simply shooting a gun). You’d shoot the barrel out before you can crack it by quenching it in water

  • Tinkerer

    So, let me get this straight. If MSNBC accuses Remington of producing “unsafe firearms”, it’s a hit piece of sensationalist leftist anti-gun journalism, but if the sensationalist tabloid “Bild” (which is similar to the british “Sun”) accuses HK of making substandard rifles, then G36s are garbage? I guess objectivity is out of the question when it comes to hating something.

    (The link on Steve’s post links to the “Welt”, which in turn quotes the “Bild”, flagship of the media empire Axel Springer AG to which both newspapers belong.)

    • S O

      The Spiegel broke the story. The Welt article even refers to it.

      They pretend that Bild added something to the story, but pretending is Springer people’s job.

      • Tinkerer

        Even if the original investigation came from Der Spiegel, it still is a case of “MSNBC bashing Remington is bullcrap, but Spiegel/Welt/Bild bashing HK just HAS to be utter and absolute truth”.

        Me, I only want a statistically relevant sample -as in, VERY big sample- of randomly selected rifles that are subjected to testing by various independent researchers. Then, and ONLY THEN, will I pass judgement -one way or the other-.

  • Ron

    IIRC the US Capital Police, who issued the G36 as a patrol rifle (tons of funding must be wonderful) had similar issues with accuracy after sustained/prolonged fire and the weapons had a relatively short service life due to heat issues in the trunion area effecting ability to retain zero. An USCP Officer I attended in service training with described it as the coolest looking, most useless item in his patrol vehicle. The end result was that they got rid of them all… ironicaly by melting them, and purchased HK416′s. Not bashing HK by the way. I’m a fan.

  • Nicks87

    Left-wing socialist propaganda aimed at destroying the firearms industry?

    Me thinks so.

    • Justin Bieber

      Heckler & Koch fan b?
      Me thinks so..

    • Aaron

      Nick, that makes no sense lol.

      1) First of all, Leftists oppose CIVILIAN ownership of firearms–not just firearms in general haha. But the G36 isn’t even sold to civilians so why would they care about it? The AK, AR, and handguns are the guns you always see people target for anti-gun propaganda.

      2) Since it’s bashing 1 gun from 1 manufacturer, it would actually be more reasonable to suspect a rival firearms manufacturer of this story, if anything. Maybe one that wants a contract with the German army. (But most likely just poor journalism wanting to cause a stir and get attention)

      • Quintin

        About half of my ‘fellow traveler’ leftists vehemently oppose civilian gun ownership. The other half of us, myself included, probably own more guns than you do. So spare me the typical projection of what a leftist believes. You really haven’t the faintest idea.

  • Paul

    Well no gun is perfect . Also firing thousands of rounds down a range with brief down time and an unlimited amount of ammo is nothing like being in a real conflict situation where you spend more time with your head down avoiding being shot and usually carry on average 6 magazines that you don’t want to waste.

    • David/Sharpie

      True, but that typical combat loadout for US and Canadian troops is between 10-15 mags.

      But you’re not firing the entire time so I get what you mean

  • stef

    As somebody who served in the Bundeswehr, I call bullshit on this article.
    These rumors come from german weekly news magazine “Der Spiegel”, which is already known for poor journalism when it comes to the military (as opposed to their excellent articles on economy and politics).

    These articles basically stated that the G36 becomes less accurate after prolonged automatic fire (several hundred rounds in a few minutes!). Now this isn’t really surprising as every other assault rifle will show this phenomenom after these circumstances.

    It isn’t even relevant for troops in Afghanistan, since the G36 is not supposed to fill the role of an automatic rifle, we’ve got the MG3 as a general purpose MG and the HK MG4 as SAW in service down there.

    A rifleman doesn’t even carry enough ammo to experience this problem, especially since he’s probably interested in firing single shots and saving as much ammo as he can because firefights in Afghanistan may take several hours.

