|HK G36 assault rifle (standard German army version with dual sight system) with 40mm AG36 underbarrel grenade launcher|
The Heckler und Koch G-36 assault rifle had been born as HK-50 project in early 1990s. The reason behind that project was that the Bundeswehr (the German army), after the cancellation of the G11 and G41 projects, was left with outdated G3 rifle and no modern rifle, compatible with the current NATO standards. Therefore the famous company Heckler & Koch was set to develop a new assault rifle for both the German army and the export. The new 5.56mm assault rifle has been adopted by the Bundeswehr in the 1995, and in the 1999 Spain adopted its slightly different, export version, G36E as its standard infantry rifle. The G36 also found its way into the hands of various law enforcement agencies worldwide, including British police and some US police departments. It is a good rifle, accurate, reliable, simple in operations and maintenance, and available in a wide variety of versions - from the short-barreled Commando G36C and up to a standard G36 rifle. The MG36 squad automatic weapon (light machine gun), which was initially designed as a heavy-barreled version of the G36, was in fact a short-lived proposition that never went into mass production.
|HK G36 assault rifle with optional accessory kit which includes forearm with four Picatinny rails and a low-profile scope rail on the receiver|
|HK G36C 'Compact' or 'Commando' assault rifle, with optional Picatinny rails on forend|
From the technical point of view, the G36 is a radical departure from all the previous HK rifles, based on the proven G3 roller-delayed system. The G36 is a conventional gas operated, selective fire rifle, made from most modern materials and using most modern technologies.
|HK G36E rifle (Export version) with single 1.5X telescope sight and spare magazine clamped to the left side of the inserted one|
HK G36K "short" (Kurz) assault rifle, with buttstock folded; standard version with iron sights and Picatinny rail
The typical HK trigger unit is assembled in a separate plastic housing, integral with the pistol grip and the triggerguard. Thanks to this feature, a wide variety of firing mode combinations can be used on any rifle, simply by installing the appropriate trigger unit. Standard options are single shots, full automatic fire, 2 or 3 round bursts in any reasonable combinations. The default version is the single shots + 2 rounds burst + full auto. The ambidextrous fire selector lever also serves as a safety switch.
|HK G36KE short assault rifle, export version, with 'E' type telescope sight / carrying handle setup|
The side-folding skeletonized buttstock is standard on all G36 rifles. It folds to the right side and does not interfere with rifle operation when folded.
The standard sighting equipment of the G36 consists of the TWO scopes - one 3.5X telescope sight below, with the second 1X red-dot sight above it. The sights are completely independent, with the former suitable for long range accurate shooting, and the latter suitable for the fast target acquisition at the short ranges. Both sights are built into the plastic carrying handle. The export versions of the G36 are available with the single 1.5X telescope sight, with the emergency open sights molded into the top of the carrying handle. The subcompact G36K Commando version is available with the integral Picatinny-type scope and accessory rail instead of the carrying handle and standard sights.
The standard G36 rifles can be fitted with the HK AG36 40mm underbarrel grenade launcher. It also can be fitted with the bayonets. Interestingly enough, G36 uses an AK-74-type bayonets, which are left from the now non-existent NVA (East Germany Army) stocks.
|Caliber||5.56x45mm (.223 Rem)|
|Length (buttstock open / folded)||998 / 758 mm||860 / 615 mm||720 / 500 mm|
|Barrel length||480 mm||320 mm||228 mm|
|Weight empty||3.6 kg (3.3 kg G36E)||3.3 kg (3.0 kg G36KE)||2.8 kg|
|Magazine capacity||30 rounds standard|
|Rate of fire||750 rounds per minute|