It’s not every day you get the privilege to write about a new rifle from Heckler & Koch, but we have the honor to present the brand new HK433.
It was shown to a very selected number of people at SHOT Show and Heckler & Koch just ran an ad in the German magazine “Europäische Sicherheit & Technik” nr 2 (2017).
This full page ad, partly pictured below, is more or less the only official information from Heckler & Koch that this rifle exists but TFB have been working hard to find some exclusive pictures and information.
Essentially the HK433 brings two battle proven HK rifles together, the G36 and the HK416.
The Heckler & Koch family now consists of 4 types: G36 (Rifle), G36K (Carbine), HK416 (Rifle) and HK433 (Rifle).
The G36, G36K (Carbine), HK416 and HK433 in comparison. Source: Europäische Sicherheit & Technik.
Looking at the technical specifications of the HK433 it should have good chances to compete well and be able to win the contract after the G36 is to be phased out, probably around 2019.
The German Special Forces contract, for later in 2017, my guess is that they will most likely chose the HK 416 A5.
We’re not trusted with any sort of price list yet, but reliable information says that the HK416 is too expensive for the German Army, but the HK433 would suit the budget much better. I am sure this goes for many other countries and their budgets too.
The HK433 uses the NATO standard 5,56 mm x 45 mm and a short-stroke piston, but the system is prepared for other calibers like 7,62 mm NATO and .300 Blackout as well as 7,62×39 Kalashnikov.
The source (Europäische Sicherheit & Technik) mentions that the 7,62 mm NATO version will be called HK231.
I guess we will find out more with time, but if the HK comes with 7,62×39 Kalashnikov – called HK123 – it could be very interesting for a few armies even within NATO. As recently reported, Ukraine are having some issues finding a way to live with both NATO and former East bloc ammunition and rifles.
There is absolutely no other official information available at this time on any of these new HK models, so we will have to wait and see.
The barrel lengths will be from 11 “, 12.5”, 14.5 “, 16.5″, 18.9” up to 20 and they are cold-hammered and hard chromed-lined. The precision is described as “far above average”.
Just like the Steyr-Rheinmetall RS556, it is possible to change the barrel on an operator level.
The gas pressure can be set without using a tool, to accommodate the function with or without a sound suppressor.
It’s possible to mount either the 40mm grenade launchers HK269 or the and GLM / GLMA1 (M320 Grenade Launcher Module) on the Picatinny rail underneath the rifle (at least with the “normal” barrel lengths).
There is also an optional bayonet mount.
The upper and handguard is manufactured from high-strength aluminum, with a long and continuous Picatinny rail. In fact it looks to be monolith, and the sight line looks lower than some of the competitors.
The keyhole interface are the German Army (Bundeswehr) standardized “H Key” at 3 and 9 o’clock.
The rifle is built to function according to and within the NATO defined temperature band, which goes from extremely cold to extremely hot temperatures.
Some of the internal sliding parts are described as “self-lubricating”, which most likely means that they have some kind of coating.
Below: A “Four-Three-Three” in full-auto. The sound suppressor, most likely a B&T Rotex.
I am told from people that held the HK433, that the charging handle is similar to the HK G3. Judging from the two only pictures I’ve seen of the HK433 from the left side this is correct.
Below: Note the G3 style charging handle.
This is probably the best picture of the HK433 I’ve seen so far. This looks like a really nice rifle.
All of the controls are described as ambidextrous and individually settable, so we can, therefore, presume that it’s possible to interchange the charging handle to the right side as well.
The magazine well is NATO STANAG compatible so it will work with HK416 and AR-15 magazines.
The stock is adjustable in length and height and hinged. The length adjustments offer five positions.
Translated from the Heckler & Koch ad:
– Modular and light construction. Compact dimensions.
– Barrel length individually configurable. Simple end-user level barrel change.
– Completely ambidextrous manipulation for right and left handed shooters.
– Non reciprocating charging handle with integrated forward assist. Switchable w/o tools.
– Lower receiver with ambidextrous manipulation for G36 and HK416 users.
– Drop safe according to AC225/D14 with and w/o applied safety.
– Upper receiver with full length STANAG rail in 12 o’clock position. Hand guard with Hkey interface on 3 and 9 o’clock position. Picatinny rail on 6 o’clock position.
– Length adjustable folding stock with height adjustable cheek weld. Weapon also usable with stock folded.
– Optional receiver integrated maintenance free shot counter.
– Tool less disassembly / assembly of major components.
– Weapon can be set to safe in all loading conditions.
– Lots of accessories available.
– Made 100% in Germany
The “Optional receiver integrated maintenance free shot counter” is automated translation at work, and most likely is a battery-free shot counter placed inside the lower. This makes it easier to judge a maintenance situation and also give valuable feedback, as a digital logbook. FN Herstal has a similar system.
Larry Vickers posted this on his Facebook.
UPDATE; RIFLE IS CALLED HK433 – Just got this from a buddy in Germany; he says the HK416 is too expensive for the German Army so HK has developed this rifle as a potential new service rifle. He called it the HK ‘Masada’ as it very much resembles the Magpul Masada – which is very interesting in that the Masada was inspired to some degree by the HK XM8
Some of the competitors to the HK433 are as follows: C.G. Haenel/Caracal CAR 816, Colt Canada/Diemaco C8SFW, HK416 A5 (G38), LWRCI M6-G, Schmeisser M4, IWI X95, Rheinmetall/Steyr-Mannlicher RS556, SIG Sauer SIG MCX, Swiss Arms SG 553, Thales F90, Beretta ARX-160, B&T APC556, CZ BREN 2, FN Herstal FN SCAR-Light and FB Radom MSBS.
I think we will hear a lot more about the HK433 in the future, and that many armies will adopt it.
One thing surprises me, and that’s the hump-styled stock. The drawback with this design is that you will get a different cheek weld depending on if you are standing, kneeling or laying down.
(Please excuse any translation mistakes and any other mistakes for that matter. We try to be as accurate as possible, but at this point in time there is no official source.)
If the HK433 is available at Enforce-Tac or IWA in Germany we will lay our hands on it for the first time.