GSG Omni Hybrid MAXX

     Notes: This AR clone differs primarily in its receivers – They are made of steel-reinforced carbon fiber.  This makes them lighter, yet stronger, than either full metal or full carbon fiber receivers.  The rifle is finished in all-black, and with mostly otherwise Milspec parts. The trigger guard is molded into the lower.

     The Omni Hybrid uses direct gas impingement, with a carbine-length gas system.  This goes with its 16-inch barrel, which is tipped with an A2 flash suppressor.  It is free-floating. Above the receiver is a Picatinny rail; this is the only rail on the carbine other than a short one on the gas block for a BUIS.  The Omni Hybrid uses a Magpul MOE 6-position sliding stock.  The MAXX also has an over-molded plastic insert in the recoil tube, increasing strength and retention, as well as strengthening the area where the lower meets the upper as the rear of the receivers.

     Some shooters find the trigger pull to be “a bit mushy like a Glock trigger,” non-consistently breaking from 5.5 to 6 pounds of pressure.  Some find that boat-tailed rounds tend to keyhole when fired from the carbine. Some find that the upper and lower “does not match up in the least,” and that the general fit and finish is hit-and-miss.  Parts can be bottom-shelf parts, not the best but not the worst.  Others say the carbine is just not comfortable to shoot at any stock setting.

     Extra Uppers are available for different calibers.  As of this writing (Nov 16), the .22 LR and 6.8mm are not available, but they are scheduled to be in early 2017. Essentially, however, there is nothing special about the Omni Hybrid except the receivers. It is sold only through American Tactical Imports, though it is made by German Sport Guns. 

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

Omni Hybrid MAXX

5.56mm NATO

2.83 kg

5, 10, 20, 30

$571

Omni Hybrid MAXX

.22 Long Rifle

2.83 kg

10, 17, 27

$245

Omni Hybrid MAXX

6.8mm SPC

2.83 kg

5, 10, 20, 30

$751

Omni Hybrid MAXX

.300 Blackout

2.83 kg

5, 10, 20, 30

$766

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

Omni Hybrid MAXX (5.56mm)

SA

3

1-Nil

4/6

3

Nil

40

Omni Hybrid MAXX (.22)

SA

1

Nil

3/4

1

Nil

34

Omni Hybrid MAXX (6.8mm)

SA

3

1-2-Nil

5/6

3

Nil

56

Omni Hybrid MAXX (.300)

SA

3

2-Nil

5/6

4

Nil

46

 

Haenel MKb-42(H)/MP-43/MP-44 (StG-44)

     Notes:  This weapon was the world’s first true assault rifle to go into active service.  Though Haenel (and Walther) had been their contracts to develop the new rifles in 1940, the prototype version of the Haenel (the Mkb-42(H) was not first used in July 1943 in Russia.  The MKb-43(H) is largely the work of Hugo Schmeisser.

     The MKb-42(H) looked essentially like a modern assault rifle – in fact, similar to the AK-47.  (It’s never been proven whether the MKb-42(H) and its successors had any influence on Kalashnikov, but rumors abound.)  The MKb-42(H) was gas operated by direct impingement.  The MKb-42(H) fired from an open bolt in both automatic and semiautomatic modes.  The barrel was quite short for the time at 14.35 inches, and the MKb-42(H) was a trifle heavy.  Cyclic rate of fire was rather slow at 575 rpm.  The MKb-42(H) at first had no bayonet lug or provisions for rifle grenades, but they were demanded by the Army, even before production could get into gear.  Army interference only grew after that.  As a result, only 116 had been built by December of 1942, and the first batch of rifles for combat testing were not delivered until January of 1943 (200 rifles short of the target figure).

     The MKb-42(H), though heavier and a bit less balanced than the competing Walther design, used a simpler operation and could be built cheaper and easier; therefore, it won the competition.  The actual production version was the MP-43 – given the designation of a submachinegun to disguise it’s true nature from Hitler, who fancied himself a military expert and thought he knew exactly what sort of rifle the troops needed.  A few modifications were made; the Walter-type hammer-firing mechanism replaced the Haenel striker, and operation was changed so that the MP-43 fired from a closed bolt.  The tangent rear sight was located above the location of the magazine, and the front sight post was hooded.  Due to the growing chaos and damage in Germany, production was subcontracted to about a dozen manufacturers, and slight differences between manufacturing methods meant that MP-43s often had to have their parts hand-fitted and that the parts sometimes would not interchange between MP-43s.  The barrel length remained at 14.35 inches, but the grenade launcher was not a standard feature – instead, a version designated the MP-43/I was built in smaller numbers which had a grenade launcher attachment at the muzzle.  Most MP-43/Is (and some MP-44s) also had a mount on the left side of the receiver for a Zf.4 telescopic sight or the new (and rare) Zg.1229 Vampir active infrared night scope. (It should be noted that in 1944, night scopes were giant, clumsy affairs that often weighed as much as the rifle they were mounted upon.)  To mark the official start of mass production, the designation of the weapon was changed to the MP-44; shortly thereafter, it was re-christened the StG-44 (Sturmgewehr 44, or “assault rifle”) to denote it’s true nature (an apocryphal story says this was done by Hitler himself during a visit to the Russian Front.)

     Perhaps the strangest modification of the StG-44 was the Krummlauf Attachment.  The idea of the Krummlauf Attachment was to allow the StG-44 to fire around corners.  It was basically a curved barrel extension with an attached mirror.  There were 3 variants of the Krummlauf: the STG-44(P) curved 30 degrees, the STG-44(K) curved 90 degrees, and the STG-44(V) curved 40 degrees.  Only the STG-44(P) was mass-produced, with about 10,000 examples being made.  The Krummlauf has perforations that slow the bullet to allow it to make the turn; unfortunately, they slow the bullet so dramatically that the bullet has a greatly reduced effectiveness. Of course, the weapon is useless in close combat, except when firing around corners (unless the shooter is really good at applying Kentucky Windage). 

