Heckler & Koch G36

Heckler & Koch G36

Infobox Weapon

caption=A G36 of the Bundeswehr.
type=Assault rifle
used_by=See "Users"
wars=Kosovo War, Afghan War, Iraq War, War in South Ossetia (2008)
designer=Heckler & Koch
manufacturer=Heckler & Koch
variants=See "Variants"
weight=kg to lb|3.63|sp=us|abbr=on|precision=2|wiki=yes (G36) convert|3.33|kg|abbr=on (G36V) convert|3.30|kg|abbr=on (G36K) convert|3.0|kg|abbr=on (G36KV) convert|2.82|kg|abbr=on (G36C) convert|3.83|kg|abbr=on (MG36) convert|3.50|kg|abbr=on (MG36E)
length=mm to in|999|abbr=on|precision=1|wiki=yes stock extracted / convert|758|mm|abbr=on|1 stock folded (G36, G36V, MG36, MG36E) convert|860|mm|abbr=on|1 stock extended / convert|615|mm|abbr=on|1 stock folded (G36K, G36KV) convert|720|mm|abbr=on|1 stock extended / convert|500|mm|abbr=on|1 stock folded (G36C)
part_length=convert|480|mm|abbr=on|1 (G36, G36V, MG36, MG36E) convert|318|mm|abbr=on|1 (G36K, G36KV) convert|228|mm|abbr=on|1 (G36C)
height=convert|320|mm|abbr=on|1 (G36, G36K, MG36) convert|285|mm|abbr=on|1 (G36V, G36KV, MG36E) convert|278|mm|abbr=on|1 (G36C)
cartridge=5.56x45mm NATO
action=Gas-operated, rotating bolt
rate=750 rounds/min cyclic
velocity=convert|920|m/s|0|lk=on|sp=us|abbr=on (G36, G36V, MG36, MG36E) convert|850|m/s|abbr=on|1 (G36K, G36KV)
range=200 to 800 m sight adjustment
feed=30-round detachable box magazine or 100-round C-Mag drum magazine
sights=Reflex sight with 1x magnification, telescopic sight with 3x magnification (export version has a 1.5x magnified sight) and back-up fixed notch sight

The G36 is a German 5.56 mm assault rifle, designed in the early 1990s by Heckler & Koch GmbH (H&K) and accepted into service with the German Armed Forces in 1997, replacing the 7.62 mm G3 automatic rifle.Woźniak, Ryszard. Encyklopedia najnowszej broni palnej - tom 2 G-Ł. Bellona. 2001. pp17-21.]


Work on a successor for the venerable G3 rifle had been ongoing in Germany since the second half of the 1970s. These efforts resulted in the innovative 4.73 mm G11 assault rifle (developed jointly by a group of companies led by H&K), that used caseless ammunition (designed by the Dynamit Nobel company). It had been predicted that this weapon would eventually replace the G3, therefore further development of H&K's series of firearms chambered for the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge had been halted. Heckler & Koch had no incentive to pursue a new 5.56 mm weapon design, content with the export-oriented HK33 and G41 assault rifles. However, the G11 program came to an abrupt end when the Bundeswehr rejected the design due to defense budget cuts after the unification of East and West Germany and H&K was acquired in 1991 by British Aerospace's Royal Ordnance division (known today as BAE Systems).

Increasing interest in Germany for a modern service rifle chambered for the NATO-standard 5.56 mm cartridge led H&K to offer the German armed forces the G41 rifle, which too was declined. Design work was then initiated from the ground up on a modern 5.56 mm assault rifle, designated "Project 50" or HK50.Woźniak, Ryszard. Encyklopedia najnowszej broni palnej - tom 2 G-Ł. Bellona. 2001. pp17-21.] The prototype was then trialled, where it was rated higher than the rival Austrian Steyr AUG system.Woźniak, Ryszard. Encyklopedia najnowszej broni palnej - tom 2 G-Ł. Bellona. 2001. pp17-21.] The HK50 rifle was selected for service and an initial order was placed for 33,000 units having the Bundeswehr designation "Gewehr G36". The order also involved an option for a further 17,000 rifles. Deliveries were first made to the Bundeswehr's NATO Quick Reaction Force during the third quarter of 1997.

In July 1998, it was announced that the G36 had been selected as the standard rifle for the Spanish Armed Forces, replacing the 5.56 mm CETME Model L and LC rifles. Deliveries first took place at the end of 1999. These rifles are being manufactured in Spain, under license by General Dynamics Santa Bárbara Sistemas at the FACOR ("Fábrica de Armas de la Coruña") facility, in A Coruña, Galicia.

