Heckler & Koch G3

Heckler & Koch G3

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The G3 is a 7.62mm battle rifle
Battle rifle
A battle rifle is a military service rifle that fires a full power rifle cartridge, such as 7.62x51mm NATO. While the designation of battle rifle is usually given to post-World War II select fire infantry rifles such as the H&K G3, the FN FAL or the M14, this term can also apply to older military...

 developed in the 1950s by the German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 armament manufacturer Heckler & Koch GmbH
Heckler & Koch
Heckler & Koch GmbH is a German defense manufacturing company that produces various small arms. Some of their products include the SA80, MP5 submachine gun, G3 automatic rifle, the G36 assault rifle, the HK 416, the MP7 personal defense weapon, the USP series of handguns, and the high-precision...

 (H&K) in collaboration with the Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 state-owned design and development agency CETME
CETME
CETME is an acronym for Centro de Estudios Técnicos de Materiales Especiales , a Spanish government design and development establishment. While being involved in many projects CETME was mostly known for its small arms research and development...

 (Centro de Estudios Técnicos de Materiales Especiales).

History


The origin of this rifle can be traced back to the final years of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 when Mauser
Mauser
Mauser was a German arms manufacturer of a line of bolt-action rifles and pistols from the 1870s to 1995. Mauser designs were built for the German armed forces...

 engineers at the Light Weapon Development Group (Abteilung 37) at Oberndorf am Neckar
Oberndorf am Neckar
Oberndorf am Neckar is a town in the district of Rottweil, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated on the river Neckar, 15 km north of Rottweil.-Geography:...

 designed the MKb Gerät 06 (Maschinenkarabiner Gerät 06 or "machine carbine device 06") prototype assault rifle
Assault rifle
An assault rifle is a selective fire rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. Assault rifles are the standard infantry weapons in most modern armies...

 chambered for the intermediate 7.92x33mm Kurz cartridge, first with the Gerät 06 model using a roller-locked short recoil mechanism originally adapted from the MG 42 machine gun but with a fixed barrel and conventional gas-actuated piston rod. It was realized that with careful attention to the mechanical ratios, the gas system could be omitted. The resultant weapon, the Gerät 06H (the "H" suffix is an abbreviation for halbverriegelt or "half-locked") was assigned the designation StG 45(M) (Sturmgewehr 45(M) or assault rifle) but was not produced in any significant numbers and the war ended before the first production rifles were completed.

The German technicians involved in developing the StG 45(M) were taken to work in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 at CEAM
Atelier Mécanique de Mulhouse
Atelier Mécanique de Mulhouse , formerly known as Centre d'Études et d'Armement de Mulhouse , was a French weapons manufacturer that operated from 1946 to 1967.-History:...

 (Centre d'Etudes et d'Armement de Mulhouse). The StG 45(M) mechanism was modified by Ludwig Vorgrimler
Ludwig Vorgrimler
Dr. Ludwig Vorgrimler is the man most commonly associated with the design of the Spanish CETME rifle, and its prolific roller-delayed offspring from the German gunmaker Heckler & Koch such as the G3 and MP5.- Early career :Vorgrimler worked as an engineer for several arms manufacturers over his...

 and Theodor Löffler at the Mulhouse
Mulhouse
Mulhouse |mill]] hamlet) is a city and commune in eastern France, close to the Swiss and German borders. With a population of 110,514 and 278,206 inhabitants in the metropolitan area in 2006, it is the largest city in the Haut-Rhin département, and the second largest in the Alsace region after...

 facility between 1946 and 1949. Three versions were made, chambered in .30 Carbine
.30 Carbine
The .30 Carbine is the cartridge used in the M1 Carbine introduced in the 1940s. It is an intermediate round designed to be fired from the M1 carbine's 18-inch barrel.-History:...

, 7.92x33mm Kurz as well as the experimental 7.65x35mm French short cartridge developed by Cartoucherie de Valence in 1948. A 7.5x38mm cartridge using a partial aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

 bullet was abandoned in 1947. Löffler's design, designated the Carabine Mitrailleuse Modèle 1950, was retained for trials among 12 different prototypes designed by CEAM, MAC, and MAS. Engaged in the Indochina War
First Indochina War
The First Indochina War was fought in French Indochina from December 19, 1946, until August 1, 1954, between the French Union's French Far East...

 and being the second NATO contributor, France canceled the adoption of these new weapons for financial reasons.

In 1950, Vorgrimler moved to Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 where he created the LV-50 rifle chambered for the Kurz cartridge and later, the proprietary 7.92x40mm CETME M53 round. At this point, the rifle was renamed the Modelo 2. The Modelo 2 drew the attention of the West German
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 Border Guards
Bundesgrenzschutz
Bundesgrenzschutz was the first federal police organization in Western Germany after World War II permitted by the Allied occupation authorities. In July 2005, the BGS was renamed Bundespolizei to reflect its transition to a multi-faceted police agency.It was established in 1951...

