BREAKING: Heckler & Koch Takes the German Government TO COURT Over G36 Accuracy Question

6r1xUW0

The firestorm over the Bundeswehr’s G36 assault rifle has reached a new fever pitch: Heckler & Koch, maker of the embattled rifles has sued the German government in an effort to clear its name of any wrongdoing. The company’s G36 rifles have come under fire in the past few years for having a flaw in their construction that reportedly causes great shifts in the rifle’s point of impact when sustaining temperature or humidity changes. DW.com reports:

On Friday, the case is to go before a court in Koblenz, southern Germany, where the army’s procurement office is situated. It is up to the judges to determine whether the G36, the German army’s standard assault rifle since 1996, loses accuracy when it heats up. The company, meanwhile, is out to rescue its reputation and its prestigious relationship with the German military – built up in over 50 years of collaboration.

Some say the company has reason to feel aggrieved. “I can understand if Heckler & Koch said that this was damaging to its business and reputation – one could argue that,” said Sebastian Schulte, a defence analyst and Germany correspondent for a military magazine “Jane’s Defence Weekly.” “In my opinion,Heckler & Koch is seeking closure of the issue and validation by the court’s decision, to show that they haven’t done anything wrong.”

Schulte believes that H&K has a good case because the government moved the goal posts since the rifle first came into use in 1996. And anyway, a new iteration of the G36 would certainly be an improvement: “Technological advances however already allow the production of rifles suited for a broader range of operational and climatic conditions,” said Schulte.

Friday’s court case is H&K’s chance to clear its name, but even if the Defense Ministry does stick with its decision to ditch the G36, it’s far from the end for the gun-maker, who, lobby watchdogs have pointed out, maintains excellent relationships with the ministry.

“There are several possible alternative candidates that could be considered by the Defence Ministry,” said Schulte. “However, Heckler & Koch itself remains an option as the familiarity of the Bundeswehr with the company’s products and an established training and supply logistics are all arguments in favor of the company.” Despite being on opposite sides in Koblenz, it seems clear that the firm and theGerman military have developed a co-dependent relationship.

The controversy culminated with a report by the Ernst Mach Institute that verified the rifle’s problems, resulting in German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen condemning the rifle and announcing the search for a replacement. The Defense Minister even claimed that a government official had covered up the rifle’s flaws. Despite the EMI report, however, a field survey conducted by the German Green party seemed to vindicate the rifle, and the Lithuanian (a nation that also uses G36s) investigation into the matter determined that the rifles do not have any major flaws. Here at TFB, we even took a G36 to the range to see if we could find any accuracy issues with the weapon, and could not in our – admittedly limited – testing.

The G36 rifle is not out of the woods yet, but it will be very interesting to see the outcome of this lawsuit. Will H&K be vindicated? We will continue to report on this, so be sure to check back with TFB to find out!

Thanks to Daniel for the tip!

 



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 can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


Advertisement

  • Andrea F.

    I still wonder what the German bigwigs are thinking. Low cost glory and then they sue the company which produced what they wanted. Instead of squandering billions of € for mundane things like free stuff for muslim migrants, they could do something meaningful and hand out new rifles? Ah sorry I forgot, the Germans live in a world of global peace where Beer and Benz’s get the job done.

    • Phil Hsueh

      From what I understand, the problem isn’t inherent in the design of the G36 nor what the German government specified from H&K, the problem lies in H&K swapping out the polymer originally specified either by them or the government for another polymer that’s far less heat tolerant which is (apparently) the cause behind the shifting accuracy issues. Going by this it seems to me that H&K is entirely at fault for switching the polymer used in the G36 furniture, that is unless the government either knew about the switch and said nothing or actually ordered/OKd the switch by H&K.

      • Kivaari

        Like the US Army switching to Winchester ball powder instead of the specified IMR powder in the M193. Their choice gave Colt a bloody nose, when it was the fault of the Army.

        • FWIW: The popular narrative about the propellant switch is full of half-truths. If the US Army was trying to block the use of DuPont propellants, why did they qualify two additional IMR-types for loading M193 after DuPont withdrew IMR4475? Indeed, one of the those two IMR-types had been an off-shoot of yet another IMR-type just developed under Army contract for a temperature insensitive propellant for the 7.62mm NATO.

        • CommonSense23

          The major flaw with the early M16s was lack of chrome lining. Once that was solved so did most of the malfunction issues.

      • There have been claims that the thermal shift was an issue as early as the original Bundeswehr trials that pitted the then HK50 against the Steyr AUG.

        • Chris22lr

          I’m almost sure that the first time I’ve heard about G36 heat dissipation problems (and I’m not sure if it was reported as simply “overheating” or as a “thermal-induced POI shift) was like… 10 (?) years ago.

          Back then German special military unit KSK was having problems with G36 in Afghanistan, and as a stop-gap measure they’ve started using KAC railed aluminum handguards with additional heat shields.

        • n0truscotsman

          wow…..

          Thats nutso!

    • FarmerB

      Way to go, Andy 👏

  • John

    Take the rifle to the U.S. Army proving grounds. Fire a magazine into targets. Record results. Do 10 mag dumps in a row. Record results. Compare. You have proof either way.

  • gunsandrockets

    Yeah, this will end well.

  • Klaus Von Schmitto

    So – The German government sucks and HK hates them. Join the club Angela.

  • Jose

    It would be interesting if Heckler & Koch decides to reintroduce the XM8 rifle system; this time with the proper improvements that the G-36 needs already, and offer them to the Bundeswehr. No doubt that the German government make a big blunder in not giving full, proper attention on the G36 matter, and decided to withdraw the weapon from military service. I hope that Heckler & Koch wins this case in court, which could result in forcing Mrs.Ursula von der Leyen, to step down from her position as Minister of Defense.

    And, to get even, Heckler & Koch should offer the G36 to any country, unrestricted, starting with good old U.S.A : set up a factory and make G36/HK243-293/XM8’s and selling to law enforcement; military; civilians, etc. Heckler and Koch have been doing military weapons for Germany, since the end of World War Two. They resurrected the STG45 in the form of the G3; MP5; HK33; G41 and their machine guns; they developed the advanced G11 and its caseless ammo; which was rejected because of the end of the Cold War and the reunification of Germany; they adapted the AR-18 system to create the G36 and used it in the MR556/HK416, as well the XM8. The German government has shown gratitude, but on this one, they were ungrateful. Same goes with the U.S. military, who spend millions of dollars in searching a replacement for the M-16/M4, only to keep using the same weapon, instead of adopting the G36; or at least, converting their M-4s to HK416s.

    That’s all what I can say. If anyone doesn’t like it, then go and suck a popsicle.

    • 40mmCattleDog

      Why the hell would the U.S. ever adopt the G36 over the M4. The M4A1 SOPMOD Block II and MK18 are leagues above the G36 in every way. And no we don’t need to “convert” our M4s to HK416s either bud.

      • Tritro29

        That’s total non-sense. Both weapons have their merits. Europe as such has picked up consistently H&K for their recent procurements. Case in point, there’s a big fat chance the 416 or a derivative will be the unified weapon for both France and Germany. On another note, being stellar in testing means nothing. Our AN 94 was stellar in testing. Then it needed to be produced in numbers and that was another story.

        • MPWS

          Yeah, but with 416 you are talking upgraded (and porkier) AR-15 with lot more cost. I do not see why you are in such a dis-agreement with CattleDog. He says M4 was brought to pinnacle within its conceptual capability for adequate cost while G36 arguably failed and its utility remains to be in question, politically or otherwise. I do not much wrong with that assertion.

          • Tritro29

            … Are we talking about the same issue here? The G36 has clearly not hit any bottom soon. The M4 (or better the M16) was much maligned and has had about 50 years of “shoulda stay or shoulda go” on its tail. The G36 has none of that. I’m in a disagreement with the poster because he’s implying the cost of keeping the M16 line is less important than looking through the G36 and trying to get it better if need to be. Facts in that comparison are simple. The German armed forces haven’t gone though the level of alterations the M16 has gone through, neither have they been having gazillion trials to replace the G36. Frankly…it’s like people don’t even try and understand what they say anymore.