     In the late 2000s, a company named German Sport Guns (a German company, whose products are sold only through American Tactical Imports) began offering the GSG-StG-44.  This is a version of the StG-44 that is chambered for .22 Long Rifle, but is otherwise a faithful reproduction of the original assault rifle.  Differences include a 16.5-inch barrel and American Walnut for the stock and pistol grip, as well as a Cerekote finish for the external metal parts.  (Interior metal parts are phosphated, and the bore is chromed.)  Trigger pull weight is about like the original – 5.5 pounds.  Empty weight is somewhat less, but due to the low recoil of the .22 rounds, this is not important for recoil purposes. The GSG-StG-44 is designed specifically for semiautomatic fire, and company literature states that converting it to automatic fire is virtually impossible. Finishes include carbon steel, sand, OD Green, and desert tan/pink.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

MKb-42(H)

8mm Kurz

4.87 kg

30

$729

MP-44/StG-44

8mm Kurz

4.92 kg

30

$729

StG-44(P/K/V)

8mm Kurz

5.22 kg

30

$802

GSG-StG-44

.22 Long Rifle

4.5 kg

10, 25

$215

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

MKb-42(H)

5

3

2-Nil

6

3

8

38

MP-44/StG-44

5

4

2-Nil

6

3

8

38

StG-44(P)

5

2

1-Nil

7

2

7

27

StG-44(K)

5

2

1-Nil

7

2

7

23

StG-44(V)

5

2

1-Nil

7

2

7

25

GSG-StG-44

SA

1

Nil

6

1

Nil

34

 

Heckler & Koch G-36

     Notes: In 1996, with the G-11 becoming expensive and the ammunition even more scarce and expensive, the Bundeswehr asked Heckler & Koch to produce an assault rifle family that would fire standard NATO 5.56mm NATO ammunition.  The result was the HK-50, which was type standardized as the G-36.  Deliveries began in the third quarter of 1996 to the Bundeswehr’s NATO rapid reaction forces and special operations units, and it eventually became the standard assault rifle for German armed forces.  In 1998, the Spanish military started replacing their troublesome CETME-L and LC rifles with G-36s.  

     The G-36 has a folding buttstock for use in tight spaces; light and easy to fold and unfold, the stock is also the G-36s biggest fault, since it tends to crack or just fall off.  Much of the G-36 is constructed of high-impact plastic reinforced with carbon-fiber polymer, and the carrying handle incorporates a 3x sight, with iron sights available if the optical sights become damaged.  In addition, a red-dot collimating sight is provided above the 3x sight on German G-36s for quick shots.  The charging handle is under the carrying handle, and the firing levers are ambidextrous (although case ejection is always to the right).  The G-36 uses an AK-74 pattern bayonet, and can use Pact or NATO rifle grenades.  Magazines designed for the G-36 have lugs to allow up to five magazines to be clipped together for speedy reloading.  The G-36 may also use M-16 magazines.  The G-36 marks the first time that Heckler & Koch abandoned their well-tried roller-locking system in a production rifle, opting for a simpler gas system instead; with rounds being fired through a 18.9-inch barrel tipped by a flash suppressor similar in appearance to that used on Colt’s M-16A2.  The export variant of the G-36 is the G-36E; this weapon uses a 1.5x sight instead of the 3x sight of the German model, and dispenses with the red-dot collimating sight.

     The G-36K is a carbine variant of the G-36 assault rifle, meant for special operations forces.  It has a shorter 12.52-inch barrel and handguard than the standard G-36, and a larger prong-type flash suppressor.  It is not normally equipped with the 3x sight (though it can use it), using the 1.5x sight instead, but does have the collimator sight.  German special ops units almost always use the G-36K (and the G-36) loaded with 100-round Beta C-Mags.  An export version of the G-36K, called the G-35KE, is also produced; it differs from the G-36K primarily in the deletion of the collimator sight.

     The G-36C (the C formerly stood for Commando, but now stands for Compact, due to a trademark by Colt) is a very-abbreviated length version of the G-36 assault rifle.  It has a stubby 11.02-inch barrel, and the carrying handle has a STANAG-compatible MIL-STD-1913 rail to mount any sort of scope or sighting aid.  The handguard, though short, is equipped with 6-point MIL-STD-1913 rails; the bottom rail is normally seen with a foregrip mounted, though it can mount pretty much anything else. Like the G-36K, the G-36C typically uses the 1.5x sight/collimator sight combination; the 3x sight is rather superfluous in a weapon designed primarily for CQB. The G-36C is characterized as a “limited-issue weapon,” typically issued only to special operations units.

     An interesting note about the G-36: the G-36’s predecessor, the HK-50, was originally conceived to be a modular family of weapons, able to be easily changed between different configurations.  These different configurations were designed to range from a 9mm Parabellum-firing submachinegun to a 7.62mm NATO-firing light machinegun.  Though the G-36 has yet to be produced in all of these versions, it still retains the capability to do so – assuming the demand is there and Heckler & Koch produces the parts required as a result.