 (Bundesgrenzschutz), who sought to re-equip the newly formed national defense forces. Not willing to accept a cartridge outside of the NATO specification, the Germans asked CETME to develop a 7.62x51mm version of the rifle. The resulting CETME Model A was chambered for the 7.62x51mm CETME cartridge which was identical in chamber dimensions but had a reduced-power load compared to the 7.62mm NATO round. Further development of the rifle with input from H&K produced the CETME Model B which received several modifications, including the ability to fire from a closed bolt in both semi-automatic and automatic firing modes, a new perforated sheet metal
Sheet metal
Sheet metal is simply metal formed into thin and flat pieces. It is one of the fundamental forms used in metalworking, and can be cut and bent into a variety of different shapes. Countless everyday objects are constructed of the material...

 handguard (the folding bipod
Bipod
A bipod is a support device that is similar to a tripod or monopod, but with two legs. It provides significant stability along two axes of motion .-Firearms:...

 had been the foregrip in previous models), improved ergonomics and a slightly longer barrel with a 22 mm
22 mm grenade
The 22mm rifle grenade is inserted over the firing mechanism on the front of rifles that are equipped with the appropriate launcher, either in the form of an integral flash suppressor or a detachable adapter. As with most rifle grenades, it is propelled by a blank cartridge inserted into the...

 rifle grenade
Rifle grenade
A rifle grenade is a grenade that uses a rifle-based launcher to permit a longer effective range than would be possible if the grenade was thrown by hand...

 launcher guide. In 1958, this rifle was accepted into service with the Spanish Army
Spanish Army
The Spanish Army is the terrestrial army of the Spanish Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is one of the oldest active armies - dating back to the 15th century.-Introduction:...

 as the Modelo 58, using the 7.62x51mm CETME round.

In 1956, the Bundesgrenzschutz canceled their planned procurement of the CETME rifles, adopting the Belgian
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

-made FN FAL
FN FAL
The Fusil Automatique Léger or FAL is a self-loading, selective fire battle rifle produced by the Belgian armaments manufacturer Fabrique Nationale de Herstal . During the Cold War it was adopted by many North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries, with the notable exception of the United States...

 (G1) instead. However, the newly formed West German Army (Bundeswehr
Bundeswehr
The Bundeswehr consists of the unified armed forces of Germany and their civil administration and procurement authorities...

) now showed interest and soon purchased a number of CETME rifles (7.62x51mm NATO chambering) for further testing. The CETME, known as the Automatisches Gewehr G3 according to German nomenclature, competed successfully against the Swiss
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 SIG SG 510 (G2) and the American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 AR-10
AR-10
The AR-10 is an American 7.62 mm battle rifle developed by Eugene Stoner in the late 1950s at ArmaLite, then a division of the Fairchild Aircraft Corporation...

 (G4) to replace the previously favored G1 rifle. In January 1959, the Bundeswehr officially adopted the CETME proposal. The West German government wanted the G3 rifle to be produced under license in Germany; purchase of the G1 had previously fallen through over FN's
Fabrique Nationale de Herstal
Fabrique Nationale d'Herstal — self identified as FN Herstal and often referred to as Fabrique Nationale or simply FN — is a firearms manufacturer located in Herstal, Belgium....

 refusal to grant such a license. In the case of the G3, the Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 firm Nederlandse Wapen en Munitiefabriek (NWM) held production and sales rights to the CETME design outside of Spain. To acquire production rights, the West German government offered NWM contracts to supply the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

 with 20 mm ammunition. Production of the G3 was then assigned to Rheinmetall
Rheinmetall
Rheinmetall AG is a German automotive and defence company with factories in Düsseldorf, Kassel and Unterlüß. The company has a long tradition of making guns and artillery pieces...

 and H&K. The latter company already had ties to CETME, and had worked to further optimize the CETME rifle for use with the full-power 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge (as opposed to the downloaded CETME variant). In 1969, Rheinmetall gave up production rights to the G3 in exchange for H&K's promise not to bid on MG 3 production. Later in 1977, the West German government ceded ownership of G3 production and sales rights exclusively to H&K.

Initial production G3 rifles differed substantially from more recent models; early rifles featured closed-type mechanical flip-up sights (with two apertures), a lightweight folding bipod, a stamped sheet steel handguard, a wooden buttstock (in fixed stock models) or a telescopic metal stock. The weapon was modernized during its service life (among other minor modifications it received new sights, a different flash suppressor
Flash suppressor
A flash suppressor, also known as a flash guard, flash eliminator, flash hider, or flash cone, is a device attached to the muzzle of a rifle or other gun that reduces the visible signature of the burning gases that exit the muzzle. This reduces the chances that the shooter will be blinded in dark...

, and a synthetic handguard and shoulder stock), resulting in the most recent production models, the G3A3 (with a fixed polymer
Polymer
A polymer is a large molecule composed of repeating structural units. These subunits are typically connected by covalent chemical bonds...

 stock) and the G3A4 (telescoping metal stock). The rifle proved successful in the export market, being adopted by the armed forces of over 40 countries. The G3 was and in some cases continues to be produced under license in: France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 (MAS
Manufacture d'armes de Saint-Étienne (MAS)
The Manufacture d'armes de Saint-Étienne was a French state-owned manufacturing company located in the town of Saint-Étienne. It has since been merged into the state-owned Nexter defence conglomerate....

), Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 (Hellenic Arms Industry), Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 (Defense Industries Organization
Defense Industries Organization
The Defense Industries Organization The Defense Industries Organization The Defense Industries Organization (DIO; Persian: Sasadjah (Sazemane Sanaye Defa) is a conglomerate of companies run by the Islamic Republic of Iran whose function is to provide the military of Iran with the necessary...

), Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

 (Luxemburg Defense Technologi), Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Myanmar
Myanmar
Burma , officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar , is a country in Southeast Asia. Burma is bordered by China on the northeast, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast, Bangladesh on the west, India on the northwest, the Bay of Bengal to the southwest, and the Andaman Sea on the south....

, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 (Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk
Kongsberg Gruppen
Kongsberg Gruppen is Norway's major defence contractor and maritime automation supplier, located in Kongsberg, a former mining town....

), Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 (Pakistan Ordnance Factories
Pakistan Ordnance Factories
Pakistan Ordnance Factories was founded in 1951 with the primary objective of producing arms and ammunition for the armed forces of Pakistan...

), Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 (FBP
INDEP
INDEP - Indústrias Nacionais de Defesa, EP , originally Fábrica do Braço de Prata , is a defense industry company owned by the Portuguese Government...

), Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 (FFV), Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 (MKEK
Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation (Turkey)
The Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation , established in 1950, is a reorganization of government-controlled group of factories in Turkey that supplied the Turkish Army with supplies, munitions and equipment.-History:...

) and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 (Royal Ordnance
Royal Ordnance
Royal Ordnance plc was formed on 2 January 1985 as a public corporation, owning the majority of what until then were the remaining United Kingdom government-owned Royal Ordnance Factories which manufactured explosives, ammunition, small arms including the Lee-Enfield rifle, guns and military...

).

Design details




The G3A3 (A4) is a selective-fire
Selective fire
A selective fire firearm has at least one semi–automatic and one automatic mode, which is activated by means of a selector which varies depending on the weapon's design. Some selective fire weapons utilize burst fire mechanisms to limit the maximum or total number of shots fired automatically in...

 automatic weapon that employs a roller-delayed blowback operating system. The two-piece bolt assembly consists of a breech (bolt head) and bolt carrier. The bolt is held in battery by two sliding cylindrical rollers that engage locking recesses in the barrel extension. The breech is opened when both rollers are compressed inward against camming surfaces driven by the rearward pressure of the expanding gases upon the bolt head. As the rollers move inward, recoil energy is transferred to the locking piece and bolt carrier which begin to withdraw while the bolt head slowly moves rearward in relation to the bolt carrier. As the bolt carrier clears the rollers, pressure in the bore drops to a safe level, the bolt head is caught by the bolt carrier and moves to the rear as one unit, continuing the operating cycle. The bolt also features an anti-bounce mechanism that prevents the bolt from bouncing off the barrel's breech surface. The spring-powered claw extractor is also contained inside the bolt while the lever ejector is located inside the trigger housing (actuated by the recoiling bolt).

The rifle is hammer fired and has a trigger mechanism with a 3-position fire selector switch that is also the manual safety toggle that secures the weapon from accidentally discharging (fire selector in the “E” or “1” position – single fire mode ("Einzelfeuer"), “F” or “20” – automatic fire ("Feuerstoß"), “S” or “0” – weapon is safe ("Sicher"), trigger disabled mechanically). The weapon can be fitted with an optional 4-position safety/fire selector group illustrated with pictograms with an ambidextrous selector lever. The additional, fourth selector setting enables a 3-round burst mode of fire.

The firearm was equipped with iron sight
Iron sight
Iron sights are a system of shaped alignment markers used as a sighting device to assist in the aiming of a device such as a firearm, crossbow, or telescope, and exclude the use of optics as in telescopic sights or reflector sights...

s that consist of a rotary rear drum and hooded front post. The rear sight, mechanically adjustable for both windage and elevation, has an open notch used to fire up to 100 m and three apertures used for: 200, 300 and 400 m. The receiver
Receiver (firearms)
In firearms terminology, the receiver is the part of a firearm that houses the operating parts. The receiver usually contains the bolt carrier group, trigger group, and magazine port. In most handguns, the receiver, or frame, holds the magazine well or rotary magazine as well as the trigger mechanism...

 housing has recesses that work with HK clamp adapters used to mount day or night optics.