          • MPWS

            It’s all about perceptions – they do rule the world. They decide war or peace. If some ‘place’ makes you believe that’s the way it is and it happed to be ‘the authority’ with capability to enforce that – no more discussion is needed.
            G36 was given, rightly or wrongly, sticker of faulty design and so it is under consideration (or even order) to be pulled out of service. It makes sense, that’s the reality of the day. Sure, its maker can object and even win at court. Result will likely end up in compromise and more business.
            Did you not say yourself it is political BS?

          • Tritro29

            Yes, but CattleDog hasn’t said that…So thanks for giving it to me, but that goes directly against what he said.

          • 40mmCattleDog

            Ah I see I just “dont try to understand what i say anymore” is that it? Great rebuttel there cheif. Back on topic the M16 was “maligned” based on a crappy introduction of the weapon. The modern versions are miles ahead of the G36 in development and maturity. The U.S. military knows the M4 like the back of its hand and it shows. We have refined the weapon to its peak performance pretty much and yes its better than the G36 in every way including cost, there is absolutely no reason the US would ever adopt it. And please dont bring up the same old piston vs DI crap either because its a wash. Obviously the Germans dont trust the G36 and there are plenty of soldiers who have an issue with the design itself, some have posted here. And lets check what SOCOM, SAS, SBS, SASR and virtually every other western special forces unit uses, its an M4 variant not a G36.

          • Tritro29

            So here we are 50+ years aback and you tell me that while the M16 series underwent refinement until they hit that sweet spot, but somehow the G36 (which I’m sure you know better than the Bunderswehr itself) hasn’t delivered (nevermind the Bundeswehr inquiry itself) in combat. Neither, according to you, is it worthy of more consideration or “refinement”. The facts are these. The M16 was deemed a POS at the beginning. It took many trials to get it to “work”. The Germans don’t trust the G36? Obviously their soldiers don’t agree with you. Obviously. Virtually every special forces? Virtually every special forces have an AK variant in their armories…what does that tell you? Special. Forces….

          • 40mmCattleDog

            Dude, can you read or do you just like parroting the same old lines again? The M16s INTRODUCTION was maligned. After that the M16a1 was perfectly fine and accepted by the troops all the way to our M4A1. And no the Germans don’t trust the G36 and it HASN’T DELIVERED if the weapons reliability and is an issue here. Hell the first German units to Afghanistan had to have aluminum stopgap modified hand guards fitted to even be able to squeeze out a few mags without overheating. There are German soldiers posting on this very article about how much of a POS the G36 is.

            And once again did you even bother to read? Every other western special forces CHOOSES to use an M4 variant as its PRIMARY weapon, not just another weapon in it’s armory. The G36 doesn’t hold this level of acclaim for a reason, because its inferior. And if you think that the fact that the best trigger pullers from every western nation are happy and confident in the M4 is just a small and trivial fact then that’s just blind ignorance on your part. Seriously, put two and two together chief.

          • Tritro29

            I could post at least three links in German explaining that the H&K G36 performs as it was ordered by the Bundeswehr in the 90’s. The H&K G50, the prototype wasn’t built from H&K on its own mind but according to the Bundeswehr.

            Then the issues with the G36 (this is where it gets funny) have been suddenly observed around 2011 (while the rifle has been in use with Saudi Arabia and Spain whose temps could worsen the accuracy issue). Yet NO word from both countries about inaccuracies of the weapon.

            At first it was deemed that the weapons were used incorrectly ( edge or out of their envelope), sustained fire made them normally less accurate (hot rifle will shoot less accurately than cold one).

            Then the ammunition was faulted. Which the manufacturer endorsed as true. In between these New claims appeared, such as H&K in order to save on cost, forged German Federal Seals from 2004/2006 and that rifles weren’t up to spec. Polyethylene was allegedly found.

            Cue the last act. April 2015. H&K has sold inadequate rifles to Germany. Although October 2015 Soldiers from Afghan Contingent say that they never have had any “performance” and “accuracy” issues with the rifle.

            Now February 2016 “improved rifles” were tested for three months and suddenly these rifles have not much issue bar ammunition variation. The rifle look and feel 1:1 with old rifles. H&K proposed a 600 euro fix for the rifles that would be found lacking accuracy. Van Der Leyden refused. The issue is that she’s been nailed not only from H&K but also from her own apparatus that suddenly aren’t all that happy she’s gone out there and claimed the 36 was finished.

            Select excerpt from Der Speigel.

            “Die Delegation des Verteidigungsministeriums verließ Koblenz entsprechend alarmiert, umgehend wurde Berlin über die Kritik an der Ministerin unterrichtet. Wenig später kündigte ihr Haus an, man wolle schon bald neue Untersuchungen veröffentlichen, diese sollen noch einmal die Präzisionsmängel bestätigen. Unerfreulich ist dabei, dass die Prüfer auch die von Heckler & Koch angebotene nachgebesserte G36-Version testeten. Sie schießt, so der Bericht, tatsächlich wesentlich genauer – auch in hitzigen Gefechtsszenarien.”

            You can go on and Google translate that If you don’t understand German.

            Inferior? It’s like the second time Americans talk about “inferior” and “superior” about things they don’t know. Best trigger pullers are actually happy with a lot of weapons, they use according to tactical situation. Whole CT/SWAT teams in Europe and World wide use the G36 in all variants. Or don’t those enter your M4 mantra?

            Holy Jesus it’s getting really difficult to make you understand what you are talking about.

          • 40mmCattleDog

            LOL yeah must be hard to convince me a weapon that only police, the German army and a few other token buyers is somehow superior to a weapon that has been fielded and accepted by again, virtually every western special forces group. Oh and G36 acceptance by SWAT doesn’t mean anything. SWAT guys aren’t engaged in hour long firefights with long strings of fire which is what the a combat weapon should be capable of.

            Whether or not you like the G36, you just admitted “H&K G36 performs as it was ordered by the Bundeswehr in the 90’s.” Exactly, the requirements weren’t for a battle ready carbine ready for WW3, it was for a cheap rifle with peacetime requirements to replace the G3 when the G11 fell through because of expenses and the govt had to pay for reunification with East Germany. So yeah the G36 probably performs within this limited envelope but its clearly inferior the the M4 family which weren’t designed with low cost as its primary factor for adoption.

            Finally, me saying the M4 is superior is based on facts and what the people at the pointy end of the spear prefer, not some BS “Murica is always better” argument. But hey go ahead keep making strawman arguments and shillin for that G36.

          • Tritro29

            Well the Germans have produced over 1 million G36 rifles in kit and finished.
            How the actual f*** do you think the a defence Ministry works. Oh you know we don’t need that much. Just a self-loading slingshot will do. You’re talking about guys that pushed for programs like the Leopard 2A4 to go on despite the Cold war was done. I don’t know what you use for medication but please try and change it. ASAP.

            As for long strings of fire? Guys on the ground, with the rifle were never, NEVER, outgunned or outmatched in their experience and opinion. NEVER.

            But then again? I thought this was a “cheap rifle”…How come fixing cheap comes more expensive than fixing a darn expensive rifle when it first was introduced like the M16? In your own words it doesn’t even start to make sense. Also Sporting a double Hensoldt sight, isn’t going to be “cheap” and Germans don’t do cheap, even when the goal is to do cheap.

            Is there anything NOT from Wikipedia you’re going to unveil here? Or shall I get on with the dismantlement of your argument regarding “inferior” G36?

            Yeah tip of the spear until they pick the G36. Keep that tune going man.

