HK433 and the German Competition, Part II

First, apologies to everyone who was expecting this post, as promised, 24 hours ago. We now return you to the weapons discussion formerly in progress! -Ed.

In our report Saturday on the new HK433 military rifle we only included a partial translation of HK’s press release. We stopped because our post was quite long enough, but in the comments many of you asked questions about the items that were not included.

So let’s translate some more HK!

To begin with, we’ve got some marketbrag that we left off last time:

Countless ideas, decades of know-how and mature solutions, tested in the toughest worldwide practice, form the foundation of the trailblazing weapons technologies of Heckler & Koch. In that, the German proportion of value added has remained 100%,since the founding of the traditional enterprise in the Swabian city of Oberndorf in 1949. High-Tech Made in Germany!

Joining with the rifle families G36, HK416 and HK417, combat-proven worldwide, the HK433 is now a fourth scalable assault rifle family in the product portfolio of the enterprise. With this entirely novel development, Heckler & Koch underlines anew its claim to built the best assault rifles in the world. With France (HK416AIF), Germany (G36), USA (US Marine Corps M27/HK416), Great Britain (SA80), Norway (HK416), Spain (G36) und Lithuania (G36) Heckler & Koch already provides the standard assault rifle to a comprehensive number of armies and service branches of NATO. Numerous Special Operations Forces of the western world — including for example the US Special Forces, the Kommando Spezialkräfte of the Bundeswehr (KSK) and civil authorities’ special elements (incl. GSG9) – rely on assault rifles from Oberndorf.

After that, our translation Friday picks up the ball. Until this point:

The Slim Line Handguard developed by Heckler & Koch is firmly attached to the upper receiver, with no play. It can be removed without tools and offers sling attachment points, modular HKey interfaces at 3 and 9 o’clock, as well as a full-length Picatinny rail to MIL-STD-1913 at 6 o’clock.

The interchangeable lower receiver defines the desired operating system and thereby reduces the training demands on the operator. Depending on prior firearms training, the operator can select the G36 or the HK416/AR-15 operating system. All control elements are bilaterally available, symmetrically ordered and can be configured as the customer desires.

“Drop-in” solutions for the lower receiver expand the functional envelope of the weapon with individually configurable match triggers or trigger-group assemblies. The magazine well in compliance with NATO STANAG 4179 (Draft) provides for secure interoperability with the G36 weapons system, the HK416 or the market-standard AR-15.

The grip interface is based on the HK416 weapons family. Through grips with interchangeable grip surfaces and grip backstraps analogous to those of the P30 and SFP/VP pistol series, the rifle can be optimally fitted to various hand sizes.

The ergonomically folding and length-adjustable shoulder stock with the height-adjustable cheekpiece mates with the receiver without any play. The length adjustment offers five detents and is dynamically adjustable for this and the personal combat equipment of the operator. Straight, convex and concave buttplates ensure the necessary comfort with the weapon at the ready position. The shoulder stock can be folded to the right at any length adjustment. Here the most extremely compact transport measurements are achieved. The trigger remains freely accessible. The ejection port is not covered, to ensure that in an emergency a functional capability is available even in “transport condition.”

H&K weapons are distinguished, along with the highest reliability, also by a standard-setting safety standard. So on the HK433 firing readiness, drop safety (NATO AC225/D14), the ability to safe the weapon in all loading conditions and a high cook-off safety are understood, along with a robust and non-delicate manner of construction, even in dirty, extreme cold and war temperature conditions, or lacking lubricants.

Camouflage colors and infrared-absorbing finishes are available, if desired by customers.

Special material combinations and surface treatments round out the whole concept of the HK433. They provide for a low-maintenance system under extreme conditions, with an above-average service life.

The empty weight of the HK433 with the 16.5″ long barrel is 3.5 kg.

Here’s the original .pdf in The Awful German Language:


Now you’re caught up on what HK has said. Tomorrow, assuming of course that the system continues working, we’ll have an update on who’s expected to be playing in the German rifle competition. HK, as the largest German firm participating and the only one offering a 100% German-designed, German-produced weapon from a factory ready to deliver immediately, is thought to have the inside track.

16 thoughts on “HK433 and the German Competition, Part II

  1. Bart Noir

    H&K is taking credit for the SA80? And it is one of the best assault rifles in the world?

    That must be why it is offered for sale to many countries, and is doing well in the hands of armies who can pick from so many choices. Or not.

      1. Bart Noir

        I believe that MOD only had 2/3 of those SA80s upgraded by H&K.

        And that was in the ’90s. I do wonder how Great Britain will arm troops when those SA80 weapons wear out. They sold off and killed off their entire small arms manufacturing capability.

        Oh well, it is politically correct to buy weapons from the Belgians.

  2. Martin S

    The marketing-wank is thick, but then it always is.

    I still think this, and stuff like the SCAR, ACR, massage etc have weird lines. There’s something more aesthetically pleasing with a AR.
    And realistically that’s the only difference.

    1. DSM

      It could be that the AR is more familiar. I like this new HK rifle but then again I liked the Masada/ACR too. The controls are excellent. I didn’t dig on the more forward position of the charging handle when the Masada went to the ACR that the HK433 also has, because well, that’s pretty much where HK puts them. That’s a personal gripe, some folks prefer it where it is.


    “modular HKey interfaces” Hkey? Is this another example of those krauts just couldn’t stand not putting some HK only spec keymod-ish feature instead of using the industry standard as they are wont to do? or is it just the being them and putting their name on something someone NOT german came up with?

    I could honestly see and believe they came up with their own version that only their attachments will fit. As they are wont to do..

    1. Sommerbiwak

      HKey looks similar to KeyMod, but is different in detail. AFAIK it is a case of co development. The hand guard with M-Lok slots wasn’t ready for the photos yet, but is said by people who should know to exist.

      The HK433 is not finished yet anyway. for example the position of the charging handle is different on the rifles shown so far. Seems to be in a state of flux.

  4. John M.

    The photo at the top of this post shows a button in the approximate location of the AR-15 mag release. The photo of the rifle on the stand shows a decidedly paddle-like control just to the rear of the magazine, in the approximate location of an AK mag release.

    What gives?

    -John M.

      1. DSM

        But looking again, that’s a 416 mag stuffed in there….so, maybe a dual release like an Mp5? Or, just a staged photo.

        1. Sommerbiwak

          there are different lowers available with button or paddle magazine release. As is actually said in the press release. Rumour has it that there is also a receiver taking G36 pattern magazines, but not ready yet.

          1. DSM

            Yeah, I referenced that originally but seeing a STANAG patterned mag in a rifle with a paddle release gave me cause for pause on asserting that statement. I’m thinking it may even be a rapid prototyped lower to show the capability.

    1. Sommerbiwak

      The HK416 is expensive to build. An extruded receiver is much cheaper. It is kind of a long pipe that gets cut to length and the openings etc are cut into it. It is also monolithic instead of the complicated mating of the quad rail to the upper receiver to ensure precision on the 416. No buffer tube allowing a folding stock. There is probably a longer list.

      Also the HK416 is very front heavy. And more than a decade old. So lessons learned can be applied in the new gun and H&K can show off some new shiny toy to sell.

  5. BAP45

    If it can live up to all that modularity then it will be quite the rifle. Granted thats yet to be seen but looks like they have a good start.

  6. Pingback: HK433 and the German Competition, Part III | WeaponsMan

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