Latvian Reserves to receive G36s, FN MAGs

Shepard Media has recently reported that the entire Latvian National Guard will soon be receiving a full fielding of 5.56x45mm NATO G36KVs infantry rifles and 7.62x51mm NATO KSP-58 medium machine guns (FN MAGs) from the Latvian National Armed Forces (NAF) to replace former AK-4 rifles (Swedish licensed G3s) within the National Guard. The Latvian National Guard currently already has a mixture of AK-4s and G36KVs, but this new fielding will completely replace AK-4s and ensure that the entire Latvian military contingent has G36KVs and KSP-58s across the board. These rifles come equipped with Aimpoint optics of a similar version to the red dot M68 CCO, mounted on the 12 o’clock picatinny optic rail.

The Latvian MoD, in addition to the Lithuanian MoD are both aware of the inherent issues with the Heckler & Koch G36 when it comes to the over-heating scandal that rocked the German defense industry in the past several years. However, both countries appear to have weighed their options and have come to the conclusion that the temperatures at home cannot surpass temperatures in Afghanistan, where German soldiers were having issues with the weapon system.

From Shepard Media-

The National Guard is incorporated into the NAF during times of conflict; and during peacetime, the guard conducts joint training and crisis response coordination with the armed forces.

As a result, Latvia is carrying out a programme to standardise weapons across both the regular forces and National Guard. All units of regular forces are equipped with G36 rifles, and the weapon is now being rolled out across National Guard units to replace the Ak-4 assault rifle.

The procurement of G36 rifles in 2006 also initiated transition to NATO ammunition calibre standards. The aim of the modernisation is to ensure that soldiers can efficiently engage in different operations, on different terrains and against different vehicles, light armoured vehicles and fortifications, regardless of the time of day, climatic conditions and visibility.

The Latvian G36 contract rifles are actually slightly different than the standard export G36Ks that Heckler & Koch produces. They have more picatinny rails on them, in addition to built-in iron sights, and incorporate the latest stock modifications over the standard G36K stocks. For identification purposes, the rifles have an “L” with 3 stars, in addition to a “KV3” next to the serial number.


Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

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  • Slab Rankle

    I think a US made semi-auto variant of the G36 would sell 100 times as many units as in this Latvian deal, especially for, say, $999.

    Come on, HK, do us a solid! Not all of us want that range toy VP9.

    • SP mclaughlin

      Even if they did, it would be $2000.
      Dream on….

      • Rich LPS

        Isn’t this the same G36 that went 24000 rounds in the Yuma proving ground without any cleaning, lube or parts breakage….or malfunctions? Pretty solid and reliable weapons. Heat / melting problems are overstated. Fire more than 10 x 30 and mags through any combat rifle and there will be heat and accuracy issues.

        • Rich LPS

          I do agree the sight over bore is a bit high. Best is to have the KAC short rails and a low mounted Aimpoint micro. Solves the problem. Also they suppress perfectly without any modification or need for gas adjustment. Now there are AR Mag Well adapters from HK and SPUR and cool skinny G36 Magpul mags if you want to stick with the factory magwell. Did I mention they are very, very reliable with 6 large bolt lugs and rarely if ever break any parts,

    • neckbone

      A regular hk handgun goes for that price pretty much.

      • john huscio

        Only the old guard usp, hk45, p30 and the huge monstrosity the SEALS used to use.

        • FarmerB

          No, you’re miles off.

    • valorius

      The G36, if sold in the US, would cost at least $3000.

  • Adam D.

    Does anyone have a detailed picture of that new stock in the 3rd picture?

  • Klaus Von Schmitto

    I’d like to get my hands on an AK-4 parts kit.

    • Oregon213


  • gunsandrockets

    So, a 12.5 inch barrel for a general purpose infantry 5.56mm assault rifle?

    That seems rather short.

    • Sermon 7.62

      At least that’s better than outdated, inaccurate and crude AK74 and now the Latvians have something to outgun the mean Russians

      • john huscio

        They’ve had g36s for a decade

        • Sermon 7.62

          Now they can have it for another decade, or two

          • Jup

            An overly heavy Rifle with a high bore-to-sight height, no ejection port cover and an additional receiver opening for debree to enter (charging handle)? “Nice” …

          • James Kachman

            Now, I’m not arguing against an ejection port, but if you look at the bolt, it seems to seal up the ejection port fairly well, same as with the SCAR. What’s more, even with its dust cover open, an AR-15’s bolt seals up the port in a similar manner, and we know that is reliable when immersed in mud.