          • 40mmCattleDog

            HAHAHA! What “dismantlement” dude? Your 4 paragraph opinion piece? You listing “facts” that have not been proved yet? Listing news articles about controversy? How the hell is the fact the Germans developed a tank refute the fact the G36 is a cheap rifle? Real great counter point. Learn some basic argumentation and refutation skills besides just rambling on about BS that has nothing to do with the post. And again telling me I only just “use Wikipedia” is another straw man argument for an ignoramus who cant argue the facts or come up with a real refutation. Jesus go take a community college debate class or something and learn how to argue like an adult and not some high school humanities student.

            Back on topic, please list me some Special forces groups at the “pointy end of the spear” that use the G36. There are ZERO special forces groups asking for the G36. ZERO. However SAS, SBS, SASR, Canadian SOF, SOCOM, French SOF are all using M4 variants and are all asking for more and newer versions. Now that’s a real fact bud. But please tell me when they will all change over to the G36, Id like to hear some more shilling.

          • Tritro29

            What facts haven’t been proved?

            Do you know the cost of the A0 variant? Do you happen to know the cost of the A5/E variant of the G36? Do you know that H&K had to incur a great cost in tooling for their “cheap” rifle?

            You’re using Wikipedia and it shows because you can’t read German, you don’t provide one corroborating source about your claims. You don’t

            Now as for your argument.

            M4 is bestest because Tier One guys use it. Everywhere. Everytime. For Everything. FFS that has to be THE most unrefined form of self-wanking I have seen.

            I listed an article which gives a detailed account of the “controversy”, which is called context. You know the things that precede and locate the said controversy in time and space and circumstances.

            KSK-9 (Germany)/ CPA10 (France)/Kieffer Commando (until 2010 at least, France), (Turkish Gendarmerie which is 24/7 at odds with PKK people used the rifle under, then the Mehmetçik was rejected). Dutch SF used the G36 at least until what, 2014 (Landmacht days). French COS as their primary (weapon, although the 416 has been introduced, but mostly to replace the Famas). We can go like this for a while.

            Shilling…yeah well alright. Yet to hear one reason the G36 is inferior to a weapons altered in so many aspects from its starting point it would have to call the AR15, Uncle.

    • Anon

      And spending a lot of money to replace the M4 with the HK 416 or G36 will accomplish…?

      • Joshua

        We would get a gun that costs 3x the amount of the M4 with a practically identical maintenance cycle.

        • Anon

          Exactly, and marginal at best benefits, but I guess “Ermahgerd H&K!”.

        • Mazryonh

          Do you have a link explaining the XM8’s issues and whether they could likely have been overcome?

          • Bubbleheadscout

            Yeah…really. The Army was set to adopt the XM-8 until the industry complained about lack of competition. So, it’s a valid question. What flaws? Have any of you M-4 coolaid drinkers actually served on active duty in a combat zone? I was in Kosovo. We had the M16A2 then. If I only had a dollar for every M16 malfunction I witnessed. The M16/M4 series has a checkered history at best. The flaws with the weapon have cost lives. Fact. What? You think those servicemen and women wrote their congressman about the flaws inherent in their rifles were all full of it? That’s why congress pushed forward demanding new carbine trials. There were problems and the Army knew it. Have these problems been addressed…I think so. But keep in mind

          • Mazryonh

            I have my own misgivings about M855A1, such as the increased wear the high-pressure round causes as well as the increased cost for the sake of achieving lead-free status in this age of constant budget cuts.

            The ability for the XM8 to easily change out from short-barrelled PDW to long-barreled LMG would have been nice to see if it could work well in the rigours of combat.

            The XM8 might be AJ Squared Away, but are any of his efforts useful if he’s as ignored as the XM8 is as of 2016?

          • Mazryonh

            If the G36 is AJ Squared Away, does that make the XM8 its ignored brother who did much of the same things that the G36 did?

      • iksnilol

        Well, the XM8 does look cool. So a modern version that works better would certianly be cool.

    • Joshua

      Hahahahahahaha. You do know our XM8’s had horrible issues during testing.

      • Kivaari

        Remember the big article in Army Times telling us the Army bought the XM8? I remember.

    • AC

      Are you kidding me? Are you actually this big of a H&K fanboy? Do you duct-tape armor to your back to take multiple .338 Lapua hits?

  • I’m starting to get quite confused, didn’t the E.M Institute find polyethylene inside the heat resistant polymer which was causing the trunnion to melt under heat? What happened to that rifle? Why isn’t the German Gov. investigating that rifle and the batches?

    • Tritro29

      It did, found nothing wrong with the rifle. This is political BS.

  • Malthrak

    I find it difficult to believe that a problem like this, in a widely issued assault rifle, would take nearly 20 years to be noticed by anyone (and only one user thus far at that) if there were an inherent flaw with the fundamental design as opposed to a manufacturing defect on a specific production batch or something.

    I have a feeling either there were just some bad QC errors on HK’s part for some production runs, or this is the German Govt’s way of putting HK in “timeout” for having new production G36’s ending up in places they *really* didnt belong a few too many times in recent years.

    • Joshua

      It’s not like Germany sees a lot of combat. I mean no offense, but when your a peacetime force that does very little fighting it can take a while to actually see issues in a rifle.

      • Malthrak

        Right, they dont, though they have seen some, its been in use about 20 years, and the Germans are not the only users of the rifle.

    • Look, I don’t want to sound like I’m bashing HK here, but I’ve got to ask: Why is it difficult to believe?

      The G36 began issuance in 1996-1997, and since then the only major conflict with German involvement has been Afghanistan. Not to belittle the contributions of Germany, but they have been only a minor part in the Afghanistan effort.

      Reports of the G36’s issues go back as far as 2008 (when the press first got a hold of it), so it really only took 5-6 years for these issues to come to light.

      By comparison, the AR-15/M16 began military issuance in 1963, but it wasn’t until 1967-1968 that its teething troubles became obvious. These are very similar timelines, actually.

      • Malthrak

        I’m not saying its impossible, but the M16 also had far less vetting and a far more backhanded initial acquisition process than the G36, and there were other factors with the AR15 that had nothing to do with the rifle itself (changes in ammo powder, no issuance of cleaning kits, etc) that do not appear to be in play for the G36.

        Additionally, the G36 has seen adoption by other militaries around the world (in ways the M16 had not yet been when its issues came to light) and none of them seem to have noted the issue.

        I’m all for bashing HK when they deserve it, I wouldnt consider myself an HK fanboy at all, it just feels really odd that only one user (AFAIK) has noticed this…and only after many years.

        • Erm, most of the sales of the G36 occurred to police departments, and most of those after the year 2002. So the only customer for the G36, really, between 1996 and 2002 was Germany.

          • Malthrak

            Saudi, Egyptian, Serbian, Slovakian, Spanish, Portugese, Thai, Romanian, Swedish, and Korean armed forces (particularly special forces in most cases) use G36’s in some capacity, as do police units like in Mexico that have seen some hard engagements, as well as Libyan militias and Kurdish groups. They arent unknown or untested outside of Germany.

          • HB

            Eh, well, I didn’t see any G36 variant used by Korean military units; only Korean Coast Guard is using very small numbers, at least to my knowledge.

          • Malthrak

            That’s possible, I know for most of the others though it largely appears to be a special forces weapon.

          • Check the dates on all those sales, though.

        • Joshua

          Most countries that are issuing the G36 are mostly peacetime forces. Few have seen any prolonged combat tours of 6 months to a year over a span of 12+ years.

          • Malthrak

            That might be fair on some level…but this is apparently an issue which can ostensibly occur on training ranges and the like, it doesnt require doing 20 mag dumps.

          • Richard Kroll

            I would have to question you on controlled, slow firing, range type action versus battle where a 5 mag dump might make the barrel virtually smoke. We only need the extreme heat of the barrel to break the boundary layer where it connects to the plastic stock to have a float so to speak. They should give all us commentators a couple cases of G36s, couple hundred mags ad 100,000 rds of ammo and we’ll get back to you on what we think.

