Remember the H&K G11?

I remember seeing it in the movie Demolition Man, being wielded by Wesley Snipes. The real thing is just as fantastic as the movie portrayed.

Remember Metal Storm? The G11 was there first. H&K developed caseless ammo for the G11. Their primary focus was to get a three round burst to be accurate. They surmised that the problem of accurate burst is due to the recoil of the weapon. So they developed this system to fire a three round burst all in a single cycle of recoil.

Similar to the FNH P90, the H&K G11 was the predecessor. The magazine had ammo oriented 90 degrees vertical rather than horizontal like in the P90. The round would be chambered and rotated 90 degrees to be fired.

It was chambered in 4.73mm x 33

The Germans even went as far as to design a pistol for their caseless 4.73mm x 33



Sadly the project was shelved and never put into mass production.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at


  • suchumski

    the cold war ended to early for the G11, imagin what stuff we would shoot now. 🙁

    • Jay

      yeah. just imagine being stuck with a 4mm cartridge shooting a 3 gram bullets……
      5.56mm is bad enough.

      • Esh325

        But you are firing 3 of them with one pull of the trigger. That compensates for it I believe.

        • MichaelZWilliamson

          It increases your hit probability during certain engagements.

      • suchumski

        i have used the 5.56 in a war against 7.62 x 39, 7.62 x 51 and 7.62 x 54.
        it is not so bad, in certain situations i would prefere the 308
        but the 223 did all jobs and i thanked mister
        stoner for the M 16.
        i was allways faster than the AK guys, the balistic curv is straighter
        and the recoil was lighter, all that was saveing my life.
        i understand that in wide open ranges of
        afganistan and iraq the 308
        has its legitimiti but not for each man, the guns are larger,
        the blowback harder, the amunition hevy and bulki.
        running with a M4 and a M14 are
        two different expiriances.

        the balistic parameters of the caseless G11 amunition where
        similar to the 223. think about it, the IDF had the FAL in
        the 60-70’s and changed it not without reason
        to the M16 223 and even with the
        galil and tavor they know
        way they still stuck
        to the 223.

        • DD

          The Israelis only change to American equipment because the US pays for it through loans and aid programs.

          • MichaelZWilliamson

            So why did all of NATO, the Aussies, the Kiwis and the Singaporeans change?

            Why did Russia go to 5.45mm?

            Why did China go to 5.8mm?

            Why did the SAS use the M16 instead of the L1A1?

            Please explain how the US pays for the IMI Tavor? Or its ammo, given that 7.62X51 is still a common US military caliber that could be had just as easily, if that were the case?

          • suchumski

            Oh yes?
            and what about american m 14, the m 60 they newer wanted?
            the most expenciv item of the IDF is the idf-soldier.
            they made the galil, now the tavor in 223
            they can get US 308 like
            223 amunition.
            i know they are all working on a 6.something amunition,
            today the 223 is the swiss army knife of guns,
            it’s not the best knife, saw, pile……but
            it fits in the pokert and it is
            beter then everything
            in its sise.
            it is just my little opinion.