     Twilight 2000 Notes: When it became obvious that the G-11 was too expensive and complicated to produce, and that ammunition availability would become a major stumbling block, the G-41 was brought into full production instead and the plans for the G-36 accelerated greatly.  However, general issue of the G-36 still did not start until the winter of 1995, and adoption of the G-36 largely came to an abrupt halt during the November nuclear exchanges.  Though examples of the G-36K were built at the same time as the standard G-36, many more were made by German special operations armorers using plans furnished by Heckler & Koch.  The G-36C does not exist in the Twilight 2000 timeline.

     Merc 2000 Notes: As German peacekeepers became a more common sight in the world, their G-36 rifles also became a more common sight.  The problem with the stock had been largely solved by the end of 2003. 

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

G-36

5.56mm NATO

3.6 kg

30

$814

G-36E

5.56mm NATO

3.6 kg

30

$764

G-36K

5.56mm NATO

3.3 kg

30

$698

G-36C

5.56mm NATO

2.8 kg

20, 30

$683

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

G-36/G-36E

5

3

1-Nil

5/6

2

6

51

G-36K

5

3

1-Nil

4/5

3

6

27

G-36C

5

2

1-Nil

3/5

3

6

22

 

Heckler & Koch G-41

     Notes: This weapon was introduced in 1983 to replace the HK-33 on the export market, and was issued to German troops in 1987 in small numbers as an interim weapon to replace their G-3s until the G-11 (which never came to fruition) could be brought into full production.  It is basically an updated and upgraded HK-33 assault rifle, made with more modern materials, and having the ability to use standard US/NATO magazines.  As such, it was an interim design, never meant for general issue to the entire German Army, nor any of the other countries that were considering it.  By the early 1990s, it was obvious that the G-11 was not going to ever be adopted, and the G-41 also became a casualty. In addition, the worldwide glut of assault rifles (ranging to the ubiquitous M-16 and AK to the new designs coming out the former Soviet Union, China, and Eastern Europe) meant that there were already lots of assault rifles available at a much lower price than the G-41. The German Army went with the then-new G-36, and by 1996, Heckler & Koch was no longer including either the G-41 (or the G-11) in its military weapons catalogs.  There are rumors that Mexico and India bought small numbers of G-41s, but I have not been able to confirm this; however, the San Marcos Marines and some special operations units (such as the Italian COMSUBIN, Israeli Col Moschin, and the Spanish NOCS) have small stocks of G-41s and G-41Ks.  No country seems to be using them in large numbers.  (In the US, in particular, the G-41 is an extreme rarity – there reportedly only 3 of them in the US.)

     In appearance, the G-41 is quite reminiscent of the HK-33 series (recognizably so), and yet also has enough differences that the two cannot be mistaken except at a glance.  Internal differences between the G-41 and HK-33 series include bolt hold-open device after the last shot is fired, as well as a bolt catch (similar to that of the M-16A1).  The ejection also has a hinged dust cover (the same idea as that on the M-16, but of course much different in appearance and design) and a forward assist which also acts as a brass deflector for left-handed shooters.  Though the G-41 can use older HK-33 magazines, the primary magazines are meant to be STANAG-compatible magazines.  The sights are essentially the same as those on the HK-33, but have tritium inserts for night use.  The G-41 has a side-folding carrying handle at the center of balance (for the standard-length version).  The G-41 may be fitted with a MIL-STD-1913 rail, a carrying handle, ladder-type sights or a radial drum sight for use if the G-41 is fitted with an underbarrel grenade launcher, or any number of other mounts for optics.  The lower receiver is of light alloy, but most of the rest of the metalwork is steel; the stock is either synthetic or a standard Heckler & Koch sliding stock.  The barrel is 17.72 inches long and is tipped with a flash suppressor.  The pistol grip is of high-impact plastic and is hollow.  In 1986, the G-41 series was further modified; a strengthening sub-frame was added to the synthetic stock and pistol grip, and newer, stronger synthetics were used.  The fire controls became ambidextrous, and the markings were slightly changed.

     Variants of the G-41 include the G-41A2, with the sliding stock mentioned above.  The G-41K was also available; this is a short-barreled version (with a 14.96-inch barrel), normally with the sliding stock, but also available with a fixed synthetic stock.  The G-41K cannot take a bayonet, but can fire rifle grenades and mount underbarrel grenade launchers.  The G-41 INKAS and G-41K INKAS are identical to their standard brethren, but have a standard IR laser aiming module mounted internally inside the charging handle tube.

     Twilight 2000 Notes: The Heckler & Koch G-41 was rushed into production in late 1994 when the G-11 became to expensive to produce and the G-36 was not yet ready.  It was realized that the G-41 would serve as a stopgap measure to modernize the German military’s assault rifles to meet modern standards (including STANAG magazines and optical sight mounts).  With the outbreak of the Twilight War, the G-41 saw service and proved to be an effective and reliable weapon.  With the advent of the G-36 design, the days of the G-41 seemed to be short-lived; only the use of nuclear weapons forestalled its replacement by the newer design.  The G-41K, though not uncommon, is also not common.  It was popular in the hands of rear-area troops as well as special ops types.