          • Lt_Scrounge

            Give me about ten 100 round drums and I’ll see if I can’t melt one down. That’s about how many they managed to melt the gas tube on an AR with in a YouTube video. They shot the video at night using a thermal camera. I would NOT have wanted my hands anywhere near that barrel or upper receiver without welding gloves on. Those puppies were HOT.

      • Kivaari

        Nathaniel, DID HK substitute polymer mixes? If so was it a corruption influenced change (greed) or an ordered change from the army?

        • I am not sure if they did or not. There are allegations to that effect.

      • Tritro29

        >First allegations for tampering date back in 2004. With forged Bundeswehr seals being applied by H&K. And many such practices. The issue however is that unlike Germany, Spain and Saudi Arabia had these rifles way past A2 variants. No complaints and Saudi and Spanish rifles tend to stay out in the heat a lot. Also the G36’s were fired in anger in many cases in Kosovo (including as late as February/June 2012).

    • Phil Hsueh

      From what I’ve read, it’s not an inherent design problem nor is it a QC problem, it’s a problem with H&K using a different polymer in the furniture than what was originally specified. They went from a polymer with a high heat tolerance to one with a much lower tolerance which resulted in the melting and accuracy issues experienced by the Bundeswehr. Curiously enough, G36s in service other nations haven’t been experiencing the same issue as the ones in German service which further supports the notion that the problem isn’t an inherent design flaw or a QC issue. The big question is why H&K would cheap out on the polymer for the German G36s and nobody else, you’d think that the German is probably their largest customer and thus the one they would be most apt to please over anybody else; of course that’s unless because the German government is such a big an regular customer they figure they don’t have to be so stringent with them since they figure that they’ll always have their business no matter what.

      • I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to say it’s an inherent design problem. There is no metallic connection between the sights and the barrel itself, which means that as the polyamide changes dimension with heat and humidity, the point of impact will change.

        “How much?” is the question, one that – if the doping controversy proves to be true – may have been exacerbated by cost-cutting.

        The rifle’s design itself is still highly suspect, however.

        • JSmath

          Carbon fiber reinforced polyamides have a heat coefficient of expansion of 14×10^-6.
          Most grades of (only) Nylon based polyamides round out around 90×10^-6.
          The steels used in most barrels lie around (7 to 10)x10^-6.

          While it might russle your jimmies, use of a polymer trunnion is only a problem when some moron substitutes inferior quality materials where it matters without consideration for the consequences. That’s not just true of polymers, though this case highlights the significance. Not all steels are the same, not all aluminums are the same.

          The X95 has metal to metal contact from the barrel to the sights…

          • JSmath, check out Richard Kroll’s comment above. I found it very enlightening.

          • JSmath

            Read it now, and I agree it’s interesting, but I’m interpreting it as leaning towards agreeing with what I and Phil Hsueh are saying.

            Regrind usage is done on an allowance basis, and substitution of inferior materials is unacceptable in any circumstance. Assembly workers exceeding regrind allowance is the same thing as workers pouring sand-crusted steel and aluminum back into part molds – it’s not a design issue in any way, it’s negligent work practice that border on criminal behavior.

            The evidence of the circumstances, as I’ve read on the issue, indicate that there was nothing wrong with the original design itself. Switching out a steel trunnion for an aluminum one could be just as problematic.

          • That’s an interesting take, and one I don’t have the experience to back up. I will, however, note that forged metal receiver weapons don’t seem to have this problem.

            I’m not a plastics engineer, so once once steps into the room, I have to step aside. It doesn’t seem to me like a plastic receiver could realistically provide the thermal consistency unit-to-unit that a forged metallic receiver could, and every time I’ve spoken to an actual materials engineer about the subject, they’ve agreed with that sentiment. So, I’ve had little reason to doubt that assumption.

            I don’t know for sure, of course. I’d love to see a more detailed analysis of the problem. As always, I can only do my best to get the facts right, and to change my mind when it must.

        • Tritro29

          Frankly it was none of that. It’s just their DefMin that wanted some brown points with the unwashed Green masses. FFS if I was German I’d be ashamed with the way you could mess up such a reputable weapon for 15 minutes of political fame. I don’t get Germans in that aspect. Had Shoigu said that, he’d be the first to parachute over Kiev with a spork and no trousers and gain it back for the Motherland.

          • So, in this world, Fr. von der Leyen has such power and influence that she can get the Ernst Mach Institut to publish a damning report of the rifle, just for some political brownie points!?

          • Tritro29

            Yes, you clearly don’t understand what was said and what was published. Once the tests were done again and the soldiers that were deployed surveyed, the facts were clear. Furthermore, other nations that had deployed and that had fired more rounds than the supposed “long sustained firefights” both in “real conditions” and “routine training” especially Latvian guns were even in worse condition than the German selected ones, nothing was even close to what was claimed. It’s one thing to understand firearms, it’s another to understand European politics.

          • Where were the EMI tests repeated? I sure would love to see that!

            Regarding the survey, I’ll just copy what I wrote elsewhere:

            “Yes, I’m aware of the Nachtwei survey, we reported on that when it was released. They surveyed 200 soldiers and could not determine that the rifles had negatively impacted the soldiers’ abilities to do their job, or put the soldiers in danger.

            Now let’s think about that… How could a survey possibly demonstrate this? It is a measure of the feelings and experiences of soldiers, not of the dispersion of their rifles. I am glad that none of the soldiers surveyed felt that the rifles performed poorly, but clearly some soldiers have felt that the rifles have problems (see xebat), and we have a report from the EMI saying the rifles have issues.

            The thing is, if 20% of your rifle fleet is susceptible to this problem, then your whole rifle fleet has a problem. That might not show up on a survey, but if you get enough complaints*, that means further investigation is warranted. EMI conducted that investigation, and found the problem was real. Unless it is proven that EMI falsified their report, or some other scandal, I cannot conclude otherwise.

            *I’d compare this to the complaints against the M4. Survey after survey showed the M4 had the highest satisfaction rating in the US Army, but still reports would come back that it had issues. Now, my research indicates the M4’s problems stem from a poor institutional maintenance system in the Army, not the rifle’s design, but still, the reports – even though they were a minority – of course should not be ignored!”

          • Tritro29

            It’s really funny you call in xebat, because I can call in current serving soldiers who point out different issues with the rifle, than the sights (feeding lips with magazines, poor care from former soldiers etc). Not one has called out the accuracy. And even xebat hasn’t called out the G36 accuracy out side the what I clearly perceive as hearsay. There’s nothing consistent about it, because the individual soldier can’t perceive accuracy drop or not at the ranges the G36 was pushed (especially in the Kunduz area). We’re talking 350/500m under duress. Those are ranges which normally will have one “miss” a lot. Yet not a single one out of the 200 guys said that they were let down by the rifle.

            I have served in the Bundeswehr and had extensive experience with the
            G36. Altough it´s concept of combining reflex sights with a scope was
            revolutionary at it´s time , the sights , especially the reflex sight on
            the stock G36 are very bad. It has such a tiny field of view and fogs
            up all the time.

            You can feel how janky the construction of the
            plastic is. It rattles like crazy. During long firefights especially in
            hot places like Afghanistan the precision suffers alot.”

            Oh so is it the new “SAS on the balcony” joke? We seem to have all those who took part in the “prolonged firefight” in Kunduz? Like all 12 of them?

            FFS the issue as described by other German officers to people in the know is this. Current DefMin cabinet wanted to get rid of the G36 contract before the 2019 deadline. The G36 were to go their mid-life overhaul from now until 2019. They wanted something new, something with a 4 and a 16…it was easy peasy to just go ahead and crap on the G36, who would notice, after all P-hacking could make most of it happen. And H&K wasn’t always clean re. procurement.

            I provided you the current state of affairs through that Spiegel excerpt. The G36 ‘improved’ shoots according to the “new” requirements. And that’s why Ms. Ursula has gone out of negotiations with H&K. Yet the “improved” variant doesn’t feel or show different parts. She’s hell bent on changing rifle and for good reason. Why keep an old hag when you can have that nice little blonde for Wuppertal?

