Military Wiki
Heckler & Koch HK417
Type Battle rifle
Place of origin  Germany
Service history
Used by See Users
Production history
Designer Heckler & Koch
Manufacturer Heckler & Koch
Variants Assaulter (12" barrel – standard)
Recce (16" barrel – standard and accurized)
Sniper (20" barrel – accurized)
Weight 3.87 kg [8.5 lbs] (12 inch barrel),
4.05 kg [8.9 lbs] (16 inch barrel),
4.23kg [9.3lbs] (20 inch barrel)
Length 805 / 885 mm (12" barrel, stock collapsed/extended),
905 / 985 mm (16" barrel, stock collapsed/extended),
1005 / 1085 mm (20" barrel, stock collapsed/extended)
Barrel length 305 mm (12 in) standard
406 mm (16 in) standard
406 mm (16 in) accurized
508 mm (20 in) accurized

Cartridge 7.62×51mm NATO
Action Gas-operated, rotating bolt
Rate of fire 600 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity 709 m/s (12 in)
750 m/s (16 in)
789 m/s (20 in)
Feed system 10 or 20 round detachable box magazine

Optional 50 round drum magazine

Sights accessory diopter/rotary or optics

The Heckler & Koch HK417 is a battle rifle designed and manufactured in Germany by Heckler & Koch. It is a gas-operated, selective fire rifle with a rotating bolt and is essentially an enlarged HK416 assault rifle. Chambered for the full power 7.62x51mm NATO round, instead of a less powerful intermediate cartridge, the HK417 is intended for use as a designated marksman rifle, and in other roles where the greater penetrative power and range of the 7.62x51mm NATO round are required. It has been adopted for service by a number of armed forces, special forces, and police organizations.

Design Details

The HK417 is similar in internal design to the HK416, but the receiver and working parts are enlarged to suit the larger 7.62x51mm NATO round. The bolt is a 7-lug rotating type, which sits in a bolt carrier and operates in a forged alloy receiver resembling those of the Stoner-designed AR-10, AR-15 and M16 series weapons. Like the HK416, the HK417 is a gas-operated, with a short-stroke piston design similar to those found G36. The short-stroke piston is more reliable than the original direct impingement operation of the AR-10 and AR-15 designs because, unlike these weapons, it does not vent propellant gases directly into the receiver, which deposits carbon fouling onto the bolt mechanism as well as heating it up; such carbon fouling leads to more malfunctions.[1]

The early prototype HK417 used 20-round magazines from the H&K G3 rifle family, which did not feature a bolt hold-open device. Later prototypes, however, switched to a polymer magazine with bolt hold-open. The magazine resembles an enlarged version of the G36 series transparent magazine, except without the pins for holding more than one magazine together. In addition, a 50-round, low profile drum magazine developed by HK for the HK21E machine gun can be fitted to the HK417 for use in support and sustained fire applications.


Purchasers of the HK417 have typically intended it to complement lighter assault rifles chambered for less powerful intermediate cartridges (often 5.56x45mm NATO), for the designated marksman's role. The HK417's greater accuracy, effective range, and penetration offset its greater expense, its lower rate of fire, and its smaller ammunition capacity both in magazine and carriage.

The HK417 is available only to such government agencies as law enforcement, security forces, and the military.


The HK417 is currently available with three different barrel lengths (all in 7.62x51mm NATO):

  • HK417 12" 'Assaulter' Model – 12" standard barrel
  • HK417 16" 'Recce' or 'Recon' Model – 16" standard and accurized barrels
  • HK417 20" 'Sniper' Model – 20" accurized barrel

Accurized barrels provide 1 MOA accuracy (with match grade ammunition). A barrel can be changed in under two minutes with simple tools. All HK417 barrels are cold hammer forged and chrome-lined and use a conventional lands and grooves bore profile with a 279.4 mm (1 in 11 in) twist rate. They are designed to function reliably with bullet weights ranging from less than 9.3 to 11.34 g (147 to 175 grains) and are threaded for flash hider, muzzle compensator, and sound suppressor attachment.[2]