     Merc 2000 Notes: The only large-scale customers of the G-41 seem to be the military forces of El Salvador and Belize.  This was not enough to keep the productions lines for the G-41 open, though spare parts are still being manufactured. As with the G-41, the only large-scale customers of the G-41K seem to be El Salvador and Belize.  Their smaller-statured troops seemed to prefer this shorter version.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

G-41

5.56mm NATO

4.1 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$772

G-41A2

5.56mm NATO

4.35 kg

20, 25. 30, 40

$792

G-41K

5.56mm NATO

4.25 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$751

G-41KA2

5.56mm NATO

4.01 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$771

G-41 INKAS

5.56mm NATO

4.2 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$1172

G-41A2 INKAS

5.56mm NATO

4.45 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$1192

G-41K INKAS

5.56mm NATO

4.35 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$1151

G-41KA2 INKAS

5.56mm NATO

4.11 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$1171

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

G-41

3/5

3

1-Nil

6

2

3/5

46

G-41A2

3/5

3

1-Nil

4/6

2

3/5

46

G-41K

3/5

3

1-Nil

5

2

3/5

36

G-41KA2

3/5

3

1-Nil

4/5

2

3/5

36

 

Heckler & Koch HK-33

     Notes: Introduced in 1965, the HK-33 is essentially a G-3 7.62mm rifle scaled down to 5.56mm NATO dimensions.  As the HK-33 was never intended for large-scale use by German forces, it is normally heard referred to as the HK-33E (“E” for export).  The only official large-scale military sales were made to the Thai and Mexican armed forces, but the HK-33 is one of those weapons that can be found just about anywhere.  The civilian model is manufactured primarily in Great Britain instead of in Germany.  Though I have been unable to nail down the exact date, military versions of the HK-33 series have apparently been out of production since about 1990.

     The HK-33 uses delayed blowback operation with roller locking, like the G-3 series.  It has a two piece bolt, however.  Like late-production G-3s, the HK-33 is built using as many stamped steel components as possible, including a stamped steel receiver.  The primary variants of the HK-33 have a fixed polymer stock (the HK-33A2, considered the “standard” version of the HK-33) and a 15.35-inch barrel, a fixed polymer stock with an integral folding bipod (the HK-33A2SG), a sliding metal stock (the HK-33A3), the HK-33K with a 12.67-inch barrel and sliding stock (though a fixed polymer stock is optional), and the HK-33SG1, optimized for use as a designated marksman’s rifle.  (The latter weapon will be found in German Sniper Rifles.)  In addition, there is a kit available to allow any version to be modified for use with .22 Long Rifle ammunition for training purposes.  All of these weapons may also be found with the option to fire 3-round bursts, fully automatic fire, or semiautomatic fire (with the exception of the training version).  A civilian version of the HK-33A2 capable only of semiautomatic fire is also available (the HK-93), and may be the best selling of the HK-33 line.

     The HK-53 is an HK-33 with a greatly abbreviated 8.3-inch barrel.  Though the Germans classify the HK-53 as a submachinegun due to its short barrel length, most of the Western world (particularly North and South American countries, as well as the Russians and Chinese) use the newer terms “short assault rifle” or “assault carbine.”  Depending on how you look at it, the HK-53 is a vastly scaled-down G-3, a scaled-up MP-5 submachinegun, or a compromise between the two.  Original production HK-53s used a three-position fire selector (safe, semiautomatic, automatic), but this was quickly replaced with a four position selector (safe, semiautomatic, 3-round burst, automatic).  The normal flash suppressor is replaced with a larger four-prong device designed specifically for the HK-53; though it is a type of flash suppressor it’s highly-effective design makes it function more like a muzzle brake as well as dampening muzzle flash and blast far better than the average flash suppressor (though it is rather larger than the typical assault rifle’s flash suppressor).  Provision is made for a wide variety of optical equipment and magazines (most HK-33 or US/NATO magazines may be used). It cannot, however, use rifle grenades or mount a bayonet, and underbarrel grenade launchers which will fit on a standard HK-53.  The US Navy SEALs were noted users of the HK-53 (as well as the HK-33 and HK-33K), until the M-4 and its variants became available.  Knight Manufacturing has recently introduced an MWS (Modular Weapon System) kit for the HK-53, consisting of a replacement handguard with three MIL-STD-1913 rails (one on each side of the handguard, and one underneath), a side-mounted optics mount (as the HK-53’s charging handle is on the top of the weapon, slightly offset to the left), and a variety of KAC’s standard add-ons.

     In 1972, as the vehicle that would eventually become the M-2 Bradley IFV was being developed, the US Army was also looking for a firing port weapon to use with the new vehicle.  Among the entries for this competition was Heckler & Koch, and they entered a variant of the HK-53 called the HK-53 MICV.  The HK-53 MICV for the most part used a standard HK-53 receiver, pistol grip, and mechanism; there were, however, numerous modifications made to the HK-53 for the role.  The front sight of the HK-53 was removed, as were the handguards.  The handguards were replaced by a simple ventilated barrel jacket and sleeve equipped with an attachment for the ball-and-socket joint of the US Army’s developmental vehicle (then called the XM-723 MICV).  An attachment point was added to the right side of the receiver, allowing a canvas bag-type brass catcher to be placed over the ejection port.  (This brass catcher had the incidental effect of capturing any gasses from the firing of the weapon that didn’t get ventilated outside of the vehicle.)  The stock was removed, as was any capacity to mount either a fixed or folding stock, and a simple endcap closed the back of the receiver.  Operation of the HK-53 was modified so that the HK-53 fired from an open bolt instead of the traditional H&K method of firing from a closed bolt (open-bolt operation allows for better cooling of the barrel and mechanism and made the HK-53 more compatible with the XM-723’s method of venting firing gasses outside of the vehicle).  Finally, the original fire selector mechanism was used, though the cyclic rate of the HK-53 was almost doubled.  In the end, however, the US Army decided to adopt the Colt M-231 instead; though Heckler & Koch continued to improve and shop around the HK-53 MICV (particularly to the Bundeswehr, who was at the time looking for a firing port weapon for the Marder), the HK-53 MICV eventually became one of those interesting designs that never went into use, and is now a very rare item.