            It doesn’t get more evident than this.

          • Again, for the fiftieth time, your argument hinges on the von der Leyen Ministry being literally the puppetmaster of the Fraunhofer Society and the EMI. How do you address this?

          • Tritro29

            Then why did she bailed out of the negotiations when the ‘impoved’ rifles performed A-OK? This is something I don’t understand with you actually. Not the first time testing is tempered with in a non-visible fashion. If I set impossible standards to attain, you are going to fall short.
            Period.
            Now we have Spiegel reporting that the new rifles don’t fall short? Now which is it?

          • I am not sure what you’re talking about. I see an article by Spiegel that I think might be the one you mean, but the automatic translation is so atrocious I can’t make heads nor tails of it: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/g36-ursula-von-der-leyen-droht-pleite-vor-gericht-a-1095742.html

            I’ve asked one of my friends who speaks the language to give me a translation, so we’ll see what he says.

            If the testing was tampered with, that would of course be huge news. I have seen no evidence to that effect, however.

          • Tritro29

            That’s the article. It has plenty to eat.


            Hypothetical P-hacking is simply biasing your test in a way that it wouldn’t be passed based on former results. In this case, the EMI findings make rifle qualification impossible with the G36…from what has transpired from the press. It’s as simple as that. So unless no German Soldier is unable to qualify with that rifle the EMI test poses serious issues of credibility.

          • So, it seems like our discussion has gotten tangled. I want to break it down into three parts, and talk about my opinions on each, given the evidence I have at hand:

            1. Does the G36 have a thermal/humidity problem? There is convincing (to me) evidence for “yes”.

            2. Is H&K criminally liable for these faults? Well, I don’t know, but I haven’t really seen any evidence for this. On some matters specifically, the answer appears to clearly be “no”.

            3. Is the German government liable for these faults? Signs point to “yes”. The German government set the requirements that the rifle could pass even with these flaws. This last one hasn’t come up in conversation much, so I guess I can forgive people for thinking I’m going easy on the German gov’t.

            Although, that news article has plenty for me to write about, so I guess I’ll go change that.

          • Tritro29

            1.The G36 has problems. But those problems were not disqualifying, not were going against it on the cases it needed to check to be adopted. It had problems from the start when it went toe to toe with the Steyr Aug. And as I said the G36 has many “active service” flaws. The issue is that what the soldiers complain the most wasn’t covered by the “breaking news” non-sense. Because those point to the Bundeswehr lack of consistency in spare parts and care for the system. Th problem is that those issues can be quick fixed and thus it would make changing the rifle VERY complicated to argue.
            2. In my opinion H&K has had some legal issues, I very much believe that some export rifles may have found their way in German stocks because the supply was shot at some times. So the tampering allegations (especially Jungbluth’s about the three samples it found non-proofed for German use with faked seals). Izhmash has done that as well; assembling AK74M’s with bunch of parts. So I do believe that H&K would do such stupidity, because the rifles wouldn’t suffer (or so they believed).
            3. The German DefMin is clearly on the hot seat about it. Clearly. Mainly because De Maizière did order tests and then Frauke had a first rebutal in February 2014, then she asked for MORE tests on a test basis that we STILL don’t know. We don’t know how guns were picked. Basically all we know is that the G36 has issues and it comes from the Polymer construction.

            While I’m really ready to believe such things. The things they’ve let to the press, don’t make sense. She’s really pissed off also, because she feels (I can understand that) that she was spurred by griefs expressed by the troops, while in fact the same troops simply let her hang dry. She also has been very bombastic. While not telling the truth about the allegedly conciliatory tone H&K has had initially about this. Which betrays a clear cut (to me) view that she doesn’t want to go with the G36 any more. Disregarding how actually important the flaws and solutions are for the system.

            I’m not in any case advocating that the H&K rifles are the pinnacle of technology, but they’re being maligned without currently any kind of afterthought. It really looks like someone was fed up with his toy and wants a new one.

          • 1. The EMI report does claim those standards were disqualifying, but the rifles were obviously accepted for service, so that tells me something’s foul with the Bundeswehr.

            2. I can’t confirm if they did this, so I’ll withhold comment. What seems more obvious to me is that H&K could have saved themselves quite a lot of legal grief if they had offered an improved G36 to the Bundeswehr earlier.

            3. Yes, and she should be. It’s her Ministry that took delivery of the rifles. Then she made it worse by declaring unilaterally that the G36 was tot. That was an obvious political mistake.

          • Tritro29

            I will start with this reply and then move out to the next.
            1. The EMI report cannot report that the rifles were disqualified, since the G36 was tested against “proof rifles” by MinDef commitee (Aug/Sig 55x/AR15 system, what ever) and while they found it to be worse under those conditions described in the text, the other rifles offered nonetheless nothing above the G36 in every other respect. Then the Same commitee tested “improved rifles”, which (according to Der Spiegel) scored within the “norms”. The EMI report has used quality standards pulled out of a hat 25 years after the initial specs.

            That’s basically called progress. The EMI report doesn’t base itself on the initial specs of the rifle as far as Im aware. It slams the G36 based on standards the G36 has never been asked from the Bundserwehr.

            2. H&K are what they are, they will offer you what you ask (and pay for) nothing much, nothing less. However my gut feeling tells me they might have tampered with the rifles. Nothing unheard of in Germany. Especially since the samples found by the Bundeswehr expert were almost insignificant.

            3. Actually she’s not the one who took felivery of the rifles. De Maizère was. She only wanted brown points. Well she got them. We agree on that.

          • 1. Right. The G36, thermal issue and all, appears to meet the Bundeswehr’s standards. Which sound like they’re not very good.

            2. Maybe. I’ve heard that alleged, obviously (I reported on it), but I haven’t really seen any evidence.

            3. Um, true, I guess. When was the last G36 delivery? 2010?

          • Tritro29

            1. Yeah but once again. H&K has “better” variants of the same system. These variants obviously prove that the system itself isn’t a pipedream. Why the Bundeswehr accepted “lower” standards (still don’t know what this means), well that’s every one’s guess.
            2. No contests. Allegations, but more believable these than the mass lack of precision and POI shift.
            3. Actually as late as 2013 for KSK.

          • Tritro29

            Also going to court over this matter is something like seldom happens in Germany. These things are always settled among friends with suitcases. It’s exactly what happened when the ammunition manufacturer accepted responsibility of the 100 or so thousand “faulty” rounds that caused dispersion.
            This here is something that clearly backfired in the DefMin’s face. Now chances are that Germany ends up with “faulty rifles” for a longer period of time, until a court decision can find both responsibility and truth in both allegations:

            1. H&K lied, tampered with proofing seals and sold out of spec rifles to Germany.
            2. DefMin slandered H&K and caused them image damage.
            3. Somwhere between 1&2 something happened which cannot be explained through a normal business relationship.

      • Malthrak

        That would make a lot more sense, some sort of manufacturing process failure as opposed to an inherent fundamrntal design flaw.

  • Don Ward

    I’ve said it before and will again. Time for Germany to start buying up as many Mitchell Mausers as they can!

  • Some Dude

    This is a pretty dumb way to lose one of your main customers. Nice going Hk.

    • todesschnitzel

      They wont lose a customer, they our national firearms manufacterer,
      like Belgium has FN,Austria Steyr, Serbia Zastava, Switzerland Sig, Turkey MKEK.
      Public in everything but ownership.

      • vwVwwVwv

        Todesschnitzel? Meinst du Döner?

        They have martered H&K long time, first with the G11, what was
        a death centence and now with the G36, what is not a bad gun,
        I have a SL8 (civil version) and it works fine.
        Something is hideing there.

