Heckler & Koch HK433 – Possible Future Military Rifle

The new “Modular Assault Rifle” in development for military use. (Photo: H&K/Jane’s)

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.

HK433 specifications compared to other H&K rifles. (Photo: H&K/TFB)

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.

See Also: Heckler & Koch Unveils Semi-Auto SP5K, New VP9 in FDE

We’re definitely looking forward to more info about this new H&K rifle. (Photo: H&K/TFB)

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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About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. Like Thomas Paine, he’s a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

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  • Fusedspine33 April 21, 2017, 12:21 pm

    “H-key” one of the reasons I have trouble being a fan of HK. Keymod and MLOK are already available, as well as many quality accessories that won’t fit, leaving the customer or tax payer to foot the bill for overpriced HK accessories.

  • Steve Day February 10, 2017, 11:44 pm

    The above post is pure clickbait.

    There is absolutely nothing to suggest the US is going to adopt the HK 433 as a future service rifle. It was only revealed 2 it 3 days ago FFS.

    • Kelly Lee February 11, 2017, 7:32 am

      Just where did the headline or article say or imply the US was going to adopt it? I think it would be more likely the German military would be the ones adopting it since the paragraph starting “Right now the German military is looking for a new front-line rifle…” alludes to it.

  • Kurt F February 10, 2017, 8:16 pm

    Yawn. More overpriced, overhyped, HK stuff. As for ever producing one for US civilian consumption, I think it would be wise to suggest that you don’t hold your breath for that one.

  • Benjamin February 10, 2017, 4:17 pm

    Anyone not pointed out this is basically a SCAR-L???

    • ~ Occams February 10, 2017, 6:45 pm

      I thought it a SCAR, an AR, and a G36 combo.

    • FactChecker90803 February 13, 2017, 7:33 pm

      More like updated G36 meets the ACR and MSBS.

  • Quentin Parker February 10, 2017, 2:26 pm

    Lets be clear, 5.56 Nato is not about penetration, or ballistic distance -but max wound ability, high twist wrapping itself around bones, etc- , so that injured removal takes up personnel who otherwise would remain combative. Lets be humane here…. LOL! Obviously the 7.62 x 51 NATO or the 308, or the old 30-06 is a better all round ammo, to reach out and touch s/0, but weight and kill factor make this- calculating less- desirable overall. Like you, I want firepower and range, and much beyond 800 yards is not kill, for the avg. marksman.

  • Paul February 10, 2017, 7:16 am

    I’m sure my comments will elicit opposing viewpoints; not unusual here. But to me there are only two essential considerations in the selection of a combat weapon, (rifle); the ballistical characterists of the round it is chambered to deliver, and the reliability of the rifle to perform under the most extreme conditions. Rifles and pistols are simply the delivery systems for the round (ammunition). Much like a hypodermic syringe is a delivery system for medication to combat disease, or pain; the delivery system is secondary to the efficacy of the product being delivered. If a medicine is ineffective against a disease, the delivery system is rarely to blame. I’ve never been a fan of the .223 , or 5.56 mm round, as it lacks sufficient energy and penetrability due to its low bullet mass. The popularity of the AK 47 worldwide can be attributed to the two aforementioned attributes; reliability, and superior performance of the 7.62 round. When the military selects the next generation of standard issue weapons, more consideration should be given to these two performance attributes. In my opinion, the low mass, high velocity NATO rounds are as obsolete as NATO itself.

    • Robert February 10, 2017, 10:30 am

      Brilliantly said! Amen!

    • SuperG February 10, 2017, 10:42 am

      Another point in favor of the AK47 round is that you can re-supply by lifting ammo off the carcass of your dead enemy.

    • Alan February 10, 2017, 11:24 am

      Yes and No. The “popularity” of the AK was due to it’s low cost (often free) to the communist/terrorist consumer.
      And why then did the former USSR develop the AK-74 (their copy of our smaller round) if they were so satisfied with the 7.62 x 39?
      The AK-47 is a great gun for close range (tank riders) combat, but that round was never as great as you tout it to be.
      And you have seriously underscored the penetrating power of the current 5.56 Nato round.
      The original load has been refined considerably.

    • Kivaari February 10, 2017, 4:01 pm

      I don’t think you have done your homework on the penetrating capacity of the 5.56mm. On steel plate, rail road tie plates, the 5.56mm penetrates better than the 7.62×39. At 100m neither round penetrates the plate, the 7.62x39mm scuffs the surface and the 5.56x45mm poxes the plate. At 50m the 5.56 is poking holes in the plate and the 7.62 is finally leaving a pox mark. That is the M193 v. steel core M43 PS. Only at very close range does the M43 poke a hole. Now add the M855 “green tip” and the 5.56mm always out performs the M43 PS. High velocity aids penetration. That is why a .22 SCHV bullet outperforms even .30-06 on steel plate.

      • Miles Huggins February 10, 2017, 10:49 pm

        Not of the 30 cal is steel core too the 30 wins

  • Will Drider February 10, 2017, 12:43 am

    I like H&K and have had one of their long guns for over 30 years. Manufactures will build what ever will sell, especially in big military contracts. This brings me to “Modular Rifle Systems”. I can understand elite tactical snake eater commands tailoring weapons for each quick get in-do it-get the hell out mission. Where I have problems is modular rifle systems for regular troops, its just not needed 99.9% of them. A simple change from gas impingement to gas piston operating systems would allow full operation with folding stocks. Tankers, jumpers would have compact storage and firepower as would reg troops in really close quarters work. Hell, we use to pull one pin and fold two M16s and put them behind the pilots seat in the Cobras! One size may not fit all but it sure as hell will work if you want it to.

    • Robert February 10, 2017, 11:18 am

      Simply changing from impingement to piston will not eliminate the recoil spring in the stock of a standard AR type weapon. In order to make a folding stock you must move the recoil spring to a different position. In fact most gas piston AR designs maintain the recoil spring in the stock of the weapon.

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