Military Wiki
HK MG4 01.jpg
The MG4
Type Light machine gun
Place of origin  Germany
Service history
In service 2005–present
Used by See Users
Production history
Designer Heckler & Koch
Designed 1990s
Manufacturer Heckler & Koch
Produced 2001–present
Variants MG4E, MG4KE
Weight 8.55 kg (18.85 lb) (MG4)[1]
7.90 kg (17.4 lb) (MG4E)
7.70 kg (17.0 lb) (MG4KE)
Length 1,050 mm (41.3 in) stock extended[1] / 830 mm (32.7 in) stock folded (MG4, MG4E)
950 mm (37.4 in) stock extended / 750 mm (29.5 in) stock folded (MG4KE)
Barrel length 480 mm (18.9 in) (MG4, MG4E)
402 mm (15.8 in) (MG4KE)
Width 90 mm (3.5 in)
Height 250 mm (9.8 in)[1]

Cartridge 5.56×45mm NATO
Action Gas-operated, rotating bolt
Rate of fire 775–885 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity 920 m/s (3,018 ft/s) (MG4, MG4E)
880 m/s (2,887.1 ft/s) (MG4KE)
Effective range Approx. 1,000 m (MG4, MG4E)
Approx. 900 m (MG4KE)
Feed system Disintegrating link belt
Sights Iron sights; MIL-STD-1913 rail provided for optics, German Army models are equipped with telescopic sights with 3x magnification.

The MG4 is a belt-fed 5.56 mm light machine gun designed and developed by the German company Heckler & Koch. The weapon was developed in the late 1990s and was first seen publicly in September 2001. It has been selected to replace the 7.62 mm MG3 general-purpose machine gun in the Bundeswehr at the squad support level; it will complement the MG3 in other roles. The MG4 will also be the secondary armament of the new Puma infantry fighting vehicle. Overall, it is designed to be light, provide maximum safety to the user and function reliably under adverse conditions using a wide range of ammunition from different manufacturers, without the need to adjust the gas system. The machine gun was initially known as the MG43 prior to its adoption by the Bundeswehr.[2]

Design details

German Army MG4 with a telescopic sight.

The MG4 is an air-cooled, belt-fed gas-operated weapon with a positively locked rotary bolt and is somewhat similar in concept to the Belgian Minimi light machine gun. Firing in fully automatic or burst-fire mode.[3] Safety mechanisms on the MG4 includes a manual safety incorporated into fire mode selector toggle; setting the fire selector lever on the "safe" position blocks the trigger mechanically and locks the bolt in the cocked position. When the bolt is not pulled back completely, accidental firing is prevented by an integral, automatic mechanism that prevents the bolt from traveling forward. In addition, the firing pin cannot reach the cartridge primer until the cartridge has been fully chambered.

The machine gun is fed from a disintegrating belt and is carried out in two stages from the top left using an enhanced pawl mechanism. As on the MG42 family of machine guns, the belt is expelled to the right and spent cases are ejected downwards, although sideways ejection to the right is an option.

The MG4 has a hammer-forged quick-change barrel that can be safely exchanged when hot without the need for protective gloves; the carrying handle serves as the barrel change grip. To reduce the overall length of the weapon for transport, the butt stock can be folded to the left side of the receiver. With the buttstock folded the MG4 remains fully operable. A field cleaning kit is housed within the stock.

A folding bipod is provided. Supporting interfaces are integrated into the receiver to allow the MG4 to be mounted on the standard American M122A1 tripod for increased accuracy and stability.

In its standard form the MG4 is equipped with closed type iron sights with range settings up to 1,000 m in increments of 100 m. Optical or night sights or laser pointers can be mounted on a length of MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail located on the receiver feed tray cover. Models of the Bundeswehr are equipped with telescopic sights with 3x magnification.


  •  Germany: Standard platoon-level support weapon of the German Army, adopted in 2005.[4]
  •  Portugal[5]
  •  South Africa[6]
  •  Spain: Ordered 1,800–2,000 MG4E machine guns in 2007 with deliveries expected to continue over the next four years.[7]

See also


External links

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).