     Perhaps the rarest production version of the HK-33 series, the HK-32, appeared in 1965, though a short time later than the HK-33 (despite the designation).  With the HK-32, Heckler & Koch hoped to break the Russian/Warsaw Pack/Chinese stranglehold on weapons firing the 7.62mm Kalashnikov cartridge by offering a rifle with a more modern design.  Heckler & Koch designed magazines for the HK-32; rumors state that early-production models could also use standard AK/RPK-type magazines.  Prototype HK-32s used a flash suppressor which was simply a thickened muzzle with slots cut into it; production examples use a flash suppressor similar to that of the HK-33 series. For the most part, the HK-32 is otherwise identical to the HK-33 except for the changes necessary for the use of the 7.62mm Kalashnikov cartridge.  There is also an exceedingly-rare variant of the HK-32, the HK-32K, which is a short-barreled variant corresponding to the HK-33K.  Though Heckler & Koch did in fact build and sell a small number of HK-32s, to whom and when these sales occurred is largely unknown as well as undisclosed and unconfirmed.  Rumors range from the US Navy SEALs and other special operations units to well-heeled civilian firearms enthusiasts.  Production was always very low-rate, and stopped entirely in 1982.  To complicate the issue a bit more, some custom firearms builders in the US (most notably Bill Fleming) have modified small numbers of HK-91s (civilianized G-3s) into rifles closely resembling HK-32s. 

     The GR series of assault rifles is somewhat of a mystery – are they their own series of short assault rifles, are they a further subtype of the HK-53 (in the case of the GR-2) and HK-33K (in the case of the GR-3), or simply specially-modified HK-53s and HK-33s?  For the purposes of these pages, I will treat them the way a slight majority of firearms experts seem to regard them – as subtypes of the HK-53 and HK-33.  Development of the GR series began in the early- to mid-1980s (and there is even confusion about this); they were supposedly intended primarily for export and were not designed in response to any German Army or Federal Police requirement. Apparently they were not sold in any noticeable numbers to any military or police forces anywhere in the world, though they first began appearing in rather small numbers in special operations of a few countries (particularly in German special ops un its) in the late 1980s.  Even today, GR-series rifles are rarely seen anywhere, and even when they are spotted, there may be one or two being used by even large (for special ops) units.

     The GR-2 and GR-3 are believed to be mechanically virtually identical to the rest of the HK-33 series.  There are, however, numerous differences; the entire GR series are said to be able to use both standard H&K magazines designed for use with the HK-33 series as well as US/NATO STANAG 5.56mm NATO magazines.  The sliding-stock versions normally use stocks more reminiscent of the early MP-5 rather than the HK-33 or HK-53.  The handguard seen on the GR series is usually the same as used on the MP-5 submachinegun, though the GR series is also quite capable of using standard HK-33 and HK-53 handguards, and a very few appear to have modified handguards based on the HK-33 handguard, but with four-point MIL-STD-1913 rails attached.  The rifling on early versions was optimized for older 5.56mm M-193 ammunition, though supposedly most are now equipped with 1:9 rifling twist rates to allow good performance with SS-109 or M-193 ammunition.  At first, the receiver was topped with H&K proprietary optics mounts; these have now been largely replaced with MIL-STD-1913 rails.  At first, the standard optic for use with the GR series was a rather large, specially-designed adjustable 1.5x scope (with some being permanently attached to the receiver of the rifle) that was heavily influenced by that mounted on the then-new Steyr AUG assault rifle, though the aiming reticule was more prominent as well as illuminated.  Finishes seen have been black, an all-over forest-green/brown camouflage pattern, and a peculiar tan/green desert camouflage pattern (often referred to as “baby-shit camo”).  The different colors all add their own modifiers to the designations, but essentially the GR series can be broken into a few basic types of weapons. The GR-2 is similar to the HK-53, with its 8.3-inch barrel, though the muzzle brake used is longer and beefier – and often, the GR-2 is seen with the muzzle brake replaced with a long, heavy, open-prong-type flash suppressor.  The GR-3K is similar to the HK-33K, with its 12.67-inch barrel, and the same muzzle brake or the flash suppressor as the GR-2.  The GR-3E is sort of a mid-sized carbine, with a 15.35-inch barrel, and otherwise equipped in the same manner as other GR-series rifles.  Game prices below reflect the use of the standard 1.5x optical sight (and its successors).

     The MKEK T-50 is essentially the HK-33A3 produced under license in Turkey, and using an M-4-type stock instead of the standard folding stock of the HK-33A3.  For game purposes, it is the same as the HK-33A3.

     Twilight 2000 Notes: This weapon often formed the core of military-type rifles issued to Western European militia units; in addition, it was difficult to find a community in the US or Central America where at least one person did not have either an HK-33 or HK-93.  Older HK-93s were seemingly easy to convert to fully automatic fire.  The HK-53 MICV was, in the Twilight 2000 timeline, the standard-issue firing port weapon for the Marder; as with the US M-231, many HK-53s were yanked out of wrecked Marders and put into ground service, often modified to accept a sliding wire stock.  In addition, the HK-53 was issued to many other units, from cooks to special operations troops.

