Civilian versions of the HK416F – MR223 F-S and MR223 F-C destined for France only

The French importer of Heckler & Koch in France, RUAG Defence, have announced that they are going to sell two civilian versions of the HK416F.

They have been named MR223 F-S (14.5″ Standard version) and MR223 F-C (11″ Short version).

I guess that “S” Stands for Standard and “C” for “Court”, as in “Short”.

As you can see on the lower receiver both these MR223s are semi auto fire only, category B in the EU.

As you may know, the MR223 is called MR556 in the USA. The MR223 was introduced in 2007 to the civilian market. To my knowledge the first version is not compatible with AR15 lowers as it has got different pin holes.

Both of these new civilian versions will have the same design of flash hider, rounded trigger guard, flip-up iron sights etc. as the HK416F for the French Army.

The French Army’s HK416F originates from the HK416 A5.

I don’t know the gun laws in France in detail, but I guess it may be difficult even for active sport shooters to get a firearms license for rifles with short barrels like this. The EU gun ban has already been voted, and many EU countries are changing their laws in 2017 and 2018 to fulfill the new, harder requirements, and it’s not going to facilitate ownership.

Below: The MR223 F-C with the short 11″ barrel.

Gun collectors need to be swift to secure their rifle. Both the MR223 FS and the MR223 FC will be produced in very limited series.

There will be only 30 to 50 rifles of each version made and it seems they are already booked by French gun stores.

Below: The MR223 F-S with the standard 14.5″ barrel.




I was able to find at least one French dealer that have the new rifles listed.

Check here for yourself and book one if you have the interest and possibility.

HK MR223 F-S

Calibre : .223
Capacité : 30 coups
Canon : 14.5″
Prix : 2594€
Nouveau modèle en dotation pour l’Armée Française
Réservation fortement conseillée, série limitée.


HK MR223 F-C

Calibre : .223
Capacité : 30 coups
Canon : 11″
Prix : 2580€
Nouveau modèle en dotation pour l’Armée Française
Réservation fortement conseillée, série limitée.


Translated: “New model for the French Army – Reservation highly recommended, limited edition.”

That’s about 3 100 USD for the MR223 F-S with the short 14.5″ barrel. The 11″ is about the same, give or take a few dollars.

The price is in line with the normal HK MR223 A3.


Below: MR223 F-C clearly visible on upper and lower.

For more details about the HK416F please check this article, or many others from TFB on the subject.

It would be really cool, and I’m sure appreciated, if Heckler & Koch USA could release something similar on the US market. A special version of the MR556A1, or why not an MP7…

Thanks to Retex Mag for the tip.

Eric B

Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with an European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatic firearms, optics and sound suppressors. Owning the night would be nice too.


  • Johnsmyname

    French civilians can buy AR’s??

    • Kinetics

      My thought exactly.

      • fintroll

        Actually in most of Europe you can. It does require to go through a lengthy licensing process.

    • Cowboy Henk

      Most European can, but they often have to jump through a lot of legal loops to do so.

      • Honestly outside of the UK and Australia quite a lot of the world is decent for gun rights. Things are available if you are willing to jump through hoops, and have a “sporting” purpose.

        • tsubaka

          and outside most asian countries,russia,mexico

          • I know a lot of Russians that own guns.

          • tsubaka

            i’ve heard they don’t have access to handguns and modern semi-auto’s
            would you explain me pls?

          • I’m not Russian, but I know competitors that have both handguns and AKs to compete in IPSC. I am sure that they had to jump through some hoops to get them, but they had them.

            Few countries are as easy as the United States to get guns (well discounting the black market in certain countries), but quite a large number do have more gun rights than most Americans come to expect.

          • Tma

            Russian can have semiauto rifles and shotguns but handguns are now allowed except trauma pistols for self defence. You have to own smoothbore shotgun for five years before you can buy a rifle.

          • Longrange

            In Russia nothing works but everything can be taken care of. IPSC Russia has over 30000 members and most of them are shooting pistols. Even though officially centerfire pistols are not allowed for civilians. What I have understood is that if you have good connections then you can have an official gun permit for “duties for the country”. A little like how one can get a CCW license n New Your City if you are well connected. Some people are more equal than others 🙂

          • Steve_7

            30,000 members? Are you sure about that.

          • KidCorporate

            For some reason, the idea of Russians obeying laws is very, very funny to me.

          • Nick

            Mexico has great gun laws, if you consider that 3/4 of the citizenry just ignores them.

