Heckler & Koch, Germany, have been renaming their weapon systems. It’s been going on for a while and I’ve been trying to decipher this ever since I saw some of the new HK firearms at Enforce Tac 2017, Germany.
Could there be errors in my list? Yes, there’s no key from Heckler & Koch but I will be happy to correct them, missed conclusions etc. and look forward to input in the comments section below. There are for sure some digits missing that I don’t know (yet).
I have tried to add a lof ot pictures to make this more interesting, and there should be direct links to HK’s Homepage to most if not all firearms.
HK’s new 3 digit system can be found towards the bottom.
The Weapon Systems for Military and Law Enforcement is divided into the following areas.
PISTOLS – SUBMACHINE GUNS – ASSAULT RIFLES – MACHINE GUNS – PRECISION RIFLES – 40 MM SYSTEMS – GRENADE MACHINE GUN and TRAINING SYSTEMS.
We will skip the Pistols, Grenade Machine Gun and Training Systems this time and focus on the other firearms.
So, let’s begin:
MP7 A1 and MP7 A2 in 4.6 MM X 30. Pictures from the HK catalog.
MP7 from EnforceTac 2017, my picture.
This Classic doesn’t need much if an introduction. (MP5 MLI pictured, from EnforceTac)
The Unicorn, with all modes of fire.
Below: HK416. You can note the”G38″ printed on the upper rifle. My picture from EnforceTac.
Detailed picture of the HK416.
G38 below. TFB source: https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2014/09/01/hk416a5-now-g38/.
HK237. Based on the G36/HK233 but in .300 Blackout / Whisper. HK337. Based on the HK416A5, but in .300 Blackout / Whisper.
HK437. A HK433 but chambered in .300 Blackout / Whisper. There is no picture yet.
Below: HK417A2 13″ top and 16.” middle. G28 Patrol with
G28E printed on the bottom rifle. My picture from EnforceTac.
MACHINE GUNS (Belt fed)
Features: Safety catch may be applied in all bolt positions, Withstands barrel obstruction test to NATO-AC225/D14, tandards (soft core, dual core and steel core ammunition DM41, DM11, DM31, DM21), Gun mount interface, Full day and night combat capability, Sight rail as per NATO-STANAG 4694 to mount optical/optronic sights. Folding and telescopic buttstock options. Deployment-specific barrel lengths as quick-release barrel with carrying and barrel changing handle. Simple conversion to standard, infantry and vehicle mounted weapon. Almost similiar operation to HK 121.
Features: Safety catch may be applied in all bolt positions, Withstands barrel obstruction test to NATO-AC225/D14 standards (soft core and steel core ammunition DM111A1, DM151, DM21A2). MG3 gun mount interface. Full day and night combat capability, Sight rail as per NATO-STANAG 4694 to mount optical/optronic sights. Fixed, folding and telescopic buttstock options. Deployment-specific barrel lengths as quick-release barrel with carrying and barrel changing handle. Easy to convert to standard, infantry or vehicle mounted weapon without the need for tools (< 1 min). Three settings for the rate of fire. Maintenance-free bolt group buffer to stabilise the rate of fire and absorb the recoil. Belt feed with loadedstate indicator
Below: Some of my pictures from EnforceTac 2017 of the HK121, Universal Machine Gun.
Below: The letters “HK121” clearly visible on the cast iron receiver. It comes with a minimum service life of 50,000 rounds. Note the aluminum top with Picatinny rail. Don’t like the color matching? That’s what different surface finishing does to various materials.
EDIT – Reference to the “cast-iron receiver” from the HK catalog.
The gas port on the HK121 can be adjusted without the need for tools, and gives approximately 640, 720 or 800 rounds/min.
MSG90 A2 in 7.62 mm x 51 NATO.
HK241 in 7.62 mm x 51 NATO. DMR Rifle.
40 mm SYSTEMS
An overview how the AG36, GLM and HK269s can be used on various rifles, including M4s, C7s and C8s.
Firearms using the 3 digit “new nomenclature” system:
As always, there are no rules without exceptions, so let’s begin with those:
The following rifles use another 3 digit system.
MR223, MR 308, MR556, MR762 (They are for the Civilian market).
HK416, HK417 (Assault Rifles).
And these “Classics” remain as well:
MP5, MP7, UMP, USC, G36, MSG90.
We wouldn’t like some of these to be renamed, would we?
Decryption of the new nomenclature (LEAF Firearms):
Not sure what this stands for. So far 1, 2, 3 and 4 have been used but I haven’t been able to figure out a system, if there is one? Some examples below:
1 HK121, HK123, HK169
2 HK233, HK237, HK241, HK269
4 HK433, HK437 (remember 416 and 417 are exceptions).
1 Unknown or not used.
2 Machine Gun. Full Auto. Belt fed.
3 Assault Rifle. Full Auto.
4 Rifle. Semi-Automatic.
5 Unknown or not used
6 40 mm System
Third Digit: (Caliber)
1 7,62×51 NATO
2 Unknown or not used
3 5,56×45 NATO
4 Unknown or not used
5 Unknown or not used
6 Unknown or not used
7 .300 Blackout/Whisper
8 Unknown or not used
9 40 mm
Note: As the HK433 should arrive in 7,62×39 mm (Kalashnikov), one of those unknowns will sooner or later revel itself.
Funny enough, it is mentioned in the Heckler & Koch Press Release that the HK433 in 7,62 mm x 39 Kalashnikov would be called HK123. However that name is already taken, but only after that Press Release. And it’s the machine gun previously called MG4. Honestly, I think the names MG4, MG5 etc.are so much better than the 3 digit system and I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to it.
(It’s a bit when BMW decided to change the name of the BMW M3 to BMW M4. Because the M3 has 4 doors and the M4 has 2, well let’s say I’m still struggling getting it right.)
From the HK Homepage: HK123. That’s a machine gun in 5,56, not a HK433 variant.
In the HK 2017 catalog there is also an interesting chart showing the weight of various rounds and the potential combat load (rounds).
If you find any errors or know what the missing digits stand for, please write below.