    Merc 2000 Notes: The HK-33 could turn up in the strangest places, such as the bodyguard element for the Zairian president, and the guards for diamond mines in South Africa.  It is even rumored that a tribe of Rhade in the highlands of Vietnam are primarily armed with the HK-33, though how the HK-33s got there is unknown.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price*

HK-33A2

5.56mm NATO

3.65 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$738

HK-33A2SG

5.56mm NATO

3.83 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$1112

HK-33A3

5.56mm NATO

3.65 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$758

HK-33KA1

5.56mm NATO

3.42 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$711

HK-33KA2

5.56mm NATO

3.42 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$731

HK-33A2 Trainer

.22 Long Rifle

3.35 kg

10

$223

HK-53

5.56mm NATO

3 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$733

HK-53 MICV

5.56mm NATO

2.72 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$501

HK-32A2

7.62mm Kalashnikov

4.01 kg

30, 40

$1105

HK-32A3

7.62mm Kalashnikov

4.01 kg

30, 40

$1125

HK-32KA2

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.76 kg

30, 40

$1081

HK-32KA3

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.76 kg

30, 40

$1101

GR-2A2 (With Flash Suppressor)

5.56mm NATO

3.37 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$848

GR-2A2 (With Muzzle Brake)

5.56mm NATO

3.46 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$874

GR-2A3 (With Flash Suppressor)

5.56mm NATO

3.37 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$828

GR-2A3 (With Muzzle Brake)

5.56mm NATO

3.46 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$894

GR-3KA2 (With Flash Suppressor)

5.56mm NATO

3.84 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$894

GR-3KA2 (With Muzzle Brake)

5.56mm NATO

3.94 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$940

GR-3KA3 (With Flash Suppressor)

5.56mm NATO

3.84 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$874

GR-3KA3 (With Muzzle Brake)

5.56mm NATO

3.94 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$920

GR-3EA2 (With Flash Suppressor)

5.56mm NATO

3.93 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$921

GR-3EA2 (With Muzzle Brake)

5.56mm NATO

4.03 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$967

GR-3EA3 (With Flash Suppressor)

5.56mm NATO

3.93 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$901

GR-3EA3 (With Muzzle Brake)

5.56mm NATO

4.03 kg

20, 25, 30, 40

$947

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

HK-33A2

3/5

3

1-Nil

6

2

3/6

37

HK-33A2SG

3/5

3

1-Nil

6

2

3/5

37

(With Bipod)

3/5

3

1-Nil

6

1

2/3

48

HK-33A3

3/5

3

1-Nil

4/6

2

3/5

37

HK-33KA1

3/5

3

1-Nil

5

2

3/6

28

HK-33KA2

3/5

3

1-Nil

4/5

2

3/6

28

HK-33A2 Trainer

SA

1

Nil

6

1

Nil

33

HK-53

3/5

2

1-Nil

3/4

2

3/5

13

HK-53 MICV

10

2

1-Nil

2

2

9

13

HK-32A2

3/5

3

2-Nil

6

3

5/8

42

HK-32A3

3/5

3

2-Nil

4/6

3

5/8

42

HK-32KA2

3/5

3

2-Nil

5

3

5/9

31

HK-32KA3

3/5

3

2-Nil

4/5

3

5/9

31

GR-2A2 (Flash)

3/5

2

1-Nil

3/4

2

3/5

14

GR-2A2 (Brake)

3/5

2

1-Nil

3/4

2

2/4

14

GR-2A3 (Flash)

3/5

2

1-Nil

4

2

3/5

14

GR-2A3 (Brake)

3/5

2

1-Nil

4

2

2/4

14

GR-3KA2 (Flash)

3/5

3

1-Nil

4/5

2

3/5

28

GR-3KA2 (Brake)

3/5

3

1-Nil

4/5

2

2/4

28

GR-3KA3 (Flash)

3/5

3

1-Nil

5

2

3/5

28

GR-3KA3 (Brake)

3/5

3

1-Nil

5

2

2/4

28

GR-3EA2 (Flash)

3/5

3

1-Nil

4/5

2

3/5

38

GR-3EA2 (Brake)

3/5

3

1-Nil

4/5

2

2/4

38

GR-3EA3 (Flash)

3/5

3

1-Nil

5

2

3/5

38

GR-3EA3 (Brake)

3/5

3

1-Nil

5

2

2/4

38

*For those versions which come in burst/automatic selective fire versions, subtract $182 if a version is chosen which has only burst or only automatic fire capability. (Note that the GR series does not fall into this category as far as is known, though there is no reason that this should be true other than that the GR series seems to have been with only one type of fire selector mechanism.)

 

Heckler & Koch HK-416

     Notes: At the request of the US special operations community, Heckler & Koch in 2002 decided to address the current problems with the M-16/M-4 series and submit the resulting weapons to the US SCAR competition.  The result of this is the HK-416, which is basically a vastly-improved version of the M-16/M-4 series.  Of course, Colt sued Heckler & Koch almost immediately for patent infringement (an action which made the special operations community decidedly unhappy, the outcome of which is still uncertain), and the US government barred the HK-416 from the SCAR competition, citing that Heckler & Koch was a company supported by the German government (it is not) and thus not eligible for the competition.  There is a strong sense that NIH (not invented here) is rearing its ugly head, and that the US government is rigging the competition in favor of Colt.  In any case, the future of the HK-416 is in serious doubt at present.  (By the way, the XM-8 has also been barred from the SCAR competition, for the same alleged reasons.)

     The HK-416 is similar in appearance to the various SOPMOD variations of the M-16 and M-4.  The handguards have four MIL-STD-1913 rails for accessories, and the top of the receiver has another such rail for optics or other accessories. Heckler & Koch’s first step was to dump the Stoner direct gas operation system, which basically contributes to the fouling of the rifle (it has been described as the system which “craps where it eats”).  It was replaced by a G-36-style of operation, which uses a sort of two-stage method of gas tapping known as “short recoil piston and pushrod,” that prevents most of the carbon from being dumped in the barrel, and which can be cleaned by the operator, unlike the M-16’s system.  This operating system also comes in a kit which can be used to modify existing M-16s and M-4s.  The locking system and bolt carrier group have also been improved, as has been the recoil spring system, the barrel attachment system, and the buffer group.  The rifle is also deliberately made heavy to further reduce barrel climb.