          • tsubaka

            unfortunately it’s not really the good citizens who ignores the law
            but bad guys 🙁
            (yes i am aware of the civilian militia)

    • RiskbreakerFA

      Yes, very long and complicated (join the shooting federation, 6 months to learn basics of shooting with 3 controlled tests and a basic written test, then if you have positive endorsement from your league, you can prepare the request to the local authorities (préfecture) (with quite a lot of documents, full birth certificate from the city you were born, proof you possess a gun safe…etc)and then police do all the background checks that can goes up to a neighborhood survey. This last step usually takes months too and then you receive your authorizations that last 5 years. Generally préfecture only allow 3 requests at the same time, one for each gun. You still have to do 3 controlled shooting tests per year and are limited to purchase 2000 rounds per year but only possessing 1000 at home. Magazine are to be 30 rounds max and no more belt fed since the beginning of this year.

      • Johnsmyname

        Wow, news to me, thanks for the thorough response.

        As bad as that is, it’s still better than a few states in the USA. 🙁

        • n0truscotsman

          Isn’t that bizzarre?

          • Johnsmyname

            Yes it is bizzare. The discussion is about France, not Czech or Sweed laws. I was merely trying to draw attention to the infringement to our constitution that afflicts many of the people in the US. This is a US based blog after all. Even here we fight daily to keep our gun laws as free as they are, and daily we are challenged by uninformed politicians looking for a sound bite for their parties. I don’t mean to be come across as confrontational, but the intent of your comment is unclear.

          • n0truscotsman

            I was agreeing. The situation in the US is quite unusual.

      • James Young

        So many arbitrary numbers…

      • My understanding is that reloading is very popular in France due to the ammo purchasing limits.

        • Jason Culligan

          Primers count as ‘ammo’ here in Europe so reloading has nothing to do with ammo purchase limits I’m afraid.

          • Unless there is some work around for it, my French friends seem to have no issues with loading thousands of rounds a year.

          • tsubaka

            yup they even reload the brass of fellow shooters (for a very fair and nice price),it’s not a problem here
            considering a reloading bench cost 1500-2000 euros,it help bench-owners to regain their investissement faster and others to get cheap ammo as bench-owners reload for themselves and others alike

          • Bradley

            Primers “count” as ammo in every single European country? Seems like a strange comment. I’m no expert but I don’t think every country in Europe even has ammo limits.

          • Eric Sebu

            In France, I never have to worry about it.

          • iksnilol

            Europe isn’t a country.

          • lagann

            Might as well be with the EU imposing its rules on all its members.

          • iksnilol

            Not all countries are in the EU and not all EU countries follow all the EU laws.

      • Eric Sebu

        Regarding the 2000 rounds per year, you can request to extend this limited when needed. But most of the shooter who need more than 2000 rounds per year reload and don’t have to make this request.

        • Steve_7

          Right, because I was under the impression the ammo rules were loosened when the law was revised a few years ago. Is this limit per gun or total?

      • KidCorporate

        I bet they feel pretty safe…

      • CavScout

        So much red tape, in the interest of disarmament only.

    • FX

      Yes we can… ooops sorry! 🙂 We can own semi auto rifle, hand guns only if you are member of the french shooting sport federation.
      Actually the IPSC world Shoot 2017 is in France in the new giant guns range in the center of France.

      • Johnsmyname

        No “oops sorry”, very pleased our French brothers can enjoy these freedoms! Cheers!

    • Paul Rain

      Yup, just with restrictions designed to avoid a situation where “1776 will rise again”, so to speak.

      • Twilight sparkle

        Oh gosh… I dunno how anyone can listen to that guy, reading that quote in his voice felt like nails on a chalkboard

    • Klaus Von Schmitto

      If it’s difficult and expensive that makes it a made to order market for H&K.

  • RiskbreakerFA

    My armorer talked about it when i went to pick up my HK243, he told me that only armorers that have a huge volume of order to H&K importer (RUAG) may get these… and at an indecent price… When we receive our authorization, it is imposed to use it to buy a gun within 6 months and not sure if they would arrive before the end of it, so no hesitation for picking up the HK243

  • Zundfolge

    So they’re going back to “you suck and we hate you”?

  • rychastings

    the french have civilian gun stores?

    • snmp

      In countries side aera each families have shotgun. And then, after Finland & Swiss, French have hight score perc apita of gun detention. Untill the gun law of 1995 (take by Conservative party), you could buy semi AK or AR15 in supermarket (with non military caliber Like 222r or 6,8 PPC …) with you id card.

