XM8 Spotted At 58th Malaysian Independence Day Parade

Reader Azril sends us some photos of the recent 58th Malaysian Independence Day parade. The Malay armed forces use an interesting mix of armaments including, uniquely, the Heckler and Koch XM8, two of which are visible in the image below:


Note that the rear XM8, partly obscured, appears to feature a railed handguard that resembles that of the HK 416 (several of which are also present in the image. Also visible are many H&K MP5s, as well as no less than three G36s, from which the XM8 was derived, and two AKs; clearly H&K’s representatives have a very cozy relationship with the Malay government.

Azril writes:

Good day.
During Malaysia 58th Independence Day Parade. I’ve spotted several unique’s firearms displayed during the parade.
First two picture is from local news site showing Royal Malaysian Police VAT69 (Sand Beret) armed with Bushmaster Carbon 15 and UTK with Ferfrans SOAR (Note the UTK badge on the mag well).
Inline image
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And the next pictures three picture comes from Rafe (http://konflikdanmiliter.blogspot.my).
First the same overall UTK picture with their vehicle. Inline image
Second, Royal Malaysian Police STAFOC (A new SWAT-type unit to counter organized crime and triads) with CZ Scorpion EVO 3 which will be replacing the H&K Mp5
Inline image
And the last one is Royal Malaysian Navy PASKAL marching with H&K MP5 with grenade launcher and XM8 rifle. If we look closely, DMR version of XM8 also visible behind them.

Thanks to both Azril and Rafe!

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


  • Gordon

    Dat MP5 though

    • Brett

      It is from “End of Days” With Arnold. Also, a popular airsoft and video games for a bit.

  • Zang Kang King

    The fuschia berets get all the cool gats. Way better than us!

    • Tom

      Ah yes Imperial Storm Trooper school. Looks like their marksmanship training is complete and soon they will receive the latest monocam battle dress armour and graduate. I rather imagine these fine troopers will be off to serve on some battle station where no doubt there ability to fire in the general direction of fleeing rebel scum will prove invaluable to the Imperial was effort.

      • Phillip Cooper

        Ironically, if I’m not mistaken, the rifles they’re holding were the same sort modified into the StormTroopers’ blaster rifles in the movies…

        • Trash Boat

          Yeah They’re British Sterling SMGs, the ones used to make the stormtrooper blasters.

      • Blake

        I’ve never understood the whole ‘storm trooper’ cliche. Do people really not understand that the Empire was letting the Millennium Falcon escape? I mean, a general even mentions that right after they get away. So they obviously weren’t shooting to kill, instead to mask that they were letting them go. Plus in just about every single other scene showing storm troopers shooting they are perfectly competent. They are the elite troops of the Empire after all.

        • Tom

          You are quite correct, but that no reason we can not have a nice little giggle.

          I guess the origin [of the Stormtroopers can not shoot straight] is that people saw the movie as kids and where enthralled by the action and explosions rather than paying attention to the plot which as you say is very clear that they wanted them to escape so they could track them to the rebel base with the tacker in the Millennium Falcon.

    • Phil Ward

      What IS going on there?

      Is it some sort of punishment? “Hold this heavy weight out at arms length, and if you drop your arms, the drill sergeant will kick lumps out of you”

      I note that they’re (probably) empty…

      • CavScout

        That is likely their elite forces just completing their marksmanship training. Using sights at all is a rather new concept there. They heard on the internet that it works though.

  • Vitsaus

    The best one was the MP5 with grenade launcher attached. There are no words….

    • Kitsuneki

      Half Life, yay!

  • anon

    I am loving the Mp5/grenade launcher combo.

  • Esh325

    Since the XM8 is not on H&k’s website, I would assume they don’t offer it anymore. Hopefully they still make spare parts for the small number of people who use them. An interesting that unfortunately never became more popular

    • What, exactly, does the XM8 bring to the table that the G36 doesn’t? Keeping in mind that the latter has been embroiled in controversy and rejected by the German MoD…

      I’m not exactly weeping for the XM8, is what I’m saying.

      • Esh325

        Perhaps the xm8 never had the problems the g36 did ?

        • Anonymoose

          It did melt, though.

          • Reportedly it had heat issues. One of these days I’m going to do a research post or two on the XM8.

        • cs

          XM8 looked cooler but it was the same mechanics underneath as the G36

        • It literally is a G36.

          • William_C1

            Considering the current trend of modular rail systems PCAP doesn’t actually seem like that bad of an idea. The weight issue I think is more of a symptom of a widespread “weight creep” that extends far beyond the XM8. Even the M4 is no lighter than the old “full sized” M16A1.

          • Well, that’s because it has a heavy barrel and a rail system. Keep in mind, the old M16A1 was a freakishly light weapon. The M4 is still a lighter weapon than virtually all its competitors, even with the obsolete KAC rail.

          • Uniform223

            Too true. Compare to our old “muskets” (M16A2), the M4 did feel a tad lighter when empty. Also because of its shorter barrel it wasn’t as front heavy, it was easier and faster to point. A bare M4 is light enough. If someone is complaining about the weight of their M4 they either need to do more PT or they have too much crap on it.