     Despite the suit by Colt, and despite its having been disqualified from the SCAR competition, the HK-416 is being used by US and even some British and Australian special operations units in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Most of these weapons were bought by the members of those units with their own money, and they say they are worth every penny.

     Though Heckler & Koch has been aggressively marketing the HK-416 in the 5.56mm NATO chambering, they were also for a time quietly testing an HK-416 chambered for the 6.8mm SPC cartridge.  Though their work with the 6.8mm SPC-chambered HK-416 has apparently put on hold (they are possibly investigating different weapon designed to fire the 6.8mm SPC cartridge), the rumor mill says that there is some interest in this version of the HK-416 from members of the special operations communities of several countries, and especially of the US.  Figures are given below for this possible future version of the HK-416, but they are provisional, educated guesses on my part, and should be used only for the Twilight 2000 game and not taken as definitive information.

     The HK-417 is essentially an HK-416 up-scaled to fire 7.62mm NATO ammunition.  The intended market is the US, though Heckler & Koch has also had interest from other countries; US special operations units as well as some from other countries have reportedly combat-tested the HK-417 in Afghanistan and had favorable reviews.  The HK-417 uses the same buttstock as the M-27 below, with the same controls as the HK-416 and same general operation.  Though Heckler & Koch makes dedicated magazines for the HK-417 in a variety of materials (including translucent plastic), the HK-417 can also take G-3 magazines, or any magazine compatible with the G-3. 

     Recently, the US Marines have given the go-ahead for the acquisition of a new light automatic rifle for use by infantry in urban combat.  This is the M-27 IAR (Infantry Automatic Rifle).  The M-27 is a version of the HK-416 which will replace the M-249 in some roles, and it is essentially a heavy-barreled version of the HK-416.  There has been considerable skepticism about the necessity of the M-27, as it is in fact little more than a heavy-barreled, piston-driven M-16 with a different buttstock and standard four-point MIL-STD-1913 rails.  It still fires from a closed bolt, and is thus still subject to same chamber and barrel heating as the M-16.  There were better entries into the IAR competition from both Colt and FN, and it appears that the M-27 was basically the best political choice, rather than the best tactical choice; some have said that the M-27 was the easiest way to get an improvement over their M-16s and M-4s, and the real intent of the M-27 is to eventually replace all of their M-16s and M-4s. The biggest difference between the M-27 and the M-16/M-4 series is the buttstock, which is essentially an M-4-type stock with a ventilated rubber recoil pad, ambidextrous controls, and the heavy 16.5-inch barrel.  Of course, being a variant of the HK-416, it also uses a piston-driven gas system rather than the Stoner direct gas impingement system.  The Marines intend the M-27 to be used with a standard foregrip, ACOG or reflex-type sight, and sling swivels. In addition to 90-round MWG drums and 100-round Beta C-Mags, the Marines have also procured a number of 150-round Armtac SAW-MAGs (sort of an enlarged C-Mag).

     Civilian versions of these rifles also exist.  The MR-556 is chambered for 5.56mm NATO and limited to 16.5” and 20” barrels, and the MR-308 is chambered for 7.62mm NATO and also limited to 16.5” and 20” barrels.  Both are semiautomatic-only rifles, and design differences have made it virtually impossible to convert them to automatic fire.  They are identical to their military counterparts for game purposes except for their lack of automatic fire capability. Umarex USA makes a version in .22 Long Rifle called the HK-416D.  Umarex is known primarily for pellet and BB guns; this is one of two new offerings in .22 rimfire.  The version is essentially an MR-556 with a 20-inch barrel and has the folding stock and MIL-STD-1913 rails of its larger brethren.  The barrel is tipped with a standard flash suppressor, and the suppressor can be removed and replaced with a silencer.

     In late 2010, Heckler & Koch introduced an update of the MR-556, called the MR-556A1.  Other than being semiautomatic-only, many experts say the MR-556A1 is better than even the HK-416.  The MR-556A1 is replete with MIL-STD-1913 rails, on four sides of the handguard and atop the receiver (and continuous with the rail on top of the handguard).  The firing pin is spring-loaded, ensuring a proper strike on the primer.  The pistol grip is ergonomically improved, as is the sliding stock; the stock’s buttplate can also be removed to real compartments for a cleaning kit and for batteries.  The MR-556A1 uses a 16.5-inch cold hammer forged heavy-profile match-quality barrel, improving accuracy.  The bore also narrows ever so slightly in its internal diameter, which further increases accuracy (though not measurable in game terms). Part tolerances are very tight; Heckler & Koch’s goal with the MR-556A1 is no play between the upper and lower receiver.  The tolerances were achieved partially through a modification of the takedown pins – so much that a special tool (normally stored in the stock) is requires to open the lower and upper receiver halves, and to push the takedown pins back in again.  The MR-556A1 uses Heckler & Koch-style diopter rear and open-topped front sights, though these are mounted on the MIL-STD-1913 rails and can be removed and replaced if desired.  The MR-556A1 has an ambidextrous selector and enlarged bolt lock, charging handle wings, and magazine release; the magazine well is also flared.  The MR-556A1 was designed to be a match rifle instead of simply a general-purpose rifle.