    • joe tusgadaro

      Most European countries do…don’t mistake all of us with the UK…

      • Tma

        Even in UK they they can own and buy guns. Civilians hunt and shoot in every european country. We have acces to guns here.

      • Steve_7

        You can buy AR-15s in the UK, just can’t be centrefire semi-auto or pump-action. So they came up with a double sear so you have to pull the trigger twice.

    • tsubaka

      there’s 6 of them in my city (pop. <100.000)
      also you can buy common hunting rifles and ammo in most of sport shop along archery and air guns
      you still need to present your federation license (it's not the official gun permit) or your hunting permit
      .22 ammo is non-restricted the rest has a 1000rds per year limit

      • Twilight sparkle

        Dang that’s actually a lot of stores, I never bothered to look at firearm stores when I was in France because I assumed there weren’t any. Are foreigners allowed in? It would be interesting to see how the stores there compare to here.

        Incase you’re interested my city of 130,000 in Texas only has 6 gun stores

        • Eric Sebu

          Foreigner or not, anyone can enter a gun store in France.

        • iksnilol

          No you can’t, you have to sing the French anthem and eat a cheese wheel in one sitting to prove your Frenchiness.

  • snmp

    French civilians include some Securities Forces …

  • Removed_californian

    Is no one going to explain the auto sear pin present in the mr223 pics?

  • Lehmann

    Interesting concept… I think that something like this would sell well in the USA. A limited release M27 full kit in semi auto only? I bet a couple of people would shell out for that set.

  • Docduracoat

    Arm yourselves French citizens!
    Islamic terrorists have no problems getting AK-47s
    The police and army cannot be everywhere all at once
    Be prepared to be your own first responder

    • iksnilol

      Nah, AK-47 is rare. Maybe AKMs?

    • KidCorporate

      Terrorists get their weapons from truck rental lots these days.

  • Kristoff

    “France only” Well done TFB, you actually managed to get me to laugh today.

  • Blake

    I guess they got around the “no military calibers for civilians” restrictions by calling it a .223 Rem rifle instead of 5.56 NATO…

    • Steve_7

      France got rid of that law awhile back, they do it that way because of export laws.

  • Once again you’re getting it wrong on the “EU Gun Ban”.

    Modern sporting guns have NOT been banned and there are NO “new and more stringent requirements” mandated by the EU for their ownership.

    The individual Countries that want to impose them, will have to do it on their own and take political responsibility.

    France, sadly, is one of those Countries.

    • Steve_7

      You clearly haven’t read the new Directive then. They go into Category A, prohibited weapons. There are exemptions for members of certain associations (basically IPSC) and collectors and military reservists, but you won’t be able to have one just as a regular member of a gun club anymore. Possession of 10+ mags for semi-auto centrefire rifles is also banned unless you’ve got one of the exemptions or weirdly if you don’t own a gun. The Directive makes it an offence to possess the 10+ mag only with a firearm.

      • Dear Steve,

        I am a founding member of the Firearms United network, and I’ve spent 18 months fighting against the directive.

        Plus I have published several articles about the new directive on websites such as all4shooters and GUNSweek.

        I could be very rough in my reply about your “you clearly haven’t read the new Directive then”.

        But since I am not in the mood to fight, I will try to be appeasing.

        Despite what the anti-gunners and what some ill-informed outsiders believe, what you’re writing is simply not true.

        The B7 category (the one that encompasses firearms that look like military firearms) remains.

        Being a firearm patterned after a military firearm, or being compatible with “high capacity” magazines, is not automatically grounds for moving in Category A.

        The only firearms that are indeed moved totally to Category A (totally prohibited) are the so-called “demilitarized” firearms, a term that identifies machineguns later converted to semi-automatic only operation for the civilian market. It’s a type of firearm that does not exist in the U.S. because of the “Once a machinegun, always a machinegun” ATF policy, but fairly common particularly in eastern Europe due to the lower costs involved (which is the reason why Countries like Czech Republic have already lodged a complaint at the European Courts of Justice against the directive, and will refuse outright to implement it).
        No new firearm of this kind may be introduced on the market, but those already existing are grandfathered and can still be owned, carried, used, and even traded, retaining their original legal status.

        A B7-category firearm becomes a Category A firearm only (behold the madness!) in the specific moment when a “high capacity” magazine (>10rds) is inserted, and returns into Category B7 when said magazine is removed.