The rifled barrel (contains 4 right-hand grooves with a 305 mm twist rate) terminates with a slotted flash suppressor
Flash suppressor
A flash suppressor, also known as a flash guard, flash eliminator, flash hider, or flash cone, is a device attached to the muzzle of a rifle or other gun that reduces the visible signature of the burning gases that exit the muzzle. This reduces the chances that the shooter will be blinded in dark...

 which can also be used to attach a bayonet
Bayonet
A bayonet is a knife, dagger, sword, or spike-shaped weapon designed to fit in, on, over or underneath the muzzle of a rifle, musket or similar weapon, effectively turning the gun into a spear...

 or serve as an adapter for launching rifle grenade
Rifle grenade
A rifle grenade is a grenade that uses a rifle-based launcher to permit a longer effective range than would be possible if the grenade was thrown by hand...

s. From the G3A3 the barrel had polygonal rifling
Polygonal rifling
Polygonal rifling is a type of gun barrel rifling where the traditional lands and grooves are replaced by "hills and valleys" in a rounded polygonal pattern, usually a hexagon or octagon....

. The barrel chamber is fluted, which assists in the initial extraction of a spent cartridge casing (since the breech is opened under very high barrel pressure).

The G3A3 (A4) uses either steel
Steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

 (260 g) or aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

 (140 g) double-stacked straight box magazines, or a 50 round drum magazine. Original H&K drums are rare and command high prices, a reproduction is available at much less cost from Allied Armament. H&K developed a prototype plastic disposable magazine in the early 1960's, but it was not adopted as aluminum magazines were just as light and proved more durable, as well as easier to produce.

Standard accessories supplied with the rifle include: a detachable bipod
Bipod
A bipod is a support device that is similar to a tripod or monopod, but with two legs. It provides significant stability along two axes of motion .-Firearms:...

 (not included with rifles that have a perforated plastic handguard), sling, cleaning kit and a speed-loading device. Several types of bayonet are available for the G3, but with few exceptions they require an adapter to be inserted into the end of the cocking tube. The most common type features a 6 3/4 inch spear-point blade nearly identical with the M7 bayonet
M7 Bayonet
The M7 Bayonet is a bayonet that was used by the U.S. military for the M16 rifle, it can also be used for the AR-15 rifle. It was introduced in 1964, when the M16 entered service during the Vietnam War....

, but with a different grip because of its mounting above the barrel. The weapon can also mount a 40 mm HK79 under-barrel grenade launcher
Grenade launcher
A grenade launcher or grenade discharger is a weapon that launches a grenade with more accuracy, higher velocity, and to greater distances than a soldier could throw it by hand....

, blank firing adapter a straight blowback bolt (called a “PT” bolt, lacks rollers) used for firing 7.62x51mm ammunition with plastic bullets, a conversion kit used for training with .22 LR ammunition and a sound suppressor (that uses standard ammunition).

The G3 is a modular weapon system. Its butt-stock, fore-stock and pistol-grip/fire-control assembly may be changed at will in a variety of configurations (listed below). For example: by simply removing push pins the fixed butt-stock can be removed and replaced with a telescoping butt-stock.

Variants


Apart from the G3A3 and G3A4 HK also built: the G3A3ZF (essentially a G3A3 with a Hensoldt 4x24 optical sight), the accurized G3SG/1 rifle (hand-selected G3A3’s, equipped with an improved trigger, Zeiss telescopic sight with a variable 1.5-6x magnification and a cheek riser) and the G3K carbine which uses an HK33 handguard and a short barrel (reduced in length to the base of the front sight post), that is too short for use with a bayonet or rifle grenades.

The G3 served as a basis for many other weapons, among them: the PSG1
Heckler & Koch PSG1
The PSG1 is a semi-automatic rifle designed by the German company Heckler & Koch of Oberndorf am Neckar.-Development:...

 and MSG90 precision rifles, the HK11 and HK21 family of light machine gun
Light machine gun
A light machine gun is a machine gun designed to be employed by an individual soldier, with or without an assistant, as an infantry support weapon. Light machine guns are often used as squad automatic weapons.-Characteristics:...

s, a semi-automatic
Semi-automatic
Semi-automatic may refer to:* A semi-automatic firearm, a firearm which automatically reloads, but will only fire one round per trigger pull** Semi-automatic rifle** Semi-automatic pistol** Semi-automatic shotgun...

 version known as the HK91
Heckler & Koch HK41
The HK41 is a semiautomatic rifle version of the Heckler & Koch G3 automatic rifle that was produced by Heckler & Koch for the civilian market in the 1960s . It is not to be confused with the similarly titled, but separate model, Heckler & Koch G41....

, a "sporterized" model called the SR9
Heckler & Koch SR9
The Heckler and Koch SR9 is a series of hunting and target rifles derived from the Heckler & Koch HK91 incorporating parts from the PSG1 and MSG-90 marksman rifles.-Overview:...

 (designed for the civilian market in countries where the HK91 would not qualify, primarily the US after the 1989 importation restrictions) and the MC51 carbine, produced by the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 firm FR Ordnance International Ltd. for special forces
Special forces
Special forces, or special operations forces are terms used to describe elite military tactical teams trained to perform high-risk dangerous missions that conventional units cannot perform...