     Twilight 2000 Notes: These rifles are not available in the Twilight 2000 timeline.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

HK-416 (10.5” Barrel)

5.56mm NATO

3.31 kg

10, 20, 30

$600

HK-416 (12.5” Barrel)

5.56mm NATO

3.37 kg

10, 20, 30

$621

HK-416 (14.5” Barrel)

5.56mm NATO

3.42 kg

10, 20, 30

$642

HK-416 (16.5” Barrel)

5.56mm NATO

3.47 kg

10, 20, 30

$662

HK-416 (20” Barrel)

5.56mm NATO

3.57 kg

10, 20, 30

$698

HK-416 (10.5” Barrel)

6.8mm SPC

3.69 kg

8, 18, 28

$667

HK-416 (12.5” Barrel)

6.8mm SPC

3.9 kg

8, 18, 28

$688

HK-416 (14.5” Barrel)

6.8mm SPC

4.11 kg

8, 18, 28

$708

HK-416 (16.5” Barrel)

6.8mm SPC

4.17 kg

8, 18, 28

$729

HK-416 (20” Barrel)

6.8mm SPC

4.29 kg

8, 18, 28

$765

HK-417 (10.5” Barrel)

7.62mm NATO

4.41 kg

5,10, 20

$1043

HK-417 (12.5” Barrel)

7.62mm NATO

4.66 kg

5,10, 20

$1064

HK-417 (14.5” Barrel)

7.62mm NATO

4.91 kg

5,10, 20

$1085

HK-417 (16.5” Barrel)

7.62mm NATO

4.98 kg

5,10, 20

$1106

HK-417 (20” Barrel)

7.62mm NATO

5.12 kg

5,10, 20

$1132

M-27

5.56mm NATO

3.6 kg

20, 30

$674

HK-416D

.22 Long Rifle

3.57 kg

10, 28

$281

MR-556A1

5.56mm NATO

3.9 kg

10, 20, 30

$608

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

HK-416 (10.5”, 5.56mm)

5

2

1-Nil

3/4

2

5

20

HK-416 (12.5”, 5.56mm)

5

3

1-Nil

4/5

2

6

27

HK-416 (14.5”, 5.56mm)

5

3

1-Nil

4/5

2

5

34

HK-416 (16.5”, 5.56mm)

5

3

1-Nil

4/6

2

5

42

HK-416 (20”, 5.56mm)

5

3

1-Nil

5/6

2

5

55

HK-416 (10.5”, 6.8mm)

5

3

1-1-Nil

4/5

2

6

23

HK-416 (12.5”, 6.8mm)

5

3

1-1-Nil

4/5

2

6

37

HK-416 (14.5”, 6.8mm)

5

3

1-2-Nil

4/6

2

6

38

HK-416 (16.5”, 6.8mm)

5

3

1-2-Nil

5/6

2

6

47

HK-416 (20”, 6.8mm)

5

3

1-2-Nil

5/7

2

6

62

HK-417 (10.5”)

5

4

2-Nil

4/5

3

7

22

HK-417 (12.5”)

5

4

2-Nil

4/6

3

7

30

HK-417 (14.5”)

5

4

2-3-Nil

5/6

3

7

38

HK-417 (16.5”)

5

4

2-3-Nil

5/7

3

7

47

HK-417 (20”)

5

4

2-3-Nil

6/7

3

7

62

M-27

5

3

1-Nil

4/6

2

5

43

HK-416D

SA

1

Nil

5/6

1

Nil

41

MR-556A1

SA

3

1-Nil

4/6

2

Nil

46

 

VG 1-5

     Notes:  The VG 1-5 (Volkssturm Gewehr, or People’s Rifle) was a weapon born of desperation.  They were designed to be cheap and easy to manufacture weapons for last-ditch defense, issued to the Volkssturm (Home Guard) and other last-ditch defense organizations such as the Werewolves in the closing days of World War 2 when it was obvious that Germany herself would be invaded.  As such, it is a very crude, but reasonably effective weapon that is unfortunately prone to stoppages and wears out quickly.  As a result, the VG 1-5s were usually lubricated very liberally, which attracted dirt and caused its own problems.  Most of these weapons seemed to be concentrated in and around Berlin itself, used against the Red Army.

     Twilight 2000 Notes: Although this is not a modern weapon, it is a very good example of what factories such as Wojo works in Krakow or any of the other innumerable such post-Twilight War gunworks might produce.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

VG 1-5

8mm Kurz

4.52 kg

30

 

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

VG 1-5

SA

3

2-Nil

5

3

Nil

40

 

Walther MKb-42(W)

     Notes:  When The German Army first issued the requirement for what would become the assault rifle, Walther first responded with the MKb-42(W), and it was first classified by the Nazi Army as a “machine carbine.”  Though some 8000 were built and about 5000 combat-tested, the MKb-42(W) revealed numerous deficiencies and ultimately production ended early, in favor of the MKb-42(H) and its successors.

     The MKb-42(W) was designed to be as simple and cheap as possible, made primarily of simple steel stampings and pressings instead of milled, machined, or worked steel.  Most importantly, it fired the new 8mm Kurz round, which was modified from the 8mm Mauser round for just such a rifle.  The MKb-42(W) was a gas-operated design which used a form of telescoping bolt, unusual in a rifle.  Barrel length was short at 16 inches, tipped by a slotted flash suppressor. Perhaps the biggest strike against the Walther design in the minds of the soldiers were its sights; the rear sight was mounted ahead of the receiver in what is now called the “scout position,” and the front sight post was so swde that the shooter’s target was eclipsed by the post at 200 meters.  In addition, the trigger pull was very heavy, leading to inaccurate aimed fire.  In the eyes of the Nazi government, the biggest liability was the complicated and expensive nature of the MKb-42(W).

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

MKb-42(W)

8mm Kurz

4.42 kg

30

$755

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

MKb-42(W)

5

4

2-Nil

6

3

8

44