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The German media continue to run article after article criticizing the Bundeswehrs G36 service rifle, and the procurement process that put the H&K product into the German Landsers hands. The rifle has been extremely controversial from its introduction, but particularly since 2011.

 

HK G36

 

Of the various charges out there now, the one that has stuck, according to reports from the field and from German news media, is that the weapon loses all accuracy when it gets hot. The dispute has multiple facets or sides, including the Bundeswehr, H&K, the MODs current leaders, its former leaders, opposition politicians, and the German media; each such interest seems to be at war with all the others.

http://weaponsman.com/?p=22017

Certainly sounds like some degree of malfeasance took place - the complaints stretch back very, very far. It would be interesting what will happen:

- BW will field HK416 ?

- H&K will "fix" G36 ?

- Rifles will be provided with 3 round magazines, to prevent overheating?

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I'm waiting for the official reports before jumping to any conclusions. Personally I find it hard to believe that everybody else (Spain, Lithuania, Latvia, various military special forces units, etc.) who've adopted the G36 in some form would have skipped any sort of "stress testing" that involved going through several magazines on full auto.

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Difficult to believe this about a country who lead the world in small arms for decades, and the company which got called in to fix the UK's SA-80 rifles.

 

 

Regards,

Gerard

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Isn't the G36 a cheap rifle that was rushed into service once the G11 program was cancelled, designed only to fulfill very limited requirements? It was never meant to operate at the high temperatures in the Middle East or be used worldwide, but only meant to equip German forces defending Germany, and the testing regime reflected that.

 

I know that just because it has H&K stamped on it, people immediately think it must be high-speed low-drag, but even Lamborghini makes family hatchbacks. It's a budget rifle (sold at H&K premium prices).

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Heat resistant polymers are a thing, given the high prices H&K has a reputation for you'd hope they'd be using such materials.

 

Anybody here speak German? The translation of this document gets a bit too messy to understand in parts. There is something about "The theory that the material or combination of materials of the G36 housing" that seems to be of interest.

 

http://www.heckler-koch.com/de/presse/detail/article/stellungnahme-nr-4-von-heckler-koch-zum-sturmgewehr-g36-1.html

Edited by JW Collins
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Aftaer the CETME L a jagged rock would have met Spanish needs, but other than the fragility if dropped or used as a hammer I have seen no complaints.

 

Well, there was that bit about the floating barrel being not durable enough to use the bayonet.

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Heat resistant polymers are a thing, given the high prices H&K has a reputation for you'd hope they'd be using such materials.

 

Anybody here speak German? The translation of this document gets a bit too messy to understand in parts. There is something about "The theory that the material or combination of materials of the G36 housing" that seems to be of interest.

 

http://www.heckler-koch.com/de/presse/detail/article/stellungnahme-nr-4-von-heckler-koch-zum-sturmgewehr-g36-1.html

 

Press Information

 

Statement No. 4 by Heckler & Koch regarding Assault Rifle G36

 

Heckler & Koch demands independent clear-up of irregularities in Bundeswehr tests

 

Heckler & Koch demands independent forensic investigation of all G 36 trials by the Federal Criminal Investigations Office

 

Basics of weapon and ammunition technology ignored in Bundeswehr tests

 

Heckler & Koch presents combat value enhancements for G36

 

Heckler & Koch welcomes the stated will of the Federal Ministry of Defense to follow up the accusations made against the company with far-reaching consequences for our technical reputation with a substantial investigation. Nebulous accusations are not only damaging our company's renown, but most of all spread insecurity among our deployed soldiers and undermine the credibility of our deployed forces with Germany's allies.

 

We also regret that our company has not been contacted, much less informed by any source within the Bundeswehr about the proceedings to this day, even though we offered open and constructive dialogue at any time. It has so far not been specified under which conditions and with which objectives the tests of the G36 were conducted. We have no indications that soldiers have come into danger because of a lack of shooting precision of the G36 rifle. It remains true that an increased warming of the G36 does not lead to malfunction or even failure of the weapon. The material consistency of the HK50 rifle trialed by the Bundeswehr, which was introduced in 1995 under the designation G36, was known to the Federal Government at any time. The alleged deficiencies now discussed, as they are here attributed to the comparatively few combat missions of the Bundeswehr, should have emerged and become known very much earlier with other forces, which are engaged in combat in various places - this is however not the case.

