H&K and Backwards Bullets

    You know that running gag on the web where if someone buys a Heckler and Koch product, they show the rounds loaded in the magazines backwards? Well it’s almost a “must do” if you buy a new HK gun, but still a lot of people ask why or snicker and tell the poster that they have made an error. In this video, we try to tell the real story behind the notorious catalog blunder.

    Transcript …

    – [Voiceover] You know that running gag, on the web, where is someone buys a Heckler and Koch product, they show the rounds loaded in the magazines backwards? Well, it’s almost a must do if you buy a new HK gun, but still, a lot of people ask why or snicker, and tell the poster that they’ve made an error.

    This is an actual Heckler and Koch brochure from the 2004 Shot Show.

    As you can plainly see, the rounds are loaded into the magazines backwards.

    I’ve managed to collect three of these catalogs over the years from various sources, because I think it’s pretty damn funny that not only this happened, but that they made it all the way to the Shot Show before someone realized something was wrong.

    Now, getting to the bottom of exactly how and why this happened was pretty hard, but a lot of this is first hand information from an HK employee.

    Basically, at the 2004 Shot Show, the catalogs got shipped directly from the printer to the show.

    Obviously, the photographer Heckler and Koch had chosen was not a gun guy, as the most inexperienced shooters can probably figure out after looking at a magazine loaded backwards that something just isn’t right.

    Hilariously, nobody at Shot even noticed, and the HK booth was soon set up with their new products, some swag, and these catalogs to hand out and showcase their wears.

    An unknown number of these made it into the hands of attendees until someone, not an HK employee, mentioned that the bright and shiny stack of glossy catalogs featured a spectacular blunder.

    It could have just been a typo somewhere in the middle of the slickly printed pages, or even something out of whack in a photo near the end, but no.

    This magnificent failure was featured right on the cover of their catalog at their booth at one of the world’s largest small arms expos.

    To add insult to injury, the old HK slogan is featured prominently to the right of the backwards bullet.

    An unknown number of the catalogs made it out before the order came down to destroy the remaining boxes.

    The corrected catalog is much less interesting, by the way, as everything is the same, except the cartridges are inserted correctly.

    All in all, it’s hard to estimate how many of these catalogs have survived.

    Who knows how many Shot Show attendees kept theirs, as I know I’d usually discard any printed material I’d get, but I have heard anywhere from as low as 50 to as high as 300 or so.

    So, the backwards bullets are not a photoshop, or some H and K hater’s concoction; but a very real gaff that somehow made its way into circulation, and will forever haunt Heckler and Koch.

    So, that’s it.

    The real story behind the backwards bullets.

    Next time you see an enthusiastic poster on a message board who has taken photos of their Heckler and Koch firearm with the bullets inserted backwards, you’ll know exactly why.

    Big thanks to Ventura Munitions for helping our program out with its ammunition costs.

    We hope to see you all next time.

    Alex C.

    Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.