          • Jup

            An AR15 has the further advantage of blowing left over mud away, and in general blowing any debree away that comes near to the ejection port while cycling. DI basicly creates a strong anti debree air-shield.

            A piston gun has none of that. (the reason why they failed so hard instantly in the sand blowing test)

          • Sermon 7.62

            That was a sarcastic comment

      • gunsandrockets

        Are the “little green men” about to make a return performance?

        • Sermon 7.62

          For sure!

          Russians are mean, bad and think about Latvia all the time.

          • gunsandrockets

            I can’t blame Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia or the ex-members of the Warsaw Pact for fleeing to the supposed safety of N.A.T.O. membership.

            And I see that Montenegro has fled too, and just in the nick of time, judging by that botched coup attempt.


            I imagine that today the Ukraine angrily regrets giving up the nuclear weapons they inherited during the break-up of the Soviet Union.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Ukraine didn’t inherit nuclear weapons. Ukraine inherited Crimea, Donbass and the territories in between. But Russia inherited the share of Ukraine in the debts of the USSR and paid all of them.

            Russia also paid the debts of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

          • Ray Charles

            They didn’t pay any debts.
            Not sure if putin troll or a complete moron.

          • Sermon 7.62

            “Russia has now become a fully-fledged member of the developed world after paying back $22bn of debt owed to the Paris Club – a group of 17 creditors including the US and the UK.

            The Paris Club debts of, originally, about $60bn date from the fall of communism, when Russia took on all the foreign debt owed by former members of the USSR.”

            Source: The Telegraph. Reborn Russia clears Soviet debt

            “Eight years after it defaulted on more than $40 billion in debt and slid into financial chaos, Russia transferred $23.7 billion to the Paris Club of creditors Monday, wiping out the last of its Soviet-era debts.”

            Source: Washington Post. Oil Profits Help Russia Pay Off Soviet-Era Debt

          • Ray Charles

            How is this repaying the debts of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia if we were occupied and directly controlled by Soviet union?

          • Sermon 7.62

            Poor babies. You were occupied.

            “In May 1917 the Latvian Regiments transferred their loyalty to the Bolsheviks. They became known as Red Latvian Riflemen and actively participated in the Russian Civil War. The Riflemen took an active part in the suppression of anti-Bolshevik uprisings in Moscow and Yaroslavl in 1918. They fought against Estonia, Denikin, Yudenich, and Wrangel.”

            You were the commies, responsible for the coup.

            “The Estonian Riflemen actively participated in the Russian Civil War and the Estonian War of Independence. The Riflemen took an active part in the suppression of anti-Bolshevik uprisings in Moscow and Yaroslavl in 1918.”

    • NukeItFromOrbit

      The Latvian G36KV has a barrel that is longer than the usual G36K 12.5″ barrel, I’ve heard the figure of 15.4″ cited but I’m not certain.

  • Brett baker

    Does the G36 shift in cold like it does heat?

  • Risto Kantonen

    Good. I support European defence cooperation, more of that please.

  • Roderick

    I just love the MAG!
    Imo the best gpmg there is.
    A bitch to carry but keep her lubed up enough and she will treat you nice 🙂

  • valorius

    The G36 that the Germans claim is defective?

  • valorius

    Oh yeah, nothing says effectiveness for general combat vs Russia like a 12.5″ 5.56mm ‘rifle’

  • John


    Now they’ve got a standard issue 5.56 assault rifle, a 7.62 NATO machine gun, and what I suspect will become a dedicated marksman rifle with the AK-4, because you don’t just toss out a bunch of reliable weapons you already paid good money for.

    I doubt that the G36s will sustain any fire for long, and I’m hoping that HK modified them so they don’t actually melt, hence why they’re so short. I’m also thinking that Latvia and Lithuania know they’re screwed in any real conflict, so if they have to shoot long enough for all the weapons to melt, it won’t really matter.

    But they’re good for at least the first 30 shots, and everyone knows that too.