 

Analysis of the information which have become known to Heckler & Koch through the media makes it clear among other things that the current discussion is contributing little to a clear-up of the issue. From the view of Heckler & Koch, the recent establishment of an internal commission of the Federal Ministry of Defense gives raise to the worry that an independent and credible investigation and clear-up of all proceedings in the discussion about the G36 which has been going on for five years in the Bundeswehr will be hardly possible. Members of the commission are not independent due to being close to the Bundeswehr and have in part already made negative statements about the G36 in public. In view of the most recent public comments of the Federal Ministry of Defense about the G36 rifle as well as of the as-yet unclear mandate of the announced investigation, the conditions for transparent and fact-based work of the internal commission now established seem insufficient.
Heckler & Koch therefore demands an evaluation and clear-up of all proceedings regarding the G36 topic independent of the Federal Ministry of Defense, as well as the forensic investigation of all raised accusations and alleged subject matter expertises by the Federal Criminal Investigations Office.
In view of our entrepreneurial responsibility as the employer of more than 700 employees we see ourselves by now forced to consider public liability claims against the Federal Government due to the emerged and continuing defamation and endangerment of credit with Heckler & Koch. In our opinion these result from the erroneous and one-sided trial arrangements of the Bundeswehr with the G36 and the relating "secret reports" illegally leaked to the press time and again.
Hecker & Koch therein sees probable cause for a liability of the Federal Government, since these issues can obviously be traced to and insufficient or lacking official and technical oversight of subordinated Bundeswehr stations, in particular the Ordnance Station for Weapons and Ammunition (WTD 91) as well as the Defense Science Institute for Materials and Fuels (WIWeB). Among other things, the administrative principles of "bad prejudice" were not upheld. Additionally the repeated publication of confidential or documents classified as part of the protection of secrets with in part obviously preliminary findings has revealed grave gaps in the data security of the Federal Government.
Above this, the court-ordered surrender of all evaluation documents of the Bundeswehr about the G36 to Heckler & Koch on the base of accessory contract obligations is currently subject of considerations.
The issue is completely muddled at this point due to the release of competing statements and technical reports as mentioned in the above release. I have a bloody stack of paper going back to 2012 on my desk, including the WTD 91 tests with pages upon pages of tables and graphs about behavior of different ammunition at different temperatures, etc.; I need to pack the affair into a speech for the upcoming floor debate of the defense ombudsman's annual report, since the outgoing office holder Helmut Königshaus was instrumental in kicking it off.
HK is of course right in lambasting the typically clueless media coverage; this is not helped by press reports that "bullets may deviate by up to 50 centimeters" (oh yeah? At what range?). Initially the opinion in our circles was largely "well of course a rifle will lose accuracy if hot - it's not a machinegun, d'uh" (even though the point of the barrel being held by plastic was debated). The MoD has repeatedly pointed out that there has been no actual instance reported from deployments where detrimental effects were observed, and I have heard the private opinion that some of the tests were rather unscientific and there is some guy in the Federal Auditing Bureau who has made fighting the G36 his personal crusade.
Everybody was quite satisfied when a particular ammunition sort was made the culprit, and I was surprised when Defense Minister von der Leyen suddenly announced she was launching a new multi-pincer investigation including the renowned Fraunhofer Institute and a blue-ribbon committee including the outgoing defense ombudsman and former Green MP Winfried Nachtwei (who has a reputation as a straight and knowledgeable guy, frequently visited Afghanistan and keeps being committed to defense issues).
Of course there are allegations that not only shooting, but also ambient temperature and humidity will affect the rifle, which some say was because overseas deployments were not considered at the time of the original order - which I find really hard to believe, since by 1995 we had had Cambodia and Somalia, with Yugoslavia on the horizon. At any rate HK maintains they met the requirements at that time, though there are also reports they used less heat-resistant ingredients in the serial rifles. As I said, the issue is reasonably muddy at this point.
Of course von der Leyen might be just using this to look pro-active and caring again, or bust another good-old-boys industry-ministry network; she has gained a bit of a reputation for cleaning house by now. If the G 36 was really found wanting, it's anybody's guess what would succeed it; the HK 416 would be an obvious choice, but it would look kinda weird to give another order to HK in reward for messing up the previous one. But then some have alleged that HK are really behind the G 36 allegations themselves because they want to sell the Bundeswehr a new design ...
Edited by BansheeOne
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You will arrange for 10 rifles to go with you to a neutral location in the USA for scientific testing this October along with 20,000 rounds of BW service ammunition. Disinterested professional testers will conduct the trials and a report will be provided to the minister. TN is glad to be of assistance.