          • Geodkyt

            The US would have happily paid the Israelis to keep using 7.62x51mm. The US would even have happily equipped them with M14s, had they asked, and likely would have shipped them production tooling to MAKE M14s if Israel wanted that in the late 1960s and early 1970s. (Likewise, they could have had all the M60s their hearts desired, had they wanted M60s — at prices WAY cheaper than buying MAG58 GPMGs from Belgium.)
            Israel dumped the FALs because they DID NOT WORK at an acceptable reliability level. They dumped the 7.62x51mm cartridge as the primary rifle round for the same reasons the US and NATO did — the ammo’s heavy, the recoil is significantly greater (which has major effects on accuracy and training, even in semiauto), the rifles are (all other things being equal) heavier, and the guns are uncontrollable in full auto. (Remember, they also produced the Galil in 7.62x51mm — they would have adopted it in that caliber if they wanted to.)
            They adopted the Galil to get a cross between AK reliability (DONE) and M16 accuracy (uh, close enough for conscript purposes), in a caliber that was controllable (done) that the US would fund through Foreign Military Aid at higher levels than non-US munitions (DONE).
            When Israel tested the M16, they did so by issuing a bunch to a unit well known for being absurdly rough on their rifles (even by IDF standards, which would frankly, would make a US Marine NCO turn green and vomit 🙂 I’ve seen plenty of pics of Golani Brigade troops using their rifles as MALLETS to drive in stakes.). They found the M16 -even under those circumstances- to be NEARLY as durable as the AKM, FAR more accurate, and ALSO available at reasonable prices (cheaper than the FAL or Galil).
            The IDF, when offered the chance to switch from Galil to M16s, JUMPED on it, because the M16 was (in their professional opinion) an overall BETTER rifle, even if you can’t beat a Balrog to death with it and expect it to keep running. (They figured, “Hey, we don’t get to beat that many Balrogs to death, but we DO have to carry this bitch around a lot. Friggin’ Galil is HEAVY, with awkward controls — albeit improved over the AK.”)
            I find that most people who are enamored by the Galil compared to the M16 fall into one or more of four categories — either they’ve never fired or humped one, they graduated Basic training after qualifying with the M1 Garand so the Galil’s ergonomics don’t phase them, they are 100% in the “Kalashnikov is THE Ordnance God, and Eugene Stoner is the Devil” crowd, or they only think the Galil is “a barely acceptable alternative” to a 7.62x51mm battle rifle. (Don’t get me wrong — the Galil is perhaps the finest Kalashnikov assault rifle ever built, and I’d damned sure not feel unarmed if issued one in a combat zone. And I’d rather have one than an L85, G33, AC556,or FAL CAL. But I’d crawl over a pile of NIB Galils that had fixed bayonets to get ahold of a current issue C7 or C8 as issued by Holland. . . I’d crawl over Galils without bayonets to get ahold of an M4 or M16A1, ‘A2, ‘A3, or ‘A4.)
            The IDF went to the Tavor (again, NOT an American rifle, and costing them SIGNIFICANTLY more than just buying more M4s from Colt) because they thought it was superior to the M4 and M16.

      • Camilo Emiliano Rosas Echeverr

        In case of Cold War Hot, you would have been doing either close quarters combat inside European cities (Stalingrad 2.0), or trench warfare in a nuclear wasteland. You would have begged for a compact lightweight bullet in a bayonet-capable rifle.

    • dp

      Nothing to do with cold/hot war. It’s just technical question “what’s next” and looking for answers.

      • suchumski

        after the colapse of the USSR the german army canceld the expensiv program and this blow destroid the development of a cartridge
        made of a explosiv block.
        HK had little trouble with the stability of the “rim” something they
        could solve with a thiker one.
        it was a technology on the edge of science, something realy new.
        you culd have trippled the nr of amunition of each soldier and
        of cours make larger and smaller rounds with low waight.

        sorry it`s my best english 🙁

      • Geodkyt

        It had EVERYTHING to do with the ending of the Cold War. germany had formally adopted the rifle, but the Wall came down and they realized reintegrating East Germany was going to be horribly expensive, the Soviet threat was much less, and while they thought the G11 was a better rifle, the G3s were working just fine for now. . .
        So they cancelled the hugely expensive rifle and LMG change-over before it got underway (much as we dumped the M15 rifle and M8 AGS AFTER adoption, but BEFORE before they actually got issued or even built in any kind of serious quantities) so they could use that money (and bundles more from other cut programs) to pay for dealing with the damage and turmoil the Communists left behind.

  • Renegade

    That bayonet looks like it’s spring-loaded. Is that bayonet spring loaded?

    Bayonets are cool.

    • mechamaster

      Maybe it’s ballistic-knife bayonet. ( I’m just kidding ) Lol.

      • Marc

        A ballistic bayonet would be equally awesome and impractical.

        • allannon

          How ’bout in comparison with a chainsaw bayonet?

    • MichaelZWilliamson

      The US Army refused to test a weapon without a bayonet, because they wanted to be ready to go over the top against the filthy Huns.

      • Swiftright Right

        ITs all fun and games till a filthy hun comes at you with a trench knife and you dont have a bayonet to charge with.

  • kev

    not exactly dead the LSAT is still going, id say in a few years polymer cased ammo will be more common if they can work out the problems like um…attempted murder of the shooter. Shame about Metal Storm their MAUL was a promising endeavor

    • mechamaster

      IMO, Metal Storm need to try ‘safe but potential market’ like… Tank or Armored Vehicle smokescreen grenade launcher… better than personal firearms.

      • kev

        I agree they had some neat ideas like a sniper rifle in the works but i think they would be better off with non lethal applications. However the companies future is doubtful they have been taken off the Australian stock exchange i believe.

        • supergun

          They have shot guns that look like this. They are pumps. Be neat to have a semi auto though. Also, why aren’t there any AR 22 magnum rifles?

