Heckler & Koch Teases The HK 421 – A New Lightweight Machine Gun

Eric B
by Eric B
“Live from DSEI2023: HK421 variant in sniper grey with retractable Para buttstock.” – from Heckler & Koch

For the past few days, Heckler & Koch Germany has been teasing their new HK 421, a newly developed compact and lightweight machine gun. At DSEI 2023 in London (12-15 September 2023), an exhibition with over 2,800 defence and security suppliers, it was finally unveiled in various configurations.

Heckler & Koch @ TFB:

Below: The very first tease, an empty cabinet with frosted plexiglass.

Photo: Heckler & Koch Germany

Heckler & Koch currently markets the MG4 and MG5, which are largely identical in operation and handling to each other. The MG4 is described as a “Light machine gun for heavy duty“, and is chambered in 5.56×45 NATO. The MG5 is a 7.62×51 NATO and is described by H&K as “Covers target areas, suppresses hostiles“.

The HK421 is a belt-fed machine gun, with a loaded state indicator, on the basis of the MG5. There will be various barrel lengths available, for instance, 13″ and 16.5”. The mechanism is a locked rotating bolt head, and it fires from an open bolt. It uses a hydraulic buffer system, which enables a variety of buttstocks to be used. At DSEI 2023 it was shown with both a collapsible stock and an HK416A8 buttstock.

The top image shows a variant in Sniper Grey Cerakote, with a retractable Para buttstock.

Heckler & Koch Germany

Hier ist es: Das neue MG HK421. Mehr Infos dazu bald hier.

Here we go: the new MG #HK421. More infos here soon.

Photo: Heckler & Koch Germany

Saving weight – According to a contact at DSEI 2023, the weight of the new HK 421 is about 8.5 kg, which would make the machine gun about 3 kilograms lighter than the MG5.

How compact are your stock and buffer?

As soon as Heckler & Koch unveils more official information, we’ll be back with an update.


Sources: Heckler & Koch Germany, Soldat & Technik and Soldier Systems.

Eric B
Eric B

Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with a European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatics, optics, thermals and suppressors. TCCC Certified. Occasionaly seen in a 6x6 Bug Out Vehicle, always with a big smile.

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