    • aka_mythos

      From the article it sounds like H&Ks position is that the Government has misrepresented the quality of its product and service by imposing, after the fact, test standards that went beyond what it was required by contract to produce. They’ve been penalized and there are presently a push to take away or change contracts because of this misstatement… While it may come off as “biting the hand that feeds” them, that hand was slapping them in the face first. Their reputation and international sales are at stake and if they can show they’ve been defamed their reputation should be cleared and their Government should owe them the amount they’ve lost as a result of that defamation.

      • Tritro29

        That’s the case here. Not only that but DefMin announced results before they were accurately measured. Her ‘comission’ picked up hearsay and mounted a shi**y file which was totally shot down by the actual DefMin testing, but only after the fact. This is how things go when you let politicians handle serious businesses. Cue M1 MBT selection.

  • Lance

    Like US weapons selection and issuing…… Its all down to corrupt politics.

    • forrest1985

      Pretty sure “corruption” and “politics” are the same thing tbh

  • Tom01

    I understand why HK wants this suit, this is a big contract for them along with reputation.

    I wonder if in the end they are just trying to force some sort of settlement. Say a “you fix the guns on your dime and you keep the contract and don’t take any future hit to reputation” sort of deal.

    I don’t know why folks think this suit will keep HK from getting future contracts with Germany. Look how many times different defense contractors have taken actions against the US government. We never stopped buying their stuff.

    Germany doesn’t need the expense of fielding a new rifle, HK wants to keep the contract. Something may yet be worked out.

  • xebat

    I have served in the Bundeswehr and had extensive experience with the G36. Altough it´s concept of combining reflex sights with a scope was revolutionary at it´s time , the sights , especially the reflex sight on the stock G36 are very bad. It has such a tiny field of view and fogs up all the time.

    You can feel how janky the construction of the plastic is. It rattles like crazy. During long firefights especially in hot places like Afghanistan the precision suffers alot.

    The HK416/7 really brings a modern, modular and very robust weapon system to the table that makes the german infantryman ready for any future conflicts. I hope the german government picks the HK416 to replace our G36 rifles.

    • Kivaari

      The 417/7 is a 60 year old design, made correctly.

      • Chris22lr

        Age is not a problem.

        “Made correctly” is the most important part…

    • LazyReader

      Wouldn’t be a simple matter of repair or replacement to new 36’s. And changing to a flat rail for what ever scope your want

      • Arathar

        Thats exactly what frontline Soliders use since years… also in tan version for less heating up in the sun, and high end optics. The new Soliders in the country have the normal version for training and in case defence, but here the climate obviously isbt like in Afghanistan.

    • Arathar

      The Hk416 is NOTHING more … than a piston Ar … . Its should never become adopted, it would be the biggest waist of money ever. Im not saying that the Ar is that bad, just that we need something innovativ, and not this crap.

      • Lt_Scrounge

        From what I’ve read the US special forces troopers who were issued them liked them immensely.

  • LazyReader

    50 years of service and HK is taking on the government now? That’s biting the hand that feeds them cause the only other customer to HK products are American’s

    • Kivaari

      They are used world wide. The UK had to get HK to fix the issues with the bullpup. British machinist were not up to building precise guns.

      • Ezra Bristow

        You do know that the L85A1 was designed and built by H&K when it was a British owned company right? The reason the L85A2 package came from Germany was that it had been bought back in the interim by a German conglomerate. It was a case of “fix your product” not “fix someone else’s”

        • Kivaari

          That is not how I read the reports in Defense Update (Aerospace Pub) out of England way back then. What I remember is the Brits did not have the skill nor the machinery to do the jobs as designed. It’s like having perfect blueprints and you use a broken caliper while making it. The parts were not correct. The article said it was better to hire HK to make the fixes, while the UK facilities were upgraded.
          I do remember a cartoon in on issue showing the new equipment and due to budget concerns what the Army was actually getting. The L85 was replaced by a wooden spear, and the caption said that was an improvement over the rifle.

  • Kivaari

    I think that has more to do with export laws and our import laws.

  • Squirreltakular

    If they can’t replicate the issue in independent testing, then there is probably nothing wrong with the rifle. If so, HK probably has a damn good case.

  • Jeremy

    Maybe the Germans should join the US in developing CT carbines and LMGs/GMGs. Mix some of that legendary German engineering with American innovation.

    • GUNxSPECTRE

      “Literal Weapon Perfection That Can’t Be Other Than Pure Magic”, would be the headlines if that were to happen.

    • MeaCulpa

      On the other hand: The Abrahams/Leopard II experience.

      • Raven

        Which still lead to two of the best MBTs ever built, hard to argue with that result.

  • Cal S.

    The EMI testers were probably using Eotechs…

  • Earl

    Silly excuse making is pointless. HK needs to fix the problem with their M36. Or, they need to seek other purchasers of that system. No purchaser has any obligation to support a producer or prop up its product line. If the purchaser doesn’t want it, that’s their decision to make. Period.

  • iksnilol

    Also their quality dropped… at least for the rifles.

  • Richard Kroll

    I was a plastics engineer in most of my working career and I go with Phil Hsueh’s argument. I ran into too many “just like” the competitor’s product (only cheaper) that didn’t have the exact performance. Secondly in molding you are generally allowed to put a percentage of “regrind” back into the mix. Some products degrade tremendously and don’t perform well the second time around. You get a night or weekend shift that increases the percentage and you have produced a whole lot of weapons that won’t perform in a firefight where you are putting magazine after magazine through the weapon to keep your a$$ alive. . The testing was flawed but I haven’t seen the original specifications (my concern is the material useage).

    • kyle893

      Could this be why FN FNH will get “rubbery” after sitting out in the sun? There is a video on YouTube where the guy is able to manipulate the frame by twisting it and squeezing it like it’s an inner tube for a mountain bike.

      • MPWS

        Best way how to test your handgun with polymer frame is to leave it for couple of hours in non air-conditioned vehicle in Arizona; say when parking. You will arrive to surprises you never read about in tests.

        • Richard Kroll

          Arizona sun. Your darn right. And be sure to pick up a metal gun with gloves. I saw a couple photos of what appeared to be “slide movement” between the G36 barrel and plastic stock. Your comments on molding failure possibilities made me think they had a bad lot (or the possibility of numerous bad lots) from poor training on a particular production shift.

          • MPWS

            Anything’s possible Richard. We should understand that we elaborate here on first guess bases. I have hears stories from purchasing and suppliers in addition to being present during test runs. You cannot supplant that by anything, just like in your case.

            I believe dze Germans are no dummies and can sort it out, but here are in works interests well beyond skills of the trade. That is – crappy politics in first place. Take care!

    • Excellent additional detail, Richard. Thanks for commenting.

    • MPWS

      In my experience (I did design plastic gun parts) is that the moulding company receives stock material from supplier so it relies on its consistency/ quality. Truth is that it is in charge of process such as molding time and pressure profiles.
      Also, besides of regrind there is contents of filler(s) such as glass chop or mineral fibre; all part od spec. and ultimately performance. There is a slew of possibilities what could have happened including ‘discount’ lot of stock material which was intended to improve balance sheets. Public will never know.

      • Stephen Paraski

        What is the composition of the polymer used on G 36 and is it the same as UMP? It seems the main argument is that the sights are not directly connected, by metal to metal contact with barrel. I am not a gun designer or expert but work in the construction field and now the coefficient of expansion of any metallic material is less than any plastic or polymer materials.

  • Steve_7

    Wasn’t like they had a choice, they’re under investigation in Germany for end user certificate fraud so until the case is resolved, no more export licenses. Note the first tooling they moved over was for the SP2022, which is the gun at the focus of the fraud investigation.

  • vwVwwVwv

    the specification of the gun was not real combat with a gun as main weapon.
    the g36 was ordered in time where germany didnt engage in war outside NATO.

    the g36 was seen as a PDW in a war with a kind of sovjet union.
    its allways the same old pain when byrocrats with no personal responsibility
    and 0 knowledg deside over the end of the gun, it hurts.
    by the way, german combat soldiers never
    critisised the quality of the g36.