      • noob

        sadly metal storm ltd is on the ropes, with their finances sorted out under voluntary administration (one step away from bankruptcy)

    • dp

      LSAT is light support weapon, not ‘individual’ in sense of the word. Spewing bullets sounds dandy, but someone must keep supplying them. This is hard to achieve in low intensity warfare when opposition is equipped with means to take down your supply helicopter. As far as MetalStorm – good idea but not useful for taking down one individual target. Kinda overkill actually.

      • kev

        Your right the logistics of switching over to a new caliber and the supply issues are a real and intelligent concern. But the LSAT LMG program as well as its proposed variants (carbine, prototype sniper rifle) is a step ahead in a technology that has been using the same principles for over 200 years. It will take time to develop the infrastructure to get things on track but again i think small steps are the key.

      • Geodkyt

        DP —
        One MAJOR point about the LSAT program is that a primary requirement is reduced weight of ammo (also, reducing the weight has reduced volume, but I don;t recall that being a program _requirement_ in any of the briefs). Savings are greater for the caseless track than the polymer cased telescoping ammo, but the savings are substantial.
        Meaning, if and when you switch to an LSAT based small arms family, your forward loggy problems just get EASIER than standard metallic case ammo.

      • LCON

        Metal storm’s Technologies though Still have options for applications They just put them in the wrong category. They should have targeted Active protection systems and naval CIWS where the high rate of Fire and Coverage would offer advantages as well as meaning that end product would not need to be man portable

  • dp

    As much as some people may believe this was some sort of wunder-gun, it was not. Burden of unusual ammunition on side, the gun just like any other, after mechanism bottomed at the end of burst- recoiled into shoulder. The magnitude of it was actually much bigger that firing individual shot and that is understandable. So, gross gain next to nothing.
    Russian designer Arkadyi Nikhonov designed rifle (AN-94) which proved to be a bit more useful. It uses standard ammo and fires salvo of two shots in figh ROF, so aggregated recoil is not that bad. Videos suggest high effectiveness. Current status – experimental with limited production only.

    • Clodboy

      The idea behind the ultra-fast 3-round burst was that even an opponent wearing heavy body armor couldn’t survive 3 hits at virtually the same point of impact. Atleast theoretically, a quick follow-up shouldn’t be necessary after a triple 1000 foot-pound hit.
      Also, I’d say the AN-94 isn’t as much “experimental” as it is “dead”, seeing as how it never caught on despite being on the market for almost 20 years now. Basically, this thing was doomed from the start, since it is pretty much the polar opposite of a Kalashnikov – it contains so many small parts that production was extremely expensive and, worse yet, only highly trained personnel were capable of maintaining, let alone repairing it.

      • dp

        Your point no.1 is of questionable validity. I was living (and involved in industry) at that time. The main issue and the only one was – hit probability. BTW, the HK worked on it since 1969; nobody used body armour then and definitely NOT Russians.
        Your second point is completely off reality. First off all – you have throw away word ‘market’; it NEVER played any role in case od Russian approach of building defence equipment. On technical side, it exceeds anything Western to this day. Russian military did not make it general issue because it has plenty of AK74s, that by itself being superior to M16/M4 years to come.

        • William_C1

          Yeah superior to everything Western in every category. Besides for the awful ergonomics, mechanical complexity, lack of a modern rail interface system, etc.

          It is a technological achievement like the G11, but there are obvious reasons why it is is such extremely limited use. Even in the images of Spetsnaz we see how often are they carrying AN-94s?

          And the only reason the Russian military is sticking with the AK-74 is due to costs. It isn’t superior to the latest variants of the M16 and M4.

  • mechamaster

    Caseless gun technology need to be revived again… by crowdfunding maybe… But personally, I like to ‘simplified’ version of G-11 that omitted ultra-high RPM 3-round burst to cut development and production cost. And utilize existing 5,56 bullet ( to cut caseless ammo R&D cost too )

    • dp

      There is space available yet, nobody seem to bother to tackle. The caseless round was clearly – case-less, history has shown so. While searching solution it is useful to realize what is it we actually want to achieve. The original motivation was – higher hit probability. This was for good part achieved already by combination of internal features, optics and gun layout.
      Is there space for more? Of course there is. I believe, in true entrepreneurial spirit, the initiative must be taken by smaller, more flexible and sufficiently knowledgeable company who wants to see ‘beyond the tree line’ of current technology. It can be done.

    • Christopher

      That would be the LSAT program, but the seem to be looking at 6.5mm or larger. As caseless offered enough space to do so.