. The MC51 weighs 3.1 kg (6.8 lb), has a folded overall length of 625 mm (24.6 in), a barrel length of only 230 mm (9.1 in), which produces a muzzle velocity of approx. 690 m/s and a muzzle energy of 2215 J
Joule
The joule ; symbol J) is a derived unit of energy or work in the International System of Units. It is equal to the energy expended in applying a force of one newton through a distance of one metre , or in passing an electric current of one ampere through a resistance of one ohm for one second...

. The MC51 was allegedly manufactured for the British SAS
Special Air Service
Special Air Service or SAS is a corps of the British Army constituted on 31 May 1950. They are part of the United Kingdom Special Forces and have served as a model for the special forces of many other countries all over the world...

 and SBS
Special Boat Service
The Special Boat Service is the special forces unit of the British Royal Navy. Together with the Special Air Service, Special Reconnaissance Regiment and the Special Forces Support Group they form the United Kingdom Special Forces and come under joint control of the same Director Special...

, who required a compact but powerful weapon, for situations in which the stopping power and armor piercing capabilities of 9x19mm Parabellum round were inadequate. Only 50 weapons were produced, and all were reportedly shipped to the UK special forces. Most of them were soon replaced by the Heckler & Koch HK53 carbine. Another UK-based company called Imperial Defence Services Ltd. absorbed FR Ordnance and continues to market the MC51 standard variant.
  • G3: Original model based on the CETME
    CETME
    CETME is an acronym for Centro de Estudios Técnicos de Materiales Especiales , a Spanish government design and development establishment. While being involved in many projects CETME was mostly known for its small arms research and development...

     Modelo B.
  • G3A1: G3 with a single position, collapsible stock. This design was chosen after earlier experimentation with a ventrally-folding stock. Excessive recoil caused the latter to be dropped from consideration.
  • G3A2: G3 with new rotating drum rear sight.
  • G3A3: The most well known version. Drum sights, a fixed plastic buttstock, and a plastic handguard that does not contact the barrel. The handguard came in a slim, ventilated version and a wide version. The latter allows for the attachment of a bipod.
  • G3A3A1: This is a version of the G3A3 with an ambidextrous trigger group and brass deflector. This is an official German Army
    German Army
    The German Army is the land component of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany. Following the disbanding of the Wehrmacht after World War II, it was re-established in 1955 as the Bundesheer, part of the newly formed West German Bundeswehr along with the Navy and the Air Force...

     designation, not an HK factory one.
  • G3A4: The G3A4 uses drum sights and a single position, collapsible stock. This rifle could also be issued with a scope with the nomenclature G3A4ZF. The ZF stands for Zielfernrohr or "Telescope".
  • G3A4A1: This is a variant of the G3A4 with an ambidextrous trigger group and brass deflector. This is an official German Army designation, not an HK factory one.
  • G3KA4: Smallest of the line, it is a Karabiner, or carbine
    Carbine
    A carbine , from French carabine, is a longarm similar to but shorter than a rifle or musket. Many carbines are shortened versions of full rifles, firing the same ammunition at a lower velocity due to a shorter barrel length....

     version of the G3. It features drum sights, a retractable stock, and a 315 mm (12.4 in) barrel.
  • G3KA4A1: Variant of the G3KA4 with an ambidextrous trigger group and brass deflector. This is an official German Army designation, not an HK factory one.
  • G3A5: HK assigned model number for the HK-made Danish version of the G3A3. It differs in that it has a silent bolt-closure device. In Danish service it is known as the Gv M/66. The Gv M/66 was originally intended for use with optics as a designated marksman rifle, while the rest of the squad were issued M1 Garands.
  • G3A6: HK assigned model number for the Iranian-made version of the G3A3.
  • G3A7: HK assigned model number for the Turkish-made version of the G3A3.
  • HSG1: HK assigned model number for the Luxembourg- made version of G3A3.

Other military variants and derivatives



  • Gv M/75: Variant leased from the German Bundeswehr / German government by the Danish government to replace the aging M1 Garand
    M1 Garand
    The M1 Garand , was the first semi-automatic rifle to be generally issued to the infantry of any nation. Called "the greatest battle implement ever devised" by General George S...

    s. Originally manufactured by either Rheinmetall
    Rheinmetall
    Rheinmetall AG is a German automotive and defence company with factories in Düsseldorf, Kassel and Unterlüß. The company has a long tradition of making guns and artillery pieces...

     or HK for the German Bundeswehr. The Gv M/75 rifles are basically G3's with the old style straight cocking tube as opposed to the later FS (Freischwinger) variant. Semi-automatic normally, though could be converted to fully automatic fire by changing the safety lever. This is done without tools.
  • AG-3: Norwegian
    Norway
    Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

     G3A5 variant produced by Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk
    Kongsberg Gruppen
    Kongsberg Gruppen is Norway's major defence contractor and maritime automation supplier, located in Kongsberg, a former mining town....

    . A total of 253,497 units were produced for the Norwegian Armed Forces from 1967 to 1974. The Norwegian AG-3 differs from the original G3; it has a buttstock that is approx. 2 cm longer, the bolt carrier has a serrated thumb groove to aid in silent bolt closure, it features an all-metal cocking handle and a different bayonet mount. On April 11, 2007, it was announced that the AG-3 would be replaced by the Heckler & Koch HK416, in all military branches except for certain groups of the Home Guard.