The G36 is manufactured in three primary versions: the G36 standard rifle, the G36K carbine (K – "Kurz", German for "short") and the MG36 light machine gun (MG – "Maschinengewehr" or "machine gun"). An export version of the series is also produced (these weapons have a simplified sighting system, as well as a NATO-standard bayonet mount) parallel to the standard line-up, called the G36E, G36KE and MG36E respectively. Heckler & Koch has since revised the export model suffix from "E" to "V" resulting in the identical G36V and G36KV models (the MG36 and MG36E are no longer offered by H&K).

Design details

The G36 has a conventional layout and a modular component design. Common to all variants of the G36 family are: the receiver and buttstock assembly, bolt carrier group with bolt and the return mechanism and guide rod. The receiver contains the barrel, carry handle with integrated sights, trigger group with pistol grip, handguard and magazine socket.

The G36 is a selective fire gas-operated weapon that uses burnt powder gases from the barrel, bled through a vent near the muzzle which transmits the gas thrust to the bolt carrier, providing automation to the moving assembly; it fires from a closed bolt position. The weapon uses a self-regulating spring-buffered short-stroke gas piston system (the rifle has no gas valve).Woźniak, Ryszard. Encyklopedia najnowszej broni palnej - tom 2 G-Ł. Bellona. 2001. pp17-21.] The rotary bolt features 7 radial locking lugs and its rotation is controlled by a cam pin guided inside a camming guide cut-out in the bolt carrier. The bolt also houses a spring-loaded casing extractor and an ejector. Spent cartridge casings are ejected through a port located on the right side of the receiver. A brass deflector keeps cases from striking left-handed operators in the face. There is no ejection port cover as the bolt closes the ejection port to particulates when it is forward. The weapon features a hammer-type striking mechanism and a trigger with a fire control selector and an integrated, manual safety mechanism that prevents accidental firing (this is an improved trigger group from the G3 rifle). The fire and safety selector is ambidextrous and has controls on both sides of the receiver; the selector settings are described with letters: “S” – safe, “E” – semi-automatic fire and “F” – continuous fire.Woźniak, Ryszard. Encyklopedia najnowszej broni palnej - tom 2 G-Ł. Bellona. 2001. pp17-21.] The weapon safety disables the trigger when engaged. HK also offers several other trigger options, including the so-called “Navy” trigger group, with settings analogous to the standard trigger, but the selector positions have been illustrated with pictograms. A semi-automatic only trigger unit (lacks the “F” setting) is also available.

The G36 feeds from proprietary 30-round curved magazines with cartridges loaded in a staggered pattern. The magazines are molded from a high-strength translucent polymer and can be clipped together using built-in coupling studs into 2 or 3-magazine packs allowing up to five magazines to be carried side-by-side on the rifle ready for rapid magazine changes. The magazines are not compatible with NATO-standard STANAG magazines, as introduced in the M16. However, the G36 can be used with Beta C-Mag drum magazines (produced by Beta Company), that have a 100-round cartridge capacity and are intended to be used primarily with the MG36 light support weapon. The bolt is automatically locked to the rear when the last round is expended, but the bolt catch can be deactivated. The bolt catch button is located at the forward end of the trigger guard. The spring-loaded folding cocking handle extends forward in line with the barrel of the rifle (it is located on top of the receiver, under the carry handle). It can be swung to either side of the receiver, depending on whether the user is right or left-handed and is locked when pressed inward. When locked at a perpendicular angle to the receiver, the handle can be used as a forward assist to force the bolt into battery, or to extract a stuck cartridge casing (the cocking handle's design is protected in the US by patent number 5821445, by Manfred Guhring). [http://www.google.com/patents?id=knkWAAAAEBAJ&dq=Manfred+Guhring] [Citation
inventor-last = Guhring
inventor-first = Manfred
publication-date =
issue-date = 1996-10-13
title = Loading lever assembly for hand-operated firearms
country-code = US
description =
patent-number = 5821445

