H&K G28 Deployed in Afganistan

German Bundeswehr army soldier with the QRU takes a rest during a joint patrol with the ANA in the village of Mulla Kehyl near Baghlan

This photo shows a Bundeswehr solider carrying the new H&K G28 DMR (Designated Marksman Rifle) that was officially adopted by the German Army late last year. The G28 is derived from the H&K 417 and features a short 16″ barrel and 3-20×56 Schmidt & Bender scope.

It is a decent upgrade over the older H&K G3A3 rifles which are still widely deployed …

A bonus video from the Bundeswehr in Afghanistan …

[Hat Tip: MP.net]

[ Many thanks to Albi for the tip. ]


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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  • FourString

    That extended forerail (the smooth part) is very interesting…

    • CptFreedom

      a real eye catcher, imo. just looks really good.

    • Noodles

      It is interesting, because that’s the spot I actually would want rails :) I want smooth where my hands go and rails up front for the bipod and white light. Like the KAC URX 3 rails

  • albi

    I wonder how he likes to carry around that heavy SOB. Steel upper – because your HK417 wasn’t heavy enough!

    • Mike Knox

      Precision rifles are intended to be heavy. The interesting thing is that the G28 weighs less than bolt action rifles in larger dimensions..

  • treefroggy

    That’s a lot of scope for a 16 in barrel.

    • FormerSFMedic

      A lot of scope? It has a 3x lower end. I would say it’s the perfect scope.

  • klyph

    Hey if y’all are done with those g3s…

  • JD

    As heavy as that looks and how much I dislike HK’s customer service, I must say that looks pretty sexy.

  • 7.62x25FTW

    When I lived in Norway for a a few years my neighbor was in the German military and a dmr/sniper. He said he used some proprietary accurized g3 varient. He said he loved that rifle,it could take a beating and still hold zero really well,and was very accurate,quite a bit more than the ANA SVD’s.

  • Noodles

    Sitting on his ass because that thing is like 20lbs :)

  • Gumby

    The presents look like European flags, notably the Swedish-looking one.

  • Alex

    One of the many weapons that are heavier than they need to be.

    • Mike Knox

      7.62x51mm Rifles are supposed to be heavy. The heavier the better, especially for precision rifles..

  • John W

    Pardon me but how is it “BETTER” ?

    the HK Roller locking is a piece of engineering art imho…

    • Mike Knox

      What’s stopping them? They could just as easily fit a Roller-Delay bolt in an AR-10 like it’s tuesday..

    • Esh325

      The roller delayed blowback system of the G3 was originally designed for a much less powerful cartridge, and there were a lot of technical hurdles trying to adopt it to fire the 7.62×51, and some of the problems were never completely solved. I think there’s a very good reason why the Germans went away from the roller delayed blowback, to a more conventional gas operation.

      • denny

        I do not think this is true statement. The Gewehr G3 started life as Cetme model 57/58. At that time, dze Germans had very little difficulty to adopt it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CETME

        This system of locking is extremely versatile in its application as proves existence of MP5 and other calibers with some exception with G33 and its derivatives. This showed to be somehow tempremental when dirty. The peaky 5.56 cartridge did not serve it well. The roller lock in rifle application needs beefeer cartridge with longer lasting pressure to carry thru.

        As for G36 there was obviously need for new generation gun in new small calibre. HK took advantage of this situation and desiged grossly overengineered rifle. The only reason for it was 5.56x45mm round, not because roller lock was inadequate.

      • W

        ill agree that the action was designed for a lower powered cartridge with the introduction of the STG 45 that fired the 7.92 kurz, but what “technical hurdles” were there and what problems were unsolved by the G3? I know the recoil is harder compared to gas operated contemporaries, they are hard on casings, and they run dirtier, but what other issues am i missing?

        I know the HK33 is still used by many countries but for some reason, the Bundeswehr decided to adopt the more conventional G36 after rejecting the similar G41. That is a really good question: why did they steer away from roller-delayed blow back operated rifles?

