Heckler & Koch has just announced a new product, the HK433. The HK433 is their new “Modular Assault Rifle” designed for military use. It will compete as a replacement rifle for the German military.
The German army or Bundeswehr currently issues the Heckler & Koch G36 to soldiers. The G36 was a modern design when it was adopted but is starting to show its age. On top of that, the rifle has been at the center of a great deal of controversy over accuracy issues. While the rifle is accurate enough off the rack some users have criticized the G36 for losing accuracy as the barrel heats up under hard use.
Right now the German military is looking for a new front-line rifle and it seemed like the HK416 was in the lead. The HK416 is an AR-based rifle with a gas piston system in use with American and French military forces. However, it’s a premium rifle with a higher per-unit price tag.
The HK433 seeks to compete with the HK416 price-wise while delivering several features not possible with the AR-based design. The rifle is chambered for 5.56mm NATO ammunition and uses STANAG AR-15/M4-pattern magazines. Additionally, Heckler & Koch is working on a G36 magazine-compatible parts as well. The company also has 300 AAC Blackout, 7.62x39mm and 7.62 NATO plans in the works.
Unlike ARs, the HK433 features a folding stock. The side-folder is also adjustable for length and has an integrated cheek riser. The rifle sports a folding forward charging handle with a forward assist and has an adjustable short-stroke piston system.
Heckler & Koch announced several different barrel length options ranging from 11 to 20 inches. Other lengths include 12.5, 14.5, 16.5 and 18.9 inches. These barrel assemblies are interchangeable and can be swapped out on the user level. This likely means that cartridge swaps are possible too.
The design uses a monolithic upper receiver combining the receiver and handguard in one piece. The upper has a full-length flattop rail for optics as well as a 6-o’clock rail for foregrips and bipods. It looks like an ambidextrous design with left- and right-side selector switches, a reversible charging handle and magazine release buttons on both sides.
In addition to the modular barrel system the handguard uses a KeyMod-style “HKey” negative space attachment system on the sides for other accessories. It also has multiple sling attachment points to suit user preference.
For now, the HK433 remains a true assault rifle capable of select fire. The three-position selector switch toggles between safe, semi-auto and full-auto fire. The HK433 shoots at approximately 700 rounds per minute full-auto.
Hopefully, Heckler & Koch will drum up a commercial variant of the rifle because this is one gun any black rifle user will want to try. According to the Firearm Blog “the precision is described as ‘far above average.'”
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