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The HK G36 is a German assault rifle created by the company Heckler & Koch in 1995.


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

The HK G-36A1

army), after the cancellation of the G11 and G41 projects, was left with outdated G3 rifle and no modern rifle, compatible with the current NATO standards at hands. Therefore the famous company Heckler & Koch was set to develop a new assault rifle for both German army and the export. The new 5.56mm assault rifle has been adopted by the Bundeswehr in the 1995, and in the 1999 the 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. So far I've heard very few complaints about this rifle, and a lot of good revives and opinions. In fact, the only complaints about G36 that I know are the overheating of the handguards during the sustained fire, and the loose of zero of built in scope on some G36KE rifles, used by US police. Some German soldiers also complained about position of dual optical sights and those sights being easily fogged in bad weather (rain or snow). Otherwise 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 (some even said that it's a submachine gun) G36C and up to a standard G36 rifle. The HK 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.

The G36, in severely modified form, was used as a "kinetic energy" part of the now-cancelled US XM-29 OICW weapon and it also served as a base for XM8 assault rifle (also cancelled).

Techinical Description[]

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.

The receiver and most of the others external parts of the G36 are made from reinforced polymers, with steel inserts where appropriate. The operating system appears to be a modification of the older American Armalite AR-18 rifle, with short stroke gas piston, located above the barrel, square-shaped bolt carrier and the typical rotating bolt with 7 locking lugs. Of cause, there also

G36 with 40mm AG36 underbarrel grenade launcher

are many differences from the AR-18. The bolt carrier rides on a single guide rod, with the return spring around it. The charging handle is attached to the top of the bolt carrier and can be rotated to the left or to the right. When not in use, the charging handle aligns itself with the axis of the weapon under the pressure of its own spring, and reciprocates with the bolt group at the top of the receiver. The gas block is fitted with the self-adjustable gas valve that expels all the used gases forward, away from the shooter. The ejection window is located at the right side of the receiver and features a spent cases deflector to propel the ejected cases away from the face of the left-handed shooter.

All the major parts are assembled on the receiver using the cross- pins, so rifle can be disassembled and reassembled back without any tools.

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.

G36 is fed from the proprietary 30-rounds box magazines, made from translucent plastic. All magazines have special studs on its sides, so two or three magazines can be clipped together for faster reloading. The magazine housings of the G36 are made as a separate parts, so G36 can be easily adjusted to the various magazine interfaces. By the standard, the magazine release catch is located just behind the magazine, in the G3 or AK-47 style, rather than on the side of the magazine housing (M16-style). A 100-round Beta-C dual drum magazines of US origins also can be used (these magazines are standard for the MG36 squad automatic versions of the G36).

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


  • G36E/V: Previously known as the G36E, it is the export version of the s

    A G36KV as delivered to the Latvian Army. It is configured with a telescopic stock and a Picatinny sight rail

    tandard G36. The G36V has all of the characteristics of the standard rifle with the exception of the sight setup and bayonet mount. It is fitted with a 1.5x sight and lacks the integrated reflex sight; the bayonet mount is a standard NATO type. This version was produced for Spain and Latvia.
  • HK MG36: (MG—Maschingewehr or "machine gun") light machine gun version of the G36 equipped with a heavy barrel for increased heat and cook-off resistance. The MG36 and MG36E are no longer offered by H&K.
  • G36K: (K—kurz or "short") carbine variant with a shorter barrel (fitted with an open-type flash suppressor) and a shorter forend, which includes a bottom rail that can be used to attach tactical accessories, such as a UTL flashlight from the USP pistol. The carbine's barrel lacks the ability to launch rifle grenades and it will not support a bayonet. The weapon retained the ability to be used with the AG36 grenade launcher. G36Ks in service with German special forces are issued with a 100-round C-Mag drum. There are two variants of the G36K. The first and most commonly known has x3 scope/carry handle attached to the top. The second and highly preferred variant of the G36K is the one with the iron sights and rail (no scope included). It allows for more customization of optics and is more portable than the other variant.
  • G36C: This subcarbine (C—compact) model is a further development of the G36K. It has a shorter barrel (than the G36K), and a four-prong open-type flash hider. The extremely short barrel forced designers to move the gas block closer to the

    G36A2 with a Zeiss RSA reflex sight and an AG36 grenade launcher on display as part of Germany's IdZ modernization program

    muzzle end and reduce the length of the gas piston operating rod. The handguard and stock were also shortened and the fixed carry handle (with optics) was replaced with a carrying handle with an integrated MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail. The dual optical sight found on the standard G36 and G36K models was replaced with a set of rail-mounted detachable iron sights that consist of a semi-shrouded front post and a flip-up rear sight with two apertures of different diameter. The short handguard has four accessory attachment points, one of which could be used for a vertical grip.
  • G36A2: This is an ordnance 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 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.


Country Organization name Model Quantity Date
Australia Australian Federal Police (G36C) G36C _
Belgium Antwerp local police special squad BBT (Bijzondere Bijstandsteam) _ _ _

Brazilian Federal Police

1º Batalhão de Forças Especiais

G36K G36C _ _
Croatia Croatian police special units _ 100 _
Croatian Army contingent in Afghanistan _ 100 _
Finland Finnish Border Guard G36C _ _
Finnish Police G36C _ _
Germany Standard service rifle of the Bundeswehr G36A1, G36A2, G36K, G36C _ _


_ _ _

Elite Georgian forces

_ _ _
Indonesia [[

Komando Pasukan Katak]] (Kopaska) tactical diver group of the Indonesian Navy

G36C _ _
Komando Pasukan Khusus (Kopassus) special forces group of the Indonesian Army G36C _ _

Jordanian special forces

G36C _ _
Kosovo Kosovo Security Force _ _ _
Latvia Latvian Army G36KV _ 2006
Lebanon Lebanese Armed Forces, Internal Security Forces G36C3 250 2008
Lithuania Lithuanian Armed Forces. _ _ _
Malaysia 11thCounter-Terrorism Squadron,

'Rejimen Gerak Khas of the Malaysian Army

G36C _ _
Pasukan Gerakan Khas'' Counter-Revolutionary Warfare of the Royal Malaysian Police G36C _ _
Mexico SEDENA will spend 488 million pesos (37 million USD) to transfer technology to manufacture the G36V rifle G36V _ _
Montenegro Military of Montenegro _ _ _
Norway Norwegian Navy Kystjegerkommandoen _ _ _
Philippines Armed Forces of the Philippines _ _ _
Poland GROM special forces _ _ _
Portugal Portuguese Marines _ _ _
Grupo de Operações Especiais (GOE) of the Polícia de Segurança Pública _ _ _
Serbia Special Brigade of the Serbian Army G36C _ _
Spain Spanish Army _ _ _
Spanish Navy _ _ _
UOE special group _ _ _
Spanish Air Force _ _ _
United Kingdom Metropolitan Police Service _ _ _
United States United States Capitol Police _ _ _
Baltimore City Police Department _ _ _


G36 G36K G36C
Caliber 5.56x45mm (.223 Remington)
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

See also[]

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