        This results not in a ban on the firearms per se, but only in the partial ban on ownership and use of certain magazines, which will be unworkable and unenforceable because magazines are not registered in the vast majority of Europe, and literally millions are circulating.
        That horse bolted long ago, and should a shooter be caught with a magazine he or she is “not supposed” to have, it would be hard, if possible at all, to secure a conviction because that magazine could have been pre-owned.

        In order to enforce that ban, authorities would have to count on gun owners ratting each others or would have to put a Police officer at every shooting lane.

        Also the wording for the exception is not as strict as you hint at, not in the version approved in March, which is the final version.
        The wording for the exception is actually so vague that basically every gun license holder and/ormember of a gun club could be granted said exception.

        Also keep in mind that an EU directive is different from an EU regulation. A regulation, which is a technical document, must be adopted as it is and without exceptions or adaptations. A directive is instead a framework that Member States have to implement adjusting it into their national law, and they have broad discretionality.

        So to speak, Countries could simply grant automatically the exception from the ban on “high-capacity” magazines to all gun license holders. My Country (Italy) apparently seems intentioned to do so.

        Of course, the Member States are free to actually be more restrictive than the directive. The reason why stringent and anti-democratic EU directives exist is because national governments lobby for them to bypass national democracy and impose restrictions without taking political responsibility in front of their citizens (“It’s Brussels asking, there’s nothing we can do”, which is false of course).

        France was one of the main sponsors of the so-called “EU Gun Ban”. Other Countries like Italy at a certain point threatened to ask a total exception from the directive on national security grounds when a blanket ban on all modern sporting firearms was still on the table, and decided to settle for the final form because it gives the national governments a leeway to leave their local laws unchanged.

        In other words, in 2018, when the new EU directive is implemented in each Member State, some Countries will leave their laws basically unchanged, others will apply restrictions: those will be the Countries that lobbied for a blanket ban behind the curtains, and those will be punished by their citizens at the next elections.
        The ballot box will be open in several important Member States in 2018 and European Parliament elections are up ahead in 2019.

        • Steve_7

          Well thanks for all the time to type that out, but just for the record I’ve been writing about the EFD since 1991 and I’m not an American. (I had an article printed in Gunsweek about 20 years ago and I even had an article printed in American Rifleman :p )

          Your initial comment is wrong, there are more stringent requirements as a result of the amendments, you’ve just explained at some length what they are and the article says the changes won’t facilitate ownership which is true. A semi-automatic centrefire rifle with a 30-round magazine goes to Category A. There are exemptions like I explained, but they are prohibited. Saying you can own it with a smaller magazine means it’s not the same thing yes? IIRC in France there is no legal way to pin the magazine either, it has to be destroyed by removing a feedlip.

          I don’t agree there will be general exemptions from the magazine ban either, Article 6 has been amended to make it very hard to do that. Even if there were – it’s still prohibited under Category A, you’ve just got an exemption. Even if it happened in Italy it’s hard to imagine it happening in France after the terrorist attacks.

          Czechia can sue in the ECJ all they want but we both know they’re unlikely to get very far with it.

          As for how vague the exemption is for target shooters – hard to know until member states implement it. France in the past though has been very hostile towards IPSC. Clearly it’s intended to be more restrictive than for Category B firearms though, otherwise it wouldn’t be there. You’ll now be in a situation where you’ll need authority not just for the firearm but the magazines as well, which were previously uncontrolled in most member states.

          The key point to me is that they’re classified as “prohibited” and once you get into the world of something being banned with exemptions, that never ends well for shooters, because the argument is always, why are we allowing people to own prohibited firearms? I had authority to collect Category A firearms and ammunition and I’m here to tell you it was a hell of a lot harder to get than for other firearms.

          • Sorry, guy, you’re still getting it at least very pessimistic.

            There are actually ways to make it very easy to still own those guns and magazines, and/or to leave gun laws as they are.

            Point is: those guns still ARE legal, and will remain legal, under Category B7. You said it yourself: it’s a matter of what magazine you slab in.

            Magazines exceeding 10 rounds in capacity are already extremely restricted in France, so we agree at least on one thing: it’s not a matter of the European firearms directive per se, it’s a problem FRENCH shooters have with the FRENCH laws and the FRENCH government. They wanted to impose restrictions to entire Europe because they can’t control radical elements in their homeland. But still they failed.