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Guest Jason L

I don't know how they can fix the polymer/steel interface on the trunnion. Love the fanbois.

 

You can't, other than replacing it with metal or a composite structure that can actually handle the thermal load. No matter what you do you're only going to delay the polymer showing itself as the weak link.

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Meh, the Germans haven't had a decent rifle since the Mauser. Funny how they invented the assault weapon, then promptly went to a marginal 7.62 rifle, the G3. They have had an excellent PR machine, as well as great GPMG's, and a significant lack of combat action since WW2. S/F.....Ken M

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You will arrange for 10 rifles to go with you to a neutral location in the USA for scientific testing this October along with 20,000 rounds of BW service ammunition. Disinterested professional testers will conduct the trials and a report will be provided to the minister. TN is glad to be of assistance.

I wish. :D

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Meh, the Germans haven't had a decent rifle since the Mauser. Funny how they invented the assault weapon, then promptly went to a marginal 7.62 rifle, the G3. They have had an excellent PR machine, as well as great GPMG's, and a significant lack of combat action since WW2. S/F.....Ken M

7,62*51 was forced on NATO by the USA as the one size fits all solution. Germany experimented with a 7*40 mm and similar cartridges, but did not introduce any into service for example. Such an intermediate cartridge would have fit the FAL and G3 better. And the M14 was a total failure in comparison.

 

The skilled salesmen of FN and H&K sold their products all around the globe very successfully. AFAIK there were more G3 sold and license built than FAL rifles, I Guess because the G3 was cheaper and simpler than the FAL. But politics played a role there too of course. German governments were allowing licenses for almost anyone that asked. But if it had been totally unfit they would not have spread that far.

 

But yes, lack of real combat experience kept the G3 in service. The G11 was the intended big leap ahead dreamt up by small calibre high velocity theory and we can only hypothetise its performance in today's demands. My guess is not so well with its small weak bullet.

 

The G36 was the stop gap to have something more adequate in service, but was constrained by cheapness. Though the basic mechanism inspired by the AR-18 seems to work well so far and is well thought out in the details. The top charging handle would have been better on a rifle with iron sights and today hampers mounting modern optics.

 

The receiver is made from BASF PA 6.6 a polyamide probably better known as Nylon as sold by DuPont. Mixed with carbon fibers, colour and some more ingredients, but that does not change the basic properties of this 1930ies synthetic. But Nylon is cheap and the Bundeswehr and BmVg wanted cheap. Same for the optics. I heard the price limit for the scope set at 100 DM. And for that price I think it is surprisingly good.

 

 

 

Overall, after two decades one should replace the G36 with a new rifle as the circumstances and needs have changed considerably since the mid 1990ies. This blame game at the moment helps probably only politicians to further their careers. IMHO Heckler & Koch delivered as was demanded by the customer.

 

And why stick with a faulty tool? The Mauser 98 rifle is so great, because of its iterative development corrected flaws found over time. It did not appear out of a few years of tests and trials, but out of actual field use feeding back into the next iteration and there was the will of the Mauser brothers to correct flaws to make the perfect rifle.

Edited by Panzermann
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You will arrange for 10 rifles to go with you to a neutral location in the USA for scientific testing this October along with 20,000 rounds of BW service ammunition. Disinterested professional testers will conduct the trials and a report will be provided to the minister. TN is glad to be of assistance.

I wish. :D

Only 20 kilo? And what are the other tank-netters supposed to shoot? :D :D

 

More dacka dacka!

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Actually the biggest mistake is to have ONE company own the IP to your hardware. Anytime there is only one design authority, you get stagnation.

 

The private sector will chase down many dead ends in a way government cannot and will not.

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