The standard German Army versions of the G36 are equipped with a ZF 3x4° dual optical sight that combines a 3x magnified telescopic sight (with the main reticule designed for firing at 200 m and bullet drop compensation markings for: 200, 400, 600 and 800 m crosshairs and a range-finding scale) and an unmagnified reflex red-dot sight (calibrated for firing at 200 m) mounted on top of the telescopic sight.Woźniak, Ryszard. Encyklopedia najnowszej broni palnej - tom 2 G-Ł. Bellona. 2001. pp17-21.] The red dot sight is activated by ambient light during the day and requires battery power in a zero light environment. The export versions have a single optical sight with a 1.5x magnification and an aiming reticule fixed at 300 m. All rifles are adapted to use the Hensoldt NSA 80 third-generation night sight, which clamps into the G36 carry handle adapter in front of the optical sight housing and mates with the rifle's standard optical sight [ [http://www.zeiss.com/C1257088004A3F3C/EmbedTitelIntern/Nightvisionmodules/$File/Nightvision_modules.pdf Zeiss NSA 80 night sight module datasheet] ] . The sighting bridge also functions as a carrying handle and features auxiliary open sights molded on top of the handle that consist of a forward blade and rear notch, but these can only be used with the red dot sight removed, as in the G36V. The optical sight system is produced by Hensoldt AG (a subsidiary of Carl Zeiss AG).

The G36 employs a free-floating barrel (the barrel does not contact the handguard). The barrel is fastened to the receiver with a special nut, which can be removed with a wrench. The barrel is produced using a cold hammer forging process and features a chrome-lined bore with 6 right-hand grooves and a 1 in 178 mm (1:7 in) rifling twist rate. The barrel assembly consists of the gas block, a collar with a bayonet lug that is also used to launch rifle grenades and a slotted flash suppressor.

The weapon is equipped with a side-folding skeletonized stock and a detachable folding bipod, which folds into recesses in the handguard. The G36 can be fired with the stock collapsed.Woźniak, Ryszard. Encyklopedia najnowszej broni palnej - tom 2 G-Ł. Bellona. 2001. pp17-21.] The underside of the butt-stock has holes into which assembly pins can be placed during weapon cleaning and maintenance.

The G36 employs a large number of lightweight, corrosion-resistant synthetic materials in its design; the receiver housing, stock, trigger group (including the fire control selector and firing mechanism parts), magazine well, handguard and carry handle are all made of a carbon fiber-reinforced polyamide. The receiver has an integrated steel barrel trunnion (with locking recesses) and the reciprocating parts move on steel rails molded into the receiver (this feature was issued a US patent, number 5513461, authored by Helmut Weldle).

The rifle can be fitted with a 40 mm AG36 (AG – "Anbau-Granatwerfer") under-barrel grenade launcher, which is a breech-loaded break-action weapon with a side-tilting barrel.

The weapon can be stripped and re-assembled without tools through a system of cross-pins similar to that used on earlier HK designs. For cleaning purposes, the G36 disassembles into the following groups: receiver housing, return mechanism, bolt carrier group and trigger group.

Standard equipment supplied with the G36 includes: spare magazines, a cleaning and maintenance kit, sling, speed-loading device and an AK-74 blade bayonet (many of which are left over in Germany from stocks of the former National People's Army).


Latvian soldier with the G36KV equipped with a Picatinny rail, a modified adjustable stock, and AG36 grenade launcher.]

The MG36 light machine gun differs from the G36, having a heavier barrel for an increased heat and cook-off resistance.Woźniak, Ryszard. Encyklopedia najnowszej broni palnej - tom 2 G-Ł. Bellona. 2001. pp17-21.]

The G36K (K - Kurz or short) carbine has a shorter barrel (fitted with an open-type flash suppressor) and a shorter handguard, which includes a bottom rail that can be used to attach tactical accessories, such as a UTL halogen flashlight from the USP pistol. The carbine’s barrel lacks the capability to launch rifle grenades and it cannot mount a bayonet. The weapon retained the ability to be used with the AG36 grenade launcher. G36Ks in service with German special forces are provided with 100-round C-MAGs.

The G36C (C – Compact) is a further development of the G36K. It has a short barrel and a shorter (than the G36K), 4-prong open-type flash suppressor. The use of a reduced length 228 mm barrel forced designers to move the gas block closer to the muzzle end and use a shortened gas piston rod. The handguard and stock were also reduced in length and the fixed carry handle (with optical sights) was replaced with a carry handle with an integrated MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail. In place of the dual optical sight found on the regular G36 and G36K, the G36C was equipped with rail-mounted iron sights that consist of a hooded front post and a flip rear aperture. The short handguard has six attachment points, one of which could be used for a vertical foregrip.

The G36A2 is an in-service designation allocated to an upgraded variant of the G36 used by the German Army. The G36A2 is equipped with a quick detachable Zeiss RSA reflex red dot sight [ [http://www.zeiss.com/C1257088004A21CA/Contents-Frame/521382359A5D46B9C12570BC002C5996 Zeiss RSA-S Reflex Sight] ] mounted on a Picatinny rail that replaces the original red dot sight of the dual combat sighting system. The G36A2 upgrade kit also consists of a new handguard with three Picatinny rails and a handgrip with an integrated switch for operating an Oerlikon-Contraves LLM01 laser light module.

