Modern Firearms - HK 417
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Heckler-Koch HK417 assault rifle (Germany)

2006 prototype of HK417 rifle with 20 inch barrel; note that it used HK G3-compatible magazines
2006 prototype of HK417 rifle with 20" barrel; note that it used HK G3-compatible magazines
Image: Heckler & Koch


Current (2008) version of HK417 rifle with 12 inch / 30cm barrel, basic version
 Current (2008) version of HK417 rifle with 12" / 30cm barrel, basic version
Image: Heckler & Koch

 

Current (2008) version of HK417 rifle with 12 inch / 30cm barrel, fitted withtelescope sight with night vision adapter, folding bipod and a sound moderator(silencer)
 Current (2008) version of HK417 rifle with 12" / 30cm barrel, fitted withtelescope sight with night vision adapter, folding bipod and a sound moderator(silencer)
Image: Heckler & Koch

 

Current (2008) version of HK417 rifle with 16 inch / 40cm barrel
 Current (2008) version of HK417 rifle with 16" / 40cm barrel
Image: Heckler & Koch

 

Current (2008) version of HK417 rifle with 20 inch / 50cm barrel, with telescopesight and detachable bipod
 Current (2008) version of HK417 rifle with 20" / 50cm barrel, with telescopesight and detachable bipod
Image: Heckler & Koch

 

 

Caliber: 7,62x51mm NATO
Action: Gas operated, rotating bolt
Overall length: 905 - 985 mm with 406 mm barrel / 35.6" - 38.8" with 16" barrel
Barrel length: 305 mm / 12", 406 mm / 16" or 508 mm / 20"
Weight: 4.36 kg - 4.96 kg, depending on barrel length
Rate of fire: 600 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 10 or 20 rounds

 

HK417 assault rifle was recently developed by famous German arms-making company Heckler und Koch, as a "big brother" to the 5.56mm HK416 assault rifle. Information on this weapon first surfaced in 2005, on the wave of new interest for the 7.62mm NATO caliber military rifles. This interestcame in from experience of international forces gained in Afghanistan and Iraq, where increased range and penetration of the 7.62mm NATO bullets was (and still is) quite useful. Several companies developed new or updated versions of 7.62mm weapons, with intent to sell to military, law enforcement and in certain cases - to civilian shootersas well. The HK417 is one of such weapons. It is primarily oriented toward US market, as it mimics the popular 5.56mm AR-15 / M16 rifles in external appearance, controls, and many design features.However, there are more than few new and original features in HK417,including Heckler-Koch's patented piston-operated gas system,user-changeable barrels etc. Like most other competitors, HK417 riflesare available in several barrel lengths, suitable for full scale ofmilitary operations, from close combat in urban or forest areas and upto long-range accurate shooting.

HK417rifle is a gas operated,selective fired weapon of modular design. Ituses short-stroke gas piston located above the barrel, that operatesthe 7-lug rotating bolt. Barrels are cold hammer forged, and could bereplaced by end user in several minutes using simple tools. There are four basic patterns of barrels available for HK417 as of now (2008):305mm / 12" and 406 mm / 16" standard barrels and 406 mm / 16" and 508 mm/ 20" accurized barrels. Accurized barrels provide 1 MOA accuracy (with proper ammunition). Receiver ismade from high grade aluminum alloy and consists of two parts (upperand lower), connected by two cross-pins a-la AR-15 / M16 rifles. Combination-type safety / fire selectorallows for single shots and full automatic mode. HK417 retains all M16-style controls, including last round bolt hold-open device, bolt closure device, rear-based charging handle and magazine release button on the right side of the magazine well. HK417 isfitted with four Picatinny rails on free-float handguard as standard, and will accept any type of sighting devices on STANAG-1913 compliant mounts. It also can accept modified HK AG36/AG-C 40mm grenade launcher, which is clamped directly to bottom rail. Buttstock is of modified M4 design, multi-position telescoped. Production HK417 rifles useproprietary 10- or 20-round box magazines, made of translucent polymer(early prototypes used HK G3 magazines).