  • schizuki

    John Spartan, you are fined 50 credits for a sotto voce violation of the verbal morality statute.

    • DaveP.

      Yeah, but what about the three seashells?!

      • Lothar

        Greetings and salutations? Isn’t there a job you have to do? Something about a Mr. Edgar Friendly?

        • guest

          This G11 need batteries? Where do I get that, the nearest radioshack motherf***a?!

          • You are fined 50 credits for a ineffectively censored violation of the verbal morality statute.

          • guest

            Simon says… jump!

    • st4

      “Wait a minute, this is the future! Where are all them phaser guns?!”

    • Russell_TheRagingBULL

      “The futures now john, time for something new and improved”!!

    • MichaelZWilliamson

      Remember when that movie was ridiculous satire, and not contemporary commentary?

  • Clodboy

    Speaking of caseless ammo, I wish somebody would at some point do a guest post on the Voere VEC-91, an obscure Austrian hunting rifle chambered for a 6mm caseless cartridge using electric firing.

    • Nick

      Holy hell. You sir, just blew my mind. I did not know this even existed. Why isn’t this more popular or being imported? It looks amazing.

  • dp

    For those who like epic vodeos… well it gets bit tedious, but is well worth of patience:

    The main thing to take note of is “hit probability” being spoken of starting at 3:10 on. That was the REASON behind this effort.
    There are presented all other major (but not all) contemporaries of G11. One missing is Ares (E. Stoner’s) design which was retracted at beginning stages, citing unrealistic objectives.

  • Esh325

    Seems like a lot of countries back then had this idea of launching of firing very accurate bursts with one pull of the trigger in to increase hit probability under combat. The Russians seemed to have been the most successful with this idea with the AN-94. I wish something like it would come back.

    • dp

      I agree and this is what I suggest in one of my previous contribution. There is a way how to arrange mechanism without causing (or with sufficient reduction of) recoil impulse into butt. The desirable effect of it would prove rather useful especially, IF more potent round is considered.
      Conversely, it had become obvious, the with rifles such as M14 in automatic mode, that with conventionally solid locked mechanism into frame, this mode of use is of questionable utility.

    • BryanS

      we would probably see that, if the ability to make new guns and machineguns was not as regulated as it is in the US.

  • Zapp Brannigan

    The HK G11 couldn’t be used as an infantry weapon because it’s way too complex to be maintained in the field. The inside of that rifle looks like a swiss watch.

    • dp

      That’s good description. I heard another one from man in industry who was able to see it first hand: “dog’s breakfast”. Well here you have it, if you do not lay your own hand on it, you cannot be sure.
      I personally believe it was reasonably good piece of kit, although bit unwieldy (I try for favourable term). The thing is that you need to grab it somehow, somewhere, if you have to swat someone with it. With this one I cannot figure how.

      • Mazryonh

        By “dog’s breakfast,” do you mean an incoherent mess that gave you no idea which was the start and which was the end?

        Another problem with caseless ammo in general is that it’s really difficult to make something that will burn up in the right way inside a firearm and will hold together to heat, rough handling, and other forms of abuse the same way a conventional cased round can. You can read an article about that here:

  • RickH

    I’d like to think that in some small back room at HK, that this is a project (weapon & ammunition)that is not shelved, but still being worked on and developed.

  • Brad

    Where’s the Daisy .22 caseless ammo gun factor into this? It was out in the 60/70’s right?

  • Blake

    One of the better guns in the Fallout universe.

    And just like in the real world, the difficulty of finding ammo means you tend to use something else & only trot it out on special occasions.

    So I tended to stick with the FN-FAL HPFA, Sniper Rifle, & Bozar. Pulse Rifle was the best though 🙂

  • Ryan

    What about the LMG version of the G11? I never see much information on that project

    • Mazryonh

      How was this thing supposed to be loaded? And was it belt-fed (meaning it would have to extract disintegrating links anyway)? Caseless guns are notorious for heat-buildup (and cooking off the ammo inside), so I wonder how this LMG would have stayed cool.

      • me ohmy

        It actually loads alot like the FN ps-90 with the mag above the fore end..
        and the rounds, they STAND UP.. and not laid down sideways

      • The loading procedure of the LMG variant is demonstrated in the photo. HK Pro has factory drawings of the feed system on their webpage. The rounds were turned and fed into a three-chamber cylinder. The goal was to be able to fire all 300 rounds without a cook-off.

  • 1amont_cranston

    Pepperidge Farms remembers