            Essentially the firearms directive as amended this year is a joint
            effort/will of the governments of France, Germany, Belgium, the
            Netherlands and Sweden. Other Countries, including Italy, gave a
            contribution that was provided mostly by anti-gun members of the State
            bureaucracy (let’s call it the “Deep State”) without the explicit
            consent of the central governments. It’s difficult to understand for those who have never witnessed the way Countries are run in Europe, but the concept is that of the right hand not knowing what the left hand does.

            We also agree on the tricky instrument of “exceptions”, but it’s actually all we got.

            Keep in mind: the 2008/51/EC firearms directive (Y2008 amendment to the original 1991/477/EEC directive) was passed in 5 months with just twenty “Nays” at the EP plenary and unanimous approval in all EP committees. This time it took fifteen months, the “Nays” at the EP plenary were almost two hundreds, and the original proposal which mandated full ban AND confiscation was basically neutered. The guns they proposed to ban, and the relevant magazines, will remain legal and available in those Member States that will want to keep them legal.

            As per the Czech ECJ lawsuit, it is actually very, VERY likely that the lawsuit will be successful, because le legitimacy of the entire procedure of passage of the new European firearms directive has been plagued by irregularities that have been proved above and beyond any reasonable doubt. The Czech Ministry of Interior, Firearms United and other independent attorneys in the field of gun rights in Europe estimate the success rate probability for the lawsuit at around 85%. Unfortunately the European Court of Justice has its procedures, so it’s unlikely to rule before the Member States have time to implement the directive, but laws based on a European directive that has been deemed irregular or illegal by the ECJ are easier to be amended or thrown out right away.

          • Steve_7

            This is a technical issue of law, and there is an obvious difference between a semi-automatic rifle with a 10-round magazine and one with a 30-round magazine – the latter is prohibited, thus the article is correct and your initial comment was wrong. It’s that simple. As a point of fact, not pessimism, it’s prohibited. Thus the EU is not facilitating their ownership, which is what the article says. And it’s not just in France, it’s across the whole of the EU and EEA and Switzerland. Perhaps the Directive is vague but it’s wrong to say it doesn’t really do anything, it does. That was my point. Neither of us know at this point how the exemptions will be interpreted anyway, but we do know it’s classed as prohibited.

            And if you think a bunch of judges sitting in Strasbourg (i.e. France) are going to rule a Directive enacted at the urging of the French govt. as an anti-terrorist measure after the terrorist attacks in France are going to strike it down, I think it’s fair to say you’re being somewhat optimistic.

          • Then we must agree on the fact we disagree on basically everything, from the fact that the rifle is forbidden (it’s not, because a rifle is a rifle regardless of the magazine inserted, and the prohibition of the use of “high capacity” magazines is just impossible to apply… you seemingly fail to understand that the directive clearly states that the simple fact that a firearm is compatible with high-capacity magazines is NO GROUNDS for classification in Category A!) to the idea that I’m optimistic about the ECJ striking down the directive (I’m just being realistic based on the opinion of multiple experts of EU laws and procedures).

  • JCoburn

    Actually the length of the barrel is irrelevant in France. You are allowed to own up to 12 Category B firearms – which is anything semi auto. This includes mini uzis, 11″ ar15s, 10/22 etc… Suppressors are legal as well. There is however a limit on pistol mags (20) and rifles currently 30 but eurocrat nazis are going to reduce this to just 10 rds.
    You cant ccw and gun ownership is generally limited to hunting or sports shooting. Telling the authorities you want to own a gun to protect yourself will probably getting you jailed.

    • Steve_7

      These are actually category A firearms since the EFD was updated but it hasn’t been transposed into French law yet. There will be limited exemptions for IPSC and collectors.

  • Nick

    Unfortunately this is par for the course with HK. I was honestly surprised to learn they’d released a 416 derivative of any kind of for us lowly civilians. I remember in the 90’s a lot of gun companies decided to play legal patty cake with the Democrats “gun control” aspirations. They severely limited what they’d sell to lowly “civilians”. It amounted to voluntary compliance with what was the Democrats Ideal “gun control” legislation. Though almost all of the companies that did this ended up eventually sacking their CEO’s and changing course before they ended up broke and closing their doors. It seems HK is still clinging to that old way of doing things.

  • Mark Are Reynolds Ⓥ

    Seems the one in the pictures has an extra pin above the safety that is typically where the auto sear goes. Hmmmm…..

  • 1inidaho

    In the meantime, terrorists hop on a train anywhere in the EU with fully automatic AK’s and explosives and kill dozens of innocent civilians. One would think common sense would eventually creep into the decrepit minds of authorities, then again, the new gun laws in California after the San Bernardino debacle.