      • denny

        For “W” – here is some writeup from HKPRO you may be interested to read: http://www.hkpro.com/forum/hk-long-gun-talk/110932-hk33-vs-g36.htm

        They call G36 simple and reliable; it may be so, but my first experience with it was not encouraging. While doing basic stripdown I lost firing pin. I do not understand why firing pin should be subject of field strip anyway. For cleaning? This is common with many other guns as well, unfortunatelly. Another item – dedicated HK scope – useless, unless you are highly trained in use of it. So in light of this (plus stories on easy overheating and loss of zero) I feel they will have more lucky hand with adoption of AR style guns such as 416 and 417. Let’s assume they know what they are doing.

      • Mike Knox

        The Roller-Delayed Blowback mechanism was designed for more powerful rounds actually, even more than the 7.92x57mm Mauser. It’s designed to neck down the recoil operation on early automatics..

      • Esh325

        It is a true statement actually.

        “Because the CETME/G3 evolved from a design that was conceived to fire a low impulse intermediate cartridge, the 7.62×51mm NATO main battle rifle (MBR) cartridge remained a strain on the system. With the rifle’s very fast and violent bolt carrier velocity (an estimated 250 inches per second), the receiver is constantly on the verge of stretching, especially around the two cross pins that hold the buttstock. As John Cross reports, to prevent this, Henk Visser designed a long-stroke gas piston system for Rheinmettal.”

        -Johnston, Gary Paul; Nelson, Thomas B. The World’s Assault Rifles

      • W

        denny, the link couldnt pull up.

        I think the G36 has enormous potential and if you think about it, it has been relatively unchanged since its introduction into service. Perhaps they will go with a aluminum or alloy receiver, less bulky collapsible stock, rail system (or free float tube with attachable rails), but that is asking for a bit much for comparatively small European defense budgets.

        “The Roller-Delayed Blowback mechanism was designed for more powerful rounds actually, even more than the 7.92x57mm Mauser. It’s designed to neck down the recoil operation on early automatics..”

        do you have a example? the earliest traces of the roller delayed blowback system were in the STG 45 and a variant of the MG42, which was derived from the original MG42…unless there’s a ambiguous automatic cannon or something experimental that im missing.

        “Because the CETME/G3 evolved from a design that was conceived to fire a low impulse intermediate cartridge, the 7.62×51mm NATO main battle rifle (MBR) cartridge remained a strain on the system. With the rifle’s very fast and violent bolt carrier velocity (an estimated 250 inches per second), the receiver is constantly on the verge of stretching, especially around the two cross pins that hold the buttstock. As John Cross reports, to prevent this, Henk Visser designed a long-stroke gas piston system for Rheinmettal.”

        -Johnston, Gary Paul; Nelson, Thomas B. The World’s Assault Rifles”

        fascinating and unsurprising. the M14 wasn’t the only system to suffer from the 308 apparently. once again…should have gone intermediate (WTF!?!?!?)

      • Mike Knox

        @W
        The Germans tried it on almost all Machineguns they had, even on MG13s and FG42s to make them lighter..

  • Nick Mew

    I wonder what would happen if someone decided to buy a Dragunov Tigr in 7.62 NATO and started carrying it around on patrol. http://dragunov.net/tiger_308.html

    • W

      nope. that would make too much sense ;)

      thank you for the link however. very interesting read.

      there are apparently two modes for the G28, standard and patrol. one weighs roughly 16 lbs and 13 lbs. based on illustrations, the soldier has the 16 lb version.

      The LMT 308 weighs about 10 lbs. and they are astonishingly accurate for a 308 designated marksman rifle. which one is more accurate? hard to say. havent seen any evidence of the G28s accuracy.

  • bbmg

    Is it significantly more accurate than the G3A3 firing the same ammunition? If not, I don’t see how it is a “decent upgrade” as opposed to what is in practice a newer version of what they are already using.

    The bolt locking mechanism might be different but they won’t be engaging targets faster or out to longer ranges firing the same round from a similar barrel.

    • FerrusManus

      The main problem is that most G3 rifles are totally worn out after so many years of service. The Bundeswehr bought the last new G3 in the early 80’s. So there is a need for a new rifle.