    If there really was a situation that would require to waste several mags in bursts/automatic fire (which would mean being overrun), it’s not imaginable he suddenly needs to take well aimed shots at 200m afterwards.

    The credibility of sensationalist sources such as “Bild” and “Die Welt” is ridiculous. Please don’t ever cite them on this blog again.

    • Nanban Jim

      I was going to blame it on stereotypical German precision… sort of like your line about 200m shots. Who’s shooting at 200m… much less even firing rapidly at 200m… to say nothing of holding the trigger down in “Fun” mode at 200m?

      Granted this was for REMFs on deployment with M4/M16A2, but I was always told “if you’re firing past 100m, you are wrong.”

      • bigwhiteyeti

        From what I’ve heard the Taleban commonly engage from 300m. Admittedly they are terrible shots, and probably won’t hit anything, but you’re going to want to return fire aren’t you?

  • Hayes Griffith

    As an Infantry Marine(Wpns Co 1/5), combat veteran of the Middle East, law enforcement, tactical team office, it has been my experience that the M16/M4 is a high maintenance turd that should be retired. It makes a fine law enforcement weapon, but not a front line combat weapon. Say what you will, but that’s what years of use and thousands of rounds down range have taught ME. I stress that this has been my experience and may not be the same for everyone else. I know that there are also hundreds of other vet’s out there who actually carried this weapon out in the field that agree with me.
    Fortunately, I worked for a federal agency that issued the G36 and was able to spend a great deal of time working with it. The only complaint I could find with this rifle was 1) the magazine connector tabs would occasionally break and you could no longer get that cool guy look with two mags stuck together and 2) the buttstock was a little too long for body armor. That’s it. In every other respect it always proved to be a more reliable and lower maintenance weapon than the M16 family of weapons. I cannot ever remember any G36 ever having a jam or a parts breakage. This includes full auto strings of fire. The accuracy of both weapons was comparable no matter how many rounds had been fired down range. So I think the barrel issue is a poorly fabricated lie. The only major failure that I can remember, is when we torture tested the weapon and ran magazine after magazine through one on full auto. After hundreds of rounds we melted the front handgaurd off, but since they are easy to replace we didn’t consider this a big deal. You can melt the gas tube off of an M4 in less rounds than it took to melt the polymer handguard off of a G36. It’s a quick fix to replace a handguard on a G36, but an M4 is going to the armory to get another gas tube. On top of that, the G36 will still function with no handguard.
    Given the choice, I would reach right past an M4 for a G36C with a 3x ACOG any day of the week. Just my opinion.

    Semper Fi, Griff

    • Monty

      Superb post by Hayes Griffith. You don’t have to agree with his point of view, but you have to respect his knowledge and authority when discussing this topic. I have fired the G36 a lot and I think it is a class act. How I wish the UK had had the sense to buy this instead of throwing good money after bad to upgrade our lamentable L85A1 SA80s. That said, I am not a fan a polymer receivers. Polymer simply doesn’t have longevity, torsional rigidity and soldier-appeal of steel or aluminium IMO. I’d love to see an alloy version of this weapon with the Gladius adjustable and folding buttstock. Now that the original integrated sight has been replaced with a rail system, H&K needs to do something about the carrying handle and upper receiver. It’s definitely time to release an A2 version of this weapon, but I totally trust HKO to do a great job.

  • G3Ken

    When you say they both work well, it seems like you’re implyiing they’re equals. Sorry, the AK is a great and realiable rifle, but it’s one major pitfall is accuracy. I doubt there is another military weapon fielded by any country that is less accurate than an AK, and yes, I have a load of different firearms, and while I love my AK, it is far from accurate.

    • G-man

      I assume you have shot all the AKs out there? I have 2 that I can shoot out to 400 yds and hit 5 inch steel targets with no issues. So what is your definition of accuracy?

      Because you only know of cheap AKs, that doesn’t mean that is all the AK in the world.

  • Ozo