Based on the G36, Heckler & Koch also created the semi-automatic SL8 rifle and the straight-pull, bolt-action R8, which are offered to the civilian sport shooting community. The SL8 is substantially different from the G36, it has a different receiver and a fixed thumbhole stock with a cheek rest, which is integrated with the trigger group. The SL8 has a heavy profile, extended, 510 mm barrel that does not have a flash hider or bayonet lug. The rifle uses a shortened 10-round single-stack magazine and an extended top rail used to mount a wide variety of Picatinny-standard optics. Mounted to the rail are a set of iron sights with a hooded foresight and adjustable flip rear aperture. The SL8 can also mount the G36 carry handle and integrated sight assembly, after removing the mechanical iron sights. The SL8 has an unloaded weight of 4.3 kg, overall length – 980-1030 mm and a trigger rated at 20 N.


U. S. Army soldiers crosstrain with G36s in Kosovo.

*flag|Albania: The G36C is used in limited numbers by specialized units.
*flag|Australia: Australian Federal Police (G36C). [ [https://www.tenders.gov.au/?event=public.cn.view&cnUUID=5167C895-9D62-5238-52616E7F121E90AE 'G36C Firearms' sold to the Australian Federal Police by HK Systems Australia] ]
*flag|Brazil: Brazilian Federal Police. [ [http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/folha/galeria/imagemdodia/p_20070623_11.shtml Folha de São Paulo] . Retrieved June 23rd, 2007]
*flag|Canada: Used by the Victoria Police Department.
*flag|Croatia: Limited numbers in use with certain specialized units.
*flag|Estonia: Used in small numbers by select units.
*flag|Finland: Finnish Border Guard rapid response units.
*flag|France: French GIGN and RAID.
*flag|Germany: Standard service rifle of the Bundeswehr (G36 or G36A1, G36A2, G36K and G36C), [http://www.streitkraeftebasis.de/portal/a/streitkraeftebasis/kcxml/04_Sj9SPykssy0xPLMnMz0vM0Y_QjzKL9443NbUESYGYJsFAJkwsKCVV39cjPzdV31s_QL8gN6Lc0VFREQDdmazD/delta/base64xml/L3dJdyEvd0ZNQUFzQUMvNElVRS82X0tfNTU2] Bundespolizei (German Federal Police) and SEKs of the State Police.
*flag|Georgia: Georgian Army special forces, presidential guard.
*flag|Greece: The G36 was evaluated by the Hellenic Army as a potential replacement for the license-produced variant of the G3 rifle currently in service and emerged as the winner of an industry competition. The order would involve 112,370 rifles but acquisition has been postponed. [http://www.in.gr/news/article.asp?lngEntityID=668412&lngDtrID=244]
*flag|Iceland: Icelandic National Police which includes the Víkingasveitin counter-terrorist unit.
*flag|Indonesia: Indonesian Army Kopassus Counter Terrorist Unit Sat-81 Gultor and Indonesian Marine Corps Denjaka (G36C and G36K).
*flag|Republic of Ireland: Irish Army Rangers.
*flag|Italy: Italian Gruppo di Intervento Speciale special operations group of the Carabinieri, Aeronautica Militare for the RIAM Special Forces group, Col Moschin special operation group of the Italian Army.
*flag|Jordan: The Royal Special Forces employ the G36C.
*flag|Latvia: The G36KV is the standard assault rifle of the Latvian Army and Speciālo uzdevumu vienība (Latvian special forces). [http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Assault+rifles+in+a+5.56+mm+evolution:+the+fielding+of+new+designs...-a0162920783 Assault rifles in a 5.56 mm evolution: the fielding of new designs and the upgrade of existing weapons will ensure that 5.56 mm remains the predominant assault rifle calibre.] ] [http://www.mod.gov.lv/upload/nbsfakti.anglu.gala.pdf]
*flag|Lithuania: Lithuanian Army adopted the G36V and G36KV in 2007. [ [http://soj.lt/ginklai_technika/ SOJ "Aitvaras".] ]
*flag|Malaysia: Malaysian Army Grup Gerak Khas and Royal Malaysian Police Pasukan Gerakan Khas counter-terrorist units (G36C).