    • MPWS

      When was it adopted? In 96-97? I remember reading about it first in 98. Soviet Union was chin up by 1991. Besides, I would think that a rifle IS a main weapon of any foot soldier.

      • vwVwwVwv

        yes you are right in all points. 1997 it was adopted, 1995 they signed the
        contract and i guess the development is much older….
        a rifle IS a main weapon of any foot soldier.
        is right when you have a practical brain, not the head of a byrocrat
        and byrocrats rule europe, not parlament, byrocrats are prepareing everything.

        • MPWS

          As an ex-Euro and casual visitor I cannot disagree. Europe had been stolen from people. That’s one reason why we hear of “ultra-right”. Anybody who is not comfortable with current status is called that. In my mind there is nothing wrong with it – if projected into literal sense of the word.

  • NewMan

    The G36 is a fine rifle that has proven itself. The alleged “issue” is nothing more than a smear campaign by the leftist anti-gun German party who wants to get rid of HK. Other countries have already conducted testing of their own and found no flaws with regard to accuracy.

    • Again, this theory virtually requires that the German Defense Minister has such power that she can force the Ernst Mach Institut to falsify a report, just to get back at a gunmaker.

      That doesn’t sound likely.

  • MPWS

    Do they plan to upgrade their rifle by solid metal link between barrel and scope base? Maybe they are ready for upgrade and feel wind under their wings. Probably politics as usual.

  • This is an atrocious comment. You neither address the things he was saying, nor do you present a coherent standalone argument.

    More specifically:

    – What is an “H&K LA”? Do you mean the L85A2? Even if that were a G36 derivative (it’s not), it doesn’t have a polymer trunnion and receiver, and therefore cannot have the issue that is central to this discussion.

    – “Light years ahead of the L85” – a sharp stick is “light years” ahead of the original L85. I would say the most redeeming thing about those rifles was that they had a bayonet lug, but to hear Steve Raw tell it, the original bayonets were nigh useless as well!

    – “Until you come down with hard evidence”; then you proceed to counter with a survey. Here’s a clue: Surveys are aggregates of just the sort of opinion xebat has given you here!

    – “If accuracy were an issue, they would have found it when…” So an assumption that one firm was closed down just because there was no issue (something that does not pass your own test of needing rigorous documentation, mind) is worth more than a detailed report published by an extremely well respected scientific institute?

    So here’s why I believe xebat: I’ve shot a G36 with the Hensoldt dual optic. His description of this optic exactly matches my experience with it. It is a miserable piece of kit. It obliterates the entire target, fogs easily, and has a tiny field of view.

    He adds to that precision issues with extended fire, which I have not seen in my experience. However, I also haven’t shot a G36 steadily for hours on end, letting the heat soak into the polymer to cause warpage.

    • Tritro29

      Three problems.

      1. Back in the day, the Treuhand would not close a profitable business in the DDR, because they were real unicorns. They tested the 940 with the G36, the same way Wieger tested its own 940. The accuracy issue never pointed out. What was pointed out was magazine “wobbling” and sometimes “soft polymer that would get chipped vs Tractor-tough, diesel smelling Wieger furniture).
      2. The Hensoldt optic is a type 0 or 1 most nations that use the gun now have at least the A5 or E. which offers rails for after-market sights. Nothing more easy than to put what yo want. I contest that the G36 is dead in any possible way.
      3. I was addressing his claim that the 36 furniture would rattle and looked very iffy. In my opinion, from the ones i have held back in 2001 in Kosovo, those guns were so well made, that I can’t believe they would rattle, and i’ve been through some nasty LA85’s from the British KFOR.

      I posted the findings of the DefMin own inquiry on the matter. And there was no such thing as “warpage” in their view. Also the fun part is that the guns that supposedly would lack accuracy in extended range, was being used in extended range because the DefMin re-org took out organic tools from the Infanterist, reducing their range seriously forcing them to fire at ranges that are at the very edfe or out of the G36 envelope. This ironically has also happened to the US in Afghanistan. No one went and attacked the M16/M4 about it.

      Basically this is the typical political fiasco in what has become Germany today, politicians thinking they’re bringing down big konzerns because they “serve” the people, while in fact they’re simply scoring their own points on the matter.

      Also Survey is an aggregate of opinions, perfect, guess what, his opinion is clearly an outlier here. What does that tell you?

      • I apparently never posted my reply to this. Let’s try again:

        1. Where is your documentation of these tests? What were the test protocols? How many of each rifle were tested?

        2. Which is irrelevant to my point about his experience with the Hensholdt indicating that he had actually used the rifle in question.

        3. Furniture will rattle as rifles are disassembled and reassembled. What’s more important are his comments on accuracy.

        Yes, I’m aware of the Nachtwei survey, we reported on that when it was released. They surveyed 200 soldiers and could not determine that the rifles had negatively impacted the soldiers’ abilities to do their job, or put the soldiers in danger.

        Now let’s think about that… How could a survey possibly demonstrate this? It is a measure of the feelings and experiences of soldiers, not of the dispersion of their rifles. I am glad that none of the soldiers surveyed felt that the rifles performed poorly, but clearly some soldiers have felt that the rifles have problems (see xebat), and we have a report from the EMI saying the rifles have issues.

        The thing is, if 20% of your rifle fleet is susceptible to this problem, then your whole rifle fleet has a problem. That might not show up on a survey, but if you get enough complaints*, that means further investigation is warranted. EMI conducted that investigation, and found the problem was real. Unless it is proven that EMI falsified their report, or some other scandal, I cannot conclude otherwise.

        *I’d compare this to the complaints against the M4. Survey after survey showed the M4 had the highest satisfaction rating in the US Army, but still reports would come back that it had issues. Now, my research indicates the M4’s problems stem from a poor institutional maintenance system in the Army, not the rifle’s design, but still, the reports – even though they were a minority – of course should not be ignored!

        • Lt_Scrounge

          A lot of people miss the point that even if only a relatively small (10 – 20%) of your military equipment is sub par, you’re entire unit has degraded abilities. When I was on active duty, anything less than 90% operational readiness status was called “breaking fleet” and was considered unacceptable.

  • Billy Jack

    It should come bundled with an Eotech and they could call it Der Asterisk.

    • Mazryonh

      “Guaranteed to hold zero.”

  • Cmex

    The problem may occur with some but not G36’s, it could occur with some but not all versions of the G36. Regardless, there’s enough documentation to take this seriously and expect that if H&K do win, it’ll be by changing the goalposts from their original specs, promises, and instructions, or just blaming the user, as usual.

  • Taco_lover

    I hope they ditch the G36 and we can finally get some G36 parts kits here in the US.

  • 1. So you do not have any documentation.

    2. How much proof does he need for you? It is enough for me that he said true things about the optic. I’m not in the habit of doubting people’s service unless there’s reason to.

    3. You think they are not credible because they disagree with what you believe; let’s be clear here. The accuracy problems of the G36, according to the EMI summary, do not require being in “a major firefight”; they require prolonged exposure to lots of sunlight, and changes in humidity:

    “– A single sided warming of the G36 caused by an external source as sunrays for example causes a recoverable deformation of the upper reciever affecting the barrel and by that a shift of point of aim/point of impact.”

    4. We don’t know whether the problem affects all rifles or only some. How does the problem’s severity change with the age of the rifle? With condition? With use in the field vs. on the training range? We do not know. I doubt anyone knows.

    Now, regarding the EMI report, I looked the other evening for the full report, and did not find it, and haven’t been able to dig it up, either. A year ago, when it came out, I read an automatic translation of the report, but either I did not save it or it is still buried somewhere on my hard drives. It is routine for me to read reports and documents; I do it as a matter of course for this job.

    The summary is very explicit. The rifle experienced zero changes and accuracy reduction with changes in humidity and temperature; especially from 15 to 45 degrees Celsius.