          • Dave C

            Fusil Xiuhcoatl ’05 broder.

      • John

        It’s half of the problems of the M16, and twice the benefits of the M4. And it has an X in the name.

        • May

          You mean half the benefits of an M4 and twice the problems of an M16.

          The XM8 is identical to the G36, it just looked different because HK hoped to take the USAF for a ride by making them with a proprietary rail system.

        • How is a rifle that’s heavier, less modular, and more prone to heating issues giving you “twice the benefits” of an M4?

          • CommonSense23

            Cause it is not a AR and a AK and it looks cool. Performance takes a back seat to that.

          • Joshua

            Because 8 is twice as much as 4

          • Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen

            16/2= 8, 4 x 2 = 8, and it has an X

  • USMC03Vet

    The look on his face. He knows he’s going to be on firearm blog and it’s not going to be positive. At least he isn’t the guy land scuba diving with a respirator in his mouth.

    Chin up, Fella.

  • Kirk Newsted

    The pink berets seal the deal. Those guys have to be the baddest mofos on the planet.

    • Edeco

      Silver wings upon their chest
      These are men, Malaysia’s best
      One hundred men will test today
      But only three win the Pink Beret

  • Lance

    Might be a Malaysian knock off og the XM-8 they make firearms on there own maybe one of there spec ops groups wanted a plastic rifle?

    • Benedict Tan

      Most likely a T&E sample for the TDK (our hostage rescue unit) since we already have a few G36s in circulation here. Or at least we hope it’s that and not one more of the numerous black holes for our taxpayer Ringgits.

      • Azril @ Alex Vostox

        Politics, politics, politics. Yeah all the secret even the military acquisition should be revealed to the whole world eh? Armchair general even can’t spell UTK right.

        • Benedict Tan

          Typo. But you can go ahead and call me things if it helps quell your aggression.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Who designed the uniforms? Prince?

  • Anonymoose

    Honestly, I have to wonder how much of these are real weapons, considering the XM8s and HK416s appear to lack sights while some of the other guns (mostly MP5s) have red dots, lasers, and cans. I would not be at all surprised if half of these guns were tacticooled airsoft issued for special occasions to make them look wealthier and more technologically-advanced than they really are. Back in the day, Malaysians, Singaporeans, and Indonesians would have flamewars over ridiculous “prototype” stuff their militaries were supposedly fielding. I also recall Georgia’s and Poland’s special forces claiming to use fancy-shmancy non-standard small arms (such as UMP45s and .50AE Desert Eagles), which is almost certainly a lie as well.

    • Joshua

      Good spot. You are correct none of the 416 or XM8 have irons nor optics

      • Xanderbach

        Also, if you look closely, the XM8 is loaded. Or, at the very least, one of the airsoft replicas with fake cartridges in the magazine- Which seems more likely. Loaded guns in a parade isn’t really military SOP.

        • Not US SOP, but it’s common elsewhere.

          • Brett

            Some airsoft mags do look as if they are loaded.

        • Grindstone50k

          Could be security mag?

      • LCON

        I am not so sure about that. The Irons on the XM8 were rather low profile and atleast two of those Hk416s has the Doppler iron rear.

    • So, I can’t speak for any of the other guns, and I wouldn’t put it past the Malaysian military to do something like that, but I was under the impression that the XM8 sale to Malaysia pretty well documented. I’ll take a look and see if I can get any background on that.

      • Anonymoose

        The only documentation I’ve found is on sketchy Chinese-language blogs and forum submissions from non-government sources. There was also a story on TFB back in 2010, but that is also just pictures of an XM8 in Malaysia that some guy took at a “military event” and does not have citations from a government source.

      • Joshua

        Only thing I’ve heard was they purchased some for evaluation for their Navy dudes. They guys also purchase around 700 CM901s from Colt as well a few years ago for their Special Forces.

        In other words they buy a ton of stuff.

      • 624A24

        Seeing all these exotic weapons in the hands of Malaysians makes me wonder about the rationale behind the purchases. What makes the XM8 the superior choice? Why then are other troopers of (presumably) the same unit carrying other rifles with comparative capability?
        I see M4s, HK416s and G36s and I doubt the XM8 is superior or cheaper than any of them. Especially since the Malaysians are license producing the M4 now.

        • I think they simply got sold stuff by the various companies.

    • 624A24

      It seems the Malaysians won the flame wars – the venerable old Colt 653 and 654 continues in active service in the more special units in Singapore, long after the M16A1 was phased out of regular use. More “modern” and exotic firearms (by SEAsian standards) like the P90 and HK416 are rare weapons that hardly ever go on parade.

  • Tom

    It must be a nightmare for the quartermaster and armorers for these units. I can see;
    HK MP5 – complete with grenade launcher 🙂
    HK MP5SD
    HL MP5 PDW
    HK 416 – some with AG36
    HK XM8
    HK G36K
    HK G36C
    Plus some sort of Kalashnikov variant (muzzle brake visable at the top left and selector/cocking handle visible on the guy in the top right (last line second from their left).

    About the only thing I can see that looks standard is the pistol which all (at least those that can be seen) appear to be 1st gen Glocks.