*flag|Mexico: Law enforcement agencies such as state, federal and military police as well as the Mexican military.
*flag|The Netherlands: Several police units.
*flag|Norway: Norwegian Navy Kystjegerkommandoen.
*flag|Philippines: Naval Special Warfare Group, Light Reaction Battalion and Presidential Security Group.
*flag|Poland: Used by the Polish police (G36C, G36K), special forces GROM (G36K, G36) and the naval special warfare group FORMOZA (G36KV), Government Protection Bureau (G36K, G36KV and G36C), the Internal Security Agency (G36C) and Central Bureau of Investigation (G36C).
*flag|Portugal: Portuguese Marine Corps, Portuguese National Republican Guard, Portuguese Air Force "Polícia Aérea" (military police) and NFOT (former-RESCOM).
*flag|Romania: The G36KV is used by several special operations groups such as the 1st Special Operations Battalion and combat divers.
*flag|Singapore: Singaporean STAR unit.
*flag|Slovakia: G36KV and G36C used in small numbers by the Slovak Police's "Útvar Osobitného Určenia" or "special assignments unit".
*flag|Slovenia: Deployed in small numbers by the Slovenian counter-terrorist unit Specialna Enota Policije.
*flag|Spain: Purchased the G36E to equip all branches of the Spanish Armed Forces. 75,219 units acquired with deliveries starting in 1999 and completed in 2005; 60,000 rifles were issued to the Spanish Army, 7,559 were allotted to the Spanish Navy and the Spanish Air Force received a total of 7,660 weapons. Naval G36's are slightly different in that they feature a 3x optical sight. The rifles are manufactured jointly by both Heckler & Koch in Oberndorf am Neckar and the General Dynamics Santa Bárbara Sistemas facility in A Coruña, Spain at a unit cost of 778.99. [ [http://www.mde.es/dgam/principalesprogramasaym.htm#CON8 FUSIL DE ASALTO 5.56 mm.] es icon]
*flag|Sweden: Särskilda Skyddsgruppen (Special Protection Group, SSG) and Nationella insatsstyrkan (National Task Force, NI).
*flag|Thailand: Royal Thai Navy SEALs, Royal Thai Marine Corps Recon Battalion (G36C).
*flag|United Kingdom: UKSF and many AFOs including CO19.
*flag|United States: United States Capitol Police, Baltimore Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department, the Milwaukie Police Department in Oregon, the Cobb County Police Department in Georgia, the Roanoke County Police Department SWAT unit in Roanoke, Virginia, the Jefferson Township Police department in Oak Ridge, NJ, the Cinnaminson Township Police Department (NJ), the Metropolitan St. Louis Police Department in Missouri, and the Utah Department of Corrections.
*flag|United Nations: Safety and Security Service mainly (G36K)

ee also

*Armalite AR-18
*Heckler & Koch HK416
*Heckler & Koch SL8
*Beretta ARX-160
*FX-05 Xiuhcoatl
*XM8 rifle



*pl icon cite book| last = Woźniak| first = Ryszard| authorlink = | coauthors = | year = 2001| chapter = p. 17-21| title = Encyklopedia najnowszej broni palnej - tom 2 G-Ł| publisher = Bellona| location = Warsaw, Poland| id = ISBN 83-11-09310-5

External links

* [http://www.heckler-koch.de/HKWebText/detailProd/1928/85/4/19 Heckler & Koch - official site]
* [http://www.streitkraeftebasis.de/portal/PA_1_0_P3/PortalFiles/02DB040000000001/W26DTJEN177INFODE/G36_Neu.pdf?yw_repository=youatweb Bundeswehr fact sheet de icon]
* [http://stevespages.com/pdf/german_zdv312_schiessen_mit_handwaffen.pdf Bundeswehr manual ZDv 3/12 regarding small arms usage de icon]
* [http://photos.imageevent.com/smglee/cltactical/HK%20Military%20LE%20Catalog.pdf 2008 Heckler & Koch Military and LE brochure]
* [http://www.bimbel.de/artikel/artikel-23.html G36 in parts]
* [http://world.guns.ru/assault/as14-e.htm Modern Firearms]
* [http://www.remtek.com/arms/hk/mil/g36/g36.htm REMTEK]
* [http://www.wildwestguns.com/Bushwacker/Machine_Gun_Fun/MOV00005.MPG Video of G36C being fired at law enforcement demonstration.]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65TyTZlpPlk Official HK instruction video part 1]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxd7JmFEj-U&feature=related Official HK instruction video part 2]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nQq87YWP8s&feature=related Official HK instruction video part 3]
* [http://www.ruag.com/ruag/binary?media=151960&open=true RUAG Ammotech factsheet on German Army DM11 5.56x45mm ammunition]

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