    • Tritro29

      1. Off course I don’t, if I had, I wouldn’t be here. However I trust my source. You’re not forced to believe me.
      2. Well as I told you, he goes to the most “public” flaw of the rifles, while the soldiers usually talk about other things. Like the fact the Bundeswehr is very tight on cleaning kits and spares. Which forces the guys to use extreme caution with the furniture and make do with kits you wouldn’t give a Yemeni soldier.
      3. That’s the problem. Because I don’t know if you’ve been in the military, but usually rifle qualification, exercises, marches, more marches, will simply show the accuracy issues at very early stage. They would basically pull the marksmanship down much, that basically half the soldiers wouldn’t qualify. Last time I checked, marksmanship in the Bundeswehr was clearly a sine qua non.

      With the rifles being outside half a day for quals, that’s clearly something that wouldn’t need to be visible during ‘prolonged firefights” or “hot places like Afghanistan”. Those deficiencies would have been noticed after first six months. Especially since until 2010 the Germans had a WP army (conscript). It simply doesn’t make sense that your pros discover issues with the guns, back in 2009/2010, while they’ve been in hot places for quite some time.

      The amplitude of temperature is so vast that basically you only need a simple sunbath/warming of a rifle while on a march or in the back of a truck and you can’t hit past 200. This is simply impossible to hide for 15 years.

      As for the EMI report, it’s sill not disclosed to the German public more than a year after its publication.

      This reeks of typical German Doctor attitude. basically an authoritative argument, typical of their bureaucracy that can not be explained through context.

      • 3. Would it? I mean, if a soldier shoots “Sharpshooter” instead of “Expert” because of the thermal issue, will anyone notice? I don’t know what the German qual looks like, but the Army AQT requires no better than 6.3 MOA accuracy to qualify “Expert”. It seems entirely plausible to me, assuming that Bundeswehr standards are similar, that a thermal/humidity induced POI shift could be swallowed whole by the normal dispersion in a qual.

        • Tritro29

          But absolutely not in the same league. The Rifles couldn’t shoot pass 200 according to the EMI. This means that you will have guys at qual missing systematically the range shots. This also would have been visible, because with the G36 you qualify with optics.

          A rifle that impaired will maybe not be that sensible in a fire fight (stress, stance, movement, impetus to be more aggressive etc) but optics being detrimental to range shots (above 200) takes out 50% of the rifle’s doctrinal use. That’s something you can’t hide. It’s on paper…It’s actually very simple pattern.

          If you have your guys’ POI left/right from your aiming point in a consistent manner statistically deviating from your former system. Then you have a problem. This doesn’t wait 15 years to be checked. and we know from Alex and other people that have tested the rifle in many lengths (including the All4Shooters Germany people that tested the Ruag service ammo) that even under heat stress the rifles didn’t have these “obvious” flaws.

          Unlike in a firefight, in qual you have far better awareness and can print groups that you probably wouldn’t in a SHTF situation.

          We’re not speaking relevant accuracy/precision, we’re speaking range. There’s 35% difference between good ammo and service ammo according to what has filtered from the EMI over , and still even good ammo wasn’t helping with the issue.

          So clearly, we have an issue with the tests or their articulation from data to actual conclusions. I cannot believe (and I’ve seen people hit lateral targets 15m aside while aiming straight ahead with a service 74) that the rifle would be kept in service, without at least going to the BDW gunsmiths/armourer. It just doesn’t make sense. We’re not talking civilians on a range. We’re talking about a military institution who has percentiles of marksmanship calculated each 6 months.

          That’s why the way the EMI has formulated their conclusions(at least what has transpired of them) doesn’t make sense.

          It just doesn’t make sense.

          • Lt_Scrounge

            Ever seen how some of these units actually handle their data? From my experience in the US military, I can tell you that there were people who hadn’t fired a rifle in over 10 years but had expert level marksmanship scores posted annually in their personnel files. Same went for physical fitness tests. One battalion medical officer hadn’t taken an APRT in God knows how long, but had a passing score posted to his file every year. It simply does NOT behoove a commander to admit that his men are hopelessly incompetent with their personal weapon, even if it turns out that the weapon is the problem. They are NOT going to admit that their men failed to pass qualifications. They will simply “pencil whip” the score cards sufficiently to allow the scores to reflect a passing level of competency. When promotions that include large pay raises are involved, less scrupulous individuals will simply cook the books. Scrupulous ones won’t allow the troops to be incompetent in the first place. I’ve handled M16A1s at Ft Bragg in July, I know what a hot from the sun rifle feels like. It’s no where near as hot as a rifle that has had 150 – 300 rounds fired through it in rapid succession.

          • Tritro29

            Problem with that friend is that you can’t make up data for conscripts…

          • Lt_Scrounge

            Sure you can. All it takes is a pencil and an extra score card. No Drill Instructor (or more likely training company CO or XO) is going to send a report up to higher command that more than the maximum allowable recruits are failing to meet standards. To do so would be career suicide. BTW Conscripts are people who have been drafted into service, whether they are basic trainees or have served for 20 years. If you mean recruits or basic trainees, you would still be incorrect as I have just shown. On a combat assault course in basic, some of the pop up targets were defective didn’t always fall when hit. When the grader said “I thought you said you could shoot”, I responded with “I’m hitting them, but they aren’t falling. Watch.” When the next one popped up, I put 2 rounds through the center of it sending dirt flying in all directions BEHIND it and it still didn’t drop like it was supposed to. At the end of the exercise, the grader gave me a perfect score. If I hadn’t illustrated that the targets were defective, I might not have passed since many of them weren’t dropping but I received a perfect score because I had proven my point. The difference between me failing the exercise and getting a perfect score was the grader and his pencil, not my skill with an M16A1. He gave a minimum passing score to my partner.

  • Stephen Paraski

    I will take all their junk rifles.

  • Lt_Scrounge

    It’s easy for a survey to yield results different from the experiences of soldiers in the field. You simply survey a different set of soldiers. If the weapons have issues related to heat (like the EOTech sights did) and you don’t want that to come out in the survey, you survey people who have only been engaged in cold weather firefights, or no extended firefights at all.

    • Tritro29

      Germany hasn’t got the luxury to have all of its active force deployed somewhere they need to shoot. It’s usually professionals that deploy…Incidents were engulfing units that were doing that for a living. People who can shoot as well as your American units.

      Furthermore as I said, the issue is that the group of German Afghan vets, is way smaller than what you might think. Added to that the commission that did the survey actually was headed by the Greens. It’s like you put the most anti-militaristic people in charge of a survey that has the potential to really lambast the military. Well, that survey, didn’t yield any “smoking gun” (pun intended). There are too many things going against both the DefMin, Frauke herself and the EMI’s findings to actually believe they don’t hold part of the responsibilities in this mess. H&K is a “big business” company first and foremost. They can’t be exemplary being in bed with the DefMin for that long. I’m not defending H&K, I’m merely trying to defend the rifle, the end product. Having had one of those in hands (way too briefly) it’s really a good product. Off course the game has moved on from the early 2000’s.

      • Lt_Scrounge

        I’m neither defending nor attacking the rifle. I am simply stating that any form of data can be manipulated.

        Mark Twain once wrote that ” there are three kinds of lies in this world. Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics.”

        • Tritro29

          That goes both ways, as the legal process is clearly demonstrating. However the main issue is this.

          You can ask a donkey to run like a horse. It will probably fail to run with the horses, but you can’t complain that it isn’t a horse if you’ve asked for a donkey and paid for a donkey.

          • Lt_Scrounge

            No argument here. I’ve seen the US military expect a quarter horse to perform the tasks of a draft house myself. Equipment built to one set of specifications may, or may not, continue to perform if subjected to conditions other than those specified.

  • xebat

    One thing additionally our G36 rifles with the hensoldt dual optic retained zero very miserably and the way the parts of the rifle are held toghether ,via those pins is not as sturdy as the M4/M16 platform, the handguard especially !