      • bbmg

        Old rifles need to be replaced, no doubt about that, but my point was that had these worn G3s been replaced with brand new G3s instead of G28s, ultimately it wouldn’t really have made a difference.

      • AnoSymun

        I believe H&K doesn’t make G3s anymore. And if H&K doesn’t make it, German soldiers fingers are known to fall off if they try to use it.

      • FerrusManus

        H&K ceased production of the G3 over 10 years ago. MEK in Turkey and POF in Pakistan still make new ones, but HK only provides spare parts for the existing weapons.

    • Esh325

      I haven’t used either rifles (the closest I’ve used is an Armalite AR-10) I imagine the G28 is probably a better rifle in almost all respects.

    • W

      according to literature (take it for what it is since it is brand new), the G28 is capable of consistent 1.5 MOA accuracy, which is superior to the G3. It is also more modular and ergonomic.

      Since HK discontinued the G3, then it makes sense for the G28 to be adopted, although its up for debate if that was really the best rifle they could have selected.

      I would really like it to be compared to the LMT 308 and FN SCAR-H PR. I know with 100% certainty that the LMT 308 MWS is sub-MOA accurate.

  • Nicks87

    The Bundeswehr get to carry all kinds of tacticool sh*t! Loved the video too by the way. I’m glad my ass isnt stuck over there for the holidays. Been there, done that, had enough.

    • AnoSymun

      Trust me, a lot of German soldiers are looking with a jealous eye at what the Americans have…

      • Nicks87

        Well I’ve been a civilian for about 7 years now and compared to the gear I was issued their stuff looks pretty bad-ass. I was a cop in the USAF and we had M4s with aimpoints and pvs-14s but no H&K sh*t and we wore BDUs. Their uniforms/nylon gear looks pretty sweet.

      • AnoSymun

        Thing is, much of what you see German soldiers carrying is self-bought, especially with regards to personal gear (disregarding weapons, of course). The issued-gear tends to be flawed at best, so soldiers use the deployment bonuses to buy better (or plain tacti-cool) gear from private retailers. It’s quite the disgrace at times, as even the faintest hint of uniformity quickly goes out of the window (if one cares about such a thing). Not even the helmets are uniform.

      • Lolinski

        Thats a positive thing, makes them more human AKA harder to shoot for the enemy because of mOral reasons.

      • W

        they do and im really not sure why.

        the ACUs are terrible, the MOLLE LCE sucks, the IOTV sucks, the rucksacks are abysmal, soldiers dont wear the right footwear, and we still have rifles painted black.

        specific units with OCP (multicam), plate carriers, mystery ranch/arcteryx rucks, non-goretex lined hiking boots, and FDE (or painted) weapons are the envy even to fellow US soldiers.

      • Esh325

        You know, that’s something I see rarely brought up, is the color of rifles. The camo pattern on a soldiers uniform is not black, so why make your rifle black? Brown or green would be more appropriate.

  • noob

    Kinda off topic but Props to the guy in the second pic for showing pride and love for his special lady.

    I hope that somebody gives Stefanie a link to this post so she can know that she and her man are now world famous.

    • theglassisempty

      Not to burst this warm bubble of fuzziness, but Stefanie is probably having it off with Hans and Gunther behind his back.

      • gunslinger

        so Hans/Gunther is the German equivalent of Jody?

  • Mike Knox

    Is it me or does that first trooper look like Prince William..

  • gallan

    Australian army uses as a DMR a 16 inch HK417, the DMR G28 seems like an unnecessarily heavier version.
    The slimmer buttpad is said to be an improvement though.

    • AnoSymun

      HK417 was deemed to be not accurate enough.

      • Jeff

        I’m assuming the G3a3s they’ve been using have been accurized? If I recall correctly, the average G3 is 3 MOA at 100 yards… not exactly a marksman rifle….

      • AnoSymun

        Usually only minimally. That’s why they’re being replaced. The German Army only really introduced the whole Designated Marksman concept very recently, and the G3ZF (scoped) were an interim solution.

  • Vitor

    One could club a bear to death with such rail guard…

    • The Bear

      Why do you think there’s a right to arm bears? To prevent such nonsense!