Related developments

The HK416 is a smaller version of the HK417 chambered for the less powerful 5.56x45mm NATO round. The HK416 is designed for military and law enforcement use. At the 2009 SHOT Show, two firearms were introduced to the American civilian market renamed respectively MR556 and MR762. These are civilian sport rifles versions.[3]


The civilian MR308 was used to develop the G28, a designated marksman rifle for the German Bundeswehr (Federal Army) deployment to the Afghanistan war. The semi-automatic G28 designated marksman rifle is chambered for 7.62x51mm NATO and has a factory warranted accuracy of 45 mm dispersion at 100 meters (1.5 MOA) when fired with 10 rounds using OTM/HPBT/Sierra Match King ammunition. The G28 features STANAG 4694 NATO Accessory Rails that are backwards-compatible with the STANAG 2324 or MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rails. The upper receiver is made from steel instead of HK's aluminium alloy. Approximately 75% of the parts are interchangeable with the HK417.[4]


HK417 and accessories in service with the Australian Army.

A sniper from the Norwegian Home Guard's task force "Bjørn West" armed with a HK417 designated marksman rifle.

Country Organization name Model Quantity Date Reference
 Australia Australian Army (acquired the 16-inch variant paired with 6x ACOG for an interim marksman solution for use in Afghanistan, with permanent fielding expected in future) - - 2010 [5][6]
 Brazil Brazilian Federal Police - - 2012 [7]
 France Commandement des Opérations Spéciales (COS) - - - [8]
 Germany German Army uses the G28, a modified version of the HKMR308, as a designated marksman rifle. - - - [9]
 Ireland Army Ranger Wing snipers - - - [10]
 Malaysia Pasukan Khas Laut (PASKAL) sniper teams of the Royal Malaysian Navy - - - [11]
 Netherlands Korps Commandotroepen (KCT) of the Royal Netherlands Army - - - [12][13]
 Norway Norwegian Army mainly uses it as a marksman rifle - - - [14][15]
 Poland Policja - - - [16]
 United Kingdom Special Air Service regiment (used in Iraq War) - - - [17]

See also


  1. "Newer carbines outperform M4 in dust test". Army Times. 2007-12-17. Retrieved 2011-01-30. 
  2. "2008 Heckler & Koch Military and LE brochure" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-01-30. 
  3. HK MR-556 and MR-762 rifles for the American market
  4. G28 – A DMR-System – far more than just another rifle with a scope
  5. "Contract Notice View – CN352591". AusTender. Australian Government. December 14, 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-30. 
  6. Juchniewicz, Nathan (July 21, 2011). "New weapon to go the distance". Retrieved 4 August 2011. 
  8. "HK 417- fusil d'assaut de la firme Heckler & Koch" (in French). French Land Army official website. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  9. "G28 Marksman rifle Heckler & Koch". September, 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  10. Tactical Weapons, May 2010 Issue. Guns of the Elite: Multi-Mission Warriors, page 92.
  11. Abas, Marhalim (2010-04-23). "DSA 2010 Part III". Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  12. "SF Operator is a special profession" (in Dutch). Dutch Defence Press. June 6, 2009. Retrieved 2011-01-30. 
  13. "KCT sniper teams are using the Heckler & Koch 417" (in Dutch). Dutch Defence Press. 20 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-13. 
  14. Offisersbladet nr. 3, May 2007: Heckler & Koch 416: Vårt nye håndvåpen
  15. Kapten Trond Setså. "Sniper Course" (in Norwegian). Defense Net. Norwegian Defense. Retrieved 2011-01-30. 
  16. "Police Headquarters Official Gazette No. 13" (in Polish) (pdf). September 25, 2009. Retrieved 2011-01-30. 
  17. Harding, Thomas (June 26, 2009). "SAS parachuted in to Baghdad". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-01-30. 

External links

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