Review and background
Heckler & Koch is a success story for the German industry, as it was started a few years after WW2 ended by three engineers who were with the Mauser brand during war time. They turned their stripped factory around, started manufacturing bicycles, and then later transitioned into firearms. By salvaging blueprints from their former military employer, the engineers were able to rebuild their industry and produce guns based off of the older Mauser designs. They stayed up to date to the changing needs and demands on firearms, but also had their share of shortcomings also.
One of the key factors to Heckler & Koch’s success is the wartime destruction of the town of Oberndorf, which was home to several major arms manufacturers. With the small arms playing field effectively levelled by war, Heckler & Koch were able to revitalise their brand and distribute it worldwide. Heckler & Koch manufacture all types of weapons currently, and the Heckler & Koch brand is still expanding. Initial firearm customers were the West German Bundeswehr for a G3 Infantry Rifle in 1959. This era saw an enormous upswing in rifle development, as the cold war was in full swing.
The stock model of the G3 was in some ways worse than other rifles of the era, but it is still in action today while the M14 and FAL have retired. What the G3 brings though is reliability, accuracy, and modularity. It can mount a scope easily, while other rifles required drilling, dust covers, or other additions. The stock can be changed out easily, as is the removal of the hand guard.
Heckler & Koch are also renown in the pistol market for their accuracy and control. German engineering is a formidable tool, and it is in deep steady use at their manufacturing facilities.
Heckler & Koch G3 Specifications
|Mass||4.38 kg (9.66 lb) (G3A3)
4.7 kg (10 lb) (G3A4)
5.54 kg (12.2 lb) with optic (G3SG/1)
4.1 kg (9.0 lb) (G3KA3)
4.4 kg (9.7 lb)(G3KA4)
|Length||1,025 mm (40.4 in) (G3A3)
1,025 mm (40.4 in) stock extended / 840 mm (33.1 in) stock collapsed (G3A4)
1,025 mm (40.4 in) (G3SG/1)
895 mm (35.2 in) stock extended / 711 mm (28.0 in) stock collapsed (G3KA4)
|Barrel length||450 mm (17.7 in)
315 mm (12.4 in) (G3K)
|Width||45 mm (1.8 in)|
|Height||220 mm (8.7 in) with inserted magazine|
|Rate of fire||500–600 rounds/min|
|Muzzle velocity||800 m/s (2,625 ft/s)
747 m/s (2,451 ft/s) (G3KA4)
|Effective firing range||200–400 metres (219–437 yd) sight adjustments
600 metres (656 yd) with Fero Z24 telescopic sight
|Maximum firing range||3,700 metres (4,046 yd)|
|Feed system||5-, 10-, 20-, 30-, or 40-round detachable box, and 50-round and 100-round drum magazine|
|Sights||Rear: rotary diopter; front: hooded post|