The HK G11 Caseless Rifle IN ACTION – Rare Footage

    Recently on The Firearm Blog we talked about one of the great might-have-beens, the German caseless G11 rifle developed by Heckler & Koch during the 1970s and 1980s. Today we have a video from 1990 filmed at Aberdeen Proving Grounds of a demonstration of the G11K2 on the firing range.

    The first part of the demonstration is a bit odd, as the representative first lights a round on fire, then lights a round “that has been immersed in water for four hours” on fire to demonstrate the waterpoofness of the ammunition. This demonstration raises the question, perhaps, of why the second round wasn’t just fired through the G11, but perhaps given the G11’s complexity that is easier said than done. During this section, however, we do get an interesting look at the arrangement of the G11’s caseless ammo, as when the round is ignited there are two “pops”, one for the primer and one for the booster charge.

    The late Jim Schatz then takes the wheel of the G11 for an accuracy demo, where he engages exploding targets at 300 and 100 meters “in quick succession”, as the announcer says. It takes Schatz five rounds to hit the 300m target, he hits the first 100m target in 1 round, and then takes another five rounds to hit the other 100m target. While I wouldn’t call these ranges trivial necessarily, and I am unsure how much prep time Heckler & Koch had, I feel pretty comfortable saying the G11 probably didn’t have world-beating accuracy for the period!

    The video also covers reloading of the G11’s magazine (some sources have described the G11’s magazine as being “disposable”, which is not quite true), the G11’s 3 round burst, and the G11’s resistance to debris during a burying test, and a submersion test. Topping it off, Schatz field strips the gun, with what the announcer optimistically calls “ease”, then shoots a dummy of Saddam Hussein, which explodes.
    Thanks to Johannes for the tip!

    Nathaniel F

    Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at [email protected]


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