    • KBoys

      The Kalashnikov variant is the AK 102, PASKAL did have some AK102s in their iventory

  • Anonymoose

    http://m203pi.com/#WITHOUT Lots of comments on the MP5+M203, so I’ll just leave this here. Airtronic also makes an M203-to-AK47 adapter, iirc.

  • Anomanom

    Did anyone else notice that the MP5/grenade launcher combo is the same version that was used in the movie “End of Days”?

    Also, love the pink berets. You know those guys ain’t afraid of nothin’.

  • Matrix3692

    It’s a shame that for the past five years, I couldn’t go and witness the parade live. The university semester starts the on September 1st.

  • borekfk

    Fish gun lives. It’s a glorious time to be alive.

    • Anonymoose

      If the weather is nice this weekend I might take my F2000 out on the lake and go XM8ing. :^)

      • Dan

        My god that’s the most glorious statement I’ve heard in months.

      • borekfk

        Hope you get a good one buddy.

        • Anonymoose


        • CavScout

          Lol, and I LOVE the anchor as well. Needs some ARX-100’s though!

  • Chemical Munitions

    I don’t often get to camouflage my face, but when I do, I prefer to wear my pink beret.
    As for the guy with the respirator in his mouth – that’s legit! The angry scowl on his face and evil stare at the guy to his left are clear signs that his marching buddy pulled a blue falcon and ripped ass after downing a little too much mee goreng mamak. The “guilty” guy is looking dow with that sheepish “I know, I’m sorry” look, and the guy behind “guilty” has the “WTF!, Are you seriuos” look plastered all over his face.

    • Anomanom

      That’s exactly what i was thinking.

  • Grindstone50k

    I wonder how much people outside the States make fun of US military parades?

    • Spencerhut

      Uh what US Military parades? We rarely ever have one . . .

      • Grindstone50k

        I meant it kind of a catch-all for all military dog-and-pony shows, such as showing up to sporting events, having demos, etc. Happens a lot, just doesn’t get a lot of media play outside of local media.

        • Bal256

          I don’t see why any country would criticize a marching band when most of them roll out cruise missiles on full display at their parades.

          • Grindstone50k

            Think you missed the point in a big way.

  • ZF

    I remember back in the day how much seeing the Xm8 being used would have made me drool. Now that I’m more the wiser I can easily see the loads of issues with it. And having played around with a airsoft version, it’s pretty clunky and not as useful as one would think.

    But hey, tacticool outweighs tactical any day!

  • George

    The real question is what is this? Looks like an XM8 in the back and a 416 in the front. It might be one of those Picitanny rail XM8s but I’m not sure.

    • George

      “If we look closely, DMR version of XM8 also visible behind them.”

    • lee

      clearer image of the weapon…

      • Also, that definitively proves they are not airsoft guns.

      • Ryan

        That photo was uploaded to Wiki on Sept 1 2014.

  • ThatGuy

    Meh. I’d rather take my ss2-v5 any day of the week

    • ThatGuy


  • Yann B.


    on this picture your can see the weapon completly. If you ask, I found this picture in wikipedia’s XM8 profile, the gun is in the hands of Malaysian Navy PASKAL.

    Yann B.

    • Joe

      Holy height over bore, Batman!!! The holdover to hit the T box at 7 yards has got to be ridic.

  • Jas

    Airsoft is apparently popular with the Malay military.

  • Burst

    Yeah, I’m gonna need another article about that MP5/M203 conglomeration.

    Did HK produce them, or were they something the Malaysians cobbled together?

    • Matrix3692

      no, B&T produce them.

  • PASKAL cross train a lot with SEALs (while army GGK are SAS snobs) so guess now you know where the influence came from 🙂

  • Dave C

    Cue the musician formerly known as Prince: “Raspberry beret….”

    Keepin’ it FABULOUS guys! Can I get a “tactigay” comment…?

  • Monty01

    Don’t forget that the XM8 was essentially a re-bodied G36 – and we know how that weapon turned out! Good job that US Army didn’t adopt it.

  • Topo Solitario

    The XM8 seems legit to me. What can be taken for bullets is the spring of a real magazine, it goes to the far bottom of the magazine, airsoft dummies don’t. See the attached photo and compare.
    The rest of the stuff seems legit to me too… the MP5s are copies of the “last of days” Arnie’s gun, but that is a prizey to build airsoft custom (rarely seen) and all trigger groups for the MP5s are 4 position, (including burst), something that is almost impossible to find in an airsoft mp5. Metal and plastics colors seems legit too… so… I think we are facing the Evil version of a Gunsmith with over-average budget and a delightfull taste for movies.

  • TJbrena

    Every night I cry myself to sleep knowing my raifu went the way of the Dreamcast.

    RIP in peace XM8, you were too were too rich in Omega-3s and good with lemon juice for this world.

  • Marzuq

    they also have compact carbine variant of the XM8 in their inventory…

  • CavScout

    What a cluster. MP5’s will the full sized aimpoints, cluster of guns in general, or the scuba gear through the mask, or the lack or any sights on some of the other rifles.