  • Noodles

    For you guys that don’t understand why 417/G28 vs G3A3…

    The roller locked system is indeed mechanically impressive and very cool in the way it works. It however, does not suppress well. To run a suppressor with the proper dwell time and cyclic rate you need to swap out the locking piece and even then, with shape of the chamber, and coming back to eventually you are dealing with a blowback style action, it just doesn’t suppress as well as an adjustable regulated gas gun (DI or Piston as long as it’s adjustable).

    Next, it’s pretty tough to mount a light, a bipod, IR laser, and grip, to a G3. Very simple to a railed gun. Not to mention that even if you are looking at a G3 rail, it’s not free floated, and at 800y+ you might consider that a negative.

    I’m a huge fan of the MP5 and the roller locked system, not so much on the G3 as it’s been replaced by the 417, LMT 308, etc. And not really the G28 as it’s so stupidly heavy. But… Given the option of G3A3 and G28 for the kind of work and kind of configurations these guys are running, I’d certainly opt for the G28 as well.

    • denny

      If roller lock did not go well along with muffler in G3 why it works so well in MP5? Is the mentioned ‘dwell’ (being understood as start of action opening from time of initiation) affected by presence of silencer that much? Actually, it should help – see my note to Esch325.

      This type of locking should be virtually self-regulating, meaning more force you apply to it the more resistance you get back.

      • denny

        Noodles, I stated my assumptions as a question and appreciate to hear what you have to say; I do not have experience with supressed MP5 true, but worked only with regular gun.

      • Noodles

        Oh I didn’t mean to be a dick, it’s just that no part of the delayed blowback is self regulating any more than DI or Piston. It’s just that the recoil impulse with the 308 makes the bolt open rather quickly, then when suppressed, the pressure is still too high and that now comes out the chamber and ejection port as gas/blowback and a loud popping sound.

        I have a ton of experience building and shooting MP5s, I know I don’t know a ton about them still, but I can easily see why HK moved away from it at least in the 308 round. I’m confident the straight blowback on the UMP is a step backwards from the MP5 but whatever.

      • W

        “’m confident the straight blowback on the UMP is a step backwards from the MP5 but whatever.”

        especially with 45 ACP. jesus they’re hard to keep on target with bursts. I dont like the UMP.

      • schnuersi

        “If roller lock did not go well along with muffler in G3 why it works so well in MP5?…”

        The G3 and the MP5 are not the same. The bolt of the MP5 is a highly modified and optimised version of the system the G3 uses.
        The roller lock wich is actually a retarded blowback is everything but self regulated. That is the reason the rifle the German Army replaced the G3 with doesn’t use this system.

        Also the MP5 doesn’t do well with silencers. Thats why they came up with a special version with modified bolt and integrated silencer.
        If a screw on silencer is used, wich is only possible with the evolved versions of the MP5 and not the original gun, there are important constrains on what kind of ammo can be used.

        Noodles is absolutly correct with his judgement. The German Army is trying to replace the roller lock weapons with gas driven ones. For reliability and ammo compatiblity and flexibility reasons.
        The G3 is very suceptible to different ammo types. If non German Army issue ammo is used (private obtained, or other nations army issue) the reliability of the gun will usually suffer. Especially if dirty and in cold weather.

        For the use of low impulse training ammo the whole bolt of the G3 has to be replaced.
        Even with the use of a blank fire adaptor and a perfectly clean rifle on a warm summer day the reliability of a G3 firing blank training ammo is abysmal.

        “…Not to mention that even if you are looking at a G3 rail, it’s not free floated,…”

        The barrel of most Army G3A3s and A4s are free floating. They have been converted in the ’90 to A3FS and A4FS standart. FS stands for “frei schwingend” wich literally translates to “free swinging”. The sightpost has been modified so the barrel isn’t touched by any part of the rifle exept its mounting to the system casing at the chamber.

    • W

      “The roller locked system is indeed mechanically impressive and very cool in the way it works. It however, does not suppress well.”