  • AG-3F1: An AG-3 with a retractable stock as on G3A4. Produced by Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk. A retractable stock was required by certain groups of soldiers within the Norwegian Armed Forces, primarily vehicle crews with limited space inside, particularly where a quick disembarkment from such a vehicle is required. All versions of the AG-3 have the ability to attach a 40 mm HK79
    Heckler & Koch HK69A1
    The HK69A1 is a 40 mm grenade launcher developed and produced by the German arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch . The weapon was designed to engage enemy troops and strongpoints out to a distance of 350 m; it can also be used to deploy smoke grenades and illumination flares.-Development:The launcher’s...

     grenade launcher.
  • AG-3F2: An improvement of the AG-3F1, featuring Picatinny rails on the receiver as well as the foregrip.
  • Ak 4: Swedish
    Sweden
    Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

    -made version of the G3A3. The rifles were manufactured from 1965 to 1970 by both Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfabrik and Husqvarna Vapenfabrik
    Husqvarna
    Husqvarna , originally a military arsenal founded in 1689 to produce muskets for the Swedish Army.The company Husqvarna has since grown, and its production has changed from weapons, sewing machines, kitchen equipment, bicycles and motorcycles to lawn mowers, chainsaws and construction products. The...

     and from 1970 until the end of production in 1985 - exclusively by Gevärsfabrik in Eskilstuna
    Eskilstuna
    Eskilstuna is a city and the seat of Eskilstuna Municipality, Södermanland County, Sweden with 60,185 inhabitants in 2005. Eskilstuna has a large Sweden Finn population....

    . Also produced with a Hensoldt 4x24 telescopic sight mounted via a HK claw mount, known as the Ak 4OR(No longer issued) and the Ak 4B variant, where the iron sights have been removed, and replaced with a Aimpoint CS red-dot reflex sight mounted on a permanently mounted picatinny rail and an increased rate of fire. All Ak 4s are adapted to mount the M203 grenade launcher
    M203 grenade launcher
    The M203 is a single shot 40 mm grenade launcher designed to attach to a rifle. It uses the same rounds as the older M79 break-action grenade launcher, which utilize the High-Low Propulsion System to keep recoil forces low. Though versatile, and compatible with many rifle models, the M203 was...

    . Sweden has supplied Ak4s to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
  • DIO G3 Bullpup: Iranian bullpup variant of the G3. Photo
  • G3A7A1: Turkish-made variant of the G3A4.
  • G3P4: Pakistan Ordnance Factory designation for license produced G3A4 rifles.

Specialized G3 types

  • G3TGS: This is simply a G3 with a 40 mm HK79 under-barrel grenade launcher. TGS stands for Tragbares Granat System ("portable grenade system").
  • G3A3ZF: This is a rifle issued with a scope bracket and a scope. The ZF stands for Zielfernrohr or "telescopic sight".
  • G3SG/1: An accurized variant of the G3. The "SG" stands for Scharfschützengewehr, or "sharpshooting rifle". The rifles were individually selected from the production line for their accuracy and then modified. A Zeiss 1.5-6x variable power telescopic sight was added using a HK claw mount attached to the receiver. The stock was extended slightly compared to the standard G3 fixed stock and comes with a heavy, dual-stage buffer and adjustable cheek rest. A special set trigger group was added for a crisp trigger pull of 1 lb. Automatic fire was retained.
  • MSG3: A variant featuring the newer scope
    Telescopic sight
    A telescopic sight, commonly called a scope, is a sighting device that is based on an optical refracting telescope. They are equipped with some form of graphic image pattern mounted in an optically appropriate position in their optical system to give an accurate aiming point...

     mount that is found on only a few of the Heckler & Koch
    Heckler & Koch
    Heckler & Koch GmbH is a German defense manufacturing company that produces various small arms. Some of their products include the SA80, MP5 submachine gun, G3 automatic rifle, the G36 assault rifle, the HK 416, the MP7 personal defense weapon, the USP series of handguns, and the high-precision...

     rifles, as compared to the more conventional claw mounts, though the claw mounting points remain on the receiver. This newer scope mount does not allow the use of the open sights
    Iron sights
    Iron sights are a system of shaped alignment markers used as a sighting device to assist in the aiming of a device such as a firearm, crossbow, or telescope, and exclude the use of optics as in telescopic sights or reflector sights...

     with the mount in place, as is the case with the more conventional claw mount.
  • PSG-1: A free-floating barrel semi-auto only version of the G3 with numerous other upgrades and such to meet the necessities of police sniper units. This rifle is famous for its accuracy and comfort, but infamous for its price and inability to be deployed because some upgrades made the rifle too fragile.
  • MSG-90: A somewhat cheaper version of the PSG-1 modified for military applications.

Law enforcement and civilian models

  • HK41
    Heckler & Koch HK41
    The HK41 is a semiautomatic rifle version of the Heckler & Koch G3 automatic rifle that was produced by Heckler & Koch for the civilian market in the 1960s . It is not to be confused with the similarly titled, but separate model, Heckler & Koch G41....

    : The HK41 is a semi-automatic version of the G3 that was marketed to law-enforcement and civilian reservists (the prefix number 4 in HK's two-digit number system technically stands for "para-military rifle"). There were two versions, one differing from the G3 by being fitted with a semiautomatic-only trigger pack, the other using a different design of trigger pack, like that of the later HK91. The first version could easily be converted to a full-automatic weapon by swapping out several parts. Limited sales at home and US import restrictions and firearms regulations led this weapon to be dropped from HK's product line quickly and it was replaced by the HK91.
  • HK91: The HK91 is a semi-automatic version of the G3 similar to the HK41, also marketed to civilians. However, in order to comply with US firearm regulations a number of modifications to the HK91 were made that do not appear on the first pattern HK41. Internal parts that could allow fully automatic fire were removed. A shelf was welded onto the receiver where the push-pin of the trigger pack would normally go, to prevent installation of a fully automatic trigger pack. This did not allow the use of the paddle style magazine release and so the magazine release button on the right side of the magazine well must be used instead. This was considered awkward by many owners. It is otherwise identical to the G3A3/A4. Importation into the United States began in 1974 and ceased in 1989, with some 48,000 rifles being imported.
  • HK911: The HK911 was an HK91A2 with the flash hider removed and the receiver re-stamped with an extra 1 to comply with the US importation ban of 1989. The new designation theoretically made it legally immune to the Import Ban, as no "HK911" rifles were mentioned on the list of banned guns. However, the later banning of several "paramilitary" features on the HK911 made it illegal.
  • SR9
    Heckler & Koch SR9
    The Heckler and Koch SR9 is a series of hunting and target rifles derived from the Heckler & Koch HK91 incorporating parts from the PSG1 and MSG-90 marksman rifles.-Overview:...

    : These variants of the HK91ZF were created to comply with the Semi-Auto Import Ban of 1989, which included all variants of the HK91. They differed from the HK91 in that they had their flash hiders removed and featured a smooth forend that lacked the bipod attachment point. The SR9 series were banned from importation to the United States by President Clinton in 1997 because they could accept standard-capacity magazines. The SR9 was an HK91A2ZF with the pistol grip and buttstock replaced with a one-piece thumbhole stock.
    • SR9 (T): The (T), or "Target", model was an HK91A2ZF with the trigger replaced with the PSG-1 model, the pistol grip replaced with an ergonomic PSG-1 grip and the buttstock replaced with an MSG90 model.
    • SR9 (TC): The (TC), ot "Target Competition", model was an HK91A2ZF with the trigger group, pistol grip and buttstock derived from the PSG-1.
  • G3A1: The terminology used by custom gunsmiths (e.g. Choate) and importers (e.g. Interarms) for weapons with an aftermarket side-folding stock. This is not part of official HK nomenclature.
  • HK 51: The HK51 is not made by HK, instead being a creation of the American custom after-market. The HK 51 has no real standards but is usually a cut down and modified G3A3 or its semi-automatic clones the HK41 and HK91 and modified to take MP5 furniture and accessories. It is usually fitted with a collapsible stock; 211 mm (8.31 in) barrel; it is 589 mm (23.17 in) in length with the stock retracted and 780 mm (30.72 in) with the stock extended. Originally made by Fleming Firearms.
  • PTR 91
    PTR 91
    PTR-91, is a family of modern, American-manufactured civilian semi automatic rifles. The design is a variation of the Heckler and Koch G3 rifle. These rifles are produced by PTR-91 Inc. of Farmington, Connecticut...

     Series: Additionally, JLD started manufacturing semi-automatic copies of the HK G3 called the PTR 91 in the United States
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

    . They used tooling from the FMP arms factory in Portugal to build the rifles.
  • SAR-3: Semi-automatic copy of HK-91 made by Hellenic Arms in Greece and imported into the United States by Springfield Armory
    Springfield Armory, Inc.
    Springfield Armory, Inc. is a firearms manufacturer and importer based in Geneseo, Illinois, founded in 1974. It is one of the largest firearms marketers of imported firearms in the United States and is a four-time recipient of the National Rifle Association Gun of the Year Award.-Formation:After...

    .
    • SAR-8: Post-ban version of SAR-3, modified to comply with import restrictions.

Users




Manufactured by the Bangladesh Ordnance Factory for the armed forces.: G3A5, as the Gevær Model 1966 (Gv M/66). Another variant, designated Gevær Model 1975 (Gv M/75) was leased from the German government.: Uses the Ak4 variant.: Used by the German Army
German Army
The German Army is the land component of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany. Following the disbanding of the Wehrmacht after World War II, it was re-established in 1955 as the Bundesheer, part of the newly formed West German Bundeswehr along with the Navy and the Air Force...

 for many years. Some variants still in use.: Made under license by Ellinika Amyntika Systimata (EAS)
EAS (weapons)
EAS is the company formed by the merger in 2004 of the Greek state Defense Companies EBO and Pyrkal. It is a huge organization with several factories and thousands of employees, with a product range that includes most land weapons in use today, as well as an established exporter to many countries...

 (English—"Hellenic Defense Systems"), formerly under EBO ("Hellenic Arms Industry"). : Manufactured locally by Defense Industries Organization
Defense Industries Organization
The Defense Industries Organization The Defense Industries Organization The Defense Industries Organization (DIO; Persian: Sasadjah (Sazemane Sanaye Defa) is a conglomerate of companies run by the Islamic Republic of Iran whose function is to provide the military of Iran with the necessary...

 in two variants, the fixed stock G3-A4 and a bullpup variant known as the G3-A3.: Ak4 variant.: Ak4 variant was used by the Lithuanian Armed Forces.: G3SG1 variant.: Produced under license by Defense Industries Corporation.: AG-3, a modified G3A5 made by Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk , later renamed to Norsk Forsvarsteknologi
Kongsberg Gruppen
Kongsberg Gruppen is Norway's major defence contractor and maritime automation supplier, located in Kongsberg, a former mining town....

. Has been replaced by the Heckler & Koch HK416. The AG-3 will still remain in use in selected units. Production of the AG3 ended in 1973.: Variants in use by the Pakistani military are locally produced by Pakistan Ordnance Factories
Pakistan Ordnance Factories
Pakistan Ordnance Factories was founded in 1951 with the primary objective of producing arms and ammunition for the armed forces of Pakistan...

 in Wah Cantt
Wah Cantt
Wah Cantonment is a military city located in the Punjab province of Pakistan, to the north west of Rawalpindi/Islamabad.-History:...

. Manufactured are the G3A3 and a version of the G3A4, which carries the factory designation G3P4.: Made under license by INDEP
INDEP
INDEP - Indústrias Nacionais de Defesa, EP , originally Fábrica do Braço de Prata , is a defense industry company owned by the Portuguese Government...

 as the G3 FMP m/961 (G3) and G3A3 FMP m/963 (G3A3).: G3A3 variant.: Made under license in Al-Kharj military complex.: Standard issue rifle of the South Africa Marine Corps
South Africa Marine Corps
The South Africa Marine Corps was originally set up as a sub-branch of the South African Navy with the primary purpose of protecting harbours.-Origins:...

 until it was replaced by the R5
R4 assault rifle
The R4 is a 5.56mm assault rifle that was introduced into service with the South African Defence Force in 1982, replacing the earlier 7.62mm FN FAL rifle, that was manufactured in South Africa under a license agreement from Fabrique Nationale as the R1...

 in the 1980s.: Made under license by Military Industry Corporation
Military Industry Corporation (Sudan)
The Military Industrial Corporation is the state-run defense corporation of Sudan. It is responsible for the production of a wide range of defense equipment, such as main battle tanks, ammunition and electronics.-History:...

 as the Dinar.: Made by 3 manufacturers, Heckler & Koch in Germany, and under license by Husqvarna Vapenfabrik (Years of mfg. 1965-70) and Carl Gustaf Gevärsfaktori (Years of mfg. 1965-80) which was later renamed to Förenade Fabriksverken (FFV) as the Ak 4 (Automatkarbin 4). Two sub-variants are known to exist, one equipped with a rail and Aimpoint
Aimpoint AB
Aimpoint AB is a Swedish optics company manufacturing red dot sights for civilian, police and military use. The most popular model is the CompM2 , currently used by numerous armed forces around the world.- Company :...

 sight (Ak4 B) and the other with a 4x magnifying optic, the Hensoldt ZF4x24 (Ak 4OR). It has since been replaced by the Ak 5
Ak 5
The Ak 5 is the Swedish version of the FN FNC assault rifle with certain modifications, mostly to adapt the weapon to the Swedish climate. The Ak 5 is the service rifle of the Swedish Armed Forces. Ak 5 is an abbreviation of automatkarbin 5...

 (Automatkarbin 5; a modified version of the FN FNC
FN FNC
The FNC is a 5.56mm assault rifle developed by the Belgian arms manufacturer Fabrique Nationale of Herstal and introduced in the late 1970s.-Development:...

) in the regular army. AK4 B, some times in combination with the M203 grenade launcher, is still in use in Hemvärnet - Nationella skyddsstyrkorna ("Swedish Home Guard
Swedish Home Guard
The Swedish Home Guard is a part of the Swedish Armed Forces. The Home Guard consists of local defence units under the leadership of the armed forces, as well as 23 national auxiliary defence organizations.-History:...

").: Made under license by Makina ve Kimya Endüstrisi Kurumu
Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation (Turkey)
The Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation , established in 1950, is a reorganization of government-controlled group of factories in Turkey that supplied the Turkish Army with supplies, munitions and equipment.-History:...

(MKEK) ("Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation") as the G3A7.

External links