      In a roller delayed submachine gun, a suppressor works very well, however, in the rifle variants like what youre talking about, it wasn’t something HK pursued on a grand scale because of the risk of excessive bolt velocity and the requirement of a unique “suppressor compatible” locking piece like you mentioned (god knows if they even exist any more). You are absolutely right noodles.

      Just throwing a suppressor on a HK91 is a risky endeavor and you will beat the gun senseless (and likely cause a catastrophic issue).

      Anyways. Yes, gas operated systems, especially adjusting ones like the short-stroke tappet system on the 416 and 417, are worlds better when it comes to suppressor compatibility. US versions of the 416 have what is called “self adjusting” gas pistons (to quote the manual), but apparently the 417, everybody else’s 416s, and the new 416a5 have a adjustable gas system. makes you want to rip your hair out.

      • Noodles

        Denny: You have absolutely zero idea of what you’re talking about. MP5s suppressed shitty (high rate, lower reliability, more gas in your face) if you have the K locking piece in it. My MP5-K suppressed runs the standard MP5 part because suppressed I like it better. The G3 with the right locking piece works well enough suppressed but then only works suppressed. There is zero self regulating aspect with this system.

        W: Uh, 100, 110, 80 degree locking pieces are available everywhere. I own two MP5s and have 4 locking pieces. The problem with too high a cyclic rate in the G3, besides a ton of recoil, is reliability, you over-run the magazine and wind up with an empty chamber or you get FTE issues. Let alone forget the G3 throws the brass into the next county unsuppressed, even worse suppressed.

      • W

        im talking about locking pieces for the G3 that are designed for a sound suppressor. There might be a number available that are aftermarket, but its something i have not dove into yet.

  • JD

    It looks like the 16 pound weight is with the 3-20 optic, Aimpoint T1, laser range finder, night vision tube, bipod, and VFG. They also have a patrol model that weighs in around 12 pounds with a S&B 1-8×24 and shorter rail. I’d bet if you pulled all the accessories off the DMR it’s probably in the 11-12 pound area.

    The standard 16″ Recce model was the one that failed to meet the 1.5″ 10 shot group standard, and it weighs 9 pounds empty.

  • Lance

    Nice to see Germans forces still have the Christmas spirt in them. Looks like the Germans may ditch the G-3 DMR soon for the new G28 or HK417. Still see G-3s being around for a while though.

  • John Doe

    It may be more accurate and modular, but that G28 looks like a PITA to lug around.

  • Christoph “Terrorhase”

    yeah, our Guys have really nothing to do down there…

    • The Bear

      Though when encountering the enemy they’ve been kicking butt quite well, only then to be dumped on by politicians, media and the usual suspects. Like Col. Klein. Or that one, what was it, Fernspäher unit, that really kicked taliban butt and then the politicians didn’t even have fitting medals for them, because German heroes? That thought alone makes all the self-loathing Germans scream in horror.

      • Clodboy

        Yet Afghanistan is still considered the “just” War on Terror by many Germans – to quote the (center-left-wing) politician Peter Struck: “Our safety is being defended at not only, but including, the Hindukush.”

        But yeah, the whole “German war heroes” thing is kind of tricky – parts of the German Air Force openly continued to revere WW2 Nazi aces decades after the war and were outraged when Struck decided that ace pilot Werner Mölders’ badassery in the service of the Nazis no longer made him appropriate as a namesake for a fighter squadron.
        So politicians may be cautious to praise any new heroes in a war that the public is getting increasingly frustrated with.

  • The Bear

    Delicious looking rifle. Need to see if I can get my hands on one.

    • Anonymoose

      It’s basically just an MR762A1 with FDE coloring and a new stock and forend. You could probably make one yourself from an MR762A1 if that stock and forend were available for purchase to US civilians.

  • ThomasD

    Three to twenty power? That has to be some profoundly expensive glass.

    • Lance

      The Germans always made expensive overpowered glass :).

      • Clodboy

        Swarovski not only makes overpriced scopes, they also make cheap-looking but expensive Rhinestones that tackify anything from phones to freaking compound bows.

        Germany 1:2 Austria :p

      • Nick Mew

        If you